July 13, 1964 (26th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)


Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I think I will have to do what I think I have never failed to do when I have been a minister, and that is take responsibility for the answer I gave the other day and not attempt to identify anyone who may have advised me to give that answer. I think that the first thing of which we have to be sure is that there is going to be some form of transportation at the airport, whenever aircraft arrive, for those people who are not residents of Toronto but are coming to Toronto from some other place. They are entitled, as well as those living in Toronto who do not have their own motorcars, to be sure of some form of transportation at the airport.
I confess that I am an old fashioned Liberal and I do not like monopolies. If there were some way of avoiding a monopoly situation, I would be very happy to do it. I have listened to representations both in the house and out of the house. I even had a delegation come to
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Proceedings on Adjournment Motion me including two of my colleagues in the cabinet. This suggests to me that these people who are able to get elected in Toronto, and they happen to be mostly supporters of the government, I am happy to say, probably have a fair idea what the people of Toronto are thinking. I asked the head of the company to come to see me this week. I am going to go over some of these difficulties with him. I am very much impressed, particularly by the statement by the hon. member for York-Scar-borough (Mr. Moreau) that there are as many people in the northeastern part of Toronto as there are in the city of Hamilton. It seems to me that they ought to be entitled to service, not superior to that given Hamilton, but equal to it. If there is any way of assuring that the service will be satisfactory to all parts of the area and that it will not be unduly costly, I shall be glad to do everything I can.
I can take no responsibility whatever, and I do a Pontius Pilate act in this matter, for the way in which this contract was renewed in 1960. This was someone else's responsibility, and he can take it. The contract was made and, as has been the custom of governments thus far in this country, it has been honoured even though made by a predecessor and even though we may not entirely agree with it. I hope we will not soon change that custom in this country. It is obvious that since hon. members on both sides of the house who are elected by the people make these suggestions, there must be some ground for some feeling that the service is not satisfactory. I am going to try my best to find out what the difficulty is and to help see it is removed.

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