November 3, 1969

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CHANGES IN CANADIAN DIPLOMATIC ESTABLISHMENTS
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PC

Heath Nelson Macquarrie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, I believe it was on Friday that the Prime Minister rebuked one of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party for listening to canards, paying attention to leaks and so on.

November 3, 1969

Diplomatic Establishment Changes What was a leak on Friday is, in fact, a communique on Monday.

I am impressed by the reference to cutbacks in operations in Latin America, recalling very well the loud blowing of trumpets when a certain ministerial group came back from that part of the world some months ago, and noting the reference in the Speech from the Throne to the intensification of Canada's contacts with the government and people of that area. I suppose there is some sort of inverse logic by which one could prove that curtailing the number of posts abroad might improve our contacts with the governments and peoples of foreign countries, but I would find that reasoning highly unflattering if I were a member of the Department of External Affairs. It would now seem to me that the prospect of this government leading Canada into the Organization of American States is very bleak at the present time.

It is not possible at this stage, in the proceedings on motions, to make a value judgment whether the closing of a post in Nicosia is a better move than the opening of one in Mauritius. These are matters which would have to be considered with greater care.

I am not sure I greet with happiness the reference to the International Control Commission. I have often thought there was a lack of faith in that organization and that as the Viet Nam war continued something much more effective might have been done, had there been the will, through the kind of grouping around which the ICC was involved. It strikes me that what we have noted today represents an abandonment of hope that this group can become more effective, that it is withering away and that, in fact, Canada's blessing has been given to this process.

I hope the minister's goals will be realized, but as to that we shall have to live in faith.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CHANGES IN CANADIAN DIPLOMATIC ESTABLISHMENTS
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NDP

David Lewis (Parliamentary Leader of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, one can readily agree it is a desirable exercise to cut out any fat which can be removed from a department, and one would be readily disposed to consider the suggestions made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs had he gone a little further and told us precisely what he expects to save in terms of dollars and cents. It seems to me that the saving to the Canadian people and to the Canadian treasury as a result of the changes he has announced must be relatively small, even minimal, at a very considerable expense to Canada's role in the world. I hope the Standing Committee on External Affairs

[Mr. Macquarrie.l

and National Defence will take up the question of precisely how much is being saved by these changes.

I cannot find any fault, for example, with the decision to close the little office, as the minister calls it, in Berlin. Obviously the embassy in Bonn can deal with this responsibility. It seems to me, however, that to lessen our representation in Latin America at this time just does not make sense, particularly when we are attempting to improve our relations with Latin American countries.

As for the reference to the International Control Commissions, it occurs to me that at a time when the situation in southeast Asia is becoming more, rather than less, complex with the possible approach of peace, a country such as ours might well be taking on a bigger rather than a smaller role there, particularly when one bears in mind the problems confronting Laos through the presence of North Vietnamese and other military in that country. To eliminate entirely our representation in that part of the world, to say that our commissioner in Saigon will look after the situation while we still remain a member of the ICC, seems doubtful wisdom to me. I think hon. members would have to have proof that these savings were really important and could be substantiated before this kind of cutting down could be accepted with equanimity.

Before I was elected to parliament some years ago I lived in Ottawa for some time, and since I have been elected to parliament I have lived here most of the time. I have always been impressed by the fact that it took the Department of External Affairs at least a quarter of a century to build up a group of foreign service officers of very high calibre that compared favourably with that of any other country in the world. I express very profound doubt whether it is sensible to cut into this group of men and women who have represented Canada to great effect and with great credit. I end as I began, Mr. Speaker, by saying that we would have to be persuaded that the savings really justify this kind of myopic cutting down.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CHANGES IN CANADIAN DIPLOMATIC ESTABLISHMENTS
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RA

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abiiibi):

Mr. Speaker, I was sorry to read last week in the French newspapers of the decision taken by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) to close a number of Canadian diplomatic missions throughout the world.

I was somewhat surprised by the procedure but I come to my conclusion that it was

November 3, 1969

perhaps easier to have the press translate a statement than the office of the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

It is regretful to note that we plan to close embassies, especially in Latin America, where the presence of Canada is necessary to fight the subversion and poverty which are prevailing there, at a time when Communism is expanding. In my opinion, it is necessary to maintain good relations there.

Yet, although it claims that it wants to save a few dollars, the same government intends to open some embassies in Communist countries.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we are asking ourselves some questions and rightly so I think. We believe that by acting in such a way, the government is leaning to the left and we object to this.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CHANGES IN CANADIAN DIPLOMATIC ESTABLISHMENTS
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PESTICIDES

DDT-ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEASURES TO CONTROL USE

LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, an important objective of this government is the protection and enhancement of man's environment and, in harmony with this objective, the protection of man, crops and livestock from pests. One of the most successful pest control agents, DDT, has now been shown to have detrimental effects on the environment. Therefore I wish to make a statement on this pesticide.

We have studied the current data on the safety of DDT as it relates to human health and to its effects on wildlife, including fish. Our research shows that our environment is now widely contaminated with DDT residues. These residues are mostly at low levels but have concentrated sufficiently in a few populations of birds and fish to cause reproductive failures and the elimination of a few bird populations over large parts of their normal range. DDT applications have also caused direct kills of fish.

There is no evidence that present levels of DDT in the Canadian diet have caused injury to humans. Nevertheless, in the light of the persistence of DDT, its deleterious effects on wildlife, and lack of clearcut evidence about its long-term effects on man, it is prudent to curtail contamination of the environment by it.

Within the Government, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) administers the Pest Control Products Act which regulates pesti-

Measures to Control Use of Pesticides cides offered for sale to assure that they are effective and safe when used as labelled. The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Munro) administers the Food and Drugs Act which has as one of its major objectives the assurance that foods do not contain pesticide residues at levels in excess of those established as safe for lifetime consumption.

[DOT] (11:20 a.m.)

The government has taken action in recent years to limit the amount of DDT used by federal agencies.

Hon. members probably know, that two years ago we discontinued the use of DDT in the protection of forests. In 1968 we eliminated the use of DDT in national parks and by 1969 aerial use by the armed forces. We have now completed a year-long review of the overall use pattern of formulations accepted for registration for sale under the Pest Control Products Act. After January 1, 1970, DDT will not be registered for insect and biting fly control in forests, parks, and other outdoor areas except under emergency situations and only after careful consulta ion between federal and provincial interdepartmental committees.

In addition, whereas in 1969 DDT was registered for the control of insects on 62 food crops, in 1970 registration will be granted under the Pest Control Products Act for use on only 12 agricultural crops. It is estimated that all these actions will reduce the amount of DDT used by at least 90 per cent. The remaining uses of DDT will be retained until prac'ical, safe replacement compounds or other protective measures are available.

The federal government, of course, recognizes and commends the partial controls already implemented by some provinces. It was felt, however, that more comprehensive and unified action was required at this time.

Concomitant with the revised use pattern we are, under the Food and Drugs Act, reducing the tolerance for DDT from seven parts per million to one part per million for 61 common vegetables and fruits such as beans, carrots, corn, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, strawberries, and all citrus fruits. For apples, pears, and celery, the DDT tolerance will be reduced to three and a half parts per million. The only tolerance for DDT that will remain unchanged at seven parts per million is for the fat of the meat of cattle, hogs and sheep. This tolerance will be further reduced or eliminated when practical replacement compounds are available to us and our trading

November 3, 1969

Measures to Control Use of Pesticides partners. There are no tolerances for DDT in potatoes and no tolerances for any pesticide residues in eggs, fish, milk, butter, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products. Our goal will be to effect further reductions in some of these tolerances and to eliminate others.

Bon appetit, Mr. Speaker!

Lest you are concerned about the levels of DDT in food, I think you should know that the Food and Agriculture and World Health Organizations of the United Nations, on the advice of expert scientific groups, have declared maximum acceptable daily intakes for humans on the basis of ingestion for a lifetime. For DDT, the recommended maximum daily acceptable intake is 0.7 milligrams. The average Canadian diet contains less than 5 per cent of this amount and food contributes 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the total intake of DDT by the general public.

In concluding this announcement I wish to emphasize that our scientists are world leaders in research toward the minimal but effective use of chemicals in pest control. This government will continue to examine all scientific evidence and intensify its own research program into pesticides, including organo-chlorine and other persistent compounds. The government of Canada will continue to play a leading international role in moves to protect and enhance man's total environment.

To this end, Canada has been an active member of international organizations, the role of which is to develop international standards for pesticides based on sound health and ecological principles and the needs of international trade. Canada will continue and will intensify its work in these organizations.

Topic:   PESTICIDES
Subtopic:   DDT-ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEASURES TO CONTROL USE
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome in general this move announced by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). A good many of us, and I think the country generally, have been quite concerned about the effects of DDT upon our environment, our wildlife and eventually upon human health ever since reading that very striking book written by the late Rachel Carson some years ago. I believe a few years ago following that book and other publications a committee of the House conducted an investigation into this subject.

I am a little disturbed, because of the duration of time over which public concern has been expressed, that the government appears

to be following rather than leading. I hope one can really place firm reliance upon the assurances given by the Prime Minister concerning the efforts Canadian scientists and the Canadian government are to make in the future with regard to pesticides generally, their safety and environmental effects.

I am also a little surprised by what I take to be the implication in the Prime Minister's announcement that it is only during the past year that the government has been conducting in any sense a full-scale examination of the environmental effects of the use of DDT. It was announced that it had been decided, I think in 1968, not to use DDT in our own forests and parks and in 1969 the aerial use by the armed forces was stopped. But the Prime Minister said that the government has now completed a year long review of the over-all use pattern of formulations acceptable for registration. I may say, if this means what it seems to mean, I am shocked that it is only over the past year the government has been conducting in a serious way an examination of the over-all use.

There have been a number of indications lately of the care with which miracle pesticides and miracle substitutes must be examined, and there has been a growing concern about the way in which we are polluting our environment by, among other methods, using pesticides which have very profound residual effects. So generally I welcome the announcement and hope it means that the government of Canada is really going to take a sustained interest in and conduct an examination of such pesticides and substitutes.

I am a little concerned with regard to what consultation has taken place with farm organizations and what the effect of this announcement will be on agriculture when it has to turn quickly to certain substitutes. I would like to hope there has been some consultation with the provinces which have an interest in the effect on their agricultural industry.

Above all, I do not see any indication in the statement by the Prime Minister that the government has really been placing the emphasis it should have been placing upon the development of substitutes which would have a satisfactory cost effectiveness so far as our farmers are concerned. Certainly there is no mention of consultation with the provinces, particularly the provincial departments of agriculture. I hope that in fact there has been such consultation. In view of the difficulty many forms of agriculture are facing, I hope a really determined effort is being made to

November 3, 1969

develop satisfactory pesticide substitutes with appropriate cost effectiveness.

[DOT] (11:30 a.m.)

Having said this, having placed emphasis upon the need for consultation with the provinces, I also note that in the Prime Minister's statement there is no assurance that all departments of the government will comply with bans imposed by the provinces. I express very fervently the hope that all federal departments will in fact comply with general bans on the use of DDT imposed by any province and that the Prime Minister will be prepared to give such an assurance.

However, with these caveats-I do not want to be misunderstood in any sense-I certainly welcome the statement by the Prime Minister and his announcement that these steps are being taken to cut down the use of DDT very substantially. I only hope that the lesson that has been learned will in fact encourage the government and its departments to have a sharper eye in the future for difficulties of this sort, and to give the problem, in co-operation with other countries, its most urgent and effective attention.

Topic:   PESTICIDES
Subtopic:   DDT-ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEASURES TO CONTROL USE
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Randolph Harding (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, our group certainly welcomes the statement made by the Prime Minister this morning in regard to DDT. However, I feel, as did the previous speaker, that action of this type is long overdue. Frankly, I have been amazed at the lengthy delay in government action on this important matter. It has been the work of the provinces and other groups which have done a vast amount of research into the dangers of pesticides that has really forced the issue so far as the government is concerned.

I can recall asking a question three months ago of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Munro) regarding DDT and its effect on foods so far as Canadians are concerned. We were assured at that time that there was no danger and nothing to worry about. Three months later we find that the government has decided to take action and ban the use of DDT in certain cases.

I think it is only fair to point out that the Prime Minister has indicated that other research is going on into other types of pesticides because there are a number of toxic pesticides that are just as dangerous as DDT. A number of reports-I have a couple on my desk-some of them over a year old, have been prepared by wildlife associations in the United States which point out that a group of very dangerous pesticides, which have been and are being used today in the United

Measures to Control Use of Pesticides States, Canada and other countries in the world, is having a bad effect on our environment. There is no doubt that in some cases the effects certainly are not as bad as those of DDT but they are traceable, and we find that practically all living organisms in every part of the world have some trace of these pesticides in them. It seems to me that Canadian research facilities to study these problems have been inadequate.

As I said, the action taken by the government now is a step forward and our group certainly welcomes it. But may I point out to the Prime Minister and the government that this is just one small phase of the pollution problem. Just a week or two ago we received a report dealing with detergents containing phosphorus. Two years is suggested as the time to be allowed before the production of detergents containing phosphorus must stop. I suggest to the government that this is another phase of pollution which must be tackled without delay. Research must go forward to ensure, when a change is made by these companies in the manufacturing of their various products, that a suitable product is substituted. There are other aspects of pollution with which I will not deal at present, such as pollution of the atmosphere which must not be allowed to continue much longer. Again in this case we have a report prepared by the United Nations dealing with the inherent dangers to mankind unless we move quickly.

I congratulate the government on this initial move, and I urge that a whole series of investigations be made to deal with the series of grave pollution problems at present threatening the very existence of mankind.

Topic:   PESTICIDES
Subtopic:   DDT-ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEASURES TO CONTROL USE
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?

Mr. Rene Maite@Champlain

Mr. Speaker, naturally, we cannot but be happy that the government has finally decided to do something about a problem dealing with the protection of the people of this country.

But as the previous speakers, I can only say that the government never leads the way, it is not an innovator although it is quite a good follower sometimes.

Ontario and Quebec having recently taken a stand in that matter, the federal government has finally decided to act.

But, Mr. Speaker, from the way the government is proceeding, it is obvious that it lacks the initiative so urgently needed in the country.

An important objective of my government is the protection and enhancement of man's environment and, in harmony with this objective, the protection of man, crops, and livestock from pests.

November 3, 1969

House of Commons

From that you might think that the government has always cared about that matter, whereas it is well known that it is taking action at last only under pressure from other governments, that is the provincial governments.

Needless to say, we are not blaming the federal government for taking some action, but we are blaming it for sometimes doing it only when it feels that it cannot do otherwise, when it wishes to be ahead of the others or to take credit for having taken the initiative. That is a perfect example of the way the federal government operates.

However, we congratulate it once again for having taken some action and we also express the wish that it will continue to destroy another form of DDT which is poisoning the whole population and which could be described as follows: deficit, debts, taxes.

Topic:   PESTICIDES
Subtopic:   DDT-ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEASURES TO CONTROL USE
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HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7

LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. H. A. Olson (for ihe President of the Privy Council) moved:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 6(3), on Friday, November 7, 1969, the sitting shall be suspended at 3.00 o'clock p.m., and resumed at 5.45 o'clock p.m.

[DOT] (11:40 a.m.)

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, there has been some discussion between the government side and members of the other parties about this motion, and some of the reasons for it have been made apparent to the house leaders. But I suggest with due deference that at this time either the minister or another minister might make a statement indicating the reasons behind the motion so that all hon. members may have an opportunity to understand what is involved and, hopefully, may then feel free to express their approval or disapproval. I think it would be useful if this were done so that all the circumstances would be made known at this time.

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Mr. Speaker, I agree there have been consultations and my understanding is that there was general agreement. But I would also agree that there should be a brief statement on the reasons, and perhaps the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Gray) would make it.

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Minister without Portfolio):

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson) has indicated that the government white paper on tax

reform will be tabled in the House on Friday, November 7, at 6 p.m., and it is being proposed that for the first time there be an opportunity for all members of the House who desire it to have an advance briefing about the white paper before it is formally tabled in the House. It is therefore proposed that this briefing, which would be on a confidential basis, would take place in the Railway Committee Room and would begin at 3 p.m.

It was thought that it would be useful, because of the great interest on the part of members on both sides of the House in this matter, to give the widest opportunity to members who wish to do so to attend the briefing. The House is therefore being asked to consent to suspend its sitting on Friday, November 7, from 3 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.

If the motion is accepted it is my understanding that at 5.45 p.m. the bells would ring so that the House can then resume, basically for the purpose of having the white paper tabled by the appropriate time. It is also my understanding that once this was done there would be a motion for the adjournment of the house.

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

Mr. Speaker, may I say that I do not think the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) was quite right in saying there was unanimous consent. I indicated that the proposition which the government made was not an unreasonable one but that there were other hon. members who were involved, who were interested, and that the question of the timing might be of concern to them. It was for this reason I suggested that a statement be made now so that these other hon. members might have an opportunity, before the question is put by Your Honour, to indicate their views.

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I wish merely to say on behalf of our party that the statement made by the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Gray) is in accordance with the discussions that have taken place among House leaders. We accept the proposition that it might be a good idea to make available to Members of Parliament the same kind of briefing that on occasions like this is made available to members of the press. One of my colleagues suggests that on that basis we might become as well informed as the press. I do not quite know what he means by that.

But, Mr. Speaker, before hon. members accept this gracious invitation to go into the room where the briefing will take place they should be told that the doors will be locked

November 3, 1969 COMMONS

and once they get in they cannot get out for any purpose whatsoever until 5.45 p.m.

Topic:   HOURS OF SITTING, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
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November 3, 1969