Leonard Donald HOPKINS

HOPKINS, Leonard Donald, B.A. (Hons.)

Personal Data

Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 12, 1930
Deceased Date
February 6, 2007
school principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Renfrew North--Nipissing East (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (December 22, 1972 - December 21, 1973)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (January 1, 1974 - May 9, 1974)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Renfrew North--Nipissing East (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (September 15, 1974 - September 14, 1975)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (March 1, 1984 - June 29, 1984)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (June 30, 1984 - July 9, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Renfrew (Ontario)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 305 of 305)

January 27, 1966

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew North):

Mr. Speaker, along with the other members of this house who have spoken thus far, I should like to congratulate you not only upon your nomination as Speaker of this house, but also for the way in which you have conducted the business of the house so far. I have every confidence in you and I know that this house will be conducted in an orderly and businesslike manner. I should like to congratulate also the Deputy Speaker, and for the same reasons.

May I at the same time extend my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Goyer) and seconder (Mr. Stanbury) of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I am very proud of these colleagues. I am pleased to have this opportunity to sit in the twenty seventh parliament as the member for Renfrew North. My constituency is a rather large one from a geographical point of view, stretching some six miles north from the town of Renfrew along the Ottawa river to within four miles of Mattawa. It is bordered on the south and west by Renfrew South and part of the Algonquin park. In the north it borders the riding of Nipissing. The southern end of the riding is largely a farming community, forest products playing a big role in the economy of the remainder of the riding. The upper Ottawa valley in general has not prospered during the recent economic boom in Canada to the extent that would even begin to compare with certain other areas in Canada. Promotion of industry and incentives to encourage industries are needed urgently if the upper Ottawa valley is going to grow and expand in the years to come. We are fortunate in having the military camp at Petawawa, the Atomic Energy plant at Chalk River, the townsite of Deep River, Dominion Magnesium and Light Alloy at Haley Station, Steel Equipment Limited, Canada Veneer and other wood industries to provide employment and strength for the community at Pembroke.

[DOT] (8:10 p.m.)

However, these industries deserve much improved conditions if we expect them to remain loyal to the area in which they are now located. It would be most desirable, even essential, that this government make an offer of a large grant to the Ontario government Department of Highways for the immediate


The Address-Mr. Hopkins improvement of trans-Canada highway 17 along many sections of this highway between Ottawa and North Bay. Our road facilities in and out are poor. Some of the industries in the area are hampered by high freight rates, the additional overhead of crating and extra care to be taken in packing their products in order that they may be shipped safely to their destination.

I fully realize, Mr. Speaker, that there are other geographical areas, such as Renfrew county, which suffer from slow growth for the same reasons. These areas have not been developed nor have they progressed to the same extent as larger and more prosperous areas in Canada. It is therefore essential that areas such as these be given special consideration and that new criteria be written into the designated areas legislation of the Department of Industry so that it will readily apply to such areas.

One criterion that should be used to decide what should and what should not be a designated area is a comparison of industrial taxes and residential taxes that are collected in such communities. In areas where the amount of taxes collected from industry is exceptionally small, in comparison with the amount that is collected from residential taxes, special consideration should be given. For example, the town of Pembroke today has an industrial levy of $900,000 while the residential levy is $18 million. This can only indicate to you, Mr. Speaker, that home owners in this town are paying very high taxes. Renfrew North is not one of the designated areas in Ontario because, in accordance with the criteria that have been laid down by the act, the unemployment figure is not great enough to warrant it. However, this does not mean that there are widespread opportunities for the people.

One of the greatest exports from my riding has been its educated youth. Many of the people who have lived in the upper Ottawa valley all their lives have found it necessary to move out and work elsewhere for a livelihood.

If they are going to have a fighting chance, areas such as these must be given equalized freight rates and a reduction in corporation taxes, not only for new industries that move into the area but also for those that exist there now, until such time as improvements in the economy have been achieved and the necessary facilities attained. This may seem

DEBATES January 27, 1966

like a major task, but these factors must be taken into consideration if we are going to provide equal opportunity for all.

I would like Mr. Speaker, to deliberate for a couple of minutes on transportation problems, from areas in the upper Ottawa valley to the more populous areas in Ontario and Quebec. It is nothing short of a sin when we consider that millions of dollars of Canadian government funds, thousands of square miles of good farm land in western Canada, plus loans from British firms, have gone into the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, a company which today, as a private enterprise, deems it good business to treat the Canadian public in a high handed and shoddy manner.

We have recently received word, Mr. Speaker, of the cancellation of the C.P.R. "Dominion" run. If we as members of this house ran our election campaigns with the same inefficiency and ineffectiveness as the C.P.R. has in operating its 'Dominion" service, there would not be one of us sitting in this house today. The C.P.R. has presented to the Board of Transport Commissioners their financial record of the "Dominion" and have listed their reasons why the train was discontinued. If there is to be any justice in this incident, the C.P.R. management must be called upon to explain why the "Dominion" service was permitted to decline over the past years. Why was the mail car taken off the "Dominion"? Why was the express car taken off the "Dominion"? Why should passenger traffic have been discouraged by one means or another?

Why was it, for example, that a man with two small children, who bought a ticket which included a berth on the "Dominion", found out that the car that contained the berth was not even on the train? Indeed, to take this whole matter of passenger service one step further, why is it that even today the C.P.R. is discouraging passenger traffic on the "Canadian"? How long will it be before we are going to hear that the C.P.R. has applied to the Board of Transport Commissioners requesting that they be permitted to discontinue the "Canadian" because it is not paying?

Let us take a look at some of the things that are happening here. The C.N.R. round trip fare from Pembroke to Ottawa is $4.90 on five days of the week and $5.70 for the two remaining days. Return fare from Pembroke to Ottawa by C.P.R. "Canadian" is $10.80. One can buy a good meal on the C.N. for $1.35 to $1.45 but in order to get a good

January 27, 1966

meal on the C.P.R. "Canadian" one must pay approximately $3.50. Why is it that an elderly lady who boarded the "Canadian" at Fort William was told that there were no berths available, yet at the same time there were only 25 people on the entire train and only a tew berths occupied?

Mr. Speaker, I personally counted the passengers at that time in order to confirm the information that was given to me. These facts alone should prove that the C.P.R. is now treating the Canadian people with scorn, even though millions of dollars of Canadian funds went into the building of that line. Because transportation is of prime importance to North Renfrew, and because our connections with outside centres are poor, you can see that there is great need for improvement in the upper Ottawa region, as well as across certain parts of Canada.

I would like to say that we in Renfrew North appreciate all the work that has been done in the past with the Department of Industry and the Department of Transport by the hon. member for Renfrew South, now the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene). On behalf of my constituents, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister of Agriculture upon his appointment and for his outstanding and dynamic work to date, not only in this house but across Canada. I am looking forward to working very closely with him and with the hon. member for Pontiac-Temiscamingue (Mr. Lefebvre) in our combined efforts to improve conditions in the upper Ottawa valley. The minister may rest assured that in his efforts on behalf of agriculture, I shall assist him in every way I can.

[DOT] (8:20 p.m.)

Prior to becoming a member of this house, I was vice principal of General Panet High School in Camp Petawawa. While there, serving for over five years in that school, I became very familiar with many of the problems which children of D.N.D. personnel have to face as they move from province to province, meeting up with a different educational system in doing so. At the next dominion-provincial conference I would like to see the Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Cadieux) investigate the feasibility of taking the initiative by inviting the ministers of education from each province to participate in a discussion, and try to arrive at some agreement on overcoming some of the mutual problems which come up continually in

The Address-Mr. Hopkins D.N.D. dependant's schools across Canada. Civilians who move from province to province find themselves in the same position and it is important that the groundwork be started on this problem. This can be done without infringing on any of the rights of the provinces and would certainly be welcomed by parents and students concerned.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, I might mention that the Camp Petawawa area received a great shock on Friday last when the principal of General Panet High School, Mr. Thomas Miller, was stricken with a fatal attack in his car on his way home from school and passed away a few minutes later. His sudden passing was a great shock not only to his family but to his students, his staff and to the community. He will be long remembered as a fine, fairminded man by those of us who were associated with him.

I must congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) on his foresight in providing millions of dollars in extra funds for education. I am not one who carries around a pessimistic attitude about our young people today. We have a very high percentage of teen-agers who are going to be just as capable of taking up the responsibilities of the future as we are today-and possibly more capable. We must have faith in our young people if we hope to build a strong nation.

Mr. Speaker, I am particularly pleased to represent a constituency which has a long standing history in the development of this country. The Ottawa river was for many years the canoe route of Indian tribes, cou-reurs de bois and other fur traders. Samuel de Champlain visited the area now known as Renfrew North in the year 1613. It was in that year that he lost his astrolabe, an instrument for measuring latitude and longitude, near the village of Cobden and it was turned up on the shore of Green lake by a farm hand in 1867. Like many other of our famous Canadian relics and souvenirs, it has found its way to a museum in New York city. In that same year he visited Morrison's island in the Ottawa river, three miles from Pembroke. Early Canadians recognized the Ottawa route as the gateway to the north. Jean Talon recognized the Ottawa as the key to northern development of the fur trade.

Today we are faced with a shortage of water in our great lakes system. There have been many plans put forth for the replenishment of the great lakes but to date the great replenishment and northern development concept better known as the Grand Canal is the

January 27, 1966

The Address-Mr. Hopkins only proposal which protects the Canadian water heritage by recycling, not by diverting, northern rivers. By its very name the basic goal of the Grand Canal lies in linking the major, multiple, and urgent water services needs of the mid-continent to the important long term development needs of Canada's north, and its vast water resources. Further, it would do this important job for the profit of all concerned and with the full protection, in perpetuity, of Canada's water heritage as its foundation stone. The plan calls for a large dam across the lower part of James Bay. Behind this dam the fresh water from the Ontario and Quebec rivers flowing into the lower end of James bay would be collected. This water would then be pumped up the Harricanaw river by means of a series of pumping stations equipped with locks. The lift over the height of land would be approximately 950 feet. The water would then be transferred southward through a series of locks to the lake Temiscamingue system and hence into the Ottawa river.

This concept proposes to pump water up the Mattawa river, into Trout lake and then into lake Nipissing, the French river and hence into Georgian bay and the great lakes. Not only does this idea provide for the replenishment of the great lakes, but it also provides for Northern development. The eventual plan calls for barge navigation through to James bay. It also calls for ship navigation of the French river, lake Nipissing, the Mattawa river and the Ottawa river route to the St. Lawrence. Thus it would bring back to modern life in a realistic form the historical use of the Ottawa river.

We must also note at this stage that this route is 282 miles shorter from the Lakehead to Montreal than the present great lakes system. Hence, it would cut down on shipping charges for grain. As we advance as an industrial nation the twin locks at Welland will not suffer from the loss of any diverted traffic.

What we must remember is to look ahead. Without a water replenishment system for the great lakes, industry in central Canada could very well be in trouble for a few years. We are already hearing reports that lake Erie is a dying lake. This country cannot afford to have this danger hanging over it, let alone the possibility of reality, if such is the case. The saviour of the Canadian economy is water replenishment of the great lakes, and the salvation of our Canadian culture and identity as a strong nation would seem to be

northern development, of which the navigation and water control of the Ottawa river canal to Georgian bay, and navigational development of the water route to James Bay, are integral and necessary parts. We seem to be prone to move farther inland and take up challenges of development. I would also like to point out that such bold steps as these may seem odd, peculiar and hard to realize. But if someone had told us ten years ago that man was going to fly to the moon we would have sneered. Today it is within the realm of possibility.

The Fathers of Confederation did not pick Ottawa as a capital just because it was an inland town. They chose it also because it was on a main water route. Today we have time to act in such a way that provincial rights under the British North America Act would be protected. A royal commission could be appointed to investigate the feasibility of the entire Grand Canal project. If we wait until a crisis arises, then stronger action will be necessary and this strong direction would of necessity have to come from the federal government, and use of the elastic clause in the British North America Act may have to be called into play.

[DOT] (8.30 p.m.)

It is, therefore, Mr. Speaker, with all these considerations in mind, and with all these benefits for the country in mind, that I strongly recommend to the Prime Minister and the government department concerned that a royal commission, made up of capable economists, businessmen and engineers be appointed to investigate the feasibility of implementing this great replenishment and northern development concept at the earliest possible date. This commission should be made up of people from the business community of the nation and should be national in its composition. It should have the power to hire other competent people as the need arises.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that without northern development we will become stagnated. Without adequate water supply we will be in grave economic danger. The Grand Canal provides the answers to these problems, as well as providing the key for progress in eastern and northern Ontario, western and northern Quebec, and other parts of Canada on the great lakes system. This type of development will provide economic stability and, with economic stability, history has taught us that we will have a strong, united nation.

January 27, 1966 COMMONS

The great lakes could become the reservoir to provide tor the future of the economy, in fact the survival of the economy. We must not let narrow-minded international relations interfere with co-operation in bringing this concept into practice. Let us investigate; let us appoint a highly qualified royal commission, the personnel of which is not burdened with a host of other tasks, and give it the power to do an efficient job. Then, if its report is favourable, let us take the next bold step of implementation and see the concept become a reality, so that future generations will say in all sincerity that the members of this twenty seventh parliament did indeed have their interests and the interests of Canada at heart.

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