March 21, 1968 (27th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Murdo William Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Martin (Timmins):

In 1934 to 1944 they saved one province. Perhaps we now have a chance of saving the country.
This is a problem which I would like to draw to the attention of the minister. If he can show me where the present designated area program or the one preceding it has established one industry in this area, I would like to know about it. I have attended meetings at which officials of the department have explained the program and the benefits to be derived from it. It looked very good and the people attending the meetings were very enthusiastic. However, when they looked a little deeper into it they realized it would not work. This program was completely ineffective in areas in which they hoped to develop industries. I think it would be far better if the government devoted its energy, its brains and its time to linking secondary industries to the resources of the north.
Two or three years ago all of us in Canada were very impressed and very pleased by the tremendous discoveries by the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company ten miles north of Timmins which brought in possibly the biggest ore deposit in the world of zinc, copper and silver. By the time this company is fully developed it will be the biggest silver mine in the world, it will certainly be the biggest zinc mine in the world, and if the copper content comes up to expectation it will be one of the biggest copper mines in the world. From the information which I could gather there is a sufficient supply there for the next 75 to 100 years. However, a year after the mine went into production, processing 10,000 tons a day all we saw were trainloads of zinc concentrate being taken south and trainloads of copper concentrate heading for Noranda.
Gold mines were closing down, and I will have some more to say on this when we reach the estimates of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. Gold mines are closing down again, as a result of the policy pursued by this government, and the future of this tremendous area is as uncertain now as it was ten years ago. As I said, if the energy, brains
and resources of this government were directed toward a sensible policy with regard to the smelting, processing and manufacturing of the ores that are right there, the jobs would be where the ore is. Surely with all the waste contained in the concentrates, it is far more sensible and economical to ship the finished product, particularly in view of the transportation problem in this country of large areas. Surely it would be much more economical to ship only the finished product than it is to ship the concentrates, with their 40 to 70 per cent waste which has to be transported and eventually thrown away after being processed at some future time, and in some other country.
I can recall being told many years ago about the big asbestos mine 15 or 20 miles from where I was born, in the constituency of the hon. member for Compton-Frontenac, one of the biggest asbestos mines in the world for the last 90 to 100 years. Even at its peak production Thetford mine at Black Lake employed only some 1,500 or 1,600 men. The processing and manufacture of that product provided 20,000 to 28,000 jobs.
This is what the government should look at and try to correct. This is what we should be doing if we want to build up this country. This is what we should be doing if we want to hold this country together and not make people so frustrated they will expend their energies in trying to break loose to go out on their own because they cannot get people to understand their problems, or what should be done about them. This is the message I should like to bring to the minister tonight. I feel this government should look at the problem in this light, to see if something cannot be done this year.
[DOT] (8:50 p.m.)

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