June 13, 1977

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

AERONAUTICS ACT

LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport) moved

that Bill C-46, to amend the Aeronautics Act and the National Transportation Act, as reported (with an amendment) from the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, be concurred in.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

When shall the bill be read the third time? By leave, now?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Now.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Mr. Lang moved

that the bill be read the third time and do

pass.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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PC

A. Daniel McKenzie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dan McKenzie (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of delaying this bill any further. However, I wish to comment that it is another regulatory piece of legislation that is not required. We feel that the CTC has enough authority to handle these matters in regard to the provinces dealing with airlines, but we are prepared to let the bill go through on division.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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LIB

John Napier Turner

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Turner):

Is the House ready for the question?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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LIB

John Napier Turner

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Turner):

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE ACT BINDING ON HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA OR A PROVINCE
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AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.

LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport) moved

that Bill C-40, to amend the Aeronautics Act, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications.

He said: Mr. Speaker, 1 thank hon. members for co-operating in moving forward this legislation. There may be agreement to amend the second reading motion, to provide for this bill to be considered in committee of the whole. When I finish my remarks I shall propose such a change in the second reading motion.

Bill C-40, to amend the Aeronautics Act, deals with several important matters, the first and most important of which is the introduction of more effective zoning provisions under federal jurisdiction. Our airports are important facilities and, obviously, the manner in which land surrounding them is used is important to their future use, and to people who may want to use the land. Sometimes after an airport is built it has been difficult to expand it, because houses have been built there and other activities engaged in. Since airports represent a large public investment it is important for land to be so zoned as not to endanger future development of an airport. We want to avoid such difficulties.

We think you can most effectively zone land through the action of municipalities and provinces which ordinarily concern themselves in the many issues which arise from time to time in communities. Bill C-40, which will allow for the additional exercise of federal jurisdiction, shows clearly that we intend ordinarily to rely on municipalities and provinces to do the appropriate zoning of our airports in order to protect the land. Ordinarily, they will do this after we discuss these questions with them. Sometimes, however, there may not be provincial legislation in existence, or a province may be unwilling to act in a certain way, and we therefore feel that there must be provision for federal jurisdiction under which zoning in such cases can be done. Alberta, after a good deal of discussion, enacted comprehensive zoning legislation which will be fully effective in allowing us to do what we need in the way of zoning around airports.

We have included compensation provisions in this bill which essentially follow compensation patterns provinces ordinarily use in their own zoning. We did not want to set different standards, even though in our judgment sometimes a different scale of compensation would be appropriate. It seems only logical to retain the provincial approach to compensation, since we want provincial governments and municipalities ordinarily to do the zoning. It would not do to have a different standard of compensation, depending on the nature of the jurisdiction, its location, and so on.

These provisions therefore will allow us to work with the provinces. We shall ordinarily enter into discussions with them, and use our zoning provisions when it is either impossible or difficult for a province to do this.

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June 13, 1977

Aeronautics Act

A number of other changes in the bill are highly technical and deal with questions which have arisen in practice, in the course of our administering safety and licensing aspects of legislation. One clause deals with the collection of fees and the imposition of interest charges on obligations carriers have not paid. This is particularly intended to deal with foreign carriers which have resisted the payment of appropriate fees for the use of our services and airports. The prospect of interest charges will give them an incentive to pay early and promptly, instead of delaying payment and so forcing our collection agencies to seek payment.

That, essentially, is the heart of the bill. I commend it to hon. members.

I now ask if hon. members would be willing to change the second reading motion, to provide for the bill to be referred to committee of the whole, so that it may proceed through all stages. There have been certain discussions and I understand there may be agreement to do this. If I am right, and I would appreciate if it could be determined, I will so move.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Don Mazankowski (Vegreville):

extent this has taken place. A proper place for this to be considered will be in committee.

Some of the users who have been involved in this sort of thing should appear before the committee. We would like to know how much money has been involved. Why have we been lax in the past, if there have been losses as a result of our inability to collect? Or is this overkill? If not, why have we waited so long? Why is it necessary to force this issue at this time? Is part of the problem that some of the costs are inordinately high and sometimes unjustified? 1 heard the minister say there were some 40 carriers.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Mr. Lang:

Four.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mazankowski:

Four carriers. We should know who the carriers are and why there has been disagreement over the application of costs.

Clause 3 provides that owners and operators will be required to carry liability insurance. We do not find any disagreement with that. If you are compelled to carry liability insurance for a passenger car, surely no less should be required of an operator of an aircraft. Therefore, I see no problem in that regard.

Clause 4 deals with the maintenance, design or manufacture of aircraft or aeronautical products. That too seems to be a rather natural and logical requirement. However, in most cases these individuals are already licensed. I am not sure whether a duplication of licensing is being proposed here. This bothers me, as do many other pieces of legislation of this nature. It is nothing more than multiplying the bureaucracy.

We have a tremendous boon here to the bureaucratic development of the government. Frankly, I do not see why we need double licensing. Perhaps there is a legitimate reason. If so, this should be brought out and dealt with in committee.

Proposed subsection (5) provides that owners and operators involved in accidents or incidents must report them. It would seem that this is more or less a general understanding. Anyone involved in an accident must report that. In terms of reporting incidents, this might cause some concern, particularly for those involved in the training of pilots, such as the flying clubs across Canada.

In the process of carrying out flying lessons, I am sure that there are many incidents. If every incident must be reported, much will depend upon the definition of an incident. This may involve a tremendous amount of reporting and bureaucratic red tape which may or may not be necessary. I hope that this will be clarified.

It would only be natural that those engaged in the training of pilots in flying clubs be brought before the committee so that we can hear their version of this provision. Perhaps they can assist the committee in putting together an amendment to clarify the provision in that clause. With the sweeping powers the minister has under regulations and the penalties that could be provided, it could be rather intimidating and frightening if this provision got out of hand. I hope this will be looked at as well.

Aeronautics Act

Clause 4:6.(1) primarily deals with zoning regulations. I understand the organizations known as People Over Planes has some serious misgivings about that particular problem. I would like to quote from a document presented by that organization, which reads as follows:

Land use planning and property rights are clearly a provincial responsibility under our constitution. This act has far-ranging powers. By publication of the intent to impose a zoning restriction and by passing an order in council the federal government can restrict land use anywhere-"adjacent to or in the vicinity" of an airport. Thousands of acres can be affected. The purpose is to keep owners from building houses on properties they already own.

The act allows no hearing of necessity-presumably a draftsman in the Ministry of Transport will determine whose properties are affected. There is no appeal procedure or no consultation required with the affected owners or municipalities. A federal bureaucracy will determine detailed land use in Ontario communities near airports.

Without going into too much detail, there are some questions which have to be clarified. We must understand how far we are going under that particular section. It is urgent and very important that we undertake to have this bill presented to committee in order that witnesses may appear and give evidence of their concerns.

Turning to clause 5.8(1), it deals with boards of inquiry and reads as follows:

The minister may

(a) establish a board of inquiry to inquire into the circumstances of (i) any accident or incident involving an aircraft...

In this connection it is unfortunate the government has not seen fit to adopt the very sensible private member's bill which is now before the House, Bill C-220, which was introduced by the hon. member for Dartmouth-Halifax East. This bill was debated in the House on April 1. The hon. member has campaigned long, hard, and diligently for this legislation. The purpose of this particular bill would be to establish a permanent and impartial commission of inquiry to investigate transport accidents within federal jurisdiction. Under the present law, many of these transport accidents are investigated by the federal body responsible for making and enforcing the rules under which transport operated when the accident occurred. Many of these accidents involve the loss of lives.

The hon. member for Dartmouth-Halifax East has always contended there is a conflict of interest and it should be mandatory that we establish an independent board of inquiry which would sit, independent of the Department of Transport and all other federal regulation agencies, so that there could be an in-depth, impartial, and objective inquiry into all accidents or incidents, particularly in the case where there is a loss of life.

This particular measure was promised in the throne speech of 1974. While there has been a lot of talk about changes in the transportation policy, amendments to the National Transportation Act and various amendments to the Aeronautics Act, the government has not acted very quickly in this particular area. The hon. member for Dartmouth-Halifax East introduced a measure of similar substance back in October, 1970. It was known as Bill C-66 at that time. It was reintroduced as

80018-14'/2

June 13, 1977

Aeronautics Act

Bill C-85, Bill C-33, Bill C-109, Bill C-226, and now it is Bill C-220.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

History moves on.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mazankowski:

Surely in an area as important as safety and the concern of getting to the bottom of accidents which take lives of individuals, a step in this direction is long overdue. Surely it is high time the government took the initiative and enacted this very important principle. I am sure the hon. member for Dartmouth-Halifax East would not mind if the government stole his idea and brought it forth in the form of government legislation. He would be happy if the government would accept his particular bill and enshrine it into law. It is a good bill which has a broad base of support, not only in the industry but in many of the regulatory agencies as well.

There is no branch of the Department of Transport or any other federal agency which has over-all responsibility for ensuring that a systematic, comprehensive, and high standard of investigation is under way. It is important to ensure that safety is practised at all times and, when there is an error, that we get to the bottom of it so that we can avoid future catastrophes.

At page 9 of the bill, Clause 6 sets out to impose terms and conditions on a licence which is already issued. There is some concern here, because unilaterally the commission can change the licence by imposing restrictions, and new terms and conditions on licences which come up for renewal. While there may be some degree of necessity in this regard, it is important to ensure that there is proper access to appeals for those who have licences and find their licences restricted or almost withdrawn, as a result of the restrictions and the regulations added thereto.

At page 10, Clause 7 deals with the licensing of commercial air service. The thing which bothers us on this side of the House is the fact that we have no third level air carrier policy in this country and we have no clearly stated regional air policy. In June, 1975, the former minister of transport said that a regional and third level carrier policy would be forthcoming soon. There has been no mention of this fact ever since. We are asking the Canadian Transport Commission to deal on an ad hoc basis without any set government policy in terms of a third level air carrier policy. When you tie that in with the thrust of Bill C-33, under which the minister is emasculating and abrogating many of the powers in the hands of the CTC, probably the consequene will be that the licensing of these air carriers will be done more on the basis of political considerations, rather than the realities of economics, geography, and need. We should be pressing for a clear definition and statement of regional and third level carrier policy so that it can be meshed into the regulations which are enshrined within this piece of legislation.

It is clear the bill requires a great deal of clarification. It is important that it go to committee and that witnesses be heard. Amendments to some clauses will probably be required with a

view to clarifying the major thrusts of the intended legislation. I hope we can count upon the minister to ensure that there will be an opportunity to deal with witnesses and carry out a thorough, full-scale hearing into the many facets of the bill. In effect, we have been asked to deal with omnibus legislation and we should look at it in that light.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming):

I do not want to take very long, Mr. Speaker, but I am interested in some of the comments the previous speaker made, particularly those concerning the new powers being sought by the minister as they would likely affect regional carriers. The suggestion was made that the minister would, in effect, be taking over the powers of the CTC.

I have been watching with some interest applications which have been made to the CTC by these second-line carriers-I use that term to distinguish them from CPA and Air Canada which might be considered first-line carriers. Some time ago I attended hearings which were held in Sudbury concerning an application by Nordair, which had offered a return flight daily from Montreal to Winnipeg via Sudbury and Thunder Bay. I was interested at that time to find that the minister of the day involved himself in those hearings, though in absentia, by sending a letter indicating that no matter what was decided he would not allow the Nordair aircraft to land at some of the airports scheduled because they were not capable of handling the Boeing 737. Apparently it was O.K. for a DC-9 to land there, though everyone knows there is only a difference of a few hundred pounds between the Boeing 737 and the DC-9.

I mentioned to the chairman of the CTC, who had been a colleague of mine in this House for a number of years, that there really wasn't any point in continuing the hearing, the minister having made a decision that the aircraft would not be allowed to land. What would be the sense of discussing whether Nordair should be given the opportunity to service the area or not? The whole exercise seemed foolish. I twitted the chairman of the commission about the matter. The intervention was clumsy, it seemed to me, because those responsible did not even bother to clear it with the district offices. The manager at Sudbury telephoned the district office in Toronto responsible for the safety and conditions of the runways in Sudbury, and the officials there informed him that the Sudbury runway could, of course, carry the Boeing 737. There had been no structural damage and it was not anticipated there would be.

It is interesting to remember, of course, that Air Canada was the operator intervening in that case. However, Air Canada only operated the flights for two months; it has since dropped the service, so the people of Montreal, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg are not able to take advantage of that run. The route is now directed through Toronto rather than through the northern part of the province, passing through Ottawa.

This tells me that if the minister cares to use the power he possesses over the licensing of airports it is he, really, who is able to control the entire operations of the air industry. He

June 13, 1977

would be able to decide who was going to fly, where they were to fly from, and where they would go.

There are other aspects of the bill which interest me. One of them is the provision the minister is seeking in connection with the zoning of areas surrounding airports. I am, of course, aware of the need to maintain air clearance in such areas, but 1 have always been of the opinion that this could largely be ensured by agreement and consultation. When a community asks for an airport it is obviously ready to bear these considerations in mind. It is in favour of the project. Otherwise, it is not likely to be particularly successful. For instance, when a new airport was built in Japan the public in the area surrounding it were violently against it; riots at the approaches to the airport have already resulted in a number of serious injuries. Protestors built a high tower to express their feelings. It was torn down, but only after a great furor.

Canada, it seems to me, is large enough to enable airports to be put in locations about which there is agreement. To begin by contemplating buying up land around the approaches to an airport under the Expropriation Act indicates that the government intends to go ahead and make these decisions whether there is agreement or not. I suppose this particular proposal relates to Pickering. I suppose it means that the minister still has in the back of his mind, being the type of person he is, the intention to build Pickering whether the people around there want it or not. If he gets the power sought in this bill he would have no need to ask for any co-operation from the surrounding municipalities. All he needs to do is use the expropriation powers given in this bill and he would be able to make decisions as to the height of buildings surrounding an airport or do anything else he may wish to do.

I imagine that much of this bill arises from the fact that Mirabel has been such a disaster. For us to lose $43 million-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CHARGES FOR USE OF AIRPORTS, ETC.
Permalink

June 13, 1977