June 18, 1958

NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN

STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make an announcement at this time regarding the establishment of the green belt around the city of Ottawa. The government has now decided to recommend to parliament the necessary measures to make it possible for the crown to acquire ownership of what is known as the green belt around the nation's capital, so as to do what is possible to ensure that the development of the capital area over the long-term future will be in accordance with the national importance and significance of this city. To achieve these ends will require suitable general powers in a bill to establish the national capital commission, as well as to set up the authority over a period of several years for the crown to lend money to the commission to be invested in the purchase of the requisite lands for the purpose.

This project, as the house knows, was considered by a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons two years ago and approved by that committee, with the suggestion that the possibility of achieving this purpose by the use of provincial legislation should be further explored. The government has reached the conclusion that only the acquisition of the land by the crown under the authority of parliament offers any assured hope of achieving this important long-term objective which we believe the committee had in mind.

It has been suggested that the legislature of Ontario might pass legislation to establish this green belt, which would have the effect of taking from private owners of the lands, particularly within the confines of the green belt, the values they could get by developing it for purposes inconsistent with the restrictions necessary to achieve the purposes and aims of setting up the green belt. Such legislation might well give rise to valid arguments that the owners had a legitimate claim for compensation from the province of Ontario because of the effects on them of action taken to accomplish this national purpose. Such problems do not arise under the plan which the government proposes to

place before parliament, under which the crown will buy the property and lease it subject to the restrictions necessary tc accomplish the purpose.

The details concerning the areas to be included in the green belt, the limitations of the use to which lands therein may be put, will be worked out for the approval of the government by the federal district commission after consultation with the local authorities concerned. Broadly speaking, the area and uses will be those placed before the joint committee in 1956. Some modifications will be desirable which have regard to the developments which have occurred since that time. The government wishes to be sure that local views as to the precise details shall be taken into account.

I should like to emphasize that this is a long-term project undertaken in the national interest. It is not a short-term one nor one that has been undertaken at the request of the local municipalities. Experience has shown that unless effectual control is exercised, cities tend to sprawl out into suburbs, resulting in what is called ribbon development, in a manner that is quite contrary to and inconsistent with the long-term planning that is necessary and essential if the capital of Canada is to be preserved and developed so that it will be a capital city of which this generation and succeeding generations can and will be proud.

By investing a reasonable sum now to acquire title to the lands on the boundaries of the city the people of Canada, through parliament, can be assured of that control which is necessary before further developments take place which may indeed result in action being taken too late. During the early years after the land is acquired the rents received for it may not be as much as the interest on the funds borrowed to purchase the lands in question, but the government is confident that over the long-term period the investment will be found to be worth while financially, as well as being necessary to achieve the important purpose which we and the people of Canada as a whole, I believe, have in mind and desire.

I would suggest that the details concerning this matter can best be discussed when the national capital bill is before the house, which I hope will be at a very early date.

1382 HOUSE OF

St. Lawrence Seaway-Tolls Mr. G. J. Mcllrailh (Ottawa West): Mr. Speaker, I am sure the house will welcome the statement made by the Prime Minister. I know that those who have taken an immediate and direct interest in this problem will be very pleased with the action now being taken. This matter has been receiving attention for some considerable time. To see the realization of the green belt in concrete form is something that will, I am sure, meet with the approval of all who are concerned with the problem.

I should like to ask one question by way of clarification. I take it from the statement that it is intended that this matter be dealt with in the new bill replacing the Federal District Commission Act and not as a separate piece of legislation. Is that right?

Topic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That is the purpose we have in mind.

Topic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

Thank you.

Topic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, we in this group welcome the very important announcement just made by the Prime Minister. As do other Canadians, we look forward to the building of a planned national capital of beauty which all Canadians will be proud of in the future. We will wish to look at the bill in detail when it is before the house to see that the legitimate interests of all property holders are maintained. We also express the hope that in the work as it goes forward attention will be given to the removal of slums within this area, and the development of the whole area not only in the interests of the people of the country generally but the residents of the national capital area.

Topic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT
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LIB

Joseph-Omer Gour

Liberal

Mr. J. O. Gour (Russell):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for this decision. It was decided in 1956 that this would be the best thing to do. I should merely like to ask whether the owners of land will be reasonably well paid for lands within the green belt that are purchased or expropriated.

I also wish the name "green belt" would be changed.

Topic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL PLAN
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ACQUISITIONS OF LANDS TO ESTABLISH GREEN BELT
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ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS

PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, the St. Lawrence seaway authority of Canada and the St. Lawrence seaway development corporation of the United States in a simultaneous announcement today are making public the proposed tolls which may form the basis of recommendations to their respective governments to meet the

requirements of the legislation of each country. The recommendations which were submitted by the Canadian tolls committee and by the United States tolls committee are in complete agreement.

The main features of the proposed toll structure are as follows: For each passage through the entire seaway, Montreal to or from lake Erie, a vessel will be assessed 6 cents per gross registered ton of vessel and in addition 42 cents per ton of bulk cargo and 95 cents per ton of general cargo carried. For each passage, Montreal to or from lake Ontario only, a vessel will be assessed 4 cents per gross registered ton of vessel and in addition 40 cents per ton of bulk cargo and 90 cents per ton of general cargo carried.

For partial transit of the new seaway facilities between Montreal and lake Ontario, where there are seven locks, the user will be charged 15 per cent of the applicable toll for each lock transited.

For each passage through the Wellanu canal only a vessel will be assessed 2 cents per gross registered ton of the vessel, and in addition 2 cents per ton of bulk cargo and 5 cents per ton of general cargo carried. In the Welland canal a partial transit will be assessed 50 per cent of the toll irrespective of the number of locks used.

The unit of weight for the collection of tolls on cargo will be a ton of 2,000 pounds.

Commercial vessels carrying passengers will be charged 50 cents per passenger for each lock transited between Montreal and lake Erie in addition to the vessel charge.

The charging of tolls on the Welland canal as part of the seaway in order to defray the capital cost of deepening as well as operating and maintenance expenses is a requirement of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act passed without dissent by the parliament of Canada in 1951. The act pertains to a deep waterway between the port of Montreal and lake Erie.

The suggested tolls, according to the tolls committees, should be sufficient to meet all financial requirements as the anticipated traffic develops. It is believed by the members of the tolls committees that the revenue derived will provide for the annual cost of operation and maintenance of the new seaway facilities and of the Welland canal, and meet interest charges and amortize borrowed moneys over a period covering the next 50 years. They have estimated that in the first year of operation the traffic through the new portion of the seaway would approximate 25 million cargo tons but would rise gradually to 50 million tons by 1968. The latter figure has been used

for the 40 years after the development period, since this is considered to be the workable capacity of the facilities presently existing and under construction between Montreal and lake Erie. For the Welland canal the Canadian committee estimates the tonnage of cargo at 40 million tons in 1959 with a gradual increase to 60 million tons in 1968.

The traffic estimates of the committees anticipate a developmental period extending to 1968, that is a period of 10 years during which there may not be sufficient revenue to meet all the annual financial requirements. However, with the proposed tolls and the level of traffic which is anticipated beginning with the year 1968 they say that the annual revenues will be sufficient to compensate for the deficiencies incurred during the development period, and that all other financial requirements will be taken care of within the period of 50 years.

A simple method of toll collection is proposed based on the necessity of non-interference with prompt passage by any user. Provision is made for prior registration of any vessel and satisfactory security being given for the payment of charges either with the St. Lawrence seaway authority or with the St. Lawrence seaway development corporation, subsequent to which passage will be permitted. Toll collection and invoicing of accounts as well as the preparation of statistical data is proposed to be assigned to the St. Lawrence seaway authority. The St. Lawrence seaway development corporation has agreed to participate and share in the annual cost of these services. Charges will be billed to the owner or agent promptly and will be payable within seven days after the passage of the ship.

For through passage to or from Montreal and lake Ontario, the invoice will show two amounts to be paid: (1) in Canadian funds to cover the proportion applicable to the St. Lawrence seaway authority, which has been determined at 71 per cent of the total charges; and (2) the balance of the account, or 29 per cent, in United States funds, representing the proportion applicable to the St. Lawrence seaway development corporation, payable at any designated bank in Canada or in the United States. Tolls collected for use of the Welland canal will be for the St. Lawrence seaway authority account and payable in Canadian dollars. The committees stated that the division of tolls indicated above is based upon current figures of estimated capital and operating costs, and can be subject to variation as actual costs are determined.

St. Lawrence Seaway-Tolls

The reports stated that the projection of traffic volume and financial requirements has been made, bearing in mind the legislative requirements on the one hand and on the other the desirability of establishing tolls which in the early years will be conducive to the development of traffic. If future events should indicate that traffic conditions or future financial requirements have been either overestimated or underestimated, the necessary adjustments can be made in the toll structure.

Bulk cargo as defined in the proposed tariff will include such commodities as grain and grain products, loose or in sacks, ores and minerals as described, liquids in ships' tanks, pulpwood, poles and logs, woodpulp, waste paper, iron and steel scrap and pig iron. Domestic package freight of each country will also take the bulk cargo rate. All commodities not included in the definition of bulk cargo will be classified as general cargo.

The recommendations of the Canadian tolls committee, together with supporting statistical data, are being made public concurrently.

In accordance with the requirements of their legislation, the St. Lawrence seaway development corporation will hold public hearings at Washington on August 6, 1958, at which interested parties will have an opportunity to express their views on the proposed charges. The St. Lawrence seaway authority, as a matter of policy, will hold public hearings at Ottawa commencing the same day.

Those intending to appear at Ottawa should advise the acting secretary of the St. Lawrence seaway authority, Ottawa, of their intention to make representations, and should also submit 10 copies of their briefs at least 10 days before the date of the hearing.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that hon. members will wish to know the total effect of this levy per bushel of grain or per ton of iron ore, etc. On a cargo of wheat moved from Fort William to Montreal we expect that savings of at least 4 cents a bushel will be realized after allowances for the toll charges. For the movement of iron ore, as there are no published freight rates it is impossible to state the exact saving which will be made. However, the evidence is that the savings through the avoidance of transshipment, and use of large ships, will be far in excess of the levy of 46 cents per ton.

For all the wide range of other commodities that will be carried on the seaway similar savings will be realized, varying with the commodity and the particular conditions of its transport. These include bulk commodities such as coal, pulpwood and petroleum products, package freight-which as

1384 HOUSE OF

St. Lawrence Seaway-Tolls domestic traffic is to be charged tolls at the same rate as bulk freight-and direct overseas traffic in general 'merchandise. Here again I can only point to the opportunities for savings which the seaway will provide, which indicate that the amount saved over and above the toll charges should be substantial.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, may I congratulate the minister and more particularly, if he will allow me to do so, the St. Lawrence seaway authority for the establishment of a tariff of tolls at this time. When the St. Lawrence seaway authority was established it had two things to do. The first was to build a 27-foot navigation canal from Montreal to lake Erie. The second was to establish a tariff of tolls, the latter being a matter of great importance and one which was extremely complicated.

That is why I would now like to say that I believe the St. Lawrence seaway authority as well as the St. Lawrence seaway development corporation should be commenced for the establishment of that toll in co-operation with each other. I am not in a position, of course, to pass judgment on the matter of tolls; that will require some study, but I would point out to the minister that I am glad he has made this statement because just on Monday of this week my colleagues the hon. member for Welland (Mr. McMillan) and the hon. member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Houck) complained about the fact that we were being given little or no information concerning the seaway, concerning the imposition of tolls and concerning the manner in which those tolls would be imposed. Now, while we have not been given all the information for which we have asked, we have been given some information and for that I am grateful to the minister.

I would also like to say that as I listened to the information on the various tolls mentioned by the minister, while I am not in a position to comment upon them they did appear to me to be attractive. However, whether they are low enough to be nondiscriminatory to the industries which will be established along the seaway is a matter which will have to be studied by the bodies to which the minister has referred.

As the minister has said, the toll must be high enough to amortize the capital expenditures in connection with the seaway and must be low enough to encourage traffic. Are these tolls low enough to encourage traffic to move freely? I hope they are.

The questions which now come to my mind are, first, will the government seek the

[Mr. Hees.l

approval of the United States government with respect to this tariff of tolls; and second, will the board of transport commissioners hear applications-I now refer to complaints made on Monday by the two hon. members I mentioned previously-with respect to an industry which is being discriminated against? In other words, will the board of transport commissioners have jurisdiction to hear such cases, as outlined in section 15 of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act, or will such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the St. Lawrence seaway authority?

There is one other point which I would like to raise, and this is by way of complaint. I made a complaint on Monday that unfortunately many of the statements which have been emanating from Washington should have emanated from this House of Commons. On at least three different occasions there have been complaints in this house on the part of both the hon. member for Welland and myself that the minister and the government should have given the information to the house and, instead of giving it to the house at the appropriate time, it came from Washington. I am informed on reliable authority that the statement which the hon. minister has just made was given to the press in Washington last night, and that newspapermen in the United States telephoned newspapermen in Canada asking them for their views on the tariff of tolls. The newspapermen in this country had not seen this tariff and were therefore not given an opportunity to consider the tolls. I know this is not the fault of the government but it is certainly the fault of someone, and it is a pretty serious fault because, since the tolls are so complicated, it barely gives our newspapermen a chance to report authoritatively on them.

I would therefore ask the minister why Canadian newsmen did not have the same opportunity as their colleagues in the United States to obtain information on these tolls at least 12 hours before the announcement was made, in order that they might have had an opportunity to prepare their reports.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I would like to answer the hon. member on that point. It was arranged between the Canadian and United States authorities that this release would be made simultaneously at 2.30 this afternoon. It was my understanding that this release was not to be handed to the press of either country until that time. It was our intention to give this release to the press in Canada simultaneously with my announcement in the house. However, the authorities in the United

States released copies last night, I understand. I was told of that this morning, and was advised that the release bore a release time of 2.30 p.m. today. As soon as I learned that this had been done, which was at about a quarter to twelve this morning, I immediately made arrangements that the statement should be released to the press of Canada at that time for their information with a release time firmly stated upon it of 2.30 this afternoon.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I am just wondering,

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. friend realizes that this is about the third time within the last two or three months that this has happened.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I might answer the hon. member in this way. Any time that reports have come from Washington I have been as surprised and disturbed as he and other hon. members have been. I have made inquiries upon each occasion, and have been told that the statements have not been official statements and have not been connected with the members of the tolls committee or the American seaway development corporation, and I have accepted the explanation of the United States authorities in good faith.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. D. M. Fisher (Port Arthur):

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the statement by the minister. A reading of the Congressional Record in the last several months, especially the portions emanating from the House of Representatives, indicates there has been a great deal of misinformation in the United States house as to the part that Canada has played in the seaway and the respective weight of the burdens borne by the two countries, and concerning the whole definition of toll charges.

I hope the government will take the action which seemed to be called for in the remarks of the hon. member for Laurier, and that is to issue an aggressive statement on Canada's position in this whole question of tolls and the role we have played. In other words, the government should do something in the way of a public relations job in the United States and especially in Washington, to let them know the part Canada has played.

I take it from the minister's statement that any possibility of discriminatory clauses against foreign shipping has been completely ruled out. Of course I do not think this is a dead issue, and I hope some of the groups who present briefs to the meeting on August 6 will bring up that matter again, because it is a question that is not completely settled to the satisfaction of many people, especially those along the lake, despite the report of the royal commission on coastal shipping.

18, 1958 1385

Estimates of Department of Transport TRANSPORT

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROPOSED TOLLS
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REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE

PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Minister of Public Works):

Topic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. As I understand the motion which the minister is making it is under standing order 57 and is not debatable. If the minister feels it necessary to make an extended explanation I would feel obliged to permit at least equivalent debate from hon. members on the other side of the house, so I warn the minister that the motion is not debatable.

Estimates of Department of Transport

Topic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker. 1 will say no more.

Topic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Speaker, I was certainly under the impression that the motion could be debated, and I would like to say something at this time.

Topic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

That is not my understanding of the standing order under which the motion is made. Perhaps I should read the motion, which is as follows:

That Items numbered 414 to 430, inclusive, items numbered 433 to 441, inclusive, items numbered 444 to 472, inclusive, and items numbered 512 to 516, inclusive, as listed in the main estimates 1958-59; and items numbered 628 to 634, inclusive, items numbered 636 to 651, inclusive, and items numbered 661 and 662, as listed in the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1959, relating to the Department of Transport be withdrawn from the committee of supply and be referred to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, saving always the powers of the committee of supply in relation to the voting of public moneys.

Topic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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June 18, 1958