Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):
Well, it is a year, anyway. We are having the greatest possible pressure, as hon. members know, from the province of Alberta, where the situation is becoming almost intolerable. Gas is locked up in the ground; gas is being flared at the refineries, and it is a wasteful and unproductive situation.
We are being pressed by Manitoba, and I may say that Manitoba stands to benefit industrially from low-cost gas to a considerable extent. I come from nothern Ontario. Today northern Ontario is the highest cost fuel area in the world. Through this gas line they will be in the position of having a fuel cost lower than that of industrial Ontario. Well, I know something of the preparations that have been going on there to receive gas. Every community in northern Ontario has made arrangements for the distribution of gas. Industries there are dependent on a supply of natural gas to permit plant expansion. If any area of Canada requires a start on a gas pipe line this year it is northern Ontario.
28, 1956 4405
Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation
Hon. members have seen something of the pressure from industrial Ontario for natural gas as expressed by the government of the province of Ontario. No later than last Saturday night the provincial treasurer of Ontario spoke in the Niagara peninsula, and again asserted the absolute necessity of another type of fuel for industrial Ontario. Well, with these pressures reinforcing my own belief that this is a natural resource project that should be pressed to a conclusion as rapidly as possible, I have perhaps given some leadership in the attempt to get this bill enacted by parliament in the 19 sitting days that were left available when the bill was introduced.
I have asserted that if arrangements made last August for pipe are not carried to their conclusion we might not be able to get 34-inch pipe until the last quarter of 1957 or the first quarter of 1958. I have been told by the Leader of the Opposition that this is absolute nonsense. He said that pipe was tight last October, but that today it is easy.