Otto Emil LANG

LANG, The Hon. Otto Emil, P.C., O.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B., B.C.L., LL.D.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Saskatoon--Humboldt (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
May 14, 1932
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Lang
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c97a5dad-3c56-4861-9d78-991bb0107b29&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
dean, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Saskatoon--Humboldt (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister Without Portfolio (July 6, 1968 - September 23, 1970)
  • Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board (October 15, 1969 - June 3, 1979)
  • Minister of Manpower and Immigration (September 24, 1970 - January 27, 1972)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (January 28, 1972 - September 25, 1975)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Saskatoon--Humboldt (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board (October 15, 1969 - June 3, 1979)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (January 28, 1972 - September 25, 1975)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Saskatoon--Humboldt (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board (October 15, 1969 - June 3, 1979)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (January 28, 1972 - September 25, 1975)
  • Minister of Transport (September 26, 1975 - June 3, 1979)
  • Minister of Communications (October 25, 1975 - December 4, 1975)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (August 3, 1978 - August 8, 1978)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (August 9, 1978 - November 23, 1978)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 1326)


March 23, 1979

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, we have been very concerned about safety problems related to automobile travel, and also pollution and energy conservation. As a result of some vigorous initiatives by the federal government, working with the provinces, we have introduced many safety features which have produced a far better record in terms of accidents, injuries and fatalities than we had before or that anyone had predicted.

In addition, working with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, we have introduced guidelines for automobile manufacturers so that they will have to make significant

Oral Questions

changes over the next few years, producing lighter weight cars and more efficient engines in order to lower gas consumption on a per mile basis. This is bound to have an important impact on the manufacturing industry.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSPORT
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March 23, 1979

Mr. Lang:

Obviously, in the course of examining the alternatives available to us we have begun to draw some conclusions about our powers and the exact legal situation in a variety of very difficult circumstances. I would think that, as a result, we would be coming forward in due course with some changes.

I do not think we needed a different set of powers in the situation which actually faced us, but as we reviewed alternative circumstances, when we were not sure what those circumstances would be, I was concerned about the extent of our powers and I will want to propose some legislative changes.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSPORT
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March 23, 1979

Mr. Lang:

It was a combination of things, Mr. Speaker; but I do not grant for a moment that there was undue delay. It was a very serious decision to take, to allow a vessel which had suffered any kind of mishap to come alongside the Canadian coastline with a cargo of oil on board.

We wanted to be sure on the technical basis that the risk was small. We also wanted to have complete protection from a legal point of view in relation to any possible costs and damage even though it was small. Experts in relation to this kind of contract came together from quite a few different places in the world, experts who had been associated with a similar event in Rotterdam and the like.

The question of negotiation and the extent of liability which we would insist upon were important questions on which I wanted to be satisfied. In the meantime, however, it was not as though the time was being lost. The vessel was put under tow. At first, while there was a question about the adequacy of the stern to survive the seas, it was being moved in an outward direction toward deeper water. When it became apparent that salvage was distinctly possible, and having regard to winds in any case, the direction of the tow was changed: it moved toward the Port Hawkesbury destination. When the critical point was reached where it would have been necessary to turn either out to the sea or in toward the bay, the decision had already been made.

Therefore, while the legal matters did take some time, it was not as though time was lost. I hope the hon. member will agree with us that in making a most serious decision involving an

element of risk it was necessary to be sure as to the size of that risk and be completely protected from the legal and financial points of view.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSPORT
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March 23, 1979

Mr. Lang:

Mr. Speaker, I suppose one thing I can be sure of is that if passengers were not allowed to board a vessel to make the crossing because somebody said there was ice out there, and then because of a sudden change of winds, vessels were able to move across that strait, the hon. member for St. John's East would be criticizing the failure to move those passengers.

Oral Questions

The fact is that, at least as informed as I am, wind and ice conditions can change very quickly in terms of whether vessels can move through, and that can happen between the time of departure and the time of arrival. As I say, I am not an expert on whether these vessels should move out to sea.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ICE SURVEILLANCE CAPABILITY IN GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
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March 23, 1979

Mr. Lang:

The coastguard is certainly in operation in connection with this exercise. The Labrador and the St. Laurent are there, hard at work in an effort to free these vessels. 1 cannot understand the hon. member's logic. He is critical of the fact that passengers are stranded at Sydney and Port aux Basques. At the same time he is critical of the fact that vessels move out when we should know that at this time of year there is ice in the strait. Is he suggesting that we cancel service cross the strait at certain times of the year because there may be ice? I think that is a rather ridiculous suggestion.

I suggest that the right thing is to rely on the judgment of the people who are operating the vessels and who expect that, with coastguard help, they may be able to get through. When, suddenly, very difficult winds trap vessels which are ordinarily capable of managing the ice, obviously there is a difficulty. But I do not think the hon. member has any solution, unless he wants to build airports at each end as well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ICE SURVEILLANCE CAPABILITY IN GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
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