November 20, 1969

LIB

Colin David Gibson

Liberal

Mr. Gibson:

That is not an issue of the debate.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

You will have an opportunity to speak later. I will be about five minutes concluding my remarks.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

They are just trying to stall you.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

I understand and appreciate what they are doing, but my skin is thick. It has been toughened by the western winds and the cold of the western north, but I do not speak with a forked tongue. I do not believe this government recognizes Indian treaties. I intend to soon resume my seat, but if I did not say this the rocks of Canada would cry out in defence of the Indian. We must start with a solemn recognition of their treaties before the Indians will listen to us. I know these people very well. They sit quietly and listen; their manners are better than ours. They will sit and listen to the minister and the deputy minister, but they would listen more intently if the government assured them that their treaties would be honoured. If it is suggested that their treaties, signed by the great white mother in England, have no meaning or validity, we will get nowhere.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order, please. Has the hon. member completed his remarks?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

No, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Let me

remind the hon. member that the debate at this time refers to the production of papers. The hon. member should confine his remarks to that specific subject.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

There would be no purpose asking for the production of papers unless the hon. member had a specific point in mind. I believe that his purpose is nothing less than an attempt to prove to the Indian people that we are of good faith. The keystone of good faith in this regard is the recognition of Indian treaties. Unless I am sadly mistaken, my words are easily understood. I refer to the rights of the Indian people.

Let me try in my own inimitable fashion to explain this situation. If there is nothing in those papers which goes against the welfare of the Indian people, they should be made public. If there is anything of this kind in them, we should know about it. Many documents which pass between government departments should not be divulged. There

Motions for Papers

are certain delicate matters which if made public might be disadvantageous to the Indian people. They do not trust us now. They do not believe that when two groups of white people get together they should be trusted.

I do not intend to castigate the government for not producing these documents if someone can prove to me there is good reason for not producing them. I am easily convinced, and I would not be unhappy about such a decision because I respect secrecy in certain matters. This debate has given me a wonderful opportunity to suggest why the hon. member for Skeena moved his motion. The Indian people in Canada are alarmed, and no matter how polite they may be to ministers of the federal and provincial governments, I assure the House that they are deeply disturbed.

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

We speak of equality. It is not sufficient to speak of equality to these people. We must firmly and ably demonstrate to them that we believe in equality We speak of improving their status. We do this behind closed doors. Such action suggests only that they are not equal and that their status is not clearly defined. Until we demonstrate to these people that we intend to honour their treaties, they will have every reason to be suspicious of us. The key to this whole problem is the matter of the treaties. I say this after 57 years experience of these people and because I love them. I would not have bothered getting to my feet today were it not for the fact that I want to state the truth and the simple fact.

We must make the Indian people believe we intend to honour the treaties no matter how out-of-date they may be. They have lived up to their obligations under the treaties, and if we do not sit down with them and discuss these questions it will be clear to them that we have broken the treaties. We must sit down with them as our ancestors did and make a solemn agreement with them. If we do not start there, I do not think we will get anywhere.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink
LIB

Colin David Gibson

Liberal

Mr. Colin D. Gibson (Hamilion-Wenl-worlh):

Mr. Speaker, the belief in free access to government documents is based on the principle that monopolistic control of information, a policy of secrecy, is in fact truly undemocratic and reactionary. Such a policy breeds distrust and contempt for the civil service and government departments. However, I do not advocate the "open access" theory which makes virtually all government

November 20, 1969

Motions for Papers

files of any description subject to public scrutiny at any time. Such a principle is a denial of the freedom to express thoughts, and inquisitorial attitudes can only spread alarm and a rush to the fireplace with documents. Those who have responsibility for long-term and detailed working papers must be protected from unfair prying and ineffective interference.

Consider, for example, an economist who is preparing a working paper for his department. Suppose he needs the opinion of officials in other departments and in assessing his interim opinion he names certain people as expressing views pro or con on a certain position: then suppose he expresses his interim view and views which are frank but not final. Should those working papers be scrutinized before the official has had an opportunity to fully develop his research material, weigh all considerations and make a decision free from outside, public pressure? I say no, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, such a policy of premature disclosure would inhibit free thought and independent judgment; it would only discourage frankness of expression by civil servants. I respect the right of the expert to work on his projects with that freedom of thought and expression which goes with the nature of his responsibilities.

Surely we have not reached the point where a politically unpopular idea cannot in private be expressed and weighed as to its merits by the officer of a government department. Otherwise all thoughts, ideas and expression of ideas would be weapons to be used in the glare of publicity and in the public, political forum. Government officials are not to be pillaried and spied on. They must be allowed to deliberate in a democratic way as is the case in nearly all businesses and professions. I should like to quote from page 30 of the report of the Task Force on Government Information:

The Report of the Royal Commission on Security (Abridged) acknowledged the fact of the Swedish system of open access but it did not approve of the principle behind the system.

"We would view suggestions for increased publicity with some alarm. We think the knowledge that memoranda might be made public would have a seriously inhibiting effect on the transaction of public business. We believe that the process of policy-making implies a need for wide-ranging and tentative consideration of options, many of which it would be silly or undesirable to expose to the public gaze ..."

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I oppose this motion and suggest it is six o'clock.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO POLICY STATEMENT BY MINISTER
Permalink

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

WATER RESOURCES


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Greene that Bill C-144, to provide for the management of the water resources of Canada including research and the planning and implementation of programs relating to the conservation, development and utilization of water resources, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works.


IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please, I wonder

whether the hon. member would mind my not accepting his suggestion that it is six o'clock. If hon. members would bear with me, I should like at this point to deliver words of wisdom which are the result of serious consideration of a point of order raised earlier today by the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Baldwin) and the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles).

When the motion for second reading of Bill C-144, an act to provide for the management of the water resources of Canada including research and the planning and implementation of programs relating to the conservation, development and utilization of water resources, was proposed this afternoon, the hon. member for Peace River raised a point of order to the effect that certain financial provisions contained in that bill were outside the terms of the recommendation of the Crown, and that the bill should be set aside or a supplementary royal recommendation should be presented before the bill be finally passed.

The hon. member went on to say that some clauses of the bill provided for certain fees which in his view constituted an imposition of taxation. The hon. member cited Standing Order 62 which is in effect a restatement of section 54 of the British North America Act. That Standing Order reads in part as follows: S.O. 62(1)

This house shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill for the appropriation of any part of the public revenue, or of any tax or impost, to any purpose, that has not been first recommended to the House by a message from the Governor General in the session in which such vote, resolution, address or bill is proposed.

November 20, 1969

In effect the hon. member suggests that a taxation provision must be recommended to the House by His Excellency. In that regard I might read an excerpt from a ruling given by Mr. Speaker Anglin as long ago as April 24, 1878. Hon. members may think it curious that I would make use of such an ancient reference, but the matter was so clearly stated by the then Speaker that I have little hesitation in using it at this time:

The whole question occurs to me at the present moment in this light. In the first place, I may say that the 54th Clause of the British North America Act, 1867, has no bearing whatever, in my opinion, on the case. It relates merely to appropriations. Honourable Members in reading it over rather cursorily are led into a mistake owing to the peculiar reading of it as follows: "It shall not be lawful for the House of Commons to adopt or pass any Vote, Resolution, Address or Bill for the appropriation of any part of the Public Revenue, or of any tax or impost, to any purpose that has not been first recommended to that House by Message of the Governor General, in the Session in which such Vote, Resolution, Address or Bill is proposed."

This Clause does not bear on the Question of the imposition of taxes at all; it merely relates to appropriations.

The same principle is set forth in citation 263(3) of Beauchesne's Fourth Edition, which reads as follows:

[DOT] (6:00 p.m.)

The 54th Clause of the British North America Act, 1867, merely relates to appropriations, and does not bear on the question of the imposition of taxes.

Again I might refer to Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure, Fourth Edition, footnote (b) on page 412, which reads as follows:

In the journals of 1873 the governor-general's recommendation is signified to a resolution relative to customs duties in the North-West, through a misapprehension of the meaning of the section which refers only to the "appropriation of a tax or impost," and not to one "imposition" of the same.

May I now deal with the question as to whether the fees proposed in the bill are, in effect, a method of imposing taxation. If we assume for a moment that the proposed fees are a taxation measure, it is my opinion that proceedings on the bill could continue since the only condition imposed on a taxation measure is that it be introduced by a minister of the Crown. Here I would observe that citation 269 of Beauchesne's Fourth Edition states:

No augmentation of a tax or duty asked by the Crown can be proposed to the committee, nor tax imposed, save upon the motion of a Minister of the Crown; nor would an amendment to extend the imposition of a tax to persons enjoying an exemption therefrom be now permitted.

Water Resources

In other words, only the government or a member of the government can introduce a taxing measure and the Governor General's recommendation has no direct bearing on this procedure. On the other hand, I have given very careful consideration to the most important point raised by the hon. member for Peace River in relation to whether the proposed fees do in fact constitute taxation as understood under our practice and procedures. I must say that I am not convinced that they are taxation. May I refer to page 504, Bourinot's Fourth Edition, where it is stated: The correct practice, as in the English Commons, is not to require a previous committee when the bill exacts fees for services performed, and when they are not payable into the treasury or in aid of the public revenue. For instance, the "act to regulate expense and control charges of returning officers at parliamentary elections" contains a schedule of charges and expenses, which was not previously considered in committee.

In conclusion, I may say that the terms of the royal recommendation appear to be wide enough to cover any expenditures that may form a charge on the public revenue, and this is the requirement of our practice of the B.N.A. Act and of our standing orders.

Second, it is my opinion, supported by the several authorities to which I have referred, that a specific recommendation of the Crown is not required for the imposition of a tax or for the charging of fees by an agency of the Crown in relation to services rendered by such an agency. For the reasons stated, I suggest that the financial provisions of the bill have been introduced in accordance with the usages and privileges of the House. The bill, in my opinion, is properly before the House.

I thank hon. members for their forbearance. It being long after six o'clock, I do now leave the chair.

At 6.05 p.m. the House took recess.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The House resumed at 8 p.m.


PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

Mr. Speaker, when we rose at five o'clock I was speaking of the difficulties in making the water quality agencies work as intended by the bill. In order for an agency to become operative in any given area there must first be a federal-provincial agreement. Next there must be an application to incorporate the proposed water quality agency, presumably followed by the appointment of

<1066

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

the members to the agency. The agency will then prepare its administrative structure, hire personnel and start holding meetings. It will theh start to prepare plans for water quality Control within its boundaries, and such plans Will require a great deal of consideration, surveys and research. After plans have been promoted they must be submitted to the federal department for approval, and presumably to the provincial government. Both these governments will have to review the plans, which no doubt will require a further feasibility study within the federal and provincial departments.

I could point out many of the other problems that will be faced when getting into the business of pollution control, but the main point I am trying to make is that this bill adds to jurisdictional red tape rather than taking away from it. While the relationship between the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and the water control agencies is fairly well spelled out in the bill, there is nothing in it which sets out the relationship Of these agencies with other significant federal departments which have jurisdiction, such as fisheries, transport and health, and with the provincial and municipal agencies. In other words, the water quality management agencies will in a sense be foundlings and will not have very much assistance or support *from anyone else. Their connection with other federal departments and with provincial departments is not defined.

* *1 !I could point out further inadequacies in the bill, but others of my colleagues will be faking part in the debate and the bill will be studied clause by clause in the standing committee. It is fairly clear, from the preliminary reaction, that some provinces will not easily be persuaded of the federal government's good faith in this bill. I can foresee interminable negotiations with the provincial governments over many of the local agencies. There will not be just ten agreements; there will be many more than that-one for each of the local agencies.

The federal government's austerity measures at the present time, and the minister's own words, give no assurance of concrete financial support for this whole concept, without which I believe no province could reasonably be expected to make an agreement. The lack of a cost-sharing formula and the complications of the bill itself must make many provinces suspicious. But nothing effective can be done under this bill within a province except by a negotiated agreement. Where the

agreement fails, the effect of the bill is diminished, and in the meantime pollution problems will mount.

Having made these very broad and severe criticisms one may properly ask whether we have a better solution or a reasonable alternative. I believe that we have. First, we would set up a national department or agency to co-ordinate pollution control efforts in all departments and to deal with water quality as part of this over-all approach. The proposed Canada Water Act is not part of any integrated plan to deal with pollution control; it is just another of the bits and pieces of pollution control legislation that we now have in Canada.

Second, we would deal with water quality ias part of a national priority for pollution control, and commit the necessary funds from federal taxation. Third, there is clear and well defined federal jurisdiction over and responsibility for pollution control and water quality management within the provinces, independent of provincial jurisdiction, as well as in the territories and coastal waters. The federal Parliament should be asked to assume this jurisdiction and to act upon it directly.

To be specific, Mr. Speaker, the federal Parliament has strong powers through its jurisdiction over sea coast and inland fisheries, navigable waters, national health, transportation, agriculture, national research, international and interprovincial works and undertakings, the criminal law and law for the peace, order and good government of Canada.

[DOT] (8:10 p.m.)

The scattered and widespread federal powers in regard to pollution control-which it has been so difficult to manage-could be the strength of the federal case, not its weakness. These powers, many already exercised independently by numerous departments could, if welded together, form a strong base for a federal pollution control bill. It could assume powers concurrent with, but not superseding, provincial powers. Where provinces are acting, the federal agency could work with them to prevent duplication. Where provinces are not acting, the federal government could proceed within its own field of jurisdiction, at its own expense and on its own initiative, to deal with pollution control as a matter of federal and national concern. I cannot see any province objecting to the federal government going about its own business within a province.

November 20, 1969

For example, Ontario has an excellent Water Resources Commission which has been dealing with pollution control for about 14 years. At the same time, the federal government has under the aegis of the minister established at Burlington the Canada Centre for Inland Waters and has proceeded with its water quality research and control program without any question or hesitation. The federal government acting within its own jurisdiction set up this centre and there is no objection to it whatever; indeed, the province of Ontario has a centre right beside it. Another example is this: we did not hear the province of Newfoundland objecting when the Department of Fisheries effectively stopped the pollution of Placentia Bay. We have not heard the government of Ontario object when the federal government has taken charge in many of these areas. They recognize that there is a federal responsibility in this area, and I believe they are prepared to accept it.

The federal government is not the natural enemy of the provinces, especially when it is spending money within its own jurisdiction. Neither should the federal Parliament, acting in its own field, be subservient to or dependent upon provincial legislation. That is exactly what we are doing in this bill, because provincial refusal makes the bill useless. At the same time, provinces which are proceeding to combat pollution within their own field should not be limited by federal legislation.

Our alternative to this bill is simply this: we should have a federal pollution control act, or water act, in which the federal power is declared and acted upon. The federal government could then proceed with its own program, at its own expense and in its own way. Provinces willing to act, or which are already acting within their own field, would welcome a partnership with the federal government. A significant example was quoted by the minister himself this afternoon: there is no

authority under this act to ban the use of detergents or other polluting agencies throughout Canada.

The federal government certainly has the power, and I believe it could and ought to assume that power under any bill passed by Parliament. The government has the authority to do this, and it is not too late to do so. I suggest that such a provision could very well be included in the bill and that it would be welcomed. In provinces not active in their own field, and there are undoubtedly examples, Canadians would have the benefit of the federal work and protection.

Water Resources

Mr. Speaker, with this clear alternative before it-it has been suggested that the authority is there-and in view of the introduction of this complicated, difficult and ineffective bill, we can only assume that the government is not prepared to spend money or to take responsibility for pollution control, but intends to pass the problem as quickly as possible to provincial and local agencies.

A start has been made. The minister has set forth on a difficult course. We hope he will have a different bill to administer when we have finished dealing with it. Whatever program we end up with, I think I can assure him that this House will wish him well and support him in carrying out the best legislation that Parliament can produce.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Randolph Harding (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to have an opportunity to speak in the debate now taking place in the House. Before I proceed any further I should like to say a word or two about the preceding speakers. This afternoon we heard from the minister. I must say it is good to see him becoming increasingly active in the House. We all sincerely wish him a full and complete recovery of health. While I intend to be rather critical of several aspects of the legislation which we are discussing this afternoon, I am quite certain that the minister realizes there is nothing personal in my remarks about the draft legislation before us.

In his speech this afternoon the minister was rather poetic in spots but his message came through quite clearly. It seemed to me the message was that this federal Liberal government has no real plan for solving Canada's pollution problem. It has given up any pretext of leading a vigorous fight against pollution. It is to a large extent unloading the problem of pollution and the related costs on to the provinces and the municipalities. If there are no national anti-pollution standards, there can be no enforcement under an amendment to the Criminal Code. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that this government has again proven itself ineffective in dealing with one of the major problems facing this nation, that of the pollution of our environment.

[DOT] (8:20 p.m.)

The preceding speaker, a spokesman for the official opposition, made a number of interesting points and I agree with most of them. I, too, feel that this bill in its present form will be ineffective in tackling the grave pollution problems our nation faces. It seems to me that the government has almost deliberately passed the pollution problem on to the

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

provinces. Of course, in doing this it escapes an onerous financial burden which it might not wish to assume at this time.

I listened with interest to the speeches made in this debate. I believe in co-operation with provincial and municipal authorities. We have had too little co-operation in the past. I am not opposed to our setting up groups to co-ordinate federal and provincial activities at any level. However, if we read the debates of three or four months ago we find that the government said there was considerable difficulty in establishing groups which could take joint action on pollution problems. As reported at page 10554 of Hansard, the Minister without Portfolio from Saskatoon-Hum-boldt (Mr. Lang) said:

Two years ago the then Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, now Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin), proposed to the provinces that the senior governments endorse the establishment of a national advisory committee on water pollution, with representation from the federal government, the provinces and the universities. This committee would have included in its functions studies on various aspects of water pollution, such as regional and national water quality objectives, the costs of pollution, and the benefits to be reaped through pollution control. The terms of reference of this committee have recently been expanded to include air and soil pollution as well as water.

He went on to say:

Our proposal included an offer to finance the committee and provide it with a secretariat. Although most provinces seemed to favour the proposal, others did not. This stalemate is much regretted by us since it has blocked one avenue of joint action.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, it has blocked one avenue wherein the provinces and the federal authority could undertake joint action. This afternoon the minister told us that a committee will be set up with each province; we are to have ten separate committees. This clearly indicates that there will be many major areas of Canada wherein there will not be any pollution control at all.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

There will not be any action, nor co-operation between federal and provincial authorities.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Read the bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

I have read the bill very carefully. It seems to me that many Liberal backbenchers have not taken the time to read the bill or the speeches some of them have made inside the chamber and outside it before the

legislation came down would not have been worded so optimistically.

Before dealing with the bill itself, I wish to say that members on all sides of the House have said on numerous occasions that pollution problems in this nation are growing increasingly grave, as they are in other nations of the world. Warnings are coming from any sources. A very interesting scientific report from the United Nations points out that mankind is in serious trouble as a result of pollution. We are polluting our environment to the point that our destruction is inevitable unless immediate and drastic steps are taken to protect every part of our environment. Speaking on the subject of oceanography yesterday, a Canadian scientist said that unless action is taken very, very quickly, the internal combustion engine could spell the end of mankind. He pointed out that not only Canada but the whole world is in trouble in this respect.

Also, Mr. Speaker, one can readily see that there is a problem resulting from toxic pesticides. This government has given precious little leadership in the control of those pesticides which infect our environment. About ten days ago the Prime Minister said that the use of DDT was to be cut back and that the government would consider the problem of other toxic pesticides. This has long been overdue. We should have been doing research into this subject months and months ago. We have waited for the provinces and other countries to take action on DDT and have followed lamely along in the rear. We follow after irreparable damage has been done to our environment.

It seems to me that we have acted this way in almost every field. Take, for example, the matter of air pollution. What is the government doing about air pollution? One or two committees have been set up and there has been a bit of investigation here and there; but no standards are being set. Because in our country a small portion of the population live in a vast area, we seem to think that these problems may escape, may go away for a period of time. You have only to look around to see what is happening in some areas and realize how much they are affected by air pollution. Take, for example, the United States and the pollution in the Los Angeles area. The motor vehicle, chiefly, has created the smog in that area, as has industrial waste. Air pollution has now reached the point where school children under 21 years of age are afraid to exercise for fear of damaging

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

their lungs. This problem is affecting every urban area of this and other continents. How long do we have to wait for some type of leadership to be given by governments in regard to this problem? This government should be giving leadership.

[DOT] (8:30 p.m.)

I shall now deal with the problem of water pollution. This bill is supposed to deal with that problem. The problem of industrial wastes, sewage and phosphates lacks any action by the federal, provincial and municipal authorities. This fact is apparent everywhere we look. For example, action must be taken with regard to phosphates; the problem must be corrected now. The detergent manufacturing companies must be approached. New products must emerge from the research which I hope is being carried on and should be carried on with increasing tempo. Reports received by the various agencies indicate that we do not have much time in which to find a solution to this problem.

I wish to point out one or two examples of what is occurring through stupidity, not only the stupidity of this government but the stupidity of people in general who have ignored the problems of pollution. The Great Lakes system is the greatest body of fresh water in the world, yet we have almost completely destroyed it. We do not have to look very far from Ottawa to be aware of the pollution problems that exist. The problem is apparent in the Rideau River and the Gatineau River. It is disgraceful to have a river in the national capital area in such a condition. Nothing has been done to clear up these problems. In my home province of British Columbia there is the great Fraser River, one of the greatest salmon rivers on the North American continent. The lower reaches of this river are nothing but a running sewer. These are the problems that worry Canadians.

I now wish to deal with the Canada Water Act which is now before us and discuss several of its sections. I wish to point out to hon. members where in my opinion the act is weak, in the hope that amendments will be suggested when it gets to the committee stage. The bill we are now debating deals with only one aspect of pollution, namely, water pollution. This is normal; we do not expect everything to be covered under the one act. It is difficult to disagree with the bill, which in my opinion is scarcely more than a new administrative framework set up by the government in the hope that it will eventually solve the

grave pollution problems of this nation. No doubt it will provide better federal-provincial co-operation, and no one is opposed to this.

This bill, Mr. Speaker, is certainly not the tough, no-nonsense, no-deal legislation we expected for solving our water pollution problems. It is not the type of legislation the people of Canada were led to believe they would get in the Canada Water Act. This act must be a bitter disappointment to the Canadian people because it does nothing about pollution; it merely sets up another administrative framework to deal with our water pollution problems. As I said before, the bill sets no uniform Canadian standards, no regional standards and gives absolutely no leadership in this regard.

The bill will allow industry to pay for the right to pollute. I repeat, it will allow industry to pay for the right to pollute. This anaemic approach to our water pollution problems is being abandoned by those governments which have tried it. The bill places most of the onus for pollution control on the provinces and municipalities. There is only a vague, general outline of the federal government's position in dealing with the tremendous financial problem which will be caused by pollution control when it comes into effect. It is crystal clear from the bill and the minister's remarks this afternoon that the bulk of the cost will be borne by the provinces and municipalities. This fact alone is enough to severely restrict any major attack on pollution problems for years to come.

I now wish to go back and cover one or two points which I dealt with rather quickly. I wanted to make these points before my time expired. I indicated that I felt the act would be a bitter disappointment to the Canadian people because it does nothing about the problems of pollution; it merely sets up another administrative body. I now wish to state why we are apprehensive. This government has in the past had a bad record which leads me to believe that permissive and not direct legislation is just another stalling tactic. To date this government has had a poor showing in the pollution battle. As a result, Canadians everywhere are suffering from a reduction in the quality of their lives. I feel this permissive legislation is merely an appearance of action on the part of the government.

Time and again this government has had an opportunity to act on the problems of pollution, but it has failed the Canadian people. A number of acts already on our statute books

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

could have been used for pollution control. Hon. members know they have been almost totally ignored. I wish to give several examples of this: we have the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the National Harbours Board Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, the National Health Act and a number of others. Each act has a set of regulations that could and should be taking care of the pollution problems facing this nation. In addition to these acts, there are about 14 government departments directly involved in the problems of pollution. However, action by them has been totally lacking. They have been ineffective because of the lack of government initiative. If we get from the Canada Water Act the same results that we have had from the enforcement of the acts already on our statute books, our pollution problems will remain unchecked. We have the power to check pollution, but that power has seldom been used.

[DOT] (8:40 p.m.)

The federal government prefers to pass the buck to the provincial and municipal authorities. The question I should like to leave with the minister is: Where do the government departments now fit into the pollution picture? Has the co-ordinating committee been set up? What about the regulations we already have and the various acts covering a variety of government departments? How do they fit into solving Canada's pollution problems?

A very interesting article appeared in the Globe and Mail of last August, written by the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Davis). In his opinion there was virtually no body of water anywhere in Canada under either federal or provincial jurisdiction which did not come within the provisions of the Fisheries Act. He suggested in the article that one or two minor changes might be made, but that the Department of Fisheries was the logical department to deal with water pollution. This suggestion has been ignored. I find myself wondering how the Fisheries Act fits in with the pollution legislation now proposed.

I intend to read one or two excerpts from this article because I think they should be placed on the record. I shall not read the whole of the article because it is too lengthy. I will start with the part dealing with pulp mills, which is as follows:

Canada's No. 1 chemical process industry is busy putting its own house in order. Let us hope that other chemical-type industries will follow suit:

But why focus on pulp and paper? The reason, in quantitative terms, is obvious. We have no less than 170 pulp mills in this country. They use up more than 80 per cent of all the water consumed by industry in Canada. Also they are responsible for dumping well over half of all the decomposable material thrown into our water courses each year. No wonder that we in the Fisheries and Forestry Department in Ottawa are concerned about the pulp and paper industry and the way it is dealing with its pollution problem.

The article continues:

The Fisheries Act, must, of course, be applied uniformly across the country.

The minister is calling for uniform standards across Canada. The article goes on:

New plants should be up against uniform standards wherever they locate. They must be up against the same laws and the same regulations. Otherwise they will be able to seek out the provinces which have poorer standards and exploit their pollution laws.

He is pointing out, with crystal clarity, what we should be doing-the very opposite of what this bill proposes. He goes on to say, as reported in this article:

Pollution abatement, of course, costs money. And in order to escape these costs new industry has a tendency to go to those places where it can use our fish-bearing rivers as a dumping ground. This must be stopped and the uniform application of the Fisheries Act can be very helpful in this regard.

He then makes other points. I shall read a little further on in the article:

Our Fisheries Act can, of course, stand improvement. It should include clauses which are anticipatory in nature. And with these amendments, we will no longer have to find dead fish in order to prove our case. We will no longer have to wait until the damage is done to our waters.

The point the minister is making very clearly is that we must insist on uniform standards Canada-wide. What do we get in this bill? Regional bodies are to be set up in the various river basins and will set their own standards. The result will be a hodgepodge of different standards from one end of Canada to the other.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT INCLUDING RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS
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November 20, 1969