Mr. G. L. Chatterton (Esquimalt-Saanich):
Mr. Speaker, we are naturally very pleased that the government has finally acceded to our request to bring this matter before the house. Yesterday I had telephone calls from contractors in various parts of the country asking why the opposition was holding up this bill. I would point out that the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) announced at the federal-provincial conference on December 10 or 11, I believe, that this was a proposal of the government, yet it was not until February 14 that the resolution appeared on the order paper. I therefore want to say categorically that not only do we not accept any blame for the delay, but we have urged the government to bring this matter forward; and as our house leader has said, we intend to co-operate by putting the bill through all its stages this day.
Although this is a relatively uncomplicated amendment it does give us an opportunity to deal with a question with regard to which we feel the government is very vulnerable. The minister responsible for housing is not here at the moment, but I hope he will take sufficient interest later to read what we have to say about this matter. Clearly, even on the admission of some hon. members on the other side of the house, the housing policy of this government is in a mess. I quote from the Montreal Gazette of February 17. This article bears the headline, "Hellyer Lashes Housing Policy As 'All Wrong' ", and is as follows:
[DOT] (4:20 p.m.)
When it comes to housing, the federal government is doing "all the wrong things," transport minister Paul Hellyer said yesterday.
Subtopic: NATIONAL HOUSING ACT