April 25, 1974

NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the House that I have received the following communication:

Ottawa, April 25, 1974

Sir:

I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Wishart F. Spence, O.B.E., Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in his capacity as Deputy Governor General, will proceed to the Senate Chamber today, the 25th April, at 5.45 p.m., for the purpose of giving Royal Assent to a bill.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient servant,

Andre Garneau Administrative Secretary to the Governor General

A message was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows:

Mr. Speaker, the Honourable the Deputy Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable House in the chamber of the honourable the Senate.

Accordingly, Mr. Speaker with the House went up to the Senate chamber.

And being returned:

Mr. Speaker informed the House that the Deputy Governor General had been pleased to give in Her Majesty's name the Royal Assent to the following bill:

Bill C-5, an Act to authorize the provision of moneys to meet certain capital expenditures of the Canadian National Railways System and Air Canada for the period from the 1st day of January, 1973, to the 30th day of June, 1974, and to authorize the guarantee by Her Majesty of

certain securities to be issued by the Canadian National Railway Company and certain debentures to be issued by Air Canada-Chapter 6.

At 6.05 p.m. the House took recess.

Topic:   THE ROYAL ASSENT
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The House resumed at 8 p.m.


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Marchand (Langelier) 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.


NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Harney (Scarborough West):

Mr. Speaker, before we were called to the Senate for Royal Assent, I was concluding my remarks. By the way, I am not forgetting that I intend to conclude them shortly.

I was making the point just before six o'clock, when we were called out for Royal Assent, that we must beware that the provisions of this bill are not used by the railways in a devious fashion to move essential passenger rail accommodations, stations, and terminal points away from those places in our cities where they are most convenient. I was making the point that with the excuse of beautification, clearance of track slums or regional redevelopment, it could be possible

I am not suggesting it would be done-for the railway company under one of its many avatars to persuade the fathers of a city that it would be better to have a track relocation, and before the city knew it they would have a project they really did not want, a project which would involved moving a rail terminal facility out of reach, as it were.

I had given the example of what happened here in Ottawa. I did make the point, and I will repeat it, that I am sure at the time it was decided to move the station out of Ottawa many people approved, as they felt that something unsightly, something that brought in smelly, smoky trains, would be moved away from the region of Parliament Hill. Since then we have come to realize that modern passenger trains are not unsightly and need not be dirty. We have also come to realize that moving the station out of the reach of the travelling public further discourages the travelling public from using the railway.

As the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand) pointed out to us not long ago, modern thinking is that railways, particularly their passenger services, have to return if the

April 25, 1974

movement of people efficiently, safely and economically between our cities is to be carried out. Particularly now that we are confronted with an ongoing energy crisis we have to be ready to put more and more stress upon passenger rail travel.

One of the essential elements of good passenger rail service is that it be attractive and convenient. So I end by making this my last point of caution to members in respect to this bill, a bill which, along with my colleague the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Leggatt), I welcome, but which has to be looked at nevertheless very closely. Perhaps the main reason I welcome this bill-and this may be a little philosophical-is that it is an indication that we are finally moving toward government ownership or control of the railways as opposed to railway ownership or control of the government.

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

Joseph-Phillippe Guay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Joseph-Philippe Guay (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity of saying a few words on the second reading of Bill C-27. As the hon. Minister of State for Urban Affairs (Mr. Basford) made clear, this legislation will be of great value to Canada's municipalities. It provides significant assistance not only to urban development and redevelopment, but also will greatly facilitate the implementation of improved urban transit and, in addition, will more than double federal financial support in respect of public protection and convenience at railway crossings.

As many members of the House may know, this legislation in a certain sense can be said to have had its beginnings really and truly in western Canada, namely in Winnipeg. A few years ago the city of Winnipeg, together with the government of Manitoba, approached the Ministry of Transport for assistance regarding a major railway problem in the city. At that time it appeared the best solution might be to consider relocating railway lines in a major way rather than continuing to build and rebuild large and expensive grade separations near the heart of the city.

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

You speak better from your own notes.

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

Joseph-Phillippe Guay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Guay (St. Boniface):

This is all I have at the present time, but I will make some comments when the hon. member speaks. I have noticed on occasion that he cannot even read his.

The Ministry of Transport provided 75 per cent of the cost of a $500,000 study which examined in detail a number of alternative transportation plans, each with its own railway relocation scheme. This effort was an excellent example of tri-level co-operation in which the federal government, the government of Manitoba, the city of Winnipeg and both railways worked together in a spirit of mutual co-operation.

Winnipeg is but one example of many cities in Canada where railway relocations may be the best answer to deal with situations where the railway lines have been in place for perhaps 100 years and are now a serious impediment to desirable urban development or redevelopment. Canada is also fortunate in that many of our cities are well endowed with excellently situated rail rights of way which, if made

Relocation of Railway Lines

available for rapid transit use, would greatly contribute to the solution of urban transportation problems.

This legislation provides that the CTC may order existing rail lines to be freed of other rail traffic so that they can be used for rapid transit. Today one of the greatest difficulties in moving forward with intermediate capacity transit systems using modern streetcars, reserved lane bus systems, or perhaps some of the new technology systems currently under development, is the problem of acquiring the necessary corridors of land in which to operate such urban transit systems. Without the availability of railway rights of way often the only recourse is the expropriation of very expensive strips of land, including much valuable residential and other developed real estate. I need not remind the members of the House how difficult it is these days, and how wrong from a social justice point of view, to expropriate people's homes. I personally feel that this legislation fits perfectly the kind of legislation which will facilitate increased tri-level co-operation in many urban matters where action is so urgently needed.

The thrust of this bill is consistent with the direction the government is taking with regard to the whole field of a renaissance in the railway mode. We are not only looking at the need for greater and more effective use of passenger rail services in Canada, but we are also fully aware of the need to implement this policy in concert with many urban needs.

There are a number of other railway issues in Canada today. Many of these are social issues rather than economic ones relating to railway operations. Often from a social benefit or an export benefit point of view railway operations, which in themselves may not be economic, are none the less viable operations.

So far my remarks have dealt with the urban transit and urban development aspects of this legislation. I should like for the next few minutes to point out that this bill also contains valuable new provisions in the matter of public protection and convenience at railway crossings which are embodied in Parts II and III of this legislation. These are concerned with special grants for separations and modernization of the railway grade crossing fund.

The provisions relating to grade crossings and grade separations follow recommendations by the Railway Transport Committee of the Canadian Transport Commission to increase the limits of federal assistance for railway grade separation projects. Such expansion is intended to bring grant provisions into line with the increased costs being experienced in the construction of overpasses and subways. The cost of providing safe railway crossings and grade separations has climbed over the years. Such installations, especially in large centres, have become extremely costly. The bill provides increased federal assistance either through provisions in the railway grade crossing fund, which are continued in Part III of the bill, or through new provisions for special grants for separations, which are contained in Part II. The proposed new federal assistance covers level crossing protection work, reconstruction of, or improvement to, existing grade separations, and construction of new grade separations.

April 25, 1974

Relocation of Railway Lines

The proposed new levels of federal assistance in Part III are as follows. First, level crossing protection work, 80 per cent of the cost of which may be paid from the grade crossing fund up to a new limit of $1 million for new construction. The existing limit is $500,000. Second, construction of, or improvement to, existing grade separations, 50 per cent of the cost of which may be paid from the grade crossing fund, up to a new ceiling of $625,000. The existing limit is $250,000.

Part II of the act provides special grants for very expensive grade separations and for new separations required by highway traffic rerouting schemes. For the very expensive grade separations there is an escalation scale of grants; for example, a grant of over $2 million for a new separation costing $3 million and a grant of about $1.3 million for reconstruction of a grade separation costing $3 million. New grade separations required by highway traffic rerouting schemes which are required to cross a railway line by means of a grade separation will qualify for special grants equal to 50 per cent of the construction costs.

This new railway relocation and crossing legislation deserves the support of this House. Its provisions have been carefully considered. It holds out major benefits in the reshaping of urban neighbourhoods. It pays renewed attention to the issue of public safety at railway and highway crossings and it will greatly extend the federal government's ability to assist in improving the urban environment in our nation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   RAILWAY RELOCATION AND CROSSING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PLANNING, ACQUISITION OF LAND, GRANTS, GRADE CROSSING ASSISTANCE
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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Laniel in the Chair.


LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Order, please. Shall clause 2 carry?

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Mr. Chairman, I might just speak to a point of order. I think we will be able to expedite the passage of the bill in committee of the whole. I might suggest that, on the clause now called, if any speaker is permitted to speak in respect of any clause on which he wishes to speak generally this might shorten the procedure when the bill is called clause by clause.

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Order, please. Hon. members have heard the suggestion of the hon. member for Calgary North. Is it agreed that while we consider clause 2 we will hear debate on all clauses?

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

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

Mr. Chairman, I might indicate that that is quite agreeable. The suggestion of the hon. member for Calgary North is a worthwhile one.

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

The Chair will act accordingly. On clause 2-Definitions.

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Mr. Chairman, it is probably refreshing to some of us to return to what I suppose we were accustomed to under the former rules, which is to have an opportunity to discuss a bill such as this in the committee of the whole House. We have heard six speeches today. I might say at the outset that this party, in so far as the principle of the bill is concerned, supports it 100 per cent. The mayors and reeves who were down here met not only

with members of the government but also with members of our party, and I understand the New Democratic Party and the Social Credit Party. They presented certain briefs and came out strongly in support of a bill for relocation of railways so far as it affects urban centres.

I should like to make a few points in respect of the bill itself. As I said at the outset, we support the principle of the bill. We believe the federal government must move into this field, because it is very expensive to relocate railways, change tracks and improve urban centres, thereby enhancing the quality of life for those living in urban centres.

It is now accepted, of course, that the railways fall directly under the jurisdiction of the federal government under our constitution. It seems to me that if the railways accept the responsibility laid down in the bill to make certain changes in agreement with the provinces and municipalities, then I sympathize with the minister in this regard. I think that one of the problems of any minister who is responsible for urban affairs is that he has to deal with three levels of government. Each level is jealous of its own powers and jurisdiction. Under Bill C-27, all three levels of government have some jurisdiction when it comes to making certain changes.

In this regard, what is most important is these conferences which I mentioned this week in a question which I put to the government. I referred to the tri-level conferences. In my opinion there should be at least two conferences a year of the three levels of government on matters relating to urban affairs. Some experts say that 66 per cent of the people live in urban centres. Actually, it would be more correct to say that 80 per cent of the population live in the large centres of Canada.

The minister in charge of housing, whether it be this minister or any other minister, must face the fact that three levels of government and three levels of bureaucracy are involved, and that he must obtain the acceptance of the municipality concerned, of the province, and finally of his own officials before any decision can be reached. The same applies to changes in railway tracks, if the minister decides that they should be taken out of the city so that the land may be used for other purposes. Each time he runs into the problem of having to deal with three levels of government and three levels of bureaucracy, which of course slows down the decision making process and sometimes makes it practically impossible.

I should like to digress for a moment to say that this is one of the great problems facing the minister, and that my sympathy is with him. In housing matters, the minister who represents the federal government finds that first a decision must be made at the city level, then at the provincial level, and finally at the federal level. The same is true of railway relocation.

We support this bill 100 per cent, although we may want to propose some amendments to it. In fact, I may support the amendment put forward by the hon. member for Scarborough West. However, one thing which I would like to emphasize-and I think the minister and every member of the House would agree with me-is that it is necessary to obtain the co-operation of the railroads. Every government

April 25, 1974

has had difficulties in this regard. The railways must come to the conclusion that the governments of this country run the country. The country cannot be run by the railroads.

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
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I am not one of those who laughed or poured scorn on the Minister of Transport when he said that there is no transportation policy in this country. It is very difficult to establish a transportation policy which would be acceptable to the railways and which would be put into effect by them.

I digress for a few moments to point out tonight in this committee of the whole the difficulties that any government faces, whether it be at the federal or the provincial level. Of course, the railways fall directly under the jurisdiction of the federal government, let us make no mistake about it-and I draw that to the attention of my friends in the NDP. The fact is that whether it is the CPR, which is a private company, or the CNR, which is a Crown Corporation, they are both responsible to the federal government.

Inasmuch as the railway have failed to measure up to their responsibilities and to fulfill the mandate which this nation gave them, both the CNR and the CPR have failed the nation. So there is no difference between them there. So far as I am concerned, both the railway companies have failed the nation. Under this bill-and I want to emphasize this-we have undertaken to cover part of the cost of certain changes and to guarantee that the railways will not lose money if an agreement is reached at the municipal, provincial or federal level. So that if any changes are made, the companies themselves will not lose money.

One has to ask oneself: Will the railways, if given this new mandate under the bill for the benefit of the people who live in urban centres, measure up to their responsibility? I am not so sure that they will. This problem will face any minister in charge of urban affairs, whether it is the present minister or the future minister from this party.

We have been the opposition since 1963-11 long years, maybe too long-and in all that time we have been screaming about the shortage of boxcars, for example. In my opinion, the railways have been totally irresponsible in their failure to fulfil the mandate of confederation and to carry out the services for which they were created. I am using this as an example. If the railways fail to measure up to their responsibility under this bill as they have failed to measure up to their responsibility under the constitution, then what we are doing tonight will be to create one more new problem for the nation instead of trying to improve the quality of life of the average individual living in the city and trying to improve our cities generally.

It is interesting to note that Mr. MacMillan Q.C., President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CNR, was called before the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications last December 11 and interrogated by members of parliament. I should like to quote some questions and answers from the procedings on that occasion which will illustrate how serious the problem is and how paralysed is any government or any minister to get the railways to act in a responsible manner. The hon. member for Vegreville asked these questions:

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

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mazankowski:

Mr. Chairman, when Mr. MacMillan previously appeared before the committee, he had indicated that he had comparative figures on the actual movements versus the targets for last year and this year.

That is talking about grain, Mr. Chairman.

I am talking about the boxcar allocation targets. I wonder whether you could provide this information to the committee at this time. It is for last year and for the current crop year, from August 1 to the present time.

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

William Hector McMillan

Mr. MacMillan:

Last year, the Canadian National target was 99,419 and our actual deliveries were 97,040. Canadian Pacific's target last year was 101,907 and their actual deliveries were 99,352.

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

April 25, 1974