November 27, 1979

LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

What did he say to justify the omission- virtually the deletion-of this word from the present bill? Why was the word "environment" dropped? Was there any fear of encroaching on provincial responsibilities? Did Ontario raise a fuss?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Did Ontario say that perhaps it would be inadmissible-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

-that Ottawa should have in a federal bill any reference to the word "environment"?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Were you in cabinet?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

Yes.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

How do you know?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

They told me.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Of course. I should know that the whip of the government party is a person who knows everything, by definition.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

That's right.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

We are wondering about the clout of the Minister of the Environment in relation to this bill. There is a very serious shortcoming, and we would like to register these thoughts with the Minister of Transport. We know he is concerned about the environment, and we hope that in committee there will be an opportunity to redress this omission and to bring into focus again and into the centre of consideration

November 27, 1979

of this bill-as he has already done with other parts, namely, health, property, and all the other elements which come under consideration-the environment, which belongs at the centre of our attention.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a few words on this bill. I had been interested in the previous bill to this one when it was going through the Elouse because of a number of complaints that were being made in northern Ontario regarding the movement from Manitoba to the town of Cobalt, in Ontario, of a large quantity of arsenic ore. At that time the argument was made by the then government that if the Efazardous Products Act had been passed, something could be done about the problem. There were numerous complaints in northern Ontario about the transportation of that arsenic ore, because it is a fairly lethal substance, and a sufficient amount was being moved to endanger most of the communities through which that product was moved if an accident were to occur.

I studied the act and I found at that time that it did not do a damn thing to solve the problems we were encountering and that it would not really make any difference whether or not the act was passed because so many agencies were involved, as well as three governments and the environmental people in those governments. Thus passage of the act would mean nothing at all.

It was for that reason that I was hopeful that when Bill C-25 was introduced in the House, the minister would look not only at the problem with which we had been faced recently in Mississauga where all the potential of a major disaster existed and only good luck and considerably good management had enabled the people in the area to escape death or injury, but would look at the total problem of the transportation of hazardous goods.

In my view, as I read this bill, I do not think it will do anything to solve that whole problem. Hon. members have mentioned what we should be doing. The minister should be looking at some emergency legislation which would require proper spacing of cars, something which the CTC has done now'. I presume the minister has twisted their arms because they did not appear to be the least bit interested in doing that a couple of days ago when they were before the standing committee. At that time they said it would cost too much. If the minister did twist their arms, I hope he will keep on twisting it because this is the only way in which we will get any action from them.

This legislation should contain a requirement that hazardous products be marked, that the cars, the trucks and the containers, no matter whether they are on piggy-back, on the highway, in the marine service, or in whatever form, or mode of transportation is being used, be clearly marked so that people would know exactly what is being transported in the container and what to do about it in case of an accident. It is all well and good to know that a car has gone off the track. It may have oil in it, it may have gas in it, it may have propane in

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

it, or any other chemical that might be highly toxic, highly dangerous or highly explosive.

Also, it seems to me that the designation we put on the cars, trucks or containers in which dangerous and hazardous products are moved should be internationally recognized. We are moving Canadian cars into the United States and the United States is moving its cars with such products into Canada, and in that interchange it would not be wise if Ontario marked propane with a red circle, New York state marked it with a blue square, Manitoba used another designation, and so on. Surely we should arrive at some internationally recognized designation of such products. Yet it is stated in the bill that the designation will not be an international designation but that we are merely going to enforce some safety markings of these products.

I think it is absolutely essential that people know exactly what kind of product is being transported. I understand that in Mississauga officials who were present at the time of the accident were told first that PCBs were being transported. Then they were told that it was chlorine, and finally it turned out to be another substance. I think it makes a great deal of difference what kind of product is in a car when choosing the correct method of control in case of an accident. Yet this is not what this legislation specifies.

The minister has inherited this act from the Liberals. If they put environmental provisions in there, I do not think it was intentional because they did not really intend to pass the bill. At first it was kicked around in the early 1970s, and then it was reintroduced in 1978. Now in 1979 the minister is introducing the same act or a similar act. Frankly, I think that every time the government talks to industry, the legislation is watered down some more, to the point that we might as well throw it all out.

I urge the minister, who is very knowledgeable and certainly very concerned with this, to look at some of the recommendations that will be made by the committee members. He should be willing to amend this bill. This is not his bill. It is one he purloined from the previous government, and I presume he would not be averse to improving it. I believe that the small improvements he has made are bad ones.

The previous speaker mentioned the two-year provision. I do not see any reason why it should not be possible to go beyond two years. I remember a particular accident which had occurred in the rural town of Gogama. A certain substance was dumped in that community and no one was told what it was. It polluted the wells. It was agreed that the wells were poisoned and that no one was to drink water from them. On one side of the street there might have been four houses to which fresh water was supplied, but the fifth house might not have obtained fresh water and another street might have been missed altogether. They never told many of the people what the poisonous chemical was. Last year some officials came along and told the people in that community that all the poison had dissipated, that there was no more poisonous chemical in the water, and that people could go back to using their own source of water.

November 27, 1979

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

I am sure the minister will be able to make a number of improvements to this bill and I am sure members will be interested in making them. I would like to make one last plea. The movement of hazardous goods by way of rail transportation is the responsibility of the federal government. But one of these days there is going to be an accident on the highway which might involve the same kind of chemical as was involved in Mississauga, under similar circumstances. Will we say, in setting up a hazardous products act, that it is the responsibility of the provinces; if a truck is not going from one province to another in interprovincial trade, it will be provincial responsibility?

It would seem to me that the federal government will have to assume the responsibility for the standards, the symbols or the marks on the containers which indicate what the product is. We will have to assume some responsibility for the jurisdiction which is partly shared by the provinces. It would be wise to give consideration to a hazardous products act on the highways, no matter whether they are interprovincial or totally within the provincial field. Surely to God we are trying to protect the general public. The problem on highways will be about as strong as it is in the field of railway transportation.

I would like to think the committee will make a decision for the upgrading of railway cars using the type of journals which overheat. We have been able to overcome that problem with bearings which run on oil. The other type of bearings are obsolete. It seems to me on cars which will carry dangerous products that we should insist on the new, up to date, much safer type of bearings than we are using on the other cars. It is all right to say that we will instal hot boxes. That will be an advantage, but the problem will not be eliminated until we get around to putting in oil bearings which are not subject to the same heat condition as the old friction bearings were.

I should like the minister to give some consideration to giving the committee the regulations before we pass this bill. Frankly, I do not think the bill is of any value unless there are regulations which enforce it. I am aware that we are not able to put on enough inspectors, to have an inspector travelling on every train. We will not be able to have inspectors sitting there nursing the industry. The fines will have to be high enough for infractions that it will be necessary for them to do some of the policing themselves. I suggest the committee should be entitled to the regulations.

When the minister considers the regulations, how about considering referring the red book on regulations, on which we are now operating, to the committee? I imagine there are regulations which governed members of Parliament who used to take their horses with them when they travelled on trains. That is probably still in the regulations, but I imagine it is so archaic that it does not have any relationship to modern transportation on an efficient railway system. Regulations are absolutely essential to any decision made by members as to whether they believe this bill will serve the needs of today.

Those regulations must be brought to the attention of the committee before the bill receives third reading.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Gordon Edward Taylor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Taylor (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, in dealing with the principle of this bill, I should like to touch on just three points. The first one is that perhaps the word "prevention" deals with every one of those points. It does not matter what is done, because the best way to handle the situation is to prevent such things from ever happening. I think we have spent too much time on regulations and considerations without touching the real cause of many of these accidents.

First I should like to deal with the matter of equipment. The last speaker mentioned that trucks should be considered. For many years truck companies have been required to mark on their vehicles if they are carrying dangerous or explosive materials. This requirement by the provinces has been in existence for quite a number of years. For many years trucks have undergone inspections to make sure that the vehicles are in roadworthy condition. It seems strange that the railways have not kept pace with what provincial governments have required the trucking companies to do. I should like to deal with that particular point because it is very, very important.

If one looks at the routes through a city, trucks are not permitted to go wherever they wish. Even though it costs the trucking companies additional money and it is inconvenient for the drivers, trucks must follow certain routes when they carry explosives. But that is not the case in connection with the railways. Again there has been some carelessness in regard to tackling this problem on the railroads that has not been evident when it comes to the provincial governments in the ten provinces of this country.

In regard to train equipment, I will not deal with every type of equipment. The alleged claim is that the accident at Mississauga happened because of the hot box or the overheating of bearings literally burning a set of wheels from the car. In the case of Mississauga that is exactly what happened. They found a pair of wheels 1.5 miles from the spot where the derailed cars spilled and burned. It has been said that the hot box problem was mainly caused by old-fashioned brass wheel bearings, that all new tank cars must have roller bearings, but that if they had to be installed on all freight cars, it would be an immense expense. When one talks about expense, one cannot value human life in dollar bills. This has been the claim of the railways for a long time.

I realize there is a limit to what the railways can do, but if their competitors, the truckers, were required to mark their vehicles and keep them in a roadworthy condition, why have we been so lax in ensuring that boxcars carrying dangerous goods are marked? That was mentioned by the previous hon. member a few moments ago. We have made strides in this particular area in every other field. People are not permitted to put poisonous substances in bottles without labelling them. Yet here we have the same thing in larger and more dangerous quantities, and we have never required them to be labelled. Consequently we have the situation which exists in this particular case.

November 27, 1979

The safety conference in 1971 found that 60 per cent of Canadian train derailments were caused by the hot box. This was in 1971, eight years ago. If we are even to begin to solve the problem and prevent a terrible tragedy and catastrophe from happening in the future, we will have to take a look at some of the causes of accidents. Certainly equipment is one of the causes. In 1977 or early 1978 there was an event similar to the one at Mississauga near the town of Stirling in southern Alberta. At that time I, along with many other people, made representations to the Canadian Transport Commission to do something to ensure that this would not happen again. The railway was lucky that nobody was killed, just as it was lucky in Mississauga that nobody was killed. One of these days there will be a tragedy and the railways will not be so lucky. The cost will be enormous in dollars, and even then they cannot pay for human life or the destruction of part of the human body.

I am not even asking that the railways be required to move every line out of every populated area, but when a railway is rebuilding or replacing a line and there is an alternative route to the one going through a hamlet, a village, a town or a city, then there is no excuse whatsoever for putting that line right back where it is in a dangerous zone.

We have come a long way in respect of corridors for highways, power and gas lines. I do not think we have gone far enough. We should be extending these corridors so these utility lines do not have to cut over every farmer's yard. We do not have to endanger every human being in our large settled areas because of the movement of explosives. We realize that trains and trucks have to carry explosives because that is the only way of getting them from one place to another. I emphasize again that, when a line is being replaced, the Canadian Transport Commission should not permit the railway to put that line right back where it is going to be a danger should this type of thing happen in a particular settlement. This has not been the attitude of the Canadian Transport Commission and it was not the attitude of the minister in the previous government.

The other day I asked the minister to look over the record of what has happened at Lake Louise. There were three possible routes, one of which was right through the village of Lake Louise where, in the summertime, there are thousands of people. People live in this village all year around. There was an alternative, but it would have been more expensive. It would have destroyed more of the environment. That alternative was not selected. I hope the railway will be lucky and there will never be a tragedy in that village of Lake Louise. If there ever is, it will not be an inexpensive accident equivalent to the difference in cost of putting that rail line in the corridor that was advocated as compared to the floor of that very narrow valley. If such an accident occurs, I am sure the CPR will realize it has made a mistake.

When we made representations to the Canadian Transport Commission advocating that it not permit the railway to put this line right through the heart of Lake Louise, they just

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

laughed us off. We received consideration, but their answer was no. They agreed with the railway. If we are to have that type of procedure, then all these regulations will not help very much. If these accidents occur in built-up areas people will be injured. It has been sheer luck that people have not been killed and injured, and subjected to the suffering that results from the escape of some of these gases.

1 made an appeal to the minister in the Liberal government, outlining a program with which he agreed to some extent, but he said he would not interfere. I suggest he would have had to interfere if there had been an explosion and people were killed at Mississauga. The members of this government expected our Minister of Transport (Mr. Mazankowski) to interfere, and properly so, if the lives of people were at stake, but the minister in the last government would not interfere. Consequently that project to which I have referred has now advanced too far. Thousands of dollars have been spent.

One of the things that amazed me and to which I objected was the fact that even before the Canadian Transport Commission gave its decision on the appeal, the railway had started to build this line. This is disgraceful, but that is what happened and I challenge anyone to produce evidence that this is not so.

How many other places exist where lines are being rebuilt in areas where they represent a danger to life and limb? I suggest that prevention is better than any cure, and prevention is better than any act. We should be making sure that we are carrying out this type of prevention in every way possible.

I know it would be impossible to check every particular item of every boxcar on the line, but surely it is not too much to expect that there will be a general inspection periodically. Provincial governments require truckers to carry out inspections. Truckers cannot operate year after year without checking their vehicles. They must spend money to keep their vehicles roadworthy. This money is added into the cost of operation. As a result there are very few truck accidents. The truckers respect these regulations and live up to their requirements.

I want to also deal specifically with the regulations. If regulations are not set out specifically, with every "i" dotted and every "t" crossed, there will be ways found to get around them. We must take all the precautions necessary because, in the event of another accident, we may not be as lucky. I am thankful we were so lucky in respect of the accident at Mississauga, and I am thankful we were so lucky in respect of the incident that occurred at Stirling. Many people could have been killed there. People were evacuated from that area, but because this was a small town the incident did not get national press coverage and a lot was not made of it. I should have thought, as I said to the CPR at that time, that this example would have been enough to persuade them to correct the situation to the greatest possible degree.

I commend the minister for bringing in this measure so quickly. I hope that at the committee hearings we will have a full discussion of individual items and will be able to put together an act that is as air tight as possible. In addition I hope the government, and the Canadian Transport Commis-

November 27, 1979

Transportation of Dangerous Goods sion, will not permit the railways to put in lines where they are a danger to human life. We are not asking the railways to build complete lines, we are simply suggesting that when a line is being replaced it be relocated in an area where there will be less danger in the event of an explosion or a terrible accident.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Maurice James Harquail

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Harquail (Restigouche):

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak, albeit very briefly, this evening on Bill C-25 to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods. I would hope that with our system it would not take an incident such as the ones referred to by previous speakers this evening, with the loss of life or the threat of loss, in order to have us, as parliamentarians, accept our responsibility to act. We should act now, without waiting for a disaster or a loss of life, and move toward bringing forward legislation such as we are considering this evening.

I, too, am satisfied that we will have an opportunity to question the minister and his officials on many other aspects of this important bill when we have completed second reading and the bill is before the committee.

I want to join with those other hon. members in congratulating the minister for moving as swiftly as he has in seeking the approval of his government to move in this direction.

I would not want to miss the opportunity to mention the fact that in addition to the Mississauga incident we faced a very serious situation in the province of New Brunswick. Very recently radioactive goods were being transported from Montreal, Quebec, to Saint John, New Brunswick, to the Le Preau project, and for a considerable period of time a package of raidoactive material was unaccounted for, or lost in shipment. After the Emergency Measures Organization and the staff of the RCMP had spent hours at great expense in an effort to locate this dangerous product, it was found in a warehouse.

On another occasion in Saint John, New Brunswick, which was equally as dangerous, a package containing radioactive material feel off the back of a truck. It took a considerable amount of time, manpower, and expense to locate that package. The fact that such a thing could happen certainly justifies the minister acting in the fashion that he has and carrying out his responsibilities in bringing forward Bill C-25. It is none too soon. We on this side are certainly anxious to complete debate on this issue so that it may come back to the House for report stage and third reading.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Lloyd Axworthy (Winnipeg-Fort Garry):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to prolong the debate, but I want to raise with the minister a caution about the nature of this legislation, and offer what I would hope is a suggestion that he would review and take into account. One of the things which we should prevent ourselves from doing with this legislation is assuming that it will solve the problem. The minister indicated that a lot of work and time went into this bill to arrive at the solution, but we must recognize that it is more a panacea than it is a solution.

Other hon. members, including the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Taylor), have pointed out a far more serious concern, that is, that no matter how good the regulations, inspection and monitoring procedures are, there will still be a major movement of dangerous goods through high density residential areas right across Canada. As our industrial world grows, it seems to have enormous ability to proliferate toxic chemicals and their uses. We have a great capacity to develop poisonous ways for dealing with our world, and it concerns me that we often use these methods without looking at all the consequences of our actions.

I hope that the minister will use this bill as a way of examining a much more intensive difficulty, that of the major movement of all kinds of dangerous goods through major urban areas and our small towns in Canada. I wrote to the minister about the problem in the city of Winnipeg with regard to railway location. As the minister knows, this is a topic of major debate in our city because we have one of the world's largest railway marshalling yards in the downtown portion of the city. I raise this for the reason that the railroads have argued that the only time they will be prepared to move those railroads and yards is when the government is prepared to pay them for it. They are not prepared to contribute in any tangible way to the cost of such a move. In fact, the railroads had to be shown through a railway relocation program how it would be profitable for them to relocate their yards.

We now have very graphic and dramatic evidence that we cannot measure safety in terms of the profitability margins of the major railroads. I suggest to the minister that in looking at the relocation problem, which is really the only solution to this difficulty, it will require something more than what is available under the Railway Relocation and Crossing Act. It will require a substantial co-operative effort on the part of the municipalities, the federal and provincial governments and the railroads all equally contributing to what will be a very high capital cost.

Once this bill has gone through the House and the minister has provided his temporary solutions, his holding action, the next major step is to look at the major relocation of railway yards and railway lines throughout settled areas of Canada, to avoid these problems. That is not something which the government can do alone. The minister will have to use the leverage, influence and power of the government to bring the railroads into line to co-operate and change the formulas and equations by which the whole relocation process is being administered in this country. We have had the warning and we do not have much time. I hope that the warning will be taken up by the minister, not only through this bill but through subsequent action which will provide a major commitment to the relocation of railways in Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak briefly on this matter as an ordinary citizen because I consider myself neither an expert in the technology of this particular problem, the transportation of dangerous goods, nor in a legal sense with regard to this legislation. However, I am beginning to conclude having stud-

November 27, 1979

ied some of the material relative to this question tonight, that I live in and represent a potential bomb in Vancouver East. 1 suppose the explosive situation in the port of Vancouver applies to other ports in Canada. I sympathize with the members on the other side who expressed equal concern for small communities across the country which experience dangerous situations that do not hit the national press. 1 also would concur with the last speaker, and to me it makes great sense that the solution to this problem in major urban centres is to relocate the potential danger spots outside densely populated areas.

With regard to Vancouver East, I am sure that my constituents would want to be assured that this bill is broad enough to take into account all modes of transportation. There is a convergence in Vancouver East of major railway lines from across Canada carrying explosive materials from other parts of the country. There is also a convergence of heavy trucks bringing in explosives and other such materials to our port. These transportation modes co-ordinate with airlines going over to Vancouver Island, and they, too, carry dangerous materials. These transportation modes also co-ordinate with both the ferry shipping industry and major deep sea shipping where goods are transferred from trucks and rail cars to the ships.

It seems to me that the nature of the problem we are talking about tonight is quadrupled in an area such as the port of Vancouver. It makes me shake a little, and I am sure that I will lose some sleep when I think about the topography and the fact that we are surrounded by mountains which will keep gases over the city should we have an accident. Most of our area is connected by bridges and waterways, and this is detrimental to evacuation. This concern is so great in Vancouver that the mayor and representatives from the Greater Vancouver Region have been holding meetings with regard to evacuation and safety measures which can be co-ordinated at their level.

Today I received a report from the CTC's dangerous commodity review committee. I will not go into it in detail tonight, but I can assure hon. members that there are about ten different trouble spots in and around the port of Vancouver. In places where the railways connect with the ships, there is no other solution, but through relocation. In September, 1978, we had a very serious scare in Vancouver East when a truck overturned at Main Street and Third Avenue. Liquid chlorine spewed out on the street and, the area had to be evacuated. There was no real evacuation procedure to follow, but fortunately there were people in charge who were levelheaded and moved quickly. Approximately 78 people went to hospital, and the whole area could have easily blown up were it not for the excellent preventive work of the fire department.

In the downtown area of Vancouver, behind the Holiday Inn, where many members have probably stayed while visiting Vancouver, there is another powder keg. Trucks and railways connect with CPR ferries there. A year ago there was an accident, but fortunately the cars involved were carrying wheat. It could have been explosives. Many cars carrying

Transportation of Dangerous Goods chlorine and liquid natural gas transfer their load to ferries at this point behind the Holiday Inn.

I refer the minister to an article in the Vancouver Sun which mentions Yumahide Maru, a floating bomb which regularly carries liquid petroleum gas through our port. It has carried 3 million barrels over the past 14 years without incident. However, you just have to read this article to know that any day there could be a major accident there.

The Vancouver Sun of November 15 states that overheated CP Rail axles which caused the Mississauga accident could happen again, very readily in downtown Vancouver.

I hope the minister and the committee will look in great detail at the dangers inherent in all these modes of transportation, particularly at the very serious situations in the ports of our country, especially the port of Vancouver.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rod Murphy (Churchill):

Mr. Speaker, I too will be brief. I realize the minister would like to say a few words in closing. I am very concerned about an aspect of this bill, an aspect that has been mentioned earlier. That is the operative clause concerning the protection of the environment which has been removed from the bill. Even the weak legislation proposed by the previous Liberal government included some protection for the environment. The new minister has taken away that protection. I worry that the consultative process he talks about with industry has already taken place and the minister has already succumbed to the wishes and directives of those who support the Conservative party and the Social Credit party.

In the whole area of environment, we need more protection, not less. In my constituency there is little chance of a tragedy occurring in a populated area. However, there are miles and miles of track passing through some beautiful environment, trees and lakes. People rely on the forest and fishing industries for their economic well-being. I wonder if this act and the regulations that will flow from it will give these people protection, as well as protecting the environment. I must admit that I do not feel we will have this protection under this act. We need legislation and regulations that will protect this country. We cannot afford to have something happen to us because at this time the minister does not want to introduce legislation to protect the environment. Instead, he is removing those clauses which would protect it.

Like an earlier speaker, I am wondering where the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Fraser) is this evening. His absence from this debate is very interesting. Obviously he should be here speaking about protecting the environment. Not only is he not here for this bill, he was not here to protect the Arctic when permission was given to allow the Arctic mine to go ahead without further study. He was not notified when a decision was made to allow Dome Petroleum to extend drilling in the north after the end of the regular season. That was not allowed last year, but is being allowed this year under the new

November 27, 1979

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Mr. Epp).

Where is the Minister of the Environment when it comes time to protect the environment of this country?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Running the Post Office.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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November 27, 1979