Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I was instrumental in curtailing the speech of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I wish to talk about a request, I placed on the order paper, with respect to which I was not given adequate replies. In three and a half minutes it will be somewhat difficult to put my case on record. The matter has to do with the second international airport for Toronto.
Some weeks ago, I put on the order paper the following notice of motion for the production of papers:
Than an humble Address be presented to His Excellency praying that he will cause to be laid before this House a copy of all correspondence, memoranda, special study reports between the Government of Canada or any department thereof and the Government of the Province of Ontario relating to the question of the second international airport in the Province of Ontario.
The notice of motion is dated April 13. After I prodded the minister a great deal, he said he was willing to accede to my request and to make that information available to this House. Not until May 24, did I obtain that reply.
The reply disturbed me, Mr. Speaker. After all, considering that the studies were said to have extended over months and even years, since the second airport would be a most expensive proposition running into the billions of dollars, I expected more than was given to me. I was told that the studies had gone on for a long time, yet what did I obtain? The minister's return consisted of a neat package of press releases, ministerial letters, and so on. For
instance, consider this release headed, "Transport Minister Don Jamieson discusses Toronto's second international airport with area Members of Parliament". It reads:
Transport Minister Don Jamieson met last Friday with Norman Cafik, M.P., Ontario (riding), Barnett Danson, M.P., York-North and John Roberts, M.P., York-Simcoe to discuss aspects of the Federal Government's plan for the development of a second Toronto international airport-
That is playing politics. Those members represent constituencies in the area. I asked several times for a complete study of the matter and suggested that the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications should sit down with the people in the areas concerned and discuss with them a project as big as this. That did not happen. However, according to the press release, the minister discussed the matter with three hon. members representing affected constituencies.
Consider the following headline carried in a Toronto newspaper, Mr. Speaker: "High-priced advice taken on airport, McKeough asserts". Mr. McKeough tabled some documents in the Ontario Legislature, in Toronto. He provided more information than the minister. According to the post office scale, the package the minister provided weighs two pounds four ounces, whereas the documents Mr. McKeough tabled weighed five pounds. Mr. Speaker, I feel that information that ought to have been made available was not made available with respect to a decision as important as the one involving the new Toronto international airport on which we will spend possibly billions of dollars.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: BUSINESS OF SUPPLY