May 29, 1972

PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS

HIGHWAYS

PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert McCleave (Halifax-East Hants) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider the advisability of declaring as rapidly as feasible a 90-10 formula of cost-sharing with the Atlantic provinces, of the highways program formerly carried on with those provinces by the Atlantic Development Board, and of joining with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the Fundy Trail project, and of joining with Nova Scotia in building a crossing across the Shubenacadie River.

He said: The resolution that I have presented for debate today is similar to one that was debated approximately 14 months ago. However, because it deals with an important matter, the development of Atlantic transportation, I do not hesitate to bring it forward again and, until the objectives of the motion are attained, I will be inclined to bring this matter forward on future occasions.

The most important thing that I can do as a federal representative for the East Hants part of my constituency is obtain some form of crossing, either causeway or bridge, across the Shubenacadie River. I shall devote most of my speech to giving reasons for my support of a Shubenacadie River crossing. I understand that other

Foreign Takeovers Review Act hon. members have dealt with or will deal with the missing links of the Fundy Trail in New Brunswick.

The Shubenacadie River crossing is a dream entertained for more than 40 years by a group of citizens. A committee is actively promoting this idea, its chairman being one G. McLellan who lives in East Hants. The crossing concept is supported by the maritime provinces Chamber of Commerce, the municipalities of East Hants, West Hants and Colchester, the towns of Truro and Ste-wiacke, the Tourist Council of Central Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley affiliated boards of trade, the Truro Industrial Commission, the Fundy Vacation Trail committee of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It is supported by the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, as well as by other bodies. This idea finds general political support in the area. Perhaps of more appeal to the government is the support given by the East Hants Liberal Association.

The crossing may be either a causeway or bridge. The causeway has some advantages in that it would create a vast inland lake which could be used for recreational purposes and provide a water supply for several important towns. The disadvantages of the causeway would be the effect that it, would have on wildlife. After I made my speech in the House on this subject some 14 months ago, I received half a dozen letters from various wildlife groups who said that the causeway would play hob with wildlife along the Shubenacadie River. On the other hand, building the causeway would enable land to be reclaimed for agriculture. So, those two factors must be weighed. I am not particularly taking sides on this issue at present. I am merely arguing in support of a crossing.

There are several advantages to a Shubenacadie River crossing. First, the crossing would fill in one of several unfinished links in the Fundy vacation trail. The Fundy vacation trail would be a natural railway for tourists, most of whom, as we say in the Maritimes, come from the Boston States. They enter southern New Brunswick and travel to Digby or Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, most of their trip being within sight of the Bay of Fundy. Second, truck traffic into and out of the Annapolis Valley, which is increasing, would have a shorter route in that it could cut across that part of northern Nova Scotia by Truro, and go up to New Brunswick, if that were desired. Third, there would be important advantages for agriculture, both in East Hants and in the Annapolis Valley.

Some day, Sir, Fundy tidal power will be developed, and the Shubenacadie River crossing will enable tremendous savings to be made in the transportation of materials used in the development of Fundy tidal dams. So, there will be savings of millions of dollars in transportation alone for that massive development, if and when it comes about.

I have just given the fourth reason. Fifth, personal amenities would be increased. The crossing would increase the ability of the young people of East Hants to travel to and from schools at Truro and go home for the evening without needing to travel 30 or 40 additional miles, as at present, in order to obtain their education. Shoppers would derive the same advantage, and a more adequate provision of health services would be an additional, important factor to be considered.

May 29, 1972

Maritime Highways

In the submission made some years ago, the then chairman of the Shubenacadie River crossing committee, G. H. MacDuffie, made this point:

In this same area there is one of the highest infant mortality rates in Nova Scotia chiefly because more easily accessible medical and hospital services are not available.

The proposed crossing would put these people 30 miles or more or a good part of an hour, closer to the medical, dental, clinical, ambulance and hospital services which now make a 60-mile round trip.

Mr. MacDuffie and others made that submission to the Nova Scotia cabinet. I ought to say that the natural capital of East Hants really is not Halifax but, rather, the town of Truro.

The sixth point in favour of the Shubenacadie River crossing is that great savings would be realized in transportation. The Margeson Study of 1964 indicated savings over a 20-year period of 24.25 million travelled miles and 546,000 man or woman hours. Putting it another way, if you allowed 10 cents per mile for driving, which is a low figure in today's circumstances, the savings would be greater than $3 million. Those figures, of course, are out of date; if brought up to date, the savings would be considerably larger than those I have mentioned.

When the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications visited Nova Scotia some years ago and studied Atlantic transport needs, I arranged for the Shubenacadie River crossing committee to ask Mr. MacDuffie to make an appearance before my colleagues on that committee. The committee met with representatives of the Shubenacadie River committee. Subsequently, when the committee wrote its report for the House of Commons, it said as follows:

It is further recommended that the government should consider the advisability of instituting a five-year program of federal assistance to highways in the Atlantic provinces, $30 million to be the maximum federal contribution in any one year. This program should be financed on a 90-10 basis.

That is the formula I set out in my notice of motion. I continue:

The provinces would be required to submit plans for a defined network of all-weather highways, chosen for their effect on competition among transportation modes in the Atlantic provinces, and for their contribution toward the economic development of the Atlantic provinces.

That part of the report of the Standing Committee on Transport and Communication, drawn up on June 17, 1969, is found at page 39 of issue No. 28 of the proceedings of the committee for that year.

It may also be interesting to put on record part of the document drawn up by Atlantic premiers in March, 1969, dealing with the basic elements of the Atlantic provinces transportation policy. Three new premiers have taken the places of those three who helped to draw up this report. As I understand it, Atlantic transportation is generally dealt with by the Maritimes Transport Commission, in Moncton. Furthermore, the views that were then expressed would undoubtedly be the views of the present governments of the four Atlantic provinces.

After saying there should be a detailed assessment of the network needs of the individual provinces, the premiers proposed, as shown at pages 17 and 18 of The Basic

Elements of an Atlantic Provinces Transportation Policy of March, 1969, that:

The length of this program should be ten years with the first five years fixed and the balance renegotiated and reconsidered prior to the conclusion of the first five years. The federal share of total costs, including acquisition of right of way, should be 90 per cent for the first five years. Prior to the end of ten years, a further program should be negotiated, if needed.

That is found at pages 17 and 18 of the report to which I have referred. There is no doubt that the federal government has made substantial payments toward Atlantic transportation. This was first done through the Atlantic Development Board and, laterally, through special agreements with the different provinces. As the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson) said in the House of Commons on Tuesday, March 14 this year, and I quote:

At the peak of this program-

That is the road construction program in the Atlantic provinces.

-this support was at the level of about $571 million a year.-

Last year new agreements were negotiated with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland totalling $60 million. Over the past seven years, therefore, federal support for Atlantic Province Highways has averaged about $45 million a year, or over the period some $315 million, with many projects being funded entirely by the federal government.

I do not quarrel with the amounts that have been spent on what I think are very basic, essential services for my part of Atlantic Canada. What I suggest is that it be on a formula basis so that the provinces will know that it will be done on a 90/10 basis and they can then proceed to develop their plans on a somewhat different basis from the one now used.

In pursuing the goal of the Shubenacadie River crossing, I have considered the alternative methods by which it could be achieved. At one time I thought that the Department of Regional Economic Expansion could play a role in helping to provide the crossing, but I gather that the department is now concentrating its efforts on growth centres. Therefore, it seems that this role might be minimal and the important role will be shared between the province of Nova Scotia and the federal Department of Transport. This is the way I have developed my strategy in trying to do the best I can to keep this matter in the limelight and to ensure that eventually the federal and provincial governments have a serious discussion about providing that link across the Shubenacadie River.

Before the Department of Regional Economic Expansion concentrated on growth centres and while the Atlantic Development Board was still alive and well, I had a discussion with some of its economists about the formula that might be applied to justify a Shubenacadie River crossing. The board then used a 7 per cent economic funding of a project such as the river crossing. It estimated that the benefit figure should be between $280,000 and $350,000 per year. They looked at the Margeson report, which I mentioned earlier, that dealt with the transportation benefits. They felt that the economic benefit of the Margeson report would have been somewhere around $117,000 a year. They estimated that the agricultural marketing benefit would be around $24,000 a year.

May 29, 1972

These figures, particularly the second, seem to be ridiculously low. However, I quarrel with them because in the fluxion of time those figures should be substantially increased. In any event, that is the reason the Shubenaca-die River crossing has been considered to be a marginal matter and why there is no crossing over the Shubenaca-die in the Maitland area.

In concluding my argument on this point, I would like to say that I do not care much for the figures involved or for the economic considerations that can be set down on paper in black and white. I have a hunch. The reason is that at one time East Hants was one of the great parts, not only of Nova Scotia, but of North America. The shores of the Shubenacadie River rang with the hammers of those building some of the greatest ships of all time. In fact, the largest four masted vessel, the W. D. Lawrence, was built in the Maitland yard. If you go to that area today, where the largest of all vessels of this type was built, you will find a peaceful meadow by the side of the Shubenacadie River. I believe in historical ups and downs of areas. They can have their periods of difficulties and then come back.

I suggest, and this is going to be a large part of any political arguments I ever make for the rest of my time in politics, by building a Shubenacadie River crossing, both the provincial and federal governments would not only be doing a vast service to that particular part of my constituency, but they would get a return many times over. Anyone who would go there and look at the prosperity which would flow from this project would feel they had taken a wise and statesman-like step.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Charles Terrence Murphy

Liberal

Mr. C. Terrence Murphy (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) upon the argument he has put forward for a crossing over the Shubenacadie River. It was an impressive argument indeed. If it is followed and accepted, hopefully the people of that area will know after whom to name that crossing. The hon. member cited a number of groups which support this concept. Although I was listening closely, I did not hear him mention the involvement of the provincial government. There is no doubt that that government supports it to some degree, but I would like to know what type of priority it attaches to that particular crossing. It seems to me that a bridge of this nature within a province is something which should be dealt with primarily, at least at the outset, by the provincial government involved. The initiative should come from the provincial government.

It is my understanding that there is an ongoing shared-cost program between the Department of Regional Economic Expansion and the Atlantic provinces, and that that program was negotiated with all of the Atlantic provinces. I understand it concerns itself specifically with highways and bridges. It is also my understanding that up until this time at least, none of the provincial authorities who are parties to this agreement have asked for either of the proposals which have been put forward by the hon. member. The hon. member may think it strange for a member from northern Ontario to become involved in a debate on a crossing of the Shubenacadie River, a debate which he suggests is on cost-shared programs between the federal government and the Atlantic provinces.

Maritime Highways

One of the reasons I entered this debate was to draw to the attention of the hon. member and the House the fact that it is not only in the Atlantic provinces that problems exist with regard to highways, bridges and so on. Very specifically, if the federal government is getting into this field, I would like it to take a look at Highway 17 as it wanders from Ottawa, through Sudbury and on to Sault Ste. Marie, which happens to be my constituency. I do not suggest that members of the government drive that route because the dangers are so great that it might well be these officials might never return to their work in Ottawa.

Just before the last Apollo moon shot, the Americans thought fit to send their astronauts into the Sudbury area to look at the landscape, which is supposed to be something like that on the moon, and to study the rocks and craters in that area. Even now, they are sending more of their astronauts there for the same purpose. There is no doubt in my mind that when these astronauts reach the area they will have no need to go into the districts surrounding Sudbury; all they will need to do will be to drive on the stretch of highway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, where they will find craters the like of which they will never see on the moon. No one would dare take that route in a small car because he would get the impression, after descending into some of these craters, that he was driving in the Grand Canyon.

There is a bridge connecting Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and during the summer tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of tourists use this bridge to drive across into Canada. If they turn left after crossing the bridge, and go west, there is a good highway to Thunder Bay. But if they decide to run left to take a look at eastern Canada, and travel over that part of highway 17 to which I referred earlier, their next thought is to get out of Canada as quickly as possible. Canadians who are attempting to cross Canada using Highway 17, which is the trans-Canada highway, flee into the United States as soon as they hit Sault Ste. Marie and continue the rest of their journey using the United States highway system.

So, it is not only in the Atlantic provinces that there are areas in which the federal government should be more closely involved. The federal government should review its position with respect to roads and highways throughout Canada. It is time we formulated a national highway policy, defining exactly the nature and extent of federal involvement in the construction and maintenance of roads, highways and bridges such as those referred to by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave). All parts of Canada would benefit from a policy of this type. Each government would know exactly where it stood vis-a-vis the federal government. Each would know precisely what assistance it could expect. Hopefully, the federal government would become involved in such a way as to help develop a first rate road transportation system, one of which both Canadians and visitors could be proud as they travel from coast to coast across this country.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas M. Bell (Saint lohn-Lancaster):

Mr. Speaker, I want to support the motion in the name of my friend, the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave). I

May 29, 1972

Maritime Highways

have spoken on similar motions, and on this subject generally, on many occasions both inside and outside the House.

I do not find it strange that the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Murphy) should take part in this debate. I think we are getting somewhere when members, other than those directly affected in the Maritimes, take part in the discussion of this subject. I subscribe to the thoughts contained in this motion. I am in favour of what my hon. friend has said in connection with the Shubenacadie crossing, and I agree with the formula he proposed in connection with the building of this route. I hasten to assure hon. members that we do not have any super highway in mind. This is merely to be a vacation trail in line with the modern trend to get out into the country, camping and moving slowly around the beautiful rocky coastline characteristic of the Bay of Fundy.

I presume this motion will be talked out, so there is no misgiving on that score, but there is a pertinent question I should like to ask of someone in the government. I should like to know what has happened to the report which was commissioned through the Atlantic Development Council. My information is that the federal Department of Public Works, through its offices at Frederiction and Halifax, agreed to carry out a study of this Fundy trail proposal and report to the Atlantic Development Council. It was expected that the report would be submitted in the fall of last year, but so far there has been no sign of it. I understand, through the grapevine, that the concept has been recommended as a good one and as a viable proposal. But that is all the information I have. This is one question which might be answered; the reply would give us an idea of the thinking of the government on this matter at the present time.

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie mentioned the position taken by the provincial governments. Well, the provincial governments concerned are interested in this project. I refer to the present and previous governments of both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is a tremendous undertaking, in terms of money, for them. Nobody is trying to hold a gun to their heads in this regard. The New Brunswick section of this trail would go around the Bay of Fundy. Picture entering Canada at the United States border, at St. Stephen, and then taking the beautiful vacation trail completely around the Bay of Fundy down to the tip of Nova Scotia. This is a 500-mile trail we are talking about.

As I say, no one expects the provincial governments, regardless of their political complexion, to fork out $100 million. We want their support, and they have indicated their general approval. It is now a question of finding a means to proceed. Again, nobody is talking in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars for a new super highway. This proposal is not meant to take money away from the construction of other roads; we are hoping just to get approval of a start being made. The part in which I am most directly interested, the stretch of the Bay of Fundy from the Bay of Saint John up to the Fundy National Park, could be completed by using the device of increasing the park boundaries. The Fundy National Park is actually one of the smaller national parks. If the area along the coast were increased, the federal government

would become responsible for the roads in the enlarged area. The National Parks Commission evidently has an unlimited amount of money to spend on projects in park areas. By adopting a device of the kind I have mentioned, we could make funds available to complete at least one of the parts of this highway.

With all this in mind, I call upon the government, either today or on a later occasion, to let us know its thinking concerning the Fundy Bay vacation trail proposal, specifically in connection with my suggestion that the boundaries of the Fundy Park be enlarged in order that the federal government might become involved.

There is one other aspect I wish to mention. Despite the lack of interest on the part of the federal government, in spite of the fact we have been obliged to go slow, people are gradually making their way through this country and cutting out, as it were, a trail of their own along the lines of the old Shepody route which existed many years ago. This was the old highway that followed the coast from Halifax to Saint John. Campers and young, energetic Boy Scouts are cutting trails there now. In spite of lack of interest on the part of politicians and the fact we have not been able to produce any concrete plans, the highway is going ahead. This is a good sign for the future.

I support the motion put forward by my friend the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave). I think his suggested 90-10 formula, which has been used in the past in respect of some roads in the Maritimes, is a good one. It should be followed for this type of highway project so as not to take away funds from other needed resource highways. In this way it would mean a great deal to the tourist industry. I hope someone will let me know what has happened to the survey undertaken by the Department of Public Works which was to be made available to the new Atlantic Development Council.

In closing, may I say that the Fundy vacation trail project has stirred the imagination of many minds for over 100 years. It is a great challenge for the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. With tourism the big business it is now, this would be in the nature of a selfhelp program which would produce lucrative returns and certainly would be in the public interest. If it helped the tourist industry it would keep some of the promises made to these provinces at the time of confederation. It would be an impetus to employment throughout the Atlantic provinces. As I have done for nearly 20 years, I ask the support of hon. members for something that makes a great deal of sense to me.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Albert Bechard (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset of my remarks on the resolution moved by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) which in brief, calls for 90 per cent participation from the federal government, I readily support him since the province where I live-especially the area where my constituency lies-has an urgent need of appropriate highways.

Considering the tremendous length of highways everywhere throughout the province of Quebec, on account of

May 29, 1972

Considering the tremendous length of highways everywhere throughout the province of Quebec, on account of the increasing needs in the field of transportation and the development of technology, the development of modern techniques in highway construction has become necessary.

It is obvious that provincial budgets cannot sustain the exhorbitant costs of highway construction. This is why it was with satisfaction that the provinces welcomed the federal Trans-Canada Highway project although our province-mine and yours, Mr. Speaker,-under the aegis of the then Union Nationale government and saddled for too long with duplessism, had refused to subscribe to the agreement for the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway until another Quebec government was fortunately elected which practiced autonomy otherwise than in name, which practiced "totonomy", the Liberal government of Mr. Lesage.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

This is an old story.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bechard:

Maybe, but it turned nevertheless to our advantage.

Since the agreement of the Trans-Canada Highway, technology has evolved and traffic has considerably increased. [DOT]

The motion tabled by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) refers however to a specific project involving federal financial assistance. As the mover of the motion and other hon. members have pointed out, it is not the first time that such a motion is placed before the House, since not later than last year, in February 1971, the same hon. member expressed an identical wish in a resolution which reproduces verbatim the one that is now before us.

I believe that this clearly shows, Mr. Speaker, how important the project is, not only for the hon. member who moved the motion, but especially for the people of his province and that part of Nova Scotia which he represents in the House. The rather hefty and compelling file which he disclosed on this question during the 1971 debate, clearly detailed the numerous representations he had made to several federal and provincial authorities.

The review, though cursory I admit, Mr. Speaker, I have made of the subject under debate, that is the Fundy Trail project and the construction of a bridge over the Shubenacadie River, has revealed to me the great importance of these two projects.

Mr. Speaker, however important this project may be, the hon. member will readily admit that provincial roads, including bridges, unless they connect two provinces, are exclusively under provincial jurisdiction. Therefore, the wish expressed by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants in his resolution raises this question of the federal government's financial contribution to the building of highways.

As I said in my opening remarks, Mr. Speaker, I represent an area which badly lacks highways that meet the modern needs of 1972, and I completely agree with this principle of federal aid to highway construction. The agreement on the construction of the Trans-Canada highway having now expired, another tool is left to the prov-

Maritime Highways

inces for obtaining the federal government's financial participation, which is, the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, which, incidentally, is being strongly criticized by members from the Atlantic provinces, and especially from Newfoundland. Fortunately, some provinces benefit from the funds made available to them by the Department of Regional Economic Expansion for the development of certain areas, and not all of those regions are represented by members who are over-critical.

In the kind of agreements which exist, incidentally, with all provinces, including those mentioned by my hon. colleague, and particularly his own province of Nova Scotia, the priority and importance of projects is first established by the provinces themselves, which decide to have them included in the development agreement. Thus, the area of the lower St. Lawrence, the Gaspe peninsula and the Iles-de-la-Madeleine presently enjoys the benefits of the 1968 agreement for development of that area, an agreement which was negotiated again by the Ottawa and Quebec governments in September 1971.

As the project mentioned by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants is very important and deals with a matter falling under the exclusive responsibility of the province of Nova Scotia, I suggest that provincial authorities might include the Fundy Trail project as well as the river Shubenacadie bridge project in the preparation of a possible agreement with the government of Canada under the ARDA legislation or in new negotiations. The hon. member will understand that problems of this kind are more familiar to local governments than to the government of Canada. This is why this area falls under the provincial jurisdiction only.

The hon. member was reminded, in 1971, during a debate on a similar resolution put forward by the hon. member for Northumberland-Miramichi (Mr. Smith) that no priority had been given to the 1969 brief, to which the hon. member, as well as the hon. member for Saint-Jean-Lancaster (Mr. Bell), referred a moment ago. In fact, in the premiers' brief presented to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson) by the four Atlantic provinces, no priority has been given to the Fundy Trail project, nor to the development of the river Shubenacadie bridge. And this brief, called "Transportation Modes-Highways", did not hold the attention of the last governments of Nova Scotia, which had, if I recall correctly, the same political affiliation as the hon. member who presents this motion today.

As a conclusion, I shall recall that the province of Nova Scotia has derived great benefits, as did other provinces, from federal-provincial agreements, for the development of highways; indeed, under the agreement concerning the development of the Trans-Canada Highway, this province has received $78,354,422. Mr. Speaker, we heard a great deal during certain election campaigns in the province of Nova Scotia, not of the federal contribution, but of the way this money could profit the provincial government which was under the leader of the official opposition (Mr. Stanfield) who is now a member of this House.

So, Mr. Speaker, I entirely support the resolution of the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants, but I ask him to use the normal procedure. As this comes under the jurisdiction of the province of Nova Scotia, this province would first have to submit its priorities to the Department of

May 29, 1972

Maritime Highways

Regional Economic Expansion, which could include it in an agreement between the two governments.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

G.A. Percy Smith

Liberal

Mr. G. A. Percy Smith (Northumberland-Miramichi):

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to take part in this debate on the motion introduced by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) on February 23 this year. As has been said, a similar motion was introduced on a previous occasion by this hon. member. I congratulate him for his persistence in bringing this important subject to the attention of the House.

I shall be very brief because I spoke on this subject about 14 months ago and my remarks today will be somewhat in the same vein. The motion introduced by the hon. member contains two parts; one part relates to the Fundy trail and the other to a crossing of the Shubenacadie River by a bridge or, as he says, possibly a causeway that would link the two communities of South Maitland and Princeport. I have not yet heard any estimate of the cost of such a crossing. However, since bridges and highways normally are the responsibility of the provincial government, I am assuming the cost is very great and is beyond the financial ability of the province of Nova Scotia.

If this is the case-I do not wish to be facetious, because I could list other bridges in New Brunswick, in my constituency, and even in Nova Scotia which seriously require attention-the fact is that in our Atlantic provinces, where the population in most areas is sparse and where very extensive networks of highways and bridges are required, it is practically beyond the ability of the provinces to finance the necessary construction. It is a very important part of the effort to elevate or improve the economy of the Atlantic provinces to have an adequate transportation system, which certainly includes roads and bridges.

The Trans-Canada Highway has been completed through the Atlantic provinces. This, however, is only one highway. I agree with the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Murphy) that the government of Canada should take a hard look at developing a policy to assist the development of secondary roads, especially in sparsely populated areas which are unable to finance the construction of highways and bridges.

As I have said, bridges are a provincial responsibility. Nevertheless, the government of Canada, through the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, and New Brunswick, for example, entered into a special highways agreement in respect of a secondary road. The road covered by this agreement runs between the cities of Moncton and Campbellton and traverses the entire east coast of New Brunswick. Rather than the 90-10 formula of costsharing mentioned by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants, under this agreement the government of Canada will pay 110 per cent of the cost of this very important highway, the additional 10 per cent being for engineering and incidental costs of that nature. The province itself is faced only with the responsibility of providing the land for the roadbed.

Work on this highway is proceeding, although rather slowly; in fact, the portion in my constituency between Chatham and St. Margarets, which is in extremely poor

condition, I am advised will not be proceeded with this year because the province has not yet completed the necessary engineering work to enable contracts to be let. The government of Canada, as I believe all members will agree, has conceded the fact that we have serious transportation difficulties in the Atlantic provinces. Recently the Department of Transport granted a 17 per cent subsidy on trucking with the idea that a viable trucking industry should be built up in those provinces.

The government of Canada also appreciates the necessity of our having an adequate transportation system and is carrying out an extensive transportation study in many areas including northeastern New Brunswick. This will relate not only to highways and bridges but to transportation by water. Hopefully, it will lead to a long awaited project, namely, the dredging of the Miramichi River to a depth of 36 feet. This dredging would connect the highway leading to Renous, Plaster Rock and would give direct access from the eastern part of New Brunswick to Montreal, thus cutting down the distance by about 100 miles.

I said I would be brief. I know that other speakers wish to take part in this debate. However, I recall that when this motion was debated about a year ago it was stated- and I have not heard of any change made since-that no request had been made by the province of Nova Scotia for a Shubenacadie River bridge or causeway. The hon. member for Halifax-East Hants mentioned the many groups directly affected in the vicinity who have gone on record as supporting such a crossing.

I suggest that if neither the previous nor the present government of Nova Scotia requested this crossing-normally they would do so through the joint planning committee under the Department of Regional Economic Expansion-then it would appear that they have not placed on it as high a priority as the hon. member who introduced the motion. Normally, if the government of Canada wished to build a bridge or highway in the province it could not be done without the consent and agreement of the provincial government. As I said before, last year when we spoke on this subject such a request had not been made to Ottawa and as far as I know the situation has not changed and the request has not yet been made.

I know the importance of the Fundy trail. The supper hour is fast-approaching and I will not make any further comments on this matter, but basically I support anything that will improve transportation in the Atlantic provinces. However, I realize, as I believe the hon. member does who introduced the motion, that this must be part of an overall scheme developed by the government of Canada to assist all the provinces in the construction of secondary highways.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Hugh John Flemming (Carleton-Charlotte):

Mr. Speaker, I will take only a moment or two of the time of the House to make some observations relative to the motion presented with conviction and eloquence by my friend the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave). I associate myself with the supporting remarks which have been made from all quarters of the

May 29, 1972

House and certainly with those of the hon. member for Northumberland-Miramichi (Mr. Smith).

The mover of the motion indicated specifically to members within sound of his voice the formula which he feels should be adopted-a 90-10 cost-sharing formula. This brings to mind an association which I had in the period 1952 to 1957 with a previous administration-which held office with a degree of distinction-led by the right hon. Mr. St. Laurent. At that time the minister of public works was the Hon. Robert Winters. I remember him asking us to come from New Brunswick to discuss speeding up the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway in that province. We arrived and we had a conference with the Hon. Robert Winters who was not niggardly in his proposition, neither was he partisan in his approach. In my opinion he was a great minister and I pay tribute to his memory tonight.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming:

He told me then that the finishing of some parts of the highway would be quite expensive and he realized that our province had many demands on its treasury for funds to maintain existing highways. He thought the federal government should go a long way in encouraging us to get this work completed as soon as we could. He said that to that extent they were prepared to contribute on a 90-10 basis, the federal government contributing 90 per cent and the provincial government 10 per cent.

It seems to me somewhat strange, and perhaps coincidental, that another distinguished Nova Scotian should come today with a motion which specifies exactly the same formula which should be used by the federal government in dealing with the Atlantic provinces, especially Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Therefore, I rose only for the purpose of indicating to you, Sir, and to members of the House my complete support of the motion. I hope we will all see our way clear to uniting on it.

So far as the Fundy trail is concerned, I was impressed with the eloquence of my friend the hon. member for Saint John-Lancaster (Mr. Bell) because the Fundy trail is close to his constituency and close to his heart. I was impressed by his words. I rose only to indicate my complete support of the motion and to go back in time to show the interesting coincidence in that the Hon. Robert Winters had put forward the same formula as that proposed this afternoon by the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Phillippe Guay

Liberal

Mr. Joseph-Phillippe Guay (St. Boniface):

Mr. Speaker, I should like first to commend the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave)-

I wholeheartedly agree with him. I believe that a bridge in the area which he mentioned, namely, the Bay of Fundy and the Shubenacadie River, is a necessity. It is a beautiful area and I wish I had the time to say a few words about it. However, I should like to bring to your attention the fact that there is a similar problem in my area. On one side of the Red River is St. Adolphe, a nice town with about 500 inhabitants, and across the river-

Foreign Takeovers Review Act

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Prosper Boulanger (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

Order. As the hour set aside for the consideration of private members' business has expired, I do now leave the chair until eight o'clock.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBER'S MOTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGHWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The House resumed at 8 p.m.


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin that Bill C-201, to provide for the review and assessment of acquisitions of control of Canadian business enterprises by certain persons, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs.


SC

Joseph Adrien Henri Lambert

Social Credit

Mr. Adrien Lambert (Bellechasse):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few comments on Bill C-201, to provide for the review and assessment of acquisitions of control of Canadian business enterprises by certain persons.

As a result of the growing concern of a number of Canadians about foreign investment in Canada, the Gray report made certain recommendations on which the government based its bill which in my opinion does not go far enough. We must at least admit that the government is aware of the danger, of the unfavourable Canadian position and that it has decided to take some steps to check that evil which is spreading from year to year.

You will remember that early in May the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Gray) made a statement in this regard recalling that governments in the past had taken certains steps, and announcing the introduction of a new measure in these terms, and I quote:

Parliament will now be asked to add an important new measure to these policies. Foreign companies seeking to buy out or take over an existing Canadian business above a certain size will be required to demonstrate that the purchase will result in significant benefit to Canada.

This statement is praiseworthy and I am convinced that if the government and the minister in charge of the administration of the act take the means required to study seriously the takeover proposals, they will have the opportunity to act before purchase is completed.

The minister also added, and I quote:

The government is introducing legislation to establish a review process under the authority of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin). In general terms the purpose will be to examine proposals for takeovers of Canadian businesses, to

May 29, 1972

Foreign Takeovers Review Act

approve those that, on balance, will be of significant benefit to Canada, to negotiate with the proposed acquirer in those cases where he can reasonably be expected to make a greater contribution to Canadian development, and to refuse to allow those takeovers that would not bring significant benefit to Canada.

Here is in a few lines, I feel, the scope of Bill C-201.

I have before me an article from an American weekly, the Manchester Guardian Weekly, of December 9, reporting on the situation in Canada. This article is entitled: "Canada-An economic colony."

I think that this government and all serious-minded Canadians are aware of this situation. And when one can read such remarks on this situation in an American magazine, this should incite us to take an even more effective step, to make sure not only that foreign investment will be to the advantage of Canada, but also that a serious study is made to find out to what extent this could be also profitable to those who invest in our country.

Here is what one can read in the Manchester Guardian Weekly:

In the Schulz report, it has been suggested that for every dollar invested in Canada for oil extraction, 71 cents come back to the United States as investment return in the course of the first year of investment. There is no reason to doubt that the same investment income is derived from all other forms of energy operation or mining industry, whether it is natural gas, hydroelectric power or common metals.

We are not the ones saying that. It is published in the magazine I just mentioned. Therefore, if it is profitable for foreign capitalists to invest in our country, mining or processing our natural resources, it would be all the more so for Canadians. I suggest that the government should take the necessary steps to promote Canadian investment in really Canadian companies, in order that we may, instead of remaining an economic colony, become real Canadians, masters of their fate.

The government is increasingly aware of this. It is indeed of the highest importance for us to control the takeover of our Canadian companies and our natural resources. That is why the government is introducing Bill C-201. I suggest that, in view of the endeavours of all governments, federal and provincial, to produce Canadians capable of managing businesses, Canada is now mature enough, I think, to control our whole economy.

We have in Canada truly qualified people who often remain unemployed due to lack of businesses operated by Canadians. Operations are sometimes controlled by foreigners who bring in people from their own country to fill the best posts and we are neglected. We are doing the right thing in attempting to draw the Canadians' attention to this matter. We are proceeding with caution and I imagine that is the way to do it. And I do not think that we will be accused of intolerant nationalism if we act like that.

In fact I feel that will be taken as a display of national self-respect since finally self-respect is required in all fields and it is not forbidden to feel proud as a nation without at the same time being considered narrow-minded as this sometimes happens.

This afternoon, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin) said in his speech that this bill could not be a cure-all for all our problems. This is true. I consider it as a first step which should encourage the government and hon. members to make suggestions so that we continue in this direction in order to make Canadians real experienced businessmen, able to administer real Canadian enterprises, and in order that some investment from abroad remain in these businesses, as long as they are controlled, that these businesses are directed by Canadians and that they produce a good profit for Canada first. In my opinion, you may then accept foreign investment. However, they should be carefully considered.

The minister also referred-and this was of great interest to me-to discussions with provincial governments about this subject matter. In my opinion, this is again a policy which deserves praise. Actually, the federal government must hold discussions on such important matters with provincial governments because, even quite recently, one could hear the premier of the province of Quebec-I think this was yesterday-state to the fighting wing of his party that the most serious problem of his administration and what the province was in greatest need of, was capital. He said that the authority to administer is rather secondary, but that the province needs credit in order to develop.

Such is the situation, for instance, as regards the James Bay development project. This is a very wide territory to be developed, and to achieve this objective, much attention will be required. The objective is not to develop a territory and its natural resources just for the sake of doing it. This will have to be done very carefully in order not to contribute to spoiling another part of our economy through pollution of a territory and water which we desperately need.

One of the great problems which the Quebec government has to face is to find the necessary funds. Therefore, the government is seriously thinking of turning to the Americans and to other countries and inviting them to invest in the province. In this connection, I would ask the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce when he is having discussions with the Quebec government to seek, first, to promote Canadian investments in order that Canadians may find some advantages in investing in Canadian owned industries. This might enable the Quebec government to take positive action and to reach a really commendable goal without having to make commitments that would benefit other countries, those whose interest it is to invest here.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, we should take a new departure in our financing policy in this sector, in order that the development and the operation of our natural resources be effected by our own people and as far as possible with Canadian capital.

I heard this afternoon the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lewis) talk about the possibility of finding capital in Canada. I agree with him provided that people who have money to invest are shown the advantage of investing in Canadian companies. This could be done through adver-

May 29, 1972

tising and information of such a nature as to attract interest for this.

Another danger which we have to face continuously is that big foreign corporations which have subsidiaries in Canada always tend as a matter of course to first protect the parent company and the subsidiaries have second choice. If at any time, for commercial reasons, a company has to reduce its operations or to change them in any way, it will first think of protecting the parent company and the Canadian subsidiaries will be served last, which means that Canadian workers who work for these subsidiaries will be sacrificed in turn and become unemployed.

For all these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I should like, by way of a conclusion, to urge the minister and the federal government to create new credits which would be reserved to the Bank of Canada. This possibility should be carefully examined. When we talk about the Bank of Canada, sometimes people think that this is a joke, a routine, a formula that we use at every turn.

I think that this angle of our financial system should be reviewed completely, in order that the Bank of Canada, an institution established for Canadians, may open new credits which would be channelled through chartered banks towards the development of our natural ressources, thus reducing the interest rate, lowering the production cost, and placing Canada at a competitive level on the markets of the world. This way, Canadians would be given another means to become really masters in their own country.

People had a lot of fun for some years by teasing the Prime Minister of Quebec whose election slogan was "Masters in our own house". If we examine this election slogan carefully, we discover that the purpose is excellent-provided we use the means which are necessary to work it out.

The Canadian Parliament has this opportunity, this means, whereas provincial governments do not. The Canadian government has the sovereign right to direct the creation of credit based on the real credit of our country, on its wealth and it should take the necessary steps to have credit channelled by the Bank of Canada, to the benefit of the areas where the need for capital grows ever bigger, which would allow Canadians to be really masters in their own house.

Being masters in our own house, we can command the respect of the citizens of other countries. The title of an article I referred to previously will perhaps be changed from "Canada-An economic colony" to "Canada, an autonomous country of Canadians proud to be masters in their own house".

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
Permalink
LIB

Duncan Gordon Blair

Liberal

Mr. D. Gordon Blair (Grenville-Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, because of the great respect which I and many members of this House have for the hon. member for Fundy-Royal (Mr. Fairweather), I sought, unsuccessfully, to find parts of his speech of this afternoon which are worthy of comment. I must say that there are points on which I agree, one being that the procedure, which is to apply under this

Foreign Takeovers Review Act

new law, should be carefully examined in committee. I also feel that he performed a service to this House by telling us that the important Committee on Statutory Instruments of which he and I are members, has not yet been called into session. One of the high points of his speech was the news that he had purchased lunch for the hon. member for Hamilton-Wentworth (Mr. Gibson). Having said that, I must record my disappointment that as a spokesman of his party he did not contribute anything of significance to this debate.

When people read the record of this debate I think their opinion of it will be summed up by the ruling that was made on the amendment moved by the hon. member for Fundy-Royal. Essentially, it was ruled out of order because it did not take a stand on the issue before the House. On the one hand the hon. member, speaking for his party, said the legislation did not go far enough; yet every time he said that he also said, "Don't go any further because you might antagonize the provinces or other interests."

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
Permalink

May 29, 1972