February 25, 1966 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

am sure all hon. members will be pleased with the minister's announcement to the effect that there is to be a considerable increase in the export of ores and concentrates from Pine Point in the Northwest Territories.
This, as the minister has said, will help to increase Canada's foreign exchange and we shall benefit to some extent as a result. However, I think the minister recognizes-and I hope the government recognizes-that the exporting of raw material is not going to make this country rich in the long run. In the extraction industries the amount of employment per unit of invested capital is relatively low. No country ever became rich by exporting its natural resources in their raw state. Employment and wealth come in the long run from the secondary and tertiary stages of development and manufacture.
I am sure the minister is to be congratulated when he says the government is looking into the feasibility of a smelter at Pine Point. I am glad to know that studies are to be made to determine the economic feasibility of this project. However, I would urge that the government give some thought to who will direct and operate the smelter. It seems to me this is an excellent opportunity for the Canada Development Corporation to undertake this project or to undertake it in partnership with a company which has the technical know-how.

Here Canada has an excellent opportunity to develop resources which belong to the crown in such a way that the Canadian people will reap the benefit not only from extracting the raw materials but from processing them here in Canada. I think it would be a great pity if the entire process of extraction and processing were turned over to private companies, particularly if they were private companies located outside Canada. I hope the government will take advantage of this excellent opportunity to develop Canadian resources by Canadians for the benefit of Canadians.

Full View