October 13, 1983

?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN TRANSPORTATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Albert Glen Cooper

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cooper:

I found it extremely informative and it is one that I will be quite happy to circulate in my riding.

This whole business of trucking and the transportation of grain, as 1 have expressed earlier in speaking to Motion No. 34, is extremely important to the Peace country. As I have said so many times in the House, it is extremely important because we have a really serious problem with a lack of railway facilities. When you lack rail facilities, you do not have any alternative but to use trucks.

Motion No. 34 caused me a great deal of concern. I was surprised the NDP brought in such an amendment because I know its Members have spoken time and time again about representing the producers who are represented by those people in the Peace country. They could not accomplish that with Motion No. 34.

In Motion No. 35 we are into a little different situation. In that motion it is stated grain can be shipped from points which have not been abandoned on existing rail lines. That is why in my riding that does not affect me. I do not have rail lines that have been abandoned. It is difficult to abandon something that has never been put there in the first place. I see some Government Members on the other side. I want to bring that to their attention. I would very much like a rail line in this part of the country. Failing that, we want the opportunity to use trucks. I think it is important at this point in the debate to bring into focus how serious and how important trucking has been to the Canadian people and the various Canadian industries over the last few years.

In the mid-1940s, shortly after the Second World War, things were beginning to happen in the Peace country in the North. In that particular region of the country there was really

Adjournment Debate

only one form of transportation. Of course, it was trucking. We in the North have grown up with a real sense of gratitude for truckers and a real sense of their significance and importance. Had it not been for the truckers, the entire North, right up into the Territories, areas like Yellowknife and Hay River, would simply have not been opened up and developed. The same thing applies when we talk about grain in my area, areas that are still new land, land that has to be brought onstream, brought into production, and land that will create employment and employment opportunities for the people in my region. That will filter throughout Canada. You cannot accomplish that with railways when they do not exist. Your only alternative is to look at trucks.

I can see that the time is running out very quickly. I want to say very clearly that any motion that deals with trucking and transportation of grain is an absolute must. We must allow that to happen because it has to be allowed to exist in order to protect regions such as the one I represent in the Peace country.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN TRANSPORTATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 45 deemed to have been moved.


SHIPPING-MONITORING OF UNCTAD AGREEMENT-EFFECT ON CANADA. (B) REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF STUDIES

PC

J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Opposition Whip; Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Forrestall (Dartmouth-Halifax East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss further a concern with respect to the ratification or the putting in place about a week ago of new UNCTAD arrangements respecting liner conferences. I originally expressed my concern, in a question to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Axworthy), about the apparent absence of monitoring or any ongoing analysis which might give direction to the Canadian maritime industry; indeed, not only them but the users of vessels for import and export.

I was concerned because at the time, as reported in Hansard for October 3, the Minister indicated:

I recognize his concern and would certainly undertake again to ensure that a proper monitoring and analysis are done. We would try to prepare such an assessment for him.

That was the first time I had heard that any monitoring would in fact take place, but we do not know the form of that monitoring. We are not clear as to what kind of analysis will be prepared. In any event, the Minister should not do it for me, he should do it for the industry that is so vitally and deeply involved. It is of some major consequence because it involves 40 per cent of our exports, 40 per cent of our imports and a massive amount of trading. I think we are up around $5 billion in waterborne transport trade annually. That is an enormous

October 13, 1983

Adjournment Debate

amount of money for the movement of goods both in and out of the country.

Perhaps I could express my concern a little more directly. Now that the Government has in fact indicated that it is considering certain measures with respect to the new agreement, will the Parliamentary Secretary undertake to make these measures or proposals known to the marine industry or those who use that industry before they are implemented, so that the community of interest can make an input from its point of view? Then the Government, trade people, external people and transport people will understand exactly what they need to learn from the experience under this form of control in the liner conferences. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he will give some undertaking to review what is under consideration before it is in fact put in place. There is an obvious advantage to this both from the point of view of the industry and the point of view of the Government. I am sure it would be facilitated by the extension of such a courtesy.

More generally we are concerned about the absence of a policy. We have known we were approaching 57, 58 or 60 signatories that would represent the required percentage of volume by movement exported and imported. We have known this for some time. We knew that the latest round of UNCTAD talks would likely produce an agreement, but we still had no policy in place. This is what we are concerned about.

This can be demonstrated by the fact that shipping lines- some Canadian-owned offshore registered, some offshore-owned but shipping in and out of Canada on a quasi-regular basis-have already approached Canadian embassies in South America and elsewhere in the developing world seeking that policy and certification which might in fact lend them the opportunity to claim they are in fact designated Canadian carriers. We have a vital concern about that, but the policy should be clearly stated. It should reflect industry's concern and be clearly stated. It should be an understandable policy and one that clearly enables our embassies to give proper direction so that confusion will not flow to carriers who seek to act as designated Canadian carriers.

The Parliamentary Secretary's advice to us on this matter tonight will be appreciated. I know it will be concise and I know it will be informative. He certainly is aware of the difficulties being faced by waterborne carriers now that in fact the new code of ethics is a matter of practice.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SHIPPING-MONITORING OF UNCTAD AGREEMENT-EFFECT ON CANADA. (B) REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF STUDIES
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LIB

Jesse Philip Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Jesse P. Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, as someone who chaired a special parliamentary task force on how Canada can improve its trade with other countries, and as someone who has a Private Member's Bill in the House dealing with a Canadian merchant marine, I would like to compliment the Hon. Member on being such a champion of the marine industry. I know of the interventions he has made with the previous Minister, and now with the new Minister, on the establishment of a Canadian

merchant marine, on all related issues and on the issue of UNCTAD that he raises tonight.

At the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Code of Conduct for Liner Conferences, Canada abstained in the vote for three reasons which I would like to give to the Hon. Member. First, Canada feared that the implementation of the cargo-sharing provisions, of the code which were 40-40-20, and the rights afforded national lines might lead to higher freight rates. Second, it was felt that some uncertainties existed in the text in regard to the nomination of national lines, their right to membership in conferences and the dispute settlement procedure. Third, it was feared that the implementation of the code might result in a marked change in the competition in international shipping on which Canada has relied and benefited.

Because these concerns remain, it has appeared preferable for Canada not to accede to the code but to keep the question under continuing review in the light of developments in Canadian shipping policy, international shipping policy generally and in the implementation of the code in particular.

In May, 1982, the Government of Canada organized a seminar on the code where various interested parties such as representatives of shippers, ship owners, labour and Government expressed their views on the implications of the code as well as on the options open to Canada. Both Canadian shippers and ship owners firmly opposed Canada's ratification of the code. I know that many of these shippers and ship owners are well known to the Hon. Member for Dartmouth-Halifax East (Mr. Forrestall).

It is believed that the effects of the code on Canadian shipping interests will be limited as the code will apply only between two contracting countries. The majority of the Canadian trade is with other OECD or developed countries and only two of these countries have adopted the convention to date. These countries, Germany and the Netherlands, have entered a reservation stating that the provisions of the code will not be applied to intra-EEC trades and intra-OECD trades on a reciprocal basis. It is understood that some other OECD countries will likely adopt the code and that all EEC countries have agreed to enter the same reservation.

Although our liner trade with developing countries is small, there is concern nonetheless with the practices of some developing countries which have unilaterally applied the cargosharing provisions of the code and, in some cases, gone beyond the code. Canada is considering what actions might be taken on a bilateral basis to protect Canadian interests in such situations.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the Government will be pleased to keep the Hon. Member informed of any change in the Government's approach as it continues to monitor this question.

October 13, 1983

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SHIPPING-MONITORING OF UNCTAD AGREEMENT-EFFECT ON CANADA. (B) REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF STUDIES
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NATIONAL DEFENCE-FATAL ACCIDENT AT LAC LA BICHE- ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF INQUIRY. (B) AGE OF EQUIPMENT

PC

Thomas Gordon Towers

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Towers (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise to speak at this time but I must deal with that tragic accident that occurred at Lac La Biche, Alberta, on September 30, in which three young lives were snuffed out.

I appreciate having received the letters General Theriault sent to members of the families and I should like to put them on record. The first one is to Mr. and Mrs. Ian McKinnon, R.R. 2, Lousana, Alberta. He wrote:

1. Please accept my most sincere condolences, and those of the Canadian Forces, following the death of your son, Richard Hebert Norton, in a vehicle accident at Lac La Biche, Alberta

2. 1 very much regret that such peacetime military service accidents do occur from time to time. Canada and the Canadian Forces are indebted to your son for his service to his country. Signed G.C.E. Theriault, General

The same letter went out to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Duguay at 203-4811, 67th Street in Red Deer. The third young man was from Airdrie just outside my constituency. His name was McDonald.

One of the concerns 1 expressed in the question I put to the Minister that day was that no one would be made a scapegoat as a result of the malfunctioning of any equipment that they used. We all know that the trucks that those members of the force used were anywhere from 30 to 40 years old. It is very easy to understand how a vehicle of that vintage could malfunction. I was as concerned with the Minister's answer to my question, reported at p. 27665 of Hansard, when he said:

I would indicate to the hon. gentleman that indeed there is going to be a board of inquiry. I will seriously consider, having received the report, what portion of that report can be made public.

We are not at war, Mr. Speaker. Surely the parents of those young men are entitled to know exactly what happened. If the Government failed to provide the proper equipment for members of the force we should know about it. Neither the Minister nor anyone in Cabinet nor Government should hide behind someone in the forces and use them as a scapegoat. If there was a malfunction of equipment, then it is easy to understand how the accident happened. I would hope that members of the force would give a little more credence to the human aspects when something like this happens.

I was contacted by neighbours of the families involved who were very upset and angry at the lack of consideration shown by the Department toward the families. The accident happened at noon on a Friday. There is a very fine gentleman who is padre at the Canadian Forces Base, Penhold. I know that if the Department of National Defence had contacted him he would have driven over to see both families and to notify them of what took place. Instead, a call went through from the Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary and a minister in Three Hills, which is quite far from where the family lived, went to see them. He did not know the family or any of the details of the accident. It is too bad that things happened this way. I

Adjournment Debate

think that in time of peace greater consideration could be given to people caught up in this sad situation.

The padre from Penhold is a friend of mine and I know he would have gone to see the family and help explain things to them. There were only two boys in the McKinnon family and now the oldest one is gone. The neighbours speak very highly of the family and certainly the family is suffering. More consideration should have been shown. I understand they were told a car would pick them up to take them to the funeral which was supposed to be at two o'clock on a Wednesday. They waited until a quarter after one. There was still no car. The car had broken down, but they had not been notified of this. To me, this is totally unacceptable. As I said earlier, the minister from Three Hills was the one who told them on the Friday night that their boy had been killed and that they should call the funeral home on Saturday morning. They could then find out exactly what the details were. They phoned the funeral home and found it had not been contacted at all. It was not until Sunday night that they actually knew what was going on.

Certainly I feel that the Department was really lacking insofar as its treatment of this family is concerned. I believe we can do better. I know that you and I agree on that, Mr. Speaker. It is the responsibility of all of us because when anyone joins the force, that person becomes a part of us and we are a part of that person. I would hope that the members of the force would take this into consideration and not be so impersonal when it comes to deaths in a family, especially tragic deaths such as these.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE-FATAL ACCIDENT AT LAC LA BICHE- ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF INQUIRY. (B) AGE OF EQUIPMENT
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LIB

Jesse Philip Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Jesse P. Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hudecki) and on behalf of the Minister himself, I am pleased that the Hon. Member for Red Deer (Mr. Towers) has given me an opportunity to discuss matters relating to the tragic accident at Lac La Biche. I would like to join him, the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister in offering condolences, not only to the families mentioned by the Hon. Member in the House today, but to the extended families and friends of those who died as a result of this tragic accident.

I was in this Chamber when the Hon. Member directed his question and his supplementary on October 3, 1983 to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Blais). I want to strongly object to the inference made in his supplementary question considering the road worthiness of this type of vehicle. Although the fleet is aging, all the vehicles are maintained to a set standard and in accordance with stringently laid down CF vehicle maintenance policy. If the vehicle cannot meet those standards, it is not used.

It is much too early to make judgments on the cause of this accident. I can only repeat what the Minister stated in the House in response to the Hon. Member's question, that it is a given that the board of inquiry is competent and that an

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October 13, 1983

Adjournment Debate

objective analysis of the facts surrounding the accident will be made.

The inspection policy specifies that the driver will check the following before the vehicle is taken on the road each day: tires for wear, inflation, pressure and security, all lights and turn signals, windshield wipers, horn, handbrake, fluid levels, all engine belts for wear and tightness, and must ensure that the fire extinguisher functions. Any defects noted must be corrected either by the driver or vehicle technicians before the vehicle is taken on the road. Technical inspections are carried out by unit technicians every six months or 10,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. These inspections are detailed checks of the complete vehicle and associated systems. All detected deficiencies are corrected after these inspections and the vehicles are grounded or taken out of service until these deficiencies are corrected.

In effect, semi-annual inspections serve as a preventive maintenance measure because partially worn components which are about to fail are replaced. In addition to the semi-annual inspections, independent teams are formed in brigade groups and bases across Canada and Europe to validate the standard of maintenance in units.

I see you are indicating that my time is up, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to conclude by saying that, knowing the Minister as well as I do, I know he will give credence to the human aspect of such a tragedy. 1 know that this humanity will be reflected in the Department of National Defence under his leadership.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE-FATAL ACCIDENT AT LAC LA BICHE- ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF INQUIRY. (B) AGE OF EQUIPMENT
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EMPLOYMENT-REQUEST FOR FORESTRY JOB-CREATION PROGRAM

NDP

James Douglas Manly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Manly (Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, on September 28 I asked the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Roberts) about the need for a job creation program in the forest industry which would begin to meet the needs of some of Canada's young people. I mentioned a continuing rate of 22 per cent among Canada's youth, to which the Minister objected, saying that in fact the unemployment rate for young people was under 20 per cent. In fact, Mr. Speaker, an OECD report released the day before had predicted that the 22 per cent unemployment rate would continue through 1984 and only drop by one percentage point in 1985. But whether the rate is 22 per cent, 20 per cent, 19 per cent or even 18 per cent or down to 10 per cent, the fact is that right now there is a tragic waste of our young people.

This was brought home to me earlier in September when I, along with my colleague in the British Columbia legislature, met with a group of about 60 young workers who were part of an EBAP program working out of Sooke. During the last several months they have been involved in thinning and pruning and soil rehabilitation. They knew the program was coming to an end at the end of the month and they asked us what hope there was of a continuation.

I made some investigations and found that all EBAP applications were finished as of September 30 and there was no specific forestry component in the new Canada Works Program. When I asked the Minister about this he finally admitted that the forestry program was indeed coming to an end. He said the Government was considering ways of supplementing it. He quite frankly pointed to the Government of British Columbia for its failure to support federal initiatives in forestry. Mr. Speaker, I would be the last person to defend the Social Credit Government in British Columbia with its abysmal record in forestry as in every field of human endeavour. Right now it is engaged in a repressive restraint program involving a cut of 25 per cent across the board in all Government staff. This will seriously hurt the forest industry in British Columbia. Of course, the Province has consistently dragged its feet in concluding a federal/provincial forestry agreement that would enable federal funds to flow into a decent forestry program. However, Mr. Speaker, my point is that provincial failure cannot be an excuse for the federal Government's refusal to act. Forestry is just too important, not only to British Columbia but to Canada as a whole. This is an area where the need of our young people for jobs is directly related to the need for a forestry regeneration program and job creation, not only now but ten, twenty, thirty, fourty or even one hundred years down the road. We should be putting some of our young people to work in this area.

I was very impressed with the submission made to the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada by the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters. I wish every Member in the House could read that submission. I would like to read just a few of the facts they have in their brief. In Canada more than

800.000 hectares are harvested annually in our country, but less than 25 per cent are planted or seeded. The Canadian Forestry Service estimates that 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the area harvested annually fails to regenerate or reverts to non-commercial weeds. In British Columbia more than one million hectares need reforestation and that Province is adding

20.000 to 50,000 hectares to the situation annually. Recent B.C. budget cuts will increase the problems, as I pointed out.

If we look at the Canadian Forestry Service we see that the number of person years available for research has declined by more than 50 per cent since 1968. This is indicative of the federal Government's neglect of that area. If we were going to properly meet the needs in British Columbia alone there would be a need for another 2,000 provincial foresters, 400 more specialists and 7,000 additional forest technologists.

The Canadian Forest Service is part of Environment Canada. The amount of $69.4 million was allocated to this branch. In the same Environment Ministry, $146 million has been budgeted for the Atmospheric Environment Service and $275 million for Parks Canada. It is a national disgrace that the federal Government spends twice as much money monitoring the weather and climate as it does of our forests.

October 13, 1983

The federal Government's own Department estimates that the benefits of improved management would create 100,000 new jobs, increase product sales by $22 billion, increase exports by $12 billion, and create additional tax revenues of $3 billion. Therefore, the Commission recommended that federal initiatives in forestry job creation programs be continued and expanded.

While we believe that forest management work, silvaculture and other activities should not be viewed as a source of low income employment, we do support any initiatives that result in improved management. 1 urge the Government not only to consider the question, but also to act now and bring in a long term program that will meet the needs of our young people and the needs of our forests.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT-REQUEST FOR FORESTRY JOB-CREATION PROGRAM
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LIB

Jesse Philip Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Jesse P. Flis (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, the Transport Committee was in the Province of British Columbia in August hearing various witnesses from the Government of British Columbia, the Mayors of British Columbia and representatives of the various industries, such as the forest industry. The one thing all of these witnesses told us was, "Get on with Bill C-155 because it means more jobs for British Columbia". This is why 1 fail to understand why the Hon. Member will stand up and say what he is saying tonight, yet daily oppose Bill C-155 which will create much needed jobs in the Province of British Columbia.

In putting on my other hat on behalf of the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Roberts), I would like to provide the Hon. Member for Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands (Mr. Manly) with a more detailed reply to the Hon. Member's questions raised in the House on September 28. The Hon. Member posed two questions. I will expand on the Minister's response to the question concerning the Government's initiative to help unemployed youth first, and then on the efforts being undertaken by the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission to help the unemployed forestry workers.

In the past few weeks, the Minister has announced several initiatives to help unemployed youth. The consolidated direct

Adjournment Debate

job creation program announced on September 12, 1983, has a major thrust directed toward providing opportunities for young people to learn, develop and practice the skills necessary to enter into and remain in the labour market. The Job Corps and Career Access Programs are geared to offer this kind of assistance to young people.

The Canada Works Program, and the Local Employment Assistance and Development Program, known as the LEAD Program, will also provide many young people with employment opportunities to gain valuable work experience. Including the recent Summer Initiatives, CEIC will spend approximately $474.1 million this fiscal year to provide 179,200 youth with work experience.

The Hon. Member also had a question concerning initiatives to help forestry workers, especially in British Columbia. As the Minister stated, the Employment Bridging Assistance Program, which was a joint federal-provincial initiative, was seriously jeopardized by the British Columbia Government's decision to withdraw funding. Although provincial funding ceased on June 30, 1983, the federal Government, through CEIC, made up the provincial shortfall and continued support for the forestry projects for another three months.

The EBAP was designed to provide term employment to unemployed forestry workers to maintain their skills and livelihood during the recession. Funding for the program was providing through provisions of Section 38 of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

I see that Your Honour is giving me the signal to close. I would just like to close on this note, by telling the Hon. Member that if he is really serious about creating jobs in British Columbia then he should get up on his feet and be counted in support of Bill C-155.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT-REQUEST FOR FORESTRY JOB-CREATION PROGRAM
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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 motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted.

Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at eleven o'clock.

At 6.30 p.m., the House adjourned, without question put, pursuant to Standing Order.

Friday, October 14, 1983.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT-REQUEST FOR FORESTRY JOB-CREATION PROGRAM
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October 13, 1983