Hon. Jean-Eudes Dube (Minister of Public Works):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement regarding expropriation proceedings to acquire a site for a new Toronto airport at Pickering, Ontario. Hon. members will recall that public hearings of objections were held during December in Toronto, as provided for in the Expropriation Act, and the hearing officer's report was tabled in the House on January 18. The government has given careful and detailed consideration to the objections documented in the report, and in particular the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marchand) has reviewed the technical aspects. These issues, as well as the vitally important social implications, have been extensively reviewed by cabinet.
My colleague the Minister of Transport is today tabling two documents most pertinent to this issue: first, a technical response to the objections made at the public hearing, which was prepared by the Ministry of Transport; second, a statement by the Minister of Transport regarding the need for a new Toronto airport. This in turn clearly establishes the need for the land being expropriated.
The government is convinced of the need for a new Toronto airport and I am of the opinion the Pickering site is required for this purpose. Accordingly, I have signed the notices of confirmation of expropriation and requested the Attorney General of Canada to take the necessary steps immediately to effect registration of the notices in the local land registry and title offices.
These Notices include the majority of lands described in the notices of intention. However, certain portions of the lands described in the notices of intention are not being confirmed. The lands that are not therefore being expropriated are generally located on the original boundary and I am advised by the Minister of Transport it is not essential they be acquired for the airport. This advice is based upon investigations completed since the first announcement in March 1972. I might add that the owners of these lands will be offered the option of selling their land to the government.
In accordance with the procedures laid down in the Expropriation Act, written offers of compensation, accompanied by an appraisal report, will be made to every owner of an interest in the lands to which the
notices of confirmation apply. The more than 2,000 offers required will be made within the statutory ninety day period following the date of confirmation.
In addition to the market value of the property, which is to be calculated as of the date the notice of confirmation is registered and not the earlier notice of intention, an owner in occupation will also be paid for any costs or losses incidental to disturbance including moving to other premises. There is provision for compensating tenants and holders of security or mortgage interests, plus rules for other items and types of compensation. Of particular note is the right of an expropriated homeowner to claim additional compensation for the cost of relocating his residence in reasonably equivalent premises, if the compensation otherwise payable is not sufficient to permit this.
Many hon. members will also recall the strong support in the House of the provision in the new act whereby an owner may accept the government's offer of compensation and receive payment immediately, without prejudicing his right to claim additional compensation. An owner then has up to one year to negotiate settlement of such claims or to proceed in the Federal Court.
I should also point out that no resident will be required to move immediately. Obviously, the public examination of airport facilities announced last year and since reaffirmed, will help determine the timing and development of this airport.
In any event, it takes several years to develop an airport and thus many residents will not be required to move for a considerable period of time.
Clearly, it will be in the public interest to facilitate the continued residence of owners who wish to remain and this has also been the attitude of the Ontario government who are acquiring land in the adjoining area. Accordingly, such owners will be required to pay only the taxes and the usual costs of operation including maintenance and insurance, through to December 31, 1974.
In conclusion then, the decision to proceed has been made and I can assure the House that each owner will be dealt with compassionately and to the full extent of the new Expropriation Act.