April 30, 1974

PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Crowfoot):

Mr. Chairman, I listened very closely to the minister's answer. Usually, he answers directly the question put to him but on this occasion he did not appear to understand the question and therefore, I suppose, could not answer it.

The question was: if the application by a municipality through a province is accompanied by a financial plan, in view of the escalating costs we have today, would the federal government hold the municipality or province to that financial plan or would it be considered an estimate and so have adjustments made to it after the application has been approved. It is a rather simple question and I see no reason why the minister should attempt to hedge. He can say yes, the financial plan will be adhered to or no, there can be adjustments and we will take it only as an estimate. That is all I am asking for. It is a simple question.

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. Speaker, the answer is yes.

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

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Crowfoot):

Yes, what? Yes, we will take it as an estimate or yes, we will hold them to it?

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, obviously some aspects of the financial plan will involve estimates because they will be estimates of future expenditures. However, any good financial plan will undoubtedly have contingencies and allowances for escalations in costs. The hon. member will note that one of the jobs of the CTC is to assure that all assistance provided for in the financial plan is in fact planned for, is in fact provided for, one way or another. This will be one of the jobs of the CTC. If there are estimates that are subject to escalation they have in their orders provided for them.

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

Maurice Brydon Foster (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Foster:

Mr. Chairman, a question in regard to clause 4 where, as outlined, the federal government will be responsible for 50 per cent of the cost. I am interested to know whether other government departments will assume some responsibility. For instance, in my own constituency there is a plan to relocate the rail lines going into Sault Ste. Marie and immediately adjacent to the city boundary. The rail relocation would have to pass through the Garden River Indian Reserve and, closer to the city boundary, the Rankin Location of the Batchewana Indian Reserve. I am wondering, where a relocation passes through an Indian reserve but where there is not an actual municipality to assume some of the responsibility, whether federal funding in such a situation would go above 50 per cent? Granted the main advantage of this relocation would accrue to the city of Sault Ste. Marie and not to either Indian reserve, although there is the possibility of sidings and an industrial park there. I am interested to know if the federal government would assume any portion which would normally be assumed by municipalities where a relocation passes through an Indian reserve?

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, without specific reference to the case raised by the hon. member, the details of which I am not familiar with, and in reply to the question of whether there are funds available from other departments and programs, the answer is yes. What is provided here is a federal contribution of 50 per cent toward the net cost to the railroad of relocation. That does not cover nor provide for, because they are provided for under different statutes,

April 30, 1974

any moneys available under the Department of Regional Economic Expansion for infrastructure, moneys for housing under the Housing Act or Central Mortgage and Housing, or moneys available under any appropriate program. For example, if land freed by relocation were to be used for housing, the programs under the National Housing Act would apply in that area. If it were to be used for the erection of a federal public building, the funds of the federal Department of Public Works would be spent.

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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NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

Mr. Chairman, I am concerned about definitions. I notice that the act does not define railway. It is important for the purposes of this bill that we understand clearly what a railway is. In my search for enlightment I consulted the Revised Statutes of Canada (1970) and therein found an act respecting railways. The definition section reads in part:

. .. "railway" means any railway that the company has authority to construct or operate, and includes all branches, extensions, sidings, stations, depots, wharfs, rolling stock equipment, stores, property real or personal and works connected therewith, and also any railway bridge, tunnel or other structure that the company is authorized to construct and, except where the context is inapplicable, includes street railway and tramway;...

Often, when we deal with railway companies, we are dealing with lists of articles and entities which go beyond the definition in the act respecting railways.

I raised this point for another reason. We speak of railway companies. Clause 5(1) of the bill mentions "railway company" twice. Is there a difference between the railway and the railway company for purposes of this bill? Do either or both of those terms include, for purposes of this bill, subsidiaries or affiliates of railway companies, whether wholly or partly owned by the companies. Obviously, in many cases of relocation, the benefits will not accrue to the railways as such but could affect the well being of companies owned by railways. I wonder if the minister would respond to my preliminary questions?

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 suppose we are transgressing against the rules by going back, but "railway" as mentioned in this bill has the same meaning as it has in the Railway Act. The Railway Act has been in existence for a good many years and definitions and explanations with regard to that act have been enforced by the CTC, in dealings related to the Railway Act, without any difficulty. The hon. member asked, does the bill define railway company. It does not. A railway company is defined in the Railway Act, which I do not have in front of me.

The hon. member referred to something he raised the other night. He spoke about the lands of the railways and the subsidiaries of the railways. For the purposes of this bill, railway lands are those lands owned by the railway company which are used for activities directly associated with the operation of the rail transport services of the railway company, such as railway rights of way, marshalling yards, terminal facilities and lands used for maintenance and repair depots for the servicing of equipment.

The hon. member asked about the subsidiaries of the railways or affiliates of the railways. The lands of such companies would be railway lands, clearly under the jurisdiction of this bill and clearly within the jurisdiction of

Relocation of Railway Lines

the CTC when it acts for the purpose of enforcing a transportation plan. If the lands are owned by non-railway subsidiaries, and I am not supposed to give a legal opinion, those lands would not be deemed to be railway lands, but would be subject to ordinary municipal ordinances, bylaws and regulations. So, the railways could not escape coverage. If they attempt to shift land back and forth between themselves, the railways, and non-railway subsidiaries, they would be covered either under this bill or under municipal laws. That is to say, railway operations with respect to railway lands would be covered by this statute and by the Railway Act, or in the case of non-railway lands, by the ordinances of the appropriate municipalities.

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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NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

For the minister's information there is no definition of railway company in the act respecting railways. The act defines a railway but not a railway company, unless such definition has not been included in alphabetical order, according to normal usage. On the other hand, the bill before us talks about railways and about railway companies.

Mr. Chairman, you, I and the minister know that at some time in the future when the courts are asked to interpret parts of this bill, the minister's words as to what certain words in this bill mean will not be considered. I am not a lawyer, but I know that in court you cannot quote from House of Commons Debates and say, "That is what those fellows intended when they passed the bill." The judge will look at the language of the act, in English or in French, and interpret its meaning. That is why he has so much power.

There need be no difficulty with regard to definitions. Yet I am considerably worried about how this bill will apply if, for instance, there should ever be an argument about railway property which is not held as property for purposes of railway operation but which is held, directly or indirectly through an affiliate or subsidiary, for the sake of owning it and making a profit on real estate.

I am not worried about the definition in clause 4(a) which says:

(a) how the costs and benefits of the transportation plan included in the accepted plan are to be shared by the province, the municipalities concerned, the railways affected by the accepted plan and any other interests that may be affected thereby;

The subclause speaks of any other interests that may be affected. That is universal language, and that part is fine. On the other hand, clause 5 leaves room for confusion. It talks about railway companies, but the sort of universal definition found in clause 4 is not found in clause 5.

I know that we are slightly in disorder, if not out of order, in talking about definitions. On the other hand, we have been in disorder all afternoon, and I suggest that we are just reverting back to an earlier part of the bill. Hitherto, speakers have been wandering all over the place in their remarks. Perhaps the minister will say that, if the committee agrees, we shall go back to the definition part of the bill and amend the definition, so that once this bill is passed we shall know what is meant by a railway and by a railway company.

April 30, 1974

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
LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Basford:

Mr. Chairman, with all due respect to the hon. member, I really do not see any difficulty at all. "Railway" is defined in this bill by reference to the Railway Act. I must admit that I am not sure whether the word "company" is defined in the Interpretation Act. Even if it is not, no CTC or no judge will have any difficulty defining the word "company" in giving to it the meaning ordinarily attributed to it, which is the common standard on interpretation. With all due respect, those meanings and the meaning of railway company in clause 5(1) will create no difficulty and there is no need to go back to clause 1 to put in a definition. A "company" is a legal institution and recognized word which has not created any difficulty in interpretation whatsoever.

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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NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

Mr. Chairman, I will be very brief. I am not upset that I have not aroused too much concern in the minister, but I may be upset that I have not aroused much concern among other members. Maybe the point I am raising is too legalistic. I wish it were possible to wager across the House. I hope I meet the minister some 20 years from now. If he can tell me there has been no trouble with this definition or lack of definition, I will applaud him. Perhaps the only authority we can refer this matter to is Pierre Berton. He knows much more about the operations of railways and railway companies than many of us around here. Perhaps I can raise the matter again under clause 5. By that time, other members may have the same worry.

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

John Wise

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wise:

Mr. Chairman, it is certainly not my intention to delay progress of this bill. At the same time, I do not think it is necessary to remind the minister of my interest in Bill C-27. I have expressed interest on behalf of the city cf St. Thomas and the constituency I have the pleasure of representing in the House of Commons. Perhaps it is appropriate for me to say that that city of 25,000 people carried out a railroad relocation study in 1971. It is probably the most comprehensive study that has ever been completed, certainly by any city of comparable size in Canada.

I am concerned about a couple of matters. I will keep my remarks to the bare minimum. The officials of the city of St. Thomas paid some $100,000 for the study. It was underwritten 75 per cent or $75,000 by the province of Ontario and the taxpayers of that city paid the remaining $25,000. The results of that study indicated that in 1971 the railroad relocation project would cost over $18 million. As the hon. member for Crowfoot indicated a couple of times today, with increased costs and the increase in the rate of inflation, $18 million in 1971 could well be turned into $25 million or $30 million by the time the project is carried out. I therefore think it is obvious that 50 per cent of the cost is too low.

Because of the long delay we have experienced in having this bill brought before the House, I think it is a case of being satisfied with half a loaf rather than nothing at all. Will the minister or his department consider any payment toward the study that has already been carried out by the city of St. Thomas or any reimbursement on studies that have been carried out by other cities across the country prior to the passage of this bill?

I have a second question for the minister. From reading the act, I realize that the federal government has a fund. I think it is called the railroad crossing fund. I believe there is between $15 million and $18 million in the fund. Over the past few years, this amount has been decreasing. Are the funds to pay for railroad relocations in Canadian cities to be taken from that railroad crossing fund by simply increasing it or is a new fund being set up to pay for these costs?

My third question may have been asked earlier. Is it necessary to receive provincial approval prior to a municipality making application to the federal government for funds?

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 appreciate the hon. member's interest in this legislation. I know he has been asking questions about it for some time. I appreciate his interest in the fact that the city of St. Thomas has done a great deal of studying and work on this project, which I hope will come to quick fruition under this legislation when it is passed.

In answer to the first question as to whether funds will be available retroactively to pay for studies already completed, as much as I would like to say yes, I think I should say no. In fact, I must say no because cities have been making studies and plans for many, many years. If we applied this provision retroactively, we would exhaust whatever funds we have on retroactive studies. However, such plans would be eligible for 50 per cent of the cost of whatever studies might be necessary to put their work into shape for presentation under this new legislation.

In answer to the second question as to what funds will be available for relocation of grade crossings, there are budgetary projections which will be voted for each year by parliament. I am giving what are projections only. They are subject to being submitted and voted by parliament year by year. Over a five-year period, the funds for relocation would start out in one year, which is either late this year or next year, at $10 million and rise to $25 million for grade crossings and grade separations under Parts II and III going from $25 million to $30 million over the five year period. I emphasize those are solely projections which will have to be voted year by year and which will undoubtedly be varied, depending upon our experience in the application of this legislation when it is passed.

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

John Wise

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wise:

Mr. Chairman, I think the minister misunderstood my second question with regard to funds. Are the funds to come from the existing railroad grade crossing fund, or are we to set up a new fund for relocation?

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:

The answer is no, Mr. Chairman. The funds for Part I, which is the railroad relocation and re-routing proposals, will not be coming from the railroad grade crossing fund which is Part III. They will be coming from funds provided for in the estimates of the Ministry of Transport voted annually by parliament. The expenditures I mentioned include expenditures from funds available under Part II of the act and for relocation schemes under Part I.

April 30, 1974

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

Charles Humbert Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas (Moncton):

Mr. Chairman, I wish to take this opportunity to ask the minister a question on clause 4. The clause concerns the conditions which are laid down and which must be met before an application can be considered. I am wondering about the status of studies already under way, for example, the study being conducted at Moncton and financed by the federal government and the province. Have those responsible for this study been advised of the conditions in clause 4? Is there any danger of this plan being submitted, and of the CTC saying: You have failed to meet the conditions of the act.

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:

I am trying to avoid becoming involved in the specifics of individual applications because, obviously,

I am not familiar with all of them. However, I recognize that work has been going on at Moncton for some time. Those concerned are, of course, aware of the legislation which is before the House. I hope that all the studies under way will be made to comply with the conditions of this legislation in anticipation of its passage.

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

Clause agreed to. On clause 5-Submission to Commission of Transport Plan.


NDP

John Paul Harney

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harney:

Mr. Chairman, during my speech on second reading I told the House I was interested in proposing an amendment to clause 5(2) and that its purpose would be to ensure that the Commission would be obliged to hold a hearing before making an order under clause 6. As it stands, the bill simply says the Commission may make such an order.

The reasoning I put forward was that the whole question of the relocation of rail lines, the new use of properties which would be liberated by relocation, and, indeed, the whole direction and shape our cities might take as a result of major relocation was an extremely delicate one. I argued that in most cases it would take a good deal of time for interested parties-and in that term I certainly include the general public, the citizens of the urban areas affected-to find out what was going on, to determine what the implications of relocation were.

We know from experience that any change in the shape of a city is bound to affect many people, and thus it is extremely important to give citizens a chance to have a say. It is all very well for the minister to tell us that in the formulation of the original plan the public has an opportunity to make an input. I have no doubt the railways will be making an input and I have no doubt the municipalities will be making an input. However, I am afraid the nature of this input will be understood only by specialists. In the City of Toronto we have had experience of planning by specialists. All the specialists agreed, for example, that the Spadina Expressway had to be built. Only recently, there was no doubt in the minds of all the specialists, whether municipal or provincial, that the Scarborough Expressway had to be built. For years these views were unchallenged until citizens began to wake up to the implication of the construction of these expressways. After a long time, and after making many appeals, the people were finally allowed to express their feelings as to whether these auto routes were in fact as necessary as the specialists believed.

Relocation of Railway Lines

I do not see what harm could possibly be done by making it mandatory for the Commission to hold a hearing. If we decide to leave the clause as it is, citizens will have an opportunity to express their opinions only if they are allowed to do so by the Commission; the Commission itself would be in the position of deciding whether the public interest would be served by a hearing. I say: let the public itself decide whether its interests will be well served or not.

I know the minister may object to my proposal on the ground that it might give rise to a multiplicity of hearings. But, as I suggested in my comments on second reading, I do not think the number of relocation projects undertaken is likely to be large. I say this on the basis of the amount of money which the minister suggests should be spent over the next five years, and in the light of the sums likely to be needed by Winnipeg and Toronto. What will be left for St. Thomas or Wetaskiwin? I have the feeling there will be very few relocation programs carried out, so we ought not to be taken in by assertions that my amendment, if adopted, would lead to a tremendous number of hearings.

I maintain we would be honouring the needs of urban communities if we were to agree now to make the holding of public hearings mandatory, not simply a matter for the judgment of the Commission. Whether we like to think so or not, to a lot of the people in our communities the Transport Commission is an awfully distant institution. I should like to see the clause redrafted in such a way that there would be no going to the Commission, cap in hand, for leave to make representations at an inquiry, but there should be an automatic hearing. The administration need not be difficult. Already, in many of our cities, when rezoning is contemplated a public meeting has to be held. Advertisements are inserted in the newspapers announcing the purpose and date of such a meeting, and if there is no interest, if no one attends, there is, in effect, no hearing, and that is the end of the matter. But an opportunity for the public to protect its interests is always provided.

In his remarks the other day, the hon. member for Calgary North expressed great interest in supporting the amendment I suggested. I know, from discussions I have had with a member of the Social Credit party that there is interest on their part as well. I trust and hope that members of the Conservative party will continue to have this interest and that members of the Social Credit party will continue their interest. Whether the minister agrees with it is another matter, but I know he is certainly interested in it. With that appeal I should like to put forward an amendment which will read very simply this way. I would move, seconded by the hon. member-

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

An hon. Member:

You don't need a seconder.

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

April 30, 1974