September 21, 1971

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Will the President of the Privy Council advise the House what the business will be for tomorrow, and what is the forecast for later in the week?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
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:

Mr. Speaker, we will continue tomorrow with the item we have been dealing with today.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the President of the Privy Council would take into account the fact that Bill C-262 has been reported back and we in the opposition would be prepared to waive the 48-hour rule and shorten it to 24 hours in order to continue with the report stage, knowing the anxiety of the government to get ahead with this legislation. As far as I know, there is only one amendment to it.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
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:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gesture of my hon. friend and hope it will have general application in respect of other bills. I thank him for it and will consider when it may be possible to bring that bill forward.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 40 deemed to have been moved.


FISHERIES-EFFECT OF OPERATIONS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS-ACTION TO ACHIEVE CONSERVATION

PC

Walter C. Carter

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walter C. Carter (St. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, the Newfoundland fishing industry, which affects one quarter of the population of that province, faces danger of collapse within five years unless action is taken now to prevent the decline in the inshore and offshore fisheries. This government has been aware of this critical situation for a number of years but has elected to ignore it.

The attitude of the government, evidenced by its complete indifference to the problem of east coast fisheries, has been nothing short of criminal. Its past reaction to the wholesale destruction of our marine resources by foreign fishing fleets, and its unwillingness to lay down the law to the countries which are responsible, can only be termed as gutless.

While the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) and his colleagues in the government pursue their weak-kneed, spineless policy of appeasement, the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of our people, particularly

September 21, 1971

Proceedings on Adjournment MOtion

in Newfoundland, is being stolen from under our noses without even a whisper or a word of protest from this government. The Secretary of State for External Affairs has been too busy trying to maintain his image of being Mr. Clean or Mr. Nice Guy in the cocktail circuits of Europe to take any action to protect the future of our fishing industry and perhaps cause a few ripples in the diplomatic circles of Europe.

Canada has become the laughing stock of the fishing nations of the world. Our fisheries have been abused and plundered; they have become sitting ducks. Our inshore fishermen have been forced to stand idle while draggers operating within a mile or two from shore destroy their fishing gear and while the Department of Fisheries pretends to be patrolling our coast. Hundreds of fishermen in my riding who have suffered severe losses of nets, and so on, at the hands of these draggers are living proof that the Department of Fisheries is incapable of giving them the protection they need and to which they are entitled.

How much longer must our fishermen be expected to stand by and see thousands of dollars worth of gear being destroyed by ships which are illegally operating off our shores? If I were fishermen I am afraid I would be tempted to take the law into my own hands. Surely a man has the right to protect his own property. Our Newfoundland fishermen have "had the course." Their patience has reached breaking point. They are not going to be pushed any further or put up with the gutless approach that this government has taken toward their problems.

They demand action, and they demand it immediately. They demand that the government serve notice on the fishing nations of the world that unless the countries concerned agree to meet and to adopt conservation measures we will assert our rights with regard to Canada's east coast fishing resources by fixing a date within the next year when fishing by foreign fleets in our waters will be forbidden except by our leave and our licence. Canada must not accept anything less than full management control over the whole continental shelf.

Until such time as sufficient research is carried out to determine the condition of the fish stocks and the steps necessary to enable maintenance of a substantial yield, we must demand a crash quota system. Mr. Speaker, do you wonder why we are concerned? One billion pounds of cod was caught off the Labrador coast in 1968. In 1970, despite an increased fishing effort the total catch in the same area was less than half, 440 million pounds.

In 1967 our inshore fishermen landed 270,000 quintals- a quintal is 112 pounds. In 1971 it was down to 108,000 quintals. The minister will undoubtedly tell the House tonight that the government is taking action. He will probably describe in great detail a meeting which he will convene in a few weeks' time with the various fish trades associations to discuss this very problem. I wonder whether the minister would be good enough to tell the House why he waited until 1971 to deal with this very serious problem which has been growing steadily worse over the past ten years or longer.

Why has he waited until the fishing industry is on the verge of extinction before he starts showing an interest? Could it be that his colleague, the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo (Mr. Jamieson) has suddenly recognized the politi-

cal advantage of such a meeting at this time in Newfoundland? Whatever the arrangements may be for the meeting and whatever the outcome, the fishermen of my province and indeed of all eastern Canada will not tolerate the government's continued pussyfooting.

The fishermen of Newfoundland and the other Atlantic provinces demand that their rights be protected. They demand that the 12-mile limit be proclaimed and enforced. They demand that their nets and gear be protected from the criminal behaviour of draggers which like thieves in the night move in and plunder their fish stocks and destroy their gear.

If the Department of Fisheries is unwilling or unable to accept its responsibility with regard to protecting our fishermen, giving the fishermen of Newfoundland and eastern Canada the protection they deserve, I suggest that it should call in the navy. Surely the fishermen should not be expected to stand by and see their livelihood being destroyed and thousands of dollars worth of their fishing gear being destroyed with hardly a whimper from the Department of Fisheries. If the department's vessels cannot properly patrol our coast, I strongly recommend that the navy be forced into action.

Topic:   FISHERIES-EFFECT OF OPERATIONS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS-ACTION TO ACHIEVE CONSERVATION
Permalink
LIB

John (Jack) Davis (Minister of the Environment)

Liberal

Hon. Jack Davis (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, first on behalf of the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson)-the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo-and myself, I would like to invite the hon. member for St. John's West (Mr. Carter) to a meeting with the fishing industry here in Ottawa on October 8 when we are going to discuss a number of these problems.

He will learn that the fishing industry in Newfoundland is not in immediate danger of collapse, as he has stated. In fact, the income of fishermen in Newfoundland has never been higher. This year it will be higher than in any previous year, and by a very considerable margin. The main reason has been a remarkable increase in the price of fish since the spring of 1969, an increase which has averaged better than 50 per cent. Our all-time record year in volume was 1970. We are off a few percentage points this year in volume, but this remarkable increase in price has more than offset the drop in volume. So if we are talking about past performance, the achievements of last summer have been remarkable indeed. I would be the first to admit that we started from a very low base and we have a long way to go in generating income in the fishing industry on the east coast before it is satisfactory to everyone.

The hon. member for St. John's West says that Canada is the laughing stock of other fishing nations of the world. I do not know what circles he moves in, but overseas fishermen envy Canada's bold initiatives, not only in declaring a 12-mile limit but in pushing other countries out of such large bodies of water as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Bay of Fundy and many other large inlets up and down the east coast.

As I say, representatives of the industry will be coming to Ottawa on October 8 to make submissions to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp), the Minister of Transport and myself. They will be making a number of recommendations, some of which are already being acted upon. I have no doubt that sitting down again with the industry, as we have been wont to do, we will come up with ideas. One may be to push other countries

September 21, 1971

not only out of our exclusive fishing zones but off our continental shelf as well. This will take a lot of doing because, Mr. Speaker, ours is the biggest continental shelf in the world.

Topic:   FISHERIES-EFFECT OF OPERATIONS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS-ACTION TO ACHIEVE CONSERVATION
Permalink

AIR TRANSPORT-IMPENDING PRICE WAR AMONG TRANS-ATLANTIC CARRIERS-GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF PARTICIPATION OF AIR CANADA AND CPA IN PRICE-FIXING MEETING

LIB

Stanley Haidasz

Liberal

Mr. Stanley Haidasz (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, air transport should be a convenient mode of transportation available at a reasonable price to everybody without discrimination in respect of age, status or any other factor. Parliament approved the initiative of the federal government of 25 years ago to provide more adequate air travel facilities for Canadians and tourists. The result was Air Canada.

Unfortunately, air travel today in our country and abroad by Air Canada and other air carriers who have the privilege of using our airports is neither cheap nor convenient. Improvements in the congested Toronto airport are long overdue. Moreover, air fares are neither cheap nor just. Air fares are high and discriminatory, both domestically and abroad. It is discriminatory to allow a person aged 25 to fly at a reduced fare and charge almost double for those who happen to be 26 or older. Why are old age pensioners, who have to live on reduced incomes, offered a reduced fare only on a stand-by basis? Anyone who has been to Toronto International Airport to meet a passenger undergoes a nerve-wracking experience, but for an old person to wait for a flight on a stand-by basis can be sheer hell.

Also, Mr. Speaker, why should anyone have to fly with a group, at a specified time, and be tied to a tour and unwanted accommodation to obtain a reduced air fare? Air fares should be cheaper and available without discrimination and gimmicks. It is also high time to re-examine the workings of IATA and our association with what one editorial called a price-fixing cartel.

On behalf of my constituents of Parkdale, and indeed all Canadians, I appeal to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson) and the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mr. Basford) to get together with their colleagues to develop an air policy that adequately meets the needs of all Canadians and will provide air transportation that is cheap, convenient and non-discriminatory.

Topic:   AIR TRANSPORT-IMPENDING PRICE WAR AMONG TRANS-ATLANTIC CARRIERS-GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF PARTICIPATION OF AIR CANADA AND CPA IN PRICE-FIXING MEETING
Permalink
LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. Donald C. Jamieson (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member would not expect me to provide a detailed response to all the points he raised, in the limited time in which you will permit me to respond to this quite legitimate representation. Many views expressed by the hon. member are not only ones with which I am in full agreement but upon which I have spoken publicly in the past few weeks and months.

I want to emphasize that in so far as the domestic fare situation is concerned, even though there are occasions when hon. members would be pleased, I think, to accord me the right to establish such fares, that authority is not given to the Minister of Transport nor to the government.

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

The airlines enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy in this regard, an autonomy which has been confirmed repeatedly by Parliament and with which I am not disposed to argue. In so far as the international situation is concerned, of course it is even more difficult in that the IATA arrangement, as we have seen in recent weeks, is a most complex one.

I agree with the hon. member that something should be done, and I believe now will be done, to eliminate a good deal of what has become an almost impenetrable jungle on rates and the confused situation with regard to air travel. The government of Canada, and I as Minister of Transport, are on record as favouring a much more simplified and much more fair arrangement of fares-if that is not a play on words. Incidentally, I have also indicated, although I repeat that I have no authority to impose this view on the Canadian airlines, that I believe that within their own country Canadians are entitled to at least comparable treatment, comparable rates and comparable conditions as if they were travelling overseas.

These are matters which are now being examined by me in considerable detail. I may say that I have a rather exhausting job in looking over various aspects of air policy, but I am hoping to come up with something that will at least meet many of the representations made by the hon. member and others.

Topic:   AIR TRANSPORT-IMPENDING PRICE WAR AMONG TRANS-ATLANTIC CARRIERS-GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF PARTICIPATION OF AIR CANADA AND CPA IN PRICE-FIXING MEETING
Permalink

ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY-DECISION ON POSSIBLE INCREASE IN TOLLS-REQUEST FOR REFERENCE OF CARR REPORT TO COMMITTEE

NDP

John Leroy Skoberg

New Democratic Party

Mr. John L. Skoberg (Moose Jaw):

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson) and the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Davis) for remaining in the House and handling their own portfolios tonight. I think this speaks well for many of the matters we raise.

On September 17 I asked the following question about the St. Lawrence Seaway and certain tolls and moneys:

-can the minister say whether any decision has been made that increased tolls will be enacted before next spring?

The minister replied, in part:

No decision has been made. Representations are still coming in. It is my intention to get as many representations as possible before considering the matter.

Not too long ago the same type of situation existed and the minister replied in somewhat the same vein; he said he was unable to make a statement on increased tolls on the St. Lawrence Seaway. At that time there were 49 submissions opposing an increase in the St. Lawrence Seaway tolls structure. Those opposed to increases maintained that capital expenses should not be charged against the Seaway.

At the same time, the Ontario Economic Council opposed any increase in toll or lock charges and said that increased charges would have an adverse effect both on Ontario and Canada in view of the current economic climate. Without question, increased tolls on the Canadian sector of the St. Lawrence Seaway could place the future of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterways in jeopardy. At the same time, we must consider aspects such as those we have been debating today relating to western

September 21, 1971

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

farmers, because costs to western farmers would increase. That could be very detrimental to this country in the long run. Also, Canada really needs a comprehensive transportation system. Such a system alone will serve the interests of the whole nation.

The hon. member who rose before me on the "late show" was concerned about the structure of air rates. In this case we must be concerned about St. Lawrence Seaway rates. Indeed, we must be concerned as well about rail passenger, rail freight and air transportation rates. I believe, as I have said, that a comprehensive transportation policy for Canada is essential.

The Carr report, if implemented, would as I understand it provide for an increase of 27.6 per cent over five years. We need an assurance from the minister tonight that any increase will not become effective until there has been an opportunity for ample representation. An editorial in the Standard, published by St. Catharines Standard Limited, of August 27, 1971, stated that a decision has been made and that officials of the department are understood to be unimpressed with representations which have been made, which no doubt include the 49 representations to which I have referred.

I think it is most important for the minister to assure the House tonight that bureaucrats will not make the sort of decisions we have witnessed in the past, and that any decision to be made will be made by the minister and his department in consultation with those interested in and concerned about increases in St. Lawrence Seaway tolls. Those who are opposed to increases in St. Lawrence Seaway tolls wonder whether they will be heard and whether their representations will be taken into consideration before a final decision is made. I would appreciate the minister giving an assurance tonight to the western agricultural community and to users of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Welland Canal and the like, to the effect that there will not be an increase in tolls until those opposed have had an opportunity to make representations.

Our population is spread across the country and we know that it costs money to operate an efficient transportation system. We must not try to play off one form of transportation against another. We should not subsidize one form of transportation out of the public purse, as we have in the past, and then try to make the St. Lawrence Seaway pay for itself with regard to capital expenses. It is wrong to suggest that it should pay for itself in this respect. I would appreciate the minister advising the users of the St. Lawrence Seaway of his intentions.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY-DECISION ON POSSIBLE INCREASE IN TOLLS-REQUEST FOR REFERENCE OF CARR REPORT TO COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. Donald C. Jamieson (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, as was the case with the last submission, the hon. member will appreciate that the time limitation will

permit me to deal only superficially with his representations. So let me begin where he ended, with the assurance that he asked for. There is no intention whatever of making any changes in existing rate structures on the St. Lawrence Seaway until the thorough and exhaustive study that I have undertaken to make of the Carr report has been made. Of course, that exhaustive study involves the receipt of a large number of submissions from users and other interested parties. There will be this study, and any reports to the contrary are totally erroneous and can be disregarded.

Our activities at the present time are concerned primarily with our relations with the United States and the joint operation of the Seaway. In the emphasis that has been placed within Canada on the operations of the Seaway, in my judgment there has been a tendency to put too great an emphasis on one aspect, the possibility of an increase in tolls on the Canadian side or, if you like, unilaterally by Canada, and a failure-which I am surprised the hon. member has compounded tonight-to recognize that in the judgment of the Carr report the United States is by far getting the better of the deal. It is here that at the present time we are making our initial efforts.

I also commend to the hon. member something else with regard to the operating costs of the Seaway. I hope he will be equally vocal in this regard. The charges made by the Seaway only constitute a portion of the total cost of moving goods through the Seaway which is actually arrived at in terms of the user. I am not exactly sure of the precise portion or percentage.

I hope those who are making statements, including some who use the Seaway, will also recognize that it is incumbent upon them to keep their rates down and to reflect the same interest in the future of the Seaway as they expect the government to do. In other words, I do not want the government of Canada to be the patsy for this operation, the only one which is prepared to maintain this cost position in terms of charges despite rising costs, whereas shipping companies and sundry other users of the Seaway who have a much more profound effect of the costs of the western farmer are free to increase their rates.

In other words, we would like to hear, not merely why the St. Lawrence Seaway should not increase its rates but some kind of indication that the carriers and others are also prepared to co-operate in the interests of maintaining, as stated by the hon. member, one of the most important waterways and transportation links in this country.

Motion agreed to and the House adjourned at 10.25 p.m.

Wednesday. September 22. 1971

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY-DECISION ON POSSIBLE INCREASE IN TOLLS-REQUEST FOR REFERENCE OF CARR REPORT TO COMMITTEE
Permalink

September 21, 1971