March 13, 1974

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

PRIVATE BILLS

NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has laid on the table the first report of the Examiner of Petitions for Private Bills relating to a bill submitted by the Eastern Canada Synod of the Lutheran Church in America.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF REPORT OF EXAMINER OF PRIVATE BILL-PETITIONS ON BILL SUBMITTED BY EASTERN CANADA SYNOD OF LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
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URBAN AFFAIRS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND

LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Ron Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, further to the urban goals set forth in the Speech from the Throne, I wish to inform the House today that the government is creating a $100 million urban demonstration program and fund to be administered through the Minister of State for Urban Affairs.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

This demonstration program is designed to foster projects that will find solutions to urban problems and demonstrate those solutions for adoption and implementation in all regions of Canada.

The fund applies to the five-year period from 1975-76 to 1980-81. It is a further indication of the clear determination of this government to meet the urban goals announced in the Speech from the Throne, and it will also provide a strong and imaginative foundation for Canada's full participation in the 1976 United Nations Conference-Exposition on Human Settlements to be held in Vancouver. I hope this conference will be known as Habitat 2000.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that this $100 million fund will be used to support urban projects in many critical areas. We need to develop innovative projects to show the effective working of new methods of house design and house construction, to demonstrate the feasibility of new, low energy urban systems, to illustrate new ways of getting the utmost value from scarce and expensive natural resources by recycling for multiple use, and to apply new technology to many other critical areas such as improved

public transportation and arrangements for the financing, building and administration of new communities, or renewed communities.

The new fund is intended to launch a program of innovation in the urban field. It will apply to federal programs, provincial programs, and to programs developed by municipalities. It will also apply to projects put forward by the private sector and individual Canadians.

Innovation is a difficult thing to foster and support. This fund will be used to enable projects to embody desirable innovations that would not be possible without such additional support. For this reason, Mr. Speaker, it is not tied to any existing federal program but, rather, it can be used in a discretionary manner as opportunities and circumstances require.

Moreover, we intend to manage the program and fund so that the impact on innovation will be as pervasive as possible. I would hope that over the five years we can translate this initial $100 million into innovative projects valued at many times that figure.

It is difficult to say how many projects will be selected but I would hope that perhaps as many as 20 or more would be launched over the next two years. From those 20 or so projects, Mr. Speaker, a smaller number will be nominated as Canadian demonstration projects for inclusion in the United Nations conference. The program and fund will also be managed, of course, to ensure that all regions of the country share equitably in its benefits.

Proposals for demonstration projects can be put forward by federal departments and agencies, by provinces, by municipalities, by the private sector and by individual Canadians, including, I hope, as a result of the very keen interest of the members of this House. Proposals for projects should be sent to the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, where a secretariat has been established to plan and implement Canada's participation in the United Nations conference.

In addition to interdepartmental and intergovernmental review the proposals will be subjected to a thorough evaluation of their potential effectiveness in solving urban problems and demonstrating solutions by a special committee which I have appointed to advise me on project selection. This group of experts is headed by Dr. Kenneth Hare of the University of Toronto and former president of the University of British Columbia.

This evaluation process, I should add, Mr. Speaker, will involve full consultation with other levels of governments, where necessary. Governments must press forward with immediate solutions employing existing methods and programs relating, for example, to housing and transportation. But we must also adopt measures to generate new approaches, to generate improved technology and innova-

454

March 13, 1974

Urban Demonstration Program

tive solutions. That is the purpose of this program and of this announcement.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, today the minister has announced a $100 million urban demonstration program-I emphasize the word "demonstration"-and fund to be administered by himself. He will be the czar of this demonstration. The program will extend over a five-year period, from 1975-76 to 1980-81. The object is not to build houses; the object is to provide a strong foundation for Canada's participation in a conference to be held in Vancouver sponsored by the United Nations, dealing with the question of human settlements.

No one has any complaint about or criticism of that conference. The minister wants the conference to be known as Habitat 2000. That is one of the problems with this program; it will be the year 2000 before the minister will be able to build any houses for the Canadian people.

On the second page of his announcement is the thrust of his novel suggestion, a suggestion made at a time when there is a national housing crisis in Canada. In addition, the latest figures for the cost of living have just come out and the cost of living has never been higher. From 1972 to 1973 the average increase in the cost of housing in Vancouver was 32 per cent, in Calgary 23.2 per cent and in Toronto 29 per cent.

In face of this crisis, Mr. Speaker, let us analyse this demonstration program, which I say is a lot of fluff. We would have other names for it out west, but it is just straight bluff. The minister called it a program of innovation. I wondered just what the word "innovation" meant so I checked. It means "a program of change from the established custom; a program to create a new thing or a new method". I think it is a program of inhalation, because the minister must have been sniffing glue to bring in a program of this kind.

Let us see what this great program of the Liberal party is going to do. It is going to develop innovative projects. It is going to create new methods of house design and construction and low energy urban systems. It is going to apply, whatever that means, new technology in many areas. But it is not going to build one new house in Canada. There is a low housing vacancy rate right across this country, .6 per cent. Here we are at a time when there is a real housing shortage in Toronto and Vancouver as well as in other cities; at the present time the vacancy rate in Toronto and Vancouver is less than one per cent. People must have housing, but we are presented instead with a program to spend $100 million over five years to demonstrate the good will of the minister at a time when we have a national housing crisis.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

The situation is chronic right across the land. Interest rates on first mortgages are 10 per cent to 12 per cent and on second mortgages 21 per cent, at a time when only 5 per cent of Canada's wage earners can afford to buy new houses in many cities. Yet the minister has decided now to present this bunch of bluff as a means of solving the national housing crisis.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

The only thing we lack is innovation in leadership. The only change that will bring about a new and effective housing program is a change of minister and, above all, a change of government.

I need not say more, Mr. Speaker, except-

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to see those hon. members go back to their home cities which are experiencing these high costs in housing and clap there as they are clapping now in the House of Commons.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

The United Nations is, of course, the world organization for peace and security. I am always pleased to see Canada participate in any conference, but at a time when there is no peace of mind, at a time when we should be declaring war on the national housing crisis, the government is setting up a bluff of $100 million. It is a joke.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, the program announced by the government involves wrong spending at the wrong time and in a completely wrong area. The minister said in his statement that this is a "demonstration program designed to foster projects that will find solutions to urban problems", and that it will also provide the foundation for Canada's participation in the 1976 United Nations Conference to be held, incidentally, in the city of Vancouver.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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?

An hon. Member:

In his own riding.

Topic:   URBAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREATION OF URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND FUND
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March 13, 1974