April 25, 1974

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Basford (for the minister of Transport), that Bill C-27, to facilitate the relocation of railway lines or rerouting of railway traffic in urban areas and to provide financial assistance for work done for the protection, safety and convenience of the public at railway crossings, be read the second time and referred to the Committee of the Whole.


PC

Elmer MacIntosh MacKay

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Elmer M. MacKay (Central Nova):

Mr. Speaker, we in this party regard Bill C-27 as a very significant piece of legislation. As our House leader has said, in the interest of expediting the orderly passage of this bill, we are prepared to speak briefly on it and, we hope, constructively, so it can be discussed further in the Committee of the Whole.

By way of an opening comment, I think I should say that it is a good and constructive development that the government has finally recognized in a tangible way the connection between urban development and transportation. This piece of legislation is not only somewhat overdue, as has been said by hon. members previously, it develops a somewhat new concept further to the concept

April 25, 1974

the drafters perhaps had in mind. It is interesting to see, for example, that there is a very clear and somewhat innovative concept of the divisions of powers reflected in this particular bill. We have a division of powers as between federal, provincial and municipal authorities. This piece of legislation also involves at least two federal ministries, urban affairs and transportation. Clause 7 of the bill also involves the ministry of public works.

This concept of intergovernmental and interdepartmental co-operation is one that has intrigued me greatly. It is one that is welcome in many areas of legislation, and it is needed, for instance, in the activities of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion. It is certainly appropriate in the Departments of Urban Affairs and Transportation because, as all members know, there is a growing realization that many of the problems faced in this country require the concerted efforts of more than one government department.

It is very clear that much of the efficacy of this legislation will depend on the efficiency and expedition with which the CTC performs its task. One cannot help but be impressed when one reads this legislation with the great responsibilities the Canadian Transport Commission has. If this commission does not improve its tendency, I would suggest without meaning to be sarcastic, to frustrate to a certain extent and delay proceedings, then I think the thrust of this legislation could be seriously impaired.

There is no particular region in Canada that will not benefit by the provisions of Bill C-27, and I think it is significant in respect of the total transportation picture in this country. I say that because it seems obvious that if this legislation is carried out according to its scope, meaning and apparent intent, it could involve, in some areas of this country, significant rerouting of our major rail lines.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand) has said recently that he does recognize that his department lacks an over-all policy. Further to this, it has been pointed out on many occasions that one of the policies which must be considered in respect of the total transportation picture, is a policy in respect of the poor maintenance of the roadbeds of our major rail lines. This has many significant implications.

In addition to this situation, we are aware that a former President of the Canadian National Railway system questioned the priorities involved in allocating many millions of dollars to the STOL program in an attempt to improve transportation links between major cities, particularly in central Canada. This money, which has been tentatively and actually allocated in some cases for this STOL program, as opposed to what might have been done, in the opinion of the former President of the CNR might have been used to improve the rail systems in this country.

The reason I say this bill may have an important effect on our nation's transportation system is that if there are significant changes made to reroute and change some of the present railway rights-of-way, these new additions or changes to be made will presumably be of a modern and highly satisfactory nature in so far as technology is concerned. Having regard to the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, I would think that somewhat in a converse analogy, when these major rerouting changes are carried out, surely they will by contrast

Relocation of Railway Lines

expose the inadequacies of much of our railway systems to which they are connected, particularly in serving areas where passenger travel could be very profitable if the roadbeds of the rail lines were upgraded and updated.

For that reason, I think this bill might serve as a catalyst in persuading this government and the Minister of Transport that while they are making these changes in respect of some of the traditional rights of the railways, to which the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Leg-gatt) has referred, and to which the Minister of State for Urban Affairs (Mr. Basford) referred, and I have in mind the traditional rights in respect of expropriation and things of that nature, to use this piece of legislation as a springboard from which to refinance and perhaps rebuild larger stretches of railway rights of way so that Canada can take advantage of some of the technological advances presently known, to improve and upgrade our transportation system generally.

There is no doubt, as the minister has said, that this bill has significance in the realm of urban development. Certain cities, or the core areas of these cities, have to some extent been held back and sometimes actually stunted by the effects of having freightyards and railway rights of way in certain areas which, with the passage of time, are better suited for other purposes. This is true all across the nation. It is true in the city of Winnipeg which is one of the few cities that has had a comprehensive study done in this area. But it is also true of places like Halifax, St. John's Newfoundland and practically anywhere you might want to go across Canada. With the concept expressed in this bill it is obvious the government has recognized the need, even at a great deal of cost, to do something about this situation. Certainly, I think the government is to be commended in this regard.

There is another aspect, of course, of this legislation that is important. It has to do with the terrible safety record our transportation system, particularly rail transport, has accumulated over the years. In comparison to other industrialized nations, it is quite evident that our railway system is at about the bottom of the list. For those members who have not had the opportunity to do so I would really recommend that they make themselves aware of the contents of a study carried out by Professor Lukasiewicz of Carleton University. This man did a very interesting treatise or project involving the history of our railways in this country.

Professor Lukasiewicz paid particular attention to the situation involving the passenger carrying capabilities of the various railways and the failure of the CTC to effect meaningful changes despite the fact it has had a very definite regulatory function since it was formed. Professor Lukasiewicz points out that really the situation in this country's railway development has been one of institutionalized obsolesence. In fact, this is part of the title of the work he has composed. Unless the Minister of Transport is prepared to seize on the initiatives that this particular piece of legislation might provide, and unless he is prepared to carry on and do something tangible pursuant to the speech he made a couple of days ago in Montreal when he said that the railways and not the highways are our hope for the future in this country so far as efficiency

April 25, 1974

Relocation of Railway Lines

of movement of people is concerned, this piece of legislation will probably, although it will be useful, not have the far-reaching and sweeping effect it might otherwise have.

So far as the safety aspect itself is concerned, I see that the drafters of this legislation did have something specifically in mind because there is, as I recall it from reading the bill, a provision that approximately 80 per cent of the cost of installing devices like a revolving light for the main head beam of a locomotive be provided. This is the type of measure together with the improvement to our railway crossings, that has been trying out for attention over the years. Although I realize it is counter-productive to take the time of the House to flay the government for not doing so earlier, still I think there is merit in taking a few moments to say that it is difficult to understand why some of the obvious improvements contemplated by this piece of legislation were not brought forward a long time ago. However, I suppose this is in keeping with the general philosophy that until very recently this government has had, and may still have, of promising to make available remedial legislation and then somehow never managing to bring it forward in a decent length of time.

We will watch with great interest the uses to which the railway lands are put, which this bill will permit to be appropriated, pursuant to the procedures over which the Canadian Transport Commission has jurisdiction. I am sure many members, upon reflection, in respect of this principle, will want to elaborate on it during the committee of the whole proceedings because this probably will become quite an issue in many communities where railway lines are to be rerouted. I am very hopeful that when this issue does come up it will not be something that will turn into an exhibition of jealousy and fighting or perhaps be a political football in the municipal field. I think there should be some strict guidelines or jurisprudence developed very carefully so that these lands which will be made available will not be tied up by petty bickering either at the municipal, provincial or federal level. It seems to me that unless the minister is prepared to show more initiative than he has-and perhaps this is a fair comment to make in respect of both the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Urban Affairs-he should make sure that the CTC carries out quickly its responsibilities under this legislation, otherwise much of its timeliness and much of the good inherent in it will not come to pass.

I do not know what the statistics are concerning staff employed by the CTC, but I suspect, like many other government commissions, agencies and departments it is too big. I suspect it is larger than is necessary. I also suspect that because of the scope of this legislation and the responsibilities given to the CTC that it will become even bigger. So, again I wish to point out to the minister that while he is watching the activities of the CTC he refrain from the obvious temptation to permit this empire to grow any larger, and that he look for quality rather than quantity when looking after the needs of this very powerful commission.

I suspect that the Minister of Transport, who probably will be closing this debate as has been suggested, may have some particular comment to make, as did the Minister of State for Urban Affairs, in respect of his particular interest in this piece of legislation which involves these

joint responsibilities between the two departments. I hope the minister will take this opportunity, although it may be to some extent related only in an indirect way to the bill under discussion, to answer the question to which many transport authorities in this country have been long awaiting an answer, concerning what the priorities are and what other measures are to be brought forward to supplement the upgrading of the railways and the roadbeds generally between the major population centres in this country.

We would like to know whether the minister still intends to proceed in the same way with regard to the STOL program or does he intend to divert some of the money-I think the figure is around $200 million if I recall it correctly,-to assist in the proposed aims of Bill C-17 and in expanding the improvements that no doubt will be required to link the existing roadbeds to the diversions and changes contemplated under this legislation. So far as the initiatives required are concerned, and which have been mentioned in the legislation-initiatives which if I read the bill correctly are at least by implication supposed to emanate from municipal and provincial governments-

I would hope we do not become involved in the type of situation I have noticed in respect of DREE, where there is a somewhat parallel situation, in that there are mutual areas of responsibility, particularly in growth centres, where one particular type of policy is advocated, by cities or municipalities, and the province is so jealous of its constitutional prerogative that it watches very closely to see that the cities or municipalities do not deal directly with the federal government, whereby adding administrative complications. I hope that this type of situation can somehow be circumvented in respect of this legislation and that methods will be explored by the federal authority to make sure that needed projects and improvements pursuant to this legislation will be undertaken without necessarily waiting for the provinces, municipalities or civic governments involved to decide what is the exact time at which they might proceed or by what method they would like to see it done.

I recognize that there will be certain problems almost "diplomatic" in nature, involved. I am not suggesting for one moment that the federal ministers of the Crown should try to over-ride or in other ways usurp the very real contributions that municipalities and provinces have to make in allocating priorities and determining the methods that should be employed. What I am pointing out to the minister is that I hope in some way an effort will be made to avoid any type of impasse that may develop and that early on in the application of this legislation there will be a great deal of time made available to try to establish guidelines, and to try to avoid any conflicts or jurisdiction, real or imagined, that could impede the proficiency and the speedy implementation of this legislation.

There are all sorts of comments that any member of the House could make about a bill that is as sweeping as this one. I think that it would be a mistake to go into it on a purely parochial basis. Much has been said on the subject of urban renewal. The hon. member for Calgary North (Mr. Woolliams) has dealt with this particular subject in his usual learned fashion over the past few months. The

April 25, 1974

minister himself has spent a lot of time on it, and it is well known that the field of transportation and all the various ills implicit in it have been aired in a very complete way. Therefore, I do not propose to speak much longer on this occasion, except to say again that there are probably within this legislation areas of concern that are so long standing that it will take the people affected by them quite a while to realize that here is a vehicle which at last may be able to solve some of these impediments to urban development and to take away some of the roadblocks that have plagued our transportation system.

The only way in which a piece of legislation such as this can be made effective is to get it through the House as quickly as is reasonably possible after we have had a look at it in committee of the whole, and then to make certain that it is being implemented and administered in such a way that its provisions are not used as political footballs by any level of government, but that a genuine joint effort is made by the municipal, provincial and federal authorities involved to do something constructive, because few, if any, problems existing in this nation need attention more than urban development and transportation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Harney (Scarborough West):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to welcome this bill I should like to assure the minister that we do not do so wholeheartedly because if we were to welcome it without reservation I am sure that he would become somewhat apoplectic. There are some reservations, and some relatively major ones at that. For example, as my colleague, the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Leggatt) pointed out, it is not all that much money that we are proposing to spend in a very vital area over the next few years. As part of the announcement of this bill we were told that an estimate of some $100 million has been made as the cost of rail relocation in Winnipeg. Those who live in the Ontario area certainly know that a major project of a rail relocation in the Toronto area is intended. I assume that this will consume $150 million. So, we have $100 million for Winnipeg and $150 million for Toronto. What do we have left for Wetaskiwin?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
PC

Sean Patrick O'Sullivan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. O'Sullivan:

And how much for Hamilton?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

I do not know whether the railway still goes to Hamilton, but they might want some relocation there, possibly the relocation of the city.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
PC

Sean Patrick O'Sullivan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. O'Sullivan:

Shame; withdraw that remark.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

I will, Mr. Speaker. So, really, we should not be led down the garden path wearing rosy coloured glasses. We are not speaking about an awful lot of money here.

We must be a little careful about several other provisions of the bill. We must be careful, not just because it is a complicated bill, but because it is presented to us by a minister who is very eloquent and adept at making a bill look the best possible. As I make my remarks on the bill I will point out the good things that are in it and also the bad things that are in it. Some of the bad things that are in it are simply matters that demand clarification. When it comes to our work in the committee of the whole I will

Relocation of Railway Lines

urge the minister to clarify some of these matters. I know that he fully intends to be as clear as possible because, as the bill says at page 20, it seeks to provide an amendment so as to make certain matters abundantly clear.

Let me read to you the explanatory note:

The purpose of this amendment is to make it abundantly clear that a pedestrian walkway is a highway within the meaning of the Railway Act.

Rarely, in reading explanatory notes to amendments or bills, have I seen this kind of purple prose. Usually, the word "clear" is good enough. But the hand of the minister is evident here. In the same way I hope that he can make other aspects of the bill abundantly clear.

I come to the first matter which needs clarification. In the presentation of the bill, the minister said in effect that the bill will provide that where the railways are required, after the final processes of application and decision are through, to relocate rails, this relocation shall be done at no cost to the railway, that is to say, there will be a no-win no-loss provision for the railway. The relative clause of the bill is on page 5. I refer to clause 5(1) (a). If we read it carefully, we will see exactly what it is that the minister intended to underline here. The clause reads:

5. (1) The accepted plan, together with the financial plan, shall be filed with the Commission and the Commission may accept the transportation plan and the financial plan either as submitted or with such changes in either of them as the Commission considers necessary, if (a) the financial plan will not, in the opinion of the Commission, either

(i) impose on any railway company affected thereby any costs and losses greater than the benefits and payments receivable by the railway company under the plan.

So, it does appear to be clear that this is a no-win no-loss provision so far as the railways are concerned. What we want to do when we come to the committee of the whole is to hear from the minister whether or not this section also means that if it can be shown by the railway in any way that it can be at all inconvenient or that it can be put to a disadvantage, the plan cannot go through. If that is so, it will be possible in almost all cases for the railways to say "You are, in effect, affecting us adversely", or beneficially, "and therefore you cannot do it."

Another part of this particular section that needs to be clarified is the meaning of the word "railway". What do we understand by "railway"? As an example, in the city of Toronto, CN and CP are seeking to redevelop a major holding of theirs between Front Street and the lake, a project which involves billions of dollars of investment. The railways themselves are not doing the redevelopment, but, rather, subsidiary companies which are owned by the railways. To be specific, the redevelopment will be carried out by a firm called Metro Centre Developments Ltd.

I should like to outline what Metro Centre consists of in terms of its corporate ownership, Mr. Speaker. Metro Centre, we are told, is a joint venture of CP and CN. Accordingly, Metro Centre Developments Ltd. is jointly owned by CP and CN. To all intents and purposes this is the case, although in actuality Metro Centre Developments is owned 50 per cent by Marathon Realty Co. Ltd. and 50 per cent by Canadian National Realties. The latter is presumably owned 100 per cent by CN. Marathon Real-

April 25, 1974

Relocation of Railway Lines

ties, on the other hand, is owned 100 per cent by Canadian Pacific Investments Ltd. which has holdings in a host of companies including Cominco, MacMillan-Bloedel and others. Strictly speaking under the law, when we are dealing with Metro Centre what we are really dealing with is a firm called Metro Centre Developments Ltd., and this firm is owned by subsidiaries of the two railways. The railways, as far as their financial relationship with the development is concerned, are several times removed from it.

How would it be possible for us or for the commission to follow the letter of this bill, which will be an act it is presumed, and be able to indicate that the railways benefit or do not benefit? The railways can say, "You have moved our tracks, it has not cost us anything to establish north of Toronto, so it is not up to us to worry what is done with the land". Then under the shell game which corporations can play it will be very difficult for the commission or the public to indicate just who does benefit. Some tightening up must be done in the two camps. The "no win, no loss" provision could be a stumbling block in the actual relocation of railway lines. We should determine just what is meant by this provision. Just what do we mean by a "railway," and what do we mean by the corporation which benefits in this particular application?

I think it is important to understand that, surprisingly enough, this act may work, although perhaps inadvertently, more to the benefit of the railways than to the benefit of the public or urban centres in general. I will give an example of what I mean. It could suit the railway to move operations from downtown Toronto. It may be preferable for them to establish their passenger traffic north of the city, where the terminal is, to coincide with the major developments of freight rail traffic there in the last few years. Under this act the public would be paying for a relocation which the railway desires in any case. Even after all the compensation factors have been taken into consideration, and even after we had considered net benefits and so on, assuming we can sort out the benefits to the railways, what we might be doing is performing a favour for the railways of Canada. I am a little suspicious of this. Surely if this act were doing its stuff it would cause the railways to move for the sake of the national interest; and if such moves were to have a serious effect on their operations, surely we would have heard about it.

There is another item which is rather disturbing to some of us in this part of the House, and it concerns clause 5(2) on page 6 of the bill. The subsection provides that after the commission has received an application in good order and has checked it according to the provisions of this bill, it may hold hearings thereon if it considers this desirable in the public interest. This hearing provision is repeated with regard to grade crossings on page 12, clause 16(3)(e). There again there is the possibility of holding a hearing. When the bill comes to committee of the whole we in this part of the House shall move an amendment to make a hearing mandatory. The amendment will have the effect of forcing the commission to hold a hearing to which the public shall be invited and at which it can make representations.

I will give an example of the importance of such a provision. First of all, a general example. There will be in

many communities duly elected municipal governments which will see fit, according to their best lights, to agree to place an application before the commission, in co-operation with the railways, for a certain relocation plan. But even though the municipal government and perhaps even the provincial government in question may put forward this application, there may, nevertheless, be a significant part of the citizenry of that community which will not like the particular development plan. We know from the recent history of this country of the popular demand for hearings at which the people can make an input, at which people in urban communities are given a chance to have their say.

I come now to a particular example. A very few years ago it was the full intention of the province of Ontario and the council of metropolitan Toronto to proceed with the construction of the Spadina expressway. Most elected politicians were in favour of it but there was a small and growing section of the community in Toronto which began to object. Finally, after struggling for a long time and with great effort, they were allowed a preliminary hearing. This hearing led to another and to fuller hearings, until finally enough pressure was put on the municipality of Toronto and the government of Ontario that the decision originally taken by both levels of government to proceed with the building of the expressway was reversed.

Why do we not include a provision in the bill to make a hearing in each application mandatory? If there is no public interest, hardly anybody will turn up at the hearing and the commission will have spent money on an ad or two in the local newspaper; but if there is public interest, people should be heard. I think the time has come in this country for citizens to raise their voices in order to be heard.

Members on both sides of the House, NDP members as well as Conservative members, have pleaded with the government, particularly the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand), to allow a new, full hearing on the building of Pickering Airport. This sort of thing need not be done every time; but why not provide in the bill for it to be done automatically? If an application is brought forward which would involve major change and disruption or dislocation of the life of the community, that community would be given the chance to have its say, to provide its input.

Let me hold up Toronto, my community, as an example. There are enormous differences of opinion in this city as to how the Metro Centre development should proceed. When we speak of Metro Centre we are speaking of the spending of billions of dollars; we are speaking of the future shape of our city; we are speaking of a decision which will change and alter forever the very shape and nature of our city. There are enormous differences of opinion within Toronto about it and, we must allow these different opinions to be heard.

Let me repeat, for the benefit of the minister and of the House, that we intend to bring in amendments. I hope my friends to my right have heard me. I do not see any of them nodding, although I see some of them looking.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
PC

Sean Patrick O'Sullivan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. O'Sullivan:

I am nodding.

April 25, 1974

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

I see the hon. member for Hamilton-Went-worth (Mr. O'Sullivan) nodding. That is contagious. I see the hon. member for Calgary North (Mr. Woolliams) shaking his head. Perhaps he is chatting. But the point has been made. I think we should consider amendments seriously.

We should also consider the size of grants to be offered by the federal treasury to meet the net cost of the relocation. I can imagine cities and towns like Toronto, Winnipeg, and possibly Wetaskiwin, mentioned earlier, undertaking to put up 50 per cent of the cost of a relocation project in co-operation with the provincial government. That course is possible for Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and so on. The definition section of the bill- and the bill provides funds for the redevelopment or amelioration of certain urban areas-defines "urban area" as "an area or areas . .. classified by Statistics Canada in its most recent census ..." According to the Dictionary of the 1971 Census Terms compiled by Statistics Canada, an urban area includes "(1) incorporated cities, towns and villages with a population of 1,000 or over," which includes most incorporated communities of Canada, and "(2) unincorporated places of 1,000 or over, having a population density of at least 1,000 per square mile", and so on. That definition covers practically every organized community in Canada. I wonder what the hon. member for Yorkton-Melville (Mr. Nystrom) would say if he were here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

He is not here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

He had to go away, slightly ill. It is the weather which had that effect on him. If the hon. member for Yorkton-Melville were here I am sure he would say something like this: "Look at the situation in Yorkton, where both the CNR and the CPR have a crossing in town." Actually, the lines meet right in the middle of town, right along Broadway Street. He would say: "Surely we want some kind of redevelopment to make the centre of our town more attractive, but how can Yorkton do this, even in co-operation of the government of Saskatchewan, if it has to pay a significant part of the 50 per cent of the cost of the relocation which is not picked up by the federal government?" I wonder if this bill offers much of a gift to the smaller communities of Canada.

That brings me back to my first point. As only $250 million is being offered under the bill for the next five years, once Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and other large centres have taken their share, there will be not much left for other communities.

I said at the beginning of my speech that I welcome parts of the bill. I welcome without qualification Clause 6, particular subclause (2), which provides that the railways must comply with the request of the CTC when it asks them to make their rights of way available for purposes of public or rapid transit in our urban communities. Several members of the House, myself included, have asked questions for the past year and a half of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp), the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand) and other ministers as to when there will be legislation or direction which will tell the railways that their business is not simply that of transporting goods across the country but, also, that of transporting people and facilitating the transportation of people.

Relocation of Railway Lines

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

Obviously, not everybody in this House comes from Toronto. Some of us do. Those of us who come from Toronto know of the enormous problem we face in urban transport. Despite that, the city of Toronto over the years has developed one of the finer urban transit systems in North America. Although it is good, it is by no means good enough.

In Toronto a major study was undertaken recently relating to the Scarborough Expressway, an expressway which was to have extended from the eastern part of the city. That study, produced under the direction of Dr. Richard Soberman who at one time worked either for the Department of Transport or the Department of Urban Affairs-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

Transport.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

-recommended that the expressway not be built. That was a milestone recommendation in the history or urban development in Canada. Further, instead of recommending some kind of Flash Gordon, super levitation, Kraus Maffei, linear induction, super technology project, the study recommended that we go to light rail transit. Simply put, the report recommended the use of super streetcars. But in order to make the light rail transit system for Metro Toronto possible in a financial and concrete sense, the rights of way owned by the railways would have to be made available to the Toronto Transit Commission, or whatever commission will be responsible for light rail transit.

I cannot describe the map of the area. Anyone who looks at the Soberman report will see immediately that the whole area in question is crisscrossed in the most intelligent and effective way by main railway lines, branch lines, feeder lines and what-have-you, which could be used to provide a means for letting the people of the area travel to work and back without disrupting the existing amenities of the area. Obviously this is one of the most sensible and least expensive ways of moving people about in our urban centres. I commend the minister, not for having listened to the questions asked in this House, but for having had the good sense to include this provision in the bill before us. I can see it can certainly be made use of by many of our urban centres.

That was a piece of good news. Now for another worry. We in this corner of the House are a bit fretful. I, among others, am a little worried because the railways might find this bill so much to their advantage. Under the guise of offering a better environment to the people of our urban communities, under the guise of removing the track slums in certain sections of our communities, or under the guise of the beautification of our communities, this bill may simply permit the railways to offer to move themselves, again in co-operation with the municipalities, away from downtown areas.

Surely at first many people would laud this kind of a move, but there may be a trap here. We have had much painful evidence in the past few years of the desire of railway companies to move out of the passenger business.

April 25, 1974

The Royal Assent

This bill may give them yet another opportunity of doing so.

If the tracks are moved away from the downtown areas, the stations will also be moved. This will make it more difficult, in some cases impossible, for people to take a train. If it were not for the kind of resistance there is in the Toronto area to the obliteration and razing of Union Station, we could easily have all rail passenger facilities moved out of that area in spite of the fact the Metro Centre plan provides for a transportation centre.

We saw what happened a few years ago in Ottawa. We thought that removing the tracks from the downtown area was a beautiful and good thing. Most, including those directly involved and those watching on, agreed with moving the station away from the canal to the outskirts of Ottawa. What has this done? It has made it even more difficult for people to take a train out of this city.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
Permalink

THE ROYAL ASSENT

April 25, 1974