May 5, 1964


I. Departmental administration (including the former vote for the operation and maintenance of official railway cars), $3,773,800. Proceedings reported.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the house leader whether he would record on Hansard the business for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

Mr. Speaker, beginning tomorrow we will take the Estate Tax Act resolution. The second order of business will be second reading of the Customs Tariff bill. Then in the field of legislation we will take the resolution to appoint the special committee on defence, after which we will proceed with the second reading of the bill to amend the National Defence Act. Then we will take the resolution introducing a bill to authorize certain crown corporations to pay certain provincial fees and taxes, after which we will be dealing with the resolution introducing the bill to amend the Exchequer Court Act. We intend to take these legislative measures one after the other until each has been finally proceeded with, the only interruption being on Thursday when we will deal with the estimates of the Department of Agriculture.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


(Subject matter of questions debated under adjournment motion). A motion to adjourn the house under provisional standing order 39A deemed to have been moved:


TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, MONTREAL INQUIRY AS TO CHANGE OF ROUTE

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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order. According to provisory standing order 39A, a motion to adjourn the house is deemed to have been made and seconded at this time. Therefore, the question is that the house adjourn. The Chair recognizes the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomp-tion-Montcalm.

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, MONTREAL INQUIRY AS TO CHANGE OF ROUTE
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PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. J. Pigeon (Jolieiie-L'Assomplion-Monicalm):

Mr. Speaker, I have put this question many times to the Minister of Public Works to give him an opportunity to answer it. I know the minister is dedicated to the public interest, that he is a hard working and conscientious man who, unfortunately, belongs to the wrong party, but I know he is working in the interest, not only of eastern Montreal constituents, but also of the Canadian people as a whole.

I for one was satisfied with the speech he delivered on the administration of the Department of Public Works. If I refer to La Presse for April 20, 1964, I read an article entitled:

Deschatelets will resign from the cabinet and the federal government if his desires are not met.

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LIB

Joseph-Alphonse-Anaclet Habel

Liberal

Mr. Habel:

Do you take the responsibility for it?

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PC
LIB
PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

I read the article written by a distinguished journalist, Mr. Luc Beauregard of La Presse and I will leave to the minister the opportunity of telling whether I am wrong in reading such an article.

Surrounded by sobbing women and men cursing politics, the Minister of Public Works of Canada, Mr. Jean Paul Deschatelets stated last evening that he would put his career at stake to satisfy the claims of the constituents of Hochelaga and Mai-sonneuve: "If nothing is done after a first request addressed to the government of which I am a member, I will resign", said the minister.

It was at the end of a meeting, that was lively, and even dramatic at times, that Mr. Deschatelets emphasized that he was ready to assist the people of eastern Montreal at all costs, even at the expense of his own career-

The same article further reads as follows:

Trans-Canada highway-The minister has emphatically promised he would refuse to sign any plan for a future trans-Canada highway which would not pass exactly where the C.N.R. tracks stand at present. He intends to set up a committee with his colleague, as soon as possible,-

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the minister whether he has made or intends to make appropriate representations to the Quebec department of highways so that the trans-Canada highway route be changed to bring

5, 1964

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion satisfaction and grant a fair treatment to the people of eastern Montreal.

The minister is aware of the inconveniences resulting from the Canadian National railway track: some disastrous accidents have occurred and the people of this important Montreal area whom the minister is representing are complaining because the trans-Canada highway is once again dividing that part of eastern Montreal. This is not only a disadvantage for workers who will have to cross the trans-Canada highway, but also a serious danger for children going to school, etc.

I know that the minister was in a position to appreciate the concern of the people of eastern Montreal when he attended the meeting. I wish to tell him that I admire him very much for the firmness which he showed when he made his formal promise. He was ready, Mr. Speaker, to give up his political and public career if he did not succeed in convincing the C.N.R. president to remove that track and if he was not successful in convincing the provincial minister of highways to change the lay-out of the trans-Canada highway in the eastern part of Mont-treal so as to give satisfaction to the people living in that important section.

I know that the minister has important duties to carry out. It is not up to the federal government to decide on the lay-out of the trans-Canada highway, because it is rather a provincial responsibility, but I should like to know whether the minister succeeded in convincing the provincial minister of highways of the necessity to change this lay-out in order to do justice to the population of the eastern section of Montreal.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to allow the minister, in addition to the three minutes to which he is entitled, the time I did not use.

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, MONTREAL INQUIRY AS TO CHANGE OF ROUTE
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LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. J. P. Deschatelets (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, I must say first of all that the preliminary remarks of my hon. friend from Joliette-l'Assomption-Montcalm reminded me of the old saying: "I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts". I must say, following this statement, that the trans-Canada highway going through the city of Montreal is one of the greatest projects of this government, a project which should have been planned and carried through in the last six years. It was not done, but we are very pleased to associate ourselves with this great venture.

Therefore, there will be an expressway bypassing the city of Montreal which will have nothing then to envy any other city on the North American continent.

Plans for that expressway which will start from a certain point on the Metropolitan

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion boulevard, at Decarie boulevard, will go south then towards the east end of Montreal, parallel with the Montreal harbour up to Papi-neau street, those plans, as I said earlier, have been drawn up, approved and registered.

This means that, from Papineau street to the east end of Montreal, plans have not yet been drawn up by the provincial government. But I must say to my hon. friend that it is quite in order for the Quebec government, in this case, to prepare plans. However, they must be submitted for our approval, because the federal government is committed to pay 90 per cent of construction costs of two lanes, after approval of the plans of course.

That does not apply only to the province of Quebec. It has been done in all the other provinces in the last 10 years.

Now, my hon. friend mentions a newspaper article. In that respect, I must tell him that unlike what happened with regard to several of my former colleagues, I have nothing to delete from that article which gives a good picture of what took place.

With regard to a commitment I would have made, I want him to feel at ease and I tell him that when a man of honour makes a commitment, there is no need to remind him about it.

I got in touch with the provincial minister of highways, Hon. Mr. Pinard, about two weeks ago concerning the plans for that expressway in the east end of Montreal. No final decision has yet been made concerning these plans. I must tell my hon. friend that the original plans provided that this expressway would follow the lay-out of the old railroad in eastern Montreal, which goes as far as Moreau station. It is that old railroad that I would like to see removed.

I said to the provincial minister of highways that I hoped it would be possible to provide in eastern Montreal for an expressway in eastern Montreal that would not only run parallel but follow the lay-out of that railroad coming from Montreal east to Moreau station, and which would allow the removal of tracks which have become a public nuisance in eastern Montreal. It would also allow the city of Montreal to undertake urban redevelopment in an old part of the city where it is needed.

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, MONTREAL INQUIRY AS TO CHANGE OF ROUTE
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I regret to interrupt the minister but his time is over.

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LABOUR CONDITIONS-AMHERST, N.S.-ACTION TO OFFSET PENDING LAY-OFFS

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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Cumberland on the question of lay-oils at Enamel and Heating Products Limited, Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS-AMHERST, N.S.-ACTION TO OFFSET PENDING LAY-OFFS
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PC

Robert Carman Coates

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert C. Coates (Cumberland):

Mr. Speaker, I pose this question to the Minister of Industry (Mr. Drury) in an effort to secure information regarding the lay-offs that have been effected at Enamel and Heating Products Limited plant at Amherst, Nova Scotia, in relation to aircraft component overhaul and repair work. My reason for posing the question is the concern felt both in the town of Amherst and in the constituency of Cumberland regarding the future of this plant and its operations.

The plant in question has been carrying out aircraft work for many years and has, among other things, secured a great deal of work from United States firms on a production sharing basis. The work in question, I understand, totals approximately 75 per cent or more of the total work load in the aircraft plant. The problem facing the plant is that there is not a sufficient amount of overhaul and repair work on aircraft components to keep the plant in operation at a production cost which would allow them to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken with United States firms.

The problem here relates to production costs. When the officials of Enamel and Heating Products Limited accepted the contracts from United States firms they accepted them on the basis of a certain production cost that was available to them as a result of the employment in their plant. As a consequence of the depletion of overhaul and repair work their work force has declined and their production costs have increased. If no new work is made available to the plant through the Department of Defence Production, then there is every cause for concern about the future operations of the plant. It could well mean that they could not meet the commitments they have made to these United States firms because of spiraling production costs. This could mean the closure of the plant and a very serious economic blow to the economy of both the town of Amherst and the county of Cumberland, in view of the fact that the employment does not come from the town of Amherst alone but is spread throughout the county of Cumberland.

I appreciate the fact that the Minister of Industry has a problem here. He is operating on a much smaller budget than was the case when this company accepted the contracts from United States firms and anticipated a future workload from overhaul and repair work. At the same time, I think the minister will recognize that this company has done a tremendous job, a really remarkable job of going into the United States on their own and securing a substantial amount of work from United States companies. The

company has had a history of efficient operation, a history of efficient work indicating to the United States firms that they could do the work in an efficient manner and provide them with the type of aircraft components that the company promised it would produce when the contracts were accepted. In view of this, it is my hope the minister will be able to indicate, both to the employees who have been laid off and the residents of the county of Cumberland, that action will be taken through his department that will eliminate the concern that is now very evident in my constituency.

I want to say that the Minister of Industry has been sympathetic to the problem of this firm. However, it is my hope we will be able to secure something more than sympathy because I would not want to think there was nothing else available to my constituents in the days ahead. I feel that if the minister can indicate he is taking the type of action that will put these men back to work, we will eliminate the concern in the minds of my constituents generally that I want to see eliminated, if that is at all possible.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS-AMHERST, N.S.-ACTION TO OFFSET PENDING LAY-OFFS
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LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (Minister of Industry; Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Hon. C. M. Drury (Minister of Industry):

Mr. Speaker, the facts as outlined by the hon. member are substantially correct. The Department of Industry and the Department of Defence Production have been concerned over the past few months about the problem which has been outlined by the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Coates). There have been continuing, and there are still continuing, discussions with the firm with a view to alleviating to the greatest extent possible their problems. The fact of the matter is, however, as the hon. member for Cumberland has pointed out, the number of aircraft both by types and in total numbers required to be repaired and overhauled by the Royal Canadian Air Force has declined very substantially.

Over the past few years, as a consequence, there has been a need for considerably less in the way of repair and overhaul facilities in the aircraft industry generally than had been the case in the past. There has had to be, as a consequence, a shrinkage of Department of Defence Production orders. Seeing this coming, the Department of Defence Production has encouraged aircraft overhaul organizations to seek production sharing work and has been prepared, and has in fact, provided considerable assistance, to firms in securing contracts on a competitive basis with United States firms.

As the hon. member for Cumberland has pointed out, Enamel and Heating Products Limited have been more than usually successful in this particular regard. In this field they

5. 1964 2963

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion are one of the more enterprising and more successful companies. The Department of Defence Production has been concerned to see that the base from which they make their competitive bids in the United States will continue in operation, this base being provided by contracts from the Department of Defence Production for overhaul and repair of R.C.A.F. aircraft.

I am glad to be able to tell the hon. member that agreement has been reached with the company on what I think is a workable arrangement, a workable and practicable level of work which will enable them successfully to carry out the contracts in the United States.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS-AMHERST, N.S.-ACTION TO OFFSET PENDING LAY-OFFS
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

May 5, 1964