Elmer MacIntosh MACKAY

MACKAY, The Hon. Elmer MacIntosh, P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
August 5, 1936
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmer_MacKay
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9bc870a5-bc5d-4b05-ac22-779f048d206c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister and solicitor, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

May 31, 1971 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
  • Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair (January 1, 1976 - January 1, 1980)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
  • Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair (January 1, 1976 - January 1, 1980)
  • Minister of Regional Economic Expansion (June 4, 1979 - March 2, 1980)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Regional Economic Expansion (June 4, 1979 - March 2, 1980)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (September 17, 1984 - August 19, 1985)
  • Minister of National Revenue (August 20, 1985 - January 29, 1989)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Central Nova (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (August 20, 1985 - January 29, 1989)
  • Minister of Public Works (January 30, 1989 - June 24, 1993)
  • Minister for the purposes of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act (January 30, 1989 - April 20, 1991)
  • Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (April 21, 1991 - June 1, 1993)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 513)


June 15, 1993

Mr. MacKay:

This will be the span of green gables. If the bridge is not built the government will have to continue spending $42 million a year in the foreseeable future. I would not say in perpetuity because that is a long time, but the government will have to pay for a long time. It does not take a rocket scientist to see which option is a better deal for the Canadian taxpayer.

The agreement stipulates that over the first 35 years the developer may not increase tolls by more than three-quarters of the Consumer Price Index. This means that over time the relative cost to users of the bridge will steadily diminish.

By enshrining these and other terms and conditions into legislation we will provide clear guidelines to the developer of his responsibilities and restraints. We will ensure that future governments have the tools to keep federal expenditures to a minimum.

June 15, 1993

As I have said this project represents one of the finest examples of positive, constructive federal-provincial co-operation. It has been a pleasure for the Conservative administration to work with the private sector and with the Liberal governments of Atlantic Canada. There is tremendous co-operation and a feeling that we are doing something positive for a region of Canada that really needs this kind of stimulus. More important it needs an upgrade and improvement of its transportation system.

Everyone, and I believe that includes my good friends in the NDP, have said from time to time that transportation is an integral part of economic development. Without good economic development there is no hope for the future, particularly those regions that do not have some of the natural advantages that exist in certain more favoured parts of our country.

I want to thank and congratulate the former premier of Prince Edward Island, Mr. Joe Ghiz. I wish to express my gratitude to P.E.I. Premier Catherine Callbeck and New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna for their support of this initiative and their willingness to work with us in sorting out the details of such a huge and complex undertaking.

I remind members of the House that Bill C-110 is only one element of this project. There are other elements, constitutional and financial, that are still under consideration. However without this piece of legislation the project lacks a certain security and the developers would not be permitted to raise funds and get on with the job when the other matters are sorted out.

As the House knows, we have achieved a comprehensive tripartite federal-provincial agreement covering a whole range of key areas including environmental soundings, fishermen's compensation, tolls, the fair treatment of ferry workers who are affected and so on. I am confident this agreement will enable us to proceed in the same spirit of harmony and co-operation we have seen to date.

Last week the Government of Prince Edward Island introduced a motion in the province's legislature which in effect stated that a toll bridge was an acceptable way

Government Orders

for the federal government to meet its constitutional commitment to keep Prince Edward Island in continuous communication with the rest of Canada. Perhaps it would be more accurate, for the benefit of my friend from Egmont, to say to keep the rest of Canada in continuous communication with Prince Edward Island. Either way it is important.

I propose that we introduce a similar resolution in the House later this year and thus clear away any remaining constitutional impediments to terminating the Borden-Tormentine ferry service, keeping in mind there will still be a perfectly adequate ferry service between Wood Islands and Caribou.

It is worth putting on record some of the words of Premier Callbeck of Prince Edward Island when she spoke on this matter last week in her provincial legislature. She said the following when she was talking about the government's goal of economic self-reliance and self-determination, something that is very important to the people of Atlantic Canada and particularly to the Government of Prince Edward Island at this time when it is faced with high budgetary deficits and needs every bit of help possible to develop its economy. She said:

Transportation is an integral part of this equation. No longer will we be subjected to an intermittent transportation service; no longer will we be subjected to transportation uncertainties; no longer will we be subjected to divisive and protracted debate; and no longer will we be subjected to unfettered toll increases. In tandem with Canada and SCI we are embarking upon self-determination and self-reliance in our transportation link to the mainland in a responsible and businesslike manner.

The time for protracted debate is over; the time for action and decision is now. Let the project proceed.

That is what Premier Callbeck of Prince Edward Island had to say. It is important that we pass this legislation now and bring that bridge one step closer to reality. This is a good project and a sound project. It is a project that is a partnership. I highly recommend it to my colleagues in the House of Commons.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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June 15, 1993

Hon. Elmer M. MacKay (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite right. About six years ago Fenco Engineers Inc. indicated the serious nature of the repairs that were required to fix this historic part of Canada's infrastructure.

The member and I share a common interest in trying to do something to rehabilitate this historic canal. As he knows, public works is supportive and I am supportive but we require some assistance from other ministries. I

June 15, 1993

will give him my undertaking to continue to explore this. As he said, we do not have a lot of time left in this Parliament but perhaps we can accomplish something in the next little while. I will do my best.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
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June 15, 1993

Mr. MacKay:

I will be here if the hon. member for Annapolis Valley-Hants is here. We will make a wager.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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June 15, 1993

Hon. Elmer M. MacKay (Minister of Public Works) moved

that Bill C-110, an act respecting the Northumberland Strait Crossing, be read the third time and passed.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is time to get on with the job of building a bridge to Prince Edward Island. Bill C-110, an important part of that process, is being considered for third reading. I am very proud to speak in support of the legislation.

Some members will recall perhaps not directly that about 30 years ago there was an important initiative to build a link to Prince Edward Island. In fact certain preparatory work was done. At that time, to put things in perspective, it was decided by the then government to trade off the funds and instead indulge in or promote a comprehensive economic development plan for the island province.

This economic development plan has done a lot of good. Perhaps at this time the very growth it engendered makes it even more important we proceed with this link in order to take advantage of the potential for economic development that exists.

This is the most far-reaching and important project I believe Public Works has been associated with in many years. As a resident of Atlantic Canada I am very proud to be part of the project which will benefit Atlantic Canadians, people from Prince Edward Island and indeed all Canadians long after those of us who are in the House have passed from the scene and have been forgotten.

This project has the support of a clear majority of people from Prince Edward Island. Polls indicate that. A recent CBC poll taken earlier this year showed 63 per cent in favour. I suggest that any government in the democratic world that had that kind of popular support would think itself very fortunate.

This project initiated by the private sector and by our government has the continuing and constructive support of both past and present Governments of Prince Edward

Government Orders

Island, the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of Nova Scotia. The Northumberland bridge project stands as a prime example of how governments in the country can work together for the greater public good.

Business organizations and most Atlantic unions have been very vocal in support of the project. Other voices that have been raised in opposition in the House have been quite muted, perhaps not in volume but in number, and mostly confined to members of the NDP.

This party, it is worth noting for the record, has never elected a member in Prince Edward Island, ever, and probably never will. It enjoys the support of about 3 per cent or 4 per cent of the electorate, to the point where even the leader of the NDP of Prince Edward Island has found it necessary to take a summer job to save his party money, he says, but unfortunately it comes from the UI fund. This is not a good example, I would suggest, of some of the financial savings they keep urging on the people of Canada at the expense of the link.

These naysayers have suggested the government will inherit a rusting and decaying structure at the end of 35 years. In fact the bridge will have a design life of 100 years without a major refit. During the 35-year concession period, annual independent inspections of the bridge will have to confirm the necessary maintenance and repairs have been carried out before the developer can receive toll revenues. This is a very strong incentive, all members will agree, for the developers to build it right and to maintain it in good working order during the period of their stewardship.

The NDP has said that the proposed $42 million annual subsidy was too high. In fact its own witness at the all-party legislative committee examining the bill admitted the figure which was carefully worked out by Transport Canada was "fairly credible, given that the ferries are going to have to be replaced". Several of the ferries will have to be replaced. It is evident today the cost of replacing a modem ferry is going to be several hundreds of millions of dollars. Somehow this is never brought into the equation by the members from British Columbia who are speaking on behalf of the NDP.

My good friend from Skeena, and he is a good friend, in some of the more lofty flights of rhetoric he indulged in when speaking on the bill, said the following on February 8 when talking about what they do in British

Columbia. Isn't this terrific? He said: "There we try to make tourists and passengers happy while they are waiting for the ferry. We sell them a hot dog, give them a cup of coffee, let them buy some local goods, have a few people playing guitars, give them newspapers and have a little fun". I like this.

I invite my friend from Skeena some cold, rainy day to come to Prince Edward Island to see a bunch of outraged truckers and business people waiting to get across to do business. He will see how many will be made happy by some hot dog purveying, guitar strumming coffee merchants. He can tell them this is what they should be happy for instead of having a bridge.

My good friend, and he is also a good friend, from Annapolis Valley-Hants gave a speech the other day. He indicated that he thought it would be more to the point to connect Vancouver Island to the mainland than Prince Edward Island to Canada. I am not against that. If the private sector can come along with a good scheme that would not cost the taxpayers money, I would applaud it, but I remind my good friend there is no constitutional obligation, unfortunately perhaps, to make sure that Vancouver Island is put in the same position as Prince Edward Island. He knows that.

For those who argue that this is a risk-free enterprise for the developer under the agreement, that is not true. The developer will assume most of the risk for the project, including financial, design, construction, maintenance and cost overruns.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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June 15, 1993

Hon. Elmer M. MacKay (Minister of Public Works):

Madam Speaker, I will give my colleague my undertaking that this multi-purpose, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional project will continue to the best of my ability, working with my colleagues. We will do the best we can.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
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