August 2, 1963

PRIVILEGE

MR. CHEVRIER-STATEMENT RESPECTING OPINION GIVEN ON SURCHARGE ORDER

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Last night, in answer to a question by the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings, I said there was neither a written nor an oral opinion given on the surcharge order. In so far as the written opinion is concerned, there can be no doubt; I searched and found none.

Regarding the oral opinion, in reviewing the matter when I returned to my office last evening I recollected having been advised that the matter had been discussed orally at the time.

I am sorry if I unwittingly misled the house. At all events, I suggest that for the purpose of the present bill the question of whether or not there was an oral opinion, not to mention a written opinion, given to the former government is irrelevant. In my capacity as Minister of Justice and legal adviser to the crown under the Department of Justice Act, it is my opinion that the surcharge order was not validly made, and I have so advised the government. In any case, should there be only a doubt regarding this important matter it is in the public interest that such doubt be removed, and that is what the bill intends to do.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CHEVRIER-STATEMENT RESPECTING OPINION GIVEN ON SURCHARGE ORDER
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DRUGS AND PESTICIDES

CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE


Mr. H. C. Harley (Halton) presented the first report of the special committee on food and drugs, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


TRANSPORT

WELLAND CANAL

LIB

George James McIlraith (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. G. J. Mcllraiih (Minisier of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I have a statement to make which I think should be of interest to the house. The government has decided to proceed with the full twinning of the locks of the Welland canal, construction to commence this winter.

This project is considered essential to eliminate congestion which, traffic estimates indicate, would become acute by 1966 if the present single lock system were continued, and to provide for traffic growth. During the 1961 navigation season of 260 days, an average of four vessels were waiting on each of 162 days. This situation worsened in 1962, when on each of 194 days an average of seven vessels were waiting for transit. The same trend has continued to date in the 1963 season.

The locks to be twinned are Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8. With this expansion it is estimated that the physical capacity of the canal will be increased by 60 per cent.

It is estimated that the twinning project will cost $180 million. A bill will be introduced in this house to amend section 13 of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act, increasing the authority's borrowing power to provide the means for securing the funds.

The substantial expenditures involved in the twinning project make it necessary to give serious consideration to the matter of removing the suspension of tolls which became effective July 18, 1962.

The time schedule for completing the twinning construction and associated works involves a period of slightly less than five years. This time schedule is designed to ensure maximum safety during construction, avoidance of excessive costs and minimum interruption of navigation and vehicular traffic. It is estimated that the construction program over four full years, including five winters, will require a labour force ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 men, with reasonably uniform year round employment. In preparation for this development the seaway authority proceeded in 1960 with the engineering plans necessary, and in 1962 expropriated 320 acres of land required for twinning. The construction program for twinning will be commenced this year on work essential to the whole project, which at the same time will increase the usefulness of existing facilities.

The major construction work of the new locks, 1, 2, 3 and 7, is planned to commence in the fall of 1964, with scheduled completion in 1968. At that time construction of the twin lock No. 8 at Port Colborne, not regarded as a part of the major program, will be undertaken.

With the twinning of the Welland canal, consideration will have to be given to the

2942 HOUSE OF

Twinning of Welland Locks over-all capacity of the seaway system. In this connection the government intends to further implement the seaway project by the construction of a lock at Cornwall, Ontario, as soon as studies indicate that it is warranted.

With a further lock in the area of Point Rockway in the United States as a counterpart of Iroquois lock, the international rapids section of the St. Lawrence river would then be twinned. When such construction is completed there will then be, in the international rapids section of the St. Lawrence river, one canal entirely in Canada and another in the United States.

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO TWIN LOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the announcement by the Minister of Transport is entirely in keeping with the views and course of action taken by the previous government. Therefore we give it complete support. As a matter of fact the announcement respecting the removal of the tolls was made following consideration by the government in, I think it was, May of 1962-

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO TWIN LOCKS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

To suspend the tolls, not to remove them.

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO TWIN LOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

-and the general plan for the twinning was being fully investigated and had the entire support of the former government. It is a step that is very necessary. Because of the fact that this government chose to adopt the views that were held by the former government, and indeed all Canadians, in this regard, this is one time when there is unanimity.

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO TWIN LOCKS
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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the project presented by the Minister of Transport today does reveal the weakness of some of the planning and projections we have had in Canada. It is quite apparent, and I think it should be noted, that when the tolls were removed from the Welland canal it was at a most fortuitous time, in an election campaign. However, the issue to which the minister has not referred but which is very much related to this question is that the St. Lawrence seaway authority and the funds coming to it have come nowhere near living up to the projections. Neither has the traffic growth; yet the minister today presents us with an argument, which I accept, that twinning is necessary.

It certainly seems to me that in the old projection and preparation of the very large St. Lawrence seaway authority and the tremendous spending that went on there was some kind of a gap or failure in responsibility on the part of the people who initiated and developed the project. We believe it would be a poor idea to reintroduce tolls on the section

that is going to be twinned. We believe it is: time for Canada and the United States to look at their losses on the St. Lawrence seaway and their future expenditures and determine whether it might not be possible to dispense completely with the idea that in regard to-these canals and this twinning any attempt should be made to put it on a paying basis. Instead it should be recognized that these are-just basic services that are being supplied by the government.

We are delighted to hear of the possibility of improvements at Cornwall. I only suggest to the minister that there are some indications: that we could stand more marked improvements, if we are looking at the seaway system, as a whole, on the Canadian canal at Sault Ste. Marie. I think the most attractive part: of this project in some ways will be the work: generation that will be involved in it. In this sense, if that has been part of the government's thinking, it seems to me this is the kind of social capital project in a way, if you wish, the government should be undertaking: in order to provide work.

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO TWIN LOCKS
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IMMIGRATION


A«J\OUjNCE1V1ISJNT Ut INTEGRATED CUSTOMS-IMMIGRATION PRIMARY INSPECTION


LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Guy Favreau (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, in my name and in the name of the Minister of National Revenue I wish to inform the house that a plan to integrate the customs-immigration primary inspection at Canadian border ports: of entry has been approved by cabinet following an extensive study undertaken in 1962 by a committee of senior government officials.

Primary inspection is the initial oral examination by an officer of a person seeking to come into Canada, to determine his admissibility and classification for immigration purposes, and whether he has merchandise which must be formally entered at customs. In most ports of entry at the present time this examination is made independently, in two stages, by an immigration officer and by a customs officer.

Following a series of meetings the members of the committee came to the conclusion that in order to attain greater efficiency and economy it was necessary to consider a fully integrated system of primary inspection under the customs and excise division of the Department of National Revenue. Such a system has been recommended by the Glassco commission. In order to achieve the proposed objective a working group consisting of representatives of both departments, the civil service commission and

*the treasury board will put the integrated system into effect following an operational study at each port of entry involved. These studies are expected to be completed before the end of the fiscal year 1963-64.

The integrated system of primary inspection may involve the transfer of approximately 200 positions from immigration to [DOT]customs. It is expected that about 100 positions will in time-and I repeat "in time"- become surplus to requirements. I wish to make it clear that no immigration or customs officer now employed is to be deprived of his job. Immigration officers who are transferred to customs will benefit from two channels of promotion, by being made eligible to apply for promotion in the customs and immigration services.

Greater efficiency resulting from an integrated customs-immigration primary inspection will be reflected in two ways; (1) quicker examination of returning Canadians and visitors entering Canada from the United States; (ii) reduction in cost.

As the examinations will be achieved with less staff, the ultimate saving is estimated at $500,000 annually.

The main ocean ports and international airports of entry will not be affected.

Staff associations have been informed of the details of the implementation of the proposed integration plan.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
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LABOUR RELATIONS

NORRIS REPORT


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, would the Prime Minister give consideration to bringing before the house before the adjournment the legislation to which reference was made yesterday, implementing several of the recommendations of the Norris commission? I ask this because the information I have, if I might be allowed to make this statement at this time, is that it is not a very difficult matter to draft this legislation.

From what was said a few moments ago by the Minister of Justice it is apparent that we are not going to adjourn today. That being so, would the Prime Minister not think that we should go ahead now rather than leaving the matter up in the air? There is unanimity of support for action to be taken; all parties in the house are agreed. Otherwise there may very well be an invitation to further lawlessness and disorder and a tie-up of shipping which could certainly be obviated and avoided by action now.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   LABOUR RELATIONS
Subtopic:   NORRIS REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR LEGISLATION BEFORE SUMMER RECESS
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August 2, 1963