November 27, 1970

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

WAYS AND MEANS

LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. E. J. Benson (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 60(2) I should like to request the designation of an Order of the Day for the consideration of a ways and means motion so that I may make a budget presentation on Thursday next at eight p.m.

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Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Sub-subtopic:   DESIGNATION OF ORDER OF THE DAY TO DEBATE WAYS AND MEANS MOTION
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SHIPBUILDING

ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce an extension of the government's national program for shipbuilding which will help shipbuilders throughout Canada to obtain export orders.

As hon. members are aware, shipbuilding activity in Canadian yards has been at a low level this year despite the support available for the construction of Canadian flag vessels for domestic use. Employment has seriously declined and will continue to do so.

At the same time the international market for ships has strengthened. Demand has more than doubled since 1965 and is now running at some $15 billion per year on the world basis. The extension of government assistance to the industry which I am announcing today is designed to help our yards share in this strong market.

To penetrate the international market it is important for Canadian shipbuilders to achieve lower unit costs. Multiple unit production is one of the ways to improve cost performance. To this end the government has decided on a temporary program of support for the building of ships for export.

The program will apply to firm export orders received by Canadian shipyards prior to June 30, 1972. Support will be granted to shipyards up to an amount of 17 per cent of the audited costs of a ship built for export and under 40,000 deadweight tons. For ships over 40,000 deadweight tons the support will amount to 14 per cent of audited costs. The rate of this temporary assistance will decline after September 30, 1971 by \ of 1 per cent

per quarter. In determining the base for support, profits will be excluded. Detailed information as to the various conditions of government assistance will be announced in regulations to be issued in the near future. The necessary approval of Parliament will be sought shortly.

I understand that as much as $300 million worth of export orders representing over 14,000 man years of employment for this mainly Canadian-owned and operated industry may be available to competitive Canadian shipyards which can offer early delivery.

I trust that the government's decision to give this special temporary support will help to maintain employment during the period until the domestic shipbuilding market strengthens. I hope that the activity generated will place our yards in a better position to bid for continuing export as well as domestic business. It is not intended that during the life of this program our industry should overexpand in relation to anticipated long-term demand.

I believe that the expected higher level of business will help our yards further to diversify their production and reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in the demand for vessels. It is significant that a number of our yards are already producing efficiently a wide variety of heavy equipment.

[DOT] (11:10 a.m.)

In recent years Canadian shipyards have improved their competitive competence and product capability and have increased their productivity and lowered their costs. This process has been facilitated by government policies directed toward the encouragement of a healthy and viable industry. The modernization of shipyards has been encouraged under the programs of the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce, and support for such modernization and diversification will be continued.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to file a copy in both official languages of my statement and the press release on the shipbuilding expansion program.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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PC

Howard Russell MacEwan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. Russell MacEwan (Central Nova):

Mr. Speaker, we of the Official Opposition welcome the statement the minister has made in the House today on this most important matter. I did not realize that the question I directed to him yesterday would get him going so quickly, but I thank him for doing so.

Shipbuilding subsidies were introduced by the former government under the right hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) as a program to assist the industry in this country to become competitive with foreign shipyards. As we all know, to the end of 1969 the

November 27, 1970

Shipbuilding Program

subsidy amounted to 25 per cent but under the present plan will decline to 17 per cent by 1973.

I commend the minister for the step he is taking to assist our shipyards in getting into the export market. This is important, but it is only a stopgap measure and something of greater permanence must be brought forward. I commend to him, as I did yesterday, the recommendations of the Robertson Committee on Shipbuilding. As he pointed out, there are 21 recommendations in that report. Among them is a recommendation that subsidies on commercial shipbuilding remain at 23 per cent for deliveries prior to June 30, 1973.

Also of importance are the subsidies under the Department of Fisheries and Forestry in respect of fishing trawlers. These must also be maintained because of their importance.

I think the minister and the government should take cognizance of recommendation No. 1 of the Robertson Committee Report:

That the government develop, formulate and state a maritime policy that will ensure fulfilment of Canada's maritime interests, and that it establish appropriate organizational arrangements for continuous implementation of that policy.

I always believe in starting at the beginning so I commend recommendation No. 1 to the minister. We welcome the assistance in respect of export markets and we look forward to a permanent maritime policy which will help the shipbuilding industry of this country. The measures taken are helpful but a permanent policy must be forthcoming at an early date to assist in solving the unemployment problem. As the minister has said, activity in Canadian shipbuilding yards has been at a low level this year. The only way it can be brought to a higher, permanent level is by the government coming forward with a permanent and complete maritime policy.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Max Saltsman (Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, I have no congratulations for the minister or the government today because, after all, what does one say to a government which after systematically running around for the last two years destroying the economy now comes forward with some measures to make up for the destruction it has caused? Over and over again we have pointed out the high cost of unemployment to this country and the inability of adjustments to take place as a result of the deliberate unemployment policies of the government.

The government panicked. The government created unemployment in a futile effort to control inflation. It has not been successful in controlling inflation and its unemployment policies have been absolutely damaging to the economy. Then the government comes to the House of Commons, yesterday with a shirt policy and today with this measure in respect of shipbuilding, and expects to be congratulated. Their actions remind me of their campaign teams during the last election. They had one team putting up signs and another team tearing them down. That is the kind of arrangement they have now. They have one group trying to regulate the economy and they have another group which is trying to put the sticks together-

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member has the floor for the purpose of commenting on the statement made to the House and not to make the kind of speech he is now making. If the hon. member will consult the Standing Orders he will know that he has no right to make this kind of speech.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Salisman:

Thank you for the advice, Mr. Speaker. I was merely attempting to put the statement before us in the proper context. Having made those remarks, I think it is necessary that we move in this direction but only because of the damage that has been caused to the economy and the need to repair some of it. If anything good can be said about this measure it is simply that it is much better to encourage the shipyards in this way than with another Bonaventure.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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RA

Roland Godin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Roland Godin (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, the minister has just announced a program intended to attract international contracts estimated at up to $300 million, and representing 14,000 men-years of work during the next five years.

Mr. Speaker, some people take pleasure in playing on words, just as they do with our Canadian dollars when dealing with foreigners.

Although our coastline is nearly three times the circumference of the world, although we have the largest inland sea in the world and the most beautiful river, because of an irresponsible policy we have no Canadian clients.

To remedy the situation, the government is endeavouring to take over part of the market. It is setting out to conquer world markets, in an attempt to find companies or foreign countries willing to buy a few ships from Canada.

Finally, a few workers will be in a position to take advantage of the new jobs created under this program. Unfortunately, it is again a program aimed at creating jobs for water-carriers because we have neglected that sector of our economy and waited until there was a general paralysis. By putting that program into effect, the government will give with one hand and tax with the other.

The program will apply to firm orders received by Canadian shipyards before June 30, 1972. The shipyards will receive assistance which could reach up to 17 per cent of the controlled cost of a ship built for exportation purposes, etc.

Since Canada no longer owns too many ships, the population will have to pay to keep the few jobs still existing in the shipyards.

I am pleased as are the shipyards owners who will benefit from the program. The members of the Rallie-ment Creditiste rejoice with the workers who still have a job and those who will be hired under this program. Unfortunately, we must recognize that the program is very limited as compared with the possibilities existing in Canada.

November 27, 1970

Mr. Speaker, I seize the opportunity to ask the minister to consider other programs so that the country could be equipped with a merchant marine similar to the one it had a hundred years ago.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF EXTENSION PROGRAM
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CANADA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


On the order: Introduction of Bills: November 24. 1970-Mr. Saltsman-Bill intituled: "An Act to establish a Canada Development Corporation".


IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

I think I should bring to the attention of the hon. member and the House that after a quick look at the bill proposed by the hon. member I have serious reservations about it and will not put the motion at this time. The hon. member may wish to give some thought to the possible financial implications of the bill. As he knows, of course, the measure proposed for the consideration of the House under the title "An Act to establish a Canada Development Corporation" is, perhaps by coincidence, substantially the isame as the bill assented to on April 24, 1970 under the title "An Act to Establish the International Development Research Centre". As the hon. member is aware, that bill had been preceded by a royal recommendation and I am rather suspicious that this would be required in this instance, although an effort obviously has been made by the hon. member to eliminate the most obvious financial implications of the bill.

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

If the hon. member will look at some of the clauses, in particular clause 11 or at any rate the clause which provides for the appointment of officers and agents and employees, he will detect, as I do, a faint odour of money in this clause. I have some doubts regarding the opening of a bank account and the payment of sums out of such bank account. I doubt whether the hon. member has succeeded in his imaginative efforts to remove all financial implications from the bill.

I do not want to be unfair to the hon. member. I would like to have a serious look at the bill and, if possible, give the hon. member the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps on Monday next the hon. member might have an opportunity to explain to the House his point of view and indicate why he thinks I may be in error in suggesting that this bill has financial implications.

Topic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

THE BUDGET

PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the rather welcome announcement on motions by the Minister of Finance, would he advise the House

Inquiries of the Ministry

whether his budget will be in the usual form and contain the usual budget resolutions requiring lengthy legislative consideration by the House?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FORM OF PRESENTATION
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. E. J. Benson (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for me to say what is going to be in the budget at this time. If resolutions are necessary, of course we will present them in the ordinary way.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FORM OF PRESENTATION
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

Without trying to delve into the contents of the budget in detail, may I ask the minister to advise us whether the budget proposals will include any reference to the white paper on taxation and the subject matters and recommendations contained in that document?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FORM OF PRESENTATION
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CONSULTATIONS WITH PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS-BRIEFING OF PARTY REPRESENTATIVES PRIOR TO PRESENTATION

November 27, 1970