June 14, 1972

LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Jerome:

Although rule changes in the first years of this Parliament did much to reduce the abuse of Standing Order 26, applications under that Standing Order are still made from time to time. We have a question period during which it has become the habit of the Chair to recognize in very great majority, if not exclusively, opposition members. This is not the proper time to decide whether that is the right way to conduct a question period, but the fact of the matter is that is what is done. The merits can be discussed at another time. I submit it is a significant

June 14, 1972

Information on Government Business

factor in debating this motion today that this is in fact the case. The question period is devoted almost exclusively, or certainly the majority of the time, to opposition members.

Three questions from the daily question period can be set aside, if the opposition so chooses, for discussion on the late show or adjournment debate. The private members' hour involves four hours per week. This combination of events, procedures and regulations of this House, I submit, gives opposition members in their quest for information through Parliament at least 75 per cent of the debating time on the floor of this House and 75 per cent of the questioning time. Three out of every four minutes and three out of every four questions as well; three out of every four hours, three out of every four days and three out of every four weeks is devoted to the opposition's occupation of the time of this House. This is something I suggest the opposition might very well reflect upon. This motion does not go into the effectiveness of the opposition in the use of the considerable regulatory provisions which benefit it in its search for information. It suggests instead, by legislation or otherwise, that further changes be made which would permit it to have greater access to information in this Parliament.

Nothing could be more ridiculous than to suggest that the opposition should have more opportunity, more facility and more access to debate and to the time of this House than it has already. Twenty-eight days out of every session are now being used by the opposition in an excessively wasteful manner to the extent that the opposition now confesses, in its most candid moments, that it has too many days on which to suggest a subject matter for debate in this House. Perhaps if the motions of the opposition are no more effective than the one today, the rule should be changed so that such days could be devoted to some other pursuit of information on the part of the opposition members because they have certainly not distinguished themselves in their search for information on these days.

In addition to that, we might consider the performance of opposition members in committees. One of the most important rule changes in the first year of this Parliament was to shift to the committees a tremendous responsibility for the consideration of legislation, for the examination of estimates and for dealing with other subjects and problems which might arise from time to time. If one wants to examine what has been done in committees, one need only examine the respective attendance of opposition members as opposed to government members. Of course, there is a vested interest on the part of government members in attending committees. They must respect the need for a quorum and the need to carry on government business. Members of the opposition have the ministers present before them. They can ask questions and pursue points. They have the opportunity to summon other officials under the minister whom they are able to question and from whom they can seek information.

Members of the opposition do not do those things they ought to do. They could take an active part by developing team work and a concerted effort in seeking the information they want. It is significant that the procedures of the

House permit any member to attend a committee whether or not he be a member of the committee. The rules give him the right to attend any committee hearing of his choice. Not only that, but he can participate if he so desires in the questioning of witnesses. That is the privilege of every member of this House, whether or not he be a member of the committee. He is prevented only from voting on a motion. In their quest for information, all members of the House, including all members of the opposition, are at liberty to attend any committee meeting.

We have gone one step further recently. We have established a set of committee schedules which was the result of a very systematic and extensive study in an effort to try, on the basis of past performance of attendance, to accommodate that solid group of members from all parties which does attend committees by reducing to the minimum the conflict of interest in respect of committees. Even this system has not accomplished anything in upgrading attendance of members of the opposition at committees where they could seek information on any subject. Every minister of the government must attend committee meetings in order to have his estimates approved. He must attend at one time or another and this is obviously an opportunity for members of the oppositon to seek information. Opposition members could attend and exert the kind of keen effort which is required in order to obtain the information they seek.

On the subject of providing information to this Parliament through the rules of this House, I would refer to the number of questions and statistics that are readily available to all members. It is interesting to compare the written questions placed on the order paper during the years of Parliament from 1957-58 through 1962-63 when the party of the mover of the motion was in power and in the years since that time. The number of questions dealt with by parliament in the period 1957-58 was 437. In the first year after their defeat in 1963, when a Liberal government came in, 1,906 questions were dealt with. In any year since this administration came to power the same kind of comparison can be made. I am safe in saying it has dealt with three or four times as many questions, and three or four times as frequently as the previous administration which put forward this motion of criticism of the supply of information to Parliament.

The record stands to show, in addition to that, that at the present time we are maintaining a 70 per cent rate of answering written questions in this House. One should bear in mind that at any given time the two or three out of ten questions which remain unanswered fall in a category which would be embarrassing to members of the opposition because of vagueness, irregularity and impossibility of answering, if not for the terrible complexity in respect of the number of man hours and expense required in answering some questions. I could read some questions from a list I have. Every one knows, however, that many of these questions require that many hundreds of man hours be spent by staff members in tabulating answers. In such cases the expense to the taxpayer would be out of all proportion to the importance of the question, even if it were possible to provide an answer which should be given in this House. At the present time seven out of every ten written questions placed on the order paper in this session

June 14, 1972

of Parliament are answered and dealt with. This is a record this government can be proud of and which every member of the Canadian public would accept as an exceptional performance by this government in supplying information to Parliament.

The last point with which I want to deal is a most telling one. Before moving on to it, however, there is another category of questions which remain unanswered in that 30 per cent. There is a list from which I could read of questions tabled which require information that has already been provided in answers given earlier in this session or in other sessions of this same Parliament, which again indicates that there are mitigating circumstances in respect of the remaining questions which are unanswered at the present time.

But the last, and I think most telling area in the disastrous use of the facilities of this House by opposition members in respect of their quest for information, came with the provision in 1969 of research funds to opposition parties in order to assist them in their understanding of parliamentary affairs, in order to upgrade their quest for information, and their ability to criticize government legislation and government policy. Mr. Speaker, I am going to quote from a document which is in front of me:

In 1969 for the first time in the parliamentary system, the Canadian House of Commons allocated $195,000 to be spent on research assistance for opposition members-

Most governments can find more deserving people on whom to spend $200,000 than their obvious political foes. The government of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau was something of an exception. For many years, opposition members of all parties had complained about their obvious inability to compete with the expertise, inside knowledge, and extensive bureaucratic research resources available to the government.

This fund was provided to offset that. But the question is: how has it been used? How effective have opposition members been in their use of it? This document discusses the problems which beset the opposition, in particular the Conservative party, in its use of these facilities. The conclusion that is reached is a most telling one and, Mr. Speaker, I will quote it to you right now in closing. I submit it is most interesting because the document is a paper prepared and delivered to the Institute of Political Science by the man who was the first director of the research unit for the Conservative party, Edwin R. Black, of Queen's University. I quote:

The Opposition Leader's personal staff, including his chief political advisor, underwent considerable change during this period, change that had serious consequences for the research office. One was the shifting of responsibility for question period from the leader's personal staff to the research office. The present Opposition Leader has been trying to change the parliamentary question period from the essential free-for-all that it was under his predecessor to a major instrument of parliamentary control.

Never, however, would the opposition caucus agree on a set of basic priorities. Tory members remained a gaggle of political private enterprisers who selfishly preferred to pursue their separate ways to the electoral gallows rather than hang together and work as a united opposition. Under such circumstances it was impossible for the research office to discontinue the plethora of daily services provided to the members in favour of concentrated effort on a few party-determined issues.

I will close by simply saying-

Information on Government Business

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

Order. I regret that the time of the hon. member has expired.

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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PC

Robert Carman Coates

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert C. Coates (Cumberland-Colchester North):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the remarks of the Parliamentary secretary who has a great deal of responsibility for the answering of questions placed on the order paper, questions that are not political but that seek information from the government. I have used that facility a great deal for many years in an effort to secure information that is useful in making a determination of how the government operates, and in making a determination of how it spends the taxpayers' dollars.

It was wonderful to listen to the parliamentary secretary. It is amazing that he did not need medical attention before he sat down, because I am sure I heard his arm break as he was patting himself so strongly on the back. I cannot agree with him on the effectiveness of the government in answering questions. There is a lot of evidence available to indicate that when the parliamentary secretary talks about three outstanding questions not being answered he, in effect, is admitting that any question that has any detrimental overtones for the government is delayed, delayed and delayed before being answered. No better example comes to my mind than when I endeavoured to determine how much the Prime Minister was using aircraft for which the taxpayers of Canada were paying. I waited through two sessions of Parliament, some 18 months, before I could secure the answer. Then, instead of getting the type of information that had been requested, I was given very minimal information so that is was impossible, without asking another series of questions, to determine exactly what use was being made of the aircraft by the Prime Minister, whether on government business, political business, or monkey business.

I had to wait 18 months for an answer, yet all that was necessary was to take the logs of the aircraft and provide the information from them. But on top of that, I never did receive information on the persons who were flying in those aircraft with the Prime Minister. I was given the number but nothing else. Apparently nobody has a right to know why or how the Prime Minister selects his company when he is flying around this country or other countries, and what are their purposes in being on the aircraft. That is none of our business. We pay the bills, but who the Prime Minister decides to carry around is none of our business.

Another example which I used in debating in this chamber on Tuesday relates to Information Canada and the number of public relations employees in the various government departments. I asked for this information. It should not be difficult to answer that question. First of all, the estimates of Information Canada could quickly supply the number of personnel in it on the date I placed the question on the order paper, February 18. And it should not have been difficult to get the number of public relations people associated with the various departments of government. It took four months to provide that information, Mr. Speaker. If you call that speed and efficiency, then I would not want to see the government start to slow down. Right now there are dozens and dozens of questions on the order paper unanswered. The hon. member for Saint John-Lancaster (Mr. Bell) gave some examples. I

June 14, 1972

Information on Government Business will repeat them just in case the parliamentary secretary did not hear the hon. member. Some 42 questions have been on the order paper since February; 53 since March; 35 since April, and 63 since May. This is certainly not an example of efficiency in the answering of questions.

These questions seek information and nothing more. The Speaker of the House will not allow questions to go on the order paper that do anything more than seek information. In many instances the questions asked could be answered within a week, if the government wanted to put its mind to it, and information could be provided in a really effective way. But all too often the government does not want Members of Parliament to get information, because just as soon as they get it they are able to point out how the government is wasting the taxpayers' money. That is why we do not get the answers when we should get them.

I would like to turn from that to talk about the roster system. This is another one of the effective ways in which the government has made Parliament more efficient. On September 25, 1968 when the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) announced the roster system for ministerial attendance during the question period, he recognized the importance of members being able to question ministers of the Crown and promised that the roster would be varied only in very exceptional circumstances.

Let us look at the figures for three weeks beginning May 1, May 8 and May 15. During the week of May 1 there were 18 ministerial absences, that is if absences are measured against the roster sheet. During the week of May 8, there were 25 such absences; on one day only 11 ministers were present and nine were absent. During the week of May 15, there were 19 absences, making a total for the three weeks of 62. The exceptional circumstances mentioned by the Prime Minister may have been the assumed approach of an election. Whatever they were, there was scant opportunity for members to question ministers.

The mover of this motion, when the Prime Minister announced the roster system, made the following statement which appears at page 801 of Hansard, on October 4, 1968. He said:

I believe that the statement and the plan constitute a calculated contempt and an infringement of the privileges of this House, of all members of this House, including all the members of the opposition and government backbenchers, in so far as both tradition and the Standing Orders of the House are concerned.

The hon. member for Peace River said a great deal more, but that pretty well sums up what happened. The roster system has done one thing very effectively; it has prevented members of the opposition from getting the facts.

There have been many areas that the government could look at to see what happens when a government endeavours to stop the public from having information. It could be done by the roster system or by not answering questions but when it is, other people step in. This government knows better than any government in Canadian history just how effectively other people can step in and what happens when they do. Government leaks happen. At one point in this Parliament the leaks became a flood

[Mr. Coates.l

because people in the public service who felt that the public should know about certain things and who knew that Members of Parliament could not secure the information from the government, provided the information themselves.

Let me give a list of the leaks that have occurred since 1969: 1969, a research study prepared for the B & B commission was leaked to La Presse; sections of the study of the Housing Task Force were leaked to Time magazine; June, 1970, excerpts from the recommendations of the Le Dain commission were leaked to Time magazine; 1971, four staff members of the Special Committee on Poverty left the staff, published a conflicting report using, in part, information gathered during their official tenure; 1971, draft portions of the Gray report on foreign ownership; 1971, record of cabinet decision in reference to the Gray report; December 23, 1971, details of two 1970 cabinet documents relating to law and order and possible use of the War Measures Act, suggesting the use of the act was contemplated before the October crisis 1970, to the Globe and Mail; December 30, 1971, excerpts from two 1971 cabinet documents relating to the government's northern development policy for the next ten years, to the Globe and Mail; February 2, 1972, cabinet document on foreign ownership; 1972, official documents, not cabinet, but all classified including a document on low income housing; the Anton Sobokha file, an abortive espionage case; report on collective bargaining in the Public Service and a confidential evaluation of summer works programs, 1971, that was the Francophone university program.

These are all examples of information that was leaked. When the opposition endeavoured to get the information, they could not get it from the government and people involved in high places felt that the information should be made available to the public. The Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Gordon Robertson made a speech recently in St. John's, Newfoundland regarding government leaks. He justified his attack on the basis of the government's need to keep much information confidential and he said:

In short, the collective executive that is the heart of our parliamentary system must have secrecy: it cannot work without it.

Mr. Speaker, if things are secret and should be secret, I have no argument with what Mr. Robertson says. But all too often our government considers things secret because it is politically expedient to do so and there is no justification for them being so classified. That is the problem we face in this Parliament and the thing we complain about so publicly and so often. It is the reason for this motion before us today.

Kildare Dobbs, a well-known Canadian writer, who spent a short time working for the Secretary of State (Mr. Pelletier) summed up the stupidity of confidentiality procedures in the federal government in an article which appeared in the Maclean's magazine in September, 1971, when he said:

I could never quite understand by what alchemy the words rattling loose inside my head became Confidential the moment I wrote them down. But that was what happened. A few strokes of the borrowed ballpoint and presto! I was spinning state secrets out of my own innards.

June 14, 1972

And later:

With superfluous caution, they put up a smoke screen of security, mindlessly stamping everything on their desks Top Secret, Eyes Only, Secret, Confidential. As if anybody cared. Not only were these documents unreadable: many of them, on close inspection, proved meaningless.

Those are the facts surrounding the great secrecy about so much of what is happening in government today, most of which should be out in the open where it could be examined by the public. If we could get that kind of information we would not be so concerned that we would move the motion before us. However, we have moved it because we believe that this government feels it in their interests to prevent us from getting information.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

The hon. member for Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo (Mr. Howe).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

Order, please. Is the hon. member getting up to speak or to ask a question?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Believe it or not, Mr. Speaker, I rose to speak.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

Order, please. In all fairness, I think I should recognize the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the generosity of my friend in yielding to me I shall try to say what is mainly on my mind in five minutes and leave three or four minutes for him to make his speech.

I should like to say that I believe this has been one of those debates in which good speeches have been made on both sides of the House. I have no hesitation in saying that even though he was speaking in a political vein, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Privy Council (Mr. Jerome) scored some very strong points. I should also like to commend the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Breau) on his speech. I thought his analysis of information of various kinds was good, and I thought his description of the daily question period was one to which we should pay some attention. On this side of the House, the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Baldwin) introduced the debate with a very constructive speech. I believe my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Surrey-White Rock (Mr. Mather), also made some very valuable and very helpful suggestions. I also think one of the highlights of this afternoon was the speech made by the hon. member for Fundy-Royal (Mr. Fairweather). I could go further, but I think I have gone far enough to demonstrate my point that good speeches have been made by members on both sides of this House.

S0)

I could go into this matter at length but I have agreed to be short, so may I concentrate on two areas in which I think we could make a real effort to improve things. Both relate to the question of information being provided to Parliament.

Information on Government Business

First, may I support the hon. member for Saint John-Lancaster (Mr. Bell) and other hon. members who suggested that the roster system is for the birds. It is not so much the non-attendance in this House of ministers on a certain day when members want an answer to a particular question that bothers me, but, rather, the downgrading of the question period which is produced by the nonattendance of a third of the ministers every day, and frequently by the non-attendance of half the ministers.

I think we ought to accept the criticism of the hon. member for Gloucester who suggested that opposition members do not always ask the brightest questions. I suggest, however, that upgrading the question period is a responsibility that must be shared on both sides of this House; and, just as the questions of hon. members on this side ought to be good and sharp, and aimed at advancing good ideas and at getting information as well as at advancing political points, so the government should take the question period seriously. That means that all the ministers ought to be here almost every day. If it does not happen in this Parliament, then, in the next Parliament I hope this roster will be torn in shreds; I hope we will return to the old system and that all ministers will be prepared to answer questions every day the House sits.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

That is a simple request, Mr. Speaker, and merely needs the exercise of the will to achieve it.

My other point is this: We should take a really good, hard look at how we handle estimates. I agree with hon. members on the other side who suggested we have improved the parliamentary process with respect to legislation. I think the committee arrangements and report stage arrangements we have made are good. I also agree that committees do good investigative work, and are to be commended. I think those processes are good. But the process by which we handle estimates, to put it mildly, leaves a great deal to be desired.

Let us not deal with this matter by suggesting that the government is all right and that the opposition is all wrong, or vice versa, or that we should keep this system or go back to the old system, although the old system was better for its time. I think that, somehow, members of parliament must become involved in the whole process in relation to the estimates. We may even need to modify the sacred concept of government responsibility and make provision for members to become involved in the preparation of estimates. The blue book of estimates is a big one, Mr. Speaker. The President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Drury) has told us he has given us more information than we can possibly digest. Yet the book really does not tell us how departments of government build up their lists of expenditures and how the decisions are made that determine how the taxpayer's money is spent. Mr. Speaker, I am not defending the present system or the old system; I am trying not to be partisan; I am merely asking for a new study of the whole question of how we vote the money for which Parliament is responsible. Perhaps we shall need to examine estimates on a two-year basis, instead of a one-year basis. Possibly, we should go for an examination of the estimates of each department once every three or four

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June 14, 1972

Information on Government Business years. Perhaps we shall have to tear up the whole system we now have with respect to estimates and come up with a brand new technique. I hope that somewhere, somehow, we can do this, and we should get at it very soon. I could continue, Mr. Speaker, but my hon. friend from Welling-ton-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo (Mr. Howe) is seeking the floor, so I yield to him.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I was instrumental in curtailing the speech of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I wish to talk about a request, I placed on the order paper, with respect to which I was not given adequate replies. In three and a half minutes it will be somewhat difficult to put my case on record. The matter has to do with the second international airport for Toronto.

Some weeks ago, I put on the order paper the following notice of motion for the production of papers:

Than an humble Address be presented to His Excellency praying that he will cause to be laid before this House a copy of all correspondence, memoranda, special study reports between the Government of Canada or any department thereof and the Government of the Province of Ontario relating to the question of the second international airport in the Province of Ontario.

The notice of motion is dated April 13. After I prodded the minister a great deal, he said he was willing to accede to my request and to make that information available to this House. Not until May 24, did I obtain that reply.

The reply disturbed me, Mr. Speaker. After all, considering that the studies were said to have extended over months and even years, since the second airport would be a most expensive proposition running into the billions of dollars, I expected more than was given to me. I was told that the studies had gone on for a long time, yet what did I obtain? The minister's return consisted of a neat package of press releases, ministerial letters, and so on. For

instance, consider this release headed, "Transport Minister Don Jamieson discusses Toronto's second international airport with area Members of Parliament". It reads:

Transport Minister Don Jamieson met last Friday with Norman Cafik, M.P., Ontario (riding), Barnett Danson, M.P., York-North and John Roberts, M.P., York-Simcoe to discuss aspects of the Federal Government's plan for the development of a second Toronto international airport-

That is playing politics. Those members represent constituencies in the area. I asked several times for a complete study of the matter and suggested that the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications should sit down with the people in the areas concerned and discuss with them a project as big as this. That did not happen. However, according to the press release, the minister discussed the matter with three hon. members representing affected constituencies.

Consider the following headline carried in a Toronto newspaper, Mr. Speaker: "High-priced advice taken on airport, McKeough asserts". Mr. McKeough tabled some documents in the Ontario Legislature, in Toronto. He provided more information than the minister. According to the post office scale, the package the minister provided weighs two pounds four ounces, whereas the documents Mr. McKeough tabled weighed five pounds. Mr. Speaker, I feel that information that ought to have been made available was not made available with respect to a decision as important as the one involving the new Toronto international airport on which we will spend possibly billions of dollars.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Boulanger):

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S.O. 58-ALLEGED FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO PUBLIC BUSINESS
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June 14, 1972