October 16, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

LIB

John (Jack) Davis (Minister of the Environment)

Liberal

Hon. Jack Davis (Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, as most hon. members know, an international conference aimed at the elimination of pollution from ships is now under way in London, England. I would like, briefly, to outline the stand that Canada is taking at this United Nations sponsored conference and to describe some of the principles we would like to see incorporated in a convention which will be binding on flag states and coastal states alike.

Modern society depends, to an increasing extent, on ocean transport of oil and other cargoes. Mobility is important, but so is the preservation of our marine environment. We must, therefore, see to it that vessels carrying substances which are harmful to marine life or which can reduce the value of ocean-front property must be built and operated in a safe and sensible way.

I am confident, Mr. Speaker, that the world's ocean shipping can meet these requirements without incurring exceptional costs. New ships can be built and operated with a greater margin of safety without adding more than a few percentage points to the over-all cost involved in moving goods from one port to another.

An international convention which will not only preserve mobility on the world's oceans but also protect our marine environment has four major attributes: it must be universal in its application; it must include strict standards for the construction and operation of ships; it must be enforceable; and it must be capable of amendment so as to take into account the latest advances in maritime technology.

Construction standards are very important. Canada supports the resolution, for example, that all tankers built after January 1, 1975, should include provision for segregated ballast and double hulls wherever possible. Hon. members should bear in mind that most of the large oil tankers needed during the rest of this century will be built between now and 1985. Hence our concern about the implementation of new construction standards at the earliest possible date.

We believe that the existing convention dealing with pollution from ships should be expanded to cover all suffocating and toxic substances. It should include light oils

as well as heavy oils, "white" oils as well as "black" oils. Our research indicates that the more highly processed petroleum products are often more poisonous than crude oil. This is why we want to see them included in the new rules dealing with pollution from ships.

Our experience with the 1954 convention shows us that exclusive reliance on enforcement by ship owning or flag states simply does not work. If the new convention is to have teeth, it must prevent pollution everywhere. It must prevent violations of the convention wherever they occur. It must enable us to apprehend the offending vessel as soon as it enters the port of any nation which is a signatory to the convention.

This idea is now being referred to as the "port state" concept. Canada is its author. The United States now supports us. We are hopeful that most other countries attending the IMCO Conference in London will endorse its inclusion in the convention as well.

Evidence of a wilful discharge or spill has been hard to collect. We are, therefore, urging that the old "parts per million" stipulation in the 1954 convention be abandoned. In our opinion, it should be replaced by an evidentiary rule whereby the word of a responsible officer will be regarded as sufficient to secure a conviction. Sighting of a sheen of oil on water will be enough. Sworn evidence to this effect will constitute proof of a violation unless probative evidence is presented to the contrary.

A prosecution, following our reasoning, would then take place as soon as the offending vessel entered the port of any signatory country and at any time within three years of the violation having been apprehended anywhere in the world.

We also believe that compulsory arbitration is necessary in order to ensure that all states fulfil their obligations under the new convention, thereby guarding against arbitrary or unjust enforcement actions.

I referred earlier, Mr. Speaker, to the universal application of the convention. It will set a basic standard for all shipping everywhere in the world. This is not to say, however, that two nations or a group of neighbouring nations could not set even higher standards in waters washing their shores. We could set higher standards in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Canada's west coast, for example. We could do the same in the Bay of Fundy as the result of another joint agreement with the United States.

Incidentally, this provision will also help us to gain international recognition for our Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to report that, in respect of most of these matters, we are in general agreement with the United States. Where we differ is in respect of warships, which the United States wishes to have exempted from the convention, and in respect of the

Pollution From Ships

distance seaward in which unilateral or one-nation enforcement of the convention would be operative. The United States, unlike Canada, wants to limit this provision in the convention to the territorial sea, which, in its case, is three miles. We would like to see unilateral provisions extended seaward to include all the waters which fall under the jurisdiction of the coastal state. This would, of course, include our more extensive fisheries zones.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON CANADIAN POSITION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTROL OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Fraser (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to answer the Minister of the Environment I wish to say that as far as the objectives set out by the minister are concerned the government has the unqualified support of the party to which I belong and we wish every success to our delegation at the conference.

We are especially cognizant of the fact that some international control must be exercised over ships plying the high seas as well as coastal waters. For far too long certain states have taken the position that it is somehow an infringement of their right to the high seas to be regulated in any way. I can assure the minister he has the support of this party in pressing as vigorously as possible the Canadian position that warships should not be exempt in any way from the terms of the convention and also that the areas of control contiguous to the coastal states should be allowed to extend beyond the traditional three miles.

There is, however, one aspect which I think it proper that hon. members should consider and which is notable by its absence from the minister's statement. We who come from the west coast have seen recently in Vancouver harbour the results of a relatively minor oil spill and the difficulty, even when supplies and equipment were close at hand, of effectively combatting the consequences of that spill by containment and clean-up. There is nothing in the minister's statement to indicate he is pressing for certain other measures which are also of importance. The first concerns international navigation standards. I ask the minister to consider seriously whether or not we should also be pressing for improvement in this direction. After all, if a ship collides with another it is probable there will be oil spillage no matter how much pains are taken in the construction of the ship.

There is another omission from the minister's statement. He says nothing about pressing for international co-operation in efforts to contain and clean up oil spills. It is one thing to talk about compensation, but compensation brings little comfort if containment and clean up do not take place immediately. In this regard, at least in some situations, international co-operation is necessary.

The minister spoke of wilful discharge. Although it does not seem to be absolutely clear, I hope that wilful discharge on the high seas will be covered by the convention because danger lies as much in that area as in coastal waters.

I repeat that the government delegation has the complete support of this party. I trust account will be taken by its members of the several items I have mentioned as being worthy of consideration.

Lastly, I wish to say that if Canada is to have any moral force in pressing such terms on the conference we must ensure that we are consistent within our own boundaries

and in our own coastal waters with respect to the way in which we view and treat the transport of oil by sea. I refer to criticism implying that our position with respect to tankers on the west coast is inconsistent with our lack of position with regard to the passage of tankers on the east coast.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON CANADIAN POSITION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTROL OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
Permalink
NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, before the minister left Canada to attend the IMCO conference in London the newspapers were devoid of any reference by him to the position Canada intended to take at that conference. This prompted me, about a week and a half ago, to express the opinion that Canada would take a neutral position at that conference, in other words, that it would have no definite stand to present. That prompted the minister to reply to me in the press in his usual fashion and thus completely confuse the issue. But at least it did result in the minister saying something, and we are pleased that he has today finally got to the stage of taking the Canadian public into his confidence and telling the House what position Canada is trying for at the IMCO conference in London. In respect of those matters that he outlined in his statement today, we wish him and the Canadian delegation well and hope for an international convention of a sufficiently high standard that it will assist Canada in preserving its coasts from oil spills.

There are two ways in which a nation can deal with this problem. One is unilaterally; the other is by way of an agreement or convention, in other words, multilaterally by agreement with several nations. We must never lose sight of the fact that so far as Canada is concerned the protection of our land is the most important and the prime consideration that should always underline the position the Canadian government takes at any conference of this nature.

Oil spills can cause and have caused immeasurable damage to our land and our marine resources as well as to life itself in this land. That is why we must first protect our own interests. If we cannot reach a multilateral agreement, or if the convention that comes out of the conference is not of a sufficiently high standard to preserve and protect Canada's interests, then Canada must be prepared to act unilaterally without regard for what is developed by the conference.

There is ample precedent for taking unilateral action. A few years ago this parliament passed the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act. Incidentally, the minister did not use the correct name for the act in his announcement, but that is par for the course for this minister. This unilateral action has been classified, and we agree, as the finest, most stringent piece of oil pollution prevention legislation anywhere in the world. The act applies to the Arctic and to waters extending 100 nautical miles beyond the Arctic archipelago. I wish it applied to the east and west coasts as well because this would go a great way toward preserving and protecting our land from the difficulties that could arise from further oil spills, whether on the high seas or close to land.

The minister should not wonder about the requirement for unilateral action to extend whatever legislation Canada wants to pass respecting oil pollution control in so far as our territorial seas and fishing zones are concerned. I say to the minister sincerely and directly that the oppor-

tunity rests in our hands as the Parliament of Canada to declare that we will preserve our territorial seas and fishing zones and protect them from pollution.

Any convention arrived at by the IMCO conference will not be of the high standard we would like it to be because it will be the subject of negotiations between some 90 countries that are attending the conference. Each will have a little different view and each country will seek to give a little in order to get a convention that embraces everybody's point of view. As a consequence the standard undoubtedly will not be as high as we in this nation would like to see. There is no question about our jurisdiction to extend to the edge of our fishing zones and territorial seas legislation dealing with oil pollution control. We should be preparing to do that in any event regardless of the conference.

If a convention does come out of this conference it will have no value whatever in regard to the Cherry Point situation in the state of Washington, just 15 miles or so beyond the border of British Columbia. It is in the United States, on its land, and no convention that I can conceive of this conference developing will have any effect whatever with respect to the kind of situation that arose at Cherry Point a couple of years ago. At that time a tanker was at the dock and oil was being pumped from the ship. A coupling broke, resulting in the flooding of beaches in British Columbia with oil. That is something not conceived of in this statement and I do not think it can be dealt with by a convention at the IMCO conference.

I hope a convention is developed and that it is of a sufficiently high standard. However, I think Canada must be prepared to act unilaterally if the standards arrived at in the convention are not high enough for Canada to accept.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON CANADIAN POSITION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTROL OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
Permalink
SC

André-Gilles Fortin

Social Credit

Mr. Andre Fortin (Lotbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words on the statement of the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Davis).

Our party welcomes his statement; we congratulate him for it. This statement shows the intention of the government to act in a more effective and more appropriate way in the field of tanker construction, in the field of highly commercial maritime transportation and in that of preservation of our environment. We want to congratulate the minister for that.

Mr. Speaker, having said this, I would like to draw his attention on the need for taking a logical and constant attitude; inasmuch as he-and I know he is sincere- defends and will defend the policy that he has announced today, by the same token the government ought to be aware of the importance of preserving the environment on the St. Lawrence. My riding, like those of several of my colleagues, stretches out along the St. Lawrence south shore where maritime transportation is carried out in a very well organized fashion. But properties along the shores are greatly damaged.

A very old government policy concerning retaining walls and riparian land is now applied and it is completely

outmoded, therefore the Quebecker who invested along

Arab-Israeli War Debate

the St. Lawrence is discouraged. The St. Lawrence constitutes extraordinary resources, although it is polluted at this time and fishing has become impossible. Mr. Speaker, the Public Works Department policy is nevertheless totally inadequate and does not meet the needs as regards construction of retaining walls along shores.

Moreover, the standards on shipping on the St. Lawrence river are also inadequate. Mr. Speaker, government experts feel that when a ship is sailing further than a given distance from the shore, she causes no damage. The government is not assuming the responsibility for damages caused by the tide.

Now, Mr. Speaker, riparian owners are penalized since they cannot use the river for commercial purposes. They are left with nothing to do but watch boats go by and, still worse, they see their properties damaged.

Therefore, I strongly urge the Minister of Environment (Mr. Davis) who seems to be aware of the pollution problems and of the environment protection to make the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Dube) mindful of it in order to bring standards up to date, to revise the protection policy applying to the two shores along the St. Lawrence and to really develop an unparalleled wealth in Canada, namely the St. Lawrence, and finally to prevent Canadians from being penalized by sea transport and to allow them to benefit from it.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON CANADIAN POSITION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTROL OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
Permalink
PC

Allan Frederick Lawrence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lawrence:

There is also Lake Ontario.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON CANADIAN POSITION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONTROL OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, as we all recall, yesterday there was a desire expressed to have a debate on the Middle East situation. In the meantime, consultations have been held among the parties. If it is agreed generally by the House, we would recommend that a special order be made to debate the Middle East situation beginning at eight o'clock tonight under a motion to adjourn the House. The arrangement suggested is that the lead-off speaker for each party be allowed 20 minutes and that subsequent speakers be allowed 15 minutes, with the terminal time for the debate being 10.30 p.m. That is the agreement that has been reached as I understood the discussions, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEBATE ON ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
Permalink
PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

Mr. Speaker, we are satisfied that the initiative of the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner) yesterday has brought about this special debate tonight and we agree to the terms of debate as suggested.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEBATE ON ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, the terms suggested are terms with which we agree.

Mi'. Fortin: Mr. Speaker, we subscribed to the unanimous agreement to a special debate on the problems of the Middle East, and our party is ready to participate actively in it.

October 16, 1973

The Senate

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEBATE ON ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The House has heard the suggestion made by the President of the Privy Council. Is it agreed and so ordered?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEBATE ON ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEBATE ON ARAB-ISRAELI WAR
Permalink

BROADCASTING

PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James A. McGrath (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to move a motion under Standing Order 43. I do so because of the failure of the Canadian Radio-Television Commission to implement the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts, as concurred in by the House of Commons on July 24, 1973,- in connection with the examination of the subject matter of Bill C-22, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act, advertising on children's programs, and in view of the commission's position as outlined in a public statement dated October 16, 1973. Therefore I move, seconded by the hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Stewart), the chairman of the broadcasting committee:

That the public announcement by the CRTC dated October 16, 1973, be referred to the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING
Sub-subtopic:   ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The House has heard the motion proposed by the hon. member for St. John's East. This motion requires the unanimous consent of the House. Is there unanimity?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING
Sub-subtopic:   ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING
Sub-subtopic:   ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING
Sub-subtopic:   ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

There is not unanimity.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING
Sub-subtopic:   ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink

THE SENATE

October 16, 1973