Robert SIMPSON

SIMPSON, Robert

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Churchill (Manitoba)
Birth Date
August 18, 1910
Deceased Date
January 1, 1997
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Simpson_(Manitoba_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=8008b1f1-3d67-41dd-88f0-abb93e3428ec&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
clerk, miner

Parliamentary Career

June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Churchill (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 164 of 166)


March 30, 1960

Mr. Simpson:

Mr. Chairman, in speaking to the resolution which is presently before the committee I should like to commence by saying that I am extremely pleased to learn of the extension of the period during which contributions or payments may be made to the provinces in connection with this trans-Canada highway. I am equally pleased to learn that the fund in relation to this project will be increased. At this time, I should like to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. member for Dauphin in which he suggested that funds should be made available for the construction of a second trans-Canada highway route. Other hon. members including the hon. member for Kootenay East have spoken about this second route, and I feel it is a very important question at this time.

I say it is very important in so far as the people in all parts of Canada are concerned. I am certain that plans of this nature would be heartily welcomed by all the citizens of Manitoba. As the members of the committee probably know, the Manitoba government has embarked on a fairly extensive program of highway construction and the improvement of provincial roads in general. Extensive plans have also been made, in conjunction with the federal government, under the roads to resources program. Many of these roads to resources in Manitoba are currently under construction, and others are planned.

Apart from the important effect of providing better road facilities for the people living in some of the northern parts of our province, a second trans-Canada highway would have a number of other important benefits. It would be a great boon, of course, as other members have mentioned, to the tourist trade. It is my opinion that we must have better roads, such as the trans-Canada routes, in order to attract tourists into the general area of the northern part of our province in which these tourist attractions are found. Many of these areas are today only accessible by chartered aircraft, although some scheduled flights are available to certain areas. I think it is very important to have these road links constructed under joint federal-provincial financial arrangements. These roads would bring the tourists into the

general area where they could then avail themselves of the roads to resources which are being constructed.

I might mention some of these roads which would lead to tourist attractions, and I am speaking now particularly of the northern part of the province of Manitoba. There are roads leading off No. 10 highway going north to Flin Flon. Some of these roads will open up territory which up until now has only been accessible to people who could fly into the area. We have a road under construction off No. 10 highway in northern Manitoba from Simonhouse to Wekusko. Then, there will be a roadway into the Snow lake mining area. Also planned as an extension of this Wekusko road is a road into the nickel mining area of Thompson, Manitoba. Once this road is constructed as far as Thompson it is not going to be too great a job to continue the road on up to the port of Churchill. Many people believe that a road to Churchill is just a little bit out of the question, but after being up there on many occasions, I can visualize that the seaport of Churchill could easily become one of the major tourist attractions of Canada.

I believe if we can extend plans in the near future for a second trans-Canada highway, regardless of which route of the many which have been suggested is followed, it will bring these tourists into the area on good roads. Then they can, in time, make use of the roads to resources which will be quite accessible. However, for some length of time they will not be as good as the roads that are classified as highways.

There are one or two other things, however, which are just as important in regard to these roads through the northern areas. Just as important as the tourist trade is the fact that once we get these roads into these areas, many of them probably running closely adjacent to railway lines, we believe it will solve another of our great problems, namely the problem of the indiscriminate freight rates which all people in the northern parts of the provinces have to face. I have seen on many occasions through personal experience that the moment a road goes into an area and there is trucking competition down come the freight rates. So that we hope these roads will be planned as quickly as possible to help solve this very great problem.

Apart from the question of freight rates, a lot of the people living in the more populated areas probably do not realize that where there is no competition from other modes of transport there are many other little services which we are not entitled to have. Many of the areas of northern Manitoba are at the present time continually battling to have such

things as free pick-up and delivery service of express and l.c.l. freight, and this all ties in with our railway problems. Although the authorities who have charge of these affairs will not admit it, it is quite evident that once there is this competition from trucking these services are provided, and, as I said before, the freight rates come down.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest briefly to the Minister of Public Works that, despite the fact that there are going to be many briefs presented with regard to just where this second trans-Canada highway should be routed, in Manitoba the route which seems the most feasible is one going northward on No. 10 highway up through the Dauphin area as far north as Flin Flon. I know there are many chambers of commerce, boards of trade and communities in general who are interested in suggesting that consideration should be given to taking a cut-off from No. 10 highway at or near Mafeking, probably going west through the towns of Westgate, Baden, Powell and through to Hudson bay, and then west from there to the Saskatchewan road link.

However, I would like to get back to this previous suggestion that a very good look be taken with regard to the possibility of continuing on No. 10 highway directly to Flin Flon, and then going southwest from there and linking up with the Saskatchewan road system. At the present time the Saskatchewan government are constructing a road going southwest out of Flin Flon under another roads to resources program from Creighton, Saskatchewan, which is adjacent to Flin Flon, going southwest and linking up with the Saskatchewan road system at a point near Smeaton, very close to the city of Prince Albert. I realize there will be many such routes suggested, but I would like to go on record at this time as heartily supporting the proposal that full consideration should be given to a route going north on No. 10 highway directly to Flin Flon, and then using the route which we hope will soon be available going southwest from Flin Flon into Saskatchewan.

I have very few further remarks to make on this resolution. However I would like to say, as has been said before, that we in northern Manitoba have found in talking to tourists that at the present time, with only one road going north, tourists stay for just a week or two and then have to return home along the same route over which they entered the country. I think it would be of tremendous help to them and certainly more attractive if they had the opportunity of coming in along one route and returning home along one or two alternative routes.

Trans-Canada Highway Act Favourable consideration to putting through the second trans-Canada highway as I have suggested would aid considerably in those problems before us. The tourist trade is one of our greatest revenues and we should do all we can to encourage it to the fullest extent.

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY ACT AMENDMENTS TO EXTEND PERIOD OF PAYMENTS AND INCREASE MAXIMUM EXPENDITURES
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June 5, 1959

Mr. Simpson:

Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a few words with regard to this item which relates to harbour improvements at The Pas, Manitoba. Before asking the minister a question I would like to say to him that the people of that area were very appreciative of the speed with which the officials of his department acted last summer when this work was intended to be done. At that time it was felt by the people of that area that a more desirable site could be found in the near vicinity to where these harbour improvements were going to take place, and just previous to the work being started they requested that a new site be investigated. I understand the new site has been selected, and the question I would like to ask the minister is if it is felt by his department that this $70,000 in the estimates for this work will be sufficient to complete this development as planned last year? I understand that the plans last year called for a slightly higher amount of money, and I am wondering if this $70,000 is felt to be enough to complete the harbour improvements at The Pas?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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April 9, 1959

Mr. Robert Simpson (Churchill):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to take up too much time of the house on this subject because no doubt there are many other hon. members who wish to participate in the discussion. I do believe, however, it is my duty to bring to the attention of the house some facts about the situation in regard to freight rates as they apply in the northern part of Manitoba. It is my belief that the people in that area suffer very greatly under some of the highest freight rates that exist in this country.

I wish to refer briefly to an article which appeared in the November 11, 1958, issue of The Rural Co-Operator published by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in Toronto.

In an article entitled, "Competition Myth Costs Money", the following appears:

What Canada has, in effect, is a giant railway monopoly half owned by the public (C.N.R.) and half owned by private business (C.P.R.). We pay for the duplication of overhead but receive none of the advantages of competition.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in many areas of Canada that would be a ridiculous statement, as you no doubt realize that many areas benefit to a marked degree from competitive rates. If people in those areas were to compare the rates of which they may take advantage with those that exist in the area I represent they would see the situation in its true light.

We have only one railway in northern Manitoba and at many points no highway parallels this railway. The rates are high on most goods and materials that come into the area and of course the working man is the one who pays the shot.

There is one aspect of this problem which is difficult to understand. In places like Lynn Lake and other points along the Hudson bay line where there are no highways, families who wish to go out on an annual holiday are required to ship their automobiles to the nearest highway by rail. There is a loading charge for putting the automobile in the box car, a high transportation cost for bringing it out to the highway and an unloading charge and on the return trip the same charges are applicable. Those charges although high are probably justified but one thing that should be examined is this. When two families are bringing out their cars there is no reduction in price and both pay the rates applicable to the shipment of a single vehicle.

There are many other examples that could be cited of situations of this kind existing in the area of northern Manitoba. Additional freight rates apply on goods going north of The Pas on the Hudson bay line. I suppose this is also a result of lack of competition, but these things should be inquired into.

I might refer also to the situation which I believe points up the necessity of a very full investigation into this matter. I would like to refer to the Arthur D. Little Incorporated report, which was an economic survey of northern Manitoba. In this report, which has just recently been released, transportation is mentioned. The report says:

Transportation is of considerable importance in pulp and paper operations, both for the supply of raw materials and for the delivery of finished products. For raw material supply, northern Manitoba offers facilities comparable with areas in which pulp and paper mills have been successfully established: for the delivery of finished

products, however, it suffers from a serious competitive freight rate disadvantage.

The report goes on to deal with transportation to markets and it says:

Freight Rates

Rates that have been quoted by the Canadian National Railways for newsprint from a point (Pit Siding) near the Kelsey power plant would have the effect of virtually excluding shipments to Canadian markets. Rates to United States destinations, however, are by no means unsatisfactory.

These remarks are made in relation to a survey which was made by Arthur D. Little Incorporated in respect to the possibilities of opening up a pulp and paper mill in this area where, I might say, an industry of this kind is very badly needed.

I should like to give a comparison of those rates further to bring out the point that a full investigation into this matter should be undertaken soon. The freight rates which were quoted to ship newsprint from this area were from Pit Siding to Saskatoon, a distance of 560 miles. The rate per ton quoted was $28.4. To Winnipeg, a distance of 724 miles, the comparative rate was $34 per ton. To Fort William, a distance of 1,157 miles, the rate per ton was $48.6.

I should like to give a further comparison to show why I think an investigation of our freight rate set up is very necessary. To ship the same newsprint from Pit Siding to Minneapolis, a distance of 1,141 miles, would cost $17.80 per ton; to ship it to Milwaukee, a distance of 1,456 miles, would cost $22 per ton; and to ship it to Chicago, a distance of 1,535 miles, the rate is $22 per ton. Apparently we are permitted to ship newsprint from Pit Siding to Chicago, a distance of 1,535 miles, for $22 a ton and yet to ship it within Canada to Fort William, 1,157 miles, almost 400 miles fewer than to Chicago, the rate is $48.6 a ton, more than double. I realize Mr. Speaker, that I am certainly by no means an authority on freight rates, especially rates of this nature. In fact, I have a very limited knowledge of them. No doubt in those comparisons of shipping within Canada and to the United States there is something which comes under our export regulations. However, I do think that since the northern areas are so badly in need of industry, these things should be investigated as quickly as possible.

I notice that the explanatory note of the bill we are discussing reads:

The purpose of this bill is to provide for the revision of certain class and commodity freight rates and to compensate the companies to the extent of $20 million.

I sincerely hope that some of this $20 million will be used to lessen the burden on the people of those outlying areas who are paying tremendous freight rates at the present time.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING REDUCTION OF CLASS AND COMMODITY RATES
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March 23, 1959

Mr. Simpson:

Mr. Speaker, when the house rose at six o'clock I was discussing the possible cost of the bringing of television by the C.B.C. into the northern part of Manitoba. In my brief closing remarks I would like to point out to the house, and bring to the attention not only of the members of this house but possibly of the board of broadcast governors, that this possible cost of $400,000 annually should not be regarded as exorbitant or too costly. I am informed by the C.B.C. that if anyone were to make application to operate a television station in Manitoba with the kinerecordings which would be supplied by the C.B.C. they would recommend that a licence be granted, and that kinerecordings alone would cost the C.B.C. in the neighbourhood of $150,000 a year. If two operators wanted that service-and we would need more than one station in that

Television

area-the cost would amount to $300,000; so we must not consider the sum of $400,000 as being in any way out of the question.

In the brief moments I have left I would like to thank some of the people in northern Manitoba who have been so very kind in giving their time and efforts to assist in bringing this matter to the attention of the C.B.C. I would like to thank Mr. Jim Leggett of Swan River and the various town councils and chambers of commerce; the Flin Flon Miner and the Flin Flon Daily Reminder; the Northern Mail of The Pas; the Swan River Star and Times. I would also like to thank radio station CFAR of Flin Flon for keeping the people in that area well informed as to what the situation is in regard to television in the area and the policy of that station. I would also like to say once again that the people of the area are very gratified at the interest presently being shown by private entreprise in applying for stations. But I did mention that it was adding a little confusion, and I think I am right. I would therefore recommend that the C.B.C. decide as quickly as possible if they will pay the annual rental charges of a microwave system. Then the board of broadcast governors should decide which of these applicants has the most satisfactory qualifications to operate stations, and get the job done as quickly as possible.

(Translation):

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF SERVICE TO CHURCHILL CONSTITUENCY
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March 23, 1959

Mr. Robert Simpson (Churchill) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should give early consideration to the advisability of suggesting the installation of a television service by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the populated areas of the constituency of Churchill.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and pleasure for me to have the opportunity of introducing the resolution that is before the house at this time. I introduce it with a feeling of deep responsibility because I am keenly aware of the importance of television service to the people in the area I represent and the great interest they have in this question.

At the outset I wish to emphasize the degree of interest that has developed and which is continuing to grow in the Churchill constituency with respect to the question of television service. Indeed, I feel that words alone cannot adequately convey to the house the degree of interest of the people there and I am sure that if some hon. gentlemen 66968-9-1364

Television

had the opportunity of visiting my constituency they would very quickly appreciate the intensity of interest in this question on the part of the people there.

I wish to make clear that I realize there are certain procedures to be followed with respect to areas interested in obtaining television service and with respect to licences being granted to individuals to operate stations and I and many others in my constituency have already complied with these requirements. Through consultation with officials of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation I learned that representations for television service and licensing should be sent to the C.B.C. Such applications and representations are turned over to the Department of Transport for perusual and after having been considered from an engineering point of view they are sent to the board of broadcast governors for consideration. The board publicizes the application in the Canada Gazette with four weeks notice concerning the hearing of the application. Representations may be made from various parts of Canada. The board then recommends what may be done.

I have personally complied with this procedure and practically every town council, service club and other group in the Churchill constituency has forwarded representations to the C.B.C. or to me for forwarding to that body but as yet no commitment has been made. It is for this reason that I welcome this opportunity of bringing to the attention of this house and the government the sincere desire of the people in that area to have some consideration in this regard as quickly as possible.

In the Churchill constituency there are between 45,000 and 50,000 people and it would not be possible to extend services at this time to people throughout the entire area because some settlements are in outlying regions and it would of course take some time to extend the service to those areas. The resolution before us, however, deals mainly with the desire for having television service extended to the populated areas of the constituency. The most heavily populated areas are the district of Swan River, The Pas and Flin Flon. In addition to the number of people in the Churchill constituency to whom I made reference there are upwards of 70,000 people who could also be served by television coverage in that area because there are adjoining places which would naturally benefit from the passing into the Churchill constituency.

In order to demonstrate the vast amount of interest in this question that prevails in the Churchill constituency I might state that

Television

we have three weekly newspapers in the area and two daily newspapers in one of the towns. There are not too many towns or cities in western Canada that have two daily newspapers. Although these two dailies are not very large, each and every day they bring to the attention of the people the views and happenings in and around Flin Flon. Not a day goes by but that one sees in either the daily or weekly papers reference to the interest of the people in the district in acquiring television service. This has been the case for the last 16 or 18 months.

One representative headline reads:

The television picture for Flin Flon is far from clear at pretent.

In a recent issue of the newspaper published in The Pas, Manitoba, the entire editorial section on the second page was devoted exclusively to the subject of television. This particular one deals with the ill-fated test of low-power relay in the area. It says:

It seems that regardless of the outcome of the tests, the final answer to television or no television will rest with the C.B.C.

This is so in the case of the people at The Pas and Flin Flon and it may well also be so in the case of Dauphin. Even if the C.B.C. does agree to do something, when will it happen? All of the newspapers are much the same. Each and every one of them has television as one of its main interests. I hold in my hand a newspaper which has a reference to T.V. tests on the front page, and again they are referring to those low-power relay tests which were recently carried out in Manitoba. A great many people were discouraged because they thought that television was possibly coming into the area. Therefore, hon. members can appreciate their feeling when they learned that it was a failure. Every one of the papers that I pick up, Mr. Speaker, has television all over the front page. Another one says in a headline that Brandon is interested in putting television into northern Manitoba. Across the page it says, "Yorkton also has a Plan"; that is, a plan for putting television into northern Manitoba. Part of an editorial in the Northern Mail says:

The outcome is like the attitude that has up to now been expressed over T.V.

They were referring to the royal tour of next year. We hoped that Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip would be coming to northern Manitoba. All of the papers deal with the matter in the same way.

I have many more papers here. Each and every one of them talks about television. I have numerous petitions. I notice that when petitions have been sent to Ottawa recently in regard to other representations we see a great many pictures of them in the paper and one

thing and another. These are only a few that have come to my office during the last few days. There are hundreds and hundreds of names on them. However, most of them have been sent directly to the C.B.C. itself. These have come to me and the people are asking me to turn them over to the C.B.C. for consideration.

I might also say, that I have resolutions asking for television passed by the Flin Flon town council, the Flin Flon chamber of commerce, the Swan River chamber of commerce, The Pas chamber of commerce, The Pas town council, the village of Bowsman, Bowsman chamber of commerce, the village of Minitonas, and many others. All through the area, Mr. Speaker, those people are spending a great deal of their time and effort to convince the C.B.C. that television is very much desired in that area.

I should also like to point out that there are other reasons why those people should be given consideration. Throughout the years the people of the populated parts of Canada have expected other people to go into the north and pioneer, and that has been done. Many of the people in this area are the original pioneers, or the descendants of the original pioneers, in that area and they are getting to the stage now where they feel that some of the amenities of life which are lacking in the area should be given to them as quickly as possible. I think that television in northern Manitoba ties in with the northern development plan. If we are to keep skilled key workers in industry in the north we must give them every consideration. I know of many families that have left our area simply because there is no television for them and their families. Many of them have used that as their main reason for leaving. If we are to develop the north then we must give every consideration we can to the provision of television for the people.

Many of the people in my area know what the C.B.C. policy has been in regard to new extensions in other areas. Many of the people seem to think we should have it because we have the microwave system already constructed by the Manitoba telephone system. I agree that that is a major step forward, but I should like to point out to the house, as I have tried to point out to the people, that the C.B.C. plan of operation has not been to construct those microwave lines themselves. They have under contract the Trans-Canada Communications system, which constructed the trans-Canada microwave system along with the Bell Telephone Company. The C.B.C. also allows those people to deal with various provincial telephone companies which have microwave systems and are willing to equip them with television

facilities and will rent them out on an annual rental fee basis. This is what the C.B.C. have been doing so far; but we do, as I say, have a microwave system in the north now.

Many of the people also believe that the obligation of the crown corporation is to serve areas where private enterprise does not seem too interested to come in. Some feel that the C.B.C. must have the lucrative areas. There are two schools of thought. Personally, I think the C.B.C. should give more attention to servicing the areas which private enterprise has not shown a great deal of interest in and possibly make a further change in their plans in the lucrative areas. I say this, because section 8 of the Canadian Broadcasting Act says:

The corporation shall carry on a national broadcasting service within Canada and for that purpose may:

(a) maintain and operate broadcasting stations;

(b) establish, subject to approval of the governor in council, such stations as the corporation may from time to time consider necessary to give effect to the provisions of this act.

I say that subparagraph (b) relates to the first part. It says that the corporation shall carry on a national broadcasting service within Canada. It is my feeling that in order to carry on adequately a national broadcasting service, those areas that private enterprise have not shown too much interest to go into should be given full and possibly even first consideration.

We come now to the matter of private enterprise in our area. I might say that their activities have been very welcome as far as most of us are concerned but at the present time I think they are adding a certain amount of confusion to the issue. In talking about private enterprise I should like to start by saying that a year ago apparently there was no interest on the part of private enterprise in going into the area. However, times have changed.

A little over a year ago a firm named Northwest Electronics Limited came into the area and tried to interest people in the installation by the firm of a low power relay system. These people went to Flin Flon but were not able to do too much there. They had a promotional idea involving the setting up of the equipment and turning it over to a community organization. The idea did not take fire at all. I could not see it myself because it was too much of a promotional venture.

However, just before the last provincial election this firm made a deal of some kind with the former Manitoba government under which the company would endeavour to put television into the Dauphin area and if they were successful they were going to go into

Television

Churchill to try to interest people there. Perhaps I might refer to an editorial in the Winnipeg Tribune of February 26, 1959 dealing with the activities of this company. The editorial reads as follows:

Manitoba is now paying $15,000 for one of the last minute ejection follies of the Campbell government. As an inducement to the people of northern Manitoba to vote for Liberal candidates, the former government promised to extend television into the north.

An arrangement was made with a private firm to test a system of relay towers to Dauphin, an arrangement so hurried that it was not even recorded in a regular contract, only in a letter by the former minister of industry and commerce. The test has ended in failure. But according to the terms of the letter, the province committed itself to pay the company $15,000 even if the system proved unworkable.

The present government considers itself morally bound to pay this amount. This is a proper recognition that a government must honour even the hasty and unwise commitments of its predecessor. But from the fiasco Manitoba can learn a lesson. Television is a federal matter, not a provincial responsibility. If television can be taken into northern Manitoba, the C.B.C. should take it there, not the province.

The announcement that this attempt had failed, which was made only about four weeks ago, brought about further interest on the part of private enterprise in this area. The first interest noted came from the station in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, which announced that it was going to apply for a licence to construct a satellite station in the Duck mountains to service the Swan River and Dauphin area. Then there was an announcement by the operators of the Brandon television station who said that they were going to apply for permission to build four television stations, one at Dauphin, one at Swan River, one at The Pas and one at Flin Flon if the C.B.C. would agree to pay the annual rental charges of a microwave system to that area. Later the radio station at Flin Flon made an announcement which clarified the policy of that station definitely for the people of that area.

As I said before, all these things are of tremendous interest to us but I think that with them all coming at one time they are creating a certain amount of confusion and I should like to suggest a way to clear up the confusion. To bring out the point I want to make I should like to refer to a news item in the Dauphin Herald of March 12. It reads as follows:

Dauphin town council went on record Monday night with a resolution urging the board of broadcast governors to expedite the processing of applications for establishment of television broadcasting facilties in the Dauphin area and northern Manitoba. The council's resolution read in full:

"It being understood that several applications have been made or will be made for the establishment of television broadcasting facilities in Dauphin and other points in northern Manitoba, be it resolved that the council of the town of Dauphin

Television

request that these several applications be dealt with by the board of broadcast governors as quickly as possible in order to provide to these points in northern Manitoba the best possible T.V. service at the earliest possible date.

The several applications include the application from Yorkton to establish a satellite station and the application from Brandon to establish four stations if the C.B.C. will pay the microwave charges. Then there was the announcement by the Arctic Radio Corporation Limited which owns the radio station at Flin Flon in these words:

The Arctic Radio Corporation Limited, which owns and operates radio station CFAR, Flin Flon, believes that the residents of the area it presently serves by radio are entitled to the same quality and standards of television programs as those enjoyed by the majority of Canadians elsewhere.

The Arctic Radio Corporation believes that it should now be apparent to all concerned that this standard can be achieved only through the extension of the C.B.C. microwave network into the area. If the C.B.C. undertakes to furnish network service to the area the Arctic Radio Corporation is prepared to discuss with the proper authorities the establishment of television broadcasting facilities in the area.

The Arctic Radio Corporation will not, however, participate in or support any scheme or proposal which would result in bringing to the people of Flin Flon and area television programs below the standard and quality of those enjoyed by the majority of Canadians elsewhere.

That is the situation with respect to private enterprise wanting to go into the area to operate stations. I say that it may be causing a bit of confusion because here we have town councils suggesting that the board of broadcast governors expedite these licences and get things cracking as quickly as possible. I believe that the most important thing at the present time is to get a commitment from the C.B.C. with respect to whether they will pay the microwave charges involved in bringing television into the area. If licences are given to this operator or that operator we are only going to confuse the issue a great deal more because some of them are willing to operate satellite stations and others will only come into the area if the C.B.C. will provide the microwave facilities.

I realize that my time is getting short, Mr. Speaker, but I should like to emphasize that a favourable decision from the C.B.C. in the very near future would clarify this point and would also make the situation much more satisfactory to the individual station operators who are anxious to go into the area.

May I say that even in the days of radio the area of northern Manitoba was sadly neglected. Even today, there is no broadcast line in Manitoba north of Brandon. We have to rely on the C.B.C. regional station at Watrous, Saskatchewan, and that is not very satisfactory for a great many areas. There are many areas in northern Manitoba that cannot

[Mr. Simp-on. 1

even pick up these regional broadcasts, so I think the C.B.C. has had a very light financial burden so far as the northern Manitoba area is concerned.

Last year at my request a survey was made to ascertain the approximate cost to the C.B.C. of putting television into the area about which I am talking. Although the C.B.C. has not made these figures public I have, as a result of talking to various people in the Manitoba telephone system, which also put in quotations on the cost, and as a result of talking to people in the C.B.C., learned that quite a large sum may be involved. I should like to briefly discuss what it might possibly cost to do this. I have reason to believe that the annual rental charges for the microwave relays necessary to serve the area north of Flin Flon could amount to about $300,000 a year. Now, if the C.B.C. were to look after the whole program, including outlet stations, it has been calculated that it might cost $1 million extra to construct these outlet stations. If this amount were written off over a period of 10 years, that would add another $100,000 a year to the annual cost. We would then have an annual rental of $400,000 to service this area. I do not know how close these figures are to the C.B.C. estimate, but I feel they are somewhere in the neighbourhood of the C.B.C. figures.

This may seem like a large sum, but let me remind hon. members of the extreme interest of the people in this area. I might say, truthfully, that the people who have television now cannot see why people should be so interested in obtaining it. However, I should like to know how great the hue and cry would be if the C.B.C. said they were not able to carry the Grey cup game because it cost too much or perhaps the world series or the Saturday night hockey games. I am sure we would hear a great hue and cry from the people of the populated areas of Canada. They would say, it does not matter how much it costs, we want it. I would not be too surprised if they got it.

I do not believe we should feel that $400,000 annually is too great a sum. Let us break that down. I asked the C.B.C. what formula they used in deciding whether or not an area should be serviced. They said they had a formula but they did not make it public. This is quite all right. However, I find that in a bulletin issued by the Canadian broadcasting league reference is made to the fact that the cost for C.B.C. television is 3.3 cents per household per day. If you work that out on a yearly basis it means a cost per household of roughly $12.04 for the present C.B.C. television service. If television services were

provided for the Churchill constituency they would serve, including the area around Dauphin, around 30,000 households at an annual cost of $400,000. If these figures are correct it would mean the cost per household would be $14.28 as against the present cost of $12.04 for the rest of Canada.

However, I do not think we should become alarmed at that. I make this statement for two reasons. What kind of formula is it that permits the C.B.C. to say that if the costs of service run to more than $12.04 per household they cannot service that area or they must give some other area consideration? What kind of formula is it that permits the C.B.C. to say to the people of the north, who are not getting television service, that they cannot get it because the costs per household are too high? These people are told they cannot get it, but still they are paying for it. What basis, then, have we for using that formula?

The most recent figures which have been published concerning the average wages received in the various areas of Canada indicate that the towns of The Pas and Flin Flon contain wage earners who have the highest average in the Dominion of Canada. I would assume, therefore, that they are paying the highest taxes. We come back, then, to the formula which shows that the costs of servicing this area are higher than the costs for the rest of Canada and the C.B.C. says, although you do not get it you still have to pay for it.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF SERVICE TO CHURCHILL CONSTITUENCY
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