June 27, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS


[ Translation]


COMMUNICATIONS

LIB

Gérard Pelletier (Minister of Communications)

Liberal

Hon. Gerard Pelletier (Minister of Communications):

Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 41(2) I would like to table in the two official languages the study by the government of Canada of the decision given on March 30, 1973 by the Canadian Transport Commission concerning Bell Canada's Request "A".

[ English]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I understand that the minister has sought to table the decision of the government with regard to the suspension of certain rate increases granted by the Canadian Transport Commission to Bell Canada, which the minister announced on April 6 were suspended by the government. I wish to protest as vigorously as I can the fact that the minister has simply tabled the document instead of making a statement to the House. I remind you, Mr. Speaker, that on April 2 there was a debate on a Standing Order 26 motion which I moved, and the decision of the government to suspend the increases granted by the CTC was announced by the minister in a statement to the House on April 6.

I see no reason in the world, other than a desire not to permit other members of the House to comment, why he could not make a statement today. Even if the statement he has tabled is long and he does not want to read it all, surely he could have summarized it and told us on his feet what the decision of the government is on this matter instead of merely tabling a document without giving members of the House an opportunity to comment on it, particularly when it was important enough for the government to suspend the increases on April 6.

I do not usually rise on points of order suggesting that people are flouting the rights of the House, but if this matter was important enough for the minister to have announced on April 6 the decision of the government to suspend the increases granted by the CTC, it is important enough for him to rise to his feet in the House today and announce the decision of the government.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Speak up like a man.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

It is surely a lack' of courage as well as a lack of propriety to use Standing Order 41(2) merely to table a document.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
LIB

Gérard Pelletier (Minister of Communications)

Liberal

Mr. Pelletier:

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I do not accept the allegations and even less the accusations made by the hon. member. I believe that my only reason for tabling this document is the wish to abide by your oft-repeated instructions to us, Mr. Speaker, namely that statements on motions should be brief and legible.

Furthermore, I am certain that if I had tabled a brief statement, the hon. member who has just spoken would certainly have complained of the dearth of explanations by the government on such an important decision.

The document I have just tabled is not only longer than usual, not for the sake of fancy but of efficiency, it also contains statistical tables which I can hardly see myself reading in a statement on motions.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, on the point of order which has been raised may I ask Your Honour to consider at least one precedent. Since we did not know this was coming up I have not had the time to look it up, but Your Honour will recall an occasion a few years ago when the then Minister of Finance, the Hon. E. J. Benson, sought to table a document the effect of which was to give one side of an argument with no opportunity for reply. I submit that is what is happening in this case. A document called a review of the government's position has been tabled. I suspect it is the government's side of the argument. In view of the fact this matter was discussed on two days, as indicated by the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lewis), I do not think the Minister of Communications (Mr. Pelletier) should be permitted on this occasion to operate under the provisions of Standing Order 41(2).

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The point of order raised by the hon. member for York South and supported by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is, of course, of interest. I recall very well the incident and precedent to which the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre alluded. Obviously there are two separate Standing Orders. Standing Order 15(3) provides for statements on motions and makes it possible for members speaking on behalf of parties in opposition to the government to make comments. Standing Order 41(2) states that a minister of the Crown, or a parliamentary secretary acting on behalf of a minister, may in his place in the House state that he

June 27, 1973

Fisheries

proposes to lay upon the table of the House any report or other paper dealing with a matter coming within the administrative responsibilities of the government.

I assume that the point of view taken by the minister is that he is placing on the table of the House under the terms of Standing Order 41(2) a paper which relates to the administrative responsibilities of the government. At the same time, I remember the objection I had on a previous occasion to a minister tabling under the terms of Standing Order 41(2) what in effect would be a ministerial statement. It may be that this is a use of the wrong Standing Order and that another procedure, rather than tabling the document, might be to make a statement. I, of course, do not know what is contained in the document tabled by the minister. If hon. members feel strongly enough about the matter, perhaps we might hold it in abeyance and determine after further examination of the matter whether the minister in due course might be invited either to make a statement on motions or to distribute the statement in some way other than under the terms of Standing Order 41(2).

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   BELL CANADA RATE INCREASES-TABLING OF REVIEW BY GOVERNMENT OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION DECISION
Permalink

FISHERIES

LIB

John (Jack) Davis (Minister of the Environment)

Liberal

Hon. Jack Davis (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, hon. members who are concerned about the future of the fishery in the Northwest Atlantic will know that the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries recently concluded its twenty-third annual meeting in Copenhagen.

There was universal concern about the depletion of fish stocks in the North Atlantic. Canada argued that all species in all areas be harvested on a sustained yield basis. This idea received widespread support. Canada also urged that the coastal state be given first claim on the catch. Iceland supported this concept, but other European countries, while recognizing a measure of preference for the coastal state, were unwilling to admit an unlimited claim on Canada's part.

Actually, when it came to the negotiations in detail, sub area by sub area and species by species, Canada did very well indeed. We were allocated 100 million pounds more fish than we took in 1973. In 1974 we will, therefore, be able to take this additional catch in areas where Canadian fishermen have fished for years and where they will be able to take up an increased quota.

There was a trade-off. The Canadian allocation was reduced in certain other areas where we have not fished in the past and in respect of species like silver hake which Canadian fishermen have not taken in any quantity.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a series of figures which outline, by area and by species, Canadian allocations for 1973 and 1974 together with the total allowable catch for all countries for this year and next. This data indicates that, because Canada is a coastal state, we will be able to expand our fishing effort over the next 18 months.

During the conference an impasse developed between the United States and certain other members of ICNAF concerning the depleted fish stocks in convention waters off the New England coast. The United States proposed an over-all reduction in the fishing effort in the order of 25 per cent. Canada, recognizing both the complexity of the fishery and the need for a further limitation of effort, suggested a special meeting of the commission in September in order to resolve these difficulties. This meeting has now been scheduled.

We have by no means solved all of our difficulties in the North Atlantic but Canada, as the principle coastal state, has gained a great deal. The principle of sustained yield cropping has now been accepted by all members of ICNAF. Also, Canadian fishermen are obtaining a larger share of the over-all catch as a result of these deliberations.

I would like to table the relevant data, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Is this agreed?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lloyd R. Crouse (South Shore):

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House welcome the statement made by the Minister of Fisheries today concerning the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. I am sure that the fishermen of Atlantic Canada will be pleased to learn that we were allocated 100 million pounds more fish for 1974 in the ICNAF areas than was the case in 1973. However, these fish must be caught, and from the statistics supplied by the minister's department it is apparent that the annual catch of fish in Atlantic Canada is declining, which is a matter of great concern to the people of our area. In fact, the cumulative landings in the maritime provinces during the first four months of 1973 totalled 133 million pounds. Statistics for the similar period of 1972 were 139 million pounds, and for 1971, 232 million pounds. So it is quite evident that we are in need of the additional protection which I hope the agreement as read by the minister will provide to Atlantic Canada.

I believe that one section of the minister's statement is worth emphasizing, namely, that Canada urged that the coastal state be given first claim on the fish catch, a concept which received the support of Iceland but nevertheless did not receive the over-all support of other European countries. In other words, Iceland is willing to support our position on this matter, and it is regrettable that Canada did not take the same stand when Iceland endeavoured to secure, on September 1, 1972, fishing limits off her country extending 50 miles off the coast.

I also note in the minister's statement that there was a trade-off. He said:

The Canadian allocation was reduced in certain other areas where we have not fished in the past and in respect of species like silver hake which Canadian fishermen have not taken in any quantity.

I cannot help but wonder why this was necessary. I seriously question whether Canadian fishermen will welcome the news that the government has once again made an accommodation with foreign interests by trading away fishing rights which, after all, originally belonged to the fishermen of Atlantic Canada.

June 27, 1973

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

I also note this statement by the minister:

During the conference an impasse developed between the United States and certain other members of ICNAF concerning the depleted fish stocks in convention waters off the New England coast.

Obviously this is understandable, for sophisticated fishing fleets from other nations are taking bigger and bigger catches. It is obvious that the 12-mile limit is not working in Canada. It is obvious that it is not working along the New England coast.

The minister said that we have by no means solved all of our difficulties in the North Atlantic. This has to be the understatement of the day. The main question is how some 132 nations will respond to proposals for the proper use of the world's oceans and control of the continental shelf. This is certainly the most important and the most underrated issue of our times. At stake in this matter are fishing and mineral rights and pollution and navigational control, all of which, in our view, should be vested in the coastal state. This is a responsibility that we must have.

I submit that our position on this matter when we appear before the next Law of the Sea Conference should be made abundantly clear. There should be no doubt left that we claim the right to mineral and fishing exploration on our continental shelf and slope, whether this extends 200 miles or goes beyond that limit. It should be our responsibility to manage these resources wherever and whenever they may be found on our continental shelf and slope.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Speakman Barnett

New Democratic Party

Mr. Thomas S. Barnett (Comox-Alberni):

Mr. Speaker, first I should like to say we appreciate the fact that the minister provided us with a copy of his statement somewhat in advance of the opening of the House. I suppose I should also say that we are pleased to accept gratefully such crumbs of information as the minister has given us in his statement on motions. This in itself is a rather rare event in the House. I have never quite been able to decide whether it is because the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) keeps a tight thumb down on the minister or whether the reason is the minister's own natural shyness about making statements in the House, so seldom do we hear any announcement from him.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON ANNUAL MEETING OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES
Permalink

June 27, 1973