June 21, 1972

PRIVILEGE

MR, LA SALLE-PROTEST AGAINST INACCURATE NEWSPAPER REPORT

IND

Roch La Salle

Independent

Mr. Roch La Salle (loliette):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to rise on a question of privilege.

Last Saturday, the newspaper La Presse reported that the hon. member for Joliette had asked for the resignation of the right hon. Prime Minister. I should like to advise the House, and at the same time reassure the Prime Minister, that I have never made such a statement. It is my duty to add that the statement was made by another Roch, who is no relative of mine. I trust this incident did not inconvenience the Prime Minister too much.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR, LA SALLE-PROTEST AGAINST INACCURATE NEWSPAPER REPORT
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS


Fourth report of Standing Committee on Transport and Communications-Mr. Turner (London East). [Editor's Note: For the text of above report, see today's Votes and Proceedings.]


ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT

LIB

John (Jack) Davis (Minister of the Environment)

Liberal

Hon. lack Davis (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was a great success. Representatives of 112 nations agreed at Stockholm, often unanimously, to a set of principles, an action plan and an organizational structure which will help mankind to fight pollution on land, in the sea and in the air.

The success of the first UN Conference on the Environment was due, in large measure, to the leadership shown by Canada and by Canadians. The efforts of Secretary General, Mr. Maurice Strong, in laying the groundwork for the conference are well known. Our Canadian delegation, with representatives from the provinces and from industry, helped to frame many important resolutions and to ensure that recommendations important to Canada were embodied in the final action plan. Principles of particular interest to a country like Canada with its long coastline and its proximity to highly industrialized areas

in the United States were initiated by us and were endorsed by all other nations at the conference, many of which face pollution problems similar to our own.

Before listing a number of Canadian initiatives which were endorsed by the conference at Stockholm, I would like to pay a special tribute to the work done by our officials. Mr. Allan Beesley, more than anyone else at the conference, helped us to take a giant step forward in the development of international environmental law. Mr. Robert Shaw and Dr. David Munro represented Environment Canada with distinction. Mr. Paul Tremblay and Mr. Geoff Bruce of the Department of External Affairs made sure that our recommendations were always in tune with other developments in the United Nations organization and that our Canadian delegation operated like a team at all stages in the conference's deliberations.

I might note, parenthetically, that the international press rated our delegation as the strongest contingent in Stockholm. Its reporters reached this conclusion mainly because we outlined our objectives at the beginning of the conference and then managed, as a result of a great deal of lobbying and debate, to have them emerge virtually unscathed in the final declaration and action plan.

Our collective accomplishments, Mr. Speaker, cover a broad front. They range from the identification of atmospheric pollutants of global concern to the dumping of toxic substances on the high seas. Provisions were made for the protection of endangered species, of wildlife and for the payment of compensation when the effects of pollution originating in one country were felt in another country.

A world registry of clean rivers is to be set up and the harvesting of renewable resources, including fish, must be placed on an optimum, sustained yield basis.

More specifically, in the area of marine pollution Canada deliberately set out to utilize the Stockholm Conference as a means to the further advancement of international law. We tabled a set of marine pollution principles, all 23 of which were endorsed by the conference.

A statement of objectives was also agreed upon, stressing the need to manage ocean space and the special interests of the coastal state in that management process.

The Stockholm Conference referred to a conference to be held in London later this year draft articles for an ocean dumping convention which provides not only for effective control from an environmental point of view but also for enforcement by all parties, including coastal nations, against "ships under their jurisdiction".

With regard to the special rights of coastal states, the Stockholm Conference took note of them and "referred these principles to the 1973 IMCO Conference for information and to the 1973 Law of the Sea Conference for action".

June 21, 1972

Environmental Affairs

Canada also tabled, well before the conference, a declaration on the human environment consisting of legal principles analogous to the UN declarations of principles on outer space and human rights. We were the first country to do so. Some states opposed the introduction of legal principles into the Stockholm declaration, but we persisted.

The declaration on the human environment approved at Stockholm last Friday contained the principles introduced by Canada, based on the Trail Smelter case, namely, the duty of every state not to pollute the environment of other states, the duty not to pollute the sea, the air and outer space beyond the jurisdiction of any state, and the duty to develop the law concerning liability and compensation in respect of such damage.

A further consequential principle flowing from these three, the duty of states to consult with or notify states of activities which may have an environmental impact on them, received close to unanimous support but was referred to the twenty-seventh United Nations General Assembly for further consideration.

If I had to identify the area in which I believe our delegation made the greatest contribution, Mr. Speaker, it would have to be on the marine side. Freedom of the high seas must not include the freedom to pollute. That freedom, or licence if you like, has been shaken by the Stockholm Conference. Further deliberations at the international level, including the Law of the Sea Conference in 1973, will be necessary in order to spell this principle out in some detail. But the basic theme is there. Thanks to Canadians, it has been expressed in legal language. Its elaboration in actual practice now only seems to be a matter of time.

Rather than take up further the time of the House, Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask your permission to table two documents. One lists, in some detail, the marine principles which Canada initially proposed and which were subsequently endorsed by the conference at Stockholm. The other is a copy of the statement which I made at the opening of the conference and which summarizes the position our delegation took throughout its deliberations. Could I please have permission of the House to table these two documents for inclusion in today's Hansard, Mr. Speaker?

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is this agreed?

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's Note: For text of documents referred to above, see Appendices A and B.]

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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LIB

John (Jack) Davis (Minister of the Environment)

Liberal

Mr. Davis:

That completes my statement on motions.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. H. Aiken (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the best summary of the outcome of the Stockholm Conference appeared on the editorial page of the Christian Science Monitor on Monday, June 19. The lead editorial concluded with the words:

To rally all the participating nations in support of the conference proposals at a meeting lasting only 11 days was something of a tour de force. Much of the conference's success was due to the

extraordinary skill and untiring energy of its chief organizer, Maurice Strong of Canada.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

The editorial continues:

But the conference could only have succeeded if the desire to succeed was universal.

The measure of universality achieved at Stockholm is a measure of man's new concern for the future of his planet and of the whole human family.

It was heartening to know that efforts to use the conference for advancement of side issues which might have wrecked it were unsuccessful. The nations of the world have recognized formally the prime concern about global pollution of the oceans, the atmosphere and the earth. The United Nations Organization has not often been able to bring about joint and universal declarations on a major world problem. We can all join with the minister in this brief glow of satisfaction in a successful conference.

But, of course, agreements on principle are a long cry from successful action. We have learned that here in this Parliament where we have had ringing declarations of principle on environmental matters, followed by hopeful legislation and then inability or failure to carry it out. It is even more difficult in the world body where so many divergent interests are involved. It will require constant and continual pressure to carry out the principles agreed upon and we should continue to support Maurice Strong in these efforts.

It was unfortunate that our delegation brought some adverse criticism on its initial abstention on the issue of nuclear testing. However, the subsequent change of position rectified our international standing on the final vote, and the Canadian delegation is generally reported as contributing actively to the conference. While we are glad that our delegation was in evidence, Canadians would really have accepted nothing less.

In conclusion may I say that in view of the activities of Canadians at the Stockholm Conference, outlined by the minister in his statement, it is incumbent on him to enlist the support of his colleagues in an active anti-pollution effort in Canada. We cannot preach abroad with any reality unless we act at home.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Randolph Harding (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the minister back from the conference in Stockholm and we congratulate him for the good press he received. The members of this House are very eager and anxious to hear and see how the minister's successful diplomatic manoeuvering will be translated into action at the international level.

We welcome the statement of accomplishments and the apparent accord of the United Nations on many important aspects of our global environment. Our party fully endorses and applauds the general position taken by the minister and the Canadian delegation on a number of important international environmental issues. We wish, however, that this apparent leadership would extend to those major environmental problems facing us in our own nation. The leadership, planning and action required to implement positive programs are sadly lacking at the federal level in Canada. In my opinion, sound and positive

June 21, 1972

moves on a national scale would not only encourage the world community of nations to tackle global problems but would convince them that we were sincere in calling for a global approach to pollution.

The Stockholm Conference calls for international standards. Why, then, does this government not insist on national standards within our own country? Why do we pass legislation which in effect has fragmented standards from one end of Canada to the other? Why do we allow land use regulations in the northern 40 per cent of our nation to be so watered down through pressure from major economic interests that these regulations cannot adequately do the job of protecting the delicate ecology of the north? Why is the only major portion of Canada where all resources are under federal jurisdiction, namely, the area north of latitude 60 degrees, not included under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Environment?

We talk about international standards and control, but the Minister of the Environment does little when major ecological problems face us such as in the James Bay area. Why did his department not insist on full ecological surveys being made before the project commenced? What about the St. Lawrence River where the water is so badly polluted that it is not safe for bathing? Have we no jurisdictional rights in this area, or are the department and the government afraid to move?

There is one point I would like to raise in connection with the Stockholm Conference, and I will be brief. The tendency of this government to pussyfoot in the face of pressure from powerful lobbies was made clear in Stockholm. A $1 million offer to contribute to research on low pollution alternatives to petroleum sources of energy was withdrawn. The international press claimed that it was due to pressure from powerful oil interests. These same economic interests have forced this government to downgrade its land use regulations needed to protect our northern areas. We find that oil exploration is going on in a large portion of northern Canada without adequate controls.

May I say in closing that we welcome the accomplishments of the Stockholm Conference and the part played in it by Maurice Strong and our Canadian delegation. We are looking forward to seeing this expression of leadership in the international field translated into action. We are going to ride herd on the minister to see that this action is taken.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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SC

David Réal Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Real Caouette (Temiscamingue):

Mr. Speaker, we have listened with a great deal of attention to the statement of the hon. Minister of the Environment (Mr. Davis). I thank him for sending me a copy of his statement around one o'clock, but I must point out that I did not receive the French translation until 2:17 p.m. exactly. I would have liked one of my colleagues to comment on this statement, but because we did not receive the French translation soon enough, I was forced to select myself to make comments on it. When the minister has statements to make, I wish he would send us the translation soon enough for my colleagues and myself to read them before hand.

Environmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the role played by Canada at the United Nations Conference on the Environment at Stockholm where the delegates agreed, often unanimously, to a set of principles, an action plan and an organizational structure which will help mankind fight pollution on land, in the sea and in the air.

Mr. Speaker, we are in complete agreement with the minister on these basic principles which will help all mankind but, nevertheless, we must not forget that in Canada, in the provinces and in the municipalities an action plan must also be established to fight efficiently sea, air and land pollution.

Some municipalities and some provinces are asking the central government for help in depolluting the lakes which supply some cities with their drinking water. For example, in Rouyn-Noranda, help has been requested for many years to clean Dufault Lake in order to build an adequate Water system. But they always get the same answer that funds are not available, notwithstanding the fact that the government has the financial means to go to Stockholm to decide what will happen on the shores of the United States, of Africa, etc. We are not against this and we are happy that the government's participation is very efficient and that it draws the attention of the world to these problems. However, Mr. Speaker, I would like the government to pay as much attention to the municipalities and provinces in Canada in order to help the population in its fight against pollution of any kind.

Topic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT BY MINISTER ON UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
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REQUEST THAT ST. JEAN-BAPTISTE DAY AND DOMINION DAY HOLIDAYS BE OBSERVED ON MONDAYS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER

IND

Roch La Salle

Independent

Mr. Roch La Salle (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to submit a motion under Standing Order 43, with the request that hon. members kindly listen instead of saying "No" as usual. Since the national holiday of French Canadians and Dominion Day both fall on a Saturday, I should like to move, seconded by the hon. member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Scott):

That the Mondays following these two holidays be proclaimed holidays for Parliament and all the personnel of that institution.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT ST. JEAN-BAPTISTE DAY AND DOMINION DAY HOLIDAYS BE OBSERVED ON MONDAYS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The House has heard the motion submitted by the hon. member for Joliette. Under the provisions of Standing Order 43, this motion requires the unanimous consent of the House. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   REQUEST THAT ST. JEAN-BAPTISTE DAY AND DOMINION DAY HOLIDAYS BE OBSERVED ON MONDAYS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION UNDER
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June 21, 1972