March 25, 1968

PC

John Oates Bower

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bower:

Had the minister been more specific in answering the questions raised by the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings I might not have spoken on this item. However, either because he was unable to do so or because he thought it propitious not to do so, the minister did not make a very saisfactory response. I feel therefore I should bring up some points in connection with his department and the vote before us which are of interest to western Nova Scotia.

The hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings and I represent the entire western end of the province of Nova Scotia, an area inhabited by some 175,009 people who have been grossly neglected as far as assistance in developing the economy is concerned. Such indices as I have been able to develop indicate that the average income in Nova Scotia as a

Supply-Transport

whole is between 20 and 30 per cent below the national norm. In western Nova Scotia the average is 30 per cent below the provincial norm. So if there is any truth in all I have heard since I have been here in parliament, and in all I have read from the Economic Council of Canada and similar sources, we have a case which needs attention.

While I recognize that the government, having go itself into a most awful mess, must and should economize, I insist that these economies should be applied selectively. Take the case of an adult with an infant child. If for some reason or another the food for the pair had to be reduced by one pound a day, nothing could be more absurd than to take half a pound from the diet of the adult and half a pound from the diet of the infant. The child would die, even though the adult might survive. This, however, is the system which has been adopted in the estimates-a blanket cut-and it is absurd.

I am the first to recognize that the economy of western Nova Scotia will not be metamorphosed overnight. But I insist that things must be done in order that we do not fall further behind than we already are. The press of the area takes a similar views. A paper which favours the government carries the headline "Billions for others, little for us''.

One of the biggest supports for our provincial economy, particularly in the western end, is tourism, and at present transport facilities are lacking. The hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings mentioned the ferry across the bay of Fundy to Annapolis. I have a lively interest in this service, but there is another ferry service which runs from New England to Yarmouth. Last summer thousands of cars were turned back because they could not be accommodated; the tourists probably never did see Nova Scotia.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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@Deputy Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole

It being ten o'clock, shall I rise and report certain resolutions and request leave to sit again at the next sitting of the house?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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LIB

Lawrence T. Pennell (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pennell:

I wonder whether there is any disposition on the part of the committee to conclude the estimates of the Department of Transport.

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@Deputy Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole

It will be necessary for the Chair to report first.

Resolutions adopted in committee of supply this day reported and concurred in.

Supply-Transport

March 25. 1968

[DOT] (10:00 p.m.)

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

When shall the committee have leave to sit again? Later this day or the next sitting of the house?

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LIB

Lawrence T. Pennell (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pennell:

Mr. Speaker, I again pose my question and ask is there a disposition on the part of the house to conclude the estimates of the Department of Transport tonight?

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Mr. Speaker, if there is unanimous consent I think it would be advisable to try to finish this minister's department and let him get away, but I think it should be understood it would be only this department.

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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the acting government house leader that we are quite willing to proceed on this basis.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Mr. Chairman, I would be willing to sit for one hour.

Personally, I have two points to bring up. I shall attempt to do so very rapidly, if I get a good answer. If the house agrees to sit until eleven o'clock, I would be willing to agree to it. Still, if we do not get any replies it could last a long time. I am willing to put my ideas forward without all the arguments. A while ago, I put questions concerning winter navigation and I did not get any answer.

I would therefore suggest that we sit until eleven o'clock and, if the Solicitor General (Mr. Pennell) wants to set a one-hour limit, I should be willing to accept it.

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. Do I understand that now there is general agreement that the house will sit until eleven o'clock but if the estimates of the Department of Transport are finished before that time no other estimates will be considered? Is this unanimously agreed?

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NDP

Murdo William Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Martin (Timmins):

Mr. Speaker, there is one point that I would like to make. I have waited patiently tonight to raise a matter under these estimates, but so far I have been unable to catch the eye of the Chair. If I am unable to succeed by eleven o'clock I will still want to raise this matter. So long as it is understood that it is eleven o'clock or the finish of the estimates, whichever comes first, then there is no objection on my part.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

If we are not through by eleven o'clock, we will continue tomorrow. [The Assistant Deputy Chairman.]

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is this agreed?

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LIB

Lawrence T. Pennell (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pennell:

Mr. Speaker, I just want to be clear so that there is no misunderstanding. The house will continue to eleven o'clock if the estimates of the Department of Transport are not passed, but it will rise if they are passed prior to eleven o'clock. At any rate, I wish to inform the house that it is proposed to call the estimates of the Department of National Health and Welfare first tomorrow.

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Perhaps there should be one other understanding, that since we are sitting late, the late show can be put off to another night.

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is it agreed that if the house sits until eleven the questions on the adjournment motion will be considered tomorrow?

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Tar-dif in the chair.

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@Deputy Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole

Order. House again in committee of supply, supplementary estimates of the Department of Transport. Shall item 15c carry?

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT Railways and Steamships-

15c. Payments to the Canadian National Railway Company (hereinafter called the Company) upon applications approved by the Minister of Transport made by the Company to the Minister of Finance, to be applied by the Company in payment of the deficits, certified by the auditors of the Company, arising in the operations in the calendar year 1967 in respect of the following:

(i) Canadian National Railway system (subject to recovery therefrom of accountable advances made to the Company from the Consolidated Revenue Fund)

(ii) Ferry Services:

Newfoundland Ferry and Terminals;

Prince Edward Island Ferry and Terminals and Yarmouth, N.S.-Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.A., $21,245,100.

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March 25, 1968