October 24, 1967

EXPO '67 STATEMENT ON FEDERAL APPROACH TO WINDING UP OF EXHIBITION

LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Robert Winters (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, in reply to a question last week I understood that today I would make a statement on the federal government's approach to the winding up of Expo '67, which has proved to be the greatest world exhibition ever held.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

It has been at the same time a great Canadian achievement and a good, sound investment for Canada.

In its approach to the winding up of Expo '67 the federal government has premised its consideration on two major legal obligations by which it is bound. The first of these obligations is in article 3 of the protocol covering world exhibitions held under the auspices of the bureau of international exhibitions. Article 3 reads:

The duration of international exhibitions shall not exceed six months. This period is fixed from the time when the registration of the exhibition takes place, and it may therefore not be prolonged by the bureau except in cases of force majeure resulting from events which occur in the course of preparation for the exhibition, such as fires, floods, social disorders, which have the effect of making it impossible either for the exhibition to open on the date officially fixed or to function normally in the time assigned to its duration. Consideration of a request for prolongation, presented by the country organizing the exhibition is left to the bureau.

The government of Canada, which is a party to this protocol, is thus the government responsible for seeing that the conclusion of Expo, as such, is in full compliance with its provisions.

The second obligation relating to winding up is contained in the act to establish the Canadian World Exhibition Corporation. It is by this act that parliament authorized the government to participate in Expo and section 19(2) of the act, dealing with the terms and conditions of winding up, is as follows:

The corporation shall wind up its affairs and dispose of its assets and liabilities within such time

after the closing of the exhibition and in such manner and subject to such conditions as the governor in council, with the concurrence of the lieutenant governor in council may prescribe.

Pursuant to this provision it has been agreed with the government of the province of Quebec that the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition as such will be wound up at as early a date as is practicable after October 29, 1967.

There are several other factors which have been of major significance in the federal government's approach to winding up. Foremost among these is that the board and management of Expo will use their best endeavours to obtain the maximum realization on salvage and disposal of assets. Provision has been made for this in the master plan.

Another major point governing our attitude is that in the early planning stages of Expo '67 it was agreed among the three governments that the operation of the La Ronde amusement area would be continued for two years after the expiration of Expo, and that this continuation would be on the same financial basis as the participation in Expo itself; that is, in the ratio of 50 per cent federal government, 37J per cent Quebec government and 12J per cent city of Montreal. In addition the city of Montreal undertook to purchase these assets at the end of the two year period at a price to be agreed upon. The federal government stands ready to participate in the continued operation of La Ronde on this basis.

A number of the participating nations have offered their pavilions as gifts. The federal government does not intend to avail itself of any of these offers but will not oppose their being donated to the city of Montreal or any other responsible donees, provided such gifts do not involve the federal government in any financial obligations.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m)

In accordance with the practice of many other nations, as mentioned, the Canadian government will offer the Canadian pavilion to the city of Montreal after its contents have been disposed of to the best advantage. Many of the exhibits and much of the equipment in this pavilion are on loan and must be returned by an agreed date. If the city does

October 24, 1967

Federal Approach to Winding up of Expo not wish to accept the building it will be demolished in accordance with the terms of the contract under which it was erected.

In our discussions to date we have advanced certain proposals which are still under consideration. Cite du Havre, which it will be recalled is the pier area adjacent to Montreal harbour, is now almost entirely federal government property. Accordingly the federal government will offer to purchase from the other parties their interest in the remaining assets situated on Cite du Havre after those structures which are of a temporary nature have been disposed of by Expo '67. In this area are Habitat 67, the administration pavilion, the autostad and other structures. The federal government is preparing a plan for the operation and development of this area.

By the same token the federal government will offer to the city of Montreal and/or the province of Quebec its interest in the assets on the Expo site owned by the city, on financial terms to be negotiated. Specifically this arrangement would apply to lie Notre-Dame and lie Ste-Helene, exclusive of the La Ronde amusement area.

The government of Canada has offered to grant to the city of Montreal a deferment of two years in repaying its share of the net deficit of Expo; that is, 12J per cent of the total net indebtedness. This will assist the city to carry out any plans it might have for the site. Discussions are continuing with the government of Quebec and the city of Montreal toward the working out of details in accordance with the foregoing principles.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Georges Valade (Sainie-Marie):

Mr. Speaker, Expo '67 will prove to be, among many other celebrations, the outstanding event of the centennial of the Canadian confederation. That tremendous undertaking, unequalled in the whole world, has given Canada an international and world stature.

People all over the world have become aware of the important role that our country can play, not as a military power ambitious to extend its supremacy over other continents, but as a peaceable nation seeking to promote among mankind a spirit of human solidarity based on Christianity. That is why it would be unfortunate if nothing remained of that achievement which has practically become the philosopher's stone of a human character in the twentieth century.

We must render unto Ceasars what is Cea-sar's, Mr. Speaker. It would be unseemly on this occasion not to pay tribute to all those who have contributed in one way or another to this unprecedented achievement. Politics aside, we must recognize that the Conservative government had the right vision when as early as 1961, they undertook representations before the Bureau of International Exhibitions in Paris so that Expo planned for 1967 would be held in Canada.

The late Senator Marc Drouin was one of the first and most ardent advocates of this undertaking. Through the spontaneous cooperation of the authorities in Quebec, in the city of Montreal, of businessmen, public men and the population as a whole, Expo '67 met with phenomenal success.

I think it is appropriate, Mr. Speaker, that the parliament of Canada express today their gratitude to the millions of foreign visitors who came to see us during Expo '67.

Mr. Speaker, in his statement, the minister gave a general outline of views we were acquainted with or that could be surmised, but I am somewhat surprised that the government have not taken this opportunity to bring down some suggestions as to the possible use of such constructions, buildings, of this incomparable centre of Expo.

Many possibilities have been suggested by all kinds of corporations, public bodies, intermediate bodies, as to the use that might be made of this site and of existing pavilions.

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the minister has not mentioned any possibility except a few vague suggestions. For instance, on page 3 of his statement, the minister says that the government intends to share in maintening the operation of La Ronde, but he does not say how the government intends to deal with this question. Would it be in co-operation with the city of Montreal, with the provincial governments? How does the present government intend to help maintain this site? We do not know. And yet, the minister had a great opportunity to make known the views of the government in this matter.

The minister also says on page 4 of his statement that the federal government is preparing a plan of operation and development for Habitat 67, for the administration pavilion, for the Autostade, and for other buildings.

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, many people are concerned over his vague position, if any, taken by the government authorities and

October 24, 1967

what plans the federal government intends to bring down on the use of the site which the minister mentioned in his statement.

Mr. Speaker, we of the opposition always have to make suggestions to the present government so as to bring about solutions.

Well, I take this opportunity to make a suggestion to the hon. minister. I think, for instance, that the possibility should be discussed of allowing foreign countries, exhibit-tors and participants to maintain their pavilions and finance maintenance costs, according to previous agreement, so as to hold annual exhibitions of their products. In that way, Canada would have no financial burden as each country would pay for its own administration and maintenance costs. We could continue to operate the international relations centre which lie Ste-Helene, La Ronde and lie Notre-Dame have become.

[DOT] (2:50 p.m.)

Mr. Speaker, there is another possibility the government could have considered, that is transforming lie Notre-Dame into a vast university campus, as has already been suggested, or into a medical research centre by building a university hospital through a federal-provincial agreement.

Industry also have been invited to set up industrial research centres, to study air pollution, water pollution or similar projects.

To conclude, Mr. Speaker, I want to make another suggestion to the government, as no constructive suggestion has been offered by the government.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I have to interrupt the hon. member. I know that the matter on which he is now commenting is very important, but I have to remind him of a provision of standing orders to the effect that the remarks of a member of the opposition must be brief.

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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just wanted to mention the case, and I had to take a little time before my remarks to emphasize the importance of the project and call the attention of parliament to this important event.

I should like to conclude my remarks by asking the minister whether he intends to request the Canadian World Exhibition Corporation to submit a report of its operations to the house, and then to refer it to a committee of the house for consideration of the operations of the world exhibition.

I say this, Mr. Speaker, with all due reservation and without alluding in any way to mismanagement or anything of the kind. I 27053-216

DEBATES 3417

Federal Approach to Winding up of Expo merely feel that parliament should be invited to examine the report on the operations and expenditures of this world exhibition.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all Canadians are justifiably proud of the tremendous success which has attended Expo '67. If there are any Canadians who have an inferiority complex about living close to the most technologically advanced nation in the world I am sure such a feeling has been dissipated by the success of Expo '67 and the general success of our centennial celebrations in Canada this year.

One evening while flying from Montreal it was my privilege to sit beside an American who had spent most of his adult life in the entertainment field and who has visited every world fair in the past 30 years or more. He told me as his considered judgment that this was the finest world fair he has ever seen or ever expected to see. I think that is a very fine compliment to the people of Canada. I noticed that in the address which was given yesterday by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, he pointed out that the Canadian fair with its very high quality compared favourably with his own country's world fair in New York, which he felt had been spoiled to a great extent by a high degree of commercialism.

I hope the Canadian people feel, as I am sure all members of this house feel, that we owe a great debt of gratitude to those who are responsible for the success of this project. I should like to extend on behalf of this party my congratulations to the minister, to those in the three levels of government who have devoted so much time and energy to this project, to the members of the board of the corporation and to all the staff and personnel who have made it possible for Canada to show the world what we can do when we set our minds to it as a united and determined people.

I do not intend to take any time now to make any suggestions with regard to the use which might be made of the various buildings. I hope the government is giving thought to this. Some suggestion has been made about making a part of the site a centre for international studies and a number of other worthwhile projects. I hope that at an early date the minister will tell us whether the government has any plans in this regard. I think it is sufficient at this time to say to the government, well done; the Canadian people are

October 24, 1967

3418 COMMONS

Federal Approach to Winding up of Expo proud of what you have been able to accomplish in this regard.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear. [Translation]

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RA

Charles-Arthur Gauthier

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. C. A. Gauthier (Roberval):

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I should like, if I may, to congratulate the hon. minister of commerce (Mr. Winters) on his speech. The members of the Ralliement Creditiste on this side of the house are very proud of the results of Expo '67, a Canadian achievement, held in Montreal.

First, we should like to congratulate the promoters of Expo. X am always sorry when someone tries to make a partisan issue out of this and I want to mention that these promoters are great men, and that they have received the support of all Canadians from coast to coast.

I think Expo owes its great success to the good work and co-operation of the three levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal. This success can be attributed to the co-operation of all Canadians from coast to coast. As far as the federal functions are concerned, I think that the minister made a very good point in saying that the government fulfilled its obligations to Expo.

Since the exhibition corporation will wind up its operations at the end of October, I am convinced that a report on the corporation will be presented to the house because it is always interesting for an associate, like the government, to have an idea of what took place during those six months, and I have no doubt that the minister will think it his duty to present the final report on Expo.

We are very pleased to hear the minister say that the government will participate for two more years in the operation of La Ronde. It means that for two more years direct help will be given to the metropolis. We are not jealous of Montreal because the authorities of that city acted in this way, but the people in remote areas have given up practically everything for six months, a year, two years for the success of Expo. It goes without saying that when Expo is over, the authorities of Montreal will have to think of something else. If suggestions are to be made, I feel that they should not come from the federal government which was only a collaborator but from the nerve centre, that is to say the Montreal authorities. They are the ones that should make suggestions to the federal and provincial governments.

Once again, I congratulate all those who

made Expo possible.

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SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. A. B. Patterson (Fraser Valley):

Mr. Speaker, we join in the expression of appreciation to all those who carried through the plans for this great project in such a commendable manner. Our only regret is that many of us and many Canadians generally have not been able to avail ourselves of the opportunity to spend a longer period of time at Expo. Nevertheless we did find time to visit the site on several occasions, and feel that the whole project has been a real success from every point of view.

While I realize there will be a great deal of concern about the final disposition of the assets, including the buildings, after listening to the ministers' statement this afternoon we are assured that the interests of the Canadian people will be preserved.

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TABLING OF LETTER RESPECTING RESTRAINTS ON JAPANESE EXPORTS TO CANADA

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the house I should like to table a copy of a letter dated October 17 from the Japanese charge d'affairs, informing me of the restraints which the Japanese government is applying on the export of certain products to Canada during 1967.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed that the minister shall have leave to table this document?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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PC

Thomas Miller Bell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carlelon):

Mr. Speaker, would it be agreeable that this letter in respect of restraints be printed in Hansard or Votes and Proceedings'!

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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

Mr. Speaker, I intended to suggest that with the agreement of hon. members the letter from the charge d'affairs be printed as an appendix to Votes and Proceedings.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is that agreeable?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

Mr. Speaker, these restraints are being applied by the Japanese government following consultations which began some months ago between representatives of the Japanese and Canadian governments. The restraint levels which Japan is applying in 1967 provide generally for orderly increases in exports over the 1966 levels.

October 24, 1987

A year ago, in announcing the arrangements for 1966, I mentioned that officials were conducting a thorough study of the Canadian market for man made fibre fabrics. Following this review it was concluded that Canadian producers of certain of these products were experiencing serious difficulties which to a substantial degree were the result of increased imports from Japan.

[DOT] (3:00 p.m.)

I am now able to report to the house that there have been intensive and detailed discussions during the past several weeks between Canadian and Japanese representatives on these matters. The position and prospects of Canadian producers of these products and the levels and prices of Japanese exports to Canada of these products have been examined. As a result of these discussions we have concluded that it is now unlikely that Japanese exports of these goods in 1967 will exceed the levels attained in 1966. Further consultations with the Japanese authorities will be held as necessary.

Reverting finally to the present system of restraints, I should like to draw the attention of the house to an important point which is not mentioned in the charge d'affaires' letter. This is that this year we have found it possible to free seven products from restraint. These products are spun rayon trousers, spun rayon and synthetic innerwear, spun rayon and synthetic ribbons, cotton knitted shirts, other cotton knitted garments, bedspreads and polyester buttons. I am sure hon. members will agree that this substantial reduction in the scope of the export restraint system is a constructive further step toward the orderly expansion of two-way trade between Canada and Japan.

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October 24, 1967