1971 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 29th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1971
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The House met at 2:00 p.m.
On the motion of the Honourable L.R. Peterson, Bill (No. 32) intituled An Act to Amend the Infants Act was introduced, read a first time, and Ordered to be placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading at the next sitting after today.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for West Vancouver-Howe Sound.
MR. L.A. WILLIAMS (West Vancouver-Howe Sound): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure, Mr. Speaker, you must be aware that we, on this side of the House, don't wish to see you go. For that reason, it is with some concern that I rise on this last day of this debate because we fear that perhaps that is to happen.
AN HON. MEMBER: Just vote against the motion.
MR. WILLIAMS: That would be an idea. However, before dealing with the matter of the Budget, Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a few remarks to the House on a subject which has already been under discussion here. I refer to the motion that was passed in this House some days ago, wherein this House unanimously expressed its concern about the potential threat to our environment from the proposed transport of Alaska oil to a point near the international boundary and bringing vessels which would carry that crude oil into the closest proximity to our waters.
I don't wish to dwell on the motion, Mr. Speaker, nor, indeed, on the matters which, today, and for the past few days, have been the subject of discussion and debate in other places. As a result of the concern which the Members of this House felt about this matter, I have had occasion to concern myself with the safeguards which are now available to prevent the kind of marine disaster which could have a great effect on the environment, of which the Members from all sides have spoken.
It is true that the Government of Canada has legislation which empowers it to examine the quality of the vessels which come into our coastal waters and to determine whether or not those vessels are in a condition to carry their cargo safely. It is true, as well, that the Government of Canada is taking unto itself the power to require the owners of those vessels, in the event that there is a marine tragedy, to meet the tremendous financial burden that such a tragedy may create. But I am dismayed, Mr. Speaker, to find that we do not have on the west coast of this country, a system of navigation aids, which will ensure, to the limits possible under technology, today, that the marine disaster does not occur, in the first place. I'm even more disturbed, Mr. Speaker, to find that such a navigation system does exist on the eastern coast of this country, a system which was installed and is maintained and operated by the Federal Government. I find that a similar system operates through all of the European waters, from Spain to Norway, including the entire British Isles and all the coastal areas of Europe, and that such a system is also established and functioning around the Islands of Japan. The system is land-based, but provides vessels with the means whereby they may pinpoint their position with almost deadly accuracy, a system whereby vessels, as they approach coastal waters, may establish their position within accuracies as low as 70 yds. I say, Mr. Speaker, with the problem which faces us, with the announcement of the possible transportation of Alaska oils in and about our waters, that it is unthinkable that we would not have such a system protecting the coastline of British Columbia.
It is the responsibility of the Federal Government. It is their jurisdiction but, we, the Pacific maritime Province of British Columbia, is the one which will reap the damage that any such marine disaster may create. Not only, Mr. Speaker, if the proposed transportation goes forward do we face these disasters, but all the vessels which ply our coastal waters, today, are without the advantage of such a navigation aid -the fishing vessels, the tugboats, the coastwise freighters, the large compartmentalized, containerized vessels, which flow from Roberts Bank, from the Port of Vancouver, shortly from the Port of Squamish and, one day, we trust, from a port in the neighbourhood of Prince Rupert or Kitimat. While it is the jurisdiction of the Federal Government to provide that system, we, as legislators and the Government of this Province, must ensure that the Federal Government meets its responsibility in this field. It is no excuse that there is a constitutional barrier in matters of this kind.
I urge that the Government of this Province place before the Federal Government, urgently, the concern which faces all the people in this Province, not only about the threat from the transportation of crude oil from Alaska, but from the threats which daily face all vessels which move in and about our waters. There's no question about the evidence of weather difficulties on these coasts. It may be said that, because of the sinuosity of our coastline, such systems might not be as effective as elsewhere. Yet examination discloses that, since 1969, the system has been functioning with the required degree of accuracy all along the coasts of Norway, the sinuosity of which compares favourably with that of this Province. I urge the responsible Ministers of this Government, those who are charged with concerning themselves with matters of recreation and pollution, speedily, to demand the Federal Government that we be equipped with the finest technical aids available in the world, today, on our coastline so that, no matter what the circumstance, marine disaster and environmental destruction will not occur. The systems have other uses, Mr. Speaker, equally important. They have uses in the fishing industry and, in cases of vessels in distress, such a system enables the vessel to report its position accurately and, thereby, speed rescue vessels and rescue operations to the scene.
Why do we have it on the cast coast and not on the west'? There is no answer for that. The cost is in the nature of $2 million and this is a far cheaper price to pay than the inordinately high expense with which we have been involved in the clean-up of one, single, marine disaster. With those remarks, Mr. Speaker, I now turn to the Budget.
It's a great Budget. (Applause). Caught you. It stunned me. There was no applause. It didn't really stun me, Mr. Speaker, because the Members on the Government side, both in the Cabinet ranks and Party Members as well have been at some considerable difficulty these past few weeks in putting on the floor of this House any positive reasons why it is a great Budget. That's because, Mr. Speaker, while the size may impress some people, I didn't include enough adjectives.
It's a great, Bennett Budget. It's typical of all of the Bennett Budgets we've had. It's a balanced Budget. When you examine the details of that so-called balanced Budget, what do you find'! A little bit added here and a little bit added
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there, but no firm thrust at the problems which face this Province, today.
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
MR. WILLIAMS: Yes, it's a $1,300,000,000 Budget, an increase of 10 per cent over last year, 10 per cent (interruption). 11.6, be my guest, 11.6. Yet, within the Government departments, themselves, they all know that the increasing costs, due to inflation, eat up 8 per cent of that 11 and the expansion of this Province in population, alone, more than eats up the other three. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Distinguished Speaker (applause), I say that the Budget which the Minister of Finance presented to this Chamber two weeks ago is lacking in the kind of dynamic drive which we one time saw from that Minister. He has ceased to be a Minister of Finance, charged with the proper administration of the fiscal resources of this Province, and has become a money manipulator.
I'm sure that all the Members have read the Budget Speech and have noted in the Budget Speech, for they applauded it on the day it was given, that 89 per cent of the Budget is devoted to human betterment and Provincial development. Mr. Speaker, if you examine the Budget, you'll find that, if you add the cost of Government and half a million dollars for surplus, that's the whole Budget. So we've applauded and the Members of the Government side applauded, on the day the Address was given, the fact that the Minister of Finance was going to spend the money on those things which it is his responsibility to spend them on. How can we applaud a man for doing what he is obliged to do under the law? "It's a Budget which will produce jobs," says the Minister of Finance, Mr. Speaker, there is not one place in this Budget where any new job will be created because it shows no advance in those areas which are the responsibility of this Government to provide for the people of this Province, those things which they are entitled to expect from the proper use of the fiscal resources. I wonder why.
I wondered why, until I turned to page 23 of the Budget Address in its printed form, and I noted some words which were clearly read out by the Minister of Finance but which have not been dealt with by any Member on the Government side in addressing themselves to this debate. The Minister of Finance said, after speaking of the Budget which we have before us, of $1,300,000,000, "In addition, over $400 million in capital for construction projects will be arranged by the Provincial Government for the Provincial Crown agencies, the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company, the British Columbia School Districts Capital Financing Authority and the British Columbia Regional Hospital Districts Financing Authority." Four hundred million dollars, Mr. Speaker, outside the Budget for those Crown agencies'? On half a million dollar surplus, Mr. Speaker, there's no way. The Honourable the Minister of Municipal Affairs said that there was no way this Government could go into the public market - $400 million, outside the Budget'? There's no way you want to, Mr. Minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, but, indeed, you know there is a way.
The way is by the same method which has been applied by this Minister of Finance and this Government over the years - by underestimating its revenues, overestimating its expenditures and cutting back on Government departments and ending up each year with a surplus which, before the fiscal year end, is stripped out of the Budget and placed in special funds.
Those special funds, Mr. Speaker, are devoted, almost in their entirety, to B.C. Hydro. As of January, 1970, all of the special accounts, under the control of the Minister of Finance, outside of the Budget, totalled a billion and a half dollars. Of those accounts, $951 million were invested in B.C. Hydro. It is this Crown corporation, Mr. Speaker, which hangs, as someone said, like a millstone around our neck. Rather than a millstone, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that it is this Crown corporation which drains the lifeblood from this Province. Yet the policies by which that Crown corporation functions are not the subject of debate in this House and, therefore, the Minister of Finance, in manipulating these funds, presents to this House only half a Budget. Until we have the opportunity to debate fully Government policies with regard to the expenditures of these trust funds, we only have half a Budget Debate.
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
MR. WILLIAMS: What does the future hold? The Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources, last evening, mentioned the great change there has been in this Province in the last 10 years and in the direction of the budgets of this Government. Yet, we know that in the past 10 years this Government has made available to British Columbia Hydro one and a half billion dollars with which to construct those capital works which Hydro deemed necessary in the performance of its responsibility. We're offered, in this Budget, the suggestion that another $400 million outside the Budget will be raised this coming year. We know, from pronouncements by senior officers of British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, as reported in the press, that upwards of $200 million will be required by this one Crown agency, each year, for as far into the future as anyone can see. These monies will be made available by this Government, not -following debate in this House, Mr. Speaker, but following decisions which are made in the secrecy of the board room of B.C. Hydro, in consultation with the Minister of Finance.
I think, Mr. Speaker, that it is a matter of serious concern to every Member of this House, when considering this enormous drain upon out fiscal resource, to find that the Minister of Finance, who does not debate these matters in this House, is able, however, to Live hour-long interviews on the subject to the press. We need to have our long discussions in this Assembly, where we may challenge the Minister on statements such as, "B.C. Hydro would not be cut free from its financial and management connections with the Government.". Why not" We should have the opportunity to decide. A statement that, "Vancouver Island be a pollution-free recreation area, with no further industrial development." Why don't the Members from Vancouver Island have some say in such a policy'?
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
AN HON. MEMBER: We do.
MR. WILLIAMS: One Member, Mr. Speaker, who sits in the Executive Council of this Government, claims he does. We should be concerned in the debate here whether or not the Minister of Finance has the right to declare that if the B.C. Energy Board, despite all his admonitions, did recommend thermal power, lie might have to seek further
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outside advice. That means, Mr. Speaker, that, if we don't like the advice of the consultant, we get a new consultant. You predetermine the kind of advice you require and you hire someone to tell you what you want to hear.
We should have the ability to debate, and the right to debate, in this House whether or not those are the underlying policies which are to govern this Crown agency which sucks the fiscal lifeblood from this Province. At a time, Mr. Speaker, when Members are standing responsibly in their places, the Member from Oak Bay detailed the problems that face the people regarding hospital facilities, the needs of our aged, the question of housing development and jobs. From every side, from the Government side, we have heard criticisms of the performance of this Government, criticisms which need not be made if the fiscal resources available to the Minister of Finance are employed to the people of this Province.
Mr. Speaker, until the entire fiscal resources of this Province, all the monies under the control of the Minister of Finance, are brought for debate before this House, and not until then, will we have a Budget Address. Not until then can we in this Party consider whether or not we might support the motion which is before this Assembly, today.
What is the impact of these? What are we given instead? We are given a Budget Address, which sugarcoats the pill that has to be swallowed. In no place is this more clearly shown than in this Budget Address, in one of the tables provided by the Minister of Finance, on page 33, where the Minister of Finance speaks of a tremendous financial aid to local governments. What do they include? They include the first per capita grants, and there is no question that that is Government aid to local governments, but it also includes the grants to school districts which are the direct responsibility of this Government under its own legislation. It includes a Provincial home-owner grant, which this Government has always said goes to the people. It includes the employers' share of the teachers' superannuation which is paid by the Provincial Government and which it is this Government's legislative responsibility to do. It includes hospital care, the major responsibility of the Honourable the Minister of Health and Hospital Insurance. That's an aid to local governments, says the Minister. It includes water conservation, drainage, irrigation, flood control - that's the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture, but it's lumped as an aid to local governments. Development and construction of housing projects is not an aid to local government. It's a need of the people of this Province, aside altogether from the responsibilities of local Government. Mr. Speaker, the most humorous touch of them all - the grants for Centennial celebrations are now an aid to local government - all lumped together to show the dynamic advance of this Government in its treatment of local governments, local governments which are the child of this Government. At least, Mr. Speaker, when they are treated in a fiscal way, they are the child of this Government, until, however, it comes to a matter such as urban transit and, then, the Government says, "Oh, no, you are another full-fledged level of government and we'll load on top of your shoulders another burden for you to carry because, after all, you are a level of government." Yet, Mr. Speaker, there is not one property owner in any of the municipalities, cities, towns or villages in this Province who does not know that next year his land taxes will rise in order to meet those responsibilities which this Government has left unfulfilled. Mr. Speaker, so long as we are presented with this kind of budget, sugarcoated, however it may be, the people of this Province and the Members of this Assembly are not being given the fair opportunity to discharge their responsibility in this House. We will vote against it.
Mr. Speaker, I am about to take my place but, before I do, there is one other matter which is of great concern to me as it must be to every Member of this House. I agree with the Honourable the Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources, who, at the outset of his remarks, last night, questioned the manner in which the Members in this House have, from time to time, discharged their responsibilities in this Assembly. There is not a Member of this Assembly who is not conscious of his responsibilities and his obligations. There is not a Member of this Assembly who does not cherish the privileges which we enjoy as Members, privileges which have grown up over the centuries with the institution of Parliament. I trust that, in my lifetime and so long as I may be in this Assembly, the occasion will never come when it might be suggested to me that I did not meet my obligations.
Mr. Speaker, there are some matters which are property dealt with in this Assembly and must be fully dealt with in this Assembly. I have occasion to refer to the remarks in this House by the Honourable Minister of Health, when he rose in his place several days ago and read to this Assembly and tabled correspondence between him and Dr. McClure, the Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In the course of those remarks and reading from the letters, as he did, the Honourable the Minister of Health said and I am quoting from the letter of Dr. McClure on November 27, 1970, "At no time have I ever suggested or said that I was going to look into Dr. Regehr's medical competency or see about lifting his license."
Last Monday, in this House, the Honourable Member from North Vancouver-Seymour, in his place in this debate, raised a question as to the truth of that statement and offered to present and to place on the table of this House a tape recording and a transcript of remarks alleged to have been made by the Honourable Minister at a meeting.
AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker.
MR. SPEAKER: One moment, please. Is the honourable Minister rising to a point of order?
HON. R.R. LOFFMARK (Vancouver South): Yes, I am.
MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable Member please be seated?
MR. LOFFMARK: I would ask, Mr. Speaker, if the Member is joining with the Honourable Member from North Vancouver-Seymour in the charge'!
AN HON. MEMBER: Sit and listen and find out.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the Minister has not raised a Point of Order. The honourable Member proceed.
MR. WILLIAMS: I think it must be clear, Mr. Speaker, that I am only reciting facts which are known to every Member of this House. Leave to table the tape recording and the transcript was refused, the reason for which I will never understand, because if we cannot raise these matters within this Chamber, then, Mr. Speaker, it would seem that the rights of the citizen to bring to his Member matters of which he has knowledge must be dealt with outside this Chamber -
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and that's wrong. Discussions dealing with the manner in which any Member of this Assembly, or any Minister of this Government, discharges his responsibility, as such Member, or as such Minister, should take place in this Assembly. Mr. Speaker, following the refusal of the right of leave to table the transcript and the tape, the matter became known outside this Chamber. The only response, of which I have knowledge from the Honourable Minister, is to question the authenticity of the material.
AN HON. MEMBER: Why not'?
MR. WILLIAMS: Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise this Assembly that there has come into my possession, this morning, a declaration as follows: "In the matter of a meeting held November 5, 1970, with the Honourable Ralph Loffmark, Dr. Rudy Regehr, the Honourable P.A. Gaglardi and Messrs. John Harwood, George Smith and Jack Foote. We, John Harwood, George Smith and Jack Foote, all of Clearwater, British Columbia, hereby declare: (1) that John Harwood is chairman, George Smith is vice-chairman and Jack Foote is a director of the Wells Grey Hospital Board; (2) that we attended a meeting in Vancouver at the office of the Honourable Ralph Loffmark in the morning of November 5, 1970. Present at this meeting were the said Honourable Ralph Loffmark, the Honourable P.A. Gaglardi, Dr. Rudy Regehr and ourselves; (3) that the meeting was held to discuss public policy regarding the establishment of a hospital in Clearwater, B.C., and lasted approximately one hour. We were in attendance throughout the entire meeting, as were the other persons mentioned above; (4) that we recollect the matters discussed at this meeting and the statements made by each of the persons present during the discussions; (5) that we have listened to a tape recording made at this meeting and we have read a partial transcript thereof, which is marked exhibit A to this our declaration; (6) that the tape recording fairly records statements made by those present at this meeting, and the partial transcript thereof, which is exhibit A hereto, confirms our recollection of those statements; (7) that, in particular, the words "I want it very, very plainly understood that no doctor is going to tell me that he is going to leave unless he gets a hospital, because I am going to start looking at his qualifications and his right to practice in this Province. That's what I'm going to do," as heard by us on the said tape recording and as appears in the said partial transcript, exhibit A hereto, are completely and accurately recorded and transcribed and are the exact words of the said Honourable Ralph Loffmark spoken by him in our presence and our hearing and in the presence of the said Dr. Regehr and the Honourable P.A. Gaglardi at the aforesaid meeting. We make this solemn declaration, conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act." It is signed John E. Harwood, George R. Smith, Jack Foote and was declared jointly by them at Clearwater in the Province of British Columbia on the 18th day of February, 1971.
Mr. Speaker, at this juncture, I ask leave of this House to table this declaration.
MR. SPEAKER: Shall leave be granted? One moment, please. Would the honourable Member please be seated? The Honourable Member for Burnaby-Edmonds.
MR. G.H. DOWDING (Burnaby-Edmonds): On a Point of Order, when a Member reads from a document in this House, it's a requirement that he table it if asked so to do, not a matter of leave.
MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable Member be kind enough to quote his authority'?
MR. DOWDING: Well, I have to look it up if you'll give me some time (laughter).
MR. SPEAKER: I would suggest you'd have to look very carefully.
HON. L.R. PETERSON (Vancouver-Little Mountain): I address myself to the Point of Order raised. The rule is that, if leave is refused, the matter can be brought up by separate motion on the Order Paper and can be dealt with by the House in that fashion.
MR. SPEAKER: Will the honourable Member proceed with his statement. Order, please.
MR. WILLIAMS: I said a few moments ago, Mr. Speaker, that I believe, and I think all responsible Members of this and any other Assembly of a similar kind, must believe, that it is in this Assembly that matters of this kind must be discussed. I equally believe that it is the right of any citizen in this Province to bring to any Member of this Assembly a matter of this nature which comes to his attention and of which he has specific knowledge. It is the right of a Member, having received that information, in fact it is his obligation, to lay this matter before this Assembly in this Assembly. It is the obligation of this Assembly to deal with those matters which are so brought before it. To receive for the second time, a refusal to receive in this House, not put as an electronic eavesdropping of any kind, but a sworn declaration, under oath, indicates to me that some Members of this Assembly are unaware of the privileges which they have as Members and show a disrespect to this Chamber and to the institution of Parliament. Those who refuse this have no concept of their responsibilities as Members of this Assembly and not one of them shall ever be heard to say that there's anything wrong with raising matters of this kind outside of this Assembly, if they won't hear us here.
When one is speaking of the matter of resignation, Mr. Speaker, I am aware that you are an avid student of the institution of Parliament, its beginnings and it's growth, and I know of the concern you have for its future. Every responsible Member of this Assembly must have the same concern and must know what needs to be done. I only say, in closing, Mr. Speaker, that I trust that the Honourable the Minister knows what he must do.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Second Member for Vancouver East.
MR. R.A. WILLIAMS (Vancouver East): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to heartily endorse the final comments of the Honourable Member for West Vancouver-Howe Sound and I'm sure my colleagues will do the same.
I wish to follow up a range of matters, subsequent to my earlier speech during the Throne Debate. I wish to deal with matters in the interior of the Province which I think are of importance to all of us throughout British Columbia. I regret that, first, I must deal with some of the matters raised by the
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Member for Vancouver Centre. I regret that I must deal with them because I do regard his statements as beneath contempt; however, in view of any impressions that might have been left, some statements should be made.
Regarding the island the Member referred to, I would note that myself and my friend have owned that island for some seven or more years. We've spent our summers there -it's our main area of recreation outside the city. I'd like to point out that when we acquired that island, Mr. Speaker, it was actually unzoned. It was within the district municipality of North Vancouver but, because it was offshore, they had simply forgotten to colour the zoning map. In fact you could have built a factory on it or a gas station or anything. You could even have had your summer home on it which is what we have. As a result of the fact that the property changed hands and caught notice, it was then downzoned, in effect, and limited to single-family development and I accept that. I'd like to say further that I have never written to the district municipality of North Vancouver regarding this property. I have never requested a zoning change from the municipality. I will not request a zoning change from that municipality and the island is not for sale. The letter that we received was simply the kind of trumped-up material that we can expect from this Government.
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I don't think the honourable Member meant to leave an inference that the Government had sent a letter.
MR. WILLIAMS: No, not at all, Mr. Speaker. We're not really too sure who sent it since the signature wasn't on it (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable Member be seated for a moment. What is the Point of Order?
AN HON. MEMBER: The Member has left an inference that the letter was trumped-up and that the facts are not true. That, in essence, his statement was that it was never offered for sale by him.
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would think, if there are any corrections to be made, they'll be made at the conclusion of the address.
MR. WILLIAMS: It's interesting, Mr. Speaker, that the Member also had a picture of the old house in which I live and my family lives in the east end of Vancouver. What am I to reply to that? I live amongst the people of East Vancouver. They are people whom I like and respect and I choose to live in the east side of Vancouver. I prefer to live there rather than in a nouveau riche suburb, such as West Vancouver, as does the Member from Vancouver Centre. I prefer ... (interruption).
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.
MR. WILLIAMS: It was my riding until the boundaries were changed by this Government. We don't want to get into that whole business of boundary changes by this Government because that's a whole speech in itself. It's a 60-year-old house, Mr. Speaker, the interior of which has been greatly improved and the exterior of which needs a great deal of improvement. The improvement of that house has been a slow process but my father and I did almost all the work, alone, inside that house. You know that's rather common in Vancouver East. The people of that area, generally, do gradually build up and improve their own residences. I don't really understand the Member's complaint regarding my home, but it's the kind of complaint that would have to be levelled at thousands of my East Side neighbours, many of whom he and his colleague from Vancouver Centre, do, in fact, represent, even though they represent them from the heights of Shaughnessy and West Vancouver. If he chooses to condemn us all, so be it. He suffers from a problem, Mr. Speaker, he suffers from a problem that others associated with this Government have and that is that he has both a silver spoon and his foot in his mouth at the same time. I'd like to make it clear that I don't separate this Member from the other Members of the Government. It's clear that what the Member had to say had the general endorsation, previous briefing and discussion with the Premier earlier in the afternoon.
Now, finally, I'd like to tell this House, Mr. Speaker, that I am prepared to deposit with the Clerk of this House a report listing all of the property that I own or have an interest in, or any trust agreements regarding any properties whatsoever. I'm prepared to list any shares that I own or have options to, or trust agreements regarding the same. I'm prepared to list all the assets that are in my name, my family's name or my parents'name. I'm prepared to swear to the truth of the statements and I challenge the Member from Vancouver Centre to do the same. I challenge the Member from Vancouver Centre to vote for the Conflict of Interest Act which I put before this House last year and will put before this House again this year, later in the Session. I challenge the Premier of this Province and the Government to vote for the Conflict of Interest Statute that would require this declaration from everyone in this House. I challenge you to vote for that bill, as I will, and the Official Opposition win.
When I last spoke, Mr. Speaker, I discussed the city of Kelowna and the area surrounding the city of Kelowna and I discussed the difference between the quality of development inside the city boundaries and the quality and the character of the development immediately outside the city boundaries. I referred to the city's industrial site, which was developed publicly by the city of Kelowna, an industrial development owned by the city, a development with pollution and development standards of an extremely high nature, unlike the area outside the city. I pointed out that it was a site that did control access to Highway 97, unlike the Provincial area nearby. I pointed out that the profits from that development went to everybody within the city of Kelowna. That estate, Mr. Speaker, is a model for the Province and it showed, in fact, what public enterprise can do compared to private enterprise. I compared that shopping centre with adjacent lands immediately across the street, the shopping centre development initiated by MacIntosh Centre Limited, and in that centre there is no public water supply to date, there is no public sewer system to date, several dangerous accesses have been approved by the Highways Department, there has been private profiteering on a grand scale and there has been, on all the lands therein and surrounding, a rank underassessment and taxation level. The differences between the two areas, one that the city owns and that owned by the MacIntosh Centre, are like night and day and the difference between the two shows what a huge potential revenue has been lost by the Crown. All of this, despite the Premier's promise of 1968. The direct benefits of MacIntosh Centre
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and the Orchard Park development went to that company and another company, Okanagan Holdings Limited.
In that talk, Mr. Speaker, I pointed out that there was tax discrimination on one side, outside the city boundary. I pointed out, Mr. Speaker, that the tax-favoured lands included the Premier's residence and the land surrounding the shopping centre. I pointed out that the lands in the centre sold for $35,000 an acre and the adjacent surrounding lands were assessed at $160 an acre. I called that an assessment scandal, Mr. Speaker, and I repeat - it is an assessment scandal. I challenge the Premier and the Government to change the laws so that this kind of thing will not continue in any area of the Province. I pointed out, Mr. Speaker, what the Premier had said regarding access to that centre, which was quoted in the Colonist and other papers, where he said that outside engineers had been retained by the Highways Department to study the access application of that centre. The Premier is quoted as saying, and I'm sorry he's not here to verify it, but he said, "'I am sure the idea of having outside engineers in was to ensure safety,' said Mr. Bennett in an interview."
Mr. Speaker, in view of the ownership of the lands involved, it was beholden upon the Premier to have been most precise about the question of outside engineering advice. When I questioned the Minister on this matter, he sat in silence. The Minister of Highways has since had. an opportunity to speak in this House and he didn't mention an independent study. It now seems clear that no independent study, in fact, was carried out. It's a crucial matter, Mr. Speaker, and I think it's clear that a full statement from the Minister of Highways is necessary and long overdue and I suggest that an apology and full statement from the Premier is also overdue. I suggest that the one line, "Tell them I laughed, " is simply a too-simple, arrogant statement by a man too long in power.
The Premier of this Province used to say, in another decade, that he stood for fair treatment for all and special privileges for none. I challenge the Premier to say, "Tell them I laughed, " to the elderly or those on low and modest incomes on the north side of the city of Kelowna. I challenge him to say that to the same citizens in all the cities of the Province where fair assessment practices are carried out.
I'd like to make one thing clear, however, Mr. Speaker, we're not discussing matters of legality Or illegality. Any of the matters raised are essentially matters of important public policy. The problems we're facing are not only sins of commission but sins of omission, and what the Government and Premier do is important enough, but what they do not do may, in fact, be more important. After all, Mr. Speaker, who really makes the laws in this Province and, in effect, determines legality or illegality, to a very great extent'? The man who has been in power for 19 years is the one who does. Who decides what assessment and tax policy will be in British Columbia, Mr. Speaker? The man who's been in power for 19 years does. Who sets the guidelines for who will pay high taxes and who will pay low taxes? The man who's been in power for 19 years. Who sets the policy on access' The man who's been in power for 19 years. Who decides whether land developments will be for public gain or private profits? The Premier of British Columbia does. That's where our basic quarrel lies, Mr. Speaker, with the Premier. He sets the rules and he can change the rules. The present rules benefit only a few, at the expense of many, and his response to all this is just, "Tell them I laughed."
I'd like to review another matter in the interior of the Province, Mr. Speaker, a matter that concerned this House, in 1968. It was the matter that concerned this House prior to the resignation of the former Minister of Highways, the Member for Kamloops. You will recall that the Kamloops bypass was a matter of some discussion and controversy. In particular, the Del Cielo development at the Trans-Canada Highway junction and the Merritt Highway was of some concern for some months in this House. It's interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, that the Kamloops News Advertiser mentions a possible new major development at Del Cielo. That's February 10, this year, in the Kamloops paper. So, activity is still, of course, going on at Del Cielo, which was covered fully before. The existing commercial areas at the Del Cielo junction are the areas shown solidly in red on this plan, which was prepared by the Regional District of Thom p son-Nicola, the regional district for the whole area surrounding Kamloops. A new application has now come in, now that the interchange work is proceeding at the Del Cielo junction, for a huge site, some 2,000 ft. in length, back of the former development. It's clear that the Del Cielo junction is one of the major centres in the interior of the Province and is continuing to grow and that the owners are continuing to benefit from the public expenditures on access and the like.
Now the system is being built and construction is well under way. It's worthwhile looking at the broad picture in Kamloops. Those of you in the House who are familiar with Kamloops will know that the main trans-Canada Highway drops down from the Del Cielo junction, Merritt junction and down and around the hill at McIntosh Heights, I believe it is, and into the city. The new highway takes off at this point. It might be worthwhile, Mr. Speaker, to look at a larger map of the general area. Mr. Speaker, this is the easterly side of Kamloops - at the Thompson River bridgehead. You can see the new interchange there. There's a fair amount of development there already, Mr. Speaker. The Del Cielo area is the area over here, hatched in blue, and it's important to know that, in a freeway system, the areas where the access is are where the values are and that was pointed out in the 1968 debate. There are only three areas of access on the Kamloops bypass, Mr. Speaker. One of them is down at the bottom, the Valleyview end, and all that was taken up with existing development pretty well. The other area for development is Del Cielo and that was covered fully in earlier debates. There's one other area though that has a significant development potential and that's the Springhill Drive interchange here. So there are three areas, Mr. Speaker. I might note that the important lands of the Springhill Junction are those hatched in red on that map. It's worthwhile I think to look into the question, then, of who owns the land at that valuable junction. I would point out, Mr. Speaker, that this revised plan of the interchange system is dated, Revised, 1966, and revised, 1967.
If you check out the ownership at the southerly side of that junction, that is, on the southeastern comer of that Springhill junction, you'll find that it's owned by Springhill Holdings Limited, and the legal description of lands involved, essentially, are the west half of Section 31, Township 19, Range 17. That's the simplified legal description. In checking with the Companies office, one finds the latest annual report of Springhill Holdings indicates that the directors of the company are Mr. R.J. Strachan, Mr. J. Russell Bennett and Mr. Earl Carl. In checking the actual shares, one finds that the shares are shared equally amongst the three, except that the shares for one director are in the name of Benwest Holdings Limited. You, then, check in the Companies office
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as to what their records indicate regarding this company. I might say, first, that the Springhill Company has had those directors since 1964 and that the registered owners of that property, Springhill Holdings Limited, show as owning that property since 1965. Those highway plans are 1966 - 1967.
Then, the question of Benwest Holdings arises, Mr. Speaker, and if you check the directors of Benwest Holdings, which is a substantial company with substantial assets all over the Province of British Columbia, and with most significant real estate holdings, you'll find that the directors of that company are William R. Bennett of Boucherie Road in Westbank, businessman, and Russell J. Bennett of Gellatly Road, Westbank, businessman.
It's clear, Mr. Speaker, that there was, essentially, a windfall to be made at only two locations, with respect to the Kamloops bypass. One of these was at Del Cielo and we covered that in the debates of 1968. The other area was at Springhill Drive, where there's a half diamond interchange. It's clear that it's the Springhill Company that will be the company that benefits the most from the building of that interchange. It's clear that the benefits along the highways of British Columbia continue to go only to a favourite few. We ask again, Mr. Speaker, for the Premier to live up to his promise of April 8, 1968, in which he said that in the future in British Columbia, these benefits would be reaped by all of the people of British Columbia.
In my last talk, Mr. Speaker, I discussed what was happening outside of the city boundaries of Kelowna. I'd now like to discuss the west side of the lake, across the bridge from Kelowna, and I'd like to discuss the question of public access to the water, to the lakeshore, the access of people to that beautiful lake. This, Mr. Speaker, is also an area under Provincial jurisdiction, like the land at Benvoulin Road that we discussed last time. Westbank is now essentially a suburb of the city of Kelowna, since the building of the bridge and the area was settled at the turn of the century. Many of the pioneering families of Westbank remain living in that area.
I'd like to discuss one such pioneering family and their former lands, lands originally held by Mr. George Edward Brown, who is now deceased. It's now a matter of the Brown Estate. The area I want to discuss, in some detail, is the area around and along and on Gellatly Road. Gellatly Road provides access to the water all along the lake. Gellatly Road follows along the lakeshore and there's public access along the lake for most of its length in that area. It comes down from the Indian reserve below the bridge and down to the area known as Scottish Cove.
I'd like to refer to the original survey plan, which simply shows this part of the lake and the early subdivision, which shows a ten-acre parcel, a six-acre parcel and another six-acre parcel. This was land owned by the Browns. The lands involved, their original legal description, Mr. Speaker, is, parcels 2, 3 and 4, of District Lot 487, the Osoyoos Division of the Yale District. It totals about 22 acres. The original survey was in 1906 and, over the years, a road system developed in that area. The main road in the area was Gellatly Road, along the waterfront. This map, here, shows the cove below the bridge, and shows that Gellatly Road is, generally, right along the waterfront. Lots are back of the road, along the waterfront, stretching down from the Indian reserve to the north.
That road is like many of the roads in this Province, Mr. Speaker. In parts, it was surveyed. In parts, it was gazetted and, in parts, it was a section six road. It's worth checking the Highway Statutes to see exactly what a "section six"
road is. Section six of the Highways Act states, 'Where public money has been expended on a traveled road that has not been theretofore established by a notice in the Gazette, or otherwise dedicated to the public use by a plan deposited in the Land Registry Office for the district in which the road is situate, that traveled road shall be deemed and is declared to be a public highway." The Statute is fairly clear.
The important thing about the road, Mr. Speaker, is that it provided access to the lake along its length. That's an important matter in the Okanagan, where public access to the water is necessary and very costly to obtain, if we have to buy parkland, as we will continue to have to do in the Okanagan Valley.
When the Browns subdivided the northerly part of that land in 1963, they cut off two parcels and they were called Lots A and B and the section six road was dedicated, at that time. This plan, Plan 12966, which was deposited in the Land Registry Office in Kamloops on February 20, 1963, shows Lots A and B. Lot A is here, it's 2.78 acres; Lot B is 2.65 acres; and it shows the section six road, along the lakeshore, with complete public access to the lake along its whole length. It was a policy of the Highways Department - and the Browns were advised that it was - to require a formal survey confirming the public land along the lakeshore along the beach. The Browns complied with that, as shown on that plan. Then, Mr. Speaker, the Brown family considered selling the remaining lands to the south and the pattern had been set. The road was there and had been there for decades. They expected that formal survey plans would have to recognize it. So they sold those lands, knowing what the Highways Department policy was. They sold parcels 3 and 4, which were the large parcels to the south. They sold those parcels to both a company and an individual. The company was Scottish Cove Holdings Limited, and, according to Land Registry Office records in Kamloops, the individual was R.J. Bennett. An initial subdivision plan was then deposited in the Land Registry Office, which changed it from two parcels to three parcels.
It was a fairly simple subdivision but the important thing, Mr. Speaker, is that the road location changed. That plan is this plan, which was deposited on November 30, 1967, which, then, created these three parcels. The road went along the lakeshore to this point and then back up toward Westbank and Powers Creek but, by the deposit of this land, Mr. Speaker, there was no longer any public foreshore, no public shoreline and the road location was changed. The former road became private property and became, with the deposit of this plan, parcel A. Then there was the remainder, 3 and 4. The ownership of A was in the name of Scottish Cove Holdings Limited, and the ownership of the remainder of 3 and 4 was with R.J. Bennett. As a result of that plan, Mr. Speaker, all of the public waterfront disappeared.
What happened then, with subsequent subdivision activity, Mr. Speaker, is that the land between the new road and the water was cut up into lots. The road became a subdivision. Twelve lots were created, Mr. Speaker, where there were none before. The official subdivision plans, when you join them together, show the kind of problem you have. The next plan, and I might note, Mr. Speaker, that this plan, which wasn't deposited in the Land Registry Office in Kamloops until February 13, 1969, was initially surveyed and was rechecked numerous times. It was signed by the approving officer in November, 1966, July, 1966, in fact, as early as 1965, so that a range of approvals and reapprovals were obtained but this actual plan, showing the lots, was not
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deposited with the Land Registry office until February 13, 1969. This plan clearly shows the yellow area being the new road location having shifted from the lakeshore. Then it's interesting to attach the other plan, the subdivision that the Browns themselves carried out back in 1963. They are both on the same scale. When you put them together and put that boundary line along there, you see the kind of road system you have. The new road, generally averaging 150 ft. back from the shoreline, on the Scottish Cove and Bennett property, is shown as it is, back, and the other road doesn't join at all. It's almost as if there had been an earthquake along that property line, north of the Scottish Cove-Bennett property. Within the property, as I said, the road is back 150 ft.
It's interesting to note what waterfront land values are in this part of the Okanagan, Mr. Speaker. Waterfront values in the Okanagan range from $200 to $300 a front foot of waterfront. If we put a value at 250 ft., then, the parcels created might total approximately $250,000. The question of Scottish Cove Holdings Limited, the company that ended up owning the waterfront area, is something that can also be checked out in the Companies office, Mr. Speaker. The current owners of the property are Lois May Bennett, housewife, R.R. No. 1, Gellatly Road, Westbank, B.C., and Mr. Gordon Lamont Courtice, accountant in Penticton. They are the shareholders in that company. If you check further back in the Companies office, you'll find that on previous occasions, Mr. William R. Bennett and Mr. Russell J. Bennett were directors of that company. The titles can be checked in the Kamloops Land Registry Office and, as I said earlier, they are now in the names of Scottish Cove Holdings Limited, that is, the section on the shoreline and the section back of the road is in the name of Mr. R.J. Bennett.
It's clear that there was one policy north of that property line, Mr. Speaker, and another policy south of that property line. It's clear that the responsible Cabinet Minister, throughout all of this, was the former Minister of Highways, the Member for Kamloops. The line was drawn, Mr. Speaker, on one side, where the average citizen is involved, the rules are firm; on the other side, where they are friends of the people in power, the rules change. It's as simple as that.
I happen to believe, Mr. Speaker, that public business should be considered public business by everyone, both Members of this House and civil servants. I believe most citizens agree. However, when I wanted to follow up these questions with two deputy ministers, I ran into a range of problems. I first took the matter up with the Lands Branch, and I'd like to say first that I do not think that the Lands Branch is basically involved in a matter such as this. It's a matter for the Highways Department. The Lands Branch was involved in this question, in a minor way, because of drift and shifting of ground along the lakeshore, a small sliver of land had accreted to this property, and accretions have to be approved by the Lands Branch, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, I asked the Deputy Minister of Lands for the file, with respect to this section of Gellatly Road. I was refused the file. I was told that I could not see that file, without the approval of the Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources. I have no quarrels with the civil servants because, Mr. Speaker, they have their orders. My quarrel is with the Government that gives those kinds of orders.
It's clear there's a substantial file in the Lands Branch, with a great deal of material in it and I believe that should be the public property of all the people of this Province and all the Members of this House. Today, Mr. Speaker, at 9:30, 1
went to review this matter with another deputy minister, the Deputy Minister of Highways. I had told him, yesterday, about the two matters that I wanted to discuss, one, the Kamloops bypass and, two, Gellatly Road at Westbank. When I went there this morning, I asked for the file on Gellatly Road. The deputy minister agreed that there was a file here in Victoria on that matter but he refused to give me the file or let me see the file. Again I was told that I could not see that file unless the Minister, himself, approved. Again, Mr. Speaker, my quarrel is not with that civil servant. It's with that Cabinet Minister and this Government which give these kinds of orders.
The civil servants, Mr. Speaker, are the servants of us all in this House and all the people of this Province. They are not a secret service for the party in power.
I asked for a range of changes in my last speech, Mr. Speaker - a Boundaries Commission, an open Public Utilities Commission, a PUC that didn't have retired Cabinet Ministers in it, an Assessment Commission that reported to this Legislature, a Highways Department that did not have one access policy for its friends and one for its enemies. I repeat those requests. We asked for the Premier to live up to his promise, as well. It is clear that he has not.
I would add to that list now, Mr. Speaker, and say that we also ask for a free Civil Service in British Columbia. We not only ask, but we demand access to all files by all M.L.A.s on both sides of the House.
In view of the lack of answers, in view of the kind of Budget this is, in view of the fact that this is a Budget that does not mean equal treatment for all, a Budget that does not mean fair treatment for afl, because this Budget means special treatment for a few, we, too, will be voting against this Budget.
MR. H.P. CAPOZZI (Vancouver Centre): report to this House that the Member who has presently sat down has given us false information and has lied to the House during the presentation of the information.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. That is not a statement of a Point of Order.
MR. CAPOZZI: It's a point of information and I'm allowed to ...
DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, there is no point of information at this time.
MR. CAPOZZI: It is a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I am allowed to rise and bring exact statement. He referred to my statements and he said I had given false information. He corrected them and he has presented false information to the House. I'm here to correct the information, which is on the record and I am entitled to do so.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: A Member can raise a Point of Order if there has been misinformation given and state that misinformation. The other Member must then accept it.
MR. CAPOZZI: No, I am able to correct the information that he presented to the House. I'm sure the House would want to know, Mr. Speaker, that the statement which he made ...
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. Never mind all
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the preamble. Make your Point of Order.
MR. CAPOZZI: Right. In his statement to the House he stated that, firstly, the letter was not signed. The letter is signed by a Mrs. Marguerite Cohan. He also was prepared to table it. I was prepared to table it yesterday. He also stated that at no time had he ever offered this land for any use other than as a single-family dwelling. He also stated that there had been nothing but a phone call made ... (interruption). I will present the information.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment.
MR. CAPOZZI: I point out that ... If you're not prepared to receive the truth ... the point is and I'm prepared to submit affidavits to this House that the Member offered this piece of land 12 to 18 months ago as an imaginative concept, featuring a luxury, high-rise, apartment marina, which is suggested for the south end of the island and it was planned by that planner. He's prepared and I'm prepared to submit an affidavit to that. He also stated to the House that this piece was never offered for sale.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. The Member has not the privilege of making a speech at this time. If he has a specific Point of Order, he should make it in that form and not in the form of making a speech.
MR. CAPOZZI: I am asking for the privilege of correcting the record of this House. I am offering the ...
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. I'm dealing with the Member now.
MIL CAPOZZI: Will he accept my statement that this piece was offered for sale?
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. I think the Member has made his case. Will he please be seated?
MR. CAPOZZI: I would then ask leave to table the letter that is here. I will, subsequently, if I'm asked by the Member, submit an affidavit that it was offered for sale.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. The Member will have the opportunity later to ... (interruption). What is your Point of Order?
MR. D. BARRETT (Coquitiam): The Member is breaking the rules of this House by making statements and he has no place in this debate. If you insist on this we will ask for counter statements.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just one moment. The Honourable the Attorney-General.
HON. L.R. PETERSON (Vancouver-Little Mountain): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have this opportunity of having the last word in this debate. It's two weeks now to the day, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Finance presented the traditional motion of supply and, in this intervening period, there have been many words spoken in this debate, some in heat and some in otherwise, but very few directed to the Budget.
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
MR. PETERSON:. . . very few directed to the Budget. We've seen the prime example this afternoon, of course. We couldn't get a better example than a Member who speaks and winds up the debate, on behalf of his Party, and spends 30 whole seconds on the Budget, 30 seconds of his whole time on the Budget, by indicating that they're not going to vote for it.
AN HON. MEMBER: That's right.
MR. PETERSON: One of the matters quite extraneous to the Budget that was raised earlier in the debate, and I want to just touch on briefly, Mr. Speaker, relates to the proposed increase in rates of the B.C. Telephone Company. Some Members spoke at length on this subject. I want to advise the House, that, some time ago, as soon as the notice of the proposed increase was received, I was in telephone communication with the president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Mayor Anderson. I since wrote to him on February 10, 1971, and I'll read the letter because I think it would be of interest to the House. "Dear Mayor Anderson: Further to our telephone conversation, the B.C. Telephone Company has advised us of its application for a general rate increase throughout the Province and supplied us with a copy of its application. At the time of the last application for a general rate increase, resulting in the increase on January 1, 1959, the Province opposed the increase. Its counsel, C.W. Brazier, Q.C. also represented, through arrangements with the department, most, if not all, the municipalities in the Province. I believe this additional representation was arranged through the Union of B.C. Municipalities. It appears to me desirable that, so far as possible, the Province and the municipalities should jointly enter into an analysis in opposition to the application. If you and your executive concur and the municipalities are prepared to authorize a counsel for the Province to act for them, also, and to share in the costs, I should be glad to make the necessary arrangements with counsel for the Province. It is anticipated that counsel will again be Mr. C.W. Brazier, Q.C., supported by one or two experts in the field of rate structures and accountancy, as was done in 1958. 1 should be pleased to-hear from you at your early convenience. Any intervention must be filed by March 5." Signed by myself, Mr. Speaker.
I have not yet received a formal reply. I was advised by telephone today that, while they wish us well in our opposition, they're not prepared to join with us and share the costs of the intervention. My purpose today is to advise the Members of this Assembly that the Province will, nevertheless, be opposing the application for a rate increase and we have engaged and instructed counsel and other experts to assist us in this matter.
Mr. Speaker, I said there were very few words directed to the Budget, during these last two weeks and, of those few words, there has been very little in criticism of the Budget. The fact is that the Members of the Opposition have found very little to criticize in the Budget that's under debate. Today, in winding up this debate, Mr. Speaker, I charge the NDP, the Official Opposition, with a total lack of concern, a total lack of interest, in the budgetary matters of this Province. If you ever have to measure that lack of interest, it was apparent today, apparent when the Leader of the Opposition chose the second Member for Vancouver East to wind up the debate on behalf of his Party, a Member of this Legislature who wasn't even interested enough in the fiscal policy and the fiscal programme of this Government to be
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present when the Budget was presented, wasn't interested enough to be here on the vote of the last motion, the wind-up of the Throne Debate, wasn't interested enough to hear his Leader on Opposition day, the Monday after the Budget was brought in. He wasn't here. He never heard the Leader of the NDP on Opposition day. This is the day when the ... (interruption). I certainly am. I'm discussing the day you had to talk on the Budget and the man you chose to wind up the debate wasn't even here. He didn't hear the Leader of the Liberal Party talk about the Budget or the financial proposals, did he? He wasn't here. Where was he, where was he? Playing private detective, snooping in the Province. The voters of Vancouver East are going to tell him that's not what they elected him for. The voters of Vancouver East are going to tell him that his job is here in the Legislature.
Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, the consuming interest of this Member is not in the Budget, not in.this Legislature, but it is in becoming the world's greatest master of using innuendo and smear to besmirch the reputation of innocent people. In the course of his stay in this House, he's becoming quite an expert at the art. Make no mistake about it. He's got a little competition from other Members on that side of the House, as well. The basic trouble and the basic problem that the Leader of the Opposition has, and all his Party has, is that to them the word "profit" is still a dirty word. The word "profit" is still a dirty word.
AN HON. MEMBER: ... 95,000. That's a pretty good gain for the Socialists.
MR. PETERSON: That's a good point, Mr. Member. You know, an atheist, whatever he has to say about religion, he still likes to bring his children up in a Christian country where the principles of religion are practiced. A socialist is one who likes to talk about Socialism but they sure love the benefits of a free enterprise economy. But profit is still a dirty word - if it's someone else that's making the profit. They give lip service to this idea of jobs for people. We hear them talking about it. We didn't hear about it, today, but he wasn't talking on the Budget, anyway. They give lip service to the idea of jobs for people but, the minute anyone is successful in business, they stand ready to crucify that person, Mr. Leader of the Opposition, and you know it. Anyone who makes a profit, invests that profit back, gives jobs, develops the country, raises the standard of living, they are at the mercy of this Socialist Opposition. Make no mistake about it. It's because of these irresponsible tactics that the people of British Columbia will never take them from that side of the House and put them on this side of the House. It's because of these irresponsible tactics that their numbers are diminishing in this House, each year, fewer and fewer. If you don't get a hold of your bootstraps and pull yourselves out of the ditch you're digging for yourselves, you'r going to have fewer and fewer after the next election.
Mr. Speaker, I have some sympathy for the Leader of the Opposition, because he's like the chap that lined up for a ticket on that ship that sunk (interruption).
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
MR. PETERSON: As a matter of fact, I recall - talk about muckrakers - I recall the Second Member for Vancouver East, when he spoke in the Budget Debate, last year, saying he didn't mind being called a muckraker. fie was quite proud of it. I think he has established, again, that reputation, today.
Mr. Speaker, this Budget was carefully conceived to generate a high level of economic activity in the Province of British Columbia and, in turn, to generate new jobs. Notwithstanding the extensive efforts of the NDP and the Provincial Liberals to create doubt and mistrust in the minds of the people, the people of British Columbia still have confidence in this administration. Make no mistake about that. They know that this Province is in good financial shape. If you didn't think so, you would have had someone speak on the Budget as the last speaker. I haven't heard the Members on the NDP talking about the finances of this Province. Why? It's very apparent, if you want to turn to page 17, table 1. The older citizens of the Province will recall when Social Credit came to power, when we had a net debt, as this table I shows of $222 million-plus, the value of fixed assets less than the total net debt and, today, the figures are here. December 31, 1970, net debt nil; fixed assets increased to $1.3 billion-plus. The sound financial shape of the Province, Mr. Speaker, together with the faith of investors in the financial integrity of this Province augurs well for our future.
The announcement of the Minister of Finance of the objective in this Province to create a minimum of 25,000 new jobs by October I was welcomed by pretty well everyone with the exception of the Leader of the Opposition. He conveniently overlooked the word "minimal" and indicated that'this would represent a downward trend in new jobs, this year, over last year.
Mr. Speaker, the added expenditures for parks, for highways - and the Member for West Vancouver-Howe Sound indicated there wasn't anything in this Budget to provide a single, new job. What a ridiculous and patently false statement. False statement. Because, Mr. Speaker, the added expenditures for parks, alone, will account for many of these new jobs. Highways, school construction, hospital construction and, then, in addition, the private sector (interruption). I said the statement is patently false. That's what I meant to say and that's what I said. I mentioned the public sector, Mr. Speaker, but the private sector, alone, will add as well to the new jobs. I would say this. My predication would be this, not as a guaranteed minimum or anything of that nature, but a predication that, if our economy continues to grow and remain on a healthy level, then, I would expect, not from October to October, but the total year, 1971 over 1970, would see a rise in employment by more than 40,000 employees.
In my address during the Throne Debate, I dealt, at some length, with the job-creating programmes of this Government. I'm not going to repeat them again this afternoon. I was critical, then, Mr. Speaker, as I am critical. now. of the Federal Government's policy of deliberately creating unemployment in order to curb inflation. On Tuesday of this week, support for this Government's position came from a most unexpected source and that was the Federal Minister of Labour, the Honourable Bryce Mackasey. According to the press and television news reports, Mr. Mackasey conceded that unemployment has been too high a price to pay in the fight against inflation. He said, "There has got to be a better method than putting people out of work." Mr. Mackasey will never again be party to a policy of deliberately putting people out of work in order to tight inflation. I want to congratulate Mr. Mackasey on his statement. I want to congratulate Mr. Mackasey on his repudiation of Liberal
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It also, of course, as has been pointed out, was an admission that this was their policy. Now, he, as one of the Cabinet Ministers, is repudiating that policy. Really, what it's doing as well ... (interruption). I know he's still in the Cabinet but what he's doing, as well, is indicating that what this Government has been saying all along has been absolutely right and correct.
When I closed the debate, a year ago, on the Budget Debate, Mr. Speaker, I said then that this Government could never accept unemployment as a cure for inflation. I called it then an irresponsible policy. The Premier went much further than that and also advocated additional policies that should be taken in lieu of the Federal Government's policies in order to fight inflation.
Again, I won't reiterate these proposals because I did so, a year ago. But I do want to reactivate a proposition that was put forward at the September conference in Ottawa, the Federal Provincial Conference in Ottawa, and that relates to the subject of immigration. According to the Federal Department of Manpower and Immigration, last year, as of September 30, 1970, there were 16,598 overseas immigrants who had stated their intention to settle in British Columbia. Mr. Speaker, we have over five times that number unemployed. Now, there are two points that I want to make on this subject of immigration. The first one is this. I suspect that the Federal immigration officials are not presenting a clear picture on the unemployment situation to the potential immigrants; consequently they are flocking to British Columbia to no jobs. For a man and his family, who undertake this serious decision to leave their own country, to foresake their friends, to pull up stakes and come here, a very serious move, and then to find themselves without employment, eventually having to go on to social assistance is a tragic situation, a situation that should not exist and one which, from that point of view of giving accurate information, can be readily rectified by the Federal authorities.
The second point I want to make, and this is the point that was made and the proposition that was put forward in our brief to the Federal-Provincial Conference last September, is that the Federal Government should immediately curtail immigration from outside Canada. In recent years there has been a liberalization of immigration policies. Ottawa opened the doors to American deserters, in 1969. Then, in addition, to those who are here legally, there are many people who live in Canada illegally. According to the Vancouver Province, dated November 2, 1970, there are between 100,000 and 200,000 people living and working in Canada illegally. Most of them come here as visitors and then stay on without any authorization. According to the Immigration Department the great bulk of these people are the unskilled and the semiliterate.
When our National economy is able to generate sufficient jobs to employ those who are presently living in our country, then certainly we should welcome immigrants from other lands. That should always be our policy. But that isn't the situation at the moment and it's not likely to be the situation this year. In the brief which, by the way, is attached to the Budget Speech as Appendix No. 2, you will find the recommendation included that British Columbia recommends that when the National unemployment rate exceeds 4 per cent, immigration into Canada should be stopped, except in rare cases." Mr. Speaker, we recommend the adoption of that policy, now.
While the greatest thrust of this Budget, Mr. Speaker, is towards new jobs, we shouldn't overlook the necessity to improve productivity. As productivity improves, so, too, will our ability to compete effectively in both domestic and world markets. As we look to the future, and it is a bright future as far as this Province is concerned, but, as we look to that future, we can expect that many countries on the Pacific rim will be looking to our Province for trade and for trade development.
The experts indicate that Japan is expected to score the highest during the next ten years in increasing its Gross National Product. They see a possible increase of 162 per cent for Japan, compared with 50 per cent for the United-States. This will result in a reverse trend in our present export market, as the United States is presently our number one customer. In addition, Italy, France, Germany, all of these, are expected to make tremendous gains. So, it is significant, and highly significant, for our future, the rate of expansion in these industrial nations and our ability to compete and to feed these markets because with this kind of development, with industrialization, comes more job opportunities and a higher standard of living for all. I don't think it's possible to overemphasize how important advances in productivity are to our whole economy, because we are so highly dependent on being able to compete in foreign markets.
There are several crucial points to consider. One is the fact that we must establish a reputation as an efficient and dependable supplier of raw materials and manufactured goods. Here is the area, in which there has been some discussion, which I talked about in the earlier debate - the role of labour-management relations. Foreign purchasers will not continue to purchase our goods if production or delivery is delayed through work stoppages. My colleague, the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, when he spoke, made it clear that, after his encounter with some of these foreign powers while attending the conference in Russia, they were aware of the situation here to the degree of actually knowing the number of days lost through work stoppages. We had prime examples, last year, strikes in the towboat, strikes in longshoring, Post Office, all facets of communication, all important features of dependable trade with other countries. Productivity improvement is an essential goal as we move forward, Mr. Speaker, and we must always bear this in mind.
If we're going to attain this goal then we have to take full advantage of technical change, of technological progress. We need highly skilled workers. We have to provide the funds for the training of these workers and assist in giving leadership, not only the training but applying the developments of science and technology, as well. Increases in productivity, if there are going to continue to be increases in productivity, must be shared with the work force. That's the only way you're going to have the proper motivation. I think the psychological attitude of labour and management to the work process is one of the most important factors in increasing productivity.
I have little sympathy and I'm sure all the Members of this House have very little sympathy for those employers and, fortunately, they are very few in number who treat their employees simply as a commodity or factor of production. On the other hand, we don't have any sympathy, either, I'm sure, for trade unions who cling to restrictive work practices and are stubborn to make changes in these times of rapid changes in technology.
Mr. Speaker, there have to be new efforts. There have to be imaginative efforts at the bargaining table and I have no
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hesitation in calling upon labour and management to dedicate themselves to an all-out effort to make British Columbia an environment of growth, a healthy, genuine growth that is real because it springs from increased productivity.
Now another subject that has been discussed at some length, both in this debate and the previous debate, is pollution and this Budget makes allocation for pollution control in British Columbia. I'm not going to talk in the broad, general sense on the subject, but only to deal with those areas in which I have some responsibility. I refer to our pollution control programme as it relates to motor-vehicles.
Last Session, this Legislature passed some amendments to the Motor- Vehicle Act, amendments which provide that the Executive Council could make regulations concerning the installation of pollution control devices on motor-vehicles. During the year, those regulations were drawn and passed, providing that all new motor-vehicles, motor-vehicles manufactured on or before January 1, of this year, had to have certain devices on them to control air pollution. These regulations set the limits of exhaust emission of hydrocarbons I and carbon monoxide, as well as other limits in respect to diesel-operated use. The standards that we implemented by regulation, following this legislation, are the same standards that now exist in the Province of Ontario. They are the same standards that exist in the United States of America, so, we have, and I think this is important, a degree of standardization in this area that is not common in all areas that we legislate on.
Pollution control devices have been available on the market for a relatively short period of time. The first device was a crank case ventilator and that became standard on automobiles manufactured on this continent in 1965. It was joined in 1968 by the exhaust emission control device and that, now, since 1968, not on all foreign cars but on cars manufactured since 1968 on this continent, has been a part of the original purchase. The introduction of the evaporative control device is a new factor this year. Its purpose is to trap the gasoline fumes which come about through evaporation and they are, now, through this device, recirculated through the fuel system. The combination of these three devices is capable of reducing the emission of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by at least 80 per cent. At least, 80 per cent, with the installation of these three devices, which are mandatory now in British Columbia on all new cars manufactured after January 1 of this year. One of the points, of course, is that the vehicles, in order to get this kind of performance out of their air pollution control devices, have to be in good working order. That is one of the problems, of course, with any such device.
I want to advise the Members and announce today that it is the intention of the Government to expand the scope of the air pollution control regulations under the Motor- Vehicle Act, to phase in requirements for the equipping of the vehicles which were manufactured prior to January I of this year with pollution control devices. In other words, we're doing it now on new cars and we want, during the course of this year, to take in some of the used cars on a gradual basis to make it mandatory for them, also, to have air pollution devices. To move in this direction, we have to be sure that there's an adequate supply of such devices, but I hope that we can make a start, a substantial start on the programme this year. We'll have to exempt some vehicles, older vehicles. Some will only need one device, others will need more than one device, so, it's a rather complicated area when you move from the new car field into the older car field.
Then, too, in some parts of the Province, where we have a low population density and where vehicle registrations are low, there is very little practical value in requiring motor-vehicle owners to go to the expense involved of adding these devices. We have other areas, such as Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Westminster - in these areas, all vehicles should really have air pollution control devices because, just as Los Angeles has problems with air inversion currents, so, too, does Vancouver, not to the same degree, but certainly sufficiently serious to pay some attention to this question of air pollution and having as many of the vehicles as possible covered (interruption). Yes, the diesel truck is a different matter. There, the question is not the emission of hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide, just simply a smoke factor and, so, we cover the diesel engines on the basis of smoke. But it's a different kind of pollution from that which comes from the gasoline engines.
One of the problem areas, at the moment, is how do we check the efficiency of these control devices" How do we know they're working on a vehicle? That's the problem that confronts, not only us, but every jurisdiction that has moved in this field. Even California, where they moved on air pollution control devices, still has this basic problem of finding a means of monitoring the devices to see that they're working. There are some that are being used now on an experimental basis in California, on patrol, but they really haven't been assessed sufficiently yet, I understand, to purchase them on any mass basis. We're in complete touch with these other jurisdictions. As a matter of fact, there's a conference in May - a workshop, really, in San Diego, California, where we will be represented, where manufacturers of these devices will be invited to participate. Scientists will be invited to participate so that there can be some assessment in trying to find a device that will work because, as soon as we do, then, we want to establish these devices in our motor-vehicle inspection stations. It's not easy because we have a limited time when the motor-vehicles are in there. Now, when a new car is tested, you need very expensive equipment. You need a lot of time, operating under different conditions, to see that they're working. We can't begin to do that sort of thing in a motor-vehicle inspection station. So it's difficult to say, at this point in time, how far we are off from having these monitoring systems in our motor-vehicle inspection stations but I'm sure we will be among the leaders in this field on the continent.
Another aspect of motor-vehicle pollution, that is of increasing concern to the general public, is the irritating one of noise. We have noise, of course, resulting from motor-vehicles with a lot of buildings around - the reflection of noise - all of these are different conditions. The only one that we've been able to take some action on, at the moment, is the noise resulting from the motor-vehicle itself.
I know some of the Members were wondering what this device was that I had in here and I think there were a few suspicions, Mr. Speaker, that I was recording. It's not an offensive weapon, but it is a sound level meter and it registered in these Chambers, I might add. I had some difficulty when the Member from West Vancouver-Howe Sound was speaking. It didn't register too high but there were a couple of occasions, when the Second Member for Vancouver East was speaking, that it registered well into the 70's. But, at any event, you'll be reassured to know that it hasn't gone over 85 decimals in the Chamber. That won't hurt anyone's cars, Mr. Speaker, that level of noise (interruption). I was afraid you might ask that question,
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that's why I turned it off. I'm too close to it. It should be about 15 feet away and that's what the instrument has been calibrated for.
We only have one of these, at the moment, so that the motorists who are going through the station, today, are safe in Victoria. We use this when a motorist disagrees with the opinion of the inspector, when the inspector says, "Look, you need a new muffler, my friend, it's too noisy." Then, if he disagrees, they take the vehicle out, they test it with this and it either reinforces or it doesn't reinforce the opinion of the inspector. We're taking action now, in this way, and this type of instrument, which is a fairly expensive little gadget, is proving very helpful in this respect. It's amazing the ... (interruption). This is what we hope to do this year.
On the basis of the use of this instrument and our experimentation, we hope to set standards, standards which we can make public so everyone will know. The other advantage of setting these standards is the fact that, then, we will have uniformity throughout the Province. We won't have to have each municipality setting their own standard as to noise factor, so that you get differences from one area of the Province to another. That is our task for this year. I might add that, if any of you are caught ... from the experiences some motorists have had, in this area, I understand, a fairly common experience is that, when you're told, "No your motor-vehicle is rejected because of noise," they'll go back and fill the exhaust system with steel wool and that deadens the sound. But, the inspectors, and the reason I'm making it public now, the inspectors are onto this and you'll be very embarrassed if you do that and come into a motor-vehicle inspection station because they know how to catch this particular subterfuge, Mr. Speaker.
In addition to the regulations, I would like to point out, as well, that we have a special research project. I shouldn't say we, it's really the research project of the University of British Columbia, the Department of Mechanical Engineering. They are using the Richmond inspection station, trying to develop methods whereby noisy motor-vehicles can be quickly identified. The difficulty is monitoring this within the station itself. This research programme is attracting attention from acoustic experts in many parts of the world. There hasn't been much work done in this area, as it relates to motor-vehicles and, as soon as we find answers in this area, I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we'll be anxious to take advantage of the research and try to eliminate as much as possible unnecessary noise as a pollution factor in the Province of British Columbia.
Mr. Speaker, one further subject I want to deal with, because it has been overlooked, not entirely, but in large measure, in the course of this Budget Debate, and, yet, when we refer to our Budget as $1.3 billion, we should remember that there are additional expenditures being made each year as a result of the perpetual funds that have been established. This has become a feature of Social Credit Budgets since 1969 - quite unique, I suggest, in this country and one that we're extremely proud of. We don't expect the Liberals to talk about it because they've never supported these programmes, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure the native citizens have great difficulty in understanding their position, because there is the First Citizens' Fund of $25 million. There's an Agricultural Aid to Developing Countries and World Disaster Area Fund ...
AN HON. MEMBER: They're against that.
MR. PETERSON: A $10,000,000 Centennial Cultural Fund. . .
AN HON. MEMBER: They're against that.
MR. PETERSON: A $10,000,000 Physical Fitness and Amateur Sports Fund ...
AN HON. MEMBER: They're against that.
MR. PETERSON: ... soon to be joined by another fund which will be discussed, I'm sure, later on, Mr. Speaker. The important feature of these funds is that the annual interest earnings are available each and every year, in good times, bad times, each and every year the interest earnings are available for these very important programmes. In addition, the capital funds are available for investment in school and hospital facilities to enable school construction and hospital construction programmes to proceed. This, Mr. Speaker, generates many new jobs, not included as such in the Budget which is the subject of debate today.
I want, if I might digress for a moment, since I see the honourable Member in his seat, to also express my congratulations to the Honourable Member for Nanaimo for the attention that he has directed to a very serious problem in the Province of British Columbia and a serious problem in his own constituency - the drug problem. I mention it, at this time, just to remind the House and to remind the public, that we don't have jurisdiction in a broad way in this area. The Federal Government exercises exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the law enforcement aspect of drugs, also the prosecution of drug offenders. Unlike other Federal offenses, whether it's a murder or what have you, where we handle the prosecution, Provincially, in drug cases the Federal Government handles the prosecution as well as direction of the law enforcement in this respect. The one area in which we do have jurisdiction, is in terms of education and this is where we can do the most effective work. We also have exclusive jurisdiction, perhaps not entirely exclusive, but, nevertheless, we have jurisdiction, under the Constitution, over this serious problem of alcoholism. While most of the public attention, at the moment, is directed to the problem of drug abuse, we should remember that alcoholism is one of the most serious health problems that exists in Canada, today, and exists in British Columbia, today. More prevalent, ten times more prevalent than tuberculosis, 25 more times prevalent than cancer, 50 times more prevalent than polio and we can look forward to greater prevalence as our population grows. So I ask the honourable Members to bear these factors in mind when you vote on this Budget, because there is financial assistance to these programmes provided in this Budget (interruption). Well, if the honourable Members don't wish me to pursue that subject, I'd be glad to pursue the Physical Fitness and Amateur Sports Fund. I would like to tell them a little about that.
This was one of the funds established in 1969 and it has had an impact on sports and fitness in the Province of British Columbia. During this past year, we paid out grants totalling $590,950. As a matter of fact, the interest on this, earned from the establishment of the fund, until two days ago, February 17, amounted to $1,311,632.36. That's the revenue from that fund in that short period of time. That's the amount that's been available for distribution to encourage and to promote physical fitness among young and old alike and also to promote amateur sports. Of that amount, we have
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expended, to February 17, $1,012,733.06, Mr. Speaker. So the Fund has had a tremendous impact on sports and fitness in British Columbia. It's created a degree of enthusiasm that I think few people would have anticipated in the sporting fraternity. It has created a much greater awareness of the importance of co-ordinating the various activities that go on in this field. It has created the importance of good administration. As a matter of fact, British Columbia is unique in having a very strong, well-organized, central sports body - the British Columbia Sports Federation, representing all sports in the Province. The centre, that has been established in this respect, is a Canadian first. It's the envy of every other Province and it has enabled sports and fitness programmes to move ahead much more rapidly than would otherwise be the case.
I want to refer to a few letters of thanks and appreciation, just to indicate the different kinds of grants that have been made and the reaction to those grants, although, perhaps, the best evidence was in this Chamber, this afternoon, when we saw the swimmers from Vancouver, from the Dolphin Swim Club, who have just returned from New Zealand after winning all the prizes in competition there. We have outstanding swimmers in the Province of British Columbia and the funds have helped them considerably. Here's one from the Vancouver Parks Board, because we assisted them in some of the summer projects, expressing their gratitude in promoting fitness and amateur sports. From the University of British Columbia, "We are grateful for the financial support of the British Columbia Physical Fitness and Amateur Sports Fund, which made it possible for the University to be represented at the World Games," from the Athletic Director of UBC. From the Badminton Association, some of the honourable Members are badminton fans, we have participants, "We have doubled out clinics and have under way a full-scale programme of coaching and instructional clinics." That's the Badminton Association. I don't know how the Honourable Second Member from Vancouver-Point Grey could possibly vote against these perpetual funds.
The British Columbia Volleyball Association, "The new impetus that you have given us is certainly stimulating creative and imaginative ideas. Our executive is fired up and on the move. Thank you very much." From the B.C. Track and Field Association, "Because of this help, B.C. track and field athletes have been able to establish themselves in National and international fields." Amateur football, from the Provincial Amateur Football Association, "The grants from the Fund, for the past two years, have formed the lifeline of communication, growth and improved abilities for football in British Columbia." The Amateur Wrestling Association for the Province, "We are very pleased and happy to report the strong development of our sport in all areas of our Province. We have greatly increased numbers in participation with a noticeable improvement in skills. These are the direct results of the camps and clinics made possible from Fund grants." That's the Wrestling Association. There are many more, Mr. Speaker, that one could refer to, because the Fund has been well received. None of the grants is used by the Government for administration expenses for administering the Fund. All is paid out in grants to organizations. We're trying to ensure that there is Strong, central administration, through the B.C. Sports Federation, but we want the grants to feed down to clinics, to help train, to coach and to build outstanding athletes, because these people will set an example for all the young people to follow. Now that's only one half ... (interruption). I haven't the figures, Mr. Premier, at hand for the Festival of Sports but it was far better, far greater than anything anyone would have expected in the first year of operation.
We want to do more, for instance, now, with the Summer Games coming to British Columbia. Here's where we want to do an excellent job. We hope to come first in Canada at the next Canada Summer Games. We were second in the last one. But, not only do we want our outstanding athletes to benefit from the Fund, we want mass participation and we're getting . . .
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.
MR.PETERSON: ... more and more people to participate in all the varying activities, Mr. Speaker. This is something that is much to be admired and certainly is one of the major objectives of the Fund.
Now, Mr. Speaker, British Columbia is, indeed, fortunate to be able to produce a record Budget of $1.3 billion, at a time when the Canadian economy has not been particularly dynamic. As the best part of the address by the Member for West Vancouver-Howe Sound indicated, it's a balanced Budget. A Budget that is designed to keep British Columbia moving ahead on all fronts. As the Minister of Finance pointed out on page 17 of the Budget "We have opted for a continuation of dynamic growth to increase the supply of jobs for our fast-growing labour force and to maintain a high level of Government services to the people of the Province." This, Mr. Speaker, is an action Budget. Members of the Opposition have always excelled in paper promises. My goodness, when the Leader of the Liberal Party addressed this Chamber, a week ago Monday, he lead us down this road of fantasy to describe the budget that the Liberals were proposing - paper promises, paper promises. But paper promises do very little to the man who has to feed a family, to clothe a family, to find housing, to have education, to have health and medical care.
Action has always spoken louder than words, Mr. Speaker, and this is an action Budget, an action Budget. It has provided the means whereby a person can stand proud in this Province, knowing that his children have an opportunity for education, knowing that they can have health care, if necessary, and medical services and hospitals and, of equal importance, if not more important,,to be able to have a home as most of the citizens can. Those who vote for this Budget will be supporting money for housing: an additional $20 million, for home acquisition grants: a total of $4.2 million for senior citizens, Mr. Provincial Secretary, and you can multiply that by three in terms of total housing because this amounts to the one third grant. A significant increase, as well, in the homc-owner grant is provided for in this Budget. Those of us who will be supporting this Budget, in a moment or so from now, will recognize the importance of education, recognize that we have to provide the facilities anti the educational opportunities for our young people. An increase of $351/2 million more money for all levels of education, in one year. That's a pretty good effort for two million-plus people. An increase of more than $35 million for li"the and hospital services, a further $10 million for the best medical care programme in Canada. They talk about in unicipali ties -this Budget contains a better deal for municipalities. Are you going to vote against that'! (Applause.) There's no one who can deny that this Budget does not contain a better deal for municipalities. The Minister of Municipal Affairs has already indicated that, before this Budget, the in unicipali ties were
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being treated more generously here than by any other Provincial Government in Canada.
Mr. Speaker, this is a record Budget to create jobs, a record Budget to help people. It's a credit to the Province of British Columbia. It's the envy of other jurisdictions, not only in Canada, but the United States and, finally, Mr. Speaker, it's a tribute to a man whose integrity and ability in managing the financial affairs of this Province is without equal anywhere. (Applause.)
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The question is, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply." Are you ready for the question?
Motion agreed to on the following division:
YEAS - 35
|Kripps, Mrs.||Dawson, Mrs.||Loffmark|
NAYS - 17
|Lorimer||Williams, L.A.||Dailly, Mrs.|
Pursuant to Order, the House resolved itself into the Committee of Supply.
The Committee rose, reported progress, and asked leave to sit again.
The House proceeded to the Order "Public Bills and Orders."
MR. SPEAKER: The second reading of Bill 12. The Honourable the Minister of Finance.
HON. W.A.C. BENNETT (South Okanagan): Mr. Speaker, Bill 12 is an act, the Accelerated Park Development Act. This is a very important bill. All bills are important but if I could say that one bill is extremely important this year, I would say it is this one. I think all Members of the House, all Parties, as well as the people around the Province, appreciate that we're living now in a new type of world, where people have more leisure time and people are visiting more - our own people as well as from outside. The question of having open spaces and parks and park development and of an opportunity to carry out these healthy sports outdoors are so important. They are the reason why the Government is presenting this particular bill this year, over and above the regular items in the estimates for that department. British Columbia is blessed with varied climate and terrain which allows development of fine recreational areas for the benefit of all citizens, as well as for visitors to the Province. However, the dynamic increase in the population of the Province and in the number of visitors, which, per capita perhaps might lead any place, points up the need to augment our regular development of the parks programme. Coincident is the need to create additional jobs at this particular time. This bill, therefore, proposes to fulfill both needs, by providing $15 million from the Province's budgetary cash reserve for workers to create and improve park facilities in the Province. I emphasize that. It's not to buy new parks. It's to develop parks and create jobs. The sum of $15 million is over and above the regular sum for park development provided for in the 1971-72 estimates of expenditure.
I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Parks is not here, today. He's doing a very important job in the Hydro but, I hope, during the debate on this bill, that the Minister will be able to outline some of the jobs and parks that will be developed out of this fund. It isn't the intention of this fund to get the authority of the Legislature and then, leave the fund unspent. It is the policy, this year, of committing all this money - the whole $15 million - to put people to work. This year - commit it all.
Some of these contracts might take longer to finish but it's my hope, as Minister of Finance, that it will all be committed this year because we want to, in this and other ways, during this Session, in the estimates, you'll find all departments will be out to create more jobs this year not only for a regular working force which is so important, but also for students in our universities. We want to make sure we get as far as we can within the Province of British Columbia, within our scope, to create jobs this year. Now that interest money is dropping a little, now that some of our labour disputes and management disputes have eased, although we might be threatened by one, once in a while, we think this is the time for British Columbia to make a great step forward. We do that at some risk, because other Canadians may flock in but, once you are in Canada, you have a right to movement and this Legislature or this Government can do nothing about that. I only know this, that, from my experience, a number of years ago, in the 1930's when I left Alberta and found this beautiful country of British Columbia, I didn't intend to stay here to live, either. I went into Kelowna one day. This was in the first week in July. A chap took me up in one of these cherry orchards - these Lambert cherries are just black and dark and light (applause). It's in South Okanagan, my dear (laughter). I ate more of these cherries in that one day than I had eaten all my life before. That was a wonderfully hot day and I went down that evening. . . (interruption). No, I wasn't. I went down that evening to the Aquatic in Kelowna, dived off the board and swam there that night. I'm going to tell you this, I want to tell you this ... (interruption). No, I was a little thinner in those days. I want to say that I wondered where I had been all my life that I hadn't been out to British Columbia. We .never left. I got in touch with Mrs. Bennett and she came up with two of the small children, babies at that time. In those 1930's ... every person who went through that period knows that it was a very difficult period, indeed, very, very difficult. It was possible. We had wonderful people in the Okanagan -
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the growers and so forth - and we had meetings and they agreed that ... I had gone down to Regina and down there they not only had difficulties like we had here but they were down in the dustbowl and the grasshoppers were jumping right over you as you walked down the main street (interruption). Not at that particular time, but he was a good citizen, certainly. He and I were in many things together That's right, many things. Because up in the Okanagan we're not narrow partisan (interruption).
Certainly, certainly. I'd be the last to say that there are not good people in all political parties. If I didn't have that trust in human nature, that the great 99.9 per cent of the people are good people, I wouldn't be in public life. I want to hasten to say this. We had these meetings with these farmers and they agreed and volunteered to give these apples - it was hard to sell them, anyway - free. The railroads, the CNR and CP both, agreed to carry them into these drought areas, free, without any freight charges. Then we organized in our churches, at night, and we had the merchants to put up the money for the cans and so forth. We canned tomatoes, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cases, not in real cases but in old cartons. We put so many of these canned tomatoes in every car of apples that went into the drought areas and when these people received them they said, "My goodness, if a place, in this terrible depression in these dirty 1930's, the day of the jungles" - and a lot of people don't understand that day, the day of the jungles, around every little town - "If there's any area that can afford to do this then that must be a pretty good place to live." So they came in in every way, on the engines and everything else. As the Member from the Kootenays said, they came in every way They settled in there and some people condemned them but I did not, because today the years have gone by and, in my area, their sons and daughters are not any better than they were but they're lawyers, they're doctors, they're nurses, in all the professions. You find them all over this Province, everywhere. They're good citizens. While they come to British Columbia and are flocking to British Columbia, every one, with perhaps, one or two exceptions, every one, in due course, will make their contribution to this greater, greater British Columbia and, therefore ....
AN HON. MEMBER: Even long-hairs.
MR. BENNETT: I'm not worried about people with long hair. I'm not worried about how they part their hair. What I am worried about is that they don't pollute their minds because, of all the pollution in the world, the pollution of the mind and the body is the worst. That's the worst pollution This week, this talk on this bill, Mr. Speaker, is not to invite everybody to come to British Columbia because I tell them not to come, unless they have a lot of cash in their pockets today, or have a job, because we have unemployment here, because our population is growing, is growing about three times faster than the rest of Canada. I only want to say, "Don't condemn the people that do come. Help them, give them a helping hand." This bill is out to help create more work. I move second reading, Mr. Speaker.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Kootenay MR. L.T. NIMSICK (Kootenay): Mr. Speaker, I don't know what this bill has to do with the Okanagan. I hope that the Minister wasn't trying to sell the Okanagan with the idea that they should get the whole $15 million because, if that's the case then it's not going to do the whole Province very much good.
The Minister also stated that he didn't want people to come in from other. Provinces, unless they had money with them. I don't understand you, Mr. Premier, through you, Mr. Speaker, that you went down east and you did all the advertising about what you're going to do with the parks and about the $15 million you're going to spend and the jobs you're going to make. You advertised it in the eastern papers. Do you expect those people to stay home? No.
AN HON. MEMBER: The answer is no.
MR. NIMSICK: That's right, I say that. Why don't you make your mind up to be consistent with these ideas. Why did you say today that you don't want them to come, unless they've got money. You don't want them to come, unless they've got money. I say this is definitely a wrong attitude to take. I agree that the people can come across Canada and, thank goodness, that they can come across Canada without having immigration authorities or somebody to stop them.
Mr. Speaker, this $15 million it's a very ... when you think of the area of the Province of British Columbia and the work that needs to be done in the parks, it's a very small amount. It's better than nothing, I'll agree. I say that, when you divide it up, I hope nobody gets the idea that it's going to be a big thing in each riding. I hope that they look over the whole picture throughout the Province, when they're dealing with this $15 million. The Premier said that he hoped the Minister of Recreation and Conservation would deal with the specific places where it can spend this money.
Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say one thing. The first thing that we should do about our parks throughout the Province ... and our parks are used a great deal and there are many, many areas that are used for recreational purposes by tourists and by people that come in the Province and the people who are moving about the Province. Alongside our lakes and parks ... I think it's a reflection on this Government, the condition of some of the parks last summer. A party told me they were up at Long Beach, the toilets were overflowing. It was ridiculous the filth and the stench that was up there, at that time, he said. I was in the Kootenay, and I can speak for the Kootenay. I was up in Long Beach, last year, too. Mr. Speaker, in our area we've got a lot of grounds. Some parks like Whiteswan Lake and Premier Lake, we've got camping grounds alongside the lakes and they haven't got the proper facilities to look after their garbage, they haven't got the proper toilets and some of them have no toilets at all. At Whiteswan Lake the Junior Fish and Game Club had to go out and try to build a couple of toilets. I think it's terrible when you set up a park and don't have any facilities for people to use. People can't even walk off the road into the bush on account of that. This is one of the things that we should think of first when we're thinking of spending this $15 million. I know it's not only in my riding the lack of these facilities. it's in practically all ridings that we haven't got the facilities.
Let's not make a grandiose scheme of this $15 million in any one or two places. Let's clean up our park system throughout the Province. This will provide a lot of jobs. Let's make the facilities for them to put their garbage in, not only in the parks themselves, but in places where there are lakes where a number of the people gather for recreation. Some of them are not declared park areas but, nevertheless, the recreational people in each area know those places and I
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think we should have proper facilities for looking after the garbage, proper facilities, hygienic conditions for the people. That's one of the first things. On top of that I think that we should also have, maybe, more smaller parks. I want to agree that parks are very job-producing, more so probably than any other single factor that we've got.
We had a youth camp up in Wasa last summer and I want to say that I hope they are expanded this year - the youth camps. They've done a fine job and I think it was a wonderful training for those young people to get up into the country and have a person in authority there that looked after them to see that everything went all right. They did a very fine job at Wasa Lake. I think that we should have more of them, though, around the Province, more of these camps and put the young people to work, more places for students to get jobs, as the Honourable the Premier said, during the summertime, and plan the whole picture throughout the whole Province so that all areas of the Province will get some benefit from this $15 million you're going to expend on parks development - not any one area.
Up in our area, the parks are overcrowded. Wasa Lake campgrounds - they're turning them away every night. There's a whole field of people who are wanting to go through Fort Steele and there's no campground around Fort Steele, only at Wasa and it's quite a few miles away. I think there should be a campground near Fort Steele because it's the type of an area that adapts itself to camping purposes. Don't set up these campgrounds, unless you put in the facilities, so that we can look after the pollution, so that we can look after the garbage. In some of the places last summer, some of the tourists had little concern sometimes for the lakes or the campgrounds. Two of them went up there with vans and they put their sewage connection right into the lake and then when you told them about it, they were rather huffed. I know we passed the law last year that this is against the law but, nevertheless, people do these things. If you haven't got provisions for garbage collection in these places then we've got little to holler about the people not knowing where to put their garbage. This, I think, is something that has got to be done and to me, no matter what went on throughout the Province last summer, it was not good. A number one priority should be the cleanliness of our parks and the looking after the garbage and looking after the toilets, so that people will have facilities when they camp at these places. They'll know where to put their garbage and they'll know where to go when they have to go (laughter) not run off in the brush or field some place.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that this $15 million will be prorated over the Province to bring benefits to the people who are in need throughout the Province, the people who are unemployed and as a training for the young people in our Province (interruption). Well, you could even do that as far as I'm concerned. I'm willing to give everybody the right to share in the $15 million. But I don't think that the parks in the interior are set up to entertain the people from the coast, from the big cities. So, therefore, I would say that a part of the per capita of the big cities should go to the parks in the interior so that they will be given their share; otherwise, we'll be swamped by the city folks and the people in the city. I would say that ... (interruption). You've got some parks around Vancouver. I'm not talking about Vancouver, but you've got a lot of parks within maybe fifty miles of Vancouver, serving the city of Vancouver, and all these parks should have a share in this to clean up and look after them. I've got no objection. All I want to see is that the whole Province, every place, gets its fair share of the amount. You can't figure that this is going to be spent within any municipality or any city. It has to be a regional area that has to be considered, not just in the areas where the people live.
Mr. Speaker, I'm going to support this bill. I'd like, as I said before, I'd like to see it far more than $15 million, because I know we could use it. It's going to be a very small amount for each region throughout the whole Province, but nevertheless, at least it's a start. I do hope that it isn't just going to be on paper and not spent. This is what I want to see because you can have the finest scheme in the world on paper, but unless you take the money and actually put it to work, then it won't be there. I hope that you will see that it's actually spent and that we get value for the money.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the First Member for Vancouver-Point Grey.
MR. P.L. McGEER (Vancouver-Point Grey): Mr. Speaker, I certainly enjoyed the Premier's introduction of this bill for second reading. I'm not sure what canned tomatoes have to do with the development of parks in the future, but it was wonderful to hear about those early days in British Columbia.
It was very reassuring to those of us whose memory is a little fuzzy about what it was like before 1952, but the Premier has given us a wonderful description. The good old days in Kelowna when one could dive off the high diving board and not think twice about the quality of the lake. It's nice to know, too, that one could come from Social Credit Alberta and on the first day in British Columbia decide this was the place to spend your whole fife.
Mr. Speaker, the Premier, as well, made a point about how this money was actually going to be spent. We really were going to do some work on parks, this year, and I think, to many of us in the House, those are the most cheering words of all. If this whole $15 million can be spent, it won't be soon enough. Of course, we absolutely subscribe to what the Premier has said that producing jobs, at this time, is a vital requirement in British Columbia. I must note in passing, however, this is to be taken out of revenue surplus. The money was there, the jobs were needed last year. Our Liberal budget did provide for an extra $5 million for parks development a year ago. We could have had the people to work, already. We could have been preparing the parks for ... (interruption). Well, revenue surplus is what this bill states and it merely says that the $15 million is there now and is going to be used for this purpose. We have the people standing in the line-ups, this week, waiting to pick up their welfare cheques, out of work and anxious to develop British Columbia, just the same way as the Premier. I think we should be looking in a much more imaginative way to our future as far as recreation is concerned in British Columbia than is implied by this bill.
I wish, Mr. Speaker, that some reference had been made about a preference to be given for winter recreation in British Columbia because I've been saying for many years that the snow on our mountains is white gold. Perhaps, of all places in the world, British Columbia is the most favourite of all for winter recreation, because here's where we have the snow, here's where the climatic conditions in winter are almost perfect - not the 30, 40, 50 degree below zero weather, just right for ideal, dry-snow conditions. At a time when people all over the world have the leisure time, which the Premier is describing, when winter sports are coming into their own as
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never before, the fact that we have the mountains, we have the snow, we have the weather conditions, we have everything, Mr. Speaker - except the access to these mountain playgrounds.
Our tourist facilities in British Columbia, at the present time, lie idle for half the year. All the small, little towns in British Columbia have motels that are plugged to the limit all summer long and lie vacant all winter long. Yet all these small towns have, close at hand, mountains perfect for winter resorts, beautiful for winter skiing, but there is that gap between the tourist facility and the recreational area. What's required is access, a minimum of facilities and a guarantee, on the part of the Government, that these roads will, be built and maintained at Provincial Government expense. Once we're prepared to take that step our winter tourism will increase ten-fold, our tourist facilities will be used the year round and British Columbia will be a wealthier and a happier place. I visited a good many of the current recreational areas and have seen many of the potential recreational areas and they're simply fantastic.
We should be bringing, Mr. Speaker, experts on the development of winter resorts from all over the world to British Columbia under the auspices of this Act to give us consulting advice. I'm not referring, Mr. Speaker, to the kinds of people that advised us on Cypress Bowl or Powder Mountain. I'm thinking of people who will really build winter resorts. I'm not talking about people who give us advice on logging operations, but people who will give us advice on recreational areas. These are the ones we want to come to British Columbia. We want them to be advising the Minister of Recreation and Conservation, not the Minister of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources. Only when we begin to do this, Mr. Speaker, will we begin to realize the potential for winter tourism in British Columbia and convert this Province of ours that has already as its third largest industry, the tourist industry, into something which is a year-round proposition and perhaps our greatest industry. This is a start and we welcome the bill. If it were twice the amount we would be even more in support of it, Mr. Speaker.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Esquimalt.
MR. H.J. BRUCH (Esquimalt): Mr. Speaker, I want to support the bill and, of course, lay claim to a fair share for the Greater Victoria area because, first of all, we have a large population here; secondly, we have a tremendous tourist influx that requires an extra measure of park facilities and, thirdly, we have a fair percentage of the unemployed.
I want to ask the Government to set priorities when they hire people for this park development. I think the first priority should be those persons who have been out of work for at least one year and then the second priority should be for our university students who have been hard pressed to find jobs. I hope that the department will not overlook the young ladies in this park development programme because certainly they can add a feminine touch to some of the facilities. In particular, the girls going to university find it difficult to find jobs and somehow we should work in a part of this development programme which can include some of the young ladies who need the money to further their education at the university as well.
On the motion of Mr. D. Barrett, the debate was adjourned to the next sitting of the House.
The House adjourned at 5:07 p.m.