Stanley Ronald BASFORD

BASFORD, The Hon. Stanley Ronald, P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B.

Parliamentary Career

April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
  Vancouver--Burrard (British Columbia)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Vancouver--Burrard (British Columbia)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (July 6, 1968 - January 27, 1972)
  • Minister of State for Urban Affairs (January 28, 1972 - August 7, 1974)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Minister of State for Urban Affairs (January 28, 1972 - August 7, 1974)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Minister of State for Urban Affairs (January 28, 1972 - August 7, 1974)
  • Minister of National Revenue (August 8, 1974 - September 25, 1975)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (September 26, 1975 - August 2, 1978)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (January 28, 1978 - February 1, 1978)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 714 of 714)

June 4, 1963

Mr. Ron Basford (Vancouver-Burrard):

should like to direct a question to the Minister of Fisheries. Following the meetings to take place in Washington beginning on Thursday, June 6, between Japan, the United States and Canada on the north Pacific treaty, can the minister advise the house if the standing committee on marine and fisheries will be given an opportunity to discuss this important matter before any final action is taken by the government in order to implement the recommendations of our delegation?

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May 31, 1963

Mr. Ron Basford (Vancouver-Burrard):

Mr. Speaker, in speaking to the bill introduced by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) I want to compliment him on his interest in this one individual who was running this paper which has now gone bankrupt. There is from time to time in this house a suggestion that we should have an ombudsman. I suggest that if members of parliament were doing their jobs we would not need an ombudsman, because where small people have been hurt by government or by regulation, members of parliament in doing their job can correct such injustices.

As the hon. member has said, and as the record in previous Hansards will show, the Kootenay Graphic News, which was located in his riding and was a small weekly paper, started up as a very vigorous little paper. This paper endeavoured to obtain and was obtaining advertising on radio station CKLN in Nelson. This station, as the record will show-this is for the benefit of new members-is owned by the News Publishing Co. Ltd., which also owns the Nelson Daily News, as the hon. member pointed out. These two news media, radio station CKLN and the Nelson Daily News, are in effect owned and managed by the same company and the same people. They disliked the thought of the competing newspaper, the Kootenay Graphic News, advertising on the air waves of their radio station and, as the hon. member pointed out, they cancelled his advertising contract. I had hoped that the advertising and the publicity the hon. member's actions would create on behalf of the Kootenay Graphic News would have meant that they would be doing better than if they had continued getting the radio advertising. I am very sorry to hear today that the paper has gone out of business. This is somewhat tragic. I thought that possibly the action of the hon. member in this house and in his constituency would have resulted in the paper doing even better.

In speaking to this bill, Mr. Speaker, I should like to point out three criticisms of it. I have first a general criticism, arising from remedies often suggested by hon. members of the party to which the hon. member belongs. They will see an injustice, a social ill, a wrong, and they will suggest a remedy, the remedy often being worse than the wrong. In certain respects this bill is in that class. I am sure the hon. member for Kootenay West feels he is making a fight on behalf of the little man fighting the big man, and I always admire anyone who is prepared to do this. I think that in protecting the rights of

Broadcasting Act

the little man against the big man we must be very careful that we are not depriving anyone of his proper rights, his due process of law, to which surely he is entitled whether he be a big man or a little man.

I should like to read to the house and put on the record section 6 (a) (i) of this bill:

-will not-

That is, the licensee, the person holding the licence from the government, the radio station:

-will not discriminate or delay, upon reasonable notice given, in furnishing suitable commercial service of the type furnished by the licensee, to any person who may apply therefor and be reasonably entitled thereto and to whom such service reasonably can be supplied by the licensee, for reason only that the person so applying carries on a business that competes with a business in which the licensee has an interest:

With regard to the last part of that clause, which reads, "for reason only that the person so applying carries on a business that competes with a business in which the licensee has an interest", the hon. member for Kootenay West is concerned about a newspaper which is endeavouring to advertise on a radio station. The wording of that clause would also apply to a radio station endeavouring to obtain advertising on a competing radio station. It would seem that under the wording of the bill the competing radio station would be entitled to demand advertising time on his competitor's station. I am not convinced that this would be a particularly healthy situation in the broadcasting business. I am not convinced that it would contribute at all to the health of our broadcasting industry. I am not convinced that it would contribute to the raising of the standards of radio broadcasting across the country.

I would agree with the hon. member that a newspaper, no matter by whom it is owned, should be entitled to advertise on a radio station, and similarly that a radio station should be entitled to advertise in a newspaper. But I am not convinced yet-and the hon. member for Kootenay West is going to have to convince me-that it would be healthy for the broadcasting industry, from the point of view of the public, to allow one radio station to advertise on another. But, more particularly, there is in this bill provision for the Minister of Justice to examine the situation and make a report to the Minister of Transport, and then the Minister of Transport has power to revoke the licence.

I suggest that unless the bill is a little more carefully worded than it is at present, we could have the situation where a competitive radio station in one district would apply for advertising on another station in that district, and if that were refused they could endeavour to have their competitor's licence revoked.

Broadcasting Act

In my city we have at the moment a very competitive radio station and I would think that unless this bill is carefully re-worded, these radio stations, some of which at the moment are not doing too well, would use every etfort to see that the licences of competitors were revoked, not to protect any human rights which had been taken away but simply in an effort to get competitors out of business. I think that is the real danger attaching to this bill and one which should be corrected by redrafting.

In the second place, and this is to me a very serious matter, I feel that the difficulty about solutions recommended by the New Democratic party is that they are so often worse than the problems they are trying to solve. In this bill there is no provision made for a licensee to appeal. Surely, the owner of a radio licence, whether he is big or small, should be entitled to notice, entitled to an appeal and entitled to a hearing. It is elementary justice that such a man should be entitled, before he loses his licence, to make representations to the Minister of Justice or to the Minister of Transport or whoever has power to revoke it. Surely he is entitled to receive notice that his licence may be revoked and to explain, if he wishes, why he took certain action, in the hope that his licence will not in fact be taken away. This is an elementary right which every Canadian should have. Here the only rights the licensee has are set out in subsection (6) (b), and really they provide no rights at all. It says:

The Minister of Justice shall, upon any complaint thereof, ascertain whether a licensee has breached in any particular the condition set out in paragraph (a) and he shall report thereon to the Minister of Transport forthwith and to the House of Commons at the first convenient opportunity.

Nowhere in that procedure is a right given for the licensee who is in danger of losing his licence to be heard. I think that is the real flaw in this bill. Later in the measure it is provided that a licensee who has had his licence revoked may go to the exchequer court and have the matter inquired into. But surely it is not fair to give him rights only after he has lost his licence. Surely we should not put a licensee into a position where only after losing his licence can he resort to this procedure. If, for some reason, he was entitled to refuse advertising, surely we are not going to force him to hire lawyers and follow the complicated procedure of appearing before the exchequer court to have his case heard. It would be much better, I think all hon. members would agree, to allow him to make representations either to the

Minister of Justice or to the Minister of Transport before the licence is lost.

A third matter concerns the way the bill is worded. It is my contention that there is far too much discretion given to the ministers involved. I have great confidence in the ministers of this government and I think we are entitled to have a good deal of confidence in the administrative ability of most ministers, but I think the house should be most careful regarding the discretionary powers it gives to ministers. There are some situations in which this is the only way to deal with some governmental or administrative problem, but I think members of parliament should always be on guard to see that these discretionary powers are kept to a minimum, and where such power is granted it should be spelled out very carefully and the area in which such discretion can be exercised should be clearly defined.

The present bill uses the words "the licensee. . .will not discriminate or delay, upon reasonable notice given-". Surely, it would not be difficult to spell out in the legislation what "reasonable notice" is, whether it be two days, or eight days, or eight weeks. Later on, the text uses the words "in furnishing suitable commercial service" and so on. I have no idea what "suitable commercial service" might be. Further on appears the phrase "to any person who may apply therefor and be reasonably entitled thereto". Surely it would be possible to establish by legislation who is entitled to advertise, because who is to be the judge of whether a man is reasonably entitled to advertise or not? I believe the bill should spell out the right of access to this radio time. Another phrase which occurs in the bill is "to whom such service reasonably can be supplied". This again, is a loose phrase which is bound to give rise to difficulty of interpretation.

All this creates a dangerous situation and one which we must watch, because in this clause we would be giving a minister the power to deprive someone of a licence-a licence which has probably cost him, or the shareholders in the enterprise, a great deal of money. Presumably, too, the station is supplying a service needed by the community to which it is broadcasting; if it is not doing so there are ways of remedying the situation. But we are giving the minister power to take this licence away under a loosely worded statute and we are creating a situation where it would be difficult to argue whether or not a minister had acted rightly in doing so, because of this same looseness of phraseology.

The hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) is to be complimented on the vigour with which he has raised this question and endeavoured to protect the rights of the owner

and editor of the Kootenay Graphic News, but in making one correction for the editor [DOT]of that newspaper he is asking us in this particular piece of legislation to take away the rights of others by creating a situation where ministerial discretion could be exercised under the terms of a very loosely worded statute, and then by denying a licensee the right to appeal.

I assume this has not occurred to the hon. member, but his bill would also give rise to a situation which might create havoc in the radio business, inasmuch as it could lead to one radio station advertising on another. I know the hon. member is concerned with a newspaper advertising on a radio station, but I think the situation I have mentioned is one we should bear in mind. As I said at the outset, I believe that a newspaper should certainly have the right to advertise on radio, if it has not already. It would seem to me that to refuse this right of advertising is an action in restraint of trade and should be so declared.

I would think that the hon. member's correct course of action, rather than try to change the Broadcasting Act which deals only with radio, is to endeavour to change the Combines Investigation Act to provide that newspapers can advertise on the radio and that radio stations can advertise in newspapers, regardless of who the owners might be and whether or not they are the same, so that they may advertise in either media.

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May 24, 1963

Mr. Ron Basford (Vancouver-Burrard):

Mr. Deputy Speaker, I have enjoyed listening to the last remarks of the hon. member for Queens (Mr. Macquarrie), particularly with regard to closure. I find them a little surprising coming from one who is a supporter of the right hon. gentleman opposite, the former prime minister, who undertook to do away with closure and then immediately imposed his own form of closure by governing the country, or trying to govern the country, by refusing to allow parliament to discuss a budget for two years and by imposing taxation and surcharges by order in council, again without allowing parliament the opportunity of discussing them.

I should like to congratulate you, sir, on your election as chairman of committees and Deputy Speaker, and I ask you to convey to the hon. member for Mount Royal my congratulations on his election as Speaker, which I add to the many already offered him. I am sure Mr. Speaker's conduct in his high office will be such that it will lend to the increasing demand that his appointment be permanent.

I also want to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) on his election as Prime Minister, and his cabinet colleagues on their appointments. I am sure the trust that millions of Canadians have placed in him will be fully justified. I further want to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on the creditable manner in which they performed their task, which has brought honour and distinction to their respective ridings.

I would like to thank the people of my own riding, particularly those who voted for me and worked so hard on my behalf, for

The Address-Mr. Basford giving to me the opportunity, at a fairly early age, of serving in this house and working with other hon. members in making this country a better place for all of us. I would also like to thank my fellow Liberal party members from British Columbia in doing me the honour of selecting me as chairman of the British Columbia caucus.

I think I speak on behalf of all new members on both sides of the house in thanking those hon. members re-elected in the last election for the very warm and gracious way in which they have welcomed us to the house, and for the very helpful way in which they have endeavoured to get us going on our parliamentary duties.

I have not had the opportunity of talking with the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Douglas), but I am sure when I do his welcome will be tinged with a certain regret because, Mr. Speaker, I have the honour- or at least I regard it as an honour-of belonging to a very select group on this side of the house who defeated New Democratic party members of parliament in the recent election. The N.D.P. group in the house has grown smaller as a result of the April 8 election, and I predict that in the years and the elections to come they will grow smaller still.

If the government is allowed by hon. gentlemen opposite to get on with the job of governing Canada and carrying out its program, of which the speech from the throne is only a first instalment, we will be able to show that this party and this government are the really effective element of reform in Canada, and that the New Democratic party, by fighting or refighting the class wars of 50 years ago, is becoming increasingly old fashioned and out of touch with Canada's twentieth century problems. In passing, I would say to the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), because I know the N.D.P. well, that I think the Sergeant-at-Arms should be left where he is rather than put in the centre of the aisle.

It is traditional in maiden speeches to describe in some detail the beauties of one's own riding. I -would like to describe the beauties of my riding and of the west coast of Canada, but the beauties of the west coast are so great that they are indescribable. Rather than describe them I would like to invite all hon. members to come out to the west coast of Canada to see the sort of very beautiful country we have there.

To hon. members who do not know my riding I point out that it is purely urban, situated in the central part of Vancouver and having both residential and industrial sections. While I hope to speak from time to time in the


The Address-Mr. Basford house with regard to problems of special concern to my riding, such as waterfront development, False Creek harbour development and the Kitsilano air force station which is located in it, at the present I just want to mention it is a purely urban and downtown riding.

Because it is situated right in the city of Vancouver, the general prosperity and welfare of the people of my riding, like that of all people in Vancouver, are dependant largely upon the success of Vancouver becoming the major trading port that it can become. At the present time to handle the people and commodities arriving at our international airport and through our harbour, 24 consulates, five trade commissioners, 21 customs house brokers, 15 shipping agents, 47 shipping company representatives and 26 freight forwarders now make Vancouver their operational base. Because of the importance of trade to Vancouver, and because of the importance of Vancouver becoming the trading centre that it can and must become, I welcome the references in the speech from the throne to the fact that the government will pursue an active and expansionist policy with regard to trade. The welfare of Vancouver and the west coast generally depends on Canada having the freest possible degree of trade. In this particular connection I would like to bring to the attention of the Prime Minister and his colleagues the application of the city of Vancouver for a centennial Pacific trade centre. I shall quote briefly from the application of the city of Vancouver with regard to this trade centre:

There is reason to expect Canada's exports to northeast and southeast Asia, Australasia and the west coast of the Americas will flow through British Columbia ports at the rate of more than $2 billion a year a decade from now.

To secure this trebled increase and to improve upon it, and in so doing help correct Canada's urgent imbalance in world trade, requires bold, new-fashioned formulas to withstand competition from the aggressive new Europe and the United States.

The Pacific centennial trade centre is proposed as one such bold, new-fashioned formula.

It is the contention of the city of Vancouver that the centennial Pacific trade centre, bringing together under a common roof all traders with Pacific interests, not only will meet the foreseeable demand but, more, will be the prime agent creating it.

It seeks the impetus of the senior government.

This is an application by the city for the construction of a huge trading centre in Vancouver. I would urge upon the Prime Minister that at the appropriate time he give this application the attention it deserves so that we may have constructed in Vancouver a monument not so much to what has been done as to what the port of Vancouver can become.

My riding of Vancouver-Burrard is wholly urban. Vancouver, like every major city in Canada, has at its centre areas of blight, decay, ruin and slum. While there are many charming residences in my riding, there are also accommodations in which no human being should be expected to live. I am sure some of the agriculturists opposite would refuse to put some of their animals in such accommodation. For this reason I welcome the announcement in the speech from the throne foreshadowing the establishment of a municipal development and loan board as well as changes in the National Housing Act which, I am sure, will provide cities and municipalities with increased financial assistance in respect of slum clearance and urban redevelopment. I would hope that the mayor and aldermen of my city, as well as those of all other Canadian cities, are farsighted and imaginative enough to take full advantage of this municipal program when it is established.

There are those in our cities who regard slum clearance and urban redevelopment as a luxury which municipal taxpayers can ill afford. On the contrary, slum clearance makes good economic sense. Apart entirely from the social and human values involved-and these should not be minimized-it is of real advantage to municipal taxpayers to redevelop their blighted and slum areas. A decayed area brings little or no revenue to a city, yet the major part of every city's police costs, fire costs, welfare and other costs is spent in these non-revenue producing areas. The largest burden for servicing these blighted and decayed areas falls not on those areas but on the non-slum areas. It therefore makes good economic sense for cities to redevelop these areas and bring them back into active and proper use producing tax revenues for their municipalities.

I had not intended to mention anything about the fishing industry but the subject was raised this afternoon by the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Patterson). I wish to say only that I welcome the statement in the speech from the throne with regard to the establishment of a 12-mile territorial limit recognizing the treaty rights and historic rights of others. I am sure that in the atmosphere which now prevails under a government which is dealing with our friends as friends and not as enemies, we shall shortly be able to establish a 12-mile limit and thus give to our fisheries on both coasts the protection they need.

I should like to compliment the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Robichaud) for having come to British Columbia only a few days after

his appointment and sat down with representatives of our fishing industry, our vessel owners, the union and the native brotherhood to discuss the problems of the industry and to hear the representations, made to him with regard to changes in the international north Pacific fisheries convention. I compliment the hon. gentleman on having taken quick and decisive action in this regard and on saving the NORPAC treaty and the international control of fishing in international waters when it was in great danger of collapse. I disagree with what was said by the hon. member for Fraser Valley and compliment the Minister of Fisheries on his conduct.

I welcome the statement in the speech from the throne that the government will be establishing a commission to study biculturalism. There are those who may wonder why people in British Columbia are concerned about this subject when we are so far removed from the scene of action but I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we as Canadians are as concerned as anyone else about the present stresses and strains within our confederation. I hope this royal commission will produce at least some of the answers to the problem. I hope that all Canadians, whether we be English speaking or French speaking, will act with understanding and maturity because, if we do, we can surely provide a system by which the rights and privileges of all Canadians are protected and recognized within confederation.

However, in this discussion of biculturalism let us not forget another group of Canadians, those who have come from afar to make their homes in Canada. I ask the indulgence of the house before reading part of a letter which was delivered to me on election day. I might add that it made the afternoon of election day a little more pleasant.

I am authorized by a few dozen naturalized new Canadians to address myself to you on behalf of all of us.

Having discussed thoroughly the question of voting today, we have decided all to vote for the Liberal party on April 8, 1963.

The motives of our unanimous decision were:

We have full confidence as working people and as members of an ethnic group that the Liberal party government will secure for us more jobs, and that the new Liberal government will have also more understanding for our own, as well as for all Canadian ethnic groups, their cultural, social and political needs and aspirations.

Please convey this our feeling of confidence directly to the hon. Lester B. Pearson with the expression of our highest esteem for him.

I urge the house not to forget in our consideration of biculturalism that there are thousands of people, those of whom the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Ryan) spoke so eloquently, who have come to Canada to build new homes and new lives. In some cases the countries from which they came have been

The Address-Mr. J. H. Horner destroyed or have disappeared. These people want to play their part, and an important part, in helping to build this country into the great nation which I am sure it can become.

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May 24, 1963

Mr. Ron Basford (Vancouver-Burrard):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Is he giving consideration to the admission of Mr. Weldon Chan to Canada as a landed immigrant?

Subtopic:   WELDON CHAN
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