November 20, 1969

LIB

Colin David Gibson

Liberal

Mr. Gibson:

The water is not the same.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

This is one of the weaknesses of the present bill.

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

Colin David Gibson

Liberal

Mr. Gibson:

You will not strengthen it.

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

An hon. Member:

Look at your own water in Hamilton.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

Other things have been done by this government. A cabinet decision passed

November 20, 1969

on February 9, 1967, gave the Department of National Health and Welfare primary responsibility for abating water pollution resulting from the operation of federal government facilities. Though we had a different Prime Minister in 1967, a Liberal government was in power. Many hon. members now in the chamber were here in 1967. The decision taken then applied to the departments, the Crown corporations and the Crown agencies.

Since then, reports have been received. Time does not permit me to go into them in detail, but the crown corporations are among the worst offenders in Canada as far as pollution is concerned. There are army camps which run raw sewage into our rivers; yet here we have a cabinet decision giving a government department the right to ensure that things of this kind do not happen. If hon. members wonder why we are critical and apprehensive when we see a new administrative structure being set up, it is because the government has done nothing with the power it already possesses. These are the things that worry our party and which I know concern the general public of Canada.

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

An hon. Member:

There is a difference.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

I could deal with a whole series of acts bearing on this question. There is the National Harbours Act. What about the dumping of 150,000 tons of acid into Hamilton Bay? What was done about that? Nothing.

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

Colin David Gibson

Liberal

Mr. Gibson:

You know nothing about it. We are working on it.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

In 1909 the Boundary Waters Treaty was signed with our neighbour to the south. It provided for the creation of a commission. The treaty states:

[DOT] (8:50 p.m.)

-boundary waters and waters flowing across the boundary shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other side.

Consider what we have in the Great Lakes system. The situation in the United States is as bad or worse than it is in Canada. We have a treaty which prohibits the polluting of these waters, but it has never been enforced because we have a weak administration. This point should be made crystal clear to the people of Canada.

One thing that has worried me is that we have not had any uniformity of standards. I should like to deal with this matter before my

Water Resources

time expires. The minister said this afternoon that this measure will lead to the controlling of pollution. That is a little different from my interpretation of the bill. Let me quote from an article which appeared in the Toronto Telegram of November 4 regarding a meeting held to explain the provisions of the Canada Water Act. I am now more apprehensive about the situation, having read the words of some officials of the department. These people were attending a Great Lakes conference at the education centre in Toronto. While newspaper articles can be misleading, this article states that Dr. Prince, a very fine and capable individual, said:

Dr. Prince, an expert in water resources said industries and municipalities and other sources of waterways pollution would be charged fees for the right to pollute.

The article continues:

He said, too, that pollution would not be defined by the Act, but would be determined instead by regional water quality management boards. These boards would determine how much pollution was acceptable in any of their areas of reference.

The article goes on to state:

"If people are not prepared to put any substance, any part of the gross national product into their environment, then they can wallow in their own juices until kingdom come," he said.

That is not my interpretation of the minister's remarks this afternoon. I understood this money was to be used to clean up the problem of pollution. As I read the act, it is to be left to the regional boards to decide upon the fee to be charged in respect of pollution. The article then states:

His evaluation of the act ... caused shock and disappointment among many at the conference.

The article says, further:

-as Dr. Prince explained it, polluters will be able to continue polluting by paying fees to the regional water board "commensurate with the degree of pollution".

The regional boards-whose composition has not been determined-would decide how much the levy would be and how it would be used.

He anticipated that the money would be used by the boards to fight the pollution caused by the feepayer. He suggested the fees would be high enough to make the polluter look to installing his own control.

The regional boards would also have the right to prosecute offenders-and would have the right to do so with degrees of discrimination. They could not, however, force offenders to install pollution control equipment or get out of the business.

What this means, Dr. Prince admitted, is that one regional board, going on its self-established definition of pollution, could force a firm into major expense or even out of business, while a similar firm could pollute with impunity in another region.

November 20, 19G9

Water Resources

Those are not my words; it is the interpretation of a man in the minister's own department. Let me also refer to what Dr. Lee said. He is in the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. He said, according to the article:

-the new Water Resources Act was, among other things, a true attempt at creating participatory democracy.

He said that in regions depending heavily on one major industry for prosperity, residents might have to choose pollution over the possibility that the industry would cease operation rather than control its effluents.

"One has to get the consensus as to what an area is prepared to back", he said. "We must sell the idea to the man in the street, who must put his taxes and behaviour toward a better environment.

Mr. Kelly, a member of a group in Toronto carrying out a pollution probe, is reported in the article as having

-attacked the requirement for control as unequal and asked: "Should anyone have the right to pollute anything?"

Dr. Prince said they did, if they wanted to pay.

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

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member but his time has expired.

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

Some hon. Members:

Carry on.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WATER RESOURCES
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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Does the House give unanimous consent to the hon. member to continue?

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

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will not abuse the privilege given by hon. members, but there are one or two points I wish to make. As I mentioned earlier, industry knew that a new bill was to be presented. Some people in industry felt that the idea of looking to industry is not the best arrangement of controlling pollution.

There are a number of other quotations I could present to the House this evening. I shall refrain from doing so, on the understanding that I will have an opportunity to read them later on. I should like to point out what I think is a very weak part of this measure. We are allowing effluent to flow into our rivers. Industry is to be given the opportunity to violate the law by paying a fee. The Ontario government has taken some action in pollution problems. Let me read from an article which appeared in the Toronto Star of August 28. It is not a direct quotation of the minister's words but I presume he

gave this information to the press. The article states in part:

Ontario companies convicted of pollution offenses should be forced to clean up instead of paying fines and staying dirty, Resources Minister George Kerr said yesterday.

He said his department is considering changes in legislation to force companies to clean up pollution instead of paying up. The changes should be ready for the mid-January session of the Legislature, he said.

I endorse that position. I think it is a very good idea, and that the firms polluting our waterways should be made to clean up rather than continuing to pollute them and merely paying a fee so to do.

[DOT] (9:00 p.m.)

Very briefly, I should like to say a word or two about the financial problems, which has probably worried me most. We are passing on to the provinces and municipalities a tremendous bill in respect of pollution. They do not have sufficient money to take adequate steps in respect of pollution problems. Just last summer a number of municipalities made requests for loans to Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In the province of Alberta 12 municipalities had their loan applications turned down because the supply of money had run out. The minister indicated today that more money will be made available. But here we have been set back because of the lack of available financing at reasonable interest rates for municipalities. If the action on the part of the government in the inflationary period this current year is to be the same as it has been in the past few months, we will see on the part of municipalities a slowdown in the establishment of facilities for the treatment, primarily, of sewage.

In closing there is one further point I should like to make. We have a committee on national resources. That committee drafted some recommendations which were presented to this House. They were unanimous recommendations. The committee was composed of members from all parties. I shall not read all the recommendations but I should like to refer to the pertinent ones. The committee recommended that the government draft a code of standards for the cleaning up and the future protection of all Canadian waters. These are not my words; they are the words contained in the recommendation of the committee. The committee further recommended that provincial approval of such a code be sought and that the federal government provide an enforcement procedure, if necessary

November 20, 1969

by means of an amendment to the Criminal Code.

I endorse the whole of the committee report. That particular recommendation, however, runs afoul of this bill. Here a multiplicity of regions are to be established, with each setting its own standards. There is to be no national standard, no national enforcement- nothing. This is what we protest and will continue to protest through organizations all over the country which are becoming interested in fighting pollution and are demanding, regardless of jurisdictional difficulties, that the problem be solved. We shall not let the government get out from under this problem by saying it is a constitutional one which it cannot tackle and which it will pass on to the provinces, thus avoiding giving proper leadership.

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

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abilibi):

Mr. Speaker, we now have before us a bill on water pollution and water resources, etc. There is no doubt that such a bill is necessary.

At the rate we are polluting our rivers, though knowing that the population in Canada and in the United States is bound to increase, we can ask ourselves what we are heading for if we persist in so doing.

I feel that the bill introduced by the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (Mr. Greene) will not be opposed, although it *cannot by itself settle the complex problem of water pollution, since the federal government has no exclusive jurisdiction in that field. In fact, we should ask ourselves to what extent the provinces are willing to fight water pollution.

In my opinion, the provincial governments are aware of this problem. But the provinces, municipalities and industries do not always have at their disposal the necessary means to fight water pollution nor do they have the engineers or technicians required. It is those who are able to pay, those who do research work and give advice who should take the situation in hand.

[DOT] (9:10 p.m.)

I was reading recently that only 3 per cent of all the water in the world is fit to drink, of which 2 per cent is made up of ice at the poles or on high mountains. Therefore, there is very little drinkable water available and if we do not take the necessary steps to protect this element essential to life, we will soon be faced with very serious problems since water pollution already exists.

Water Resources

I live in a rather new and small town of northwestern Quebec through which runs a small river. At the very beginning of colonization, sewage facilities were rather primitive, as can be expected; everything went into the river. Today, if a human being or an animal falls into a river, even if it does not get drowned, it is almost condemned to death, so polluted is the water.

This water at home flows into lake Abitibi which is fairly large. It gets cleaned up there, it evaporates but if several towns were established in this region or if the population increased and kept on acting in this way, within a very short time water from lake Abitibi would no longer be usable.

Similar cases are to be found almost everywhere. What proposals are made? Municipalities are invited to build water treatment plants. The National Housing Act suggests a plan under which loans may be granted to municipalities that wish to benefit from such services. Considering that nearly all municipalities are already deep in debt, that they have to borrow money at prohibitive rates of interest, and that most of them cannot pay for the construction of water treatment plants, they must get better assistance.

According to the information the minister sent us before introducing the bill in the House, industries are requested to arrange for used water treatment. This could be the best solution. It remains that production costs will necessarily increase and finally, the consumer will be the one to pick the tab.

We should therefore invite those who are in a position to do so to contribute to that project, either by levying some new taxes in order to help the municipalities to treat their sewage or by making grants and offering tax exemptions to the industries for that purpose.

The Canadian citizen will be unable, in my opinion, to avoid the cost of treatment in spite of the steps which could be taken. There are some technical methods to treat sewage and clean up the water but such facilities can entail considerable expenses.

In my municipality, a saw-mill was set up only a few months ago and it was necessary to equip it with a garbage incinerator. Knowing that he would shortly be compelled to install an incinerator to avoid polluting the air, the owner took the necessary steps in order to ensure the immediate treatment of smoke and waste.

If the new industries at least did the same, it may be that in a few years, the problem of

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

air pollution would be solved. Any new industry could be prevented from locating anywhere unless it committed itself to taking the means required to avoid polluting the air and the water.

According to a summary of biological culture there are three main causes of water pollution. I quote:

First cause of pollution: degradation of the cultural balance.

Second cause: the use of chemical fertilizers which are all acidic and provoke the introduction of minerals into seepage. These minerals are almost always ammoniacs, potash, lime. Yet drinking water has to have among other things high electrical resistance and few electrolytes. Only then can it be safe to health.

Third cause: the disposal of human waste into rivers (fermented dejections from septic tanks and sewage). This practice is perhaps necessary because of the human concentration in cities.

But it is perhaps possible to avoid this latter cause by purifying the waters.

I go on:

Fourth cause, which is probably the most serious and over which we have absolutely no control at present: pollution by industrial waste.

Big industry uses enormous quantities of water for every kind of production: metal, cement, pulp and paper, leather or plastics. Food industries, be it dairy products, meat or sugar, have similar requirements and every time the plant waste water flows into the river without being treated or sufficiently treated. Industrialists find it more immediately profitable to pay fines rather than change their facilities to meet vital requirements.

[DOT] (9:20 p.m.)

So, in view of those sources of pollution, I feel that the act must be firm enough and strong enough to minimize loopholes. As far as rivers are concerned, for instance, we hear from time to time of ships' masters being fined for polluting rivers with hydrocarbon waste. And still such infractions seem to continue and be quite frequent in spite of the fines. Apparently it is cheaper to pay the fine than not to throw the waste into the river and therefore the ship masters adopt the cheapest way. I feel that the government is not being firm enough, strict enough.

In studying the legislation which is before us tonight, I wonder whether it has been made firm enough. At any rate, we will be able to go thoroughly into it in committee. We will be able then to ask for further information from the minister and the officials

who will be called upon to give us a word of explanation. However, I wish to tell the minister that, as far as offences are concerned, when the act is in force, it will be absolutely necessary for us to take a very firm stand.

We must eradicate completely every cause of water pollution. The Canadian Water Pollution Control Institute moved a resolution that was agreed to on October 26, 1965, and subsequently published in the Canadian Worker in June 1966.

I am convinced that the minister has read that resolution, but I should like to quote it in part tonight for the information of hon. members.

Item (3) particularly, states the following, and I quote:

(3) It Is for industry, regional, provincial and federal governments, individually and collectively, to ensure adequately the treatment and control of sewage in order to prevent pollution;

-and Item (5), on which I spoke earlier, is to the effect that

(5) Pollution control has to be administered firmly, efficiently and equitably;

As to Item (8), it is worded as follows:

(8) As sewage represents an increasing proportion of water resources as a whole and since it could very well be recuperated and re-used through its restauration to a sufficient degree of quality, it is advisable to promote the perfecting of methods for the treatment of sewage and the adoption of standards so that they may be used again.

Of the 14 sections, those struck me particularly even though the others are interesting.

The City of Chicago, for example, was drawing large quantities of water from Lake Michigan to supply its municipal services, but the waters were later discharged into a river flowing south, so they did not come back into Lake Michigan. Some people submitted a project for replacing the water taken out of Lake Michigan by Chicago and other industrial cities.

As the minister said in his speech this afternoon, people are moving towards water bodies, and it has been like that since the beginning of the world. Industrial cities use up tremendous quantities of water which must be replaced.

An engineer from Sudbury, Mr. Kierans- not the Postmaster General and Minister of Communications but an engineer-put forward the so-called "Grand Canal" project. Its purpose would be to draw the water discharged in James Bay by a number of rivers, to pump it as far as Amos and from there to direct it to Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay

November 20, 1969

in order to feed at least that body of water as well as the St. Lawrence River whose water level dropped considerably for a few years.

The problem of the drop in the water level in the St. Lawrence River and in Montreal harbour seems less acute than it was for the last two or three years, but nothing seems to indicate that it will not come up again.

If we diverted the fresh water that is presently being lost in James Bay and Hudson's Bay to the Great Lakes, that might also help control pollution.

In industry as well as in domestic work, cleaning requires frequent rinsing. The large quantity of recoverable water that discharges in James Bay could, as it were, serve to rinse the waters of lake Ontario and make them at least purer.

This project, I am told, is being studied by the government of Ontario, thanks to federal grants, according at least to a statement by the Quebec minister of Natural Resources.

It seems the study on this project has not progressed as fast at Quebec government level, because the federal government did not grant any subsidies.

In this bill, it is stated that agreements must be reached between the federal government and the provinces.

To my mind, unless there is agreement with all the provinces, the industry no longer cares about the pollution problem.

I am confident that the interest of all Canadian provinces in the fight against pollution and in the conservation of our waters is such that they will not refuse to participate in this fight.

To date, some federal-provincial conferences afforded the ministers of natural resources the opportunity of consulting with each other. Such conferences should be held more frequently so that all the knowledge might be pooled, with a view to checking that serious problem.

The Ralliement creditiste feels that this bill is necessary to complete other imperfect acts; the government can always change it to improve it.

We feel that this bill should be given second reading, and referred to the Committee on National Resources and Public Works for a study in depth. If we feel that it is necessary to amend it, we will not hesitate to do so.

Water Resources

[DOT] (9:30 p.m.)

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

Kieth Reinhardt Hymmen

Liberal

Mr. Keith Hymmen (Kitchener):

Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to congratulate the minister on his excellent and detailed presentation this afternoon on the introduction of this legislation. I am sure all hon. members agree that it is very nice to see one who is genuinely respected in all corners of the House, in this portfolio as well as the one he held previously, and as a backbencher, returned to something like his old form. We certainly wish him well.

Mr. Speaker, in addressing myself to Bill C-144, which primarily concerns the conservation of our Canadian water resources, I am naturally very much aware of the mounting anxiety in regard to pollution, which problem I believe brought about this legislation. No doubt I shall be tempted, as will other hon. members, to refer to the larger, over-all field of pollution which of course includes air pollution, soil pollution, water pollution and environmental pollution generally. However, I shall try to resist this temptation.

Water pollution in itself is not merely one of local concern; it is a global problem. The continued concern for this problem, both on a national and a world-wide basis, may well mean the difference between life and death for many. Malthus might have presented his famous revelation to the world in even more startling terms by saying: "The population of the world increases geometrically while the water supply on the earth is constant."

Fresh water is, of course, a very important and precious commodity, not only to us as Canadians but to every citizen and every nation in the world. We in Canada have perhaps been fortunate in this respect, as we have been in so many other ways. It is a fact that all the available fresh water on earth is only 0.325 per cent or one-third of 1 per cent of the earth's entire water supply. The Great Lakes, that important body of water which means so much to us on the North American continent, contains 25 per cent of the total of all fresh water found in all the lakes of the world. That is 25 per cent of all the water, Mr. Speaker, for one-half of 1 per cent of the world's population. This is why the action of the government in introducing this legislation and the provisions of the bill itself are so important, if not for ourselves then for the world at large.

I mentioned that I would try to refrain from diverging from the subject matter of the

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

bill. However, may I make one brief reference. I have been reading a book by Dr. Paul Ehrlich, called "The Population Bomb". This is a challenging publication put out for the American public, and is in some respects rather frightening. By the author's own admission, it perhaps portrays the very worst situation which one might expect on this planet in the not-too-distant future. While the general subject matter is not for this debate, I should like to make one brief reference to this book. On page 66, Professor Ehrlich says:

I have just scratched the surface of the problem of environmental deterioration, but I hope that I have at least convinced you that subtle ecological effects may be much more important than the obvious features of the problem. The casual chain of the deterioration is easily followed to its source. Too many cars, too many factories, too much detergent, too much pesticide, multiplying contrails, inadequate sewage treatment plants, too little water, too much carbon dioxide-all can be traced easily to too many people.

While this statement, in relation to Canada as a whole, certainly can be questioned, he is perhaps right in one respect. Our present, very serious water pollution problem, which I believe can be generally pinpointed to the Great Lakes basin for the most part, has no doubt been brought about by the presence of too many people in one place. There are, of course, secondary factors which I would like to mention later.

The deteriorating situation in regard to the Great Lakes is of course shared equally with the United States of America. We must halt this degradation. Thirty-five million people live close to the Great Lakes. This is more than half as much again as the total population of this vast country. Over 3.5 million people in the United States, and something like 150,000 in Canada, take their domestic water supply from Lake Erie which is presently the most polluted of the whole Great Lakes system.

I mentioned the population factor because, of course, the recognized primary cause of water pollution is improperly treated domestic sewage or raw sewage, which can only be found where people are. An indication of sewage pollution is expressed by coliform count and biochemical oxygen demand, called BOD; the latter expressing the resulting decrease in the normal dissolved oxygen content of the water by the decomposition of organic matter. A related pollution problem- and possibly the most difficult one to deal with in the Great Lakes-is the one of eutrophication. This is the chemical enrichment of fertilization of the water, providing a

[Mr. Hymmen.l

highly undesirable medium for the promotion of algae growth. In Lake Erie it has been estimated that 72 per cent of these plant nutrients have come from municipal sewage, especially detergents. Detergents have contributed about two-thirds of the phosphates in sewage and nearly one-half of the lake's total input. Another 17 per cent comes from agricultural run-off, 7 per cent from city streets and urban property and only 4 per cent from industrial waste.

The second major source of water pollution has been from industrial operations-industrial chemicals, mine drainage, pulp and paper mill effluent, plating waste, etc. While our steel mills, pulp and paper mills, packing plants and many other industrial operations have been most important to the economy of our nation and to the well-being of our workers, no industrial firm has had a God-given right to pollute our waters; neither has any municipality or any other level of government. Steps must be taken by whatever means at our disposal to bring this action to a halt. This must be done, and can be done if we have the will to do it.

I was interested to learn recently that one of our important Canadian paper mill operations-the Ontario Paper Company in Tho-rold, Ontario, a firm that I happened to be connected with some years ago-recently announced a $5,000,000 program to remove suspended and dissolved solids from their effluent. I should also like to mention that a new, $500,000 waste treatment plant was recently opened at the J. M. Schneider packing plant in Kitchener, one of my valued constituent firms.

These are only two examples, and I am sure there are many more, where industrial initiative and co-operation has indicated acceptance of responsibility for the proper disposal of waste. The public has allowed us to become a little careless over the years. The waste factor and the provision for disposal of waste must be of equal importance to the providing of employment and the marketing of primary and manufactured products. It must not be subservient to the profit factor which is, of course, the essential feature of our industrial economy.

The initiative must be encouraged by provincial legislation for situations beyond the purview of this bill. It no doubt has been assisted by the federal tax regulations providing for accelerated two-year depreciation on industrial waste installations. Consideration can no doubt be given to other methods.

November 20, 1969

However, the important decision which the public is now demanding must be made. No matter who pays for it, the guidelines and the goal must be set. This is, again, a question of priority. However, if we can put men on the moon with our present scientific know-how, we can do anything that we have the will to do.

Without detracting in any way from this scientific achievement and with every good wish to Messrs. Conrad, Bean and Gordon for their safe return to this planet, I am sure there are, in the United States of America, many people who wonder whether a portion of the $24 billion spent on the space program might not have been put to better use in cleaning up some of their water and other pollution problems. There are other forms of pollution, Mr. Speaker, which must continually be examined.

[DOT] (9:40 p.m.)

A progressive step in regard to the use of the latter has, of course, been taken with the recent announcement in regard to the use of DDT. I believe I can remember when DDT was first introduced. It was a great boon to the agriculture industry. However, from the very beginning we have heard warnings from wildlife people to which, in retrospect, too little attention was paid. It has taken at least ten years or longer to realize what we should have known from the beginning, namely, that the benefits from the use of any new commodity must outweigh the adverse effects.

I mentioned agriculture run-off and the problem caused by phosphate fertilizers. With all the problems existing in our agricultural sector, which we heard so much about earlier this week-and I am sympathetic for the most part toward these problems-I do not seriously recommend taking away these fertilizers. However, with tongue in cheek might I suggest doing this as a rather naive way of solving the problem of over-production and the bulging elevators on the western prairies.

If I may get back to the bill before us, it provides the mechanism and framework for a great deal of consultation and co-operation among all levels of government and is, in my opinion, a giant step forward. For the first time penalties are to be imposed in order to make sure that the job can be done. Some will say that the penalties are too high, and others that they are too low. I would hope,

Water Resources

Mr. Speaker, that with interest already growing on the part of the general public, we can set ourselves to the necessary task without the penalties having to be imposed.

While this act will apply primarily to major interjurisdictional waters, to international, interprovincial or boundary waters, the use of which significantly affect waters outside a particular province, I would hope that in time the provisions of this act or similar legislation could with the co-operation of the province be extended to cover all Canadian waters. We are possibly in a grey constitutional area. Nevertheless, contrary to what some believe, I think that until we change or re-write our constitution we should live with the one we have. The provinces have for many years accepted responsibility for water resource management. Most of them have appropriate legislation and have designated ministerial responsibility. Some have done an outstanding job. This bill, when enacted, will complement and assist their efforts.

When a bill such as this is introduced it must, to have any hope of success, anticipate a great deal of co-operation at all levels of government. Now is not the time to poke a finger at any particular area for what has not been done. Rather, we as Canadians should gird ourselves for the important task which lies ahead, in the interest of present and future generations. I am very proud on this occasion to represent a municipality which since 1905, for almost 65 years, has accepted full responsibility for the treatment of its domestic waste. While I admit that the initial efforts may not have been too sucessful, we have progressed as a progressive community should. For some time now we have had complete secondary treatment of domestic waste for our community of over 100,000 people. I should also like to record the objection of His Worship, Mayor McLennan, to the summary omission in this connection of the city of Kitchener from the latest report of the Economic Council.

Bill C-144, when enacted, will repeal another federal statute, the Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act. It may be rather unusual to make reference to legislation on the way out. However, in the few minutes left at my disposal I should like to speak about the Grand River basin. This, of course, covers an important area in the heart of central Ontario which has played a significant part in the development of our Canadian industrial economy and has an important continuing role in this respect. We have the Golden, Triangle consisting of the cities of Kitchener,

November 20, 1969

Water Resources

Waterloo, Guelph, Galt, the down-river industrial community of Brantford, plus a very rich agricultural area.

The Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act has been extremely important to us in the past. We in the area had hoped that this could continue to be a medium for the conservation and preservation of our inland water resource, the Grand River. The Grand River Conservation Commission was incorporated under provincial charter in 1935, well in advance of the provincial conservation act and the establishment of other provincial conservation authorities. Over the years three important dams have been constructed on the river, the Shand, the Luther, and the Conestoga. The main purpose of these dams was flood control, but other important ancillary benefits were also derived. A total of over $8 million had been invested, in capital and operating costs, up to the beginning of 1966. Five and a quarter million dollars in capital costs was provided by the two higher levels of government; over $3 million was raised by eight area municipalities for capital and operating costs. Since these dams were initially constructed and the capital funds supplied up to the end of 1965, not one cent had been provided or asked for with respect to operating costs from the two higher levels of government.

Under the existing legislation, the Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act, work had been in progress for an extended program to provide additional dams on the river. While this program had been approved by the government of the province of Ontario in January, 1967, one of the designated participants under the act, and the submission had been subsequently forwarded to the federal government, neither I nor any of my colleagues representing constituencies on the river have had any success in persuading the ministers responsible, or the government, that federal participation should be approved.

One of the problems of which I have been very much aware in regard to the existing statute and others involving shared programs is a complete lack of awareness or consultation among the three levels of government in the early stages of planning. If Bill C-144 provides for nothing more-and I am sure it will provide for a good deal more-than consultation, co-operation, research and planning at all levels of government and industry, including research establishments, the universities and the private sector, as indicated, in my opinion a great deal will have been accomplished.

The introduction of Bill C-144 and the indicated repeal of the existing statute is not merely a summary abrogation of federal financial responsibility. It indicates a change in thinking which, perhaps, after all may be in the right direction. If the federal government through the new legislation accepts full responsibility, as indicated, for international, interprovincial or boundary waters with or without the co-operation of the provinces- which in itself is a large and expensive undertaking-perhaps the provinces will agree to retain their already accepted responsibility for purely provincial and inland waters.

All is yet not lost in regard to the Grand River valley. The Grand River Conservation Commission has been dissolved and has been replaced by a larger body representing, I believe, some 70 urban and rural municipalities, the Grand River Conservation Authority. The government of the province of Ontario has already offered to increase its share of the proposed program from 371 per cent to 60 per cent, and I believe is presently considering the possibility of filling in the 37 J per cent gap of permissive funds by the federal government under the existing statute.

Mr. Speaker, like the other hon. members who sat on the Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works, I am looking forward to the second reading of this bill and to its reference to the committee.

[DOT] (9:50 p.m.)

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

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might rise on a point of order at this time. It is nearly ten o'clock and I understand the government house leader has an announcement on the business for next week. I wonder if it might be called ten o'clock at this time.

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

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

November 20, 1969