June 8, 1961

PC

Kenneth Hamill (Ken) More

Progressive Conservative

Mr. More:

Mr. Chairman, I should first like to associate myself with the remarks made by previous speakers in this debate about your appointment as chairman of committees. I am sure you will carry on and do the job equally as well as and perhaps better than you have while filling in without the official appointment. I am sorry, sir, that your appointment has been made necessary because of the absence through illness of Ted Rea, and I associate myself with those hon. members who wish him an early and speedy recovery.

Supply-Transport

This is the first opportunity I have had to congratulate the minister since his appointment. I was privileged to take part in the ceremonies at the opening of the new airport terminal in Regina on September 12, which I think was the day following his official appointment as Minister of Transport. We were privileged at that time to have the former minister participate in those ceremonies.

The people of Regina are very proud of the fine terminal which now stands at that airport. It is certainly one that is well constructed, well laid out and well planned, and it will serve its purposes in a very efficient manner. Since the opening of that terminal, after many, many years of effort, Saskatchewan now boasts a direct north-south air service link. That link was opened on May 4 from Regina to Minot, North Central Air Lines having the franchise. It has been operating for something over a month now and its passenger, freight and express services are developing. They are operating at present in temporary accommodation in this new terminal for customs and immigration purposes. I venture to say that within a period of six months we will need to add to that terminal to take care of this traffic. We will need to provide suitable and proper facilities for this purpose. I hope the minister will keep this development in mind when the time comes, as it seems clear it will, when the service is established and the needs are there. I hope the minister will at that time give a sympathetic hearing to me when I present him with the problem and ask for action.

I should like to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. member for Calgary South in regard to civil aviation. I am somewhat concerned about the position of flying clubs in Canada. I think there is justification for the policy that was adopted in regard to this matter, just purely from the point of view of training pilots. However, it seems to me from my experience and association with the flying club at home and what it is doing that there are considerations other than the mere training of pilots.

We see lads of the district join the flying club at an early age. They graduate as pilots. It is true that they do not go on to fly and use that training commercially, but it has stimulated in them an interest in other aspects of air service and they go on to college and take technical and meteorological training, and so on. From the initial impetus given by the operation of the flying club in the community I am sure many of the personnel we

[Mr. More.l

will need for our expanding development in air services could be found.

It is certainly a future that looks bright. With the ever increasing need for trained personnel it seems to me that these flying clubs should be kept on a sound operating basis, and reconsideration should be given to this program so that not only will the clubs initially train these young people to fly, but they will stimulate in them an interest in education in the other avenues of air service and so provide us with very necessary personnel for the future.

I should like to make a few remarks at this time on another matter, because I do not know where else to make them. It is a problem I want to bring before the government and the committee. I refer to developing an interest in soaring in Canada. There are now a number of very active soaring clubs in Canada. They have a national organization. I would hazard the guess that they are composed mainly of former R.C.A.F. officers and personnel, men who have served their country well.

While some people may look upon this as a sport purely and simply, and perhaps a rich man's sport, I think it goes far beyond that. We all know that the treaty of Versailles was circumvented by the Germans through the use of gliders to train the youth of Germany, so that when they broke the treaty finally and openly and started to train an air force these boys had the advantage of the background and experience they had gained in soaring.

1 would also refer to the many scientific and aviation journals that have been concerned with trying to find a reason why so many air accidents take place in the mountains. These accidents usually end up in an inquiry and a report that it was due to the pilot's error, but in many cases the pilots concerned were men with years and years of experience. From these inquiries has been brought forth information about the hazards of mountain waves. It seems that mountains set up these waves and air currents, and even today we do not have enough information about them. Through the use of motorless planes, or soaring, much information could be gained and it would provide a source of research into this problem. The soaring clubs as I know them are carried on at the expense of the members themselves. They do not have any subsidies, grants or aid.

Canada has been represented in the soaring events at the Olympics for many years. These events occur every two years. It was rather ironic and something about which I think we should be concerned that in 1960, for the first time, Canada's flag did not fly at the soaring Olympics at Cologne, Germany.

This was simply due to a lack of funds, the price of gliders and the time off from work which was necessary to participate in these events. The price of gliders has risen over the years. In spite of all the effort put forward, the Canadian soaring association found itself in a position where it could not transport even the pilots to Cologne for this contest. It was a matter perhaps of some $800.

My research and information indicate that in other countries of the world-and there were many countries represented at this competition-grants are made and help is provided. I have talked with these soaring enthusiasts and with the president of the soaring association of Canada. They do not seek grants to maintain their clubs as such. They are quite able and quite competent enough to make whatever sacrifice is necessary for the operation of their clubs. However, when it comes to Olympic competition they feel that Canada should be represented, and they would seek a policy by this government of transportation for the pilots at least.

I noticed a picture in a magazine this week showing that the United States soaring team was composed of 16 persons, and included maintenance people as well as pilots and meteorological experts. In previous years when Canada has participated we have had to go to these events and borrow gliders from other people because our clubs have not been able to transport their own gliders. They have also had to ask the help of other maintenance crews in cases of necessity, and they have had to use other meteorological services.

I ask the minister to give some consideration to this request. I think it would involve a very minimum expenditure to guarantee Canada's participation in these events. I believe it is warranted as a continuing activity in Canada, and one which should be developed and could be used for the improvement of our knowledge about mountain waves and things such as that.

Mr. Chairman, I seriously ask the minister to consider this suggestion. If it is something which is not under the administration of his department I hope he will suggest where I should refer the suggestion, because I do feel that these people have made an excellent showing in the past in spite of the handicaps they have faced. I suggest they would be excellent representatives of Canada in these international competitions.

I am very pleased to take the opportunity of referring to this subject during the consideration of the first item of the estimates of this department because quite recently Mr. Julian Audette, one of my own constituents, attended the Canadian soaring championship trials at Pincher Creek in Alberta, and there won two soaring championships, having attained an

Supply-Transport

absolute altitude of 24,500 feet and 17,500 feet altitude gain. In view of that fact this seemed to be an opportune time for me to make this request of the minister and the government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. Robichaud:

Mr. Chairman, my intervention during the consideration of the first item of the estimates of the Department of Transport will be brief. I should like to ask the minister for certain information which I hope he will supply during his reply.

On May 10, in reply to a question addressed to the minister by the hon. member for Cochrane, the minister stated that the municipality of Gloucester and the town of Bathurst had submitted a joint resolution regarding the establishment of an airport in the county of Gloucester. I understand that earlier this session a delegation from the municipality of Gloucester and the town of Bathurst met with the minister and his officials to discuss the possibility of establishing an airport in the county. I would appreciate it if the minister could inform this committee of the exact policy of his department in this regard, as well as the terms and conditions under which a cost sharing form of assistance could be made available by the federal government. I should hope that at the same time the minister could also inform this committee whether similar representations have been received from the municipality of Restigouche and the town of Dalhousie and, if so, what reply he has made.

I understand the minister has made a statement to the effect that the municipality of Restigouche had purchased certain land with the intention of establishing an airport. I would appreciate the minister advising this committee whether that deal has been closed and whether the federal government has agreed to contribute to the cost of establishing an airport either in the municipality of Restigouche or the municipality of Gloucester and, if so, under what terms and conditions.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

John Ferguson Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Chairman, I should like to draw to the attention of the minister that problem which I drew to his attention earlier, but which I believe has been aggravated in the past month or so, having to do with the operations of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the trucking industry. I pointed out earlier that the Canadian Pacific Railway is now the largest trucking operator in Canada and that it has purchased a number of private truck lines over the past few years, although until recently it has operated those truck lines on an independent basis. That company recently has developed a new policy of integrating the truck lines into the railway's operations.

This has caused a number of labour problems in the province of British Columbia.

Supply-Transport

This new policy has meant that people who formerly had been represented by the teamsters union were forced to be represented by one of the railway brotherhoods though the particular operation in question represented but a small portion of the railway operation.

This situation has been recently brought to my attention again, and I am referring to this subject because of a letter I received from Mr. Weldon Jubenville, president of the international woodworkers of America, local 180. He informs me that members of that union have also been caused considerable difficulty because of the integration of these trucking operations into the railway services. I believe this is something which concerns both the Department of Labour and the Department of Transport, and I should hope that the two ministers in question will discuss this matter, because there are a number of employees in British Columbia at the present time who have had to face this difficulty, and because this situation will become more acute across this country as the railway integrates this type of service into its operation across Canada.

That integration will in effect mean that employees of these trucking firms, who have been able to choose their own bargaining agent over the years, will now be deprived of that right. It seems to me that each group of individuals in Canada should be able to choose the union it wants to represent it, and to choose the union to which it wants to belong.

I suggest there is another serious problem arising which is affecting those firms in British Columbia which are competing with other British Columbia firms whose operations are entirely within that province. Now that the firms have been integrated into the C.P.R. they come under federal labour legislation, as a result of which those individuals who are working for the British Columbia firms are placed in an unfair competitive position because of the fact that railway wages are based on the national average rather than the provincial average. Many employees have had to take substantial wage cuts, amounting to 65 cents an hour in the case of individuals belonging to the teamsters union, at the time they left the teamsters union to join the Canadian brotherhood of railway and steamship clerks.

Mr. Jubenville in his letter drew my attention to a letter his union had written to the Minister of Labour, which made reference to the fact that rates of pay to truck drivers following their integration with C.P.R. operations have dropped to $1.54 an hour as compared to $2.35 an hour which was being paid

when those individuals belonged to the international woodworkers of America. That situation seems very unfair, and warrants the immediate consideration of the government.

I have always opposed the entry of railway companies into the trucking industry. However, that view has not been shared by everyone in this committee. In view of this new problem which has arisen as a result of the railway companies becoming substantially involved in the trucking industry, this situation should be considered by the government with a view to deciding whether they should be allowed to integrate these services into the railway operations. I can see many problems arising from this change, such as the possibility of another monopoly in transportation developing. I understand the railway companies now control some 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the trucking industry in Canada.

I pointed out earlier that I thought it unwise to have all our transportation services tied to one union because, if a strike were called, the government would then have to take some compulsory action. I believe that collective bargaining should be allowed to run the full course, providing there are two transportation services; but when all the transportation services come under the control of railway management, and under the control of one union, I do not see how that course can be followed at all. The employees would lose their right to free collective bargaining, because the government could not possibly allow transportation in this country to come to a standstill. The policy of the government throughout has been in opposition to compulsory arbitration of any sort. The Conservative party as well as organized labour have been opposed to this for many years.

For the foregoing reasons I suggest the government should examine the trucking industry of this country as a whole. I suggest that, in the interest of the employees the trucking industry should remain outside the operations of the railways because, when the transportation services are controlled by one management and by one union, those employees likely will lose their right to strike.

I hope the minister will take this situation under consideration in consultation with the Minister of Labour in an attempt to decide what action can be taken by the government in regard to this matter.

(Translation):

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Gérard Loiselle

Liberal

Mr. Loiselle:

Mr. Chairman, at the very beginning of my remarks I should like to draw again the minister's attention, although it is a bit late, to the recent appointment of a vice president to the Canadian National.

Following the death of the previous vice president, I had taken steps and had even

broached the subject with the Minister of Transport-in fact, I even got in touch with the president of the company-in order that, out of 17 vice presidents of the Canadian National, one at least should be a French Canadian, especially in the case of the St. Lawrence area; there was no better opportunity for the government to make representations to the president himself. This government seems on good terms with the president, so the minister could very well have expressed the wish that a French Canadian be appointed vice president. I do not question the competence of the one who has been appointed, but I am convinced that there were some others who, having served very near the vice president, had all the necessary qualifications for the position.

I do not know whether the new vice president is bilingual; I would not be at all surprised if he was unilingual.

1 understand that with the adoption of this new bill increasing from seven to 12 the number of directors, the government may appoint two or three French-speaking directors, and then they will use these appointments to talk about national unity across the country.

It is not enough to make political appointments in order to preach unity; but it is very important to consider the qualifications of the appointees and this is why I suggest that the person selected as the replacement for the vice president should have been an employee with over 35 or 40 years of service in all departments of the C.N.R. I said it before and I say it now, I am convinced that that was the kind of appointment that should have been made and that the minister should have exerted the necessary pressure, or simply express the wish to the C.N.R. authorities, to the president if necessary, that a French Canadian be appointed.

I do not want to dwell too long on the issue, Mr. Chairman, because I have a few other matters that I want to raise.

First of all, I should like to draw the minister's attention to the fact that some time ago, I referred in this house to the Champlain bridge approaches, and that on May 20 last, I asked that the agreement signed the day before between the national harbours board and the city of Montreal be tabled. The only return that was tabled is a letter of September 1959 regarding three items, and two other letters under date of February 6 and 8, 1961, containing proposals to the city of Montreal, but no evaluation or information.

The reason why I asked for the tabling of this agreement between the city of Montreal and the national harbours board, is because it concerns the very important matter of the Champlain bridge exits on the north shore. It has been reported in the press that the 90205-6-381

Supply-Transport

national harbours board intended to spend $5 million for those approaches. In the explanatory letter of February 6-the agreement was signed only on May 19-mention was made that a few streets should be one-way streets, but nothing was said about the exact location of those exits and entrances on the north side of the Champlain bridge.

I often raise that point. I have been bringing this question to the minister's attention for three or four years now; the matter is most urgent and causes great concern to all the residents of that neighbourhood.

I notice that my remarks cause the minister to smile but I can assure him that if he Sis still sitting at the same place, one year from now-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC
LIB

Gérard Loiselle

Liberal

Mr. Loiselle:

-and if the situation has not improved on the approaches to the Champlain bridge, I will again call the minister's attention to this matter and I will even invite him to visit the place, since it is situated in my constituency.

I repeat it, the situation will become unbearable.

Actually, a tunnel was built to replace the Atwater street bridge but it is much too narrow to handle all the traffic, especially at peak hours. It is now proposed to channel through that tunnel the six lanes of traffic on the Champlain bridge. That will lead to a disaster. The tunnel will certainly not handle the extra traffic.

I know that any suggestion coming from the opposition is always looked upon with a certain suspicion. We are always asked to make suggestions but very few of those we make are carried out.

Well, I ask that something be done in that regard and I hope appropriate action will be taken because the constituencies of St. Ann, St. Henry and Verdun, the latter being represented by a member on the government side, will be flooded with traffic and the situation will be disastrous.

I have suggested that elevated roadways be built. Whether elevated or level roadways are built, it does not matter at all, as long as the problem of the Champlain bridge traffic is settled. I would be satisfied if the traffic on the bridge were routed through Atwater street, past St. James street.

At the present time, all traffic seems to go through the Atwater tunnel, as I mentioned earlier. I wonder whether something will come out of it through repetition. I hope so, because I am not asking this for myself. As for me, if the road I intend to use is blocked, I will take another one. But I am making these representations on behalf of those who

Supply-Transport

must use this bridge that will serve housing developments now being built on the south shore of the St. Lawrence.

What will happen in these circumstances? The traffic on the Montreal side will be paralysed.

I hope that we shall at least get some explanation regarding the reported amount of $5 million being appropriated by the national harbours board for the improvement of the Champlain bridge approaches on the north side.

Mr. Chairman, I wish to refer to another problem and to draw the minister's attention to an event which is occurring almost every year, and more particularly, it seems to me, these last few years, in the vicinity of Lachine canal.

Again last week, the canal took the life of a 10 year old child. As a matter of fact the drowning of one or two children in the canal happens every year. I warn the minister that I am starting a campaign to have an inquiry made into the matter so that means of protection may be provided at the most dangerous points. Whether it be a railing, a parapet or a fence, the important thing is to do something to keep off children. The body of the 10 year old child who drowned last week was recovered 8 days later.

I heard about that unfortunate accident only during the week end, and on Monday I approached the St. Lawrence seaway authority in order that something might be done to find the body.

While I was led to expect that the child might have escaped drowning, the lifeless body was discovered floating on the Lachine canal Monday evening. For eight days the parents had been in agony. The father was even reported as saying: I wish I could be sure that our child is dead because I could then bury him and I would know where he is.

Just imagine, Mr. Chairman, the concern of parents looking for a 10 year old child for eight days. And yet, such occurrences happen every year. Only last week the body of an older man was fished out of the Lachine canal.

It is essential that the matter be considered and that access to the most dangerous spots be made impossible. I am thinking in particular of Bassin street, close to Des Seigneurs street, where the canal is only two feet away from the road, since there is no sidewalk. Such places should be provided with fences or barricades, so that no other child will drown in Lachine canal.

Mr. Chairman, the matter I should like to raise now has been the subject of a few news stories, although I have not been in-

formed officially. If my memory serves me right, it would seem that the authorities of the city of Montreal got in touch with the Department of Transport in order to acquire from the Canadian National a property which is commonly called Turcot yard.

I would ask the minister-I do not know whether he is discussing the Soulanges canal, and if so, I would not like to disturb him -to kindly give me an answer and tell me whether the authorities of the city of Montreal got in touch with his department with a view to acquiring Turcot yard, which is owned by the Canadian National.

The present municipal administration apparently intends to clear the slums and build low cost or low rental housing. The Turcot yard would be an ideal location for a large residential area.

Mr. Chairman, for the information of the hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Mr. Bourbonnais), who is apparently trying to say something that I cannot hear, work will be started within a year or a year and a half, in my constituency, on a low cost housing project, and I am very pleased. Moreover, I hope the situation will improve throughout Montreal following the speech made last week in Halifax by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker) at the convention of mayors and municipal administrators, in which he urged them to make greater use of the facilities offered by the National Housing Act. particularly with regard to low cost housing. Unless the present municipal administration changes its mind, it will probably follow his advice, and I hope that when the minister's department receives an application from the Montreal authorities-perhaps it has already received one-with respect to the acquisition of the Turcot yard, the minister will consider it and the situation will be improved.

Mr. Chairman, I have only one more short remark to make before resuming my seat.

At the present time, there are three bridges over the St. Lawrence, or rather the third one is just being completed. It has been suggested in the past, and therefore I wish to associate myself with the representations made by the hon. members for Maisonneuve-Rosemont and Hochelaga (Messrs. Deschate-lets and Eudes), that a bridge be built in eastern Montreal.

Mr. Chairman, I wonder if, instead of building a bridge, the department might make a survey to determine whether it would be preferable to build a tunnel under the river. Perhaps a bridge would be more economical, but it would raise far more problems than a tunnel.

We are often asked by ministers to make suggestions. I leave this one with the minister, and I can only hope that among the

many suggestions made to him, he will recognize that some are of great value and will give them due consideration.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Mr. Chairman, I want to say just a few words with regard to the president of the Canadian National Railways Mr. Donald Gordon, who is still head of that company. I ask the government not to renew Mr. Donald Gordon's term of office, because all C.N.R. employees hate him and hope that his mandate will not be renewed. There is at this time an iron curtain between Mr. Gordon and employees of the C.N.R.

Many residents of the county I have the honour of representing in this house are C.N.R. employees. Those people have asked me to speak out for them. In addition, I have received letters from various parts of the country, asking me to urge that Mr. Gordon's term of office, be not renewed. Mr. Gordon is an autocrat. To my mind, he is enemy No. 1 of national unity. We know the pressures that have been exerted on Mr. Gordon, on various occasions, for the sole purpose of requesting fair treatment for French speaking Canadians. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gordon has just done something which not only is counter to national unity but is an insult to the French speaking population when this week he appointed as vice president a certain gentleman who is not French speaking while out of seventeen C.N.R. vice presidents not one is French Canadian.

This is a crown company, and I know that the minister is responsible only for the estimates of that railway company, and that the government may not directly interfere with that company's business. Therefore, I very much wish that the man who replaces Mr. Gordon will show more understanding than has the present incumbent and that he will try to give fair treatment to all Canadians, whatever their racial origin.

May I also say-and this is about the C.N.R.-there have been may items in the press on the subject of bilingualism at the various railway stations serving a large sector of the French-speaking population. Mr. Gordon has never paid any attention to the representations made in the interest of national unity and in the interest of C.N.R. employees. I sincerely hope that Mr. Gordon's term will not be renewed and that he too will be discarded as were the steam engines he replaced with diesels.

I have something to say also about T.C.A. There have been press items too about this crown corporation for whose expenditures the minister is accountable, and more specifically about air hostesses. Out of 690 air hostesses in the employ of T.C.A., 90 are bilingual and 75 can speak three languages;

90205-6-381J

Supply-Transport

the others speak but one language, at best speak a few words of French. Of the latter, 25 per cent are in the Montreal-based group and 33 per cent are stationed in Toronto. Among those who speak three languages, most of them being of European origin, there are a few French-Canadian girls. Since we are known abroad as a bilingual nation, it would only be consistent, I think, if T.C.A. officials did all they could to increase their staff of bilingual hostesses, so that passengers from abroad, as well as Canadians, may be understood. Besides tourists from abroad would have a good opinion about our country which is a bi-cultural and bi-ethnical country.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I wish the Minister of Transport would tell us why there has been delay in awarding a beer and wine licence to the owner of the restaurant at the Montreal international airport. That delay has been detrimental to the good name of Canada since all international airports have bars and restaurants which are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.

May I point out also that the operators of that restaurant obtained the concession following a call for tenders, even though theirs was the highest tender.

I was also given to understand that they had been subjected to pressures and blackmail, and even that they had been compelled, by the son of the chairman of the liquor commission, to buy some $400,000 worth of furniture that he himself offers for sale, something which, in my opinion, is absolutely undemocratic. It is a case of nepotism.

Therefore I would appreciate a few words from the minister about this matter, and I wish he would tell us too whether he is aware of the fact that the award of the beer and wine license to the operators of the restaurant at the international airport of Montreal was delayed for several months. I was astounded to learn about this situation. This sort of thing gives a bad name to the province of Quebec and to Canada as a whole.

I therefore ask the minister to tell us about that case and inform us whether the facts were as reported.

(Text):

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Small:

It was not my intention to speak on this question this afternoon, but I should like to make some reference to the remarks that have been made. I have already congratulated you, Mr. Chairman, upon your appointment to this office so it is not necessary to reiterate.

On frequent occasions I have made some comments-some people have called them lamentations, wailings or harangues-by way of criticism of the administration of the Cana-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink

$040 HOUSE OF COMMONS


Supp ly-Transport dian National Railways. I do not intend to go over the ground I have already covered, but some observations have been made, probably justifiably, by the hon. member lor Laurier, in respect of the president of the Canadian National Railways. The hon. member said the president's term of office is up and he has been kept waiting for some time, particularly in view of the passage of the bill to increase the number of directors, for his re-appointment as director and president. The hon. member for Laurier then went on to mention the service of the president. Having worked with him and been associated with him for some years, I can also understand why the present Minister of Transport as well as the previous minister of transport spoke very highly of him and his administrative ability. I have never questioned his administrative ability at any time. I know that when you are working with a person you become very good friends and you probably overlook some things that would not be countenanced under ordinary business conditions. On a number of occasions in the past I have referred to certain conditions at terminal stations which I did not believe were right. I started off with an air of levity and humour, trying to make my criticisms amusing. I am not one of those given to making complaints. I can generally see the humour in these grotesque situations. I can get a lot of humour and fun out of them. However, I found these criticisms were treated as humour and no attention was paid to them. When the C.N.R. president appeared before the committee, I would not say he was insolent but I would say he was arrogant and adopted a haughty manner, and he said, in effect, "If you did not like my efficiency and services, then you could dispense with them." Then, when somebody suggested taking him at his word, it was alleged we were persecuting him or unduly criticizing him. It is our prerogative to criticize or commend. The main job of a person who is in the transport business is to give the kind of service the public expects. Although some improvements were made but they were not sufficient in extent to warrant people using the services the railways supply. It was intimated that the president of the Canadian National has been offered a position with the Chase National Bank in New York at $125,000. If he were wise, he would take it. He would get an increase in salary and the railway situation would soon be cleared up; the morale of the employees would be restored and the travelling public would be happy. I have had a considerable amount of correspondence from railway employees. They call me on the telephone as well. I feel that their complaints have merit and we cannot afford to ignore them. I do not believe the president of the railroad has the goodwill of the people of Canada. I do not know whether or not this is the result of continual criticism, but nevertheless reference has been made to the fact that morale within the service is very low and is not likely to be improved so long as the president remains. The hon. member for Laurier says the government should do something. I can assure him that if I had anything to do with the matter something would have been done long ago. Why the government have not taken action, I do not know because they must be aware of the criticism that most of the members of this house have received. One of the complaints to which I referred three or four years ago related to the commuter service. The commuter service is deplorable. There is profit in commuter service but the railways have allowed it to deteriorate. They have not catered to it or tried to retain it. The railways tell you now that if you want this service you will have to pay a fabulous sum of money to have it restored. If you offer constructive suggestions, the officials tell you the commuter service is not very profitable; it cannot be maintained because it is only wanted in the morning and the evening. Well, this situation applies to every transit company. The Toronto transportation commission has to meet this condition. Every city that provides a transportation service is faced with the same problem, a high volume of traffic in the morning and at night. Departmental stores have to contend with a similar problem. People who are in the broad service field are faced with this problem and make an effort to meet the requirements of their patrons. I believe it would be more advantageous to go after this traffic than to lay off men according to seniority as the railways have been doing. The men who are being laid off now could be employed on a part time basis, morning and evening-the hotels, restaurants and theatres do so-and they would probably get four hours or six hours of work. They would be glad to get it and, at the same time, the public would be provided with satisfactory service. I have mentioned the trucking business before. The railways have had opportunities in the past to go into the trucking business, and it would not have been difficult for them to do so at that time. Now, the railways are going after those who have a vested interest in a trucking business. The hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway said a while ago that there was going to be jurisdictional trouble with the unions. These are things that make many of us wonder whether they are giving the best service. The remarks made by the hon. member for Laurier quoting newspaper comment about the delay in the decision to retain the services of the president have also caused many of us to wonder whether this would perhaps not be an opportune time to dispense with them. If he is in any suspense or in doubt what to do, probably this would be the time for us to terminate his service. If the remarks had not been made about it I would probably have let the matter go. Personally I think the government would be well advised to dispense with his services. It is not going to cause any hardship to him because the salary he has drawn over the last ten or eleven years would set any man up in comfort for the rest of his life. The pension he will get will not be niggardly either. There therefore need be no qualms about doing anything that is unkind or is going to financially harm him because he will retire from his position with more income than many people living in Canada today will get when they retire. The only damage that will be done will perhaps be to his ego.


PC

Benjamin Cope (Ben) Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thompson:

Like others who have preceded me, Mr. Chairman, I should like to congratulate you on having assumed the office of deputy chairman of committees, although I also regret the circumstances which necessitated your appointment, namely the serious illness of the hon. member for Spadina. I hope that your period in office will be a very satisfying one to you.

I should now like to say a few words about the Trent canal and the Murray canal, both of which run through my riding and their significance to the people in my constituency, particularly those who live adjacent to those canals. I should like to speak first about the flow of water through the Trent canal. This year representations were made by the Hali-burton chamber of commerce to maintain bodies of water in reservoirs at the high point of land in the Trent canal for the purposes of cottagers. As I understand it, the priorities which are given to the flow of water in the Trent canal are as follows. First priority is given to navigation or to boats. Second priority is given to power; I refer to hydroelectric power. Third priority is given to fishing or other activities of that nature. I would assume that fourth priority would therefore be given to cottagers. In view of the fact that the Trent canal is there to be used mainly as a means of transportation for boats, I feel that transportation and boating should be given a high priority and certainly hydroelectric power should be given very high priority. It means a great deal to people in communities like Campbellford, for instance, who rely for their hydroelectric power supply entirely on the water flow in the Trent

Supply-Transport

canal. I understand the department has decided that the normal flow of water will not be disturbed this year for the benefit of those who own cottages. In making this decision I think the department arrived at the right one.

I should make a few remarks in connection with the operation of the canal. Referring to the item which is covered in the estimates, I note that it calls for "administration, operation and maintenance". I do not believe it is quite clear what the policy is with regard to some of these non-commercial canals. The Trent canal was originally built as a commercial canal. It never performed that function and it has been reduced now to a canal which is used largely for pleasure craft. The only indication I could get as to the policy of the department toward this non-commercial type of canal is in the heading used in the estimates, namely "administration, operation and maintenance". In other words, the canals are going to be kept up but that is all. I should like to see the word "improvement" added to this heading. I should like to see not only maintenance but also the idea of improvement brought into the policy in respect of these canals.

In that connection I have a few small suggestions to make. They are things which I do not think are expensive but which I think could be a great improvement. As far as the tourist industry is concerned canals today constitute quite a tourist attraction. If they are going to be maintained, and if they are of some benefit as a tourist attraction, surely it would be worth while to spend a few extra dollars in order to make them really attractive to people who want to use them.

When I came down to the department a couple of years ago with a delegation from Campbellford with some suggestions as to improvements on the canal, we were told that the best justification for the expenditure of money on the Trent canal was the number of United States boats which used the canal; in other words, the more money that can be brought in from the United States or the more dollars that can be brought in, the better, and that is the best form of justification for the canal.

I think it is general knowledge that last year there was an unprecedented number of lockages through both canals. Both are being used more and more every year. In order to determine just what use is made of the canal by Canadian boats and by United States boats I took it upon myself last August to circularize the various yacht clubs and power squadrons around lake Ontario and also the Buffalo yacht club in lake Erie, in

Supply-Transport

order to see how much they knew about the canal and how much use was being made of it. I sent out a small questionnaire. It was not a very detailed one. The questions were as to what literature the various yacht clubs had on the canal, how many of their members had used it and what percentage of the members had used it; and I requested any suggestions as to the improvements that might be made for the use of pleasure craft. I sent out 22 of these questionnaires to various yacht clubs and power squadrons around lake Ontario. I am pleased to say that I had a great deal of co-operation. I had responses from most of them. In many cases they have gone to a great deal of trouble to get the information for which I had asked.

I should like to refer to two or three of the replies I received. I think that is the best way of getting these suggestions across. I have here a letter which was received from the secretary of the Buffalo yacht club which, of course, is not in lake Ontario. In any event the secretary of the Buffalo yacht club stated in part as follows:

I have talked to 64 members, who have sailed on the Trent waterways. Obtaining ice and finding navigational markers were the only areas of improvement mentioned.

Sixty four members constitute about 24 per cent of the memberships of the Buffalo yacht club. I might say that in every case the club indicated that it did not have any literature on the Trent canal system. Why no literature was available I do not know. It seems to me that the department must have some literature available. It might be a good suggestion that some of this literature should be sent out rather than just wait until it is requested by the various yacht clubs. It might be a good idea to send it out and let them have it so that they will know something about the canal and possibly make use of the canal. The secretary of the Buffalo yacht club in his letter stated:

We would be pleased to receive and post any literature on the Trent canal system.

I have another reply from the secretary of Canadian power squadrons, Toronto. He points out:

I have just completed 11 return trips through the Trent waterway system and I am entirely enthusiastic about the service and facilities of the system in so far as it concerns my own particular type of boat, which is a cabin cruiser approximately 40 feet long and of heavy construction. Dozens of our members use the canal and continue to use it year after year, and generally reports from the skippers of boats are most favourable, particularly those who have been through the system a few times.

He goes on to say:

One suggestion that could be implemented during the lay-up season, and that is to increase the number of chains in most locks because of the

large number of small boats now using the locks that find it very difficult to hang on when the chains are so far apart.

I consider that the Trent canal system is one of Canada's greatest boating attractions. All 240.5 miles of waterway is most beautiful and anything that can be done to help the boats that use its facilities would be most appreciated.

I have another fairly complete reply from the commodore of the Brockville yacht club. Again, this yacht club has no literature on the Trent canal; there is nothing available. Unless they ask for it, they do not get it. The commodore makes the following suggestions:

If facilities were available to provide water, power and ice at the docking locations adjacent to the locks, it would be a great assistance to boat owners. I would also recommend that additional dockage facilities be provided away from the locks on the various connecting lakes and rivers of the type that are maintained in the federal parks among the Thousand islands. This would permit boats to tie up and stay for 48 hours at a stretch.

I would also suggest that better facilities might be provided for tying up when it is necessary to wait for swing bridges.

Then he says in brackets:

This may not be a problem in the summer when the water level is not so high, but early in the year, when the current is swift, I found it a problem once or twice waiting for the bridge to open.

He goes on to say:

The most important recommendation I have to make is that the navigational buoys be numbered consecutively, as they are on most shipping channels. I discussed this briefly with the superintendent at Lakefield on my way down and he pointed out that one of their problems was the very large number of buoys that are used in this system. It may not be necessary to number all the buoys, but where there are several connecting channels, i.e., as through Stoney lake, it would be a considerable advantage to have the buoys marking the main route through the Trent numbered consecutively so that one is not led astray by channels marking routes to various summer resorts, etc.

There is also a fairly complete reply from the commodore of the bay of Quinte yacht club of Belleville. His suggestions are as follows:

Picnic and camping sites similar to those on the government islands in the St. Lawrence adjacent to Gananoque, chiefly for outboard boats.

Hydro plug-in on the docking areas above the locks. Most boats now require hydro to keep their television, refrigerators and electrical appliances in operation.

Those are just some of the replies which I received to this very brief questionnaire. It seems to me that if these canals are going to be kept in operation, and if it is considered that they are a tourist attraction of any kind at all-and I believe they are a tourist attraction-it would be worth while spending a few more dollars to make them more attractive to those people who want to use them.

As far as some of these services, such as hydro, water, and so on are concerned, I do not think we want to step on the toes of any of those people who might be operating marinas or duplicate services. I do not think we should interfere with them, but there are many places on the canal where there is no marina where these services are not available. I think the department could well make these services available in those places.

As I say, if it is worth while spending some money to keep these canals in operation, it would be worth while spending a few more dollars to provide facilities for the people who use them in the hope that more and more people will use the canals and it will help to develop a tourist industry in the area.

(Translation):

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Paul Racine

Liberal

Mr. Racine:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to take this opportunity to inform the minister of the situation which obtains in the area comprising the Beauce, Dorchester, Megantic, Compton and Frontenac counties.

As the minister is probably aware, this area is served by the Quebec Central Railway. I would not want my words to be construed as a charge against the minister, since my sole purpose is to bring the situation to the minister's attention and at the same time to the attention of the board of transport commissioners since they have jurisdiction over the railways.

There is no need for elaborate proof of the great importance of the area served by the Quebec Central Railway. It is therefore all the more surprising to see the board of transport commissioners tolerate the very poor service given there. The passenger service is a pity. There are not enough trains. There is also something detrimental to industry. It is common knowledge today that Quebec Central Railway is the property of the C.P.R. All freight carried over this line, for later transfer to the C.P.R. line, is subject to extra rates because of the transshipment from the Quebec Central to the C.P.R., so that shipping costs from this area are practically prohibitive, economically speaking, for customers of our industrial plants. Moreover, when placing their orders with manufacturers in our area, those customers now require that loadings be made at Quebec, Sherbrooke, or Lake Megantic, that is at points along the C.P.R.

Besides, as years go by, we have the impression that the Quebec Central is bent on closing all its stations along the line. Last year, for example, the station agent at St. Ephrem was replaced by a watchman, and the same thing will probably happen this year at the town of St. Victor.

Supply-Transport

The company complains and is always putting forward, before the transport board, the plea that it does not make the necessary turnover to maintain the service it was giving a few years ago. I rather think it is up to the company to give an adequate service if it wants to attract customers.

I intended to inform the minister of this particular situation. I am sure that the fact of having brought this point to the attention of the committee will help, or, at least, will result in the transport board being somewhat more careful when it has to reach decisions concerning the Quebec Central railway company.

I have every reason to believe that the minister, if he takes steps to improve the situation, will provide great economic assistance to a whole area stretching from Sherbrooke to Quebec, and from Quebec to lake Frontiere, in Dorchester county.

(Text):

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
PC

Roderick Arthur Ennis Webb

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Webb:

Mr. Chairman, may I also take this opportunity to congratulate the deputy chairman who was appointed today and offer the hope of a speedy recovery to the hon. member for Spadina whose illness necessitated the appointment being made.

I should like to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. member for Danforth. I, too, think that the criticism of Mr. Gordon is justifiable because of his overloading and arrogant attitude even at the House of Commons committee meetings. After speaking to many railway workers it became evident to me that he is almost inhuman and has the attitude of a dictator, thereby eliminating any aspect of human relationship with employees. May I suggest that Mr. Gordon be replaced by a president with foresight and the cause of humanity at heart.

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
LIB
PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Shall vote 402 carry?

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

No, Mr. Chairman. The

minister has undertaken, before proceeding with this vote, to deal with the many problems that have been raised and I am sure he wishes now to deal with them.

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
PC

Léon Balcer (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to thank the hon. member for Laurier for his invitation.

I thought I should have the opportunity and pleasure of congratulating the new deputy chairman of the committee, but in view of his absence, I should like to offer him my co-operation through you, Mr. Chairman, and also congratulate him on his appointment. I should like at the same time to express my deep and sincere regret in regard to the ill-

Supply-Transport

ness of the hon. member for Spadina, and say that we are looking forward to seeing him back in this house as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairman, since the earlier discussion of item 1 of my estimates some weeks ago, a number of the questions raised in discussion have been answered either in part or completely by myself during orders of the day or during the debate in respect of various legislation which has been brought forward. I do not intend, therefore, to deal with those items which were raised during the earlier debate and which have been subsequently answered in this fashion, but will concern myself with the points which have not been dealt with. One of these has to do with the matter of aviation policy, raised by the hon. member for Laurier.

The general basis of policy regarding authorization of routes was outlined in the house by my predecessor. Any changes decided upon would be the subject of governmental announcement at the appropriate time. Perhaps I can best summarize the situation by quoting from a speech which I made to the air industries and transport association in Quebec on November 2, 1960, at which time I said:

Previously there had been an apparent objection in principle to the idea of competition itself. This position was modified and the government accepted the idea that there was no inherent objection to competition and, indeed, concrete advantages to be gained from competition, providing there was sufficient traffic to sustain it without harm to air services available to the travelling public. Therefore, with regard to scheduled and regular route services, the policy may be described as one in which the air transport board has the discretion to authorize competition where economic conditions warrant, but only where economic conditions warrant.

As I said earlier, this is the policy outlined by my predecessor, and the policy I expressed in the city of Quebec in November. That is the basis upon which the air transport board has been dealing with the various applications from various carriers in Canada.

An inquiry was made regarding current Canadian Pacific Air Lines applications and, if the hon. member will refer to page 4594 of Hansard of May 10, 1961, he will see that I dealt with this subject in the answers I gave at that time.

Reference was also made to the investigation of regional services and carriers being undertaken by the air transport board. I am fully aware of the problems facing regional air carriers, and the air transport board has been proceeding with its general review of this situation. My predecessor indicated earlier that the air transport board would make a complete report of the situation in respect of regional air carriers throughout Canada, beginning at the eastern seaboard.

The air transport board has been proceeding with this general review; the review is not taking the form of a single over-all report but involves a series of continuing investigations on a regional basis, the results of which, from time to time, may be implemented by air transport board decisions. It has completed its eastern hearings and I believe most of its central hearings, and will be proceeding with the western hearings very soon, I think some time this month. I am hopeful that during the coming months the situation in this regard will improve.

I was very pleased to see that the announcement I made a few days ago in regard to regional carriers was extremely well received by the press and by the industry itself. This board has considered the applications received from various carriers, and has made a review of the situation from the eastern seaboard to the city of Windsor, Ontario, to date.

In regard to the licensing of n on-scheduled charter services, it has been suggested that the policy which has provided for a more liberal granting of licenses for the operations of groups C and B chartered air services- that is those providing service by light to light medium size aircraft-was working to the detriment of the industry. I think those were the words used by the member for Laurier. In fact, however-I think this gives a good picture of the situation, or at least presents a very strong argument in favour of that policy which we have been following -the revenues of non-scheduled carriers in this class in 1960 were about $40 million compared with $29 million in 1959, and were up in all main categories.

Indications which were given by my predecessor to this house last year in regard to group C operators-that is the charter operators using very light aircraft-were that liberal granting of licences was resulting in the provision of a greater over-all service in Canada. What is not generally recognized is that the policy does provide for recognition of the fact that there may be occasions in remote northerly areas where exceptions to that policy may be justified. In such cases the air transport board has the discretion to make exceptions to the policy if necessary.

With regard to group B, charter operators -that is the operators of medium aircraft of, for example, the Beaver and Otter types -we have received representations to the effect that this policy needs some adjustment. Here again, initial results have indicated that the policy has produced more service. Overall charter revenues in 1960 have increased. However, it may be necessary to recognize some variations in conditions as between northern unsettled areas and settled areas of the country. My departmental officials have

informed representatives of the air industries and transport association that if they wish to make a careful and detailed study of this subject with a view to submitting representations and recommendations, I would be very glad to consider these to see whether an adjustment in this policy is needed. What is important to emphasize, however, is that any policy should recognize the desirability of avoiding extensive or excessive governmental regulations in this field.

We must not put the industry in a strait-jacket but at the same time we must offer to the Canadian public as much service as possible while making sure that this expansion in the number of carriers is not too sudden or rapid so as to wreck the whole industry. These are my answers to the various questions that have been asked on the aviation policy.

I should now like to go into the field of shipping policy. I was asked about the procedure we intend to follow in restricting our coasting trade in the great lakes area to ships of Canadian registry.

The commonwealth merchant shipping agreement provides for modification by agreement among the member states. It also provides for withdrawal on 12 months' notice. The length of time before change can be made depends upon the length of time required to reach agreement with member states on modification; or alternatively, if this is not possible, on the expiry of a 12 months' notice period. Since consultation through diplomatic channels always takes a little time, I cannot state with any certainty that this matter will have been cleared up to the point where the amendment to the Canada Shipping Act on this point could be introduced before the end of the present session, any more than I can state how long the present session is going to last. The amendment will be introduced at the first opportunity, as soon as our procedure has been determined after consultation with other member states. This we hope will be completed within three months. As I explained earlier, we are following article 25. I explained earlier in the house the difference betwen article 24 and article 25.

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Articles 24 and 25 of the

agreement?

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
PC

Léon Balcer (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

Yes. I was also asked questions regarding the position of Canadian operators who may have transferred great lakes vessels to other commonwealth registry. Once the modification has been made, such vessels will not be able to operate in the coasting trade in the great lakes unless they are again placed on Canadian registry. The operator will have to make application for return to 90205-6-382

Supply-Transport

Canadian registry in accordance with the terms of the Canada Shipping Act. Any such application, when received, will be dealt with upon its merits at the time.

I was also asked about the matter of Canadian content.

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Will the minister permit me to ask one question on this subject which is of a good deal of concern to the people in the eastern provinces? Can the minister assure the committee that the reservation of the coastal trade to Canadian ships will not apply to ships plying from a point east of the great lakes-St. Lawrence region into the great lakes-St. Lawrence region; for example, a British ship from St. John's, Newfoundland to Montreal would have exactly the same rights as Canadian shipping under the new coastal policy?

Topic:   $040 HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink

June 8, 1961