February 2, 1993

PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Since fewer than 15 members rose, pursuant to Standing Order 26(2), the motion is carried.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Peter Andrew Stewart Milliken

Liberal

Mr. Milliken:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In my view, you improperly refused to hear me Sir, when this motion was put to the House. I want to say that we earlier agreed that this motion would not be put if we agreed to allow third reading stage to proceed today.

I want to make it clear that the agreement to proceed at third reading is also null and void. I trust that Your Honour in putting the question before the House bore in mind that it was null and void. I wanted to make that point perfectly clear before the question was put.

If Your Honour has any other thoughts on the matter I would appreciate hearing them. In my view that agreement is out the window because the deal was clear concerning the motion that the government put earlier to dispense with the unanimous consent required to proceed at third reading if report stage was completed today. I said we would agree to that on the understanding that the hours would not be extended today.

Government Orders

Now we have an extension of hours so I assume that deal has gone by the board. I ask Your Honour to confirm it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

After consultation, it is very clear, according to our rules of procedure, that the extension just granted by the House applies only to the consideration at report stage of Bill C-98.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Derek Blackburn (Brant):

Mr. Speaker, I have a few comments I wish to put on the record with respect to Bill C-98, commonly referred to in debate as the borrowing authority.

As the House knows, and as the people of Canada know, this country is currently in the worst recession that it has experienced since the early 1930s. Indeed, it is a depression.

If it were not for such things as social assistance, welfare, unemployment insurance and so on, the visible, tangible effects would be much clearer and much more graphically displayed day after day. However, because of our social safety net in this country, people are provided with emergency income and with unemployment insurance when they are laid off or when they lose their jobs.

We know what the causes were. The government likes to think that the causes of this recession were entirely offshore: the international money markets, world-wide inflation, the money supply, overexpansion, overexten-tion and so on.

The fundamental fact is clear and we have made this argument many times before. The present recession or depression began in this country and the reason it began in Canada was because the Conservative government insisted throughout the 1980s, and even into the early 1990s, on a policy of high interest rates that was designed to fight inflation and not to expand the economy in a meaningful way. At that very time when our economy was getting into trouble, they precipitated upon this country the free trade agreement with the United States and that was followed by the GST.

There was a series of deliberate attempts by this government that made the recession even worse. In retrospect we realize that all of them were detrimental

Government Orders

to the Canadian economy. In large measure, but not entirely, these things made the recession even worse.

I want to stand here today and say something I have never said before. I am speaking primarily as a member of Parliament from the province of Ontario. In almost all the speeches I have made in this House over a course of nearly 22 years I have tried to address issues from a national perspective. Today I am going to become a little more specific and a little more insular. I am going to speak on behalf of my own province of Ontario. It is the industrial heartland of our country and it has been devastated primarily by the free trade agreement.

We have lost 275,000 jobs nation-wide as a result of that free trade agreement and most of those job losses have been in the province of Ontario.

This has resulted in plant closures and massive layoffs. As a result of the plant closures, the bankruptcies and the massive layoffs, the revenues to the province of Ontario have been severely restricted and there has been a very real decline.

The province of Ontario was always considered the richest province in Canada. It always led Canada out of recessions in the past but that is no longer happening in the province of Ontario. Our economy is sluggish. It is going through a period of adjustment, change and overhaul and it is going through this period at a time when the federal government, whose policies largely caused this recession and this industrial devastation in the heartland of Canada, has decided to cut back on its transfer of payments to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. If that is not bitter irony I do not know what is.

Take, for example, such areas as post-secondary education, hospitals and medical care services and the Canada Assistance Plan-which of course relates directly to welfare and social assistance-the federal government currently owes the treasurer of Ontario over $5 billion. A lot of people in the province of Ontario do not appreciate the fact that the reason the province of Ontario has had to borrow money in order to maintain social assistance is those two factors: a severe shortfall in government revenue at Queen's Park, plus a cutback of the transfer payments from the federal government to the province of Ontario based on a formula that was in effect as late as 1989 and 1990.

The NDP came into power in the late autumn of 1990 to be faced not only with a recession that was growing by the minute, but with a treasury whose revenues were declining rapidly and at a time when the previous Liberal government under David Peterson had spent its way almost into oblivion during Ontario's healthy years from 1985 to 1990.

David Peterson said during the election campaign that his government would leave a balance in the accounts at Queen's Park of somewhere in the neighbourhood of $300 million to half a billion dollars. When Bob Rae took over as premier he discovered that not only was the treasury bare, but there was a deficit of some $300 million to start off and face the recession.

The province of Ontario is in terrible financial shape. There is a bankrupt treasury at Queen's Park thanks to the provincial Liberals, a severe decline in revenues from the corporate sector and from the private income-tax sector in Ontario to the provincial treasury, as well as a decline in the rate of increase of transfer payments from the federal government to the province of Ontario which now account for $5 billion. It is not Ontario's fault. Day after day the Minister of Finance loves to hurl barbs at his provincial counterpart at Queen's Park, blaming the Rae government for over-spending. All the Rae government has tried to do is maintain a lifeline to those who have been severely affected by the recession which it did not cause at a time when the federal government has cut back on transfer payments to the tune of $5 billion.

It is fine for the federal government to offload its debt on to the provinces. However, if the federal government is really serious about turning the economy around in this country, if it is really serious about getting people back to work and about modernizing the industrial base which used to exist in Ontario, the federal government will change its attitude toward transfer payments. It will do everything it possibly can to assist the province of Ontario to get itself turned around and out of this severe recession.

I am speaking now to members from Quebec, from Manitoba, from British Columbia and Alberta. If Ontario's industrial heartland does not get turned around, if it does not get productive again, if it does not get competitive again, neither will the national economy of this country. It was Ontario that led us out of recessions in

February 2, 1993

Private Members' Business

the past and if it cannot lead us out of a recession this time the whole country is in severe trouble.

Today in this very brief intervention I prevail upon the Government of Canada to enter into a new fiscal relationship with the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, the three so-called rich provinces, to loosen up the purse strings, to start spending some money to expand and modernize the economy, to get things turned around so that we have productive industries paying their fair share of corporate taxes. In this way we get the unemployed back to work so that they can begin to live meaningful lives again and begin to pay their taxes to enhance the revenues to the treasury of the province of Ontario. That is the way we are going to come out of this recession, not by tightening the belt over there and squeezing Ontario till the last pip pops.

We have to act and act fast or we are going to slide back into a recession that will make the 1991-92 one look pretty mild. If we slip now, if we do not move when we have the opportunity in Ontario, the industrial economy of this country will be severely restricted for the next several years.

I notice my time is up. I appreciate very much this opportunity to speak.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is the House ready for the question?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Question.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

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

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

All those opposed will please say nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Call in the members.

After the ringing of the bell:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Order, please. Pursuant to Standing Order 45(5)(a), the Chief Opposition Whip has asked me to postpone the vote.

Accordingly pursuant to Standing Order 45(5)(a), the division on the question now before the House stands deferred until tomorrow at eight o'clock p.m. at which time the bells to call in the members will be sounded for not more than 15 minutes.

It being 5.10 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 30(6), the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1992-93 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ENACT
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PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

INDOOR AIR QUALITY ACT

LIB

John Paul Manley

Liberal

Mr. John Manley (Ottawa South) moved

that Bill C-281, an act relating to indoor air quality, be read a second time and referred to a legislative committee in the Natural Resources sector.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I believe that most Canadians view environmental issues as concerning the outdoors-water, air, parks and perhaps the global issues that we are all now aware of such as climate change, et cetera. But I believe that the most serious environmental problems that now affect Canadians' health are problems related to the indoor environment.

Mr. Speaker, given our climate and the fact that it is not suitable outdoors today for humans or non-humans alike because it is so cold, it will not surprise you to realize that about 93 per cent of our time as Canadians is spent indoors. Increasingly problems related to the indoor environment are becoming more and more frequently related to the health of Canadians. Very often in recent times this has been the focus of the popular media.

February 2, 1993

Private Members' Business

I pulled out just a few recent articles that I have seen and there have been items in the electronic media as well. The Windsor Star, May 14, 1992, states: "More evidence has been gathered to show indoor air pollution is a bigger problem in Windsor than anybody, even those you would expect to know, realized. Local volunteers who carried air monitors around for a week last summer typically recorded higher readings for some cancer-causing toxins in their homes than they did outdoors, in the office or while commuting".

The Ottawa Citizen, September 2, 1992, states: "Canadians breathe a cocktail of hundreds of toxic chemicals in their homes, offices and cars, far more than they get from the worst urban pollution outdoors, a new study

says".

The Ottawa Citizen, September 10, 1992, states: "Place de Ville called sick building. Public servants blame fungus for allergic reactions and sickness".

The Globe and Mail, September 10, 1992, states: "Hospital workers ailments baffling". This story reports on the Camp Hill Medical Centre in Halifax, where about 100 of the hospital's 2,500 employees are off work each day suffering from headaches, nausea and severe breathing problems they believe were caused by the air they breathed and the chemicals they used at the institution over three years.

"How to prevent your office from making you sick" in the Financial Post. "Is your office poisoning you?", it states in The Globe and Mail.

"Spooked by asbestos", is close to home. It refers to the West Block which a number of us share as our office homes. I might add that in the study that was conducted under the auspices of the Speaker's office, the only office in the West Block that was actually found to contain a fragment of asbestos was Room 408 which happens to be mine. "An environmental sleeper is roused. Employees are waking up to the major economic, health and social problems of indoor air pollution". So on it goes. This is becoming a subject about which people are aware, are concerned and are beginning to seek answers and understanding.

There are a variety of impacts of this indoor air pollution. Many of us have heard of the concept of the sick building syndrome to which several of these articles

refer. Generally thought to be caused by exposure to airborne contaminants indoors, the results can be headaches, dizziness, nausea, burning eyes, fatigue and irritability. The nature of this problem is becoming more and more well known and well commented upon, as I have been saying.

It is not just comments in the popular press either. Increasingly agencies and research foundations, some sponsored by governments, have been reporting on the problems related to indoor contamination.

Dr. Stephen Barron prepared a study in 1990 for the research division of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation concerning environmental hypersensitivities. In his study he cites a number of other studies which have been done concerning these problems.

For example, the report of the ad hoc committee on environmental hypersensitivity disorders which was prepared for the government of Ontario in 1985 reported: "Our study raised our collective concern about the role of environmental factors as a cause of human illness. It seems clear that we are inexorably increasing the toxicity of our environment.

In our opinion there is good reason to believe that environmental hypersensitivity goes beyond what has already been verified and to suggest that there are a number of persons who are being adversely affected in various ways by exposure to one or more agents in our environment".

In December 1989 a study for the New Jersey state department of health entitled "Chemical sensitivity" concluded:

Chemical sensitivity does exist as a serious health and environmental problem and public and private sector action is warranted at both the state and federal levels. Chemical sensitivity is increasing and could become a large problem with significant economic consequences related to the disablement of productive members of society.

Acceptance of chemical sensitivity as a bona fide physical disease may also be facilitated by the recognition that it is wide-spread in nature and is not limited to what some observers would describe as malingering workers, hysterical housewives and workers experiencing mass psychogenic illness. We are struck by the fact that individuals in such demographically divergent groups as industrial workers, office workers, housewives and children report similar polysymptomatic complaints triggered by chemical exposure.

February 2, 1993

This was a study for the New Jersey state department of health.

In a report dated 1988 the Human Ecology Foundation of Canada described hypersensitivity disorder. This is very important because it addresses the claims that some critics have made that these problems are really imaginary or psychological in nature. I am quoting again from the Ecology Foundation report:

Individuals are all sensitive to their surroundings. An environmentally sensitive person is excessively reactive to external and internal factors and reacts much more intensely than others to the substances that she or he is sensitive to and often other factors such as chilling, fatigue and infections.

A person may develop a sensitivity at any time in his or her life. Sometimes the illness develops following a viral infection. There appears to be a genetic factor connected with environmental hypersensitivity. However, repeated and prolonged exposure to almost any toxic substance will result in hypersensitivity to that substance regardless of genetic inheritance.

What is important in that quotation is the fact that individuals who might not otherwise or previously have demonstrated sensitivity or allergic reactions can, as a result of prolonged exposure to low levels of various substances, develop sensitivity which may be debilitating to them or at least impair their ability to work in a work place.

In addition to this sensitivity reaction we also have the phenomenon of building-related disease. The best and perhaps most striking example of that is the development of what came to be known as Legionnaires' disease as a result of an incident that occurred in Pennsylvania in 1976. Members of the American Legion fell ill after attending a convention in Philadelphia.

The first one to be identified, Mr. Ray Brennan, was 61 years old. He came home from the convention feeling a bit tired. Three days later he had chest pains, fever and difficulty breathing. His sister said that he did not want to go to the hospital. That very night, on July 26, 1976, with his lungs filling with blood, Brennan died of an apparent heart attack. Three days later another Legionnaire, 60 years old, died in much the same way and so did three other Pennsylvania veterans. On Sunday, August 1, there were six more ranging from 39 to 82 years of age.

Private Members' Business

All of them had one thing in common: They had been to the convention in Philadelphia. They all came down with the same signs and symptoms of headaches, chest pains, high fevers and lung congestion. The result in all of the cases was death.

We now know something of what caused Legionnaires' disease. We know that it was spread not through contact with other sufferers but through inhalation of materials that were spread through the ventilation system of that hotel building and the results were disastrous.

We have this variety of effects of indoor air pollution, everything from the irritation caused by the sick building syndrome through to the drastic effects of Legionnaires' disease.

My Bill C-281 simply proposes that the Government of Canada recognize that the indoor environment is directly related to the health and well-being of Canadians; that the Minister of National Health and Welfare, as the minister primarily responsible for the health of Canadians, be empowered to take actions that will endeavour to ensure that Canadians in the 93 per cent of the time they spend indoors can do so in relative confidence that their health and well-being is protected.

I am suggesting that the minister be given the power to establish a national research centre. It would conduct research and studies into all aspects of indoor air contamination and would develop methods and technologies or processes for the detection, correction or prevention of indoor air contamination.

I am asking that the minister be enabled to formulate comprehensive plans and designs for the control and abatement of indoor air contamination; that he promote through public education and discussion an awareness of the hazards of indoor air contamination to human health; that he develop and disseminate information materials relating to indoor air contamination. I am also suggesting in the bill that he be enabled to carry on these activities in co-operation with and perhaps also giving financial assistance to the provinces.

We have debated this issue in this House before. I know that a government representative is going to get up and, I hope this time not sarcastically, point out that the government and various agencies are doing some of these things now.

February 2, 1993

Private Members' Business

Since 1990, when we last debated this issue in the House of Commons pursuant to a private member's motion that I put forward, in July 1991 the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation published the booklet: "What CMHC has been doing about indoor air quality". It is interesting timing that it came out after our last debate. CMHC has published numerous material relating to indoor air quality. In its consumers' series there are "Guide to Radon Control" and "How to Improve the Quality of Air in Your Home". In its builders' series there are "Guide to Residential Exhaust Systems" and the study "Indoor Air Quality Initiative at CMHC, 1980 to 1990".

All of this is good. I do not mean to criticize it by proposing that instead of simply leaving this as a builder's issue, instead of simply leaving some items being done by the National Research Council, the government should take a focus of public health and welfare on this issue. It should say that what we have here is first and foremost an issue of public health. Let us look at it from that point of view. Let us recognize that as a matter of public health. Canadians need the protection and assurance that a government-sponsored initiative can give them that is primarily focused on their health.

All of the rest is good. All that should be continued, not replaced as a result of this initiative. The research activities of NRC or CMHC can just as easily be carried on by reference to the Minister of National Health and Welfare as is the case at the moment.

I would like to acknowledge that there has been a great deal of work on the occupational side of this issue by the Public Service Alliance of Canada and for good reason.

I will not take the time to read the list of all of the buildings in which federal public servants work and about which serious complaints have been raised with respect to indoor air quality. To give an idea of how broadly spread this issue is, some of the buildings are: Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere, everyone in Ottawa-Carleton knows that it is famous; Megastructure in Quebec; Taxation Centre in Sudbury; Joseph Sheppard Building in Toronto; Pavillion Central in Lennoxville; Canadian Grain Commission Building in Winnipeg; Queen's Square in Dartmouth; 12171 Horseshoe Way in Richmond; the Superannuation Building in Shediac; "F" Division Headquarters in Regina; Harry Hays Building in Calgary; Ikxation Centre in Winnipeg; Canada Employment Centre in Kelowna; and buildings in Ottawa and Labrador among others. The problem is widespread and serious.

PSAC also made a lot of useful suggestions in a report "The PSAC Position Paper on Indoor Air Quality" dated 1991. Many of these should be acted upon by the government and could be under the umbrella of the kind of legislation I am proposing.

For example PSAC suggests the federal government must initiate legislative action together with the provincial and territorial governments to ensure effective and co-ordinated action on the growing problem of poor indoor air quality. It suggests a new indoor air authority must be created to initiate and co-ordinate research activity on a large scale. There are many other issues which PSAC raised.

Interestingly enough, the government's own study entitled "Public Service 2000" much criticized of course by PSAC, came to similar conclusions on this issue. Let me read from the PS 2000 report of the task force on work force adaptiveness:

Sick buildings mean sick employees. We recommend that the Bureau of Real Property Management and the Department of Public Works undertake as a matter of urgency a comprehensive reassessment of their standards for materials, air, heat and lighting in federal buildings, and that they take the healthiest and most effective private sector examples as the norm for new buildings and the model for retrofitting existing ones. In so doing they should take account of the fact that the ability to affect one's own space is an important element of employee empowerment. Task lighting, windows that open and a modicum of privacy are all important in organizations that value productivity.

I agree entirely with that. I know my time has virtually run out. I simply wish to stress that in dealing with the problem of indoor air environment a multi-disciplinary approach is required which takes in not only the concerns of the building sector, building owners and building managers, producers of things that are potential contaminants, carpets, paint, furniture and so on, but also under the auspices of the Minister of National Health and Welfare recognizes that the primary concern has to be the health and well-being of Canadians from coast to coast.

February 2, 1993

Mrs, Barbara Sparrow (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Health and Welfare): Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague the member for Ottawa South for his excellent presentation and very fine remarks. Indoor air quality is of prime importance to human health because of the large amount of time that all of us spend indoors.

Occupants of indoor environments may be exposed to a variety of pollutants originating from either human activities or the presence in the home of such items as combustion from heating and cooking, or vapours from consumer products, furnishings, building materials, as well as pollutants from the outdoor air.

There are a number of national agencies in Canada besides the Department of National Health and Welfare which have a role to play regarding the improvement in the quality of indoor air. These include: Department of Energy, Mines and Resources; CMHC; the division of building research under the National Research Council; Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs; Housing and Urban Development Association of Canada; Canadian General Standards Board; and the Department of Public Works.

Much of the research conducted on indoor air quality at the Department of National Health and Welfare is partially funded by the Panel on Energy Research and Development known as PERD.

The PERD program promotes information and technology transfers through various seminars and publications as well as some cost-sharing and co-operation within the departments, with industry, with the provinces, universities and other countries.

This panel is truly unique to the federal government. It is the only major program in which an interdepartmental committee recommends a package of work with the appropriate resource allocation for each of its member departments. It recommends this to a single minister, the minister of EMR, who in turn makes recommendations to the cabinet or to the Treasury Board on behalf of all departments.

The PERD program is divided into seven tasks: energy efficiency; coal; fusion; renewable energy and generic environment; alternate transportation fuels; oil, gas and

Private Members' Business

electricity; and co-ordination and international co-operation.

Each of those tasks is further divided into programs. Each program is co-ordinated by the parent program committee. The Department of National Health and Welfare is directly involved in two programs, environmental and buildings and energy.

In 1987 the department published a report entitled "Significance of Fungi in Indoor Air, Report of a Working Group". This document prepared by the departmental working group on fungi in indoor air reviewed the emerging issue of moulds and fungi as indoor air pollutants and potential hazards to health. It included the participation and support of Agriculture Canada, naturally NRC which is extremely important, and Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada.

The Department of National Health and Welfare publishes exposure guidelines for residential indoor air quality. These current indoor air quality guidelines are restricted to residential buildings. The quality of air in many offices is the responsibility of the provincial governments.

Unfortunately most of the conspicuous problems we have today deal with the air quality in non-residential buildings such as offices, schools and public buildings. As a result a federal-provincial working group has drafted a technical guide to investigate these particular problems. The guide again advises methods for investigating and correcting indoor air problems.

Funds for the project are provided by the Department of National Health and Welfare and two reports are due out very shortly. There have also been five international conferences on indoor air quality and climate. These were held in 1978 in Copenhagen, in 1981 in Amherst, in 1984 in Stockholm and in 1987 in West Berlin.

The Fifth International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate was held in Toronto in the summer of 1990. The federal government was a major sponsor of the conference. The Department of National Health and Welfare also sponsored that meeting. There was one in Montreal in fall 1992 on the subjects of buildings and energy. The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources presented some very interesting and investigative papers on the exposure guidelines, specifically dealing with residences.

February 2, 1993

Private Members' Business

Other presentations on indoor air quality were made at the 92nd annual meeting of the Canadian Lung Association. The Department of National Health and Welfare does participate in many working groups specifically dealing with the air quality of the residences. We also deal with the CMHC, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That group has a specific committee that examines air quality inside houses.

To better co-ordinate the federal government's activities the government has an interdepartmental committee that co-ordinates and brings forth all recommendations dealing specifically with indoor air quality. The Department of National Health and Welfare chairs this committee because it believes that health is dependent upon the air that we breathe inside residences.

During public consultations on the federal government's green plan the Canadian public truly expressed concern about indoor air quality. We intend to meet the concerns that were expressed by the public through ongoing and future projects with close co-operation and close communication with all other governments and non-governmental organizations.

My colleague from Ottawa South has outlined some very good recommendations concerning the establishment of a national research centre examining air quality in all buildings. He is talking about occupational buildings and industrial buildings as well as residential. I congratulate him on these fine recommendations but I really must point out that the federal government has a co-ordinated committee that takes specific action with regard to residential air quality. At this time, with the co-operation that exists at the government level, some of his ideas may be a little redundant.

In closing, I must emphasize once again that there is no doubt that the air we breathe, whether at work or at home, is extremely important. It affects our everyday life in terms of the increase of productivity and learning at institutions. I cannot give agreement to his bill but I do thank the member for bringing it to our attention and for outlining not only his concerns but the concerns of all citizens right across Canada.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   INDOOR AIR QUALITY ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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February 2, 1993