November 5, 1969

MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill S-3, an Act to provide for the dissolution of the Dominion Coal Board and for the repeal of the Canadian Coal Equality Act, the Coal Production Assistance Act and the Dominion Coal Board Act, to which the concurrence of this House is desired.

Topic:   MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

COMBINES

LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Ron Basford (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 41(2) 1 should like to table copies, in English and in French, of a short statement issued by United States Attorney General Mitchell and myself following discussions between us in Washington last Monday relating to co-operation between our two countries in anti-combines and anti-trust matters.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMBINES
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Sallsman:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether there would be unanimous consent of the House to appending to Hansard the statement that the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs tabled earlier today.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMBINES
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

I am most agreeable to that, Mr. Speaker. It is a statement which it might be useful to have in Hansard.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMBINES
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMBINES
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's Note: For text of statement, see appendix "A".]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMBINES
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF STATEMENT ON CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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COLOMBO PLAN

TABLING OF CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Miichell Sharp (Secreiary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table for the information of members a copy of the communique issued at the conclusion of the Colombo Plan conference in Victoria last Friday.

Topic:   COLOMBO PLAN
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE
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BROADCASTING

EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION-STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE ON GOVERNMENT POLICY

LIB

Gérard Pelletier (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Gerard Pelletier (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, on October 23rd, 1968, I announced that, in order to facilitate the development of educational broadcasting, a task force would be established immediately under my direction. I informed the House that the task force would also be charged with considering and advising on the necessity of interim action pending enactment of new legislation. On March 10th, the government introduced for first reading Bill C-179, an "Act to establish the Canadian Educational Broadcasting Agency, and to make certain consequential amendments to the Broadcasting Act."

Both the province of Alberta and the province of Ontario have indicated the necessity for interim action. In Alberta, a station partly dedicated to educational broadcasting is being set up in conjunction with the CBC. In Ontario, the department and provincial agencies concerned are presently studying means of fulfilling the requests of that province.

As a result of the studies undertaken by all concerned, it has become apparent that significant technological changes have occurred and advances can be expected to continue.

As a consequence, and because of the progress made in the development of interim measures designed to meet specific requests, interim measures designed to meet specific requests in the field of educational broadcasting, and the impossibility of arriving at a general approach satisfactory to all provinces in the field, the government has decided not to pursue the development of the Canadian Educational Broadcasting Agency for the time

November 5, 1969

Educational Broadcasting being, and therefore not to proceed with Bill C-179.

In order to meet the desires of provinces for educational broadcasting, the government has implemented the following measures: (1) The Canadian Radio-Television Commission will be directed, pursuant to section 22 of the Broadcasting Act, that in provinces where the provincial authorities desire cable transmission facilities, as a condition for all new cable licences, and for the renewal of existing cable licences, the licensees shall be required to set aside at least one channel for educational programming. By this action, the government assures access to this mode of transmission for educational broadcasting.

I should note, Mr. Speaker, that this policy is consistent with the policy statement of the C.R.T.C. on the development of cable as issued on May 13th.

(2) Furthermore, the government has decided that in certain situations, the C.R.T.C. may recommend to the government to direct the C.B.C. to act as its agent pursuant to section 39(2) of the Broadcasting Act, in providing, on a recoverable cost basis, the transmission facilities for educational broadcasting.

(3) Because of the importance of educational broadcasting, discussions with the provinces in this area, and in particular on the definition of educational broadcasting will be held under the aegis of the Secretary of State. In addition, the Department of Communications will be available to assist provinces that desire advice on technological changes, and will co-ordinate the necessary studies on transmission systems within the government.

The government has decided to continue its policy of not granting provincial governments or their agents broadcasting licences. The government intends to issue a formal direction to the Canadian Radio-Television Commission to this effect.

The purpose, Mr. Speaker, of this new policy is to recognize changes which have occurred in the technology and other related factors, since the initial discussions on educational broadcasting, in the white paper of 1966. This policy will assure provinces the maximum possible choice in transmission facilities.

[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION-STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE ON GOVERNMENT POLICY
Permalink
PC

John Patrick (Pat) Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. P. Nowlan (Annapolis Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for

providing me with a copy of his statement in respect of this most sensitive and important field of educational television. If the minister had a seat on this side of the House he might fully appreciate this consideration which enables hon. members here not only to be concise but also constructive in replying. I intend to be both. Having made that general observation, I should like to say that the minister and his task force are apparently carrying on active discussions with the provinces in this field of shared jurisdiction.

There are two matters referred to in the statement which give us great concern. Is this decision not to proceed with educational broadcasting, as set out in Bill C-179, a retreat in principle or merely a review of the federal role owing to the pressures of provincial concerns and the low state of the federal pocketbook? If it is the former, then we must protest strongly about what might be classified as a further erosion of the federal role under this government. We on this side of the House support the principle that the federal government does have a part to play in providing the hardware for the educational television system, reserving always the right of the provinces to set up the software of the system, namely, content and circuits.

Quite frankly, one very good reason we on this side of the House are suspicious of the motivations behind this statement is the reason advanced by the minister that the change in policy as indicated by his statement today is being made on account of technical changes in the field of communications. Of course there are technical changes in this field and there will continue to be changes. It seems to me that since the task force was announced back in 1968 and introduced on March 10, 1969, several technological

improvements and changes have been made. If these changes are to be used as an excuse for inaction and indecision in a field which has been combed and covered by the experts, let alone a parliamentary committee, then the thought that the federal government is going to play a meaningful role in this field in the future is even more remote than the moon once was, and individuals from the United States were able to go to the moon this year.

The other change which causes us on this side of the House concern is that portion of the minister's statement which indicates that whatever develops will be solely under the aegis of the minister. Apparently Parliament and the broadcasting committee will be shoved aside and left in the dark. Surely

November 5, 1969

every member of the House should be concerned. We on this side of the House are justified in criticizing this course of action.

Often ministerial decisions, which are ever-increasing under this government, are remote and isolated. They very often affect Canadians more than many other government decisions, particularly in this case because of the effect on the education of children through the media of television. This is too important a matter to be left to the manoeuvres of the mandarins or the dictates of the minister. Matters of this kind must be considered by the members of this House during meetings of a parliamentary committee.

I said I would be brief, and I am always constructive. There is the question of how long this interim policy is to be continued, if it is an interim policy. There is the question of the criteria to be set out and established and there is the question of the position of school boards. Obviously there are many other questions but they cannot all be answered today. In summary may I say that this statement, as is the case in respect of perhaps most ministerial statements, provokes more questions than answers. We on this side of the House and the people across the land, I believe, are becoming impatient. We await with interest the answers to some of these questions, especially in the field of educational television which has been kicked around long enough.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION-STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE ON GOVERNMENT POLICY
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NDP

Mark Willson Rose

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mark Rose (Fraser Valley Wesl):

Mr. Speaker, in my first opportunity to reply to a statement on motions I shall attempt to be brief. Unlike the previous speaker I have not had an opportunity to read the statement of the minister. I heard it for the first time in the House.

First of all, I feel that this interim statement is one more example of the lack of any federal leadership in education. I think this is a particularly important problem. Recognizing the constitutional problem surrounding it, the fact is that the development of a cultural identity is one of the most important things we can do and should be doing. We should be extremely conscious of this. Arrangements for educational television are, of course, a part of this development. I believe we should be very conscious of this and should not proceed, as the ministers' statement would seem to indicate, on an ad hoc or piecemeal basis.

The withdrawal of Bill C-179 of last session is a recognition of the fact that technological

Educational Broadcasting changes will probably make broadcasting stations per se redundant and irrelevant. The inroads of cable television are likely to cause this to happen.

I think we must recognize the criticism levelled against ETV by educators across the country that ETV really is a national extension of the teacher on a one-to-one basis rather than an opportunity for individualization of instruction in education.

The non-granting of provincial licences is something we will have to consider. As mentioned by the previous speaker, I believe the Broadcasting Committee should be very conscious of the complete ramifications of this new departure.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION-STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE ON GOVERNMENT POLICY
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RA

Bernard Dumont

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Bernard Dumont (Frontenac):

First of all, I want to thank the Secretary of State (Mr. Pelletier) for sending us a copy of his statement.

I find it wise on the part of the government not to pursue its study on the establishment of the Canadian Educational Broadcasting Agency. As a matter of fact, the Aird Commission on Radio Broadcasting is quite clear on this subject, as reported on page 11 and I quote:

Certain specified hours should be made available for educational work both in connection with the schools and the general public as well as the so-called "adult education", under provincial auspices.

On page 6 of the same report, it is clearly stated that this matter comes under provincial jurisdiction, and the following recommendation is made:

the establishment and operation of stations by provincial governments.

In the light of this recommendation, it seems necessary that an agreement be previously entered into with provinces in order to do justice to one and all. I think, however, that the Secretary of State's remarks are not clear enough.

At the end of the statement, one can read the following:

The government has decided to continue its policy of not granting provincial governments or their agents broadcasting licences.

And further:

This policy will assure provinces the maximum possible choice in transmission facilities.

How can we have an option when no licence is granted to the provinces?

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can make nothing at all of such a shower of statements. And I

November 5, 1969

Longshoremen's Strike

remind the government that with regard particularly to telecommunications through satellites, Quebec will also have to enjoy exclusive rights in educational matters so that the French culture may be preserved in Canada-just as it is now the case for the English culture-in order that our country may become strong, by seeing to it that the educational field falls within the provinces' jurisdiction, as recommended by the Aird report.

I think that this temporary delay is only an excuse for the Postmaster General and Minister of Communications to assume rights previously granted to the provinces in the field of education and to build in 1971 receiving stations for satellite signals which will pick up programs only on the wavelengths allotted to the provinces by the federal government, even in the case of educational broadcasts.

[DOT] (2:20 p.m.)

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION-STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE ON GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LABOUR RELATIONS

LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER S.O. 43

November 5, 1969