1971 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 29th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1971
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The House met at 2:00 p.m.
By leave of the House, on the motion of the Honourable W.D. Black, Bill (No. 2) intituled An Act to Amend the Civil Service Superannuation Act was withdrawn.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the Minister without Portfolio.
MRS. I.P. DAWSON (Mackenzie): Mr. Speaker, once again it is a privilege to stand in this House and take part in the Throne Debate on behalf of the great riding of Mackenzie, the great coastal riding. I am very proud, today, to pay tribute to those great fellows in Powell River who last year took the Canadian championship for intermediate hockey - the Powell River Regals. I'm sure the Members read about it in the Weekend magazine. They are a splendid team, indeed, and we are all very proud of them.
I would like at this time, also, to commend the mover and the seconder of the Throne Speech for the modest job they did a week ago Friday. It's always good, if you apply yourself; if you can do that, you must be good.
Mr. Speaker, as so many have said in this House before, we are all aware that 1971 is our Centennial Year here in British Columbia. Not only is it gratifying to feel the tremendous response of the citizens of our Province to celebrations planned for commemoration of our Centennial but, also, we already have indications that many of our friends south of the border and from other Provinces in Canada will be coming to British Columbia to join with us on this momentous occasion.
Tourism, as a business, plays an important role in our economy. The expansion over the past six-year period to $470 million speaks for itself. Such tremendous growth in the tourist industry is, in no small measure, due to the combined efforts of the Department of Travel Industry and interested citizens throughout the Province. I was most impressed, indeed, with the programmes set up in both San Francisco and Los Angeles last year - programmes which, besides promoting tourism in the usual way, carried our story to factories, clubs of all types and right into the community involvement areas, where large numbers of people congregate. I think that the emphasis upon a four-season tourism in our Province is certainly having a marked effect upon the growth of this valuable industry. Great credit is due to those who pay their own expenses and give of their time to promote an industry which they feel is important and, while they may have a personal interest in the end result, their efforts ultimately lead to more employment opportunities. This, in itself, is a worthwhile consideration. I'm certain that there's no other industry in this Province which provides more employment opportunities for young people from university, colleges and high schools during the busy summer months of the year than that of tourism. The industry is continually expanding and broadening and, for the most part, at very little expense to the taxpayers of this Province.
Mr. Speaker, I was pleased indeed to see that, in the Throne Speech, the Law Reform Commission of British Columbia expects to present its next report to my colleague, the Attorney-General. Of particular interest to many women will be the section of the report dealing with property relations between husband and wife. As of now, property relations between husband and wife are governed by the common-law principles of separate property. Where marriages are a going concern, there are usually no difficulties. But the law is far from just in many situations where the marriage comes to an end through death or divorce, or, practically speaking, on separation. This is particularly so, for all or most of the assets of the family are held by one of the spouses. Even where there are joint holdings, such as joint bank accounts, the law does not appear to be satisfactory at all. The functioning of the present system of support, or of support obligations, that is, maintenance payments, is also much in need of review, as many a mother faced with the responsibility of supporting young children can testify. The law on support is obviously closely related to the poverty question. It is the intention of the Commission that, once existing laws on these topics have been examined, the two subjects will be treated together. This is a matter which concerns many women and I have received a great deal of correspondence on the subject of law reform. Those who have written to ask whether law reform in this area is plausible, feel that a woman who is widowed, divorced, separated or deserted, is often faced with great financial hardship. I am sure we all look forward to any changes that may alleviate these hardships and provide a more equitable arrangement in law for either marriage partner, should the question of property division or support obligations arise.
You know, Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member from New Westminster got us on the bandwagon the other day on Women's Liberation and declared that married women should have the right to be known as Miss or Mrs., if they had a mind to. Well, I don't know about anybody else but I'll stick with the Mrs. As Emerson said in one of his essays on manners, way back in 1844, 1 believe it was, "The first point of courtesy must always be truth." Let's face it, the truth of the matter is, once you are Mrs., you can never become a Miss.
Mr. Speaker, Utopia was the imaginary island, invented by Sir Thomas Moore, where the conditions of life and government were ideal. All of us cherish a dream within us and strive toward our own form of Utopia, whatsoever symbols and values that form may hold for us. Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of her coronation, called upon her people in many lands to cherish their way of life and to be mindful of those symbols and values which have endured throughout the ages.
Utopia was represented as an ideal. We, as British Columbians and Canadians, are a practical people and, in this Centennial Year, we can took with pride on our achievements and we can see around us the results of the past one hundred years of wresting a living from a land that was raw, rugged and unyielding. A land, dramatic in its beauty, a land that left its mark upon our forefathers, a land to which they brought all that was best in their way of life, and a land that will surely leave its mark upon us. From our parents and our grandparents, we have inherited a deep love of this land, a burning pride in the country they helped to build and, most important of all, we have inherited a way of life based on their symbols and values, a way of life which has helped forge us together as British Columbians and Canadians.
Let us then, not seek a Utopia but, rather, let us cherish our own way of life. Our way of life, as well as our love of country, has been handed down to us in many ways and should, I feel, be reconsidered today and in the future. The old must always give way to the new. This is progress. But it
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is important to retain and reflect upon the symbols and values of the past, as many of these symbols and values are what have made nations great. Symbols and values cannot be cast aside without replacing them with something of equal value and, if we are to retain a national pride, we must retain some of the symbols of our Nation.
For this reason, Mr. Speaker, I would ask our young people, to take a look at some of the most remarkable people ever to walk the earth. Parents and grandparents of those of our younger generation are the people who, within the last century have, by their work, increased life expectancy approximately 50 per cent, who, while cutting the working day by a third, have more than doubled the per capita output. These are the people who have provided the younger generation with a healthier world to live in than the one they found and, because of their effort and concern, we no longer have to fear the epidemics of flu, typhus, diphtheria, smallpox, scarlet fever, measles or mumps, that they knew in their youth. The once dreaded polio is no longer a medical factor, while tuberculosis is almost unheard of. These remarkable people lived through history's greatest depression. Many of them know what it is to be poor, what it is to be hungry and cold. Because of this, they determined that it would not happen to their children, who would inherit a better way of life, would have better food to eat, would live in a warm home, attend better schools, and would have greater opportunities to succeed in life because of the improvements in standards of living.
Today's young people are the tallest, healthiest, brightest and, probably, the best-looking generation to inhabit the land. Because the previous generation was materialistic, the younger generation will work fewer hours, learn more, have more leisure time, travel to more distant places and have more of a chance to follow their life's ambition. The people who defeated the tyranny of Hitler had the compassion, when the strife was over, to spend billions of dollars helping their former enemies rebuild their homelands. These same people have made more progress by the sweat of their brows than in any previous era and, in turn, they hope that their children will make as much progress in as many areas as they have, and that the newer generation will be able to solve a good many of the world's remaining ills. The task will not be an easy one. Young people may and can do it by hard work, humility, hope and faith in mankind. This is quite a challenge.
By reason of the progress made by our parents towards a better way of life, young people, today, move at a faster pace than did their parents; therefore, parents of today's young people must learn to re-evaluate their thinking. The symbols and values found in the home environment are still the best basis for our way of life. Parents who have earnestly and sincerely tried to inculcate in their children the fundamental truths basic to our society, as we know it, must be capable of understanding that, with progress and a faster pace of living, there need not be a diminishing trust in their young people, that these young people will, in their turn, still cherish our way of life, while forging ahead, using all the means available to them to enable them to make a still better way of life for mankind. Parents: this is your challenge.
Just as symbols and values are important in the home environment, so are they important in a nation. A nation without symbols and values, without virtue as a central core, is bound to live in disunity and isolated loneliness. We, as Canadians, have a responsibility to behave as adult, democratic people. Our beliefs are considered by some to be passe in this day. What those who would shoot arrows of scorn through the myths of the ages fail to see is that, behind our beliefs and symbols, lies an enduring strength, which enables those who hold to them to endure, while others who have no beliefs of any worthwhile kind, eventually wallow in the mire of their lack of purpose in life. We have behind us in Canada, not only the splendid traditions and annals of more than a century of growing and developing, but also the living strength of customs old and new, of blending of races, different in origin and history, all united in spirit and in aim.
While visiting Britain this past summer, I became very conscious of the living strength of customs and of history, of the dignity and mystique linking our Royal Family with our parliamentary system. There are those who feel that the Monarchy and all that it represents is a decadent entity in our society; however, there are a great many people in our country who still believe that the Throne is an essential part of our system of government, which is preferable to any other form. In countries where a Monarchy, as such, does not exist, a president must be elected every few years, whereas the Monarchy is of enduring tenure. It is to the Throne that the judges, the armed forces, the police, the Government officials and public servants of all kinds, owe their sworn loyalty. Not to the Parliament, not to the Government or the governing party, not to the Prime Minister. Under our system, parliamentary institutions with their free speech and respect for the rights of the minorities and their broad tolerance in thought and its expression, all this, we conceive to be a precious part of our way of life and of our outlook.
These freedoms have been sustained and invigorated by the contributions of language, literature and the arts, brought to us by three groups of people: By our first citizens. By those who have made Canada their country by choice, as well as those first settlers who have hewn a path for us in earlier generations.
Those who would seek a Utopia, as well as those who cherish our present way of life, might well re-examine their ideals in this Centennial Year. They might, for instance, consider how fortunate we are in our inheritance. An inheritance, recognized for what it is and used wisely, husbanded for future generations, together with the retention of our symbols and values and the cherishing of our way of life, can help us go forward together in peace, seeking justice and freedom for all men.
Mr. Speaker, when I was asked last year, to become involved in working with our first citizens, our native Canadians, I was very pleased, indeed, as I had already made a number of friends among the Indian people and was aware of some of their problems. While fully cognizant of the fact that Indian affairs are administered at the Federal level, nevertheless, I knew that areas such as development of culture, furthering of educational opportunities at various levels, development of campsites and recreational facilities and opportunities for economic development, could be and were being expanded through the medium of the First Citizens' Fund. I was, indeed, pleased to see at first hand results of some of these projects carried out through grants deriving from the First Citizens' Fund. By making monies available through this fund, Indian people can avail themselves of facilities not at present open to them through any other funding. When discussing the structure of the First Citizens' Fund with the Indian people and bringing them information as to what was available through this fund, many of them discussed their overall needs and the fact that it is sometimes impossible to draw a line and say, "This is a
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matter of Federal jurisdiction," when a situation presents itself for immediate solution.
Up to this time, I have visited some 80 to 90 reserves throughout the Province and, during my visits, have had worthwhile discussions with many of the people living on the reserves. In addition to visiting with the people in their own areas, I have had a number of meetings with nonstatus Indians and have attended conferences of both status and nonstatus groups. These conferences covered a wide range of topics, such as education, housing, health, welfare, recreation, preservation of culture and economic development. From my contacts with the Indian people, both on the reserves and at the conferences I attended, it became clear to me that the native Canadian people are increasingly desirous of having more jurisdiction in the management of their own affairs.
Our native Canadians are a proud people and have a culture of which they may be justly proud. Their culture comes down to us richly endowed with folklore, stories and legends fashioned from the fabric of this great land we all love. Just as the European settler has brought to the land of his adoption his culture, in the form of stories, folklore and legends, all of which have blended with and enriched our culture, so our native Canadians have a wealth of cultural background that is the heart and essence of this country. Who can remain unmoved when listening to the tales of the great thunderbird, the whale, the raven, or other creatures, which form the very marrow and sinews of the culture of this noble race. The tales that are told of brave hunters and fishermen enduring almost impossible perils in order to provide their families with food to eat, put figures such as Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan somewhat in the shade.
I am very pleased indeed that the Indian people are making a determined effort to preserve their culture and, to this end, are engaging themselves in activities which afford opportunities to their young people to learn their language, their dances and their art forms. The First Citizens' Fund, which I mentioned, is a tangible expression of our desire to see that this culture, this heritage of a proud race, is preserved for all to enjoy.
Canadians, as a whole, would do well to learn more of the culture of the Indian people. To know the culture of a people is an aid to better understanding of that people. There is a wealth of detail inherent in Indian culture to prove that there is a great deal to be learned from their way of life and that there is much for Canadians to learn about it. The Indian culture can make an even greater contribution to Canada than the considerable one it has already made. Just as the Greeks had their Ulysses, the Romans their Alexander, the Britons their King Arthur, so the Indian people had their Maquinna and other great heroic figures. It is my feeling that the time has come to offer a broader selection of reading material centred around the Culture of this proud race to our school children. Who, may I ask, would be better able to research and write of this culture than the Indian people themselves? I've brought just a few selections of books that I think are tremendous reading for young people today. There are many, many more. One is called The Salmon People, Indian Lives and Legends, The Raven's Cry, and here is one, a tremendous book, The Art of the Kwakiutl Indians. This one is tremendous. There are many, many books but I do think we should encourage Indian people to write, research and write, themselves.
Indian people are interested in upgrading themselves and educating their young people. Whether education be attained and completed through our normal school system, vocational training or at the university level, it is important for those involved in such education, to recognize that the Indian student does not wish to be singled out for any special attention in an obvious way and, while he or she may have problems in some learning areas, these problems are no different in spectrum than problems encountered by other children. It is important that these children, who are in our school system, know that they can achieve whatever goals they have set themselves and that they can become whatever they wish to become and are capable of becoming, when they are ready to enter the adult world.
Mr. Speaker, it might be interesting to know some of the programmes that are going on throughout the Province in various areas with our first citizens. Many reserves now are taking up programmes such as the BTSD course, which is the Basic Training and Skill Development. I think others are taking up fishermen's upgrading and power saw maintenance, carpentry, Christmas tree pruning and employment orientation. I think one of the finest things that I have seen here, though, is up at Terrace at the new vocational school in that area, about 40 per cent of the students at the vocational school are native Indians. This is tremendous, indeed, and shows that these people are doing and trying to come out. It's tremendous, indeed, and I think if anybody's out that way they should drop in and see these young people at work.
I would also like to mention at this time, as a part of First Citizens' Fund and because we are interested in young people, that this year, for the third year, our native children's Musical Tattoo will be traveling to twelve communities in the Province and taking part in the 1971 Centennial celebrations. These young people come from eight different communities in British Columbia and I hope that if they are near your area this June you will take in the Tattoo. They're just tremendous.
I found a distinct trend amongst the Indian people I've visited to encourage their people to better their way of life so that many of those on welfare rolls might, through training and economic development, become gainfully employed and, by so doing, attain for themselves and their children a better way of life. These people felt that welfare monies are still issued at the whim of persons not adequately trained in understanding the particular problems of the Indian social welfare applicant. They spoke of discrepancies in the basic allowable earnings, health and dental care areas, areas which are not automatically the rights of Indian people who find themselves in receipt of welfare monies for one reason or another. It was their feeling that, in some cases, their people almost had to beg for even the most basic of their needs and that the amounts dispensed, both in cash payments and in benefits, did not equate with the Provincial rates for non-Indians.
One suggestion put forth to me by the Indians themselves was that the Department of Indian Affairs should purchase the services of Provincial welfare agencies in order that Indian people in the Province would be eligible for all benefits accruing to non-Indians, off reserves, in receipt of welfare monies. Many women brought up the subject of marriage counselling services, child care centres, para-medical services, kindergartens, development of playgrounds and recreational centres. Regarding the suggestion made by the Indians themselves that the Province agree with the Department of Indian Affairs that Provincial welfare services be introduced into the Indian reservations, an experimental project programme was undertaken a few years ago in two areas of
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the Province. It became abundantly clear as the projects went forward that, in order to help the Indian people effectively, it is necessary to have an overall operating agreement between the Province and the Federal Government in order to allow the Province to assist the Indians to bring about the changes they themselves desire. The Federal Department of Indian Affairs would not agree to underwrite the necessary costs to carry out the provisions of full services to Indians. Nevertheless, the Province has not ceased to work with the Indian people in an effort to assist them in determining and achieving their proper destiny as equal citizens in our society.
Mr. Speaker, I could name several examples of the welfare, but, possibly, at a later time in the Sessions, I will do so. But I think that the welfare situation, in some places, like up in Fort St. John, where the welfare worker, who is assigned to the Indian people by the Federal Government, had not visited there at all last year. I also went to another place where an Indian woman had no wood in her house, no phone, no power and, as a result of this, when I stopped at the nearest place, I contacted one of our own social workers and asked them if they would look into this and they did. The next day with the co-operation of the Indians themselves and their Council, this woman had wood in short order.
Another thing of interest to the Indians throughout the Province is that of parksites, campsites and picnic sites, which are being developed by the Indian people on their land and I was asked if assistance could be given in the form of services of a parks planner. To this end, I consulted with the committee of the First Citizens' Fund and, as a result of these discussions, a young man of the Indian race is undertaking training in a Parks Branch of the Department of Recreation and Conservation, this training to embrace the laying out of parks, campsites, and picnic sites and, possibly, even playground areas. Upon completion of his training, he will be traveling throughout the Province and getting together with his own people, with a view to developing these facilities.
Realizing the economic potential of their land, there is a marked trend among native Canadians to broaden their economic horizons. The economic expansion is being pushed ahead in the following fields: construction of canneries, stores of all types, boatbuilding, leasing of land for industrial sites, operating mines and, in the field of agriculture, growing wheat, oats and other staple crops. In addition, vineyards are being established in the South Okanagan region; however, these developments are only a beginning. There are many acres of land on reserves with a potential for grazing and agricultural uses of various kinds. These lands could be brought into use by employing irrigation systems.
With this in view, I have discussed such future development with my colleague, the Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources. The Minister has indicated that his department would be willing to conduct a feasibility study into the irrigation potentiality of areas where people express interest in utilizing their lands for agricultural purposes. If further action is deemed economically worthwhile, the matter would then be taken up with the Federal Government, as any programmes which result from such a survey would normally be developed through a Federal-Provincial cost-sharing basis. Already, a number of bands, concerned that their lands could be utilized through introduction of irrigation systems, have been contacted with a view to obtaining information as to their ideas of agricultural development potentiality, in order that feasibility studies may begin. Who knows? In future years, when driving through areas where sagebrush and dust now hold sway, we may see these dry lands rejoice and blossom like a rose.
I would suggest also, to my colleague, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Chairman of the First Citizens' Fund, that he give consideration to setting up a board, whose function would be to study the spectrum of economic development among the Indian people, this board to be structured to include members from the Federal and Provincial jurisdictions, as well as representatives of the Indian people here in British Columbia.
Like his brother, the white man, the Indian of today finds that, whatever dimension his social development assumes, whether it be in the field of education, health, welfare, recreation or economic development, housing, be it large or small family units, is the number one priority within the band itself. Although there are housing Programmes, sponsored by the Federal Government in many areas, a number of people whose homes I visited brought to my attention their feeling that these programmes could be better structured to the needs of the people. They also indicated to me that they wished more involvement of Indian people in the planning of their own homes. The people were specific on several points. For instance, floor plan, locations within a designated area, colour schemes and living space requirements for each family. Would any one of us here today willingly accept a new home planned by someone who tells us, "This is the type of house you are going to get." In other words, a package deal, with no thought being given to the wishes of the prospective resident. The point was made that district or tribal councils should have more jurisdiction in planning and carrying out of housing programmes. One suggestion was that, since the need for housing in the majority of Indian villages is a number one priority, consideration might be given to a programme designed to provide low-income rental housing on reserves. I was quite intrigued with the ideas of some of these Indians. I think it's tremendous. It shows that they are really thinking.
I was shown houses supposedly completed, where the workmanship left much to be desired and the home-owners, who pointed out these deficiencies, said that, had a building inspector made regular calls during the construction period and had building regulations been fully enforced, there would have been less likelihood of payment being made for work not completed. Many of the Indian people are capable of undertaking construction of homes, therefore, they reason that such construction should be carried out by qualified persons on the reserve, where at all possible. This is the pattern on some reserves but, as yet, is by no means general. Such a pattern would be one way of creating employment opportunities.
I'm just going to give you an example of what I mean -the houses not being completed. I visited one place up in the Fraser Canyon area. The people had a house completed, supposedly completed, a year and a half ago. It has full bathroom fixtures, copper piping and a water tank and yet there's no water in the home. They could not use the bathroom fixtures at all; the septic tank has not been installed. This lady was heating water on the stove, with all this. equipment in her house. I could tell you many others. I could tell you about a place on Vancouver Island where they gave them a two-bedroom home for 17 in the family.
The Indian counsellor-in-training programme, set up in co-operation with the John Howard Society, the Department of Indian Affairs, and the First Citizens' Fund, was designed to help meet a need for specialized counselling services for
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Indian people who find themselves in conflict with the law for one reason or another. The first Indian counsellors to be appointed under this programme spent a considerable period of time studying the principles and practice of law enforcement and visiting correctional and welfare agencies in the Victoria and Vancouver areas. Thus, they were enabled to familiarize themselves with such procedures, as well as getting to know the staffs in these fields. They have been directly involved in counselling in problem areas such as Court appearances, bail, legal assistance, presentence reports, obtaining an interpreter, domestic difficulties and referrals to other agencies. It is quite evident that this service, while still fairly new, could be extended and become a valuable and important aid to the Indian people in the Province. The major share of this programme has been borne by the First Citizens' Fund. For example, in 1970, in Vancouver, they gave $7,500; in Victoria, $7,308. In 1971, they granted $7,500 to both places. For the Federal Government, last year was $2,892, half of the actual salary paid for the Court workers.
All of these areas are important. Knowledge of a culture is an aid to understanding a people. Working together in the areas of social services, economic development and allied fields can go a long way towards making sure that this proud and noble race of people take their place in the world of today. As Canadians all, we have a common bond, a love of living in a great and fine land, a land which has much to offer the world, a land which has some problems, but none that cannot be solved. We cannot turn back the clock. The useful, the important, the right thing to do is to learn to master the environment that is. The white man must not always play the role of the giver, thus placing the Indian in the role of the receiver but each race, united in their love of their country and its great potential, each learning from the other, must strive together to solve problems common to us all as Canadians, and endeavour to achieve, by such unity and understanding, a better way of life for all of us, both as British Columbians and Canadians. By working together, we can to quote from an old Indian story, "Progress together and watch our brother Canadians stand tall, with the sun, the moon and the stars in their faces and the wind at their backs."
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the Member for Vancouver East.
MR. R.A. WILLIAMS (Vancouver East): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sorry the Honourable the Premier has left. I wanted to talk about his home constituency later on in my talk, so I hope that he makes it back fairly soon so that he can learn what happens in that part of the world while he's away.
I think it's rather interesting, Mr. Speaker, hearing what the honourable lady Member had to say; however, I had a feeling, looking at my friend on my right, that she might be preaching to the converted. I thought of talking about resources, Mr. Speaker, because that's an important matter here in British Columbia. I'd like the opportunity at some time later in the debates to talk about Finland and Scandinavia, a glorious part of the world that I was fortunate enough to spend some six weeks in earlier this year. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from that part of the world which has an environment, in many ways, comparable to our own. Instead, I think it might be worthwhile to look at the heartland of Social Credit, Mr. Speaker.
You get the idea, listening to the Honourable the Premier and other Cabinet Members, that everything began in 1952 and that we formed a kind of Eden here in British Columbia and that the centre of it might well be Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley. In the Speech from the Throne, Mr. Speaker, the Lieutenant-Governor talked about creating, probably.... well, let's use his words. They're difficult to remember, this kind of bureaucratic words. The words were these. "The main and foremost policy of my Government is directed to the improvement of the total environment of its citizens, to the end, that they shall all enjoy the best ecological climate in the world." That is the goal of the Government, according to the Speech from the Throne and we might refer back to that, as we look at different developments in the Central Okanagan.
I'd like to focus on Kelowna for various reasons. One, because it is the Premier's hometown and two, because it probably represents what's happening in the Province on a broader scale and, probably, there are no more telling examples than exist in the Kelowna area in terms of what this Government stands for, the kinds Of principles that this Government holds, and the kind of limited goals they really hold for the people at large. Kelowna is interesting to look at for a couple of other reasons. There are a couple of recent developments, just on the outer edge of the city of Kelowna, both of which are worth looking at in some detail. One of these developments is a publicly-owned industrial estate developed by the city of Kelowna. It's just on the city's edge. The other is a private, commercial development being developed for profit by a relative few, by a new elite and by an old elite. The kind of image one gets of the Okanagan is the one the Honourable the Premier likes to sell. It's an image that really exists only in the travel folders. You stop at the floating bridge on the west side of the lake and if you look around from there you get this kind of picture - a beautiful lakeland in Central Okanagan. You get the impression that it very well may be a kind of Eden. That's the kind of impression that is sold by the Government, by the Premier, by the Cabinet and, yet, it's really not valid.
We might look at a kind of simple, general map of the Okanagan, the Central Okanagan. This map, Mr. Speaker, shows roughly the city boundaries and here you see the floating bridge, one of the real achievements of this Government, and enter the city at Harvey Avenue, Highway 97 continues. The city boundaries move way up to the north and take in Knox Mountain to the north, the lovely hill that you see on the left as you're coming over the bridge. It sweeps up into the old Glenmore irrigation district, a very pleasant developing suburban area to the north. It even includes Mt. Gilworth, an undeveloped mountain, to the north and to the east. But it's when you look to the south, Mr. Speaker, at the boundaries of the city of Kelowna, that things look strange because the natural geography of the area is such that there's a big, flat valley to the south and to the east. One would think that that should rightly be within the boundaries of the city of Kelowna. Yet, you see what happened. At the southern edge of the city's boundaries, the line jogs around, dog-legging all around various individual properties, in what used to be known as the District of Guisachan - which the Government found embarrassing a few years ago and removed - and jogs up again and follows Highway 97 itself. Highway 97 becomes the city boundary and, north of Highway 97, the city has control. On the south of Highway 97, the Province has control and, now, the Regional District.
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Now, that gives a general idea, and I might, if you'll forgive me, give a kind of planner's view of the town, to some extent. Kelowna's a kind of a north-south town, like Vancouver is an east-west town. Kelowna has a lower income group living on the north side of town and a higher income group living on the south side of town. The industrial area is on the north side, just like my east end in Vancouver. It's very comparable to Vancouver in some ways, except the difference is that the wealthy west end of Vancouver is within the tax area of the whole city and so it can, at least, benefit the east end of Vancouver, to some extent. But in Kelowna, that's something else again. The tax benefits that the city should be getting from the south area are, in fact, not available to the city of Kelowna, in order to carry out all the services that they provide for everybody in this part of the valley. So, there is this strange kind of gerrymandered city boundary that pretty well orients to the north side of town and leaves the south side of town alone. If you ever talk to the Mayor of Kelowna he'll tell you that, "It's a real shame that the city boundaries are the way they are, because all the land speculators are out here on the south side of town. They're holding up development, they're creating countless problems for the city of Kelowna which, in the end, always ends up servicing them."
Another interesting thing about Kelowna, Mr. Speaker, is that its downtown hasn't really developed, and I'm still giving a bit of a planner's eye view of Kelowna, as I see it (interruption). As a downtown, well, I don't question the honourable lady Member's professional qualifications and I hope she won't question mine. Nevertheless, I'll leave that to her. She's free to do as she likes, of course.
The interesting thing, Mr. Speaker, is that this boundary creates all kinds of problems within the city. I think, if we go on from here and look at industrial development, new industrial development, as I mentioned earlier, it should be worthwhile. The industrial estate that I mentioned in Kelowna is out here. This green area, out to the east of town, that is land that was bought by the city of Kelowna, with the help, incidentally, of some millionaires who loaned the city money, in order to go into the public land business, in order to develop an industrial estate to create jobs, and in order to create an industrial area which the city could control and which would not pollute Lake Okanagan, in which they could have quality development, in which they could control access to the highway and in which they could control the zoning. They've done that and they did it with the help of some aid from wealthy people in the town who do care about their community.
But there are two types of millionaires in Kelowna, Mr. Speaker. There are the ones who have it made and there are the ones that are still on the make. I want to talk a little bit about both of them. The ones that have it made are serving the interests of that community in the form of that industrial estate and my hat's off to them. The ones that are still on the make represent the worst of Social Credit, represent the worst of what's happening in British Columbia today. That industrial estate, Mr. Speaker, that the city developed, includes the new McGavin's factory, a new Crown-Zellerbach plant, a new White truck plant, and a good many other industries. There's been rigid control of pollution and waste within the industrial estate. Crown-Zellerbach, not willingly at first, has spent a quarter of a million dollars on waste control, alone, within its own site. That was for an activated sludge plant that deals with the ink waste and the starch waste from the industrial operation. It's a credit to Crown-
Zellerbach, it's a credit to the city of Kelowna, but it's no credit to the Province of British Columbia. That's one thing that should be made clear. Much of what one sees and admires in Kelowna is created by the actions of a concerned, capable, civic administration and local council, with no thanks, whatsoever, to the Province of British Columbia, this Cabinet, this Government.
So, in this industrial estate, Mr. Speaker, the profits are going to the city of Kelowna, they're controlling the quality of development, they're controlling waste and they're controlling access to everyone's benefit. The only complication they had was with the Pollution Control Board. The Pollution Control Board wanted Crown-Zellerbach to put the waste into the civic sewage system which would end up in Okanagan Lake, but the city pointed out it was far better for the waste to be dealt with completely by the owners, rather than have the waste in Okanagan Lake. The city was able to quash a decision by the Pollution Control Board that would have added to the complications of Okanagan Lake.
We might just comment a little bit further on waste control in that part of the Okanagan. The city does have some early industries within the city boundaries on the north side, as I mentioned. These industries empty into a little creek, known as Brandt Creek, which empties out near Manhattan Point on the north side of town. The city has carried out a study and it's clear from that study where most of the waste is coming from, that goes into that creek and which is adding to the eutrophication of Okanagan Lake, which is killing Okanagan Lake. This little diagram in the report shows where the waste is coming from: basically from two main plants, within the city, developed a long time ago. One of them is Sun-Rype, which is B.C. Tree Fruits, a co-operative, and that's producing 80 per cent of the waste problems in that creek which is going into the lake. The other is Calona Wines, producing 10 per cent of the waste going into that creek, which is adding to the problems in Okanagan Lake (interruption). What's that? Spelled with a C, not with a K. That's right.
It's interesting to reflect on Calona Wines, because the owners of Calona Wines are also the major shareholders in another company - Westmills Carpets Limited, which is located in the central part of the Okanagan. Westmills Carpets considered locating in the city's industrial estate, but Westmills Carpets thought that the standards of pollution control were too high and too costly and so they started the pattern that has now mushroomed in the Central Okanagan of locating new industries outside the city boundaries, outside of the pollution control abilities of the city of Kelowna. They located some distance outside. They got Federal aid for their development and they ended up with residues of effluent in the same creek. It's interesting that that happened, Mr. Speaker. It's clear that the reason was effluent control and that it was cheaper. But, now, SunRype, the company that is polluting Brandt Creek, along with Calona Wines, says that it's going to do the same thing, that it likes it out there past the city boundary, that regulations are pretty soft and easy out there, and that that's where they want to be. Now that the city is trying to put the clamps on these two old companies, that have both done very well in Kelowna, they are saying that they want to skip out, too (interruption). Well, it is true and I think that it's been clearly reported in the Kelowna press, as well.
So it is clear, Mr. Speaker, that what's happening in the Central Okanagan, in terms of environment and ecological control, is that the best work, in fact, has been done by the
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city of Kelowna and it is only a second-rate or third-rate job being done by the Province of British Columbia. I'd like some assurance, Mr. Speaker, from the Members for the Okanagan, from the Premier, who's always unwilling to attend when the Opposition speaks in this House, from this Cabinet, that they'll see to it, that the same standards the city of Kelowna applies, will apply outside the city boundaries for all of these companies, so that there'll be no special treatment for the second generation children of politicians, which has been the order of the day in the Okanagan. Because, if this isn't done, Mr. Speaker, it really means the end of Okanagan Lake, as people have known it in the past. It's all very well for you people over there to say, "Well, the Federal Government is carrying out a four-year study about the problems and the possibility of a diversion and so on." In the meantime, the lake is dying and is being killed as a result of your inaction, That was dealing with a portion of the question of industrial development in the Central Okanagan, Mr. Speaker. Let's talk about commercial development and the way they handle commercial development in the Central Okanagan, because it's much the same as the way they handle commercial development elsewhere in the Province. The interesting thing, Mr. Speaker, is that the city of Kelowna has carried out studies on many occasions. They have carried out commercial studies and so on. They found out that there was, in fact, a market for a regional shopping centre in their area. The city carried out the economic study that indicated that there was, in fact, a case for a new major regional shopping centre somewhere around Kelowna. Ideally, if you're talking about the new regional shopping centre, one which, in fact, will be the new commercial centre for the whole Okanagan Valley, then we should be talking about getting the best kind of development, the best quality of development and maybe the best method in return for the public. But, in fact, something very different happened. I think, Mr. Speaker, it's interesting to compare this private development in the Okanagan with the public development of the industrial estate, which I mentioned earlier. The city did establish principles of quality and zoning and access and wastes. What, in fact, happened on the question of a new regional shopping centre for the city? Maybe we should look at the map again, Mr. Speaker. The regional shopping centre is going to be located out here, where this black circle is, at the junction of Benvoulin Road and Highway 97. As I mentioned earlier, the city boundary is Highway 97 itself, so that the development takes place outside the control of the city of Kelowna. The pattern probably began earlier with B & W Development Limited in this area, because B & W, you may remember, Mr. Speaker, has handled commercial development on other highways in British Columbia, at other times, when we had another Highways Minister. B & W developed in Blue River and the Yellowhead route and so on. But, never mentioned at the time, was a development of B & W's out there on Highway 97, near Benvoulin Road. That development involved a new access to the highway and, with the access and zoning, a sale developed. They sold to a CPR subsidiary - Husky Oil. Now, when you go by that section of Highway 97, you'll find a Husky gas station at the site. That's really nothing new.
People in this House became familiar a couple of years ago, with the pattern of road-running along the highways of British Columbia. We had hoped, though, as a result of the debates in 1968 and, as a result of having a new Highways Minister, the Premier himself, and then the Honourable Member for Nelson-Creston, that the road-runners would become a vanishing species. But they haven't, Mr. Speaker, they're multiplying and that seems to be acceptable to the Government of British Columbia. Adjacent to this land was a larger acreage, Mr. Speaker, 100 acres maybe, in fact, initially, 25. In terms of developing a regional shopping centre at that site, it was really just a matter of one, two, three. One: you could option the right land. Two: you've got to get the zoning. Three: you've got to get the access. One, two, three has happened, Mr. Speaker, and the fortune's been made.
Let's talk about the options. The lands were optioned in 1968. That, as many may recall, Mr. Speaker, was the time, the year that the debates carried on with respect to other people making fortunes along the highway. That's the time the assembly took place. The assembly took place by MacIntosh Centre Limited, which, by the admission of Messrs. W. and R. Bennett, is a company that they are directors of and involved in. They acquired land at Benvoulin and 97, some of it for $4,600 an acre, some of it for as much as $20,000 an acre. They even acquired the holdings of B & W, that is, the remaining holdings of B & W, that B & W did not sell to Husky Oil. That, then, was the acquisition. We might look at another map, Mr. Speaker, with regard to that. The other map is out in the east end of town, this is Highway 97 coming out north to Rutland and to Winfield and, on this side of the highway, is the industrial estate. The solid red area, Mr. Speaker, is the 25 acres that is now becoming the regional shopping centre for the Okanagan Valley. That's the solid red area. The areas that were optioned included all of the red, the red square areas, as well. So more than double, far more than double, was acquired. But only 25 acres was to become the shopping centre site.
It was zoned, I believe, "rural," Mr. Speaker, and how was the rezoning handled? Well, you know, rezoning now is a more complicated process. It generally involves, in most of the regions, a review by the Technical Planning Committee. The Technical Planning Committee involves civil servants from the Lands Department, the Highways Department, the Health Department, the Water Rights Branch, Municipal Affairs and several other sections of Government. But, in this case, in the building of a new regional centre for the Okanagan, there was no consideration by a Technical Planning Committee. One, in fact, had not been appointed, not for the Central Okanagan, at least. Yet, the Honourable the Minister of Lands and Forests, Mr. Williston, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, both proudly talk about the Technical Planning Committees and the jobs they're doing. As a result, the rezoning was handled by the Department itself, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, on August 14, 1969, in the middle of a busy election campaign, found the time to sign the rezoning for the property at Benvoulin and Highway 97. That was without the benefit of the aid of the Technical Planning Committee. It's one of the last ministerial decisions, with respect to community planning area number one, because not very long after that, community planning area number one was disbanded and it became part of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, which had power to deal with these questions itself, at that time. Just under the wire. The Honourable the Minister approved this rezoning application, Mr. Speaker, and he did so with no discussions with the city, after no discussions with the city of Kelowna, at a time when there was no access yet provided to the site to Highway 97. He did so. when there was no water supply to the site and when there was no sewer system available to the site. That's the kind of town planning the Honourable the
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Minister carries out. So, anyway, the site got the Minister's blessing and the land was sold, after the rezoning. It was sold to yet another CPR subsidiary - Marathon Realty.
Then was the announcement made, Mr. Speaker, the announcement regarding this great new shopping centre for the Okanagan- I have the local paper here, which is the Kelowna Courier, and that's September 2, 1969. The Kelowna Courier headline is, "The Super Centre Slated." The price tag reads $34,000,000. The subheading is that, "Bennett Announces Plan for Huge Valley Complex." You can see the picture, here, Mr. Speaker. One, the shopping centre, surrounded by office towers, apartment buildings and so on, right around the whole complex. It's interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, just when that date was. It was September?. The Provincial election was the week before. It's clear that the CPR, like the politicians in power in this Province, have a delicious sense of timing. On September 3, there was another picture in the Kelowna Courier. The headlines under the picture on page 1, on the 3rd, say, "Congratulations on the Big Deal." The people involved in the picture are people from Marathon Realty, the Mayor of the city and Premier Bennett. What was the big deal, Mr. Speaker? The big deal was really the sale of the land. That was the big deal. The shopping centre is coming later. What did the land sell for? The land sold for $875,000, that's 25 acres at $35,000 an acre, some of it, land that had been acquired for $4,600 only a year or 18 months before.
What about the question of water, Mr. Speaker? There's no city water at the site and, now, if you drive down Highway 97, you'll see the buildings, huge buildings in this complex, a year or so later, after the earlier announcement and, yet, there's still no city water available to this development. None, whatsoever.
A pattern has been set, Mr. Speaker, with respect to other land speculation in the Central Okanagan near Kelowna. It was set back in 1965 by the Public Utilities Commission of this Province. There was a case in 1965, with a group, a real estate group known as Townhouse Developments and Carruthers Meikle, I believe. And we are again involved in the old boundary game, the boundary question. The city was being pressured to extend water to a speculative development half a mile south of its boundary. They weren't getting that much co-operation from the city but the city was willing to talk to these speculators, if the city boundaries were to be extended at the same time that the water was extended. A reasonable idea - that the city should be able to tax the area that it services. That reasonable idea doesn't really prevail in the Okanagan.
It's interesting to, look at some of the transcript, Mr. Speaker, of that 1965 hearing involving the Public Utilities Commission. A question on page 29 of the transcript was, "it would be correct to say, in any event, the developers have done nothing with respect to attempting to get these people into the city," and the answer from the city's representatives was, "That is correct." Then there was a question to the developers and that was, "Is there still any land available within the city boundaries zoned for this type of development." The answer was, from the developers, "If there is, it's very high priced, because of the restrictions put on the areas by the city itself." Then the next question, "And there are, of course, no restrictions, at the moment, in your proposed area outside the city boundaries." The answer, of course, was, "No." Then Alderman Angus, Mr. Tom Angus, at that time was an Alderman in the city of Kelowna, he said this, in a transcript on page 82. He said that, "My understanding at the city's committee meetings with the developers was that Townhouse Developments and Carruthers Meikle would give their utmost co-operation to bring the south Pandosy area into the city, which they didn't do. They didn't help us at all." The Alderman carried on, "I asked them four times for a meeting. He also said to me he would have, that is the developers, would have a brochure made up, showing what he felt would be the advantage of this area joining the city. But he didn't." The Alderman also said, "The developers said they would have a man that would either be paid, or he would do the job voluntarily, going around trying to convince the people that joining the city was a good idea." The Alderman sums it up, "We had no co-operation at all from Morris Meikle or Townhouse Developers."
What happened, Mr. Speaker, on November 3, 1965? There was an order by the Public Utilities Commission, requiring the city of Kelowna to extend its water services, leapfrogging one half a mile to service speculative development. It was signed by Mr. English, Chairman, Mr. Lyle Wicks, Commissioner. As some may recall, Mr. Wicks is a former Social Credit Cabinet Minister. Despite the fact that the city engineer said that the water pressure in the area was unsatisfactory and would cause problems for the city, despite the fact that these people clearly didn't try to get the area within the city boundaries when they promised to do so, your Public Utilities Commission required the city of Kelowna to extend the water mains to serve the speculative development.
I visited the Public Utilities Commission just last week, Mr. Speaker, and I'm sorry to say it's the first time I was there. I found it a rather quiet place, in which not very much is happening, in which files are in disarray. That's the kindest thing one can say about them, because I had phoned the day before, Thursday last, stating what files I wanted to see and I arrived Friday morning to look at the files. I subsequently waited half an hour to see the files that I'd requested the previous day. But I also asked to see the correspondence files, the kinds of letters that went back and forth between the city and the commission, and the speculators and the commission, and I was advised that the files of the Public Utilities Commission are not available to a Member of the Legislature. I was advised, as you always are with almost every department, now that you people have been the Government for 18 years, "That nothing's public, nothing's public any more." You are the Government that used to say, "We're the Government that keeps people informed." Now the Government deals in secrecy day in and day out.
My naivete may still remain, Mr. Speaker, but I was shocked when I was told that the files are not available to an elected Member of the Legislature. So I wrote, and I Wrote to Mr. Lyle Wicks, because I thought he would understand a politician's concern with respect to access to files. I wrote on Friday: "Dear Mr. Wicks: In conversation with Mr. Mellish, secretary of the commission, this morning, I was advised that none of the commission's correspondence files was available to the public or Members of the Legislative Assembly. I would appreciate it if you would confirm this policy in writing forthwith. I'd appreciate confirmation by Monday, February 3." 1 received a letter, Monday, Mr. Speaker, but it reads as follows: "Your letter of January 29, addressed to one of the commissioners, is for acknowledgement and reply. It is my understanding that, during your visit on Friday morning, Mr. Mellish, secretary of the commission for many years, extended every courtesy by providing you with the public hearing transcripts and exhibits, decision and order,
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with respect to Townhouse Developments in the city of Kelowna. However, in accordance with the long established procedures of the commission, he necessarily had to decline to actually deliver the whole correspondence file into your hands." That's signed by Mr. J.F.K. English, the chairman of the commission. The Public Utilities Commission (interruption). Yes, the Public Utilities Commission has secret files, just as almost every department of this Government has. The reply didn't come from Mr. Wicks, Mr. Speaker, it came from the chairman. That's fair enough.
Now, we really have to ask ourselves what's the prospect for water in Orchard Park? Do we really doubt that the city is not going to have to provide water to this development. Do we really? Aren't they really faced with a fait accompli at the hands of this Government? Isn't it really just like Utah Mines and Rupert Inlet? Well, we finally had the Minister of Lands and Forests admitting that he was forcing civil servants to make what are political decisions. Don't we have the same thing here? We have a situation in which the Public Utilities Commission is obviously going to require the city to extend the water to this development. The city's had no say whatsoever regarding the development and, in this situation, we have Messrs. Bennett as directors of the company that was involved, initially, in this scheme, who are directors of the company that hold the remaining lands surrounding this scheme, who would obviously benefit from the extension of water outside the city boundaries to service their land. We could talk about the sewers and the sewer question and the waste problem with respect to this development, as well, Mr. Speaker, but, suffice to say, I'll just make a few comments. The developers, and that's Marathon Realty, now, say that there'll be less than 50,000 gallons a day of effluent from this development. Remember, this is the regional centre for the Okanagan. As a result, it will be within the jurisdiction of the local public health officer. By sticking below the 50,000 figure, or at the 50,000 figure, they avoid having to have a pollution control permit. Yet, what does 50,000 gallons mean? Fifty thousand gallons is really something equivalent to only fifteen houses, it's the equivalent of one laundromat. Does anyone seriously believe that that will be the limit of effluent from this major development? I said that becoming a millionaire, Mr. Speaker, was as easy as one, two, three. One was optioning the land. Two, was getting the zoning. Three, was getting the access.
What about the access question? Back in August of last year, 1970, the city of Kelowna asked for a meeting with MacIntosh Centre and with Marathon Realty and they wrote the Highways Department. They got no action during the month of August. On September 2, the city of Kelowna wrote the Highways Department again. I might note that prior to that the centre officially had a sod-turning ceremony by the Honourable the Minister of Industrial Development, Trade and Commerce, the Member from Victoria, Mr. Skillings. So the sod was turned; there's no water; there's no access, but they did have the zoning. September S, the city of Kelowna wrote the Highways Department again, and they wrote and they asked, "Is it reasonable to assume that access will be granted, in view of the fact that construction is taking place?" They got a reply from the Highways Department saying, "No, it wasn't reasonable to assume that access would be granted because construction was taking place." What a silly assumption! Twice more, in the month of September, the city wrote the Department of Highways regarding this question. As late as October 23, last year, the city was advised by the Department of Highways that no firm decision, and I understand that the Minister doesn't like to make firm decisions, no firm decision on access had been made at that time, even though the sod had been turned and ground preparation was under way. On October 23, the same day, there was a telephone call to the Regional District from the Department of Highways saying that access was, in fact, O.K. As a result, on October 23, the building permit was granted and they were on their way.
How many accesses are talked about? Well, I'm not sure, because it's very difficult to get material from the Department of Highways if you're on the Opposition side of Government. What was proposed were seven accesses, counting the Husky Oil site, seven accesses in that small chunk of highway on that side of the street. It's interesting, again, to compare it with the public development, established by the city of Kelowna, the industrial estate. They have one access to the highway and they, in fact, have a much longer highway frontage. The reason they have only one access, Mr. Speaker, is because they're convinced this is the killer chunk of Highway 97. There have been many deaths, many fatalities in this section of the Provincial highway system and that's why they think they should have only one access and control it, rather than as many as seven, as proposed in the private development. Complaints were made by the city of Kelowna, Mr. Speaker. They were made from civic staff, they were made from the Mayor of Kelowna. I could quote the Mayor but I think that's public information and has been seen by others at other times. I might also quote Judge White (interruption). I visited the Mayor and when I visited him, he actually gave me a silver spoon, which is a very pleasant thing that they do in the city of Kelowna. I think it's rather symbolic. It really did belong, I think, on the Government side. Judge White is the head of the Safety Committee for the Kelowna area and Judge White has expressed his concern about this killer section of the highway and the need for controlling access there. The city engineer and the director of operations for the city have also expressed their concern -qualified people.
What did the local M.L.A. reply to the city's concern over the access question in this chunk of highway? The local M.L.A., December 27, Colonist, was asked to investigate his sons' venture and that's the request by the city of Kelowna in the open letter from the Mayor. In the 29th Colonist, we had this statement from the Premier before he left for Palm Springs. The Premier said on Monday, that, "The accesses were granted by the Provincial Highways Department, only after the action had been recommended by outside engineers, retained by the Department to study the access application." The Premier went on to say, "I'm sure the idea of having outside engineers in was to ensure safety." What about that, Mr. Minister of Highways? Who did do the study? Who did do the outside study commissioned by your Department? Do you have any comments? The Honourable Minister is silent. Did in fact, the Minister of Highways commission a study? Just yes or no. Did the Minister of Highways commission a study on access at Benvoulin and Highway 97? Just a simple yes or no. Any comment? (Interruption.) No comment. Well, maybe since the Honourable Minister knows a little bit about money, maybe he knows what they were paid. Does he know how much he approved in the budget for this study? Yes or no? Does the Honourable the Minister of Highways, in fact....
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Honourable Member cannot question Ministers during a debate such as this. The
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opportunity will present itself in estimates. Proceed.
MR. WILLIAMS: It's clear that the Honourable the Minister considers the questions rhetorical, Mr. Speaker. Wasn't the study, in fact, Mr. Speaker, carried out by consultants that have done quite a bit of highways work -N.D. Lea and Associates? But wasn't, in fact, the study carried out, not for the Province of British Columbia, not for the Minister of Highways as the Premier suggests, but, in fact, for Marathon Realty Limited? And wasn't, in fact, the study job No. 8038-81 for the Marathon project? Isn't that the one the Premier, in fact, was referring to? I hope that the Honourable the Minister will find the time on some other occasion to answer these questions. If, in fact, that was the study, the study done for Marathon Realty Limited, a subsidiary of the CPR, it's more or less understandable that the Premier was confused, because this, really, is a Government that believes that what's good for the CPR is good for the people of British Columbia. The confusion is understandable.
I think we should be especially concerned about these questions of access, Mr. Speaker, because we have a new Minister of Highways and he should have kept in mind the promise of the former Minister of Highways when he was Minister of Highways. You know what that promise was. It was that, in the future in British Columbia, that it wouldn't be the rip-off artists along the highways. We would have public bidding for the major sites along the highways of British Columbia. The Premier accepted our methods, those recommended by the Opposition that, in fact, there would be bidding for these major sites along the highways. In the same year, MacIntosh Centre was assembling land on 97.
It's interesting, Mr. Speaker, to hear Members on the other side talking about free enterprise, because what do they really mean by free enterprise? Does anybody really think that it takes any real initiative, that it takes any real ability to get land option, to get it rezoned and to get access rights to it? Does anybody really think that that's difficult labour, that that's really tough brainwork? Does anybody really think that? The reason may be that the honourable Member is active in real estate. I can understand his belief.
Let's go back a bit, though, Mr. Speaker, and look again at the question of city boundaries in the Kelowna area. Now we might look at another map. Again, this is a map of the western part of the city, showing the city park where the bridge comes in, and Harvey Avenue, and so on. Again, you'll see that the city boundaries dog-leg around in the south end. We should look at that because it's important in terms of the kinds of taxes people pay in the Central Okanagan, as well. You notice that a big dog-leg is made in one area, the real gerrymander. If you look at the green piece of land there that has been outlined in green, Mr. Speaker, this is the residence of the Premier of British Columbia. A small strip of land remains within the city of Kelowna, about 2.35 acres is within the city of Kelowna. But five acres, the improved section with the house and so on, is outside, and in Provincial jurisdiction. Outside the city boundary.
It's important to look at these boundaries, Mr. Speaker, because the people inside the cities pay high taxes in this Province and the people in the Provincial jurisdictions pay low taxes in this Province, or virtually no taxes (interruption). You bet, it's high time the Premier quit freeloading on the adjacent city of Kelowna and paid the bill along with the poor people on the north side of town. The acreage in the city, Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, is 2.35 acres.
What does the city assess it as, the land alone? $17,830, but what is it assessed at right next door, outside the city boundaries? There's five acres there, Mr. Speaker. What's that assessed at? Same kind of ground, if you go and look at it. Looks much the same to me and I'm sure that anybody who's in the market to buy would feel the same way. The five acres outside the city boundary is assessed at $7,795. Why? Because it's called a farm for assessment purposes and you only have to use it occasionally in an agricultural way, in order to get the free ride. That's the difference. Business in the city, or assessments in the city, are carried out fairly, Mr. Speaker. They're on the basis of real value within the city. If the land outside the city boundaries that the Premier owns, paid the same taxes as they pay, or rather was assessed on the same basis as inside the city boundaries, it would in fact be $37,600. What was it assessed at? $7,795. That's 20 per cent of what it should have been. That's an 80 per cent write-off. An 80 per cent tax write-off. The people of low income, on the north side of town, the working people, the elderly, who are barely able to hold onto their properties, are paying on the basis of proper value. The speculators on the south side of town in Kelowna have a free ride and the Premier is one of the riders.
Let's go back, Mr. Speaker (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order.
MR. WILLIAMS: Let's go back to the area at Benvoulin Road again. Remember, that the land at Benvoulin Road was sold to Marathon Realty from MacIntosh Centre for $35,000 an acre, and that information is from Marathon Realty. Remember the picture that we saw? There's going to be apartments and offices and high-density development all around that centre. Maybe we should look at the map again. The solid red area is Marathon. The adjacent boxed red areas are still owned by MacIntosh Centre. What are those lands assessed for, for tax purposes, Mr. Speaker? This big area here, just to the east of the shopping centre, that's Lots 1 to 5 and 6 and 7, are assessed totally at $6,468 and there's over 40 acres. It's bigger than the shopping centre by far. For tax purposes, it's assessed at $6,468. What's that per acre, Mr. Speaker? $160 an acre for tax purposes. But if you're in the rip-off business and selling to Marathon or others that want to develop the land, it's $35,000 an acre. The new town centre for the whole Okanagan Valley, the edge of it, for tax purposes, held by MacIntosh Centre, is assessed at $160 an acre.
Mr. Speaker, the difference between the assessments inside the city of Kelowna and outside the city of Kelowna is nothing short of a scandal. The difference between the real market, what Marathon paid and what MacIntosh Centre is assessed at, is also scandalous. This kind of assessment scandal that prevails throughout British Columbia and Central Okanagan is only just one example of the kind of thing that means that the tax burden has to be carried by those who can least afford it. The elderly, the people on pensions, the people on low income, end up paying stiff property taxes, while this free ride is taken by those in the speculation business. The free ride for the new millionaires of the Okanagan, a free ride for the road-runners in the Province. Is it really any wonder, Mr. Speaker, that school by-laws and referendums for improving communities, in fact, fail, these days? Is it any wonder that people vote down school by-laws, when you've got this kind of rotten assessment practice going on across the Province? The reason
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they're voting down new schools, the reason they're voting down community centres, is because they know they've got to pay. They know that the new millionaires don't pay. They know that that's the kind of system that you people stand for. The kind of fat gains made along the highway, the sort of "wham barn, thank you ma'am," money that's being made by a few along the highways is bad enough, but the insidious thing is the drain on the economy over the years in the form of assessment practices. Every year at tax time, across the Province, the small property owners are taken for a ride and the others ride for free (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order.
MR. WILLIAMS: That's bad enough, Mr. Speaker, but the Honourable the Premier had the gall, the outright gall, to say that he was going to bring in new legislation in the assessment field, as if things weren't bad enough. The Premier is going to protect these people more. This fall, he advised all the municipalities of British Columbia that the system was going to change a little. It was going to get a little worse. He said he was going to limit increases in assessments to 10 per cent. Now, that would mean, in the case of MacIntosh Centre, which, as you recall, is valued for tax purposes at $160 an acre and it's selling for $35,000 an acre, that their assessment could only go up $16. That's the new kind of protection for the little people that the Premier plans on bringing in this Session, Mr. Speaker. They buy at $4,600 an acre, they sell at $35,000 an acre and they're taxed at $160 an acre. The Premier's not going to be content to just bring in a new law, he's going to make it retroactive, so that we can be sure that they won't be taxed out there at Benvoulin Road and 97. What that new legislation will mean, Mr. Speaker, is that the scandalous pattern that has already been established will be encouraged and things will get worse.
Well, the question really, Mr. Speaker, is how do we clean up this Eden, this Social Credit heartland? How do we clean up this demi-paradise? There's a range of things we might do, Mr. Speaker, and I would urge them all on the Government at this late stage. One, we should have a Boundaries Commission in the Province like they do in Ontario and Alberta, so that games cannot be played around city boundaries. Two, we should have a Public Utilities Commission that is public, with files available to all of the Members of the Legislature. Three, we should have a Public Utilities Commission that does not have retired politicians on it. Four, we should have an Assessment Commission, that is free from political influence, that answers only to the Legislature of British Columbia. Five, we should have an Assessment Commissioner who is not a retired Socred politician. Six, we should have a Highways Department that does not have one access policy for its friends and another for its enemies. Seven, we should have a Premier who really does live up to his promises. We should have a system of public bidding for new developments along the highways of British Columbia. Finally, Mr. Speaker, we should have an Act of this Legislature regarding conflicts of interest, so that these things never happen again.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Cariboo.
MR. A.V. FRASER (Cariboo): Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be able to take part in this Throne Speech Debate on behalf of the riding of Cariboo. I have listened, with interest, to all honourable Members, who have spoken so far in this debate.
1 have just recently listened to the Honourable Second Member from Vancouver East; he seems to be very concerned about another riding in the Province of British Columbia, namely, the South Okanagan riding. I have a recommendation to him, that is, if he is so interested in the affairs of the riding of South Okanagan, he should go up there and file his papers in the next election and take on the incumbent Member of South Okanagan. I'm sure we know what the results will be from the people in the South Okanagan.
I would like to congratulate the mover and seconder of the Throne Speech debate. They certainly put the idea across that I have regarding the demonstrations that took place in this Legislature. As the Honourable Member for Columbia River said, "They were deplorable and despicable."
Unemployment has had considerable discussion. I realize that this is a severe problem in our Province but I cannot understand the amount of criticism that has been directed to this Government by Members of the opposition parties on this subject. The real cause of this problem must be laid on the doorstep of the Federal Liberal Government in Ottawa, who deliberately embarked on a high interest and tight money policy which caused all this unemployment. I can recall when another Liberal Government headed by the former Prime Minister, Louis St. Laurent, embarked on the same policy in 1956. Because of it, he was thrown out of office in 1957, and I'm sure this is going to happen again to the present Liberal Government because of their shortsighted monetary policies. The people of this Province are victims of these foolish Federal policies, and I am convinced that the majority of our citizens realize this.
This year our Province is one hundred years old. I congratulate the B.C. Centennial Committee for their efforts in organizing a full year of celebrations throughout our Province. I'm sure these celebrations will be enjoyed by all, and the Centennial grants made available to communities throughout the Province will do much to enrich our Province.
I am aware that citizens in all walks of life in our Province are concerned about the quality of our environment. In my opinion, this interest has taken on increased importance for our citizens because of the ever-increasing amount of leisure time available, and how to use it effectively, enjoyably and constructively. A vital factor in ensuring that the leisure world of the future is a place which we can enjoy and which is worth living in is the careful preservation of our environment in the cities, in the countryside, oceans, rivers, lakes, air, of course, and wilderness. This Government has taken many steps to ensure that our environment be preserved but there are a lot of measures that still have to be taken. I am aware of the directive by this Government that all municipalities must have primary sewage treatment facilities by 1975. While this is a step in the right direction, I do not feel it goes far enough. I feel this directive should be amended to call for nothing less than secondary treatment facilities. Secondary treatment plants will discharge effluent into the bodies of water that is much higher in purity than those from primary plants. I do not agree with many municipal councils in this Province, who say they cannot afford secondary sewage treatment plants. Now, I am of the opinion, that the citizens they represent want these facilities and are prepared to pay for them. If the municipal councils of this Province don't pick this up, I'm sure they'll end out on the street and won't be the councils. With the substantial aid that is available now from the Federal and Provincial Governments for sewage treatment facilities, it will not cost any householder in the Province of British Columbia any
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more than $100 per year to get secondary treatment facilities. I recommend that the Provincial Government insist on nothing less than secondary sewage treatment facilities in our Province.
Mr. Speaker, while I'm on the subject of the quality of our environment, I would like to mention a serious pollution problem which exists in my riding of Cariboo and is being caused by a Crown-owned agency, namely, the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad. Due to the close utilization policy of our Forestry Department, with which I completely agree, all our timber must be completely utilized; that is, rather than leave waste in the forest from logging operations, it is to be salvaged and manufactured. In the case of the Cariboo lumber operators, they have all installed barkers and chippers so that they would fully comply with the close utilization policy of this Government. I might add that these barkers and chippers represent a large capital investment, something in the neighbourhood of a quarter of a million dollars for each sawmill. The chips which are manufactured from this ,waste are loaded into chip cars of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway and transported to the pulp mills at Prince George for manufacture into pulp and paper products. However, a serious problem exists along the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad from 100 Mile House to north of Quesnel, where all the major timber industry exists in the Cariboo. The chips are being manufactured but the mills cannot get enough chip cars from the railroad to transport them. This condition has existed for a considerable time. When the mill operators cannot get chip Cars, as required, they burn the chips. Yes, Mr. Speaker, they bum the chips and, in the process, create a serious air pollution problem in the major centres of population in the Cariboo, where these large mills are located.
Last year, the sawmills in the Cariboo were not able to get 725 chip cars that were required and, consequently, these chips were burned, causing severe air pollution and last, but far from least, causing a dollar loss to the industry of some $230,000, as each car of chips is worth $320. Mr. Speaker, this happened in the year 1970, when our mill operators were experiencing probably the worst year they have experienced in years, because of the depressed state of the world lumber markets. This lost revenue of $230,000, because of the lack of chip cars, would have helped some operators to, at least, break even on operations last year, rather than experience severe losses. The Pacific Great Eastern Railway has tried to remedy this bad situation by acquiring more chip cars but, I feel, they have not done enough and they should continue to resolve this wasteful situation until it is completely eliminated. I might say that the general manager of the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad has written some sawmill operators in the Cariboo and suggested to them that they buy the chip cars at $16,000 apiece, and then they would have adequate chip cars. I would say to the general manager of the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad that the sawmill people have enough problems and it's not their business - transportation - but that transportation is the business of the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad.
Mr. Speaker, while I feel this Government has done very well until now in an effort to ensure a proper environment for our citizens, the time has arrived when a separate ministry of environment control must be established, then, all efforts on this complex problem would be directed by one Minister instead of the several we have at the present time.
Mr. Speaker, during this debate, I am very surprised that very few honourable Members have had any comment about the plight of our municipalities with their problems on welfare costs. While I realize this problem has been caused by the foolish fiscal policies of the Federal Government, the cost of welfare is a very heavy burden on the limited tax resources of our municipalities. In the past few years the costs have almost doubled for welfare. As an example, out of a total levy of 28 mills in taxes for general municipal taxes, that is excluding school and hospital taxes, eight mills, or approximately 23 per cent of this levy, is going to welfare. How can our municipalities perform all their other obligations with so heavy a load to carry for welfare? Of course, they cannot keep up with the other necessary services, such as building and maintaining streets, sidewalks, water services, recreational services and so on. They cannot keep up and, consequently, I'm concerned that these essential services are either standing still or going backwards. I realize the costs of welfare are up for the Provincial Government as well but I do not believe that they have had the sharp percentage increases that the municipalities have had. The cost-sharing ... (interruption). Just be quiet, Mr. Opposition, I'm coming to that now. The cost-sharing formula, at the present time, is 50 per cent Federal, 30 per cent Provincial, and 20 per cent municipal. Not so long ago it was 50 per cent Federal, 40 per cent Provincial and 10 per cent municipal. I would recommend to this Government, on behalf of all our municipalities, that the cost-sharing formula be restored to its original formula, which was 50 per cent Federal, 40 per cent Provincial, and 10 percent municipal. I would suggest that the increase that was given last year in the budget to help the municipalities with their welfare, which was $2 per capita, that the Province take that back and retain it to help them with their increased costs.
The year 1970 was not the best year for our Province. In the riding of Cariboo, the Provincial Government did complete some major items which will greatly improve some conditions for the citizens of Cariboo. The Fraser River Bridge at Quesnel was completed and opened to traffic at a cost of $31/2 million. I believe, Mr. Leader of the Opposition, when you were in my town you observed that you couldn't see the bridge. Well, I invite you to come up now and have a drive over this wonderful new structure. A new Provincial building at Williams Lake will be finished and occupied this month at a cost of $11/2 million and 26 miles of Highway 97, which was referred to in the Throne Speech, were reconstructed between Williams Lake and Quesnel.
The economy of the riding of Cariboo is certainly not as buoyant as it was a year ago but, generally, conditions are much better in Cariboo than they are in so many other areas of the Province. The year 1971 appears to be very promising. A new copper mine is being brought into production at McLeese Lake, with a capital investment of $75 million. I might say for the benefit of the Members that McLeese Lake is more or less halfway between Williams Lake and Quesnel. This mine will be in production by June, 1972. The pulp mill at Quesnel is under construction and will be brought into production by the end of 1972. The investment in this mill will be $80 million. While these two projects will be under construction this year, it is anticipated they will create 1,500 new jobs. The year 1971 will mark the largest year in the history of the Cariboo for investment in new industries. This Government can take full credit for these ventures. The pulp mill is the direct result of the close utilization policy of this Government as related to our timber resources. The Government can also take full credit for the investment in the new copper mine at McLeese Lake, because of the mining policies
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that exist. While the Opposition say we're giving our natural resource away, which we are not, they do not say what new taxes these resource-based industries will create when they become operational. In the case of these two large industries in the Cariboo, their contribution in taxes to our area will be enormous and will be for ever.
Mr. Speaker, roads are still the main problem in my riding of Cariboo, and in my riding there are 3,500 miles of all types of roads under the jurisdiction of the Department of Highways. This is by far the largest mileage of roads in any electoral district in the Province of British Columbia. Most of these roads are secondary roads, which were built many years ago to accommodate the small amount of traffic that existed at that time; however, over the years, as the rural areas became more settled and industry moved in, the secondary roads have become less than adequate. As a matter of fact, several of these roads have become very dangerous to the traveling public. The Forestry Department has been awarding increased log quotas to our sawmill industry and this has increased the heavy logging truck traffic over these secondary roads. The logging trucks, which are operated on most secondary roads in the Cariboo, are truck and trailer units weighing 90,000 lbs. gross and having lengths of up to 60 ft. These secondary roads were never intended to handle this type of traffic when they were built. On several sections of these secondary roads, with units of the size I have described, the road is only adequate for the logging trucks, and consequently, we have very hazardous conditions. What is needed is a reconstruction programme to straighten out and widen the most hazardous sections. I congratulate the Department of Highways for what they have already accomplished but it is not nearly enough. They were restricted by the amount of funds they received. Hopefully, more funds will be made available immediately, so that these hazardous road conditions can be eliminated. Mr. Speaker, as we enter into our second century of Confederation, I am confident we live in the best Nation and Province in the world and I see a great and glorious future for all of us.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Honourable the Second Member for Vancouver-Burrard.
MR- B. PRICE (Vancouver-Burrard): Mr. Speaker, I have a few points that I would like to bring to the attention of the House, on behalf of Vancouver-Burrard, along with my colleague who will speak later tonight.
One of the things that I'm sure you've all noticed is that the dentists have indicated by the press and radio that they're going to increase their fees by 10 per cent. I cannot say that whether or not a person is able to get more for their services depends on the need for the service. If they're able to get it, there's no reason why they shouldn't, except for the fact that doctors and dentists are different from a lawyer or an engineer, because they deal in human pain and suffering. If persons have problems with regard to their health, it is accepted as being a humane right that they can be properly relieved of that suffering, if it is possible. As far as dentistry is concerned, in the lower mainland and in the Victoria area, there is really no problem because you don't have to wait very long to see a dentist but this is not so in the rest of the Province. Mr. Speaker, the University of British Columbia has only turned out 223 dentists in the last four years. The way the population is going up, the number who are voluntarily retiring, it will mean that we will have no more dentists now than we had that many years ago. I think the fastest way to get more dentists is to train them and the fastest way to get more doctors is to train them. I think UBC has been dragging its feet in this regard and I don't think it's been giving the public a square deal for the amount of money that's put in there to try to use it for the training of professional people. I think the University should put the public interest first. I'll tell you this much, Mr. Speaker, if UBC won't do this, voluntarily, then I think the Government should act. We have the young men and the young women here who are ready and willing to learn and it seems to me that the Government should issue an ultimatum to UBC to get busy or we will allocate funds which are specific for that purpose and that purpose only.
Another thing which I would like to talk about for a few minutes is pollution. We've been hearing a great deal about pollution. It's on everybody's mind and there's one thing that I think could be taken care of without a great deal of effort or trouble, and that is the noise that comes from motor vehicles. There is more and more concern over noise and its effect on humanity, now, than there ever was. Motor-vehicle noise is one area which has been thoroughly neglected and, yet, it's one of the easiest to control. The cost is not out of the way. Mr. Speaker, I think there should be a regulation to give police the authority to determine if a motor-vehicle is making too much noise and tell the owner or operator to fix it and report. This is not being done, at the present time. I think all new types of vehicles should be approved from the standpoint of noise as well as other safety features which are part and parcel of motor-vehicle acceptance today. I think the present enforcement is actually a farce regarding the control of motor-vehicle noise. It's just a question of whether a car is quiet or whether it's noisy and I suggest that effective regulations are needed, because the matter of noise with an automobile is just as easy to control as headlights. All it needs is regulation and enforcement.
Another thing, too, which I think we might be interested in, as a whole, in this House, Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the public, is to try to do something to prevent advertising tobacco. We see what has been done in the United States; they have banned radio and television advertising. This will be defeated to some extent if the Canadian stations are permitted to carry on with this type of advertising. I think the B.C. Government should ask Ottawa to ban advertising over the air, similar to what has been done in the United States. There's no doubt about the effects of tobacco. It's bad (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. There is a Bill on the Order Papers. Would the Member please refrain from dealing with that matter at this time.
MR. PRICE: Well, I haven't read it. It may have something to do with advertising, but if it does, I hope so.
Another subject, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to comment on, and one that I have spoken about many times in this House, is the high cost of farm products in B.C. I'm talking, now, about locally-grown vegetables. Somehow or other, there is no encouragement for the sale of home-grown vegetables in this Province (interruption). No, but a lot of people buy them, my friend, and in large quantities, and this is one reason why I want to speak. It's not generally known but, in British Columbia, we don't supply enough fresh vegetables to supply our own needs and if the supply were cut off from the United States, Mr. Speaker, we would be short of food. I don't think this is right. I don't think it's
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necessary and, furthermore, the cost of food that is imported, even though it's produced much cheaper across the line, there's no reason why we can't produce just as good an article and produce it just as good and cheaply here in British Columbia as they can anywhere else. We had a description here the other day of the difference in the cost of lumber from the logs to plywood. Exactly a similar situation is taking place with regard to fresh vegetables. I think that if our local farmers were encouraged to grow more vegetables that, even in one or two years, this would make a tremendous difference to the amount of imports which are actually necessary today, because we need them for actual food. We have a Minister who I know would help, would do everything that he can and I think that money spent to encourage, even small growers, would be well spent. Even in strawberries, last year, the imports through B.C....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: I'm afraid the Member is anticipating a motion on the Order Paper.
MR. PRICE: What number, Mr. Speaker?
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Motion number 2.
MIL PRICE: You mean you want me to quit talking about it. Is that right? Well, I'll come back to it. I'll come back to it in the Budget Debate, because this is an important matter, Mr. Speaker. We may take this lightly, about not producing enough food to supply ourselves, but it's a very serious matter.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: No one is taking it lightly. The Honourable Member will have ample opportunity to deal with it.
MR. PRICE: Mr. Speaker, another item which I think deserves consideration by this House is the question of fish production. Fishing in our Province - is there anything about that on the Order Paper, by the way? The production of fish at the present time is left entirely to nature. The amount of artificial spawning beds that has been produced is relatively small but it's well known that they can produce fish and increase the production greatly by the use of prepared spawning beds. This may be a small matter but I think it's something that should be looked into and should be encouraged. The Government takes a much greater interest in it than they do today. There's always going to be a market for our salmon. It's one of the easiest products that we have to sell of everything produced in British Columbia. Why not take full advantage of it, Mr. Speaker? I'm quite sure that, at the present time, full advantage is not being taken with regards to the preparation of additional spawning beds in the Province. They're not expensive and they would pay off in a big way.
Another item, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to comment on and that is crime, which is increasing and increasing rapidly. In 1968, juvenile crime went up 131/2 per cent. It has shown about the same rate of increase for many years. Our present police system is not the solution. Police are our only protection but, nevertheless, in spite of the police on whom we're spending a fair amount of money, most of the common occurrences are not cleared; that is, the reports to the police on the matter of robbery, breaking and entering, the theft of motor-vehicles, theft over $50, and theft under $50. According to the DBS reports, the graphs show that 80 per cent of them are not cleared; that is, they hear the reports and they never are able to go any farther because they don't know who committed the crime. I think, Mr. Speaker, that it's time, in view of these facts, and they are facts taken from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics reports, that something should be done to try to clear more cases that are reported. One thing that I think might be done, on a much bigger scale than it is, is to use volunteer police. Now, it may be that police are not in favour of this, because they don't like anybody interfering with their line of work. The RCMP use volunteer police a great deal but, I think, there's room to use them a lot more. If we're going to fight crime, it must be the public that's going to fight it. I'm quite sure that the public will help the police if the police will only let them. So far this has not entirely been the case and I'm quite sure that ... for instance, we hear police chiefs all over the country say that one-man police cars are not that safe. In my opinion, it would be a simple matter to have a volunteer citizen to act as a second man in a police car, which would immediately double up the number of cars available for the number of policemen, who were available to walk a beat or take another position, which would help to clear up the matter of crime which is at present uncleared. I think that this is something that should be given serious consideration by the Attorney-General and his department.
With regard to vocational schools, Mr. Speaker, this is probably one of the most valuable things to the next generation that this Government has done, going into the number of vocational schools which we have. Nine at the present time; 36,000 people, I understand, went to them last year. There's great credit coming to the Government for being able to see the need and to have done what they have. With these schools, most of their courses demand or set a standard of Grade 10 for entrance but, the truth of the matter is, and I'm speaking now of the one that's in Burnaby because I hear about the situation there more than any other, but I have an idea that they're. all in about the same condition, the truth of the matter is, that there are so many Grades 11 and 12 students applying to get into these courses that there's no room at the lower level. This is something that I think something should be done about because Grades 9 and 10, they need the assistance to get into these vocational schools, too. There's only one answer to that and that is more classes. I hope the Minister of Education will give this more serious consideration.
Mr. Speaker, for a great many years, I've considered that the Government should try to find ways and means of acquiring money which it can use for investment purposes. At the present time, in the Pension Fund which we have, that takes care of the several in this Province, the Superannuation Commissioner is taking care of hundreds of millions of dollars and, I think, doing a very effective job of it. I don't see why the Government can't extend this policy farther, so as to cover the citizens of this Province, if they wish, with life insurance and pension benefits. I'm of the opinion that the public would take great advantage of a Government plan in British Columbia if one were available. The insurance companies today are known as the financial monarchs of the country and they have such control over money today, that is investment capital, that they're in a position not only to loan money but, in order to give it to you, they can demand a share in your business. As a matter of fact, Fortune magazine carried an article in July, 1970, which indicated that the insurance companies of America would soon become America's greatest landlords. This applies to B.C. just as
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much as it does to the United States. I know of one business, a local business in the lower mainland, that wanted half a million dollars for expansion and the only place they could get that much money was through an insurance company, which refused to let them have it unless they had a share in the actual business. The Crown Companies which the Government presently operate are continuously going to need more money for expansion and, if the Government were able to have an insurance plan or a pension benefit plan that was working, it's quite easy to see that even in ten years they would have sufficient money to take care of the demands of the Crown Companies and they would be able to go further and to loan money to municipalities. Right now, through the Municipal Finance Authority, they have to go to the United States or other places. I'm of the opinion that, considering all levels of borrowing in this Province by the Municipal Finance Authority, they don't borrow as much money as the insurance companies take out of this Province. There are 83 of them operating in B.C., most of them are foreign companies and, I believe, Mr. Speaker, that there is no other way the Government could serve its people as well as by offering a form of life insurance and pension benefits through its own Government. Government Bonds are safe. Very often when funds are left for beneficiaries, for young people growing up, by statute they must be invested in Government Bonds. I think that this is a subject which certainly deserves the honest and serious consideration of this Government.
I'd like to say a word about public housing. In spite of the home-owners grant, and the home acquisition grant, many families are denied proper housing because they just can't cam enough money to qualify. The gap between those earning enough to acquire a home and those unable, through low wages or other cause, is steadily getting wider. This low-earning group can only look forward to public housing. If future living quarters are to be of a higher standard and the slum conditions are to be done away with, public housing is the only answer for a large percentage of people. As time goes on, I'm convinced that more and more tax money will have to be spent on subsidized housing. At present, in B.C., we have about 4,500 units of public housing, which are rented actually at less than cost. They were built on a joint ownership basis through agreement between Provincial and Federal Governments, for which B.C. has budgeted $5 million a year, matched by $15 million from the Federal Government on a 25 to 75 basis. It should be noted, Mr. Speaker, that public housing projects must be initiated from the municipal level. In my opinion, local councils are not moving fast enough in presenting applications for low-rental homes. Units built under the Elderly Citizens Housing Aid Act do not pay local taxes but Provincial and Federal grants pay equal taxes through the municipality. Because this low-cost housing is subsidized, it costs money to the taxpaying public and this cost, if there is any, is 75 per cent Federal, 121/2 per cent municipal, and 121/2 per cent Provincial. I don't think that you're going to be able to beat that kind of sharing. I don't have accurate figures on cost, and when I say cost I'm talking about the operational cost of those units already built. I'm not talking about the capital cost or the interest necessary to maintain that capital cost. I estimate the overall cost on 3,400 units to be near or less than $60 per person per year. If people can be removed from the extremely low quality housing for that figure, in my opinion, the cities and municipalities should move as rapidly as possible and build more of them. Public housing is money well spent and, whether we think so or not, it is the most economical way to house any family that falls back on society for support.
Another group of people, Mr. Speaker, which has been recognized by many Members and I want to add my voice because I think it's important, and that is the care of the aged. The problem of the chronically ill person. I've discussed this over many years in this House but this group of people reach the point where they can't properly look after themselves and they must have somebody else look after them. It's just a question of whose money is going to pay the bill. I think it's rather a shame that people, having lived their lives and been frugal and saved all they can, should have to dissipate their entire life savings for perhaps one or two years of service to keep them comfortable during their last years. If they're on welfare and have no money, if they've dissipated earnings, or never earned a nickel in their life, of course, welfare looks after them at 100 per cent public cost. But if a person has been able to take care of their own finances and carry on, they're up against the cost today in a private care place of $400 to $600 a month. Public care can cost less. There's no reason why we shouldn't take advantage of that to give these people a break. There's a great need and, I think, it would be a great blessing if the Government could even share a part of this cost with many people. I don't think society should neglect old people, whether they be rich or poor. All we've got to do is ask Ourselves if these chronic cases are getting a square deal. If the answer is no, we should do something to alleviate their distress.
Mr. Speaker, I have appealed over the years, ever since 1953 in the first Session that I came here, for the Government to initiate metropolitan government in the thickly populated urban areas. I note, now, that the Minister of Municipal Affairs has indicated that Burnaby should, in a very short time, call itself a city. I'm only sorry that the Government won't go a little farther and tell Burnaby to amalgamate with the city of Vancouver and do away with the administration costs that you can't get away from when you have two municipalities six miles away from each other. I think the Government is to be very highly congratulated for setting up the Regional District Councils, because this is a step in the right direction. I think I can say quite frankly that the areas around Vancouver have accepted the Regional District Council as being a good thing for their future. I think they're working together very well.
One of the things which has come before them, of course, is rapid transit. They have come up with a proposed plan which may cost $300 million over the next twenty years. Over a twenty-year period, $300 million is not very much money for an area the size of the lower mainland, with the number of people that it has. If you're going to spend that much money you, certainly, have to be right, you can't guess wrong and then find out that $300 million has gone down the drain. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, the movement of people in the urban areas could be done cheaper and more effectively and, perhaps, more comfortably by automobile. This is something which I think should be studied much further than it has been. Autos, today, are traveling with one and two thirds people per car and, whether you like it or not, people are not going to leave their cars at home if they can avoid it. I further note the fact, Mr. Speaker, that during the 1920's, when cars were not nearly as numerous or not nearly as safe or drivers were not as well trained as they are today, in the city of Vancouver and vicinity we used jitneys, and private cars put a sign on the window for the route they would be taking and they had a standard charge at that time
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of, I think, 10 cents a ride. I think that if this were done today, you'd find out that you might not need a rapid transit system, because the automobiles are there. There's no doubt in my mind that a great number of people would be willing and, perhaps, very happy to have the job of transporting people with their automobiles, if they could only make enough to make a living out of it. This is something which I think should be given some consideration and I think it might be tried.
Now, with regard to the Regional District Council, it has been given a job, on a limited basis, to study this rapid transit proposition and I think it has made with the facilities available a very good job of publicizing it throughout the area that is interested. In my estimation, rapid transit, on a $300 million basis, will not start unless there's some definite idea of where the money is coming from. There's no doubt that it has to be shared. I'm very glad to see the Provincial Government indicate that they will put up $3 71/2 million as a beginning, if the Federal Government will do the same. Now, whether they will or not, we haven't been able to figure out yet, but, I don't know (interruption). You don't, either. But this may come because the problem is not unique to the city of Vancouver, it's unique to many other urban areas. From the standpoint of the lower mainland, it's all very well to feel that Hydro hasn't got too much interest in transit; nevertheless, it should be recognized that the lower mainland is helping in quite a large way to subsidize power costs throughout the rest of the Province. This may not be accepted too much but, nevertheless, it is a fact. I think that, on that basis, there is room for considerable consideration to be given to the Regional District Council when they indicate that they can't go far without knowing where the money is coming from. There's a great deal more studying to be done, Mr. Speaker. When we say that there's a $300 million bill indicated for rapid transit, there's a $200 million bill indicated for the First Narrows Bridge, there's $85 million indicated for pollution control, I know what will happen. The areas won't vote for it and we'll be at a stalemate and we won't get any further. I only hope that as far as rapid transit is concerned, the Government of B.C., through the B.C. Hydro, doesn't make it impossible for the Regional District Council to go ahead and work on this problem. I think they need encouragement to venture, because if we can get this going it will certainly pay off in the future.
I'd like to pat the Government on the back, Mr. Speaker, for making some limitation on lotteries. This is something which is not popular because, for some reason or another, people seem to be born with a built-in gambling instinct. I think there are amendments necessary because, as we've established and we've been told many times in this House, that where you have permissive gambling, you have crooked administration. This is one thing that we do not want here. I think from the standpoint of the Government, it's far better to legislate for the 50,000 losers, than it is to legislate for the one winner and I congratulate the Government for taking the move that they have to indicate some control.
I'd like to spend a few moments on a very serious subject to me and this is, really, a turn-around from my own standpoint, because I'm going to appeal to this Government to do something to conserve our wildlife. You notice where Prince Philip made the statement a little while ago in Great Britain that we must start taking action to save the animals of the world. Mr. Murray Newman, the fish biologist from the Vancouver Aquarium, who is recognized as a world authority on fish, went as far as to say that it is time that we started to take care of the world's fish. Mr. Speaker, B.C. is one of the few places in the world where we have wild game in its natural habitat. One of the things that I'm concerned about is the fact that our present wildlife management is related to economics. I read in the 1950 report by the Attorney-General's Department on game that, in 1950, they indicated that the $64,000 increase in licenses was, indeed, very gratifying. This is something that bothers me, because it's been obvious to my observation, for a long time, that the Game Department is particularly interested in the number of licenses they can sell and the amount of money they can get returning from that source. As far as the Minister's concerned and perhaps many in his Department, there is, no doubt, a very definite interest to conserve game life and, I'm of the opinion, that perhaps we should separate the Licensing Department of game from the Recreation and Conservation Department and move the licensing back into the Law Enforcement Branch where it belongs and let the Recreation and Conservation stick to the conservation and be able to do a better job.
The difficulty with the game, and speaking from the standpoint of the wild animals, there's no doubt that they cannot defeat the population expansion. In 1950, there were 67,396 game licenses issued in British Columbia and, in 1968, there were 145,052. From 67 thousand in 1950, to 145 thousand in 1968. The nonresident licenses, in 1952, there were 2,500; in 1968, there were over 7,000. Today, when we have better roads that go everywhere in B.C., we have four-wheel drives, boats and planes and snowmobiles, the animals just don't have a chance. In 1950, there were 18,165 deer known to be shot, according to the Game Department. In 1968, this had increased to the number of deer shot to 77,013. Moose, 1950, 3,330 killed; in 1968, 22,000 killed. The game don't have a chance.
The unfortunate thing, Mr. Speaker, is that this game is not killed for food, it's killed for sport. If you started to consider the value of the game that's shot on a meat basis, it's worth so much a pound - 50 cents a pound, 75 cents a pound, $1 a pound. Put your own price on what you think it should be worth. But, by the time you get that meat home, from the standpoint of how much it costs that hunter to go and get it, you've got a different thing altogether and to say that the value of the meat is worth going after is just thoroughly uneconomic. It doesn't add up. If that is a fact, Mr. Speaker, I would say why not stop this killing now, because for every hunter that wants to kill an animal, there are twenty people who would rather see it alive. I am of the opinion that if we keep on killing at the rate we are, it won't be very long before there are none left.
In that regard, I would just like to read a letter which I have here. It says in this letter, which is just an ordinary letter, written without any specific need to say this. It says, "The Game Branch, with their policies of predator production and very long seasons, including cow season, will soon have the edible game nearly extinct in that region as well as any other accessible area of B.C." This is coming from Vanderhoof. Mr. So-and-so has lived in the Germansen Landing region since the thirties. He owns the lodge and for many years did guiding in the Omineca region. He states that, "Formerly there was a large population of deer in the valley; now, they are practically extinct, killed off by wolves. Moose and caribou numbers are also decreasing each year and is small compared to a few years ago, due to wolves and heavy hunting pressure. Of course, there appears to be no hope for the edible game population in B.C. until such time as those in
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charge of the Game Branch begin to base their decisions on commonsense instead of theory. Many of us would suggest abolishing cow seasons much shorter and the bull seasons much later, and the control of wolves. Under oath, I state that there are less than one tenth of the moose in the vicinity of our ranch, 32 miles southeast of Vanderhoof and seven miles from the nearest year-round neighbour, than there were five years ago."
This is the story all over the Province. All over the Province. I think the public likes to see these animals; they would sooner take pictures of them. If we are going to save them, whether we like it or not, Mr. Speaker, we've got to be brutal with the hunter. You've got to stop him. The 1968 revenue to kill those 77,000 deer and 22,000 moose and other animals, is $2,705,000. Mr. Speaker, I don't think we need that money that badly. I'm of the opinion that if we stop killing game in this Province, deliberately and for fun, that in five years, we would double that intake in dollars and cents from increased tourism because, if people can see this game when they come here, they will come. I would plead with the Government to take action now, because, unless you do, it'll soon be too late. There are not many game animals in the world. I think it's time we stopped killing them for fun.
Mr. Speaker, just a few words on unemployment. I think this is a subject which should have a priority in our free enterprise system. I think we should have something in our little black book ... you know this thing that tells us what we can do and what we can't do ... I think we should have something in that little black book so that when unemployment reaches a certain figure, it should be a matter of statutory authority to be discussed on the floor of this House and to take precedence over all other matters until disposed of. This matter would be solved. You tell union and management to sit down and talk until it's solved but the unemployed have no one to speak for them. If people are to be aided with assistance to live, the money must come from other people. It is a question of how the Government is to get the money and there's only one Member in this House that so far has offered his own suggestion as a means to solving unemployment - the Member from Richmond. I don't think it would work - the suggestion he offered is energy credits - because today we are not faced with the surplus goods as we were during the depression. I'm just giving my own opinion here and it may not be worth very much but, nevertheless, I think, Mr. Speaker, that there could be taxes imposed at once, as soon as unemployment reaches a dangerous figure, we'll say 6 per cent. We don't have to look very far to see where people spend money that is actually unnecessary. There's enough money spent on beer, on liquor, and tobacco to relieve all the suffering caused through unemployment in this Province. The losses of the stock market, which you mentioned up here a moment ago, in the last couple of years, which is ten times the loss of the 1929 crash, could have been taxed and would have accumulated enough so that the interest on it would have greatly relieved the unemployment situation as it is today. There are all kinds of other forms of wasted income. Keeping up in style is costing the people of this Province untold amounts of money, which, I think, could be better spent to take care of a problem that people find themselves in when they're out of work. A family that has bought a home and is making payments and finds his income cut off without any cause on his part, is in a frightening position. I sympathize with those people that came here from the mainland to protest about the unemployment situation. I don't sympathize with the position of the people that brought them here and, if there's any doubt about it, I have a sheet here which was handed to me at a meeting I attended of the unemployed and it says, "Demonstration to Protest Unemployment Crisis. Opening of Legislature, Victoria, January 21, 2:00 p.m. Free lunch, free transportation. Bus pick up, 8:30 a.m. to catch 10:00 a.m. ferry, at B.C. Federation of Labour Office, 517 East Broadway, Vancouver. Special bus pick up for groups. For arrangements, phone 579-3568." Issued by the B.C. Federation of Labour, and 517 East Broadway is also the headquarters of the NDP (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please. Will the Member please proceed?
MR. PRICE: If you want to know where the NDP headquarters are, all you have to do is look in the phone book. That's where I got it from. Let's get back to the position of the unemployed person that has car payments to make or other things. Don't depreciate the position of that person. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that as time goes on, there will be adequate forms of insurance to take care of home purchase and proper purchase of anything else, such as automobiles, television, furniture and such items that are necessary for today's way of living. You notice that I refer to the good citizen who can do a job and wants to do a job and is valuable to an employer. There is the other kind and, as time goes on, society will treat the spongers a lot rougher than they do today. The important thing is not to condemn without proper cause. The percentage of offenders is relatively small and that small group should not have such a ... (interruption). Are you listening? That small group of spongers should not have such a frightening influence on Government that it blots out efforts to solve the number one problem of society today. In my opinion, unemployment is unnecessary because there is always so much work to be done.- Today, a few are doing too much and a few are doing too little. I don't think that it's an impossible problem to solve but, we, in this House, won't even help to solve it if we sit back and be content with politics as usual.
The Government of British Columbia can't solve all Canada's unemployment. We do face the fact our population is growing and we can't have it both ways. The least we can do is to make recommendations to the Federal Government and even though they are at arm's-length from the Province's, the Federal Government is in no position to turn down any workable ideas to alleviate unemployment. I don't think the Governments are taking the unemployment situation seriously enough. It's all very well to scoff at those blaming the Federal Government but they should be blamed, because their way of stopping inflation has been to place the entire cost of the programme on 750,000 or 800,000 people through unemployment. No Government has been more unfair to a small selected group than the present Federal Government and, because of that, this Assembly should accept the challenge to prevent the suffering that comes up with unemployment and make recommendations to Ottawa that may help to do the job. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Dewdney.
MR. G. MUSSALLEM (Dewdney): Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the mover and the seconder of the reply
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to the Speech from the Throne. It is the fifth time I have been here and heard this great Speech delivered, but never do I think I've heard it quite so well as it was moved and seconded by our Members in this Legislature.
This is an interesting career to be in because where else could you find, for example, a Member, like the Member from Cowichan, rise in his place and say, "Look across the Floor and look at the Member from Columbia River. That terrible man, that hateful member of a rebellious clan." Where else would you see that? Look at him, so ambient. Such a gentleman. Where else would you hear this? It's a fantastic place to be. I know there is no animosity, but complete unanimity, from both sides of the House to the actions of the Government, because the people have approved it this way. This is the way it will stay, I'm sure, forever.
You hear, from time to time, the floor of this House calling for almost impossible things: more hospitals, more complete care, complete and immediate care, total care, extended care. Right (interruption). I say right and I hear right, and this is correct. More and greater parks, finer establishments, more and greater housing, rapid transit for the congested lower mainland that costs $300 million. More of these. Why not, also, my friend from Langley, a bridge across the Fraser River at Langley to Haney? More of that. This is essential, it's needed. More throughways, essentially needed.
Our Province is most prosperous, the best managed, and has the finest leadership of all the Provinces of Canada. Then what happened? Let me tell you what happened, what is happening today. Listen to this. What happens to the national wealth? Where do our dollars go? British Columbia, the Federal Government has stated, is but a goblet to be drained (interruption). They didn't say it in those words, but you have to interpret it that way. Now, here's a partial list of what has gone from this Province to the netherlands of Canada. The never, never lands of Canada! (Interruption.) Well, that term has been used. Great Britain Development Corporation, $33 million. Now, just listen to this: National Harbours Board, St. John's Bridge, $14 million; Atomic Energy, $411 million. Everywhere in Canada, except B.C. Now, in transport, listen to this: ferry subsidies, $12 million. Everywhere except B.C. (interruption). Well, I'll be honest. They dribbled in $300,000, but that's just a dribble (interruption). Oh, don't listen to that. I'm just telling you. Right, you tell them (interruption). Ferry terminals (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
MR. MUSSALLEM: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. $51 million for ferry terminals, and sundry, $10 million. Where? Everywhere except B.C. Regional development, the Avon River Bridge, $11 million; Atlantic Development Board, approved $130 million, they've already spent $93 million; highways, Maritimes, $17 million. I could go on but it gets worse and it gets bigger. Where's the money all spent? Everywhere except ... (interruption). Shall I go on? O.K. Public Works, Energy & Mines, $20 million; Atlantic Provinces Power Development, $53 million. Everywhere except B.C. Financial subsidy, $644 million. Everywhere except B.C. (interruption). No, hold it, I've got to be honest. I've got to be absolutely honest, especially in this area, 7 per cent to B.C., decimal point 7 per cent. Well, you might as well say nothing. This shows the attitude of the Federal Government to this Province. This concerns you, too, Mr. Leader. Let's go on. Here's a beauty! Interim Arrangements Act. What an arrangement! Quebec only, $186.9 million. Rural development, New Brunswick, $4.5 million; Quebec, $4.6 million; Manitoba, $3.5 million (interruption). I beg your pardon. Manitoba, $3.5 million. How much for B.C.? Nothing, not a nickel. They gave us, British Columbia, $2 million. Isn't that wonderful! How much did they give all the others? $22 million. How much did they give Ontario and Quebec that need not a nickel? $7 million. Public Works, excluding the Trans-Canada Highway, Quebec $10.5 million. How much did British Columbia get? $165,000. Now, I'm telling you. What a disgraceful picture!
British Columbia is being treated as a goblet to be drained. The Premier will always say, I've heard the Premier say, on many occasions, "Canada first, B.C. second." But I say to you, not the Canada first of Trudeau, that dissolved the Queen's Printer for Information Canada, not the Canada first that deluged the country with posters showing two ugly nudes, stating, "Canada at the beginning." At ' the beginning of what, may I ask? Mr. Speaker, is it the total subservience of several politicians to Ontario and Quebec, I wonder. I do not want to be parochial, but I wonder. There must be something here. We must be on some track to be led off the track. Are the resources of this Nation, from the figures I have just read to be poured into making phony jobs for Ontario and Quebec? It's proved here by the figures I gave you. What about that heavy water plant? $140 million, and what did they find out? When it was all finished and ready to go, did anybody ask, "Will this thing work on salt water?" No, it won't work on salt water. It just seems incredible, does it not? Does it not seem incredible? Well, this is from our goblet. British Columbia is but a goblet to be drained.
Quebec and Ontario are rich in resources. I say to you, did the family compact of by-gone days ever die? No, it didn't die, Mr. Speaker, it lives again. Let me tell you about another thing. The great free trade automobile agreement between Canada and the United States. Well, that was a great thing, all right, it was supposed to reduce the price of automobiles and it has, to a degree, not entirely, by any means. I don't understand how the Federal Government can stand by and allow the motor companies to get away with physical murder by charging, for example.... (interruption). No, the manufacturer. For example, I just mention as an aside, an automobile that is manufactured in Canada. I'll give you the name, Maverick (interruption). We do not handle it in my company, pardon me. That automobile is made in Canada by Canadian labour with Canadian materials by Canadian technicians, shipped all over eastern Canada and the American north, east and I think the whole of the Atlantic seaboard, and it costs $120 more in Canada than it costs in the United States. Our automobile. But I don't bring this up ... that's the boondoggle. I don't understand. Who can understand it? How does it hurt Canada? How does it hurt British Columbia? This is how it hurts British Columbia. The balance of exchange payments between the two countries got so large, that is, we were in a positive trade balance, when suddenly they discovered that they had let the dollar go loose and what happened to the difference on our lumber industry? That's where it happened, right there. That's where the exchange is. We didn't get any great difference in trade. We just had that auto agreement which cost British Columbia and its lumber exporting difference about 6 per cent. So you see, what's wrong in the Federal scene. Are we a goblet to be drained? Yes, we are. No question.
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Something has to be done. What is to be done? Many have plotted with fervour. When the Prime Minister issued the War Measures Act to hold Canada together at all costs, everyone was prepared to bury his doubts. The same Prime Minister, addressing a large crowd of students, said, "It may be necessary to take Canada out of the British Commonwealth of Nations." Yes, sir (interruption). Well, he did. I'll tell you. You may joke, you may laugh, but I say it is extremely serious. Yesterday, the Prime Minister was asked would it be possible to hold the Commonwealth together as a white Commonwealth. His answer, "He thought not." He said, "No." Are we on the way out of the Commonwealth, I ask you? No. Not this Province of British Columbia. By word and deed, the Federal Government, through the Prime Minister, is attempting just this. But it shall not be. I could hardly believe my eyes a few days ago. I hate even to say it in this House, but I must. When I heard the Minister of Labour of the Province of Quebec say, "Quebec has to have jobs. If they do not come by it through evolution, then they would come by it by revolution." A Minister of the Crown, a Minister of the Province of Quebec. I say that's a terrible statement to make. I say this is a spark that could ignite and create the damage that we hope will never occur. We must be the anchor and the bastion of Canada, but how can we be, in the face of all these destructive elements that are taking place? This is the same Government that promised 100,000 jobs, if elected. What happened? They hold a gun to the heads of the Canadian people and say, "Pay."
Is British Columbia's goblet to be drained? You will see. The Federal Government will give in. They will get their 100,000 jobs at our expense. These are the problems. What are the solutions? The solution is obvious, but they are diametrically opposed to Federal policy. Not the huge contracts through international concerns, airport in Quebec of $250 million, that is absolutely unneeded in the wilds. No one wants it, not even the people of Quebec but they'll get it, anyway. At multi-magni-million dollar cost. It should go not for these things, not for these big contracts, but to areas like British Columbia which have proven their ability to create labour-intensive industry. Give it to the people to go out and prospect the land and to find places where towns can spring up, where jobs can be created, where we can do things. Get the money to the people and not to the great multimillion dollar international contractors. It does no good. I read you the billions that were thrown overboard, flotsam and jetsam and the financial waste (interruption). Yes, I heard you, Mr. Leader. Mr. Speaker, I heard the leader but this is the same old tactics of the Opposition. If they'd only get behind with us and pull their weight, we might even make something of British Columbia. One thing we do not need is the help of people who drag their feet, carry red herrings and create disruption and discontent, inciting riots. This is what we do not need. We can do without your help, but how much better it would be if we had it (interruption). I'm not inciting, I'm telling the facts. What we do not need is a "forever" study of the Royal Commission, spending the billions on untold millions to find out what we should be doing. We need the same millions for guaranteed incomes for the labouring people of British Columbia. The Federal Government says we can't afford it. It costs too much. Certainly, it costs too much. It has spent the money in all the wrong places, threw it overboard and they're throwing it overboard. They're not creating wealth, they are destroying wealth. It will not come by scaring the total clothes off the small businessman and the middle taxpayer by the notorious White Paper, but by a White Paper giving aid and encouragement to the middle sector, which is, in fact, the catalyst of the economy. Not the ridiculous stance of creating unemployment, hitting only the worker. How callous can they get? Unemployment, they said. Unemployment. We'll get this economy cooled off. Who cooled it off? The poor working man. We'll get it through unemployment. All they think of is squash down. Not lift up but squash down. This is Federal policy. Squash everything down, not lift it up. We believe in this Party - lift it up, raise everyone a little. That's the difference. British Columbia is not a goblet to be drained. British Columbia will not be drained because we have management and leadership and dedication.
Why must this go on? This callousness and this misuse of the public funds. Here is what we should do - extend our boundaries to the Arctic Sea. That's what we need. New jobs, new action, new people, new cities (interruption). Don't laugh, Mr. Member. It's a possibility and these are the possibilities you have to have in your imagination. Extend our boundaries to the Arctic Sea. Russia has cities larger than Victoria, many of them on the Arctic Sea. What have we got? Aklavik and Ankovik. Two little centres. Why? Federal Government mismanagement and misunderstanding, blind misunderstanding of the wealth of the north, the greatest potential resource of the world. Don't misunderstand it but, being forgotten, it's being ditched, it's being held back for the centuries to come. The Federal Government will never develop the north. It will never try. The north that has been developed is the north of British Columbia. I read a book called The Green North and this book went on to extoll ... you all got a copy, I know ... the grandeur of this green belt across Canada and how everything would go so great and so fine and how they hoped things would happen and they made a mistake in the book and made one little slip. They said the only place it's happening is in the north of British Columbia. The book said that. The only city in the green north is Prince George. They said that. They didn't say why (interruption). No, they never said why.
It is Federal Government policy to forget and to not speak of the movement to British Columbia. The Federal Government is afraid of British Columbia. Why? I don't understand. All we're trying to do is to build Canada. That's all the Federal Government is diametrically opposed to progressive policy. Diversionary tactics, all the time, diversionary tactics. That is why we get all this talk of separation of the Commonwealth, separating from the Commonwealth. I can tell you this, my honourable friends, that when I joined this Legislature, I took an oath to the Queen and that to me is very sacred, and, if the day ever comes when any eastern potentate and so-called leaders of Canada attempt to move this Province out of the Commonwealth, I say that same day we move out of Confederation, run up the Union Jack and call the Queen to send us a Governor. I just say that never could it be. Quiet down. Never could it be. But I tell you that I have an oath to the Queen and that will never be liquidated by eastern potentates or misguided politicians. This Province of British Columbia, I give notice from my seat of Dewdney, will always stay and I'm sure that every one of the Members on our side, I hope yours, too, both our parties, will say they stay with the Commonwealth. We must be working toward the great goals of the Parliament of Man, not the decimation of people, but the bringing of people together. The nearest thing ever to the Parliament of Man is the community of the Commonwealth of Nations. It may be laughable but it's true. This is the
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nearest thing mankind has ever had. We must build it up, not destroy it. We have in Ottawa, today, a man who talks of dissolution of the Commonwealth. The same man that puts his arm around an orang-outang. Did you see the film last night? The title, and it slays me completely, it said ... I can't even believe myself, yet my eyes saw it ... it said, "Starring Pierre Elliott Trudeau." Starring Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Starring. This long film at our expense, by the way, Government expense, and this is the orang-outang, and it said how when the Prime Minister got ... well, I don't like to say this about the Prime Minister, but this film said it ... even the elephant was so pleased when it got down for him to get on, even the camel looked with kindness toward him. The film said it, I didn't say it. I know it's not nice to say these things. He's our Prime Minister, he represents me but it hurts my dignity and the dignity of many honourable Members when you see this kind of nonsense splashed over the papers of the world. I say to you, that's no dignity. He represents me as well as you and why should he have his arm around an orang-outang? The Honourable the Prime Minister can do as he pleases. He can do what he pleases, but I give warning that never will this Province, I am sure, stand for removal of ourselves from the Commonwealth. Because it will not be so, because we are moving toward the Parliament of Man and not the decimation of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Esquimalt.
MR. H.J. BRUCH (Esquimalt): Mr. Speaker, first of all, as I take my place on behalf of the people of Esquimalt, I would like to congratulate the mover and the seconder on their speeches in this House. I would also like to congratulate the Honourable Member for Atlin for the forthright way in which he presented his constituents in this House.
Mr. Speaker, as we enter into this Session, our Centennial Year, I would like to remind the House that the constituency I represent had quite a number of the Members who participated in bringing British Columbia into Confederation, particularly Doctor Helmcken, who did a tremendous job on behalf of the people he represented. I hope that the Members will take the opportunity, during this Session, to go over to Helmcken House and relive a little of the history that helped to make this Centennial possible.
I would like, Mr. Speaker, first of all, to make an appeal to the Government and the Minister of Highways, in particular, for an extended road programme. We have a main artery leading into the constituency and the section of the Sooke Road from the Thetis underpass to Glen Lake and Happy Valley Junction is in bad need of widening to four lanes. I hope that we can begin this project with due haste.
Now, Mr. Speaker, there are a few other problems that I would like to remind the Government of. We have had some setbacks in the area I represent, by a lack of foresight by the level of Government, the Capital Region Board. I would like the Minister of Municipal Affairs to take some serious consideration of the effects of measures passed by this particular board, mainly, By-law number 57. It is a very simple by-law, with just one simple line. It says that, "Any resident or any property owner must dispose of sewage on their own property." Now, it's very interesting to hear the Member opposite applauding that, because, take, for example, we have a problem of a need for a kindergarten at View Royal. At some of the schools, they're now pumping out septic tanks but, according to this by-law, you can no longer do that. You must dispose of sewage on your own property. I think some of these measures are absolutely ridiculous. It was a measure aimed at one particular subdivision and that is not the way to legislate. It outlaws package treatment plants and, really, in proper functioning you can no longer PUMP out your septic tanks. I think that we have to take some very quick steps in regard to the problem of our environment and particularly of sewage disposal. I want to urge upon the Government that the problem we are faced with, of collection systems, of treatment plants, of gathering all our waste together and dumping it out to sea, is absolutely obsolete. It is being proven now that there are other methods and these methods should be explored as hastily as possible. I want to commend the Health Department for taking some of their staff and intending to send them to seminars, whereby they will be able to study other waste disposal methods. We now know that they have chemical septic tanks, whereby you can dispose of your waste. It is known that there are methods of burning, whereby they can dispose of waste. It is my contention, Mr. Speaker, that instead of the municipality and the Government having to go into tremendous commitments in the future for the type of treatment plants that are now obsolete, we should do everything we can to research, to develop new types of disposal units, new methods and to change the legislation accordingly.
Now, Mr. Speaker, there's one other item I would like to deal with. We've heard some mention of ski development and the one area that has really been lacking in facilities for skiing is the area here on lower Vancouver Island. The Department of Recreation and Conservation did a study during the past year and a half of the potential ski areas, of the snow conditions and of the access. They have come up with the definite recommendation that the Coronatiom.ookout Mountain area above Ladysmith is the best site to serve southern Vancouver Island. It has these factors to commend itself. First of all, it is only nine miles from the city of Ladysmith. It already has seven miles of good road. Most of the gradient on that road is less than 7 per cent. It is 63 miles from Victoria; it is only 23 miles from Nanaimo. You compare this with the one they are trying to develop and use at Green Mountain, which is 31 miles from Nanaimo, some 80 miles from Victoria and has 25 miles of poor access road, some of it up to 12 percent gradient. The property I'm speaking of is privately-owned property, by one of the forest firms; however, it is all in the hands of one firm. I would like to see some meetings, some discussions aimed at a development programme of the Coronatiom.ookout Mountain area, which could take care of the future needs of, particularly, the young people on southern Vancouver Island.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we have heard some debate on unemployment in this Legislature. The one thing that is lacking, that ' we haven't heard for quite some time from, particularly, the Liberal benches, has been the oft-heard cry of, "Liberal times are good times." We used to get it shoved at us over, and over and over again. I wonder where those good times are when we have the type of unemployment that this country is suffering from at this time, particularly, when it is purposely generated by a National Government. Now we've heard some criticism here, Mr. Speaker, of the Provincial Government for not having moved quickly enough. I want to point out to those critics who continually harp about the civil service positions to be filled, that the purpose of the Civil Service is to serve the people as they are needed. Tile Civil Service is not a "make work" project. The Government has been right in making money available for
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school construction, for hospital construction, for different projects of that type. The money has been going out. These projects are, many of them, under way and, now, as the need comes for administration within the Civil Service, this is the proper time to use the method of providing employment when the jobs are there and the public needs the services. You didn't need the men to check subdivisions. You didn't need the staff to check construction, when you didn't have any under way. Now, as you are coming into those phases and as the economy is perking up, this is the time that we need the extra staff.
You know, Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how some of the Members opposite seem to overlook some of their own problems and, particularly, when we see their partners, the B.C. Federation of Labour, all-wise and knowing all the solutions to everything but their own problems. When the Members opposite talked about the strikes that took place, why did we have a pulp strike if it were not just jurisdictional wrangling? - one of the unions trying to show that they were more militant than the other. These are things that labour should be working on, on the relationship between themselves, so as to avoid that unnecessary time-loss to the workers of this Province. You know it's amazing, Mr. Speaker, when they can get up at a convention, as they did in the Canadian Federation Convention in Edmonton, and the Liberal Leaders there, one after another for hours, they knew all of the solutions about how Nixon should sit down with the Communists and like mature people settle the difference at the conference table. It was only a matter of weeks later that some of those same leaders sat down at the bargaining table with their own employers and they couldn't talk to them. Where were some of those principles? If it is so easy to know how Nixon and the Communists can solve the world problems why don't they implement some of their own advice.
There is one other factor that is going to have to be looked at very closely because while we continue to say that we should train, train, train ... we have trained a lot of our young people. I know for example of an electrician in the city here who has had his full training, he's got full certification. The last job that he had was when they were doing construction and some special wiring at the University of Victoria, simply because he has a high certification and there are no jobs available and he cannot work at a lower union rate.
Mr. Speaker, there has to be some consideration in these categories and this will help to solve some of the unemployment. We heard criticism from some of the Members opposite about overtime work on the railways up north. How many of the workers, who are unemployed today, want to take those jobs? How many of them want to take those jobs? When you talk about full employment, are you going to say that some of the workers who are not employed now should be forced to take that work? That might be ...
AN HON. MEMBER: Bring them in from Portugal.
MR. BRUCH: Yes, bring them in from Portugal because the workers here do not want to go and take that kind of a job and we shouldn't have to force them (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.
MR. BRUCH: If the Member opposite does not believe that they won't take the job then maybe the Honourable Minister of Rehabilitation was right in some of his statements that there are jobs that the workers are not taking advantage of.
You know, Mr. Speaker, in trying to find out what the opinion of my constituents was on some of the current problems, I put out a questionnaire to a random group of constituents. I want to point out the answers that I received from my constituents on some of the issues that have been dealt with in this debate. The first question I won't deal with because it is a matter before the House. The second question was that: "Should the terms of B.C. labour legislation be eased or toughened?" The replies I got, there were 10 per cent that said they should be eased; there were 65 per cent that said they should be toughened; and there were 25 per cent who said they are OK as they are, enforce them. I asked the question: "Should civil servants, including workers in mental institutions, be given the right to strike?" The answer was 23 per cent, yes; 77 per cent, no. Four: (interruption). Out of 300 1 got about 70 replies. "Should hospital workers have the right to strike?" 25 per cent, yes; 75 per cent, no. Five: "Do you agree with teachers using the strike weapon?" 20 per cent, yes; 80 per cent, no. Six: "Should police, firemen and sanitation workers be allowed to withdraw their services?" Yes, 15 per cent; no, 85 per cent. Number seven: "In your opinion are welfare rates sufficient or too little?"
AN HON. MEMBER: Did you send them to people on welfare?
MR. BRUCH: Some of them were sent to people on welfare because I sent it right down the street. I did not send it to anyone I personally knew (interruption). Not my street. There were about seven different streets in a variety of areas. "In your opinion are welfare rates sufficient or too little?" Sufficient, 45 per cent; too little, 25 per cent; too high, 30 per cent. Eight: "Are interest rates now prevalent justified in your opinion?" Justifiable, 25 per cent; not justified, 75 per cent. Nine: "Are you in favour of the existing regional district structure?" Mr. Minister of Municipal Affairs. Yes, 38 per cent; no, 62 per cent. Ten: "Are we spending enough on education in British Columbia?" Yes, 86 per cent; no, 14 per cent.
Some of the comments, Mr. Speaker, were most interesting and I want to present the results to this Legislature to reflect the opinions of the average person in my constituency (interruption). One can draw a conclusion, certainly (interruption). No, the Member opposite is trying to draw something, because I believe we have a peculiar situation right here in Greater Victoria in the regional district structure. It may be working elsewhere but I think it should indicate to the officials of that regional district that the people are not all happy about what is happening.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we have many problems at a time of unemployment and I have dealt with part of them before during the emergency debate, during the short debate we had on the nonconfidence motion, but I think it is most wasteful when we had to use the methods of creating an artificial depression in order to try to deal with the problems of one part of the economy, perhaps, pressing too hard and demanding too much. It is my contention that other methods must be used. To throw the workers and, particularly, the people on fixed incomes into the chaos that has been created is entirely unrealistic in this day and age.
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On the motion of the Honourable C. M. Shelford, seconded by the Honourable F. X. Richter, it was Ordered: -
That this House authorize the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture to: (a) examine the prices of food products sold in British Columbia at the following levels: (1) producer level; (2) wholesale level; (3) retail level: and (4) processor level, and to evaluate these prices in relation to the inputs or services provided at or between each of these levels; and (b) recommend improved marketing procedures for agricultural products in British Columbia.
The Committee shall have the power to send for persons, papers and records and to hear representations from the food and agricultural industry and such organizations and individuals as may in their discretion appear necessary, and to report its findings and recommendations to this House.
The House adjourned at 5:56 p.m.
The House met at 8:00 p.m.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Burnaby-Willingdon.
MR. J.G. LORIMER (Burnaby-Willingdon): Mr. Speaker, I am most pleased to take part in this Debate and am very pleased that all the honourable Members have finished their dinner and, no doubt, are in a very good mood. I was pleased to have the opportunity of adjourning the debate until this sitting as I thought I might have to wait until the next election before I was given this opportunity.
The debate, Mr. Speaker, I think, has been very interesting to date and I hope I don't break that. The Government Members have been busy trying to read good things into the Speech of the Throne, I think, with some difficulty, and I don't blame them for that. The Opposition Members have been calling the document empty and they have been saying that the Government doesn't know where it's going. This may be true with some of the Ministers, Mr. Speaker, but I think some of them knew where they were going. They've been there and are now back. There are some, maybe, that didn't know where they were going and I refer to the two honourable Ministers who decided to go on a hunting trip this last fall. I understand they were going to Germansen Landing and when they had obtained their licenses and their tags, they got to Germansen Landing and to and behold they tripped over a deer just a short way into the bush, or into a moose I should say. In any event, they shot the beef and tagged it and everything was fine. They started to drag it out to the road by the tail and, as they were moving along, they met a game warden who checked everything and found everything was proper. He told the two Ministers that if they pulled from the front end it might be easier, due to the fact that the hair on the hide all went in one direction. So the Ministers took his advice and went on pulling by the ears or the antlers. One Minister, I won't name the Minister, said to the other, "This gentleman was correct, the warden, this is much easier pulling." The other said, "Yes, yes, but look how far we are from the car." I'm not sure whether all the Government Members know where they're going.
One of the interesting things that happened, Mr. Speaker, this year, was, I think, the announcement of the Honourable Minister of Finance about the assessments for school purposes having a ceiling of 10 per cent for individual holdings. Each municipality or school district is required to send in their assessment roll by the end of December each year, and the announcement made in the newspapers was, I think, dated October 7, which meant that a great number of the school districts were required to throw away their rolls and start over using the 10 per cent limit.
Section 8 (a) of the Assessment Equalization Act reads: "The total assessed value of all land and improvements in a school district shall not be increased in any year by more than 5 per cent of the total assessed value of all land and improvements within that district," which means that the total for the whole area could not be increased by more than 5 per cent. However, individual parcels could be increased by any amount if the assessor so decided that was the proper assessment. The proposed change, as I understand it, will be that each individual piece of property cannot be increased or assessed by an increase of over 10 per cent. The newspaper reports were later followed by instructions from Victoria as to how this was to be done. The important thing, I suggest here, is that the Minister of Finance really has no power to change the assessment regulations or laws. Only the Legislature has that power and even though legislation will, undoubtedly, be brought in in this Session, it still, I suggest, is not proper to have the assessment changed by way of a newspaper report. The effect of this change? It will affect mainly the smaller homes because the assessments on land in this particular category do not fluctuate in the same manner as industrial sites, commercial sites, apartment sites or even duplex sites and certainly the values of properties close to shopping centres are bouncing, at the present time, in most cases.
I have two or three examples here of what happened in the municipality of Burnaby. I have one here which is described as a comprehensive development site. The school value, without the limitation, would be almost $66,000. With the valuation of 10 per cent, it will be only $4 3,000, so that the taxation can only be on the $43,000 limit, rather than on the $65,000, which would have been a 66 per cent increase. Now, with the ceiling, it will only, of course, be at 10 per cent. In an industrial area, the increases, actually, in this example - which is not a normal example, it's taken from the rolls - are 127 per cent. I'll concede that this is more than normal but it's not out of the way in some particular areas, and the actual value of this property was about $16,000, the amount that it can be assessed at for taxes is $7,755.
Taxation is based on a certain amount of mills that is levied and the way the mill rate is worked out is to decide what your expected expenditures will be and then you divide that by the amount of the total taxable assessment. As a hypothetical example, in the event that the proposed expenditures are $30 million and your proposed, or your total assessment, is $1 billion, you divide the $30 million by the $1 billion and you come out with 30 mills. With the limitations of 10 per cent on these properties, what will happen will be that your expected expenditures will still remain at $30 million but your total assessment may be reduced and probably would be reduced, to say, just as an example, about $940,000. So what happens is, when you divide your $30 million by the $942,000, your mill rate then becomes 32 mills instead of 30 mills. So each piece of
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property instead of being charged at the rate of 30 mills will now be charged at the rate of 32 mills.
Some examples of this would be that if we take four pieces of property all worth $10,000 and the first piece of property the value doesn't change between 1970 and 1971. Your taxation, without the limitation, would have been on the 30 mills which would be $300. Your taxation at the 32 mills would then become $320 or $20 more for a property that hasn't increased in value. If we go to the one that has increased from $10,000 to $11,000, which is a 10 per cent increase, you then have a situation where normally under 30 mills would be $330, but, because of 32 mills, would be $352, which is the maximum that can be charged under the new 10 per cent limitation. If the increase is 100 per cent, your normal taxation would be $600 based on 30 mills but, due to the fact that there's a ceiling and only 10 per cent increase is allowed, you will still be paying the sum of $352 instead of $600.
AN HON. MEMBER: Help the Real Estate Board.
MR. LORIMER: I would like to know whose benefit this change is for? The individual home-owner of this Province may believe that this is of benefit to him because he expects his assessment not to be increased by more than 10 per cent. But, in actual fact, the small property owner is actually the victim of this new policy. The beneficiaries are the speculators, apartment owners and holders of industrial sites and potential sites. One of the problems, Mr. Speaker, is that this will not be cured in one year. In some cases, it will take the tax collector a great number of years to catch up to levying proper taxation on certain properties. Now, what we're doing is taking from the poor to help the rich. I am suggesting that this little Government has forgotten the little people.
The Assessment Equalization Act, certainly, it's not perfect, but it was a valuable Act in that it was equalizing assessments throughout the Province and, especially, in the regional districts. The regional districts, I suggest, are now going to be thrown out of kilter where there are areas which will take advantage of the 10 per cent limitation and others that will not. The equalization of assessments here, I think, will be thrown out in some certain regional districts. The laws governing assessments are in the Assessment Equalization Act and I suggest that the changes must come about in this Legislature and not come about at a news conference. I suggest further that the changes could have been made last year at the last sitting of this House or it could have been made this year at this sitting of the House for the change for next year if it is essential to do so. This change will not only help speculators in the interior of the Province and in Burnaby, but will also assist the speculators in Vancouver with the Four Seasons project and I think it is a backward step that this Government is taking.
Dealing for a moment with unemployment, I would like to state that the greatest problem facing the Province is probably unemployment and, of course, the Provincial Government is not totally to blame for this. We've had unemployment for a hundred years and better. As a matter of fact, the Confederation Debate in the Provincial House of 101 years ago dealt primarily with unemployment rather than with the Confederation and, apparently, at that time, unemployment was very bad in this area.
During the recent debate on unemployment, there were a number of concrete ... (interruption). I'd hate to have anyone miss what I am saying, because I know you've been waiting all year for it. During the recent debate on unemployment, we had a variety of concrete suggestions from all sides of the House as to how certain things could be done to assist the unemployment problem. One of the problems, I think, has been that we are just getting rid of a lot of our natural resources, which could be used in this Province for secondary industry. I think it's necessary that we have more clean secondary industry in this Province to cushion the effect of the seasonal and other unemployment that we have from year to year. The sale of our hydro power to the United States, I think, helped the industries in the northwestern States but, really, we got very little benefit in British Columbia from the sales.
We are shipping our mineral concentrates to foreign countries, we're shipping our raw logs and so on, without processing them, and I think that in a lot of cases these could be processed in the Province to encourage secondary industry and help the unemployed.
I understand that there are four new ships being built to transport coal from Roberts Bank to Japan (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.
MR. LORIMER: However. these ships are not being built in Victoria (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: I want to caution the honourable Members that I expect some order in this House.
MR. LORIMER: I was trying to say, Mr. Speaker, before I was so rudely interrupted, by my friend and the Opposition here, that the ships are being built in Japan. They're not being built in Victoria or Vancouver. I think that one thing we might do is make sure that when we get rid of our materials, if we are going to have this policy of selling our concentrates and so on and shipping them out, we should try and see that we ship them out in Canadian ships with Canadian crews.
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
MR. LORIMER: The whole question of a merchant marine is, I appreciate, not one that is the responsibility of this Government, but I do feel that if any of the Ministers are able to have discussions with the opposite Members in Ottawa that we might encourage Ottawa to see about building up our merchant marine. At the end of the last war, Canada had the third largest merchant marine in the world. Today, we only have a few ships left. We have the skills, we have the material, we have the sites to build ships in British Columbia and, I think, that some pressure by some of our Ministers in Ottawa could go a long way in, maybe, seeing that the shipbuilding industry is revitalized in these parts. I don't think it would hurt to try.
I want to deal for a moment with pollution. It's been mentioned by every honourable Member that's spoken to date. I think that we all agree that we are now paying for some of our past mistakes. But if we team by these mistakes, I suggest that all hasn't been lost and we can probably prevent the same mistakes recurring. However, I am somewhat afraid that the Utah Mines operation in Rupert Inlet may be a repeat of the Buttle Lake problem and that, certainly, I think, a very close look should be given to this project.
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The Pollution Control Board appears to be prepared to permit activities,, providing that it isn't proven that pollution will occur. I don't think that this should be the test. I think the test should be that these activities will be permitted, if it is proven that pollution will not occur. I think the test is backwards. We must be sure that today's activities will not jeopardize the lives of the generations to come. The idea that we can pollute today and clean up tomorrow doesn't really work, because some pollution can be irreparable or take a great length of time to repair.
I was pleased to see the statement of the Honourable Jack Davis when he stated that, in the event that there was a conflict between the environment and industrial expansion, the decisions must be weighed in favour of the environment. I endorse this policy. I don't wish to appear to be condemning the Provincial Government. I think they've been trying, at least a little bit, in some minor areas of this problem of pollution. Their philosophy appears to be that they will only permit projects to go ahead if pollution occurs, only they won't allow them to go ahead unless it is economical and profitable to have the pollution. I think there has to be a major shift in the ideas in this area. The Ministers who make decisions with reference to these matters must bear the responsibility in the event that what they think is going to happen doesn't happen. I don't think it is a sufficient answer to say that they didn't think it would happen.
Governments must realize that they are in a position of trust. They have basic responsibilities in this area of Government. The first responsibility is to govern for the present generation and, secondly, to make sure that their stewardship does not adversely affect the generations to come. Governments, Mr. Speaker, must govern for today but legislate for tomorrow.
I want to deal a little bit with the announcement the Minister of Municipal Affairs has made that he is going to turn Burnaby into a city. I think that a normal person would expect the Minister to discuss this matter quietly with the area concerned and come to some guidelines and so on as to how the change is going to come about. I feel that possibly the Minister will negotiate with Burnaby about this, because I am sure he is acting on the best interests of the municipality, as the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I'm sure he will stand up tall in the Cabinet and argue the case for Burnaby as to the cost-sharing parts involved, in the case that Burnaby becomes a city. I am sure that he will do this, but I would like to remind him of a few expenses that Burnaby will be faced with. I believe we're still debt-owing to the Provincial Government.
I think that the major problems would be in the question of highways. The first one would be the construction of the Stormont Interchange on Highway 401. This interchange, probably, will be the busiest interchange in the whole system when it is constructed. It serves not only Delta, Surrey, New Westminster and the eastern ends of Burnaby, but also services the Simon Fraser University and connects with the Lougheed Highway. I have noticed in the past years that interchanges have been built in the Chilliwack area, and I'm not objecting to this as I think they are needed in the Chilliwack area, but what I am suggesting is that the interchange at Stormont will carry far more traffic than any interchange in the whole system. I suggest it's badly needed.
I'd like to know and I'm sure the Minister of Municipal Affairs will be asking whether or not the Provincial Government is prepared to pay for the construction of the southern route from the interchange through Newcombe Street and McBride Avenue and to the Pattullo Bridge. The municipality, I am sure, is prepared to assist financially with the Provincial Government on this but I suggest it is, primarily, a Provincial highway and serves only a small section of Burnaby. I would like to know, and I am sure the Minister would like to know, that the Government is going to pay for the northern approach which ties in with Gaglardi Way and Simon Fraser University, with an overpass over the Great Northern Railway and, again, I'm sure, that Burnaby would coalesce financially with the Government.
AN HON. MEMBER: Can't have Gaglardi Way end in confusion.
MR. LORIMER: I wouldn't like to see Burnaby treated ... (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.
MR. LORIMER: I wouldn't like to see Burnaby being paid a set sum, as happened in Vancouver, with all these costs involved. We're talking about million-dollar questions here. I feel sure that the Minister will make sure that everything is brought up to date before city status is achieved by Burnaby.
There is also the promised four-lane highway from Hastings Street up Simon Fraser and this has an interesting history. At the time Simon Fraser was being built, there was the question of how we were going to get water to Simon Fraser. There was a meeting held in Burnaby between the members of the Municipal Affairs Department and people from Burnaby and, at that time, it was agreed in a friendly fashion that Burnaby would supply the four-inch water main to the top of the mountain and service Simon Fraser with water and that, to stop congestion, the Provincial Government would build a highway connecting Hastings Street to the top of the mountain. This has never come about and I'm sure it's an oversight, but I would like the Minister of Municipal Affairs to keep this in mind, too, when he's talking with his colleagues.
I, like my friend from Esquimalt, took a survey in Burnaby as to whether or not they were in favour of city status. Just for the information of the House, with some 960 replies, those against were about 2 to 1. So I'm sure that it's not in the interest of Burnaby that this change is taking place. Personally, I don't care whether it's a city or a municipality or a village as long as, financially, Burnaby doesn't suffer. I'm sure and I hope that the Minister will look after the interests of this municipality, which is under his care.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to discuss for just a moment the situation of Oakalla. I know that most of you will be surprised to hear that Oakalla is still sitting in the middle of Burnaby-Willingdon because, last year, you might remember, I asked that it be removed. I must admit that the Honourable Attorney-General wasn't in his place at the time and he may not have heard. But I'm glad to see him here tonight and I'm sure he will take what I am going to say to heart.
I just happened to be digging a little bit and I found an old report ... as the House has been told a number of times, I think, the former Attorney-General some twelve years ago mentioned that Oakalla would be phased out and it would be closed up within ten years. I just happened to pick up a clipping from the Vancouver Sun dated February 8, 1966, and it's headed "Oakalla Doomed, Bonner Declares". Just to
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quote a couple of lines here, "Oakalla as a prison is doomed and British Columbia hopes to get out of the business of running large prisons. Attorney-General Robert Bonner made this clear in an exclusive interview."
AN HON. MEMBER: He was the only one in the room.
MR. LORIMER: However, there was some action in Oakalla last year. They removed some Clydesdales and I had hoped that this would be the start of the phasing-out programme (laughter). Apparently you were horsing around. Anyway, I would like the Honourable Attorney-General just to dig into his old Oakalla file to see if there's ... (interruption). Oakalla file. I am sure it's down in the bottom cupboard. Just bring it up and have another look at it. We're hoping when we do remove the prison that the property will remain in public hands, either Provincial or municipal, for public purposes, because we have 200-plus beautiful acres in the centre of the urban area. I think it would be a terrible crime if we lost that public facility for park purposes. Thank you very much.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the First Member for Vancouver-Burrard. Order.
MR. H.J. MERILEES (Vancouver-Burrard): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in my place to take part in this debate on the Speech from the Throne. Before commencing my speech, it has been drawn to my attention that there is a delegation or a group from the British Columbia Forest Service in the gallery tonight and I would like all the Members to join with me in according them a great welcome.
First of all, may I congratulate the mover and the seconder of the Speech from the Throne? I think both gentlemen did a splendid job: the Honourable Member for Columbia River and the Honourable Member for Oak Bay.
It is my honour, Mr. Speaker, to represent the great constituency of Vancouver-Burrard. One of the significant features of Burrard, Mr. Speaker, is Broadway. Every town I know has a Broadway but I venture to say that Vancouver's Broadway is just about the longest in the world. It is probably Vancouver's greatest single distributor street. Broadway forms a belt line right across Vancouver, stretching from Burnaby and Highway 401 in the east, right to the University of British Columbia boundary. Broadway also distributes a very heavy load of Highway 499's traffic. Mr. Speaker, Broadway is becoming one of the brightest and most attractive streets on the Pacific Coast with top-flight stores, restaurants, night clubs, theatres and even reputable auto dealers, Mr. Speaker. So when you think of Burrard, think of Broadway.
The Honourable the Premier, when he was in California recently, gave the Mayor of Vancouver a little advice and that was to brighten up the street lighting in the city of Vancouver and I re-echo that. I reiterate and I support that advice and I think the Mayor of Vancouver could start on Broadway. Further, I think, by virtue of the tremendous traffic that Broadway handles in the distributor sense, that the Minister of Highways might consider making a small grant towards the roadbed of Broadway from cast to west.
Earlier in the debate, Mr. Speaker, Damon Runyan, the American author who so vividly brought to life the characters that epitomize the roaring early years of this century, was quoted, in part, by the Leader of the Opposition. Now would you believe it, Mr. Speaker, here is an ex-social worker who picks as his dubious hero a man called Big Julie, a man whose very dependence and his livelihood was the operation of manipulated dice. What a likely claim to fame! However, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, gave me an idea and I quote from Damon Runyan. One of his most apt quotations, then, is just as apt today and that's, "Nothing is so timid as a million dollars." When Members of the Opposition and the labour unions scream about the need for more jobs, let them, in all honesty, recall this truism, "Nothing is so timid," Mr. Speaker, "as a million dollars." It's a figure of speech yes, but one might well reduce it and say, "Nothing is also so timid as a thousand dollars or five hundred dollars."
Let's talk in terms all of us here can understand. I don't think there are too many millionaires in the House so let's talk in terms that can be understood by a logger, a faller in the woods up on Vancouver Island, by a waitress in Vancouver City or a housewife, Mr. Speaker, in Haney. Let's not talk in terms of millions. Let's get down to hundreds or thousands so that you and I and ordinary people can understand.
It is a well-known fact that the creation of any new job represents a capital investment of anywhere between ten and one hundred thousand dollars. This is a fact of life and you and I just can't laugh it off. Depending upon the sophistication of the business or industry, the investment to create one job can rise as high as $100,000. Again I say, Mr. Speaker, let's keep it simple. Let's pick a low average, a very low average, the lowest average of $10,000. Industry in British Columbia, I know, is not too sophisticated and so you don't have the same number of hundred thousand dollar investments to create a job. Pick a low average of $10,000. If you are going to create just a hundred new jobs, you suddenly find yourself far beyond your personal depth because we come up with the stunning total of $1 million for one hundred jobs.
Premier Bourassa in Quebec campaigned on the promise of 100,000 new jobs. Right? Now he's living through the bitter reminder of this promise. Premier Bourassa's promise would mean somebody would have to persuade industry or senior Government that Quebec is a good, safe, profitable place to plunk down $1 billion. Just so that we ordinary people can understand, Mr. Speaker, this would represent the total savings at the rate of $1000 per year for 100,000 people for ten years, that is, provided the average man could save $1,000 per year. If the average person can save a thousand dollars a year today, he is doing well. What does he do with the thousand dollars? He picks the safest possible place he can invest it in, at the highest possible rate of return, and that goes for every man in this room. There is nothing complicated about it, Mr. Speaker. It is a simple fact of everyday existence, that individuals or corporations are not going to get sentimental about the city of Nanaimo, just because they have a handsome mayor, or the Province of British Columbia, when it comes to deciding where their thousand dollars or their million dollars are going to be invested. They are going to seek the safest source, with the highest possible rate of earning they can get commensurate with security. No question. When they look at British Columbia as a possible location for their investment, there is no sentiment involved. If the opportunity and the stability in Ontario or Alberta appear to be better, then you may depend their money will go to Ontario or Alberta.
British Columbia is attracting some tremendous amounts of capital investment today, because, in addition to having rich natural resources, this Province has one of the most
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stable, responsible Governments to be found anywhere in North America. But, Mr. Speaker, in the words of Damon Runyan, dollars are timid, very timid, indeed, when they witness the conduct of some of our labour leaders. Labour represents the highest single cost and dependability factor. They go hand in hand - cost and dependability - in any manufacturing or commercial operation. The continuing demand by irresponsible labour leaders for unreasonable increases to what are already the highest wage scales in Canada, just makes the task of this Government to provide new jobs more and more difficult.
Los Angeles manufacturers are shipping tons of parts to Japan by air to have them assembled and shipped back by air to California because, in spite of the expensive transportation and customs methods, they can still show a net saving of at least 20 per cent on the finished product. We've long regarded Japan as the Mecca of low-cost labour but, today, Japan is doing precisely the same thing as the Americans are doing when shipping their parts to Japan. Giant Japanese corporations, today, are farming out tremendous volumes of work to Hong Kong, to Singapore, to Taiwan, and so it goes. Germany is doing exactly the same thing.
In the United States, the AFL-CIO estimate that the shift of manufacturing to foreign soil is the result of high wages in that country. The shift of manufacturing has cost American workers over 700,000 jobs since 1967.
Mr. Speaker, we possess not only the highest wage scale in Canada but the best living conditions and the lowest taxes. In this we are most fortunate but, when we have labour leaders who openly advocate defiance of the best and fairest labour laws and institutions in all of Canada, then I join with others who say it is high time that the Leader of the Opposition divorce his Party from the B.C. Federation of Labour. We have good precedent for such a divorce, Mr. Speaker, because such a recommendation is not confined to this side of the House (interruption). I'll get around to that later, Mr. Speaker.
There are many staunch Socialists who feel most strongly that what used to be a known and respected CCF party should never have succumbed to the shotgun wedding with organized labour, which is nothing more than a "marriage for money."
From the labour side in a statement that was reported on September 29, Pat O'Neal, a labour leader, . . . (interruption). He's getting along in years. Don't you want to listen to this quote by Pat O'Neal, one of your pals? (Interruption). Mr. Speaker, I find it most ... (interruption). I find it most disrespectful that Members of this Party don't want to listen to a quote from a prominent labour leader (interruption). Anyway, Mr. Pat O'Neal stated, "The unions are going to take a good look at their position and decide whether to form their own political party or not because in my view we would be much better off to have only three or four people who really thoroughly represent us in the Legislature and are our political heart as well as our arm, than placing our faith in some political party." Some political party, unnamed (interruption). It couldn't be worse. Well, there you have it, Mr. Speaker. A top labourite who feels that the best that labour could do would be to elect three or four to this House. In my humble opinion, they'd be lucky to get two. But if they did, Mr. Speaker.... (interruption).
AN HON. MEMBER: Merilees and Price (laughter).
MR. MERILEES: Go back to East Vancouver.
Not a bad combination, as a matter of fact. The Honourable Second Member for Burrard will put you on your feet and I'd put you in the air. What more do you want? (Interruption.) We'll come to the daffodils in about a month or two. There you have it. This is the top labour leader's analysis - three or four seats. In my humble opinion, he's being blatantly optimistic. If they elected two, they'd do well but, anyway, supposing they did elect three. What a wonderful thing, what a wonderful day that would be for British Columbia! At least, we'd have them out there in the open. You could count them - three out of fifty-five seats in this House. Then the citizens of British Columbia could clearly see the minuscule minority that today makes more racket than a regiment. The NDP would be better off, Mr. Leader, and they'd lose very few votes, if they went it alone (interruption). I'm doing my best for you boys. The NDP, Mr. Speaker, would be better off, because they'd lose very few votes.
The people of British Columbia clearly showed what they thought of labour's bully-boy tactics in the last election. After a first-class hatchet job on the Member from Cowichan-Malahat and the Member from Coquitlam, labour fielded their hand-picked political spokesman. But the electors quickly administered a sound rebuke and dismissed labour's choice before he even had a chance to hang up his hat or his coat in the office (interruption). I didn't take any credit for it. When a man like Ray Haynes puts a ring in the nose of 1,800 bus drivers and tells them to refuse to appear before a legally appointed Mediation Board then, I say, that this is contempt for the very principles that all of us as British Columbians are working and fighting for. If the striking bus workers go back to work tomorrow, even at a modest increase over that recommended by the Mediation Board, Mr. Speaker, they will work until August, 1972, before they catch up and regain the dollars they've lost due to this senseless strike (interruption). I used to. I can't afford the dues anymore (laughter). Yes, they did, that was part of the deal. The B.C. Federation of Labour ....
AN HON. MEMBER: Were you for Social Credit in those days?
MR. MERILEES: I'll see you at coffee break. The B.C. Federation of Labour, Mr. Speaker, is also the organization that was responsible for inciting the disgraceful attack here on the very fundamentals of our democratic system (interruption). Yes, here it comes. I don't want to waste it, are you listening? This is the same B.C. Federation of Labour that supported the organization of the disgraceful attack on the Prime Minister of Canada at the Seaforth Armouries in August, 1969. The same outfit. I was there. Make no mistake and if you want to see me tomorrow, I'll show you a reprint of you-know-what.
AN HON. MEMBER: Did you pay a hundred bucks for your ticket?
MR. MERILEES: I got very upset. I had the Honourable Second Member's name and my own on the side of my car and I nearly paid for that privilege. It was during the Provincial election, if you remember. I was minding my own business in my own riding and I got caught up. I have the evidence, Mr. Member, if you want to see it.
A nice, clean, constructive suggestion for you. 1871. One hundred years ago British Columbia joined in Confederation
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and the Honourable Member from Cowichan-Malahat pointed out that there was a strike on Vancouver Island in the coal mines. That's what he said and I'm quite prepared to believe him because I don't think he ever tells a fib. I know the honourable Member very well and I think it is an interesting historical fact he quoted. He said the Government of that day had sent a gunboat from Esquimalt to keep law and order. British Columbia has a much bigger navy, today, Mr. Member, but instead of going out to keep law and order, we use it to bring the strikers to this Legislature in Victoria. Now, don't tell me that doesn't represent a hundred years of progress (laughter).
Answering the Member from Burnaby-Willingdon about the need for Canadian bottoms, shall we put it, to carry our freight, our commerce, as he pointed out, this is truly a Federal responsibility, but this Government has already built one of the largest navies in North America and a former Premier once put British Columbia in the warship business, as you may remember going back into history. We just might build another fleet and take care of our own trade and commerce.
It has been suggested, Mr. Speaker, that there was nothing in the Throne Speech that related to creation of employment. I suggest that these critics remember just a few of the references and there will be more coming later, no doubt, with regard to the extension of our highways and our railways. A by-product of the Island Highway extension from Sayward, not Kelsey Bay, Mr. Minister, Sayward. The road will take off a good ten miles from Kelsey Bay. Kelsey Bay only has five votes, anyway. Sayward has several and one of those lives five miles above the Kelsey Bay wharf
The by-product, Mr. Speaker, of this Island Highway extension to Beaver Cove could and should see, due to a reduction in the turn-around time of the Queen of Prince Rupert, could see an opportunity to render a mainland connection for those romantic, forgotten, but deserving parts of our Province, the Queen Charlotte Islands. I see no reason why, under the circumstances, that the Queen Charlotte Islands could not now be made a port of call - a triangle run, on certain runs at least. Mr. Speaker, this service would connect at you know where - Prince Rupert. Four-lane construction on the Upper Levels Highway in West Vancouver is a tremendous improvement. It will create tremendous employment, similarly, so will improvement in great sections of parts of the Vancouver Island Highway, particularly in Cowichan-Malahat (interruption). No, I haven't got to that page yet. Incredible improvements in the western approaches to Prince Rupert on Highway 16. Those of you who have driven that highway will see the miracle that has been created (interruption). I beg your pardon? He probably will. You've got a good Member from Terrace, he'll take care of you.
A long-time dream on the north bank of the Fraser River will soon come true and provide a second entrance and exit to the lower mainland. There's lots of work and wages involved there. A tremendous programme of PGE expansion to the north country and, I trust, Mr. Speaker, that our Government will give some consideration to a suggestion that I made during last year's Throne Debate of encouraging small plane landing strips at strategic points in these undeveloped areas. This is done in other parts of North America. I can't quite remember several of the states of the United States. I can't quote them off-hand, but they do do it. They do it at the time that they expand and push out these major construction jobs. They do it when they have the heavy equipment handy and they don't do it too far from either the highway or the railway because they are companion pieces. We know this. We talk about beautiful British Columbia and the reason it's beautiful, of course, is we have some beautiful mountains and there's not too much flat territory. One of our jobs is to open up the country and small plane landing strips are a vital necessity. We've got lots of small lakes for float jobs but what we need are more small plane landing strips. These are good for safety reasons, they could be a matter of life and death. I don't mean the life or death of the pilot. It could be life or death to some member of a community that could be gotten out of there in a hurry in case of emergency. So I ask most sincerely the Minister to give some consideration.
Jobs will be created and inspiration offered to our native Indians in many ways and this is in the Throne Speech. For those of you who have never been there I recommend you go. One, in particular, through additional monies being invested in the development of 'Ksan at Hazelton features a fascinating preservation of our native artifacts and skills. More dollars are being spent there.
Last year in the Throne Debate, I decried the proposals of the U.S. Army to bring shipments of deadly nerve gas from Okinawa through the Straits of Juan de Fuca, stating that the tides and oceans of the world recognize no international boundaries. Incidentally, they backed off. I don't take credit for that. I think the Japanese and the whole world screamed. At that time these remarks came to the attention of the Honourable Stewart Bledsoe, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives in the Washington State Legislature. Majority Leader Bledsoe is one of the best known pollution fighters in our great neighbouring states to the south. I am pleased to tell you that dialogue has continued and the responsible Ministers of this Government have indicated to me their willingness to extend the dialogue on an exploratory basis, not only with the State of Washington but also with the States of Oregon, California and Alaska, which are informally meeting this week, incidentally, in Southern California.
We received word that our good friends from the Government of Mexico, our Mexican cousins, are going to join in with this group, hopefully, a group that will become truly an international organization to formulate local, state and provincial plans in co-operation with our various national governments to protect the total coast of North America from the Bering Straits to the Panama Canal. Tides, I say, Mr. Speaker, have no respect for man-made boundaries. Many novel suggestions have been made since plans to ship oil from Alaska through the Straits of Juan de Fuca were announced. I say novel. Some of them, or all of them, are offered with the best intentions. Some of them are good and some of them are very costly. Some of them don't make much sense.
It seems to be almost an inevitable fact. I don't subscribe to it but, in any case, we should be prepared. The west coast of Vancouver Island, Mr. Speaker, is not called the "Graveyard of the Pacific" for nothing. The danger will be real. The Member for Alberni knows this. The danger will be Teal, of this there is absolutely no doubt. I say that, if a 100-mile limit is needed in the Arctic, surely, we can't settle for five miles the south end of Vancouver Island, even when it's necessary, like in wartime when they had a convoy system. Victoria and Vancouver are known to have some of the finest tugboat fleets in the world, even, if necessary, to implement the use of a convoy system. Cargoes have gone through the Straits of Juan de Fuca, I know and those who lived here in
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those years know.
MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Member will realize that we have a resolution on the Order Paper dealing with the subject which he is presently discussing and he is anticipating the debate on that particular resolution. Would he please move to his next order.
MR. MERILEES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sorry I overlooked that. I think I've made my point on that regard though (interruption). That's not necessary. I apologized. I think that's the same.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I'd like to just go back to last fall and this hasn't come up at all during this debate. So I'm on pretty safe ground, I think, with most people and, maybe some, no.
On October 13, 1970, the Secretary of State for External Affairs announced in the House of Commons that Canada and the People's Republic of China had reached agreement on mutual recognition and establishment of diplomatic relations. On October 24, a survey team led by Mr. John M. Fraser left Ottawa to make arrangements for accommodation in Peking for a Canadian Embassy. You may have seen on television, I don't know whether it was last night or the night before, Peking's representative arriving in Montreal and Ottawa.
Included in this team were two members from the Federal Department of Trade and Industry and Commerce, as well as other members of the diplomatic staff. Mr. Speaker, in 1964, this was the year the Japanese released the yen for travel purposes, this was a very significant date for British Columbia. A very significant date for Japan, too, for that matter, but for British Columbia, particularly. In 1964, our Province was the first to take advantage of this postwar turning point in Japan's history. For nearly twenty years after World War 11, 1945 - 1964, no Japanese was permitted to take money out of Japan without a special permit. No travel. Two groups left here in 1964 for Japan, a trade mission in which the now Honourable Minister of Health Services played a very leading part - the Minister of Trade and Commerce, I believe, at that time in this Government -and also a twelve-man tourist promotion team. All I can say, in simple terms, Mr. Speaker, and Members that, since that date, trade and travel between British Columbia and Japan have more than doubled.
There can be no doubt, whatsoever, Mr. Speaker, that a great deal of British Columbia's future, both economically and culturally, is tied up with the exciting development taking place on the whole of the Pacific rim. Let us not forget that British Columbia is a maritime Province. Our true beginnings came from the sea through early Spanish, Russian and British exploration. With Britain's almost certain entry into the European Common Market, Canada must and will more aggressively pursue the markets of the Far East. British Columbia, as Canada's Pacific maritime Province, should be the chosen instrument and we should be on our toes to be the greatest beneficiary of such developing trade and travel.
At this time, Mr. Speaker, I most strongly urge the Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry and the Honourable Minister of Travel Industry to formulate plans for an aggressive trade and travel mission to Peking that will explore every possible opportunity for the sale of British Columbia products.
AN HON. MEMBER: Don't you worry about that.
MR. MERILEES: The honourable Member, maybe, go with him, eh?
The Canadian Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, at hearings that commenced October 27, met with one of this country's greatest experts in the Far East, Dr. Lorne Kavic. Among other things that Dr. Kavic reported to the committee, was the lack of initiative on the part of Canadian manufacturers and other businessmen in taking advantage of the potential opportunities in the Pacific rim area. He also commented on the aggressive marketing techniques of our sister Dominion, Australia, and used them as an example of what could be done in creating profitable trade in the Pacific area. Such a mission, Mr. Speaker, cannot fail to produce profitable results, not only in the field of trade and commerce but also in the exchange of cultures. Such a mission need not be too costly to this Government, Mr. Speaker. The forest product industry, in all its forms, should be glad to be part of such a delegation and other British Columbia industries, too, would send expert representation at their own expense.
Mr. Speaker, if British Columbia is to progress and prosper, if British Columbia is to develop a truly greater cultural and philosophical way of life, then we must thoughtfully, but aggressively, get out into the world and sell. This then could very well prove to be our true 1971 Centennial Coming-of-Age project. Mr. Speaker, British Columbia should take the lead among all the Provinces of Canada in exploring this vast new market that has now opened its doors to Canada. Thank you.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Honourable the First Member for Vancouver Centre.
MR. H.P. CAPOZZI (Vancouver Centre): Mr. Speaker.... (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
MR- L.T. NIMSICK (Kootenay): The Honourable Member for Vancouver Centre was going to speak tomorrow afternoon. I wonder if he is going to speak both days. It's usually customary for the Whips, you know, to know what's going on.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: I'm quite sure the honourable Whip knows what is going on. The Honourable the First Member for Vancouver Centre.
MR. CAPOZZI: With all the problems in this matter, I'm quite prepared to assure him that, if he wants me to, I would be more than happy to deliver my message twice.
Mr. Speaker, I'm honoured again to participate in this debate. Having listened for a great part of the debate, I'm constantly reminded of the expression that, unfortunately, all of us grow so quickly old but so slowly wise. I really am not sure whether, at this moment, having, I'm not using the term being rushed in, Mr. Whip, . . . I only hope having watched, during the past season, the National Football League, the fantastic record of the old man George Blanda that, perhaps, tonight, whether I am George Blanda or not, that some of my remarks may get the same type of attention that he received.
We are, Mr. Speaker, in the eleventh day of the debate and I must admire, Mr. Speaker, your wisdom, your tolerance, your understanding and your patience. It amazes
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me to see that you have grown so much wiser because in the eleven days you have not really found any cause to reprimand me at all. I'm sure that that is a sign of my brilliance and a sign that you have now recognized the ability that is here on behalf of Vancouver Centre. I do not this evening, Mr. Speaker, intend to dwell at great length on my possible contribution, whether good or bad. I must say that a very large section of my speech has had to be removed because I had expected my young son to be in the gallery this afternoon and I felt that this was one chance for him to see his father in rather good display and behaving himself. I will now eliminate that part of the speech in which I refer to his excellent qualities knowing that he will get it as I write to him tomorrow.
Quite seriously, Mr. Speaker, I am extremely concerned about incidents which have taken place both in this House and prior to the sitting of this House. While I do not intend to delve very deeply into the rather stormy marriage, which has existed between the NDP and the B.C. Federation, a marriage which doesn't seem to be very much of love but, certainly, is more one of incest and which has been filled with fights and phony quarrels and calls for, not necessarily a divorce, but I do claim that they are trying to establish, Mr. Speaker, a divorce by association rather than by disassociation. You have often heard of divorces which are postponed because of the children. In this case, I would think that it is being postponed because of a rather rich uncle who sits in the wings and pays the shots for everyone at the party.
I'm not too sure, Mr. Speaker, what are the safe seats that were so casually referred to, both by Mr. Haynes and Mr. Stupich in certain discussions. I am quite convinced that Cowichan-Malahat was not a safe seat and neither was Kootenay, in the ballpoint area, and I must point out that there were several others, like New Westminster, in the Women's Liberation Group. I might add, by the way, that I have made an agreement with the football team that they will not advertise for male or female. Anyone may apply for a job with them. I might, also, in referring to where the funds were pumped in, Mr. Speaker, where they went, in the last election, I must say that they certainly did not consider Vancouver Centre a safe seat for anybody, because there they pumped the funds, the outside organizers, they brought in Mr. Lewis from Toronto, they brought them all in. I really am disturbed that the good funds of the good labour members of the B.C. Federation, without their control, were put into that area. Was Burrard safe, Mr. Speaker, did they save the only thing that Burrard was safe for? It was saved for the people of British Columbia, that's what it was saved for. Out of this, Mr. Speaker, comes a far more serious problem. We, really, are dealing, if we look at what took place, with an actor in this House, Mr. Speaker. An actor, who according to a statement made in the press, deliberately set out to fool the people of British Columbia, (interruption), a representative elected in this Province, who deliberately planned to stage a phony fight with the leader of the B.C. Federation of Labour. A purposely staged mismanagement of policies. Mr. Speaker, is there anything in the history of the Province of British Columbia, admitted by both sides, that is more dishonest than a leader going to the polls and stating that he wants someone to stage a phony fight, a mock battle so that he can fool the voters of the Province of British Columbia and be elected? Mr. Speaker, that is an insult to the people of the Province of British Columbia. It's an insult to his Party. You may smile, Mr. Leader, but any leader of a party who would purposely plan, a studied plan, to confuse the people, to make them believe, and I will quote the statement if you don't believe this is the truth, "a fake fight with NDP urged on me," says Ray Haynes. Haynes said and he gives the exact date, this is the exact date. April 10. Mr. Speaker ...
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
MR. CAPOZZI: Mr. Speaker, "On April 10, the day after Tom Berger defeated Bob Williams, John Conway and Barrett for the Party leadership, I was approached by Dave Barrett and he suggested to me that I should connive a public fight to show that labour and the NDP are not synonymous." What kind of responsibility in an elected Member, Mr. Speaker, is this? The Leader of the Opposition who sits in this House. Mr. Speaker, I suggest that this statement, without refute, by the Leader of the Opposition is an insult ... (interruption). Mr. Member, you may accept a phony Leader. You may accept someone who would go to the people and suggest that they stage a phony fight.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the ... just one moment. I think the Member should withdraw the term, "phony Leader."
MR. CAPOZZI: I'll withdraw it. It ain't phony, McGee. Mr. Speaker, I'll say this. That I have been in the hamburger business and I know a hamburger when I see one. Mr. Speaker, while we only use Grade A, and this is not a commercial, we sell it for 25 cents. That is a 15 cent hamburger. And it tells me, Mr. Speaker, that when I suggest that what we have seen take place in this Province that unless that Member is prepared to state emphatically that that is not a true statement by Mr. Haynes, then, in all fairness and in all honesty to the people of the Province of British Columbia, he should resign from the position that he now occupies. I'll say this, Mr. Speaker, that if he stands up and says that Mr. Haynes did not tell the truth, then Mr. Haynes is a liar and he should resign.
AN HON. MEMBER: Who needs enemies with friends like that?
MR. CAPOZZI: You may smile, Mr. Leader, but any person who would deliberately stage a phony fight, a mock battle to fool the public of this Province can hardly be considered capable of sitting in here as the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.
Eleven days ago in this House, Mr. Speaker, a deplorable incident took place, which has been commented on at great length by many Members on both sides of the House, both feeling that it was a disgrace to the democratic process. We deplore violence from our Party as they deplore violence from the other parties in this House. I am personally sure that everyone concurs that what took place was something that was a credit to no one. It amazed me, Mr. Speaker, that immediately following that incident, I watched the former Leader of that Party rush outside the House and attempt to whitewash what took place here.
AN HON. MEMBER: That's right.
MR. CAPOZZI: I'll tell you what he said. He said, "I deplore violence. Our Party, our Leader and 1, personally, all of us we deplore violence." Then he went on to say that what had taken place was in the legend and tradition of protests
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that we have seen. Wait a minute, Mr. Speaker. He then described some incidents - the PTA incident, the Kamloops incident. He described other groups that had come to this House in protest. I was standing, Mr. Speaker, beside him at the moment he made that statement and I said to him, "Mr. Member, that is garbage, because what took place was not protest, that was violence."
SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear. That's right.
MR. CAPOZZI: Mr. Speaker, his comment was this, "What violence? What violence? I didn't see any violence." He said, "My back was turned, I didn't see any violence in this House." The attendant who was in that corner was struck down, bleeding, and he didn't see any violence. I saw him and he saw him and he knew it. He had his back turned, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, they've always had their backs turned to the violence in this Province. Mr. Speaker, they had their backs turned when that protest took place and their NDP signs were marching outside. They had their backs turned, Mr. Speaker, when Trudeau was struck down and the individual who struck him down was wearing an NDP hat. Mr. Speaker, they had their backs turned on violence when the PTA dropped signs and poured things down into this very Chamber, and the Member from Vancouver East, the Second Member, was out there. When I asked him in this House to say that he had encouraged those people not to come in, not to be violent, he refused to answer that question in this House. They have had their backs turned and let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, they turned their backs at the worst moment in the history of this Nation, because, at a time, when for the first time, this Nation was challenged recently by events which cannot be a credit and, for the first time, pointed out to us as Canadians that violence can occur in this country, that uncivilized, unscrupulous people can create problems in this land, when, for the first time, we found that we were vulnerable to wild men and this Nation called on everyone to stand up and be counted, who turned their backs, who turned their backs? When four of their own Members in the House supported it, the Leader of the Opposition, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in this House, turned his back on the very motion which was called for all Canadians to support the Government in a time of crisis. It is easy to stand back three months later and say that we might have done this and we might have done that and we could have done this. But, when the moment of truth was called, who stood up and said he turned his back on everything we are called on as Canadians to do? The Leader of the Opposition in this House. They turned their backs, they couldn't see it, they couldn't see wisdom, they turned their backs and they couldn't see treachery and they couldn't see Canada. There they sit, Mr. Speaker, ... (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
MR. CAPOZZI: Let them go down, Mr. Speaker, as the twelve no-see-was, that couldn't see Canada and couldn't see when they were called on to support the Government of this Nation.
Mr. Speaker, there have been many other debates in the House or discussions we have had. We went through, Mr. Speaker, a very serious and a very lengthy debate on unemployment. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that, during the debate on unemployment, there was a great deal of discussion as to where the responsibility for unemployment lies.
There certainly seems to be a certain unanimity that a good portion of it came from Ottawa. Even the Leader of the NDP Party, Mr. Tommy Douglas, even the Liberal Leader, mentioned the fact that they had some responsibility in leading us on into this planned programme of unemployment. Somehow or other, I guess where the blame has to be put ... you know, somebody said, recently in discussing something between the United States and Canada, that one thing about the United States is that they've got Nixon, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, while we've got Trudeau, no cash and no hope. I might say that even the good Member from Skeena, in his discussion as he referred to horses, talked about the problems of hobbling them.
I recall a story, Mr. Speaker, of a young man who decided that his horses were eating too much and he would train them to not eat and, amazingly, just as he got them trained, the horses died. I might say that we're doing the same type of thing with our unemployment policies. While we are creating, supposedly, a solution to the problem of inflation, a great number of our people are being called upon to die.
There is a frustration, Mr. Speaker, that all of us have to admit, the kind of frustration, perhaps, put better by a Member of the unemployed, who said this. He said, "When I worry about unemployment and look for a job and find and ask what the problem is," he said, "I go to the civic people and they say go to Victoria." He said, "I go to Victoria and they tell me to go to Ottawa." He said, "I go to Ottawa and they tell me to go to hell." I suggest that the time has come now, Mr. Speaker, that rather than try to place the blame, there is a responsibility of all of us in this Chamber and, particularly, those Members who sit to my left in this Chamber, to begin now with the programmes and plans to bring about an end to this.
Unemployment, Mr. Member, is not a question of statistics, unemployment is not a question of seven hundred and some thousand people. Unemployment is the individual who has to go home and explain to.his family that there isn't enough money for food, who has to explain to his children why they can't afford new clothes, who has to explain to his wife what the problem is with the budget. Unemployment, Mr. Speaker, is the essential problem of destruction of the most important single thing we have in this Nation, which is pride. The time has come now to begin to build back that pride. I say that we have among us a frustration that must be attacked and it must be attacked with the greatest vigour that we have taken on towards any single job since the last World War. Certainly, and it is true, if we can defeat enemies on the outside, if we can organize all the great riches and power that this Nation has to defeat an enemy, then, certainly we should be able to defeat the powers of unemployment.
We heard in the discussion on unemployment, many, many questions raised and many solutions raised. Build this, do this, develop this, all of them really involving expenditures of funds. Those are the obvious solutions, Mr. Speaker, those are the obvious solutions. It takes no great brains or no great intelligence to turn to people and say, "If you want more jobs, spend more money." There is a limitation, unfortunately. When times are bad, taxes are low, money and revenue is low. This is one of those problems that we face. The real thing that must be done, Mr. Speaker, is we must start now to create in those people in our Province, a feeling that we have turned the corner, a feeling of optimism, a feeling that we are now in the upsurge. I call on this Government to start that feeling and make it a part of the philosophy of the people of this Province. I direct to the
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Minister, certain specific plans, which must rest on your shoulders. Not expenditures of funds, as such, but, firstly, and I call on the Government, our Government, as the Provincial part of building back the establishment of an export incentive programme, to permit those sales people from our Province to have part of their trips financed to sell in markets outside of British Columbia. I call part of this an assistance programme, I call this not a subsidy, not a hot-house development.
We have the industries. They are producing some fantastic things. We have developed, for example, Mr. Speaker, the greatest expertise in the lumber industry that exists anywhere in the world. You only have to ask those Members on our side who represent the great lumbering communities to know the type of development that has been brought forward in technical skills and the type of equipment that is being produced that is unique in the world. We should be assisting those sales people to go into other countries to sell it. We should be providing for assistance for co-operation in research for new products and, again, particularly, in this logging development field. Mr. Speaker, we should be providing, at this stage, when we are concerned as much with development as with ecology and pollution, incentives for those people who are prepared to put in antipollution devices. Let's get the ball rolling by encouraging them with this type of thing. Let's start by developing confidence at all levels, urging local manufacturers, by urging the public to take and do now those jobs which they have been putting off. We should be urging and going out into the business community.
Mr. Minister of Finance, when you go back to Ottawa (interruption), yes, he always listens to me. When you go back to Ottawa, Mr. Minister, I want you to take a resolution from this House, which I intend to submit, that the present regulation of Mr. Benson, which is deliberately penalizing the Province of British Columbia by refusing depreciation on any new construction, should be removed. How can they possibly ... it has to come out again and again and again because somehow the ears of Ottawa turn awfully deaf. The only contact we seem to have is one small red telephone that exists in the Leader of the Liberal Opposition and it only seems to ring one way.
I recommend, Mr. Minister, that at the same time you go back to Mr. Benson, you suggest to him that the interest payments on mortgages that people pay on their homes be deductible from their income tax. Mr. Speaker, I have told you that the Premier listens to me. Already he has done the things that I've told him to do.
Mr. Minister, I also suggest that the time has come for you and the good Minister of Education to get together and work out a programme of the advance needs of our labour force, that you should provide him with the information as to where the major requirement of our work force will be ten years from now, five years from now, because I think it is important that our students at this time should have some advance information as to where the greatest job opportunities will lie in the next five years. I suggest, Mr. Minister, that you have a Herculean task and that it's time you got off your fat statistics and got going. Get off your fat stats and get going. Mr. Speaker....
AN HON. MEMBER: Whose side are you on?
MR. CAPOZZI: I'm on your side, but I think it's time you decided to go because while ... (interruption). Already you are sorry you put me on tonight, Mr. Premier, aren't you? (Interruption). Gone too far? I'll go back and start that speech again. You're not listening to me.
Mr. Speaker, we saw and I must commend the Attorney-General on the establishment of the Insurance Board. I think this is a great step and I say very gratefully, Mr. Attorney-General, that it does, I think, pay a great deal of tribute to those Members from this House who served from both sides of the House on that committee over two years. The action is a tribute to them. I do, however, say from this House that the action of the insurance companies in putting in a 10 per cent increase, when that Board was announced, is something that they should have to account for to that Board, because there are many questions which will have to be put to them, the questions of rates, the questions of investment incomes, powers will have to be developed. I was pleased to see, Mr. Attorney -General, that you have put in the question of safety and driver development into the powers of that Board. I think that's extremely commendable. I do think that there are many shortcomings, particularly under the present insurance rates, and I think that this Board is going to have to be made aware, as are all insurance companies going to have to be made aware, that they are going to be on trial in front of that Board, in the sense that they will have to justify the things that are taking place.
One of the great concerns of the public, in the driving public, must be that, at the present time, there is no real downward pressure being exerted on insurance companies. They take the number of accidents, they statistically examine them, they statistically place them into a rate book and each year that becomes the basis of the rates for the following year. They will have to, at some stage, Mr. Speaker, turn and justify and explain what they are doing to reduce the accident rate. They have to start exerting pressure on manufacturers. The time has come and I ask you, Mr. Attorney -General, to bring a bill into this House that, in 1972, commencing in 1972, all automobiles coming into this Province should have a bumper which is capable of withstanding, at least, collisions of 5 m.p.h. This should be a regulation placed on all automobile manufacturers. We saw films recently, members of the committee, showing an automobile driving into a wall at 5 m.p.h. That's as fast as you can walk, Mr. Premier, faster than you can walk, Mr. Premier, and on each car the damage was in the neighbourhood of $275 at 5 m.p.h. We have to bring in and we should have, at the same time, Mr. Attorney-General ... (interruption). (Laughter.) No, they use gasoline in cars today (interruption). No, Mr. Minister, while most people are caused by accidents most accidents are still caused by people and I ... (laugh ter).
Mr. Speaker, the Premier has made an excellent point because I certainly think that safe driving rules and the use of any form of alcohol while people drive is something that everyone in this House should be extremely concerned with. Obviously, the regulations in regard to drinking and driving should be as stiff as they can possibly be made. I must say that this Government has taken a great step forward, in part of the regulations, by the thirty-day compulsory withdrawal of a license. I think this is a great step forward (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.
MR. CAPOZZI: Mr. Speaker, I do, however, believe that the insurance companies have a responsibility to exert pressure on everyone. I think that the public must be aware
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that there is no such thing as cheap automobile insurance. As long as we continue to have accidents, then, the costs will rise. So we must begin to took at the type of plan that will place more responsibility on the driving public. As long as we permit such things as $100 deductibles when all the other responsibility is taken off the shoulders of the people who drive, then, we are going to have more accidents. As long as we take no responsibility off people for those things that happen to other people when they drive, we are going to have an increase in accidents. We must go back and place, if we have to, go back and provide a portion of coinsurance, so that each individual driver takes on his shoulders a certain share of the responsibility. We have a responsibility, Mr. Attorney-General, to extend our safety programmes, driver training in the school, road safety, Mr. Minister of Highways. We still have a great number of highways in this Province which are excellent highways but have no safety barriers. Take the road to Whistler, drive it. Along the highways, where people have gone over, there are no safety barriers along that road. It is the responsibility that rests on the shoulders of ail of us. A responsibility to make sure that we are all concerned.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to deal and, again I hope, fairly briefly, with the great riding of Vancouver Centre. This is a constituency, as all of you are aware, that extends from Stanley Park right through ... with, perhaps, the greatest joining together of city, cosmopolitan, harbour, ethnic groups, where, if you want to put us together, I guess probably we reflect more of the fortunes and ills of our times than any other part of the Province.
AN HON. MEMBER: It's the banner riding.
MR. CAPOZZI: Yes, it's the banner riding, I must say, and I'm very proud to represent the great riding of Vancouver Centre. When times are good, Vancouver Centre feels it, because that's when the stock market hums and our restaurants fill and the buildings rise. When times are bad that's when offices close and we feel it, when Skid Row fills and even the port shippings slow down. During the past year, we have seen the results of this. For your information, 18 months ago in the stock exchange in Vancouver there were 3,500 registered salesmen. As of the first of this year, there were 800, a sign of what has taken place in the economic development. Buildings are down 25 per cent in the city, unemployment up 35 per cent, and that is why I said there is a need for, Mr. Minister, of restoring confidence.
There are certain parts of this riding that I would ask you to look at. Specifically, I would ask you to look at the great harbour of the city of Vancouver, tonight. The Harbour Board in the city of Vancouver is the worst harbour board in Canada. It has shirked its responsibilities and I'll explain to you why it has shirked its responsibilities. We have one of the dirtiest harbours in Canada, we have one of the most backward and, Mr. Speaker, we have the most dishonest harbour in Canada. The harbour is a disgrace, the beaches are a disgrace. They never have been cleared or cleaned, and I'm not talking about the job the Parks Board does, I'm talking about the responsibility that the Harbour Board has. We are still not cleaning ... I'm talking about the National Harbour Board. I'm saying that the beaches have never been cleaned and that logs which have been there for five years are still going up and down with the flowing of the tides. We're still dumping garbage off the ships that come into the harbour of Vancouver. The Wheat Pool, which is the responsibility of the Harbour Board, is still causing pollution through that area of the harbour. There is still no access for the general public to see, to look, to visit the harbour of Vancouver. I am calling on, through this House, through them to the Federal Government, to the Harbour Board, to start the programme, to start a planned programme of cleaning up the beaches and the harbour, policing of the boats that come into the harbour of Vancouver, to clean up all the garbage that floats through the harbour and eventually ends up on our swimming beaches, whether it's in West Vancouver or around through the bay, a clamp down on the Wheat Pool. I think it is time that the Harbour Board, and I agree with the good Member, began a systematic scheduling of the ships that leave the harbour. We have aeroplanes that are scheduled out by dispatchers. Every major ship that goes out of the harbour of Vancouver carrying any product that could pollute the whole central waterway should be scheduled out by a dispatcher from the National Harbour Board and that ship should be controlled.
At the present time, we have no ecological rating, no pollution rating, on the products that go out. We have restrictions on how they're shipped, but a ship which carries a load of any dangerous chemical going out of the harbour of Vancouver should have to have and post certain requirements and warnings, if it is over what you might call the pollution danger. If they are carrying a certain load of sulphuric acid, which, if lost in that harbour could destroy it, then that ship certainly should carry warning beacons, be proceeded by necessary precautions, and posted in so that every ship in the area is aware of what is on that boat.
AN HON. MEMBER: That is what the tugboat strike was partly about.
MR. CAPOZZI: Then that is a disgrace to the Federal Party and is again a responsibility that rests on the Harbour Board. That, Mr. Speaker, again points out Canada. It has done the poorest job of any harbour board in Canada. It has shirked its responsibilities and I'll explain to you why it has shirked Department of Transport, there would have been a very short and extremely less dangerous and less hazardous and harmful strike in the Province of British Columbia this past summer.
AN HON. MEMBER: Too little and too late.
MR. CAPOZZI: There is a necessity in the harbour for a proper area for float planes. During the summer, a hundred float planes a day fly into the harbour of Vancouver and there is no proper area for them. We are a Province of water, we are a Province of lakes and inlets and our whole contact throughout this Province is based on float planes flying back and forth. There is no area for them to dock, no facilities. We should, however, and even more so, be concerned by the dishonesty that is taking place in the harbour of Vancouver. There are between five and ten million dollars a year of goods which are lost when they arrive, between the time they leave Japan and arrive in the port of Vancouver and are unloaded. Recently a judge in Vancouver in handing down his decision said, "The harbour of Vancouver has the worst record for dishonesty of any harbour in Canada."
Recently, Mr. Speaker, a theft was discovered where fourteen thousand radios were sitting in the home of one of the employees of the docks. Mr. Speaker, on one ship that left Japan, and I must say it came up the coast, by the time it
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arrived and was unloaded one third of the entire cargo for Vancouver had disappeared. Now, there is a responsibility, not a responsibility only, but that burden of cost is on the shoulders of every Canadian who uses those products that arrive honestly. The obligation rests on the Harbour Board and the union to eliminate this terrible disgrace to the particular harbour in the city of Vancouver.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention briefly, again, the centre of the great riding of Vancouver and the great development. We have seen a great growth taking place, those of you who have watched and seen the rise of Pacific Centre, Columbia Centre, the famous Bentall Building and many others. They mark a distinct change in the growth pattern of the city, because we have to accept a very, very definite change in the growth pattern of Vancouver. The fact that the turn-of-the-century dream of becoming a manufacturing and industrial centre and complex will not be achieved in Vancouver. The new plants will not be built in population centres. They're not likely to be accepted by the population. There are traffic involvements that are a limiting factor. Raw material movement becomes difficult. So the present function and future and the growth of the city of Vancouver will be that of a service centre and will, definitely, become the executive city of the Northwest. We can expect, Mr. Speaker, more concentrated people-density in the business corps and we must, therefore, take as an obligation of the municipal, civic and of all of us that the city of Vancouver will not become just another Canyon City in the heart of downtown, where only the people on the top floors can look and see the sun and the sky. Therefore, we must ensure that things are done.
Now the city has very adequate requirements, very adequate requirements, and many companies have done more than this. I would point out one that many here are familiar with and only because it is downtown - it is the Bentall Centre, which has done more than required by regulations to make the area attractive, with fountains surrounding it and a sense of environment. I think that many others will have to do this. This Government can help. Mr. Speaker. Firstly, in the new B.C. Building, I am hopeful that they, too, will take into consideration the necessity for open spaces.
But, now, I have a specific definite request and I direct it to you, Mr. Minister. There is a section of Crown land right in the heart of Vancouver on Burrard Street. It belongs to the Crown, it belongs to the Province, it is a very small block just on the corner of Burrard Street. I was in a discussion recently, in which ... it is between the Bentall Centre and the new Columbia Centre and it's a small block of land ... and a request was placed to this Government by the Parks Board that this small portion between two great developments be turned over as a park, not at a cost to this Government, not with any question of paying for the park. The park would be paid for by the Parks Board. I was rather amazed when the Minister said, "No, you must give us something in return." Now, Mr. Minister, that land is the land of the people, it is the Crown land. I don't suggest that you should give it to the city of Vancouver. I suggest that you lease it and retain this valuable asset. Certainly, the purpose of that small piece of land is to serve the maximum number of people, not to be an office building with fifty people in it. There's a necessity to have that small portion turned over and made a park out of the type of space that thousands of people can enjoy outside. Tonight, Mr. Speaker, through you, to the Minister, I am putting a very humble request that this land be turned over the Parks Board of the city of Vancouver, be leased to them so that it remains the property of the people of British Columbia, belongs to them, is theirs, their great asset. Certainly, we have never charged Tofino and asked them to give up land in return for the park we're building next to them. We've never turned and asked for any of the other areas which we have taken and built parks that the people who are next to us change and supply the land. In a necessity and an area where we need, vitally and terribly need, any small open space ... I'll tell you, Mr. Speaker, I would be very proud to recommend to the city of Vancouver that the name of that small park be Chant Park (laughter). I can't go much farther than that. I'm sure, Mr. Speaker, at that moment the grateful citizens of Vancouver will join with me in extending their appreciation to this magnificent Minister.
Mr. Speaker, there are other things than developments in our area and again I would like to comment briefly on them. I just blew one good item by the way. I'm going to use it in the next speech. I just feel you guys are tiring and may not last.
Mr. Speaker, as you well know this is Centennial Year. We've had it called to our attention many times. 1871 was a very significant year, significant for the Province, significant for many things, but it was particularly significant for the very heart of the city of Vancouver. In 1871, down on the corner of Carrall, a place called Maple Tree Square ... in 1871, a gentleman, by the name of John Deighton, known far and wide now, he was never known then as Gassy Jack, built the famous hotel which today we commemorate as Gassy Jack. He built it in 1871. He was a pretty interesting individual. His life which . . . he died at the age of 45. He built the hotel when he was 40, as I say in 1871. By the way, this is John Deighton. This is a small replica of a statue of John Deighton. This special section has become a very intimate part of our city. It has become a reminder that progress does not necessarily have to mean destruction. It has been a sign that change is not necessarily a virtue and there is a charm to it, an amazing charm of the past that has been rediscovered and discovered and found by more and more people every day. When you walk the streets, you have to be impressed by the imagination and the artistic contributions of our young people. This, Mr. Speaker, is the amazing part of Gastown. While we have been so frantically worrying about the future, it has taken the young people of the Province to rediscover our past and Gastown, really, is a tribute to the young people who have rediscovered the past of the Province of British Columbia.
Now, Gastown has been hampered for many years by a lack of controls, lack of the ability to bring in the regulations that are needed to save certain parts. There has been a need to give it some certain, definite privileges if it is going to maintain the type of character which it has developed. It is, therefore, Mr. Speaker, a very definite and distinct pleasure for me this evening to announce that the Province of British Columbia has today declared Gastown as an historic area of the Province of British Columbia. Mr. Speaker, I would, therefore, at this stage, like to take and present the first of the Gassy Jack awards to the Premier of the Province of British Columbia for his efforts and his contribution in declaring this area of Gastown an historic site. Mr. Speaker, I want you to know officially that Gastown is back.
There is one final deal that I would like to ...
(interruption). Mr. Premier, I would point out that we don't call him Gassy Jack. We call him Cucumber Jack because he repeats, and repeats and repeats.
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Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday on Chinese New Year I paid tribute to the tremendous contribution that the Chinese people of British Columbia have made and, as the representative of the third largest Chinese community in North America, it was a very distinct pleasure for me to make this acknowledgement. The Chinese community in British Columbia has always deserved credit as an industrious, diligent and frugal people, people with an amazingly inherent philosophy of responsibility, people who have made as their credo not that, "I am my brother's keeper" but, "I am my brother's brother." Yet, Mr. Speaker, I must say that, in the past few months, there has been a very definite change in the Chinese community, a change, which for the first time, has seen an increase in unrest and dissent. We have seen very recently in the centre of Vancouver the results of this, when for the first time, whether it's a pattern of the time, an actual disturbance took place in the first development of what I imagine will eventually be called "Chinese power." You may ask, Mr. Speaker, "Why is this taking place?" There are many factors that can be brought in. There is the influx of people from outside, the increase of people from Hong Kong, a change in the patterns, the development of the second generation. All of this, I am sure, is a part. There is no doubt that one of the factors has been the recent recognition by the Federal Government of Red China. As a result, there has been, perhaps throughout all North America, an increase in the sense we have become, or have taken to be called Maoists. Now, I don't pretend to know what a Maoist is but, somehow, that label has been given to people who, really, are not concerned with the democratic procedure. Their concern seems to be with dissent for dissent's sake, violence for violence's sake, disturbance for disturbance's sake. We see this constantly taking place now, and it has begun in the Chinese community.
Now, I do not stand here to say that we should not have recognized Red China, I do not say that we should be condoning or not condoning the immigrants that are coming in. I do say, Mr. Speaker, that there is a responsibility which will rest and must rest on the Federal Government to concern themselves with those immigrants who are now coming in from Hong Kong at the rate of 500 students a month, who come in on student visas and who are then permitted to remain if they complete courses, etc. I think there should be some concern for where they are coming from, some concern as to the basic philosophies that they bring with them. I think, Mr. Speaker, we must be concerned with the change that is taking place in that area. The entire responsibility is not just Federal, because we also must be concerned by what we have done and how we have treated the Chinese community. They are a classic example of the fact that the squeaking wheel gets the oil and, because they have behaved themselves, because they have never complained, because they have never asked, because they have never presented problems, the area surrounding the Chinese community is the poorest in the way of facilities of any place in the city of Vancouver. It has the poorest number of playgrounds, it has no facilities for young people, we have taken out and wiped out areas and put in huge developments of low-cost housing with no recreational facilities, we have taken and not concerned ourselves much with the people who are in that surrounding area, the schools are the oldest, their programmes are the less developed, there is not, at the present time, any recreational facility of any major note in the entire area. Yet we say, "Why are they complaining?" Why are they complaining? They're complaining because the young people look around and say, "Diere is a difference." We treat one end of the city one way and another the other way. I say, Mr. Speaker, that we will have to start looking at how we are treating them and treating them as immigrants.
I'm saying there's a further responsibility, Mr. Speaker, and a very serious one. We deal with one group of immigrants who come to this country in a particular manner. We say to a certain group of people that come to this country in the Province of British Columbia, "After one year you can vote in a Provincial election. You can own property and vote. After one year in the Province you can vote in civic elections." We say to another group of immigrants who come in, I'm sure just as responsible, I'm sure just as capable, perhaps, even more dedicated than what they are coming to, and we say, "You can't vote until you are Canadian citizens." I say, Mr. Speaker, that the criterion of who and what and where and why people vote has got to be the fact that they are Canadian citizens and that we treat them all equally the same. At the present moment, Mr. Speaker, I've heard people say to me, "Well, Federally, that isn't so." Mr. Speaker, Federally it is so. Federally, at this moment, no matter where you come from it takes you five years to become a Canadian citizen. That is absolutely true, Mr. Member. Absolutely true, you haven't been keeping up with your regulations. It takes five years for anyone from anywhere, except, I'm sorry, one exception - the wife of a Canadian citizen can become a Canadian citizen after one year. That's the only exception. All other nationalities are exactly the same. As of 1968, anyone who came after June 25, 1968, from anywhere, cannot vote unless they are Canadian citizens and this right for British subjects will be taken away after 1975. They have five years in other words, the same as anyone else. That is a fact, a regulation, that is what the Canadian Government has said and I'm saying, Mr. Speaker, that there is a responsibility on all of us here, too, to bring these same privileges and rights to 0 people that come to this Province. Because, in Centennial Year, Mr. Speaker, we should be concerning ourselves with the question of those people who have come from all nationalities and built this Province.
Mr. Speaker, a long time ago, I had the privilege, honour, opportunity, perhaps, to go back to the country my dad came from. I went back, at one stage, to the little village where he's from, which is a small little village up in the northern middle part of Italy up in the hills called Santa Stefano de Sole. It means St. Steven of the Sun. It's just a small place and, as I was going up on the train, I decided to make a comparison of the two of us. I was going to a small little village, I had relatives, I spoke Italian, I had money in my pocket and a return ticket. When my father left there, he left with absolutely nothing, he didn't speak the language, he didn't know where he was going, he arrived here with no friends. As I went to that village, I began to think, you know, it must take a fantastic amount of courage to leave the place you're born in. In over a hundred years, I am sure, those immigrants who have come to this country from every country have had to leave behind and bring with them only one thing, which was the type of courage that carried them through their problems. Certainly, we should be recognizing this in this particular Centennial Year. I am suggesting, Mr. Speaker, that our Centennial project for the city of Vancouver should be a Centennial development in the area of the Britannia area in recognition of the Chinese immigrants, who were among the first, and with them all the immigrants of the great area of Britannia that represent all the people. I would ask, Mr. Speaker, the support of this House in that
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The House adjourned at 10: 10 p.m.