May 26, 1965

SC

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson

Social Credit

Mr. Olson:

All I wanted to do was to say that perhaps it would be better-

Topic:   PROVISION FOR CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES AND ALLOCATION OF TIME
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Five o'clock.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES AND ALLOCATION OF TIME
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

It being five o'clock the House will now proceed to the consideration of private Members' business as listed on today's order paper, namely Notices of Motions and Public Bills.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES AND ALLOCATION OF TIME
Permalink

WATER RESOURCES

FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION

LIB

David George Hahn

Liberal

Mr. D. G. Hahn (Broadview) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Government should give consideration to the advisability of helping industry finance the capital works necessary to minimize pollution of water and air caused by industrial wastes; this financial help to take the form of special depreciation allowances on equipment and installations provided for the above purpose.

He said: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this motion is to induce the Government to provide special depreciation allowances to industries for works they instal to control the problem of water pollution and air pollution. The budget brought down by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) a few weeks ago took that very action with respect to water pollution. The problem of air pollution is to be studied by the Council of Resource Ministers next year and, with the lead taken in this field and the precedent established in the case of water pollution, I am sure that when they have dealt with the problem of air pollution we will probably have recommendations leading to similar action. Because action has already been taken with respect to water pollution and is likely to be taken with respect to air pollution, I would respectfully request unanimous consent of the House to withdraw my motion.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fisher:

Mr. Speaker, I cannot agree with the hon. gentleman that the proposals put forward in the budget completely clear the matter, and for that reason I am not going to give unanimous consent without at least having the opportunity to point out

DEBATES May 26, 1965

where the budget proposals are inadequate in one or two particulars from the point of view of meeting the problem of the pulp and paper industry in Ontario, which is one of the main industries concerned with this particular problem.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

David George Hahn

Liberal

Mr. Hahn:

Mr. Speaker, not being a parliamentary expert I am not sure what the rules require. I have asked for unanimous consent to withdraw the motion. The hon. Member has indicated he would give consent if he could be allowed to make a few remarks in giving consent, and if it is within the rules of the House I have no objection to that procedure being followed.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Depuiy Speaker:

The hon. Member for Port Arthur.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the proposal of the pulp and paper industry to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) was really caused by the strong line that has been taken by the Ontario Water Resources Commission which has set deadlines for the pulp and paper industry and other industries by which time they must have the pollution caused by their operations in check, or punitive measures will be taken. The scale of this can be interpreted either grandly or narrowly. To my knowledge there are some 29 pulp and paper mills in Ontario in 27 different locations, I believe. The scope of the pollution they cause varies tremendously.

As a matter of fact, in the Prime Minister's constituency there is a mill at Espanola which has perhaps the most difficult problem of all. There is a mill at Dryden in the constituency of the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Benidickson) which is notorious throughout that whole region because of the fact that by its method of disposing of its waste it has in a sense ruined a couple of good fishing rivers and lakes and has been a blot, if you like, upon the whole region. I am talking about specific locations and these are good examples.

In my own riding, where there are four pulp and paper mills and a couple of others so close to my riding they might almost be said to be in it, the problem is different. For example, Marathon on the north shore of Lake Superior has a more serious problem in this regard than Kimberly-Clark at Terrace Bay. I understand that the Ontario Paper Mill at Welland has a particularly difficult problem if it is going to clear up this whole matter.

May 26, 1965

There is another problem involved which has not been straightened out at all and it comes into play when you go beyond the question of the mechanical clearing up of pollution. Who bears the responsibility for the continuing clean-up? I can give an example of this. Suppose at Espanola the pollution is blocked by sewage means, by various pits, pools, screening and so on. What about the consequences that have spread far beyond the actual mill site? Who is responsible for these, and is it possible that some tax concessions or depreciation allowances on the part of the Federal Government should be brought into play?

It is my understanding that the general attitude taken by the Department of Finance is that they will give so much in terms of depreciation allowances, but no more. They will not go so far as to give the kind of allowance that is given in the case of research expenditures. It is my understanding that any company that spends so much money on research gets 150 per cent in terms of a depreciation allowance for that expenditure. In other words, there is built into this kind of expenditure a really large incentive.

The main reason I quarrel with the hon. Member's interpretation of what has been done is that this particular aspect has not been dealt with. It is my understanding, an understanding gathered from personal representations I have made to the Minister, that this has not been met by the Minister of Finance. He and his department have not been prepared to go that far. Yet it is important that it should be considered for this reason. There are no rules you can pull out for any particular pulp and paper mill and say that if they do this it will end pollution. There is no absolute way that a pulp and paper min superintendent can say that they will spend so much and instal so much equipment and this will abolish the pollution. To quite an extent the whole field is still very experimental.

It is quite possible that the mill at Espanola might spend $11- million on various pollution treatments and still not be successful. It might still be under the gun. In other words, there is in prospect the possibility that much of this expenditure might not be effective. We are not absolutely sure just what are the best engineering and technical steps to take in order to clear up pollution.

There is another point involved. You really cannot generalize from one pulp and paper mill to another. After all, a mill located on a body of water the size of Lake Superior

Financial Aid to Minimize Pollution has a greater tolerance in what it can release into the adjoining waters than a mill situated on a smaller lake or river such as the mill at Espanola or the Abitibi mill at Sault Ste. Marie.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

I am concentrating particularly on the pulp and paper industry, but it seems to me it is the one that is most important in the initial stages in Ontario and other parts of the country as we move toward clearing up pollution. In the pulp and paper industry we are getting, particularly in the boreal forest area in Quebec, Ontario and Northern Manitoba, a development on the logging side that is the most promising thing we have ever had in connection with our streams. I refer to the transition that is happening very rapidly, the disappearing tradition of having your wood moved to the mill by water. As a consequence, we are not going to have the problem of sinkage and of barkage that has been so fatal in many of our streams, particularly in Quebec, with regard to trout fishing. This is one thing that is being cleared up by the transition to mechanical logging and the integration of logging operations to the necessity for the industry cutting down its inventory, and having its inventory tied in much more closely to the daily, weekly or quarterly operation plan.

We are getting an advance on the woods stream side from a point of view of the raw material going into the mill, but in so far as the mill problems are concerned there is no pattern from mill to mill; there is no pattern in terms of location, of the amount of pollution that the area or the waters can absorb. It is impossible to be absolute about what expenditures will achieve in the way of blocking off pollution. I want to see the ukase of the Ontario Water Resources Commission respected. I want to see it achieve its objective. I am very much aware also of the fact that we have an industry that is healthy, but there is a certain delicacy in the balance, particularly with some mills that might be called marginal. All of us who have industries relating to pulp and paper, as I know you have, Mr. Speaker, are aware of some of the problems that are involved, particularly because of the price of newsprint and other paper products for producers on the West Coast. It is a matter of common knowledge that there are several mills and locations, communities, in Ontario and one or two in Quebec in which the future, in terms of expansion or continuation, because of rap-

May 26, 1965

Financial Aid to Minimize Pollution idly rising wage costs and other factors, is not really so good.

It is possible if that kind of mill, that kind of operation, is presented with extremely large anti-pollution expenses, that could tip the scales toward pulling the whole operation down or cancelling it out. It is for that reason I think the Department of Finance, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon), should go further and offer this special kind of depreciation so that the expenditures are classed as experimental research, at least in part. I think this would be a move of great encouragement to the pulp and paper industry. I just could not allow this particular motion to go through from the point of view that the whole thing has been solved by what has been given in the budget.

I was not aware we were proceeding with this motion. I was informed we were going to proceed with the motion in the name of the hon. Member for Carleton (Mr. Francis), so I could not get my material over here. However, I hope the House will accept my word that I have material from the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association; I have material from Kimberly-Clark, from several of the Abitibi mills and from a couple of other pulp and paper companies, which indicate that, delighted as they are with the move that was made in the Budget announcement, they still feel that this other aspect should have been considered. So far as they are concerned, they are still open to it, they are still making representations. Certainly I, as one of the Members from a region affected by this problem, consider it is still open. It was for this reason I felt I should make these remarks.

There is one last point I wanted to touch upon before I sit down. There are many Members here, certainly some of them in the House, from areas in which pulp and paper is not a major industrial factor. They may be saying, is this not some kind of special consideration for particular industry in a particular location? Is this not going against the grain with relation to what tax incentives should try to do, that is have a general rather than a specific effect? I can grant the merit of that argument. I know I have always felt when I have been sitting here listening to special pleas for special interests that do not relate to my own part of the country, that this may be wrong. Sometimes when these special pleas are made, as they have been in the past, for such things as acreage payments, you sometimes feel one particular part of the country is getting an advantage

through perhaps stronger lobbying or more political pressure whatever the case may be. In this particular case the hon. Member who sponsored the motion recognizes that we are dealing with a conception that is an ideal; we have an ideal of clean air and good pure water in this country. It is an ideal that we, in our hurry and the haphazard way we have gone about developing things in the past generation, have tended to destroy. Remedial measures are very much necessary, but I do not feel you can lay responsibility on any specific industry or any specific location. It seems to me that all of us and our forefathers bear a responsibility for the way pollution has come into being in so many parts of the country.

It is because the Ontario Water Resources Commission, in a sense, has isolated the problem and has come up, through the powers given to it by the Provincial Government, with the ability to dictate and direct remedial measures that this kind of resolution has been brought forward. It is not just pollution from pulp and paper mills. You get pollution from so many different kinds of organizations and from municipalities themselves. It seems to me that the Department of Finance and those agencies in the Government that are interested in research-I think particularly of the National Research Council, the Water Resources Branch in the Northern Affairs Department, the Department of National Health and Welfare and its whole attitude toward air pollution and its merging and mixing with the problem of air pollution- should come up with a policy.

I think hon. Members know that the resource ministers are preparing to deal with this, not in a policy way but in a fact-finding way. We are having symposiums this year and next year, and there is going to be a very large conference in October, 1966, that will touch on this problem. With this kind of situation ahead of us, we need some policy interests; we need the continuing support of people like the hon. Member for Broadview (Mr. Hahn) and the hon. Member for York-Humber (Mr. Cowan), who also has views in this regard. We need them to keep prodding the Government inside and externally, too, to come up with something more imaginative than we have. I suggest that the hon. Member's motion should be voted upon and approved by this House. I am somewhat disappointed that he would feel, although perhaps it is natural in a way that a Government Member likes to glory in the things a Govern-

May 26, 1365

ment does, that what has been done is something very worth while. It is; but much more needs to be done.

[DOT] (5:20 p.m.)

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. The hon.

Member has already spoken and taken part in the debate.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

David George Hahn

Liberal

Mr. Hahn:

If I could just ask for a ruling, Mr. Speaker. I originally proposed that the motion be withdrawn, and agreed that the hon. Member for Port Arthur (Mr. Fisher) might say a few words before it was withdrawn. However, he has raised some questions which I feel warrant an answer. Had I known he was going into the subject in the depth he did, I would have spoken more than I did.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I am afraid the hon. Member took a chance, and it did not work out the way he thought it would.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Bronson Cowan

Liberal

Mr. Ralph Cowan (York-Humber):

Mr. Speaker, I am in favour of the withdrawal of the notice of motion as suggested by the hon. Member for Broadview (Mr. Hahn), but I am afraid I cannot overlook the opportunity to welcome the hon. Member for Port Arthur (Mr. Fisher) to the ranks of those of us who defend private enterprise, he having argued that taxpayers should aid the private enterprise operators in the pulp and paper industry to eliminate the pollution of air and water. I had not intended to speak on the motion this afternoon, but when I found the subject was being opened up, despite the hon. Member for Broadview's desire to withdraw it, I decided I would like to make references to a point or two.

The air and water of this country belong to the people of the nation, and not to private individuals or private companies. They belong to the people as a whole. It strikes me as peculiar that we should be thinking of asking the taxpayers of Canada to help finance the correction of polluting agents that industry is using in the manufacture of its products.

In the Province of Ontario, particularly in the major municipalities, we have continuous inspections going on all the time against air pollution caused by too much smoke. This applies not only to industry but to railway steam engines and other engines putting out a lot of smoke into the air. Does this motion mean that the taxpayers should be expected to finance the conversion of industry in the control of a smoke nuisance which, after all,

Financial Aid to Minimize Pollution is pollution of the air? Why should not these industries be expected to govern their actions in some manner so that they are not polluting the heritage of the people of pure water and air? There are laws against what industries can dump on the streets, in order to keep the streets clean. Why should the taxpayers of the country be expected to aid in clearing up the pollution that private industry is creating?

The fact that many of these mills are in unorganized territories have given them all almost a carte blanche in their own minds to pollute the water and the air of those territories. I am thinking of some pulp and paper companies in Northern Ontario in the midst of woods on the sides of swift flowing streams, in unorganized municipalities, and they are of the opinion that no law of God or man applies to them. Some of them are trying to work seven days a week, and that is why I say they think the laws of God should not apply to them.

I believe the Government-and when I say Government I mean federal, provincial and municipal-should demand that private industry conduct its operations in such a way that they do not pollute the heritage of the people, pure air and pure water. I am not in 100 per cent agreement with the idea of taxpayers giving money to help a poor, hard-driven industry to correct the situation it is creating.

The hon. Member for Port Arthur has referred to the plant at Espanola. I taught school in 1922 in the town of Massey, Ontario, where the Sauble joins the Spanish River. I am familiar with the Spanish River back 150 miles from its mouth, and I know it was polluted originally by lumber mills letting dead head logs flow down it, and throwing bark into the stream.

The same thing has been done in the past to the Ottawa River by the great lumber barons of this area. This discussion does not apply just to pulp and paper mills. Lumber mills were allowed to pollute the water in the first place, and I do not believe that the taxpayers should be asked or expected to help finance the correction of an original mistake made by the manufacturers themselves.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. Before the debate continues perhaps I may say I might have asked the House a moment ago if there was unanimous agreement to the suggestion that the hon. Member for Broadview (Mr. Hahn) might take part in the debate now.

May 26, 1965

Financial Aid to Minimize Pollution If there is unanimous agreement, of course the House is master of its own rules. Otherwise the hon. Member must be ruled as having already spoken and taken part in the debate. Is there unanimous agreement?

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, I have got to leave. I will only be five minutes, if the hon. Member will allow me to exercise the prerogatives of the House to participate at this time.

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
PC

David James Walker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walker:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is it agreed that when the hon. Member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) resumes his seat the hon. Member for Broadview (Mr. Hahn) has the consent of the House to speak?

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is this agreed?

Topic:   WATER RESOURCES
Subtopic:   FINANCING OF CAPITAL WORKS TO MINIMIZE POLLUTION
Permalink

May 26, 1965