I wish to thank the minister for his comprehensive reply to the various remarks which have been made by members of the committee on this the first item on the estimates of his department. I have a brief observation to make which could refer to item 131 or to the next item. I wish to make it now. A few moments ago I came across an editorial in the Ottawa Journal, June 3. It has for its title: "146.5 lbs. of Meat-Each". May I be allowed to quote a brief paragraph from this editorial. It reads as follows:
Not everyone in Canada is unemployed and those who have work or income are doing very well indeed. So well that total per capita consumption ol meat in 1960 was 3.6 pounds greater than in 1959 and more than 12 pounds above the 1951-55 average.
I wish to remind the minister of the remarks I made on May 11 when I said that fish consumption, which had reached 13.7 pounds per capita in 1950, had declined to 13.2 pounds in 1957, and called for drastic action on the part of the department to increase the consumption of fish in this country. When we realize that during the same period the consumption of meat has increased by 12 pounds per capita and the consumption of fish has decreased by half a pound-
I will sit down at the call of the Chair. I have as much right to make observations in the committee as has the hon. member for St. John's. This is typical of what we hear from members on the government side of the house, for no reason whatever.
When we have to face such a serious situation as this decline in fish consumption we may well ask ourselves what will happen to future generations of Canadians when such a brain food as fish is set aside.
Mr. Chairman, I am not taking part in this debate as an expert on commercial fishing and I imagine that members of the committee will perhaps be surprised to hear me say a few words on this subject. I should like to ask the minister to look especially into the problem I intend to submit to him and to give us some information about a situation prevailing at present in the Montreal area with regard to sport fishing. With the committee's permission, I should like to quote from an article published in the Gazette of June 2, 1961, which reads as follows:
I shall read from this article in English as it is written in English. It is entitled: "Quebec reverses itself on minnow situation". It reads:
We told you in yesterday's column to look elsewhere in the paper for the ruling on minnows by Hon. Gerard Levesque, minister of game and fisheries. Well, you didn't find much-simply an announcement that special permits are to be issued effective immediately for the sale of minnows.
Later on in a paragraph headed: "Prime interest to Montreal" the article says:
These details will be particularly interesting to Montreal district fishermen in view of the fact that one suggestion had been that the sale of minnows should be permitted in a zone of the south shore but not on the island of Montreal which would be placed in the same category as the trout belt in the Laurentians. This would be a blow at the many thousands of anglers who depend upon minnows for fishing dore, pike and perch in local waters.
Mr. Chairman, that article was brought about by a rather radical decision taken by the present government of the province of Quebec concerning the sale and transportation of minnows.
That legislation was introduced at a most inappropriate time, that is last spring, and without any previous warning to dealers who sell not only minnows but fishing tackle.
Moreover, the provincial authorities received strong protests from certain sports associations concerning the adoption of that bill which is rather prejudicial to their interests.
No. I am dealing with the part of the law which comes under the administrative responsibility of the federal government as I will show later on if you allow me to continue.
Mr. Chairman, as I was saying a moment ago, that decision has caused serious losses to all those business people who depend on the sale of fishing gear. Representations were made to the present provincial government, which washed its hands of the matter and said it was a federal responsibility. That is why I now ask the Minister of Fisheries to clearly state the stand of the federal Department of Fisheries with regard to that legislation enacted by the Quebec government. (Text):
Perhaps I can answer the observations which have been made by the two hon. members who have spoken.
In the case of fishing regulations which are enforced by the provinces, the regulations are made under the authority of the Fisheries Act and the order in council which brings them into effect is the responsibility of the federal government. However, I wish to make it clear that the appropriate ministers of the provinces make recommendations as to what these regulations should be and we rarely, if ever, modify them, or, if we do, we do so only after consultation with the minister of the province concerned.
In the case of regulations having to do with the use of minnows in Quebec, the recommendation was put forward by the provincial government. I communicated with the minister, who takes full responsibility for making this recommendation. He is happy with it. Therefore, it was made into law by the passing of an appropriate order in council. It is the direct responsiblity of the provincial minister concerned to make recommendations in this regard.
I was very pleased that the hon. member for Gloucester raised the suggestion that publicity should be given to the advantages of including fish in diets. In this regard I might suggest that my department is doing all it can to acquaint Canadians with the benefits arising from the consumption of fish, both from a health and economical point of view. There is a very excellent service in existence carried out by skilled young ladies who demonstrate the uses of fish to groups
across the country, including the operators of restaurants, hotels and so on. This operation is being carried out in an attempt to familiarize Canadians with the benefits of the use of fish in diets and to increase the per capita consumption in Canada.
We have also introduced methods to improve the standard of processed fish in an attempt to establish a reputation of dependability in that regard.
Mr. Chairman, I realize that every minister of the crown is anxious to have the estimates of his department passed as quickly as possible, and I suggest the Minister of Fisheries is no different in this regard.
At the beginning of the minister's remarks in reply to suggestions made by hon. members he referred to the fact that this debate had taken quite some time. As a matter of fact, he stated it had extended over a period of three days. That statement is true, in that the debate took place on three different days, but in terms of total time it has taken no longer than the number of hours this house sits on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday approximately 8J hours. I suggest that the fishing industry is of sufficient importance to the five Atlantic provinces, as well as to that important province of British Columbia, that we should not attempt to rush through the estimates of this department simply because we are approaching a particular time of day. Should we run through and complete the estimates during this last hour, that is perfectly all right, but they should not be hastened in any way which would limit our discussion.
Earlier today I mentioned articles which had been written by Mr. Val Gwyther. At that time I was unable to locate the reference to these articles, but I have since found this reference contained in the Vancouver Sun of June 1, 1961, at page 42. I should like at this time to make further reference to the statements made by that individual so as to relate them to the location in which they were made. The article in part reads as follows:
Two university of B.C. engineers said today a hydroelectric dam can be built in the Fraser river canyon without harming salmon runs.
They said a 100-foot high dam at Spuzzum, 30 miles north of Hope, would produce 700,000 horsepower and allow safe passage of 750,000 salmon a day.
The engineers are J. F. Muir, head of the U.B.C. department of civil engineering, and Eugen Ruus, assistant professor of civil engineering.
They were speaking at the 75th annual meeting of the engineering institute of Canada-
This article then makes reference to Mr. Val Gwyther who is reported there as saying that watersheds are now open to development of both fish and power. The article then goes on to state as follows:
Gwyther said that with proper planning of fishways in conjunction with power dams, survival of fish can be increased over that in natural settings filled with predators.
I do not intend to quote further from this article because I think the essence of their approach to this subject is contained in the remarks I have quoted which were made at a meeting of the engineering institute of Canada. I should appreciate very much if the minister would indicate his opinion of the validity of these statements.
As I said earlier, Mr. Gwyther has been noted in past years for his one-sided approach to this question which would tend to serve the interests of those individuals concerned with the development of power exclusively. I think the approach presented in the report from which I quoted represents the same high pressure tactics resulting from these studies which have been financed, at least in part, by the B.C. hydro industry.
Mr. Chairman, I should like to make it clear to the hon. gentleman that I did not object to the length of time being taken for the consideration of the estimates for my department, but merely pointed out that the discussion had taken place on three different days, two of which were about two weeks ago, and therefore I hoped to be excused if my remarks this afternoon were not comprehensive enough to cover every point that had been raised.
I should like to thank the hon. member for bringing this article to my attention but would suggest to him that individuals are free to express their own opinions. The best advice that I can obtain from experts, not only from my department, but elsewhere, is that there is as yet no feasible means whereby hydro development can take place on the Fraser river without serious damage to the salmon industry. I am sure that if there had been a tremendous breakthrough and discovery in this regard in recent times I should be aware of it.
Mr. Chairman, there are a wide number of items which are under consideration for this year. A few examples of those projects are as follows: a study in
regard to the use of a stern trawler, the development of a scallop stern trawler, the development of a combination dragger purse siener and a trap tender for the great lakes, the continued development of a multi-purpose 50-foot boat, and the development of a 48-foot long-liner in co-operation with the province of New Brunswick, the development of reinforced fibreglass hulls for fishing boats, the tank testing of various types of fishing vessels and fishing gear, the development of an unloading device for fishing vessels, some work in regard to hydro jet propulsion. We have also been assisting, to some extent, the development of a free-piston gasifier engine which we hope will be very useful in application to fishing vessels on the basis of a very flexible type of installation. Some hon. members may be aware of that project. Those are some examples.
Practically all of the examples the minister has given had to do with the catching of fish. This item is called "Industrial Development Service". Can the minister say whether any of the money is being spent for what one would ordinarily think of as industrial development?
We look on the catching of fish as an industrial activity, and it is part of our industrial development work, but not all by any means. For example, there is a great deal of work, to which I have already referred to some extent, being done at the Valleyfield experimental station on the processing of fish. Another example is the development of fish processing and holding equipment; the various developments in the drying of fish, the packaging of fish, and bulk containers for fish, which are not only the large containers used in shipment but also the retail containers. A while ago I mentioned salt fish blocks which are being developed. These blocks are for the retail trade. They are blocks about the size of a pound of butter and are quite attractive. We feel they will have a very great acceptability on the market. There is such a wide field of endeavour in this directorate that it is hard to give in a few words a complete review of what is being done but if the hon. member has anything specific in mind I shall certainly get the information for him.
I just have this specifically in mind. The only substantial reduction anywhere in the estimates is in this item and while in general I am in favour of reducing expenditures rather than increasing them- I am an old fashioned Grit in this respect-I must say that in this particular field I do not think that reducing expenditure is the wise thing at all, because surely the most important thing is not to find new ways of
catching fish but new ways of processing fish and getting it onto the markets in an acceptable form, and this is where Canada is not leading the world and where it seems to me we ought to be advancing even more rapidly than we are.