December 11, 1962

PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Saint John-Albert):

Mr. Chairman, during the discussion on the first clause of this bill I mentioned a project that I felt related the difficulties that I felt would occur with the compiling of statistics and figures. Under clause 9, dealing with the objects and powers of the board, I wish to mention in greater detail this project which I feel should have top priority. I proposed that priority should be given to a project to investigate fully the effect of winter navigation in the lower St. Lawrence on the ports of Saint John and Halifax. The exact figures-and this is the difficulty, Mr. Chairman-of destination and origin of traffic in the lower St. Lawrence would demonstrate the difference between legitimate St. Lawrence traffic and that business which would have come to our maritime ports originally but now flows through the St. Lawrence in winter.

There is serious misapprehension, as many have said, in the maritimes that all St. Lawrence winter shipping now appears to be business that would otherwise come to the ports of Saint John and Halifax. I will give an example. I suggest that European commodities arriving at, say, the port of Quebec by sea during the winter season and destined for a city such as Winnipeg would be business that might have landed at Saint John or Halifax. On the other hand, coastwise traffic in the lower St. Lawrence between the cities of Quebec and Seven Islands, or even overseas shipments in and out of these ports alone, that would not ordinarily be made until spring could not be expected to use maritime ports and would not be legitimate traffic for maritime ports under present circumstances. This would be the differentiation and it is the question that I feel is important to consider under this clause dealing with the powers given to this board. It is true that a study is now under way in the port of Saint John regarding traffic there,

Atlantic Development Board but while this will be of some assistance with regard to the transshipments that go through the port, it does not deal with the heart of the problem, which is so important to our maritime ports.

Other matters that might be considered in this top priority project would be water and insurance rates. They could be considered because there is a growing fear that rates, be they water or insurance, are being equalized over all eastern ports so that the costs of ice hazards are now spread over every one of the eastern Atlantic ports. This means, in effect, that Halifax and Saint John are paying, as it were, for protection against the dangers of ice floes in the St. Lawrence. There is also a need for an assessment of the charges which have been made with respect to the use of government icebreakers, paid for by the Canadian taxpayer, to open up the St. Lawrence in winter to our detriment. The danger of flooding is often given as an excuse and I think an advisory committee appointed by the board could declare which areas should have protection from flooding afforded by icebreakers in a legitimate way. If this were done, the criticism would be removed. After the statistics have been compiled, they would, together with existing information, be a logical source of material upon which an advisory committee appointed by this board might reach its conclusions.

I am putting forward this proposal seriously and I hope it has the attention of everyone in this committee. This is a serious matter. I know the hon. members for Halifax will agree with me when I say we are very worried about the future of our winter activities in these ports. This would be one of the important tasks which an advisory committee appointed by this board could undertake right away. I have heard other projects mentioned. I shall not elaborate on these. I only hope the proposal I have just made will be given every consideration and that the result will have an important bearing on a matter which concerns the lifeblood of the maritime provinces.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

That is a very interesting suggestion made by the hon. member and it is too bad that a report of this importance and of this character cannot be made public by the board.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

The hon. member for Lapointe.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Saint John-Alberi):

I feel I should reply to the observation made by the Leader of the Opposition. I presume he is sincerely interested in this question.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. I have recognized the hon. member for Lapointe.

(Translation):

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gregoire:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say but one word to challenge the statement just made by the hon. member for Saint John-Albert (Mr. Bell) and to call the attention of the committee to the fact that you will never develop an area by preventing the development of another. Winter navigation on the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec city or even farther up will not cut winter navigation in the harbours of Halifax and Saint John, in the maritimes.

I feel that if such a survey is to be made, it should not be made to try and block up certain entrances but to open up all our eastern ports. Therefore, if such a survey is made, the fact should be borne in mind that all areas of the country must be developed.

(Text):

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Saint John-Albert):

I appreciate the remarks made by the hon. member for Lapointe. There is no intention to interfere with natural progress. I merely called for an assessment of our problem so that we may know exactly where we stand with respect to the moneys of all the people of Canada.

With regard to the statement made by the Leader of the Opposition, I feel that the statistics of the Department of National Revenue and of the national harbours board which will give us the origin and destination of this traffic in the St. Lawrence have some degree of confidentiality attached to them, but they might be made available to this committee which could then make public its recommendations concerning this question.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

In the course of this discussion we have not heard from the minister about the extent of the co-operation which this proposed body would have with the other boards which are being set up this session and with other, similar agencies which the government has set up from time to time obviously, in the past, at any rate, with the object of postponing decisions on important problems confronting the country.

We cannot pass clause 9 without addressing ourselves to the implications of subclause (2). It is regrettable that in a session during which the government is bringing forward measures which have to do with the establishment of so many boards, we did not begin our discussion with consideration of the first body which should naturally have been presented to us, namely the national economic development board. But this government, apparently not anxious to plan nationally, is not prepared to plan its work in this house and, as a result,

we are dealing in improper chronological order with these matters. I suggest it would have been proper to have dealt with the national economic development board first, then proceed to the amendments of the productivity council measure. We would then proceed with the Atlantic development board, not because the latter is not as important as the other boards in its proper context but because of the priority of the latter's functions. Had that order been observed, it would have fitted better into the over-all pattern.

Clause 9(2) calls upon the board to co-operate "to the greatest possible extent"-and I may say in passing that that is an unusual phrase to find in a statute. I complained last night about the imperfection in the draftsmanship of this bill. While I do not want to attribute that imperfection to the law officers of the crown, one of whom is present in this chamber, nevertheless it is, as I say, unusual to find this kind of language used in a statute. The bill does say that the board shall, to the greatest possible extent consistent with the performance of its duties under this act- whatever that may mean; I hope the minister is able to explain it-co-operate with the national development board, the national productivity council and all the departments, branches and other agencies of the government of Canada having duties relating to or having aims or objects related to those of the board. It would be interesting to know, first of all, what other agencies of the government of Canada, having duties or aims or objects related to those of this board, will provide an occasion for collaboration and cooperation under the terms of this subclause. The minister owes the committee an explanation, I think, in fairness to the statement made by the Minister of Finance when he introduced the measure dealing with the national economic development board-a statement to the effect that there was to be a form of integration between these various boards and the body which was the subject matter of the resolution the house was discussing at that time.

What is meant by saying that to the greatest possible extent there will be co-operation between this particular board and the national economic development board and the national productivity council? When the minister addresses himself to that question he will have to explain whether or not it is the intention to broaden the base of the productivity council itself, having in mind the complaints registered against that body by labour organizations and others which have criticized the narrowness of that particular council's approach. How is the Atlantic development board going to cooperate with the productivity council whose

Atlantic Development Board base is said by a wide section of public opinion in this country, including the chairman of that body, not to be broad enough? The minister must tell us that tonight because this clause imposes upon the board the duty of co-operation between it and the productivity council.

What is the relationship to be between this board and the national economic development board? Is the latter to be the dominant body? Is it to be the body which will take the initiative in bringing about this cooperation? How are these various bodies going to get together? I can very well visualize the reply that the minister is going to make. In that very generous, understanding, wholesome manner of his he is going to say: "Of course, the hon. gentleman, who has had experience on the ministerial benches, knows perfectly well how these things will work out", and he will say that if we will just have patience, not put too many embarrassing questions and will pass this bill readily, everything will work out well. That is the technique of my hon. friend, for whom, as he knows, I have the greatest personal esteem; but I am not going to allow that personal esteem to dominate my conviction as to the inadequacies of this measure.

Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask him now to tell us how this co-operation is going to take place. I suggest to him that this is the all important matter, now that the government has decided to set up this special board. We agree with it in principle. Personally I would have preferred to see the national board operate all over the country, with subdivisions which would have taken into account the special and serious economic problems of the Atlantic area. But now that the government has decided on this autonomous technique, giving to each of these boards a sovereignty of its own, it will be up to the minister to explain to us exactly how this kind of co-operation is going to be effected. Which minister is going to be in charge of the co-operation? Is it going to be the Minister of Finance, the Minister of National Revenue, the Minister of Labour, or the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who has to do with the productivity council? Or perhaps it is going to be the Minister without Portfolio in another house, in which event it would be most regrettable because we would be denied the opportunity in this house of examining him as to the success of the co-operation envisaged in clause 9(2). I hope my hon. friend will not regard this as a specious or luxurious argument, because it is not.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Frank Charles McGee (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGee:

It is a filibuster.

2562 HOUSE OF

Atlantic Development Board

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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?

Peter Francis Martin

Mr. Marlin (Essex Easi):

My hon. friend from Scarborough says "filibuster". The greatest contribution he has made so far this session is the use of three words. One of them has been "filibuster," another has been "nonsense", and the third has been "stupid". I would say that all three apply to him in equal measure. My hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition points out to me that only one of them is an adjective, but let me put the nouns adjectivally because they still apply.

I would say to the minister that this is a very important matter. Either the government means business or it does not. The minister has not used the word "planning" once. The Minister of Finance has used the word "planning" once. The Minister of Labour outside this house today, when speaking to those who like the word "planning"-the members of the Canadian Congress of Labour-interlarded his whole speech with the word "planning" in almost every sentence. Does the government really intend to effect a planning process in trying to meet these problems? Is that the kind of co-operation which is envisaged in subsection (2)? I hope the minister will not think that I have been unfair with him tonight in asking him to tell us precisely how this co-operation is going to take place. What type of integration is going to be developed, or are we going to allow these three bodies to function independently of each other? Are we going to say that the fact that 14 per cent of the work force of Canada is out of work in the maritime provinces is a problem not related to the rest of Canada?

Mr. Chairman, the other day I attended, with the mayor from Moncton, the hon. member for Essex West, the hon. member for Essex South, a delegation of mayors from southwestern Ontario, and Essex county in particular, and certain mayors from the maritime provinces-

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Hugh John Flemming (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Vicforia-Carleion):

Would the hon. gentleman permit a question?

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Yes.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Hugh John Flemming (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Victoria-Carleton):

May I

ask the hon. gentleman where he gets his figure of 14 per cent?

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

My hon. friend asks me that. He ought to turn to his right and ask the Minister of Labour, because as a matter of fact he would find that last winter it was higher than 14 per cent.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Starr:

Oh no.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Hugh John Flemming (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Victoria-Carleton):

I understood you to say that it was 14 per cent at the present time.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Would my hon. friend tell me what the figure is right now?

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
Permalink
PC

Hugh John Flemming (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of Forestry)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Victoria-Carleton):

The hon. member said it was 14 per cent.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

I would ask my hon. friend whether I am wrong in that statement.

Topic:   ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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December 11, 1962