We have the second largest area of population in my province. It seems hard for members from British Columbia-I include the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam, who has fought for me and with me on this matter-to convince civil servants in Ottawa that here are almost 90,000 people wanting something which they consider is their due. With the help of the chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation we are met with excuses and more excuses. In conversation with the chairman in Vancouver I was told that we would have to wait for the Fowler commission report. How long did we wait for the Fowler commission report in regard to increasing the power of CKWX at the last meeting of the board of governors? How long did we wait for the Fowler commission report in regard to an independent television station in Victoria?
Of course we did not wait for it. It suited the C.B.C. at that time, as it would suit them at all times, to take these matters under their own consideration, disregarding the people of any province in doing things exactly in the way they wish to do them.
It is just about time, Mr. Speaker, that this great organization changed its policy. I do not argue with the organization itself and never have, or with the way in which they do business. I argue against their policy. Everything is not wrong with the
C.B.C.; they do a lot of good things. In this case, though, I again stand in my place and demand that the C.B.C. give permission for a number of companies who reside both in Vancouver and in Burnaby to be allowed to spend their own money-and by money I mean something over a million dollars-to put into operation a station which almost every person in my riding desires.
I hope I do not have to rise in my place again and mention this matter. The idea of waiting for the Fowler report goes out the
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The Address-Mr. Goode window, because the C.B.C. do everything they want to do except when somebody wants something they do not desire. Then and only then have we to wait for the Fowler report. In this case they say we must not have an independent station within the perimeter or A-contour of CBUT Vancouver, despite the fact that anyone with a television set on the lower mainland can watch channel 6 every night because it comes in just as strongly as CBUT.
If there was an effective reply to the argument I have tried to put up over the years, surely it is now going to fall down the drain, because the C.B.C. have been shown that the policy they have conducted over the years has turned against them. I have no argument with my colleague from Victoria, who has done so much to get a station for Victoria, but I in turn must speak up for my own people. We have put forward a petition in the house, as I have mentioned; I have stood on my feet in this place many times and asked for this station on behalf of my contituency. The hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam will support me, I am sure, when I say the majority of the people in Burnaby desire this service, and I ask the government once again if they will overrule this gentleman from the C.B.C. and allow Canadians to spend their own money in Canadian cities.
I have said many times-hon. members have heard me advance this argument on a dozen occasions-that if the C.B.C. service to the lower mainland were the only one we could get we could, I suppose, talk on the lines the hon. gentleman from Westmorland (Mr. Murphy) followed the other night, but we cannot argue in that way. In my own home in Burnaby I can receive sometimes three and often four stations from the United States and, as I have told this house so many times, Canadians in my province are going to KVOS in Bellingham and spending good Canadian money in order to impress the quality of Canadian goods upon Canadians. That is the situation, and there is no one either in this house or in C.B.C. who can argue against it.
In the last provincial election some gentlemen who were running for office spent many thousands of dollars buying time over KVOS, Bellingham, to explain their ideas to Canadians voting in a Canadian election, because they could not get time on CBUT. Perhaps it is proper that I should give notice, not only because I look terrible on television, but I give my word to this house now that I will never try to get a Canadian vote over a United States television station.
I do not want to prolong discussion of a subject which I have gone over so many times, but I would just say that the amount of Canadian money going into KVOS, Bellingham at the moment is something like $750,000 a year. That money would make rather a good profit for Canadian investors. There has been some talk at home-I think perhaps political talk.-that I have represented certain interests in setting out the contentions I have presented in this chamber. I say that now because I heard "Hear, hear" from the C.C.F. benches. I say now that all I want as far as my riding is concerned is the right to have a licence for an independent television station, and then the four or five companies who wish to put up the station can have the government decide who is going to finance the undertaking. I do not have any idea who should get the licence for the station, and never have.
Turning to another subject, Mr. Speaker, may I support some of my colleagues in this house who have asked the government to consider an increase in pensions for senior citizens. I have about 7,000 of them in my riding, and I do not think for a moment that this subject should be put on a political basis. I do not think I should go home and say that the Liberals were the only people who asked for an increase, and I do not think C.C.F. members should start an auction sale at home with the object of influencing senior citizens' votes. I do not think any party in this house can either take credit, or discredit any other party, in regard to what we think about the amount of money paid to senior citizens in this country. I will make a wager now that there is not one member in this house who will say they are getting a sufficient monthly income; and I hope, Mr. Speaker, that when the session is finished each of us can go home and say, "We put through a raise for old age pensions. All of us did it, not just a few."
It seems there are a number of members on both sides of the house who have also supported an increase in family allowances. I do not know exactly if, as some hon. gentlemen have suggested, we put through a national health insurance scheme across the country and if we are going to increase old age pensions in addition whether all these things can be done at the same time. I frankly do not know; but I hope, Mr. Speaker, that if the money is available one of the things we should study is an increase in the family allowance for the young people in our constituencies. I do not think any party has the right to take credit for an increase, if there is an increase, when
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY