Hon. Rene Tremblay (Mafapedia-Matane):
Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, on orders of the day, I put a question to the hon. Minister of Forestry and Rural Development (Mr. Sauv6) because last weekend an extremely important event took place on the lower St. Lawrence.
A meeting was held at Cabano of representatives from three counties comprising the nine ridings which make up the pilot area of the lower St. Lawrence, Gaspe peninsula and Magdelene Islands. It was decided, by a majority vote, that a council would be organized but that this council would remain independent from the rest of the area in order to pursue the specific objectives of the three counties, namely Kamouraska, Riviere-du-Loup and Temiscouata.
The reason why I raised this question is that it fits into the framework of the general plan of the lower St. Lawrence and Gasp6 Peninsula Development Board.
As we know, the federal government, through the ARDA act, administered by the Minister of Forestry and Rural Development contributed 50 per cent of the cost of those studies. The cost of such studies was considerable at $4 million and the 50 per cent federal contribution, under ARDA, will amount to something like $2 million.
Therefore, it is very much in our interest that this project as put forward by the Eastern Quebec Development Board should
April 24, 1967 COMMONS
be implemented. But before discussing that particular problem of bringing the structures of the plan into being, I would like to recall the six objectives mentioned in the development plan. I quote:
1. Modernize traditional basic fields (fanning, fishing and partly forestry) in which is found the concern for redevelopment, the utilization of resources contained in the second alternative;
That is the alternative where all the resources of the territory would be fully used.
2. Create new dynamic activities (tourism, industry and mining) which imply that considerable efforts will be made in those fields to keep the territory's population at a minimum of 325,000 people where it is economically realistic to supply them with the urban services they want;
3. Increase the value of manpower seeking to establish the geographical and vocational mobility required by the contemplated development and use of resources, the promotion of proposed new undertakings and the accepted rate of emigration.
4. Establish a planning and participating institutional framework likely to provide an institutional basis for the planned regional development in cooperation with the population;
5. Build up a regional awareness which will result in a popular sharing in the objectives and the method of proposed development and, finally;
6. Rationalize the regional area to provide at a practical cost the regional population with the urban services they hope for and which will create the basic conditions essential to the development of certain sectors, particularly tourism and industry.
The fourth objective, the establishment of a local body to implement the plan is precisely the subject of discussions between the various sectors of the region.
[DOT] (10:30 p.m.)
I wish to point out that the decision made by the Grand-Portage area with regard to the three counties of Kamouraska, Riviere-du-Loup and Temiscouata, may not meet the legitimate wishes of the people of the area, but that such a stand should perhaps not be considered as jeopardizing the implementation of the program in the whole territory. That is the point I want the minister to answer.
Mr. Speaker, this very costly plan has also given rise within the population to great aspirations towards improved economic conditions, and the people should not be deprived of advantages they normally expect because of the partial implementation of that program.
It may also be necessary to somewhat restrict the scope of the original plan, so that we, from other sections of the area, from Matapedia-Matane, may be able to contribute to the achievement of those aims. I know
Proceedings on Adjournment Motion that the federal government has not only helped to finance these studies but already begun talks with the authorities of the province of Quebec concerning the implementation of this program.
Therefore I would ask the hon. minister to shed some light on his talks with the provincial authorities, so that we may see how soon the inhabitants of that region may expect to see realized the aims of the program which I have just enumerated.
Because we are very far from the great urban centres, because the people in our region, unlike those of many other areas in the country, have not benefited from natural and other advantages, I believe they may legistimately aspire to receive through ARDA, both from the authorities of the province of Quebec and the federal government, the help they need.
In concluding my observations, I should like to thank the minister for his unfailing concern in the implementation of this development program, although I would like his answer to my question to give reassurance to the people of this area.
Topic: AGRICULTURE-ARDA-APPLICATION IN LOWER ST. LAWRENCE-GASPE AREA