Thomas Henry GOODE

GOODE, Thomas Henry

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Burnaby--Richmond (British Columbia)
Birth Date
November 25, 1933
Deceased Date
May 28, 1994
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Henry_Goode
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5761ffe5-b223-406b-bc72-e685e63c7cc7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
builder, developer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Burnaby--Richmond (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 17)


June 27, 1972

Mr. Tom H. Goode (Burnaby-Richmond Delta) moved

that Bill C-12, to provide for the establishment of an environmental council of Canada, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works.

He said: Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that during the third session of this Parliament I introduced a bill very similar to the one we Eire discussing today. That bill was debated in the House on December 10,1971.

The bill which I bring before you this afternoon has been strengthened and clarified as the result of some of the constructive criticism encountered in the previous debate. The principle, nevertheless, remains the same, an independent environmentEil council of Canada must be established. In general, it must advise and recommend the means by which Canada can achieve the highest standards of environmental quality Eind the lowest levels of pollution. In particular, it must assess the medium-term and long-term prospects for the Canadian environment. It must consider all means of improving our environment. It must advise government what policies will best help to attain and maintain a pollution free environment. It must study the economic impact of environmental policies and devise means of diminishing any negative aspects of this impact. It must encourage consultation eind co-operation on environmental matters between Eill segments and sectors of our society. Furthermore, and perhaps most important, it must have the authority to make its findings and recommendations public and let the chips fall where they may.

Some persons, Mr. Speaker, will ask why I proceeded with this bill when the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Environmental Council of Canada

Davis) has Eilready announced establishment of the Canadian EnvironmentEil Advisory Council, which held its first meeting on 10 May. The answer to that is simple. The advisory council is ultimately responsible to the minister. The members of the advisory council are appointed by him. No matter how much the minister may protest that the body he has set up is independent, there will always remain a lingering doubt about its objectivity. What is more, there is no provision for the minister's advisory body to make their recommendations public. They report to him and him alone.

Speaking in the House on March 21, 1972, the Minister of the Environment stated that he personally did not see the need for an independent environmental council "whose advice is not necessEirily practical under the circumstances". I recall, Mr. Speaker, that somewhat the same charge was levelled about a year ago at the Economic Council of Canada. It was suggested then that the council's goals were unreasonable or idealistic because the economy had not measured up to them. The reply at that time by the retiring chairman of the Economic Council of Canada, Mr. Arthur J. R. Smith, was this:

The council has deliberately refused to accept the view that poor actual progress toward higher standards of economic performance should per se be accepted as a reason for lowering its sights on the objectives toward which we should, as a nation, seek to strive over the medium term future-

Likewise, Mr. Speaker, I submit that too much emphasis on the so-called practicalities of the antipollution struggle could result in a tendency to lower our standards' when we should be raising them. It could, in fact, be used as an excuse for inaction.

In the House last December, I expressed my strongly held view as follows:

There is always a place for independent evaluation of existing governmental policies and practices. An over-all view is necessary because of the natural tendency of those who have been involved in the creation and administration of policy to lose the ability to assess objectively the effectiveness of those policies. They tend to become blind to the need for new departures. The Economic Council has sought to satisfy such a need in the area of economic policy. An environmental council would do the same in the field of ecology. Being independent, the environmental council would be in a position to freely criticize government policy, should this be necessary, and bring new views concerning general or particular policies and programs to the attention of those who must bear the ultimate political responsibility for them.

As the bulletin of the Canadian Wildlife Federation pointed out last yeEir, Mr. Speaker, no matter what merit the minister's Canadian Environmental Advisory Council might have:

-it would be no substitute for an independent environmental council studying issues much broader than the responsibilities of any one department of government and reporting publicly on its findings and recommendations.

The movement for the establishment of a truly independent environmental council of Canada has widespread support. Amongst the supporters are the Science Council of Canada, the New Democratic Party, the Progessive Conservative party and the Liberal party of Canada.

In its report entitled "This Land is Their Land", the Science Council called for the establishment of an environmental council of Canada to:

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June 27, 1972

Environmental Council of Canada

-conduct and publish studies and forecasts of environmental problems in Canada, and make analytical reviews of environmental questions which are the subject of public interest. It should strive to become a major source of informed opinion on environmental problems.

The New Democratic Party spokesman on environmental matters, the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Harding), has many times stated his party's support for the setting up of an environmental council of Canada. I believe the most recent occasion was in this House on March 21, 1972, when he said:

The function of the council would be to report on environmental affairs and to give guidance to both the government and the general public on all environmental problems. It would be a nonpolitical organization, with adequate facilities to do a thorough job in the whole field of the environment. The establishment of such a council is long overdue and would be welcomed by Canadians generally.

The Progressive Conservative party, too, supports the proposals. An official background paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada on December 5-7, 1971, states that such a council is needed:

-to advise the Canadian government and Parliament and the Canadian public about particular environmental matters and to recommend on a continuing basis both specific short term and long term measures for pollution abatement.

In taking this stand, the Conservatives were following the lead of the 1970 policy conference of the Liberal party of Canada which overwhelmingly voted for a resolution urging the government to:

-establish an independent National Council of Environmental Quality, representative of a broad spectrum of interests, to analyse environmental problems and the government's response, to recommend environmental objectives for Canada and policies necessary to achieve them and to report annually on the state of our environment.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, we have a situation in which the measure which I am presenting today has the support of the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservative party, and the Liberal party of Canada. It is difficult to see how opposition to this measure could arise this afternoon. The people of Canada will be watching closely. It is not enough to refer to the achievements of Stockholm, although they were many and the Canadian delegation played an outstanding role. It is not enough to list the antipollution measures enacted by this government, even though we have done more in four years than has been done in the past 100 years. We cannot-we must not- allow ourselves the luxury of basking in the glow of past accomplishments. We must continue to advance in the battle for an unpolluted environment. Mr. Speaker, the passage of this bill can provide one important step in that advance.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL OF CANADA
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December 10, 1971

Mr. Tom H. Goode (Burnaby-Richmond-Delta) moved

that Bill C-49, respecting environmental control, be read the second time and referred to the Special Committee on Environmental Pollution.

He said: Mr. Speaker, in October we observed Canadian Environment Week for the first time. Scarcely more than one year ago it was just a dream of many active and aware citizens of Burnaby-Richmond-Delta who saw the potential of such a week and the impact which could be created by focusing the environmental concerns of the total population of this country within a specific timeframe. That dream became a reality on March 30 of this year when Bill C-25 received royal assent. The credit for the passage of Bill C-25 lies not with me but with all the members of this House and of the Senate.

Last March, Mr. Speaker, when we passed Bill C-25, we gave the lie to the detractors of this chamber who claim that we are always putting petty, partisan disagreements ahead of the needs of this country. I reject such charges, Mr. Speaker, for in the consideration of Bill C-25 the House of Commons put aside party labels, put aside personal differences in a spirit of co-operation which demonstrated clearly that the struggle against pollution is one of the priority concerns of members from every corner of this House. In that same spirit of co-operation, and as part of that same anti-pollution struggle, I ask the House to give favourable consideration to the bill before us this afternoon.

Bill C-49 seeks to establish an Environmental Control Council of Canada which would have the responsibility of recommending minimum anti-pollution standards and generally advising on the methods and means of improving Canada's environment. Hon. members will note that this bill closely resembles the Economic Council of

December 10, 1971

Environmental Affairs

Canada Act which was passed in 1963. This resemblance is intentional. I feel that there is need for an independent council to provide the kind of advice in environmental terms that the Economic Council does in economic terms. The environmental council, like the Economic Council, would be non-governmental in nature. The latest annual report of the Economic Council of Canada contains a section describing the origin of the council. Within it is the following statement:

-there was also a growing awareness that efforts to deal with these problems on an ad hoc basis, with attention focussed mainly on short-term considerations, could result in the continuation, recurrence or perhaps even intensification, of some of these problems in the future.

The problems referred to are, of course, economic but I suggest that a similar danger exists today with respect to environmental problems and that the same statement could express the basis for the establishment of an Environmental Control Council of Canada.

As a planning body, the Economic Council has set out an average growth-path for the Canadian economy which it regards as a feasible and desirable target at which to aim. It uses this target growth-path as a means of judging current economic performance. Similarly, the environmental control council would develop long-range plans to improve the quality of the environment. It would advise and recommend to the government minimum standards for air, water and land quality in order, in the words of the bill, "that Canada may enjoy a high and consistent rate of pollution free air, water and land." Among other things, the guidelines and projections of the environmental council would be valuable as benchmarks against which to measure our progress in the war against pollution.

The primary function of the Economic Council is in the field of research. The need for reliable knowledge and intensive study into the area of economics was felt by many persons, in particular senior economic policymakers and administrators. The council has more than adequately supplied this need. Likewise, research into the complex problems of environmental management and control would be a primary role of the environmental control council.

The urgent need for research to discover solutions to our pollution problems cannot be disputed. No restrictions would be placed upon the council's power to initiate whatever research projects it deemed necessary. The environmental council would study how technological change may affect Canada's environment as a whole. It would be in a position to initiate discussions with labour, management and consumers aimed at exploring in depth the consequences of and cures for industrial pollution.

The Economic Council of Canada has become an instrument of public information and instruction. Its annual review, which receives extensive coverage by the mass media, serves to broaden the understanding by Canadians of the greater economic issues facing our country. This is good because it must be recognized that economic policy cannot be far in advance of general public understanding. Thus, the positive role of instructor adopted by the Economic Council has played an important part in raising the level of understanding of those of us who are not economists.

In similar manner, Mr. Speaker, the environmental control council, providing accurate, unbiased and therefore credible information on the present and future state of our environment, could be of immense service. As in the realm of economics, before progressive environmental legislation can be enacted we as a people must be fully informed and aware of the situation in order that we may appreciate, accept and support necessary antipollution controls.

In my view there is always a place for independent evaluation of existing governmental policies and practices. An over-all view is necessary because of the natural tendency of those who have been involved in the creation and administration of policy to lose the ability to assess objectively the effectiveness of those policies. They tend to become blind to the need for new departures. The Economic Council has sought to satisfy such a need in the area of economic policy. An environmental council would do the same in the field of ecology. Being independent, the environmental council would be in a position to freely criticize government policy, should this be necessary, and bring new views concerning general or particular policies and programs to the attention of those who must bear the ultimate political responsibility for them.

Indeed, under the terms of this bill the council would be required to seek maximum consultation with both senior levels of government. Too often in the past, technical difficulties over governmental jurisdictions have hindered the implementation of environmental control legislation. It would be my hope that the council would help to replace this tunnel-vision with a bridge of co-operation.

The time has come, Mr. Speaker, to establish an environmental council in Canada. In fact, the time is overdue. Over a year has passed since I introduced this bill. During that time a number of individuals and organizations have called for the establishment of such a council. Among these have been the Conference on Ecology and Responsibility, the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Science Council of Canada. Unfortunately, the only positive step to date has been the announcement of the pending appointment of an environmental advisory council to brief the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Davis). As the bulletin of the Canadian Wildlife Federation points out, no matter what merits this private advisory council might possess, "it would be no substitute for an independent environmental council studying issues much broader than the responsibilities of any one department of government and reporting publicly on its findings and recommendations."

In recommending to the government the creation of an environmental council, the Science Council of Canada in its report "This land is their land" has this to say:

A major step in planning for the future would be the creation of a non-political organization sponsored by the government which would have, as its basic role, the provision to the public of facts about their environment upon which they may base adequate value judgments. The cost of sacrificing even immediate material welfare for a quality environment may not be high, but if it is, Canadians deserve to have the facts and a chance to make their choice-

An independent Crown corporation, with a directorate representative of environmental interests and a small professional staff, is suggested. A suitable name for such an organization might be an Environmental Council of Canada. It would conduct and pub-

December 10, 1971

lish studies and forecasts of environmental problems in Canada, and make analytical reviews of environmental questions which are the subject of public interest. It should strive to become a major source of informed opinion on environmental problems.

The council should be a valuable adviser to government. Ideally, it should stimulate particular ministries to an appreciation of the interrelationship between resource uses and the necessity for considering problems in a larger context; it should draw attention to gaps in the support for environmentally-oriented research; it should provide the inspiration and leverage for new kinds of activities in government departments.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that Bill C-49 fits the description given by the Science Council, that the need for an Environmental Control Council of Canada has been demonstrated and that the time to act is now. Bill C-49 is not perfect. Neither was Bill C-25, yet we were able to hammer out the problems in committee and come up with a bill which was a credit to the people of Canada. We have done it before, we can do it again. Let us send the bill to committee and get to work.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
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October 28, 1971

Mr. Goode moved

that the bill be read the third time and do pass.

October 28, 1971

Topic:   CENTRAL-DEL RIO OILS LIMITED
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October 28, 1971

Mr. Goode moved

that the bill be concurred in.

Topic:   CENTRAL-DEL RIO OILS LIMITED
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October 28, 1971

Mr. Tom H. Goode (Burnaby-Richmond-Delta):

Since the object expressed in the amendment has always been the intention of the company, the company accepts the new amendment and we should like to thank the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Skoberg) for his co-operation.

Topic:   CENTRAL-DEL RIO OILS LIMITED
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