June 23, 1971

THE ROYAL ASSENT

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

1 have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Topic:   THE ROYAL ASSENT
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GOVERNMENT HOUSE, OTTAWA


23 June 1971 Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Roland A. Ritchie, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in his capacity as Deputy Governor General, will proceed to the Senate chamber today, the 23rd day of June, at 5.45 p.m. for the purpose of giving royal assent to certain bills. X have the honour to be. Sir, Your obedient servant, Esmond Butler Secretary to the Governor General.


NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In view of the fact that according to the Standing Orders and the notice on today's Order Paper there is to be a recorded vote at 5.45 today, which comes first-the vote to be taken by order of this House or the invitation which Your Honour has just read to us?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT HOUSE, OTTAWA
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

If I may comment on the point raised by the hon. member, Mr. Speaker, the House will, of course, proceed to the vote. The messenger from the other place will probably arrive at the appropriate moment just as the vote is concluded. I believe that is the sequence of events which will take place.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT HOUSE, OTTAWA
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS


Eighth report of Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, in the two official languages-Mr. Les-sard (LaSalle). [Editor's Note: For text of above report, see today's Votes and Proceedings. ]


POST OFFICE

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AND MODIFICATION OF RATE STRUCTURE

?

John Cole

Hon. Jean-Pierre Cole (Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to announce a new

service and a change in the rate structure for international letter mail that will give Canadians a better international mail service, a service appropriate to the seventies.

Extensive testing of surface letter mail has indicated that it has been taking from 20 to 40 days to reach destinations in Europe, and still longer to the Orient. This time interval is unsatisfactory. Commencing July 1, 1971, Canada will become the first nation in the world to adopt the Universal All-Up Service for international mail. This service provides that all letters up to eight ounces in weight, addressed to any foreign country (except the U.S.A.) will now be carried exclusively by air.

This service now takes from three to five days.

Prior to deciding that the Post Office should implement this improved service, we had to make a difficult decision that concerned the cost to the customer of such a service. It was imperative that any new rate structure be simple and be applied on a uniform basis on all letter class mail sent from Canada.

This meant that existing preferential surface letter mail rates to certain countries would be abolished. Canadians mailing letters internationally would be charged the same rates for the new All-Up Service, irrespective of destination.

Under the new structure, the Universal All-Up rates are as follows: (a) up to one ounce-15 cents; (b) over one ounce to two ounces-30 cents; (c) over two ounces to four ounces-40 cents; (d) over four ounces to eight ounces-90 cents. The previous air mail rates were 15 cents each half ounce to Europe and South America, and 25 cents a half ounce to Asia. Thus, a letter airmailed to Europe weighing three ounces previously cost 90 cents. Under the new service it will cost 40 cents-a reduction of over 50 per cent.

On international letters being carried by the new Universal All-Up Service, the customer must still affix a blue airmail sticker as before, even though all letters up to eight ounces are carried by air. This will ensure that these letters will be carried by air right through to their destination.

Canadian airlines, along with the airlines of other nations, have helped to make this new all-up service possible by participating in the planning and costing of the program. In addition, the Universal Postal Union has endorsed the forward step the Canada Post Office has taken.

A new category of international mail, called small packets, will also be introduced on July 1, 1971. This category will provide a more economical service for

June 23, 1971

Post Office

items weighing up to one pound. Packets containing small goods, gramophone records, recorded tapes, automatic data processing cards and similar material will be carried at a lower rate than parcel post. Many countries now have this class of mail.

Twenty-three years ago Canada was the first country to introduce domestic all-up service for first-class mail. Today I have announced another first, another milestone for Canadian postal history, one of which we should be justly proud. It is another step in our unceasing efforts to improve and update Canadian postal service.

Topic:   POST OFFICE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AND MODIFICATION OF RATE STRUCTURE
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the custom of the Postmaster General (Mr. Cote), since he resumed responsibility for this office he has been frank in the presentation of information. This afternoon too he has displayed his usual courtesy in providing members of the opposition with an advance copy of his announcement. We appreciate this gesture.

In the announcement the minister indicated that the service Canadians have enjoyed in respect of international mail during the past two years or so is not appropriate in the 1970s. He commented that it has required from 20 to 40 days for mail originating in Canada to reach European destinations, and even longer to the Orient. I am sure hon. members will agree that the special tests referred to by the Postmaster General were not required to demonstrate this point. Our mail has been full of complaints about long delays in international postal service for mail originating in Canada. It is interesting to note that the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), during the press conference which just took place in Toronto, indicated that some of the mishaps that have taken place are the result of the long delays in the postal service to which the Postmaster General has referred.

The Universal Postal Union has given its blessing to this improvement in services for the 1970's. I presume other countries will be making similar announcements to that made by the Postmaster General today.

I wish the minister had left out the second last paragraph of his announcement. It reads very well to that point, and without that reference I am sure it would have received the endorsement of all hon. members. The paragraph to which I refer states:

Twenty-three years ago Canada was the first country to introduce domestic all-up service for first-class mail.

That was true more than 20 years ago, but even if Canada was the first to introduce domestic all-up mail service I presume the Postmaster General will agree that our efficiency in this regard has been slipping.

The Postmaster General has reacted in a positive way in the announcement he made today. Contrary to the maladministration of the past two or three years under his predecessor responsible for the administration of this department, I trust this will not be a case of beginning well and then sliding back in terms of efficiency. I hope it means the beginning of a better postal service which will continue to improve as the days and years go by. I hope the improvement he has indicated will be adopted by all

[Mr. Cot6 (Longueuil) .1

nations in this day and age when it has become so necessary to have increased efficiency and reliable communication.

Topic:   POST OFFICE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AND MODIFICATION OF RATE STRUCTURE
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NDP

Mark Willson Rose

New Democratic Party

Mr. Mark Rose (Fraser Valley West):

Mr. Speaker, we in the New Democratic Party welcome the minister's announcement of this new mail service. I can confirm the statement by the minister that it often takes 20 to 40 days for mail originating in Canada to reach Great Britain and other parts of Europe. I can also confirm that it takes a considerable and perhaps equal amount of time to receive a letter in Canada originating in Great Britain. This fact is disturbing to a number of my constituents. Therefore, although the minister's statement did not mention this matter, I hope the service which Canada is initiating will be reciprocated by other countries. This is a point on which I think the minister could give some leadership in order to encourage reciprocity of service. I believe it would be helpful.

Two years ago, on behalf of my constituents I instituted an inquiry into this matter and received a report from the minister's predecessor which read in part as follows:

With respect to delay to surface mail exchanged between Canada and Great Britain, this has been due, principally, to deterioration of transatlantic shipping.

Therefore, since it is unlikely that the fast packet service will improve, I believe it is all the more desirable that the minister has proceeded in the way he has in respect of a fiat rate airmail service to Great Britain.

I have a couple of other concerns which I believe should be mentioned. I hope this improvement in international service will not be at the expense of local service. I feel there may be some subsidy here that will come out of the mail service within Canada which has been anything but improved over the past three years, as other speakers have mentioned in Post Office debates since I have been a member of the House. Hopefully, it will be possible now to send a letter to Europe overnight. If we just could get to the point where we could send a letter to Toronto overnight I think we would be in good shape. I should like to tell the minister that daily papers from the west coast of Canada to which I subscribe take over a week to reach Ottawa. Sometimes as many as six daily papers arrive on my desk on the same day even though they were mailed on separate days.

I also wish to refer to a matter of greater urgency perhaps than the international service. I believe that the Postmaster General should investigate and solve the tremendous imbalance in respect of losses occurring because of the preponderance of mail charges based on the tremendous movement of United States magazines coming into Canada. This also has been mentioned during every debate. I urge the minister to turn his great talents toward solving this problem.

We congratulate the minister for his initiative in respect of this announcement, but we urge him to dedicate himself to the bringing about of a better local service with the accent on the Post Office as a service rather than a business. We ask him to work toward the elimination of the United States-Canada magazine imbalance

June 23, 1971

which is extremely costly to the service and to abandon once and for all the out-and-out favoured treatment accorded to Time, Life and Reader's Digest.

Topic:   POST OFFICE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AND MODIFICATION OF RATE STRUCTURE
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SC

Romuald Rodrigue

Social Credit

Mr. Romuald Rodrigue (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to witness the establishment of an international All-Up Service which is an innovation, for the simple reason that the postal service will improve significantly in the future.

I am also convinced that this improvement will be welcomed by all Canadians.

In view of the complete reorganization of the external air mail service now taking place, it was normal that postal rates be reviewed. I think that unfirmity in this respect is an improvement and that the public will more readily understand the proposed rate structure.

The minister's statement is welcomed and I avail myself of the opportunity of urging him to continue improving the postal service and particularly domestic mail in Canada.

Topic:   POST OFFICE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AND MODIFICATION OF RATE STRUCTURE
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ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB

David Anderson

Liberal

Mr. David Anderson (Esquimalt-Saanich):

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to ask for the concurrence of hon. members in the third report of the Special Committee on Environmental Pollution. My seconder is the hon. member for York West. Two days ago I tabled-

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. If the hon. member will give the Chair the opportunity to put the motion I will do so at this point. Mr. Anderson, seconded by Mr. Givens, moves that the third report of the Special Committee on Environmental Pollution, presented to the House on June 21, 1971, be concurred in. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the said motion?

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is a very important issue. We are glad that the hon. member has been able to bring it up today, but because we are involved in the budget debate and we think that many of the facts which otherwise might be dealt with at great length can be brought up in the budget debate I have had some preliminary discussions and I understand that there is a willingness to agree that there should be one speaker from each party with a limit of ten minutes on each speech on this issue. I am making this proposal and I hope it will be acceptable.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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June 23, 1971