July 13, 1964

LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis

Liberal

Mr. Francis:

You had your chance.

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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

The hon. member for Carleton says we had our chance. I am sure he will recognize the truth of this, that in those years between the beginning of 1958 to when his government took office we did more in developing Canada's north than had been done in any other time in Canada's history. He was not here then, but if he examines Hansard of 1961 or 1962 he will find I put

13. 1964

Federal-Provincial Relations on the record the differences of expenditures between the two decades prior to 1957 and the five short years subsequent to 1957.

I just have one set of figures at my disposal at the moment. In 1956-57 in northern administration $11,318,000 was spent by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, and in 1961-62 there was $36,536,000 spent, an increase of almost three and a half times.

Where there was literally no investment by the federal government in improving communications-and by that I mean roads, radio and land lines-in the northern part of Canada prior to 1957, there is now full coverage by the C.B.C. in almost every area of Canada's north. There are land lines extending all the way up to Dawson City, and there are presently land lines under construction to Inuvik in the Arctic. This is the type of thing that mining companies and private risk capital are looking for, so that the country is not so remote that it will place the risk dollar they want to put into it at such a disadvantage with risk dollars invested elsewhere.

I say that the minister's philosophy, as disclosed in the royal commission report of which he was the author, is wrong, that we should not wait for a market to develop before looking for resources and looking for sources of resources to develop, but that we should be developing all regions of Canada now. The part that the government plays in this partnership between government and private industry is to provide the atmosphere which will attract risk capital. That should be done in the north by the government, more so than elsewhere in Canada, because the federal government is directly responsible for resource development in the north, and if the pattern set in the years 1957-62 continues, then this capital of a private nature will be attracted.

Passing very quickly to the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources itself, one of the things I feel the minister should be urging, in as strong a voice as he can, is the paving of the Alaska highway. In urging this development prior to the change of government, the principle of paving was accepted and engineering studies commenced under the previous government. I understand these are continuing today. I know the hon. member for Cariboo will support me in my urging of the paving of the Alaska highway, since it passes through a great deal of his constituency, and the minister himself will be rewarded substantially in the tremendous

Federal-Provincial Relations number of tourist dollars that will be left through the provinces of B.C. and Alberta, to say nothing of the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The minister has informed me that there are discussions going on between Canadian government officials and officials of the United States government for the paving of the Alaska highway on a joint cost sharing basis. Since we are speaking about joint cost sharing programs it would appear that in order to obtain development in the north we have to participate in joint programs with the United States, which is a good thing.

The United States government realizes the value of paving this sole continental link between the 48 states and the 49th, Alaska, and I am sure the Canadian government, when it examines the economics will find the cost of maintaining the highway, which borders on $11 million, will be more than repaid by savings effected if the highway were paved. At present two bills have been introduced, one in the United States senate and the other in the United States house of representatives, calling for the United States government to contribute up to 50 per cent of the cost of improving, reconstructing and paving the Alaska highway. If the Canadian government does not act now, and act decisively on this gesture by the United States legislators, then we may lose the opportunity of participating with them in a cost sharing program for the improvement and paving of the Alaska highway, a program which will benefit the whole of Canada.

In the last year in office of the previous government the tourist revenues to Canada came out of a deficit position for the first time. Again this year-and I am sure the same situation prevails in all parts of Canada-the Yukon is enjoying an increased inflow of tourists from the United States and from other parts of Canada. By paving the Alaska highway and thus improving that means of communication the tourist traffic could be doubled and trebled.

There are other means by which the federal government could act in order to improve the situation with regard to the fiscal burden it must bear in the light of the existence of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories and the development of those areas of Canada. One of these the minister mentioned in his report as chairman of the royal commission on Canada's economic prospects. I refer to the tax exempt period for new mines. As the minister knows, a new mine may now operate exempt from taxation for

three years. The Canadian mining and metallurgical association, the B.C. and the Yukon chamber of mines, the Alberta and the northwest chamber of mines, the conference on northern resources held in Edmonton each fall-all of these organizations have endorsed the principle that the exempt period should be increased to five years. This will do a great deal to bring new mines into production and to provide impetus for accelerated mineral exploration and development in the northerly areas of Canada. In this regard I do not coniine my remarks to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories but am referring to the northern portion of the provinces as well. This sort of policy would do more to develop resources of this type than any other fiscal proposal that the government might have. There is only one possible exception and that is participation by the government with private industry in the north in the locating of smelters.

I believe that the federal government should relent with regard to its policy of excluding the government of the Yukon and the government of the Northwest Territories from representation at federal-provincial conferences. The government of the Yukon in particular, through its wholly elected council, is requesting initially not even active participation in federal-provincial conferences dealing with fiscal matters but merely that its representatives be allowed to sit in as observers.

I know the immediate answer will be that the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources or somebody from that department attends these conferences on behalf of the two governments concerned. But this is surely a shallow reply because we have federal-provincial conferences dealing with fiscal affairs where a member of the federal government is in effect representing a government which is on all fours with a provincial government in respect of legislative powers and per capita responsibilities. I might inform the minister that in the Yukon there is rather deep feeling about this matter, and with some justification. The people there look to recent statistics published by the federal government which disclose that during the last decade the per capita income tax contribution to the federal coffers from the Yukon exceeded, save for one year, the per capita tax contribution by Prince Edward Island. With such comparative statistics it seems to me there is some justification for acceding to what the elected representatives

of the people of the Yukon are requesting. It is not an unreasonable request at all.

I put a question to the Prime Minister with regard to a letter he had written to the premiers of the ten provinces, and their replies show that in large measure they are not against the type of representation requested. I do not have the letters before me but to the best of my recollection there were only one or two provincial premiers who had any direct objection to this sort of representation. Most of the other premiers said in their replies that they had no specific objection.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, if I have accomplished nothing more than to get through to the Minister of Finance with this proposal I will have succeeded indeed. The thought simply is that the governments of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, particularly the Yukon because it has a wholly elected council as opposed to the partially appointed and partially elected council in the Northwest Territories, share the same programs as do the provinces. They pay the same per capita costs under these programs as do the provinces. They bear the same per capita tax burden in the implementation of these programs as do the provinces. Surely there should be some method for conveying the views of the elected representatives of the government of the Yukon to those who make the final decision as to what form these cost sharing programs will take. Surely we from the Yukon should be able to present our views as to how these cost sharing programs are going to affect the over-all economic fabric of the Yukon.

This is all we are asking. This is all that has been asked by the wholly elected council of the Yukon, a council which has the same legislative jurisdiction as any provincial legislature with three exceptions, in the fields of natural resources, justice-

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. I must interrupt the hon. member for Yukon to advise him that the time allotted to him has expired.

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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

-and the introduction of money bills. Thank you very much.

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PC

William Heward Grafftey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

Mr. Chairman, in dealing with the particular question of federal-provincial financial arrangements I feel at the outset it is almost inevitable that we touch upon the general field of federal-provincial relations. I think most members in the house this afternoon will readily admit that the general subject of federal-provincial relations is perhaps one of the most, if not the most, impor-

Federal-Provincial Relations tant subjects confronting parliament and the nation at this time. I do not want to exaggerate but I think many of us would agree that to a very large extent national unity itself depends upon our resolve and determination to find solutions to the problems of federal-provincial financial or taxation arrangements and federal-provincial problems in general.

With this in mind, Mr. Chairman, I intend during my brief remarks this afternoon to treat the subject at hand under two headings. First of all, I should like to refer to some historical and contemporary background material pertaining to the subject and especially underlining the Progressive Conservative approach to the general field of federal-provincial relations and federal-provincial taxation arrangements in particular. Second, I should like to underline some basic problems involved in the whole question today before coming to what I hope will be considered some positive conclusions.

Mr. Chairman, allow me to read a few brief considerations which I deeply value about "unity within diversity."

The Canadian constitution is the first in the world to combine a federal government system with a parliamentary system.

I have always felt that a federal government system should try to conciliate a certain degree of unity with a certain degree of diversity.

In my opinion, Canada has never been and will never be united according to the principle of the melting pot.

As everybody knows, we have a vast and thinly inhabited country. Even if our population were to increase materially and our means of communication to become faster than ever, I would still believe that "unity in diversity" should remain the basic and essential factor governing our attitude towards Canada and its people.

Our federalism is based on a particular psychology in the variety of our peoples and provinces. Union is sought, but not unity in the matter of languages, cultures, religions, etc.

This attitude, based on "unity in diversity" should always be held as a positive and dynamic factor of our national character.

In a realistic perspective, that fundamental diversity of our national life raises many problems in the edification of a nation. We are facing some of those problems today. By merely paying lip service to the necessity of mutual respect and understanding, to the necessity of co-operation, we do not stress enough that attitude which advocates a policy of "live and let live". An all-embracing co-operation is undoubtedly essential, but the sooner we shall emphasize the positive glories of our diversity, the sooner the number of those who talk of a confederation crisis will diminish.

I felt, Mr. Chairman, that as I entered into the substantive part of the remarks I

Federal-Provincial Relations intended to make this afternoon I would put what I might term as a few keynote phrases on the record in French. It has always been my impression that one of the basic tenets of Conservative principles lies within the idea of local self-agency. I have said this in our House of Commons before, that we on this side of the house feel that people on the local level often know what is best for themselves and how best to govern their own affairs. In other words, the diffusion of powers constitutes a fundamental idea in our approach to federal-provincial relations.

This has been said time and time again, Mr. Chairman. Of course, we must have a strong federal government which must always remain strong and activist-I underline the word "activist"-within its constitutional responsibilities. There are those who would argue that Macdonald and Cartier advocated a strong central government. Well of course they did: They had no other choice. Before 1867 the parts existed but there was no whole. It was the primary task of the fathers of confederation to create the whole and to defend it. At the same time Macdonald and the other fathers of confederation profited from the experience of the drafters of the United States constitution who had witnessed the breakdown of their original central government which had been given too few powers by the original articles of confederation.

Briefly, Mr. Chairman, Conservatives fight extremes wherever and whenever they exist. In the United Kingdom for example a Conservative administration defended strong central government in the last century. They defended it against privilege. Yet today a Conservative administration in England fights against the tendencies toward over-centralization, if you will, of the socialist state. In brief, Mr. Chairman, the Conservatives' respect for diffusion of powers dictates that we discourage any exaggeration toward centralizing tendencies.

When we say that our party was the party of confederation, this means much more; it has a much greater significance than the mere fact we were in power in 1867. The spirit of Macdonald and Cartier means much more than that, Mr. Chairman. It means you have two great languages and two great cultures forming the real glory and the real strength of Canada. Today the same spirit includes Canadians of many cultural and ethnic origins as we work together to build our country. This spirit of unity in diversity keynotes the fact that the melting pot theory is not applicable to the Canadian mosaic. We have

noticed, sir-and the Minister of Finance made reference to this-we have noticed that during the war years and the immediate postwar years we had strong centralized governments in Ottawa. I think it is generally recognized that today the pendulum is now swinging towards the provinces at a time when the national government has been directed by a series of minority administrations.

I repeat, and probably will repeat again in my remarks, that I believe we should always have a strong and activist central government, but it should be strong and act only within its constitutional responsibilities. The suggestions and proposals I make this afternoon are not based on a defence of the centralist position; they are not based on a defence of provincial rights. They merely recognize, Mr. Chairman, the facts of life in Canada in 1964. Disraeli criticized the Whigs for overcentralization while they divided sections of the country against one another. In Canada, sir, the same can be said of successive Liberal administrations which have encouraged excessive centralization based on a divide and rule approach. Mr. Lesage recognized this, and today in the province of Quebec the Liberal forces are splitting in two. Liberalism in Quebec has never said the same thing as it has said in the rest of Canada-

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LIB

Yvon Dupuis (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

Again?

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PC

William Heward Grafftey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

The Minister without Portfolio says, "Again". I will keep saying it again and again, and it is becoming quite apparent these are the facts of life.

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LIB

Yvon Dupuis (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

You are entirely wrong.

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PC

William Heward Grafftey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

Then why are you splitting in two in the province of Quebec? You cannot answer that. Liberal forces are splitting in two in the province of Quebec, Canadians in general, and Quebeckers in particular are realizing it is bad for our country and for the province simultaneously to have Liberal governments in Ottawa and Quebec.

Since the present government has come to power in Ottawa Canadians have become appalled at its record in the field of federal-provincial relations. I have no reason to take any pleasure from this fact because this government, I regret, has unnecessarily hurt national unity at a time when all Canadians are preparing to celebrate their centenary. Conservatives believe that because a man is intensely loyal to his family and church there is no reason to hold that his love of country

is diminished. In the province of Quebec our loyalty to provincial ways and customs and to the French fact in no way lessens our true spirit of Canadianism. That Quebeckers love their province does not diminish their love for Canada and the Canadian family. Quebec has always looked upon confederation as a pact under which the provinces have their rights-something which the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues do not seem to realize. If Liberal sectionalism told- and tells-the rest of Canada that this is an extreme type of autonomy which means no co-operation with Ottawa and the other provinces, so much the worse; the story of Cartier, Macdonald and Diefenbaker is a different story.

The Minister without Portfolio, again speaking from his seat, jests. I know all about his smear campaign-

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LIB

Yvon Dupuis (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. Dupuis:

I am not listening to you. I am reading my paper; that is all.

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PC

William Heward Grafftey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graffiey:

I know the hon. gentleman reads many papers in this house. No one did more to smear our leader in the province of Quebec. But let me quote from two great men who understood Conservative principles-Salisbury and Burke. In my view these general observations illustrate the universality of Conservative principles even in Canada at the present time. The following is an excerpt from a speech by Lord Salisbury on Conservative policy at Newport on Monday, October 7, 1885. It illustrates the persistence of Conservative advocacy of a more equitable balance of initiative and authority between central and local governments.

He said:

Now bear it mind what true reform in local government means. It does not only mean-what I quite admit-that the local authorities should be popularly elected: but it means that, when you have got at what you want, when you have provided the proper constitution of local authority, you must provide that the local authority has sufficient powers, and that it gets those powers by diminishing the excessive and exaggerated powers which have been heaped on the central authorities in London.

Now let me quote, pertinently I believe, from a speech by Edmund Burke, because it illustrates the traditional Conservative attitude toward the morbid concentration of power in the modern state:

It is boasted that the geometrical policy has been adopted, that all local ideas should be sunk, and that the people should be no longer Gascons, Picards, Bretons, Normans; but Frenchmen, with one country, one heart, and one assembly. But instead of being all Frenchmen, the greater likelihood is that the inhabitants of that region will

Federal-Provincial Relations shortly have no country. No man ever was attached by a sense of pride, partiality, or real affection to a description of square measurements. He never will glory in belonging to the chequer number 71, or to any other badge-ticket. We begin our public affections in our families. No cold relation is a zealous citizen. We pass on to our neighbourhoods, and our habitual provincial connections. These are inns and resting-places. Such divisions of our country as have been formed by habit, and not by a sudden jerk of authority, were so many images of the great country in which the heart found something which it could fill. The love of the whole is not extinguished by this subordinate partiality. Perhaps it is a sort of elemental training to those higher and more large regards by which alone men come to be affected, as with their own concern, in the prosperity of a kingdom. To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love of our country, and of mankind.

Sir, I feel these citations are very pertinent to my general opening remarks. Let me close this portion of my observations by saying that Conservative principle with its emphasis on local self agency and its attitude towards the provinces has a most valuable and distinctive contribution to make to the contemporary Canadian scene.

At this point, under the second heading of my remarks, I should like to emphasize a few basic problems in the field of federal-provincial relations. It is my opinion that a great disservice is done when the ordinary fiscal problems connected with federal-provincial relations are confused with the general question of bilingualism and biculturalism. I fully realize that many of the legitimate aspirations of my province are obviously linked with economic considerations. But currently too many people both inside and outside Quebec are confusing the normal demands for the tax dollar with the question of English-French relations. The results are harmful.

I believe there are two main factors militating against a solution to the question of satisfactory federal-provincial fiscal arrangements at the present time. The first, as I said, in my general remarks, is the tendency of the present Liberal administration toward increasing centralization at a time when decentralization is a "must". The second is the lack of consultation with the provinces and the woeful inadequacy of permanent consultative machinery in relation to the provinces. As to the first factor, we should not really be surprised by the current push toward overcentralization in Ottawa today. We in Canada are blessed with a fine civil service

Federal-Provincial Relations but the Prime Minister, a former senior civil servant himself, surrounded by the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, the Minister of Justice and others, all former senior bureaucrats is, consciously or subconsciously, taking a centralist position which in my view is simply out of step with the times today.

I repeat, we must have a strong central government, but it must act within its constitutional responsibilities. The present government, however, is neither active nor strong. The Prime Minister rightfully gained a reputation as a wise negotiator. But now he is Prime Minister and he must lead. If he continues to negotiate, and if as well he continues to retain this slavish attachment to outmoded centralist doctrine, the resulting damage to national unity will be incalculable. No real agreement with the provinces on tax and financial matters will ever be attained in these circumstances.

The second factor aggravating the present situation relates to the woeful inadequacy of the permanent consultative machinery dealing with problems arising between Ottawa and the provinces, and the refusal of the present government to consult with the provinces on a genuine basis in the true spirit of co-operative federalism. This government has consulted only under pressure, often too late and, unfortunately for the country only when the damage has been done. The result has been an inability to implement the major part of its domestic program.

For example, the Prime Minister says he has already created a secretariat for federal-provincial relations. But when I made specific inquiries I found the only people in the office are a part time employee-the director-and an assistant. The part time director is also an assistant secretary to the cabinet. So this in fact is merely a sham. After this procedure was set up the Minister of Justice had the effrontery to go into Montreal and before the Canadian club say that this government had set up a federal-provincial secretariat in the Prime Minister's office. This is not the kind of secretariat I am thinking of; I am thinking of a federal-provincial secretariat based on the ARDA approach and based on the national resources approach which was implemented by the previous administration under the direction of the now right hon. Leader of the Opposition. What the Prime Minister has created in this regard and what he seems to intend to do is simply not enough.

Unless permanent consultative machinery is immediately improved, let me cite just two examples of things that could happen. The President of the Privy Council, to whom the Prime Minister intends to delegate the work of planning priorities, will virtually be unable to do his job without close liaison with the provinces. Another result would be the central government's inability to exercise proper control and direction over monetary policy. For example, what is going to happen when the province of Quebec has such great control over a funded pension plan? Consultation must be a permanent thing; the machinery for consultation must be permanent. Consultation with the provinces must be improved immediately. I know that I seem repetitive on this subject, Mr. Chairman, and my friends have often asked when I am going to stop whipping a dead horse; but I am going to speak and speak on this subject until the administration opposite takes at least partial cognizance of my suggestions.

At this point I should like to conclude my remarks by making some specific suggestions and proposals. Before further tax agreements can really be concluded with the provinces the constitution must be modernized; we must have a fresh look at sections 91 and 92 of the British North America Act and the question of overlapping jurisdictions. We in the opposition are calling for a conference of federal-provincial leaders. Let us put first things first. Before satisfactory agreement on tax matters can be reached, let the federal and provincial leaders meet in order to redefine federal and provincial constitutional powers and, amongst other things, as the right hon. Leader of the Opposition said, seek proper constitutional amendment procedures here in Canada. Let it not be a meeting just for a few days. Much preparation-and other hon. members have made reference to this fact-will be necessary. The meeting itself might take many days; but I for one feel sure that the results will be more than worth while.

We might find that apart from the equalization formula and related principles many will agree that generally speaking the government that spends the tax dollar should raise it. If a provincial government, for example, does not participate in a federally sponsored plan, is it not preferable for the provincial government in question to recapture compensatory taxation powers rather than receive an annual, lump sum payment from the federal treasury? I just throw this out as a suggestion, Mr. Chairman.

Certainly the federal government has its responsibilities for maintaining and encouraging minimum standards in the economic and social fields. In Quebec, for example, wage levels and farmers' incomes are far below national standards. Poverty in our cities in Quebec is far greater than the national average. These conditions must be remedied by strong provincial and federal governments acting within their constitutional responsibilities. But this must be done consequent upon the conference to which I have referred being called immediately. While the Ottawa and the Quebec governments wrangle, the economic position of our poor in the cities and in the countryside, of our farmers and workers in the province of Quebec, does not improve one little bit. Much of the contemporary problem-I will not say all of it-in my province today is of an economic nature.

The vast majority of the people in my province know that we shall work out these problems within the framework of our confederation. Terrorists and ultra-separatists spurred on by alien forces have already taken a toll. I do not say this in a sensationalist way, but one might truly believe that the classical Leninist doctrine approach has been employed to create national disunity. I say these things not in the spirit of Mc-Carthyism.

Once there is agreement, after such a meeting, on the constitution as suggested by the right hon. Leader of the Opposition, and the meeting redefines the powers of and modernizes the constitution, federal-provincial tax problems and financial arrangements will be more easily arrived at. Then, and only then, an active central government will be able to take a strong federal position within the constitution. There will be no separation; there will be no opting out of confederation, just as a century ago there was no opting out of the United States union. But let us profit from many of the unhappy aspects of their experience. I repeat, Mr. Chairman, future tax and financial arrangements should only be concluded after such a federal-provincial constitutional conference is called. And it must be called immediately because from what the Minister of Finance said a few minutes ago, I am very much afraid that the present government, in going into these taxation conferences in the near future, are once again about to put the cart before the horse, which is something they seem to have a knack of doing-a penchant for doing, if you will, in federal-provincial problems.

Federal-Provincial Relations

My second suggestion relates to the immediate necessity for improving permanent consultative machinery; a real secretariat for federal-provincial affairs, based on the modern resources approach and the ARDA approach commenced by the last administration which I supported in this house, must be established. This type of permanent secretariat for federal-provincial affairs should be established on the prime minister's and premier's level.

It is my hope that these observations and proposals will be of some use at a time when all Canadians of good will are searching for avenues of understanding and moderation. Unity in diversity should be the keynote of this approach, at a time when, as 1 said before, the voices of extremism from all sides have long since received far more than their share of attention. Hard work and the willingness to listen and understand will be required. Yet realistic optimism dictates that good sense will prevail. I for one know that 1967 will be a great and happy celebration for Canada and all Canadians.

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PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Victoria-Carleton):

Mr. Chairman, I do not rise to oppose the resolution as presented by the Minister of Finance. I rise for the purpose of making some observations in connection with it. We have been reminded by the minister in his opening remarks in presenting the resolution to us that we should not be misled by the simple form of the resolution into thinking that it is not complicated and is not complex.

So with that in mind I approach the general substance of the resolution itself, and I say immediately that my experience and sympathy throughout my political life has been almost entirely-at least up to 1960 entirely-from the viewpoint of the provinces rather than the central government.

We now find that this subject which is before us is of tremendous importance. Federal-provincial relations in a country such as ours are always important; today I think they are more than ordinarily important. This has been brought about for a variety of reasons. We have heard the reasons referred to this afternoon in a good many most eloquent speeches. I listened with great interest and some benefit to the speech of my hon. friend and near neighbour, the hon. member for Pontiac-Temiscamingue. I also listened to the hon. member for Yukon advancing the general needs of and urge for consideration which he felt for that part of Canada which he represents. We have just listened to our great

Federal-Provincial Relations friend, the young member for Brome-Missis-quoi, who gave the house in my opinion a very fine illustration of his intense conviction for the need for co-operative action in order that this great and dear country of ours shall continue to grow, flourish and prosper as an entity.

Consequently I find myself unable to talk of co-operative federalism. To me it is quite a difficult phrase to define. I might go to the dictionary but I would still find it difficult to define. I think there exists the general opinion, both inside and outside the chamber, in the hearts and minds of most Canadians that this is our country. It is Canada, and it is a Canada which is a whole rather than a series of parts. It is with that in mind that I confess I find myself changing my viewpoint to a certain extent; not that I do not want or think it necessary to advocate any further the needs of my native province, because I do. I would be derelict in my duty if I did not speak on behalf of my province and on behalf of the Atlantic provinces generally, because that was my training and that is my urge. But I do think we cannot get away from the general idea that we as Canadians must recognize the fact that we must view our country as a whole; that in discussing federal-provincial relations we shall consider nothing which should be done so far as the provinces are concerned at the expense of a strong central government.

I want to refer in general terms to some of the events in which I have been interested and of which I certainly have some knowledge with regard to dominion-provincial relations. During the period 1944 to 1952, as a member of the opposition in a provincial house I listened many times to the premier of the province making reports to the legislature concerning his success in conducting negotiations on behalf of the province, as one of a group attending a dominion-provincial conference. I remember many times his saying that the announced proposition was as good a proposition as was possible to make in light of the responsibilities of the federal administration at the time. We criticized as much as we could and to the extent that our intelligence and general knowledge permitted us. But generally speaking I was impressed by those words-that the province got as good a deal as it felt was justified in the light of the responsibilities of Canada as a nation. That was the sort of thing I listened to during that period of time. Then after 1952 I had some connection with provincial conferences.

Then a day or two ago, last Thursday to be exact, I listened with great interest and admiration to the speech of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition. I thought it was one of the finest speeches which had ever been delivered in this house. Not only was it fine from the point of view of advancing his arguments with the maximum amount of impression and knowledge, but he also suggested the particular need of today for the government to take some leadership in sponsoring what might be considered a "fathers of continuing confederation conference", a sort of new fathers of confederation conference. I am sure that is what my hon. friend from Brome-Missisquoi had in mind a few moments ago-another fathers of confederation conference, but this time a fathers of continuing confederation conference.

In my opinion, it is just as important and so much easier to keep something going which is already going than it is to start something new. I was greatly impressed with the speech of my leader, and I feel that the government can well take his suggestions to heart, and I hope they will. I trust that from the seed which he planted, which seed has been watered by quite a few hon. members here this afternoon, will come something which will be of great benefit to our country as a continuing great nation.

May I call it six o'clock, Mr. Chairman, and continue my remarks at eight.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order. It is my duty to announce that the questions to be raised at 10.30 this evening are as follows:

The hon. member for Kootenay West, federal participation in developing Fraser river; the hon. member for Port Arthur, federal participation in mining developments, Timmins, Ontario; the hon. member for York-Scarborough, provision of limousine service to Toronto international airport.

It being six o'clock I do now leave the chair.

At six o'clock the committee took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The committee resumed at 8 p.m.


PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Victoria-Carleton):

Mr. Chairman, when the committee rose at six o'clock I was referring to the speech made by my right hon. leader and to the fact that

in it he had referred to a speech made by the premier of Newfoundland in June, 1955. He quoted some extracts from that speech, and it just so happens that I listened to Premier Smallwood when he was making it. I was encouraged then because I felt that the government of the day would pay more attention to Premier Smallwood than to me. I am not complaining; this is just a statement of fact.

I want to quote some of the words Premier Smallwood used on that occasion, as I think they are most important. He said:

Before we become second class citizens of Canada we will show the other maritime provinces how to get out of confederation.

This indicated that at that time the premier of Newfoundland felt very strongly about the deal the Atlantic provinces were getting from the government of the day. The Prime Minister was a member of that government and also the Secretary of State for External Affairs. I am not so sure whether my hon. friend the Minister of Transport also was a member.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

What was the year?

Topic:   DOMINION-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS PROVISION FOR REVISION OF FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS AND TAXATION PROVISIONS
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PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Vicloria-Carlelon):

1955.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Yes, I was a member of the government.

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PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Vicioria-Carleton):

So, the

Minister of Transport pleads guilty also.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

No, I don't plead guilty.

Topic:   DOMINION-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS PROVISION FOR REVISION OF FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS AND TAXATION PROVISIONS
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July 13, 1964