February 27, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)


John Decore


Mr. Decore:

The powers requested in the
bill, the second reading of which I am now moving, are similar to the powers granted in other bills which have been passed in this house.
Under this bill incorporation is being sought for a gas pipe line company under the Pipe Lines Act, being chapter 20 of the 1949 statutes of Canada.
The bill of course follows the usual standard form of pipe line bills under this act. The purpose of the act is as follows: In view of the tremendous developments of the gas and oil industry in Alberta, certain principles were laid down by the act under which people who were desirous of having an interprovincial or international pipe line constructed would have to come.
As hon. members well know, under the Pipe Lines Act jurisdiction rests with the board of transport commissioners, and although the passing of this bill does not in any way establish a route which this proposed pipe line will follow, as that is within the jurisdiction of the board of transport commissioners, yet I have been authorized to say that the very purpose of this proposed company is to build a gas pipe line from Alberta to Montreal, following an all-Canadian route, and paralleling the main line of the Canadian Pacific railway and of the

Canadian National railway. It will be approximately 2,200 miles long with collecting lines and lateral lines of 900 miles. In view of the type of debates we had on pipe line bills not so very long ago concerning an all-Canadian route I venture to say that some people got certain ideas and that may be the reason why this bill is before this house today.
' The communities that are to be served are as follows: in Saskatchewan, cities and towns along or within reach of the Canadian Pacific railway main line, including Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Regina; in Manitoba, cities and towns along or within reach of the Canadian Pacific railway main line, including Brandon, Souris, Portage la Prairie, Winnipeg and St. Boniface; in Ontario, towns and industries from Kenora to Sudbury, including Fort William and Port Arthur, Steep Rock iron mines and paper mills at Red Rock, Terrace, and Marathon. From Sudbury the line will go south to Toronto, with spur lines west to London, Galt and Kitchener, and on to the depleted gas and oil fields of western Ontario where gas will be pumped into underground storage in summer months. From Toronto the line will go east following the Canadian National railway lakeshore line and serving Oshawa, Kingston, Port Colborne, Brockville, Prescott and Cornwall, with a spur line up to Smiths Falls, Ottawa and Hull. In Quebec, it is proposed to serve the communities along the Canadian National railway route from Coteau Junction to greater Montreal. Ultimately it is hoped, with the increased capacity of the line, to extend it along the north shore of the St Lawrence as far as Quebec city.
There is of course another federal act which exercises control, namely, the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act. However, it is my opinion that this act would have no application, because all consumers will be in Canada and no gas will be exported out of Canada.
The mere fact that this bill should go through does not mean that any gas will be taken out of Alberta without the consent of the provincial government. In 1948 the provincial government of Alberta passed an important act dealing with gas known as an act to provide for the preservation, conservation and effective utilization of the gas resources of Alberta. I am not going to go into the details of this act. I believe that after the bill receives second reading hon. members will have an opportunity to go into it further in the appropriate standing committee.
Alberta's stand, as hon. members are probably aware, is that no natural gas will be taken outside of that province unless the
Trans-Canada Pipe Lines requirements of Alberta have been assured first. Since I come from Alberta, may I say that in that province we are concerned with the development of the gas and oil industry in Alberta. The attitude that the provincial government takes in this matter may be stated in the recent report of the Alberta conservation board and certain recommendations which it makes. These recommendations were made only a few weeks ago. The stand of the premier of the province can be seen in the publication called "Within our Borders", dated February 15, 1951. Although this publication is not official, I think the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore) will agree with me that it is almost semiofficial. This is what the premier of the province says:
The government is satisfied that the board has made a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the matter of Alberta's gas reserves and the provincial requirements and concurs in its conclusions and recommendations.
The board finds that Alberta's present established gas reserves are approximately equal to the amount of gas the board estimates is necessary to ensure that the present and future requirements of the province and accordingly recommends that these reserves should be further increased before the export of gas is approved.
The government concurs fully in the board's further conclusion that as quickly as additional reserves are established it will be in the best interests of the people of Alberta to make surplus gas available for sale outside the province in that an export market will:
(a) Encourage and speed up the development of our petroleum and natural gas reserves.
(b) Encourage and make possible greater and more rapid industrial development within Alberta.
(c) Make gas available to Alberta communities which otherwise could not be served.
Then the premier's statement goes on in this way:
It is evident that by carrying out the recommendations of the board's interim report the requirements and interests of the people of Alberta will be fully protected while at the same time we should experience an accelerated exploration and drilling program for natural gas which should result in a surplus of gas for sale outside the province.
Then the premier goes on to say that to facilitate this development the government is amending its gas exploration and leasing regulations along the lines recommended by the board to encourage the more speedy development of our vast gas resources.
In any event this shows the stand taken by Alberta. I suppose we may expect that some other groups will seek incorporation. I hope there will be more people who will do so. We in Alberta would like to find ourselves in a position where there will be competing companies endeavouring to get our surplus gas reserves.
May I point out further that the main transmission line of this proposed company, from

Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Alberta to Toronto, will be a thirty-inch pipe, and from Toronto to Montreal a twenty-four-inch pipe. It is estimated that the cost of this line will be about $250 million. The passing of the bill has important national considerations. To begin with, it is an allCanadian route and, with the total volume of gas consumed in Canada, complete control will be ensured in this country. Secondly, it will make possible the replacement of foreign coal and oil for fuel purposes, thus saving many American dollars each year. Third, it will certainly be of great benefit to Canadian industries along the route.
Since Alberta is emerging as one of the world's great storehouses of gas, which is a valuable fuel and source of quick energy, the aim of this pipe line is to make the exportable surplus of the Alberta gas available to central and eastern Canada, in accordance with the recommendations made by the Dinning commission, and of course also in accordance with the policy of the people of Alberta, to dedicate the wealth of gas in that province first to the needs of the people of the province, secondly to the needs of Canada and, thirdly, for export purposes.
Many of the facts in connection with this proposed company, which I did not mention and some of which I do not even know, could be brought out after second reading, when the bill is referred to the appropriate standing committee.

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