February 9, 1959


Motion No. 7-Mr. Fisher: For a copy of all correspondence and other documents exchanged between the federal government and officials of the United States concerning pilotage and the regulation of pilotage on the St. Lawrence-great lakes waterway, since June 1, 1958. [Mr. McPhillips.l


AIR LINE REFUELING STOP, FROBISHER BAY


Motion No. 35-Mr. Hardie: For a copy of all correspondence and other documents exchanged between the federal government, or any of its departments, and air line companies, since September 1, 1957, concerning the use of Frobisher Bay as a refueling stop on their international routes. Motion agreed to.


RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION, ALBERTA-GREAT SLAVE LAKE


Motion No. 36-Mr. Hardie: For a copy of all correspondence exchanged between the federal government, or any of its departments, and the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railways, since January 1, 1957, concerning the building of a railway from Alberta to the south shore of Great Slave lake? He said: Mr. Speaker, since putting this motion on the order paper I have spoken to the Minister of Transport, who has informed me that discussions are still going on with the railways. For this reason I have agreed with the minister to drop the motion at this time, but I reserve the right to place a similar motion on the order paper at a later date. Motion dropped.


BILL OF RIGHTS


Motion No. 38-Mr. Argue: For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams and other documents exchanged between the federal government and each of the provincial governments since March 31, 1958, regarding a bill of rights.


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this is agreeable subject to the customary exceptions and reservations.

Topic:   BILL OF RIGHTS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Subject to the limitations expressed by the Prime Minister is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   BILL OF RIGHTS
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Motion agreed to.


CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY

BRITISH COLUMBIA


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Prime Minister arising out of the reported decision of the Canadian Pacific Railway to discontinue as of February 25 winter steamship connections with the mainland from Vancouver island out of Victoria. I should like to ask the Prime Minister what steps are being taken by the government to maintain this essential service.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that question will be answered by the Minister of Transport.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have been asked questions about this matter by the hon. member for Victoria, the hon. member for Nanaimo and the Minister of National Defence. I have been in touch with senior officials of the C.P.R.

Inquiries of the Ministry in this connection, and they have informed me that winter traffic has been exceedingly low, running for example, upon occasion, to only one automobile and only half as many passengers as crew on certain trips. Moreover they have advised that the two vessels involved are close to the expiry date of their safety certificates, and the company is facing heavy refit and modernization costs if the ships are continued in service. Accordingly, decision has been taken to suspend winter operations although summer service will be reinstated with other ships during the tourist season.

The company has also informed me that to accommodate traffic to Victoria special arrangements have been made with Vancouver Island Bus Lines to have connecting bus service at Nanaimo to meet the company ferries there, and that this will provide a faster over-ail transit time from Vancouver to Victoria than the direct Vancouver to Victoria ferry has given. Similarly, it is understood that the Washington State Ferries are starting a service from Anacortes to Sidney on February 26 with connecting bus services at each end, which will also provide a faster transit time from Victoria to Seattle than the ferry has hitherto given. Moreover, the provincial government of British Columbia has, I understand, announced that it proposes to go into the ferry service to serve this part of the island, and that it is building two new ferries for this purpose.

Doubtless all the foregoing factors have played their part in the decision of the Canadian Pacific to withdraw the present ships from service.

While I would not wish this to be taken as a final and categorical statement on my part regarding the legal position, I have not been able to find anything to the effect that provision of this service is a constitutional or legal responsibility of the federal government.

There is nothing further that I can say on the matter at the present time, though we will continue to give it our active consideration.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Permalink
CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the minister a supplementary question. Having regard to the arrangements that have been made is it not a fact that the Vancouver Island Bus Lines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the C.P.R.?

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I am not aware of that fact.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Permalink
LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. G. J. Mcllrailh (Ottawa West):

Can

the minister advise the house whether or not there is any statutory or contractual obligation on the part of the federal government to provide a ferry service between Victoria and the mainland?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my statement I am not aware whether that is a fact. We have tried to ascertain if there is any, but have not been able to find that there is any such obligation. However, as the hon. member will have noticed in listening to my statement, the C.P.R., by providing bus service from Victoria to Nanaimo and ferry service from Nanaimo to Vancouver, is providing a faster over-all service in this manner than previously was the case with the ferry service direct from Victoria to Vancouver.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sub-subtopic:   FERRY SERVICE, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Permalink

February 9, 1959