November 5, 1969

LIB

David Walter Groos (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. D. W. Groos (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for me not to repeat some of the things that have been said this afternoon. Nevertheless, since I come from British Columbia, which was not an original entry into the 1867 coast to coast united Canada stakes, I should like to say a few words today about this bill to wind up the affairs of Expo '67.

Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you and members of the House will permit me to reminisce for a short while about those great days of our centennial year and refer particular to Expo. Probably the greatest value of that fair, to my mind, was that it provided a focal point for Canadian unity at a time when our national unity was being most seriously questioned. It also proved to be a source of justifiable pride for Canadians everywhere. It would be hard to deny, I suggest, that millions of Canadian hearts beat faster in those

November 5, 1969 COMMONS

days and continue to beat faster today at the sound and sight of the words "Expo '67". Even the name was new and Canadian. Surely, there must have been few, particularly among Members of Parliament, at the time the planning for Expo first began, who did not expect it would cost money to finish the job properly-more money than was originally anticipated.

[DOT] (5:30 p.m.)

It was a gigantic undertaking which lay before the creators of the fair. They had to build, among other things, a large extension to an island in the St. Lawrence, and the work had to be done under extremely arduous conditions. I stand to be corrected, but I do not know of a single genuine world fair in this century which has made money. But I take a special pride in our fair because I believe it set a new worldwide standard of general excellence for fairs of this calibre, while at the same time capturing the imagination of Canadians generally in a way which cannot be measured in dollars alone. They said it couldn't be done, but we did it-and we did it within the framework of what seemed at the time to be an impossible timetable. That is something else to be proud of.

There are other spin-offs, and these too, in my view, are beyond price. I am of the opinion that Expo '67 and all it encompassed came at a most significant time in history. Man and His World was the theme. I firmly believe it contributed toward better world understanding-a new understanding of Canada and Canadians by non-Canadians, a new understanding of the world and of our place in it by Canadians, a new understanding between eastern Canadians and western Canadians, between young Canadians and old Canadians, between English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians, in fact, between all Canadians. We should be grateful for this.

From across Canada, from all directions, came people, particularly young people, to gather in Montreal to see what we as a nation were capable of doing. They came not only to see what we could do and how well we could do it, but to see for themselves how far we had come in 100 years of history. It is a large amount, in terms of dollars, that we are today being asked to pay, but I believe it to be a fair one in terms of its immediate and long-range benefits to our country and to our people.

Perhaps I could quote, Mr. Speaker, some words spoken by the Premier of our Province

DEBATES 569

Dissolution of 1967 Expo Corporation of British Columbia who, speaking of Expo '67, said:

I wonder how we as Canadians will remember EXPO best? Certainly we will remember it as a triumph of imagination and planning, of architecture and entertainment-for a triumph it most assuredly is. Certainly we will remember it as the catalyst which brought into focus the attention of the world to a spectacle produced in Canada by Canadians, and unrivalled by any exhibition ever produced before.

But in the fullness of time it may be that we will remember EXPO best for still another reason; and it may be that this remembrance will be EXPO'S greatest gift of all to future generations of Canadians.

Because in my opinion, as a proud Canadian, the one greatest contribution EXPO '67 has made to our country is simply this: It has demonstrated to ourselves-not just to the world, but once and for all to ourselves-that there is in our nation an unlimited capacity for excellence.

Finally, speaking for myself, let me say this: I repeat, there are long term benefits, some of which are yet to come, from Expo and I believe there are few in this country who are not willing to see their fair share paid now by this parliament. I hope this bill will be sent to committee for fuller study tonight.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
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PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lloyd R. Crouse (South Shore):

It is

not my intention to speak at any great length on Bill C-6 which is presently before the House, but there are some proposals in it which concern me since the measure has to do with a large expenditure of tax dollars and our present tax laws are of vital importance to all Canadians.

I listened with interest to the hon. member for York East (Mr. Otto). I must disagree with his statement that members on this side urged the government to go ahead with this project "the devil with all costs", to use his words. I would remind the hon. member that it was not members on this side of the House who advocated the Pearson formula in 1966 under which a 30 per cent pay increase was granted to the stevedores, a settlement which set inflation ablaze throughout Canada and which the Liberal government has not yet been able to extinguish. To the hon. member who has just resumed his seat, the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Groos), I should like to say that no one disagrees with his view that Expo was important to Canada. What my hon. friend from Calgary Centre (Mr. Harkness), the hon. member for Sainte-Marie (Mr. Valade) and the hon. member for Wellington (Mr. Hales) had to say amounted to this-that everything which was accomplished could have been done with a lot less

COMMONS DEBATES November 5, 1969

Dissolution of 1967 Expo Corporation waste of money had there been more supervision over expenditures.

I find no fault with the intent of this bill. The measure simply states that it is an act to wind up the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition and to authorize the writing off of certain costs and the deferral of certain payments connected therewith. There is little doubt in the minds of many Canadians that we had a bang-up birthday party to celebrate our 100 years as a nation or that one of the glittering stars in that birthday celebration was Expo '67, the world exhibition held in Montreal. In fact, this star shone so brightly that it continues to glow under the direction of provincial and municipal authorities. In my view this exhibition has done much to strengthen Canada's international image. It helped the tourist trade, at least in central Canada. It encouraged our architects to think big and to create new designs. The hon. member for Carle'on-Char-lotte (Mr. Flemming) says it encouraged them to charge big, as well, and this tendency may be reflected in some of today's building costs.

As I was saying, the fair, the star of the occasion, continues to glow under the direction of provincial and municipal authorities with assistance from the federal government by way of a deferral of repayment amounting to some $5,500,000, payment of which had been due on June 28, 1968. It is now deferred until 1972. Like one of the previous speakers, I wonder whether this deferral has been arranged without any consideration being paid to the interest which is due. This is a question which, more than likely, will be researched by the committee.

There is an old saying that the man who pays the piper calls the tune, and I suppose it applies to parties as well as to other things. Since all Canadians are now being asked to pay for the party, I think it is only fair that they should be made aware of the size of the tab as they reach for the bill. In the public accounts of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1968, volume III we find these figures on page 29. Against a net loss from operations, we find a figure of $59,726,718. Amounts written off on transfer of capital assets to participating governments are listed as follows: City of Montreal, $135,094,953; Government of Canada, $59,876,285; Province of Quebec, $4,753,693. The loss on the disposal of the mass transit system is estimated as $199,724,931; the amount written off on the demolition of buildings and other assets is $291,160, and the loss on sale of other capital

assets appears as $426,880. The deficit, the net cost of the exhibition as of December 31, 1967 is listed as $273,588,537.

a (5:40 p.m.)

You will note that the Auditor General lists the total net cost of the exhibition at$273,588,537. Anyone who knows anything about the cost of parties will have to admitthat this was a good one. Obviously nothought was given as to the cost of the party or as to whom would have to pay the bill. Early in the game some people did become concerned, but they were reassured by the government of the day that the federal government's participation would not exceed $20 million. For example, during the first session of the 26th parliament this question was

placed on the order paper by the then New Democratic Party member Douglas Fisher, and is to be found at page 3016 of Hansard for September 30, 1963:

What is the estimated total contribution of the federal government to the world's fair including its share of the cost of the proposed upstream ice dam, the ramps from the Jacques Cartier bridge to the proposed lie Notre Dame, the bridges from lie Notre Dame to St. Helen's island and the proposed bridge from St. Helen's island to point St. Charles?

The question was answered by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Badanai) as follows:

The federal government is committed under the statute and the agreement between Quebec and the city of Montreal to provide a maximum-

I emphasize the word "maximum".

-of $20 million to the world's fair corporation. The corporation is responsible for providing services on the completed site. The federal government has also agreed to pay on the construction of an ice control structure the amount required in excess of $2J milion to be provided by the city. The amount of the excess has not been determined pending the results of engineering studies.

The federal government is not responsible for providing access by the bridges mentioned in the question.

May I add that the federal government will, like many other countries and some provinces, have an exhibit at the world fair, for which it will assume the cost.

1 You will also find this same amount listed 'at page 29, along with the amounts pledged by other governments. These amounts are listed as grants received from participating governments. There is $20 million from the government of Canada, $15 million from the government of the province of Quebec, $5 million from the city of Montreal, for a total of $40 million. This leaves a balance of $233,588,537.

November 5, 1969

Today, the House was informed by the minister that this amount had escalated. I am sorry I cannot recall the exact amount, but it was a larger figure than the previous one.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

It is $285 million plus.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

According to my hon. friend, the total has now increased to $285 million. What can we do? As a nation we must pay our bills. However, these figures give the House some idea of the slap-happy, haphazard manner in which the Liberal government has mismanaged Canada's affairs. This government has shown a sense of irresponsibility which borders on insanity. The fact that this attitude persists to the present day is causing concern to many Canadians. As I have said, we must pay off our debts. But I cannot agree with the course that is proposed in this bill, which I think is unsound. I cannot help but wonder what Canadians generally are thinking about the irresponsible approach that this government adopts to our financial problems.

What did the Auditor General, for example, have to say about this irresponsibility? At page 34 of his report to the House of Commons dated March 31, 1968 he listed some examples. Some of these have already been cited by the hon. member for Calgary Centre (Mr. Harkness) and the hon. member for Wellington (Mr. Hales). I think they skipped some that are pertinent to the discussion, and one is as follows:

In the case of many appointments to senior positions, starting salaries were higher than the established minimum rates and frequently maximum rates were paid immediately or within six months of appointment. Thirty-three officers in receipt of salaries of $10,000 or more received increases during 1967 ranging from 20 per cent to 60 per cent. Of these employees, 10 left the Corporation's employ in 1967 and received salary termination payments averaging 27 per cent of annual salary.

Then, later he says:

However, payments were made to all employees including those who did not qualify because their former or comparable positions were assured. Twelve such payments aggregating $70,000 came to our attention during the year, the largest being $15,425.

I presume that that was paid to one individual.

Termination payments totalling $4,694,000 were provided for in the 1967 accounts but it is estimated that an additional $1,188,000 will be required.

These are astronomical figures and raise some doubt about the ability of the present government to manage our affairs.

Dissolution of 1967 Expo Corporation

If I may return to the bill, let me read to the House the words of clause 3:

The administration and control of all the properties, rights, franchises and other assets under the administration and control of the Corporation immediately before the commencement of this Act are hereby transferred to the Minister.

Think of the power that this clause alone places in the hands of the minister! May I say at once that I am not singling out the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

The amount involved is less than the hon. member has stated, but I will be making reports on my activities, as does every government department.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

I thank the minister for his intervention, and I was about to say that I was not being critical of the minister personally.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
PC

Alfred Dryden Hales

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hales:

It would be too late anyway; he has sold us the goods now.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

Yes, he has sold them now. It is his misfortune to be saddled with this particular burden, but having taken the kudos he must now be prepared to accept a bit of the blame.

Clause 4 provides still more power:

All rights of creditors against the Corporation and all actions pending against the Corporation are unimpaired by the transfer to the Minister of the administration and control of the assets heretofore under the administration and control of the Corporation; and all subsisting liabilities of the Corporation and actions pending against the Corporation may be enforced or continued against the Minister in like manner and to the same extent as they could have been enforced or continued against the Corporation.

The minister is going to be pretty busy. The clause to which I really take exception is clause 6, which provides:

The Minister shall dispose of the assets and liabilities to which this Act applies in such manner as the Governor in Council, with the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor in Council of Quebec, may direct.

Under this government the people of Canada are losing control of their property and financial rights. Why could not the minister use the offices of the War Assets Disposal Corporation for the purpose of disposing of these assets? Since the government has been telling us every day that they are waging a war against poverty, the very least that the government should do, in our opinion, is to call for public tenders with regard to the disposal of these assets.

November 5, 1969

Dissolution of 1967 Expo Corporation

I say that we need greater efficiency in government management. These are not my views alone; these views were well expressed in the Sixth Annual Review ol the Economic Council oi Canada, where at page 157 the Council states:

The government sector has now become so large, and its revenues and expenditures affect directly or indirectly so many aspects of our economic and social goals, that it has become urgent to develop more effective mechanisms for managing our affairs in this critically important area of our national life. Governments today are facing critical problems of choice among many competing demands. Moreover, there is no profit calculus in the government sector to set standards of efficiency and performance.

We have had a classic example of that. All one has to do is to look at the criticism in the Auditor General's report with regard to the mismanagement of Expo's affairs. The council continues with this statement:

Yet greater efficiency in the delivery of public goods and services, such as health care and education, could conceivably result in very large savings in resources which could then be diverted to other pressing needs.

[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

Canadians want to know what are the assets of Expo '67. They want to know where they are and what they are worth. Why is there all this secrecy about this particular disposal? What is the government hiding? We are being asked by the minister to give him a blank cheque covering the disposal of these assets which have been payed for by all Canadians. This literally denies all Canadians an opportunity to tender in respect of these assets. We are also being asked to pay off an amount of $125 million towards accounts receivable under Expo guarantees.

This type of procedure outlined in this bill only serves to destroy the confidence of Canadians in our democratic process. Certainly, it destroys the confidence of Canadians in this government and makes a farce, if I may say so, of the Prime Minister's (Mr. Trudeau) slogan "The Just Society". At this stage, we cannot call this government just or fair.

I hope the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin) will give us some indication at an early date of the manner in which he plans to wield this almost totalitarian power placed in his hands by this bill. Many communities across Canada made an effort to celebrate our Centennial year. Many of these projects have not been paid for. In my constituency we had a number of Centennial projects. In my own home town of Lunenburg we have the only floating museum

in Canada. This was established as a Centennial project. This is one of the last floating replicas of the old sailing schooner, similar to the Bluenose. The Centennial Committee is requesting the people of this town, populated by a little more than 3,000 people, to contribute $60,000 to create a permanent display berth for this ship. Surely, the minister can realize the strain that this will place on these people.

Surely, if we are prepared to give money to Expo we should be prepared to pay some of the other deficits. I should like to hear from the minister on this matter of such vital importance to the people throughout this country. The truth is that this government does not run a tight ship in respect of financial matters. It has no real objective and no real course. As a result, it is sailing around in circles while the economy flounders in a whirlpool of inflation. It has no objectives and no priorities. The government has no vision, but I know the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce will welcome the opportunity of examining the wasteful and extravagant policies of his government when this measure comes before the committee. I hope the committee's recommendations will include measures to control the disposal of the assets of Expo. I hope that these recommendations will not be discarded by the minister and that he will give them careful thought and full consideration.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Alfred Mongrain

Liberal

Mr. Mongrain:

Mr. Speaker, may I call it

six o'clock?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the wish of the House that the Chair call it six o'clock?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WORLD EXHIBITION CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE WINDING UP EXPO
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether I might ask the house leader to indicate the business for tomorrow and Friday?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, we will continue with the item now before the House as the first item of business for tomorrow, that is item No. 8 on today's order paper. The next item of business will be item No. 11, the bill in respect of Children of War Dead, in the name of the Minister of Veterans' Affairs (Mr. Dube). This will be followed by item No. 19, a bill to amend the Canada Student Loans Act. We will then take up item No. 4, a bill to amend the Judges' Act, to be followed by item No. 23, a bill respecting the

November 5, 1969

expropriation of land. We hope to be in a position tomorrow or Friday to announce a somewhat more definitive schedule of business for the four days next week.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask whether this means that the Canadian National financing legislation is not included for this week?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

That will

depend on the progress made on the bills I have enumerated. The ones I have referred to will be in a position of priority. If we succeed in giving second reading to them, the Canadian National financing legislation will be included.

Business of the House

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

asked this question, Mr. Speaker, in order to ascertain whether the minister had changed the order slightly from that announced last night.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

If we make progress, it is very likely that the Canadian National financing legislation will come before the House on Monday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to standing order this House stands adjourned until two o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

At six o'clock the House adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.

574

November 5, 1969

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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APPENDIX "A"

November 5, 1969