May 20, 1982

NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Murphy:

On a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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LIB

Marcel Prud'homme

Liberal

Mr. Prud'homme:

How can we cope with that?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Murphy:

Point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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LIB

Marcel Prud'homme

Liberal

Mr. Prud'homme:

If we are wrong, we could amend our bill when we go to the committee. There is a point of order raised by my hon. colleague and friend, the hon. member for Churchill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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PC

Howard Edward Crosby

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosby:

Ten o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Murphy:

I realize, Mr. Speaker, that it may be a minor point, but I certainly did not attack the hon. member on where he is from and I did not attack his party from where it is from. The point is that there are people in this country who do not get to vote-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The hon. member is not raising a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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LIB

Marcel Prud'homme

Liberal

Mr. Prud'homme:

I still have two minutes, Mr. Speaker. It is two minutes before ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. It being ten o'clock p.m., it is my duty to inform the House that pursuant to Section 11 of Standing Order 58, proceedings on the motion have expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S.O. 58-RIGHT TO VOTE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 40 deemed to have been moved.


AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT

LIB

Robert Gourd

Liberal

Mr. Robert Gourd (Argenteuil-Papineau):

Madam Speaker, on April 21, 1980, I put a question in this House to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pepin). It has always been the same question, namely, when are we going to have a decision on the transfer of flights from Dorval to Mirabel? The minister answered that his goal was to transfer all air traffic, with the exception of short-haul domestic routes, and I believe this objective is still valid today. On December 2, 1980, Mr. Speaker, I again brought to the attention of the Minister of Transport the problems arising from Mirabel. Once more, the minister said that a decision was imminent. On February 18, 1981, I again asked the Minister of Transport about Mirabel and again, the minister said that studies had been made and that I would soon have a reply.

On March 23, Mr. Speaker, again in the House, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Bockstael) replied that studies had been prepared and that an announcement would be made shortly. On April 23, 1981, I again raised the subject of Mirabel in the House. On February 16, 1982, a delegation of 33 mayors from North Shore communities and some eighty councillors came here to ask the minister to give them some hope that a decision in the Mirabel case was forthcoming. In answer to a question I put to him in the House, the minister then replied that he was getting ready, in the minister's words, to table in cabinet in the days ahead, a

May 20, 1982

document that would help provide a solution to the Mirabel-Dorval problem. Furthermore, the minister promised before you, Mr. Speaker, to hand down a decision within the next three months.

Well, Mr. Speaker, on May 14, only a few days ago, I asked the Minister of Transport once again when we would be getting a decision. This evening, I see it as my duty to tell the House, as the representative of the people of Mirabel, the riding of Argenteuil-Papineau and the entire area north of Montreal, that mayors cannot make decisions and plan for their municipal operations because they are still waiting for a decision on what is going to happen to Mirabel. 1 am not asking the minister to tell me which flights he is going to transfer. J am asking for a decision on Mirabel. Mr. Speaker, It seems to me that I am not asking for the moon. All my North Shore colleagues have put pressure on the minister. All my North Shore colleagues have asked the minister for a reply, and this evening again I must address the Minister of Transport, through you, Mr. Speaker, and tell him: For heaven's sake, Mr. Minister, people have been waiting for a decision for ten years. After all, the government built the airport. It has been called a white elephant. It has been called all sorts of names, but Mr. Speaker, the people have a right to a decision on this issue, and it is this decision I am asking for, and I am asking for a decision as soon as possible.

[English\

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Glenn Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Douglas Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, 1 would like once again to extend my congratulations to the hon. member for his perseverence and his sensitivity on a very controversial and difficult subject. All of us know he is impatient for an answer. We have heard his comments in the past. We sympathize with him, and by no means are we trying now to make any further difficulty either for him or for the people he represents. Instead, all of us feel it is important to come to a decision, as he has asked.

It is equally important to come to the right decision, and that involves a long and often complicated process. It is a very difficult matter involving interests which go in all directions. Simple desire for speed does not always result in a satisfactory solution. 1 think we have to have adequate evidence that all parties have been heard and that all the cases have been aired.

I would like to say, just as a quick side note, that 1 believe the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pepin) is one minister who pays very close attention to all sides of a case. On the one hand, he is not afraid to come to grips with issues but, on the other hand, he does so in a way which allows all parties to express their feelings. Certainly the Mirabel case is one instance in which this is happening. The Crow rate case in the west is another.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
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PC

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

VIA Rail was another.

Adjournment Debate

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
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LIB

Douglas Glenn Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Fisher:

Whether it is with respect to transportation of dangerous goods, harbours policy, air policy-

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

VIA Rail.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
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LIB

Douglas Glenn Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Fisher:

-or a wide range of other policies, we have seen this minister come to grips with very difficult issues and do so in a sensitive and democratic fashion.

It is precisely that pattern of behaviour I want to remind the hon. member is going on here. I appreciate the hon. member's impatience. I think he is doing an outstanding job in raising this issue in such a persistent way. At the same time I hope he too will recognize the need the minister has to be sensitive and democratic in his decision-making process.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS-TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIRABEL-INQUIRY RESPECTING DATE OF MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENT
Permalink

SEARCH AND RESCUE-TAX EXEMPTION SOUGHT FOR WEST COAST HELICOPTER. (B) POSITION OF MINISTER

PC

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John A. Fraser (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, some time ago a volunteer society in British Columbia, which has been working to establish a competent and efficient coast mountain rescue operation, purchased, with funds raised by volunteers, an American helicopter which was fitted out for mountain rescue and capable not only of helping to find people lost in the coast mountains but also of transporting them out, whether they are injured or not. The cost of this helicopter was $200,000. When the society had the helicopter at the border, the government moved in. The excise branch of the federal Department of National Revenue initiated a charge of $16,000 on the helicopter being brought into Canada. Of course, the volunteer society protested and said, "Why is this tax being imposed on this aircraft when aircraft for public use do not have that tax imposed on them?" In its intransigence the government said that the law-or the regulations; it has never made it very clear-do not allow any room to manoeuvre.

As a consequence of public attention and that of Members of Parliament, myself included, being brought to the matter, and of having written to the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Rompkey) asking whether this was as a consequence of statute law, regulation or government directive, we received the answer from the Minister of National Revenue that it was the law. He did not provide very much definition as to where the law was found, but that was the law, and nothing could be done.

In answer to a question I asked the other day the minister said:

I recognize that it does a valuable job-

That is, the society.

-but I am afraid under the present circumstances we have gone as far as we can in responding to it.

The fact is that the minister has not responded to this. All the minister has done is to say that whatever the law is he cannot change it. He has not addressed the central question in this issue and that is, what is the opinion of the government? Should this be taxed or should it not? What public purpose is

May 20, 1982

Adjournment Debate

served by taxing this particular aircraft? I suggest there is none.

When the minister says there is nothing he can do about it I would remind him and anyone who is listening, that as minister if he wants to change the Excise Tax Act-if that is necessary-if he wants to change the regulations-if that is necessary-then he can do that. No one else can but he can. Any crocodile tears that he sheds are just that; they are not sincere.

I want to point out that the minister apparently does not even know, perhaps his officials have not advised him, that under Section 17 of the Financial Administration Act, a remission can be given for this tax. As almost everyone knows, that section provides that the governor in council-that means cabinet-on the recommendation of the Treasury Board and whenever it is considered to be in the public interest, may remit any tax, fee or penalty.

The section is a lengthy one and it has been used many times in this country. As I said recently, Mr. Speaker, this is the reason that Canadians are so fed up with a government that has a majority and that could do something for a volunteer organization but will not do anything. Either the minister will not do anything because he does not know the law or has not the courage to try to change it or he is getting bad advice from his officials. In any event, absolutely nothing is being done, and that is a shame. The one thing that people are entitled to expect from a minister who has the power, is that if it is in the public interest to do something, then he will do it.

I should like to know from the parliamentary secretary, who has to answer for the minister tonight, why the minister will not avail himself of the courses available to him, including use of the Financial Administration Act, to correct this ridiculous situation. Everyone in the province of British Columbia thinks it is completely ridiculous. They cannot understand why a minister who has the power to do something just says, "That is the law and I will not do anything". In effect, that is what is happening and I should like some answers.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SEARCH AND RESCUE-TAX EXEMPTION SOUGHT FOR WEST COAST HELICOPTER. (B) POSITION OF MINISTER
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May 20, 1982