February 25, 1966

NORTHERN AFFAIRS

INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION

LIB

Arthur Laing (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Arthur Laing (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources):

Mr. Speaker,

I wish to announce that the government has approved the export from Pine Point in the Northwest Territories of additional quantities of high grade lead-zinc ore and zinc concentrates during the next two and three year periods. The application by Pine Point Mines Limited reflects a firm market position in these metals over this time period. We have approved the export of 90,000 tons per year of zinc metal contained in concentrates for a period of three years and 60,000 tons per year of high grade direct shipping ore.

These shipments will go to smelters in the United States. In addition, an earlier authority by which the government approved the export of 50,000 tons per year of elemental lead in concentrates to Japan for a period of ten years has been modified to allow the diversion of up to 15,000 tons of this amount to other markets during the next four years.

The result of these permits will be a very large increase in lead and zinc production in the immediate future. Not only will this produce very appreciable foreign exchange for Canada; it will also increase the volume of ore and concentrates moved by the Great Slave Lake Railway to more than double that anticipated before the mine went into production. It will be recalled that the government of Canada advanced the capital to build this railway. It is most encouraging to see this facility utilized to this extent.

When consideration was given to the applications for export, equal attention was given to the feasibility of increasing smelting facilities within Canada and particularly in the Northwest Territories. It is government policy to encourage processing of raw materials in Canada. On the basis of available information the case for establishing a smelter at Pine Point cannot be determined with certainty. There does seem to be a reasonable possibility that given adequate reserves and a continuation of present firm markets, such a

project might be realistic. The government is therefore engaging experienced consultants to undertake studies to determine the feasibility of the immediate construction of a smelter at Pine Point.

I am pleased to report that the mining company, Pine Point Mines Limited, and its parent organization, Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Limited, have given unqualified support to this approach and have agreed to co-operate by making available to the government's independent consultants, on a confidential basis, all information useful in such a study. Pyramid Mining Company Limited, which has recently announced development of lead-zinc ore reserves in the same region, and several other companies now exploring the area have also indicated their willingness to co-operate in the same way.

I shall not predict that a smelter can or will be built in the Pine Point area, but because of the tremendous significance such a development could have for the region, I wish to assure the house that the government intends to continue a very active role in this matter.

To carry out the study of the economic feasibility of a smelter at Pine Point, the government has decided to retain the internationally known firm of Canadian Bechtel Limited.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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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, I want to say to the minister that I very much appreciate the fact that I was made aware in advance of the announcement to be made by him.

That is a course that should be followed by ministers and that lends itself to more complete and intelligent comment.

I could not be happier over what has taken place with respect to the Pine Point Railway. You will recall, sir, that when we brought about the building of this railway, the northern vision was ridiculed. Indeed, this railway was described in words to the effect that what could happen might well be that there would be a couple of streaks of rust leading into northern areas.

[DOT] (11:10 a.m.)

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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?

An hon. Member:

The Minister of Transport.

1776 COMMONS DEBATES February 25, 1966

Lead and Zinc Exports

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am not going to designate any of the hon. gentlemen opposite because I do not want them to blush. They are now doing that which we said should be done.

I am very pleased that our initiative received honourable mention from the minister when he said the government of Canada provided the available capital. There is just one omission in that statement; it was the government of Canada of another day. I also think the proposal that an investigation be made to determine whether a smelter should be built is a good step forward. I suggest to the minister that this company might also be authorized to look into the tremendous potentialities for further expansion, and that a smelter in the Yukon would be but another step along that course toward northern development to which we gave our hopes and expectations and also action when we were in office.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

am sure all hon. members will be pleased with the minister's announcement to the effect that there is to be a considerable increase in the export of ores and concentrates from Pine Point in the Northwest Territories.

This, as the minister has said, will help to increase Canada's foreign exchange and we shall benefit to some extent as a result. However, I think the minister recognizes-and I hope the government recognizes-that the exporting of raw material is not going to make this country rich in the long run. In the extraction industries the amount of employment per unit of invested capital is relatively low. No country ever became rich by exporting its natural resources in their raw state. Employment and wealth come in the long run from the secondary and tertiary stages of development and manufacture.

I am sure the minister is to be congratulated when he says the government is looking into the feasibility of a smelter at Pine Point. I am glad to know that studies are to be made to determine the economic feasibility of this project. However, I would urge that the government give some thought to who will direct and operate the smelter. It seems to me this is an excellent opportunity for the Canada Development Corporation to undertake this project or to undertake it in partnership with a company which has the technical know-how.

Here Canada has an excellent opportunity to develop resources which belong to the crown in such a way that the Canadian people will reap the benefit not only from extracting the raw materials but from processing them here in Canada. I think it would be a great pity if the entire process of extraction and processing were turned over to private companies, particularly if they were private companies located outside Canada. I hope the government will take advantage of this excellent opportunity to develop Canadian resources by Canadians for the benefit of Canadians.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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RA

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Chapleau):

Mr. Speaker, we are indeed very pleased to see that a recently built railroad will be used in the development of our natural resources.

However, we object to this railroad being used precisely to ship our natural resources to other countries.

I therefore urge the minister and the government to consider the idea of a smelter being established as soon as possible, so that we can process our natural resources at home and give employment to our own workers.

We are, I repeat, very pleased with this development concerning our natural resources, but we would like them to be processed here first.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, we too join in expressing our satisfaction at this announcement, particularly as it relates to the possible refining within Canada of the ores that form part of our natural resource wealth. It is not possible to comment on the announcement in any detail as I did not receive notice of it. I have just checked with my office, and I believe I did not have prior notice, as did the others.

However, I would make one comment to the minister with respect to our mineral resource wealth in northern Canada. I am speaking of the vast area adjacent to Pine Point which we know as Wood Buffalo national park, an area which has been designated as a national park but which has nothing to do with park purposes. We would hope the minister would also release this area for the development of its natural resources, some of which are very vital and important to our economy.

Again we express satisfaction that this step is being taken, and we hope it is just a beginning in the development of our northern natural resources.

February 25, 1966

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   INCREASED EXPORTS OF LEAD AND ZINC-STUDY OF SMELTER CONSTRUCTION
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REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Miichell Sharp (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I ask leave of the house to table copies of order in council P.C 1966-347 dated February 24, relating to final payments by the Canadian Wheat Board with respect to the crop year 1964-65, and a copy of the press release being made by the wheat board today.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Has the minister leave to table the documents to which he has referred?

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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PC

Gordon Drummond Clancy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clancy:

Read them.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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PC

Warner Herbert Jorgenson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jorgenson:

He is afraid to read them in the house.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

There seems to be some difficulty about the minister having obtained permission to table these documents. Suggestions are being made that there is not perhaps unanimous consent. Is it agreed that these documents be tabled?

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Alvin Hamilton (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, my first words must be ones of consternation that the minister has chosen this course-

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. It seems to me we have a slight difficulty at this point. There is no statement made by the minister under the terms of standing order 15(2a), and I wonder whether this would allow representatives or spokesmen for other parties in opposition to make statements at this time.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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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, if I may speak to that. Though strictly speaking I agree with the question you have raised, surely the result of following this through would be that if the government did not want anything discussed it would simply file a document containing all the information that the minister otherwise would have given, and the opposition would then be denied the opportunity of making any observations. I suggest that having followed the course of tabling these documents there should be available to the opposition the right to comment.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO TABLE ORDER IN COUNCIL AND PRESS RELEASE
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February 25, 1966