1982 Legislative Session: 4th Session, 32nd Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 1982
[ Page 8295 ]
Land Amendment Act (Bill 54). Second reading. (Hon. Mr. Chabot)
Mr. Hanson (continued) –– 8295
Mr. Lockstead –– 8296
Hon. Mr. Chabot –– 8297
Division –– 8298
Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1982 (Bill 4). Committee stage. (Hon. Mr. Fraser)
On section 5 as amended –– 8298
Hon. Mr. Hewitt
Hon. Mr. Waterland
On the amendment to section 6 –– 8302
On the amendment to section 6 as amended –– 8302
On section 13 –– 8303
On section 17 as amended –– 8304
On the amendment to section 18 as amended –– 8305
On the amendment to section 25 –– 8306
On the amendment to section 29 –– 8306
Offence Amendment Act, 1982 (Bill 3). Committee stage. (Hon. Mr. Williams)
Report –– 8307
Waste Management Act (Bill 52). Committee stage. (Hon. Mr. Rogers)
On the amendment to Section 1 –– 8307
On the amendment to section 4 –– 8308
On section 5 –– 8311
Petroleum and Natural Gas Amendment Act, 1982 (Bill 56). Hon. Mr. McClelland
Introduction and first reading –– 8312
Ministerial statement, telex to federal Minister of Finance.
Hon. Mr. Curtis –– 8312
Mr. Barrett –– 8312
British Columbia Development Corporation annual report.
Hon. Mr. Phillips –– 8314
Ministry of the Attorney-General annual report, March 31, 1982.
Hon. Mr. Williams –– 8314
Appendix –– 8314
FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 1982
The House met at 10 a.m.
[Mr. Davidson in the chair]
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure this morning to introduce pupils from the Carson Elementary School in my home town of Quesnel. They are accompanied by their teacher, Mr. Barclay. I'd like the House to welcome them.
Orders of the Day
HON. MR. GARDOM: I ask leave to proceed to public bills and orders, Mr. Speaker.
HON. MR. GARDOM: Adjourned debate on second reading of Bill 54.
LAND AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
MR. HANSON: After a perusal of the bill, and having listened to the extremely brief explanation in principle of the intent of this bill, we're going to vote against it in second reading. I'd like to outline why.
A number of aspects of the bill exaggerate even more the extent of the secrecy in which this government operates in the disposition of Crown land. Several clauses indicate that the minister will no longer have to gazette areas of the province which are going to be reserved from disposition. One that they wish to amend indicates they will not be obliged to accept an application, or to dispose of Crown land even if an application is accepted. There are no rules of natural justice surrounding these amended sections. It is apparent from the way the minister has managed Crown land in the interior, around the Crown grazing area and now in the Prince George area, that here we have a situation where the high rollers — those who have sufficient equity and collateral and security, like the logging companies in the Prince George bidding situation — are going to get Crown land.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: On a point of order, the Minister of Lands, Parks and Housing.
HON. MR. CHABOT: The point of order is that the member, first of all, is discussing a variety of sections in this act. I indicated at second reading that it would be more properly debated in committee because it's a series of minor, unrelated amendments to the Land Act. Also, he raises the question of agricultural land disposal in the Prince George area and the matter of high rollers and dollars that buy agricultural land. That has nothing to do with the sections that are contained within the Land Amendment Act.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: It has been the practice, when a bill encompasses several sections that cannot specifically be tied together, that more debate is allowed in committee. I'm sure the hon. member is just getting to his point and will bear in mind the statements by the minister involving this particular section.
On a point of order, the member of New Westminster.
MR. COCKE: If we followed through on that logic that there are a number of different principles involved in this bill and we therefore were gagged in second reading, we could in the future see nothing but omnibus bills come before us and nothing but committee stage debate. So, Mr. Speaker, from time to time the opposition must take the position that the overriding principles of a bill are the ones that they wish to debate. The only way that you can have a broad debate is in the House, not in the committee, because in the committee we are directed to the specific sections. I know the House Leader agrees with me totally. Were he on the other side of the House at the present time, he would be on his feet screaming his head off.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, the member for New Westminster makes some valid points. The Chair, of course, is bound by the rules that guide us, and we must at least be relevant to the bill. I would ask the cooperation of members in dealing with a bill specifically of this type.
MR. HANSON: Mr. Speaker, there is a theme that I'm attempting to address because these provisions that the government is seeking to amend address the manner in which applications for Crown land are made and the way the government will treat those applications. They're suggesting an amendment which does not oblige them either to receive the application or even to act when an application has been deemed successful, for example, in the bidding process. They are seeking an amendment so that they don't have to publish in the Gazette information surrounding what Crown land may be reserved or made available for disposition, etc. They are seeking to amend the method by which the Crown land is paid for. They're seeking to amend the manner in which the title for Crown land is granted. There is a general theme, Mr. Speaker, and the theme is more and more secrecy, more and more discretionary authority to the minister in the granting of the title itself. The proposed change favours those with large amounts of capital, either in mortgage equity or in capital projects that can advance the security necessary to get title to Crown land even before it's paid for. The method of payment that is in the existing legislation outlines provisions whereby certain portions of money are paid down and the remaining amounts are paid for over time. When full payment is made, the full title is granted.
The minister may try to argue that this particular change will favour financing through a financial institution for a small operator to take that Crown grant, providing they have the necessary security, and they'd get mortgage money to carry on some development on that land. That sounds very good, but that is not the way things operate under the administration of this minister. The minister rose in his place yesterday and announced that the farmers and agriculturalists of this province — and the first-time farmers of this province — would not be given any kind of preferential treatment, and that the stimulus and promotion of agricultural development on Crown land would not be encouraged by this minister. In his words: "Everyone in British Columbia should be treated equally when they want to bid on Crown land." The fact is that a Iogging company can clearly outbid a small farmer or a young couple — first-time farmers who want to get into
[ Page 8296 ]
farming in, for example, the Prince George area. They cannot compete with a logging company that is able to see that the value of the cunits of wood on that stand on that land far exceed the price that they will pay for that particular property.
As you're aware, Mr. Speaker, the way these auctions are structured at the moment is that.... For example, in the Prince George area there are 20 parcels of property. Each one of those parcels has been assigned what they call an upset price — in other words, a minimum price for that land to go into the hands of a bidder. There is an additional amount of money called a bonus price, which is the extra to deal with the values of the land in excess of the upset price.
HON. MR. CHABOT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the same argument he's putting forward now was put forward in question period yesterday, at which time I answered it. It's not relevant to these amendments to the Land Act. But if you want to allow him to continue in this vein, I'm prepared to answer at length the distorted arguments he's putting forward.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, in perusing the particular bill before us it appears that we are very much extending its scope. Some of the questions clearly could be directed at another time, which will be before us very shortly in the estimates of the minister, or on other than the particular point that we're dealing with in this bill. I ask the member if he would confine his remarks more specifically to the principle presently before us in Bill 54. In the opinion of the Chair, the discussion the member is now engaged in goes well beyond the scope of the bill before us.
MR. HANSON: Mr. Speaker, there is a theme to this bill that the minister was derelict in not raising in this House when he introduced the bill in second reading. It is not sufficient for him to bring in a bill with 12 clauses and say, "it is housekeeping," and sit down. There is a theme here; there is a principle here.
The principle is the openness of government in their management and administration of Crown land disposal. The theme is that applications will be dealt with in secrecy with no gazetting any more. The Crown is not obliged to advise the applicant that his application has been received or, if the person is successful, that their application has been successful. The method of payment for that land will clearly favour the orientation of the government. The very large operators with large collateral and large security can obtain the Crown grant — in other words, the title for that land — without paying for it; they can take the Crown grant to the bank, remortgage it with that certificate of purchase or the Crown grant, and then they can dispose of it.
This is a departure from the way Crown land has been administered in this province since Governor Douglas. This minister has done a number of things over the last few years which are a departure from the way Crown land has been administered in this province. We are moving toward a single use. The ministerial discretion and the ministerial authority, the lack of publication, the method of payment and the way title will be granted will favour the very rich.
What we want to see coming before the House is a process for disposal and management of Crown land that will favour the public that are entitled to that land. It should be managed properly. The changes he is suggesting are not just housekeeping; there is a theme throughout the amendments to this bill that is more secrecy and a removal from the purview of the public the action of the minister in the administration of this most precious legacy, our Crown heritage.
There is also a provision that is somewhat separate from the broad theme, and that is a change to allow the provincial government to transfer to the federal government the water resources and the mineral resources over and above the surface rights, which have been a part of Crown land administration in the province in the sense that traditionally, when Crown land is transferred to another holder, the subsurface rights do not go with it. They're seeking an amendment that will allow them to transfer to the federal government subsurface rights, water rights and other aspects of section 47 of the Land Act. We will be raising a number of questions in committee stage on these specific provisions.
It is not good enough for this minister to stand in the House and say this is housekeeping. Clearly there is a theme, and the theme is greater secrecy, less public involvement and more private ministerial discretion. We've seen what kind of decisions flow from that attitude. They are privileged, selective, sweetheart arrangements with special interest groups, entirely without a general, integrated, multi-use approach which would benefit the province and subsequent generations. On second reading we'll be voting against this bill.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I have just a few short words on this bill. This bill deals with money, the Land Act and the disposition of Crown lands in certain conditions. For the record, I want to say that this House has never in my time seriously dealt with the matter of the disposal of Crown land. I know that there are many methods of disposing of Crown land, but it always seems to benefit those people who already have property and money and those kinds of things. They have a big advantage over the people who really need a plot of land to build a home on, and it's extremely difficult for those types of people to get a piece of Crown land. Rural MLAs like me deal with this problem all the time. Now if you have $20,000 to buy a five-acre subdivided lot — subdivided by a private developer — you may possibly luck in and get a piece of Crown land, if you have the money. But those people who really need it, particularly in these times of economic downturn when more and more people are unemployed and it's more difficult for young couples to get started — whoever.... There should be a method. When we move as a party to that side of the House after the next election — and I want this on the record — we're going to make it possible for ordinary people, young couples out there, to obtain a piece of Crown property without staking their whole future....
HON. MR. CHABOT: How?
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I'll tell you how if you've got the time to listen. I have my own theory on how it should be done.
HON. MR. CHABOT: Tell us what it is.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I'll tell you. In this province about 95 percent of the land is under the so-called jurisdiction of the Crown. That's not correct. That's really not so. It's a figure used by the government a great deal, but the fact is that much of that property is tied up under TFLs and those kinds of
[ Page 8297 ]
things. I know that the Minister of Forests (Hon. Mr. Waterland) is very concerned — I think he is; I'm not sure; at least, he should be — about the loss of the forest base in this province. There are areas of this province where we can make Crown land available to people who need it. I can give you no end of examples. I'll give you one right now. We had an instance in my riding in which someone with a lot of money was able to obtain through — I won't use the word "devious" — a technical method three pieces of Crown land for purely speculative purposes, although this person had a great deal of property of his own. That's the kind of thing that can happen under the present Land Act and under this administration. On this particular bidding situation, I had at least 24 or 25 people come into my office to ask how they could obtain a piece of this property. They were left out in the cold. They didn't have a chance. What I'm suggesting is that we can make land available with lots properly serviced — water supply in to meet the standards under the Health Act and so on. This government is not paying attention to those people who need a piece of property in the worst way to somehow start a home in this province. Mr. Speaker, I really want it to go on record, and let that minister know, that we are concerned about this, as are our constituents.
HON. MR. CHABOT: I've received a great deal of advice from some people across the way, some of it fairly inaccurate and not related to the bill. Nevertheless, I'll attempt to answer some of the questions in order, or out of order, or whatever.
First, they talk about the availability of land. The member for Mackenzie (Mr. Lockstead) talked about the difficulty in acquiring Crown land. I think he was talking about land for residential purposes — let's say for residential and recreational purposes.
I want you to know that one in every six lots sold in British Columbia for residential purposes is a Crown lot that has been made available through the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, and they're disposed of in the fairest method that can be devised, on the basis of lot draw. Nothing could be fairer than that. There is the upset price. There's no bonus bidding. The reason there is no bonus bidding in open competition is that we want to ensure that that land is available to British Columbians at the most attractive price possible. That's why we don't have that.
I'm rather surprised to hear those socialists across the way plead for land for people. I'll never forget those speeches they made when they were government, in which they said they were against private ownership of land. They very clearly indicated to the people of this province that they were opposed to private ownership of land.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Tell the truth.
HON. MR. CHABOT: Mr. Speaker, I want you to have the member for Mackenzie withdraw that false statement.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would ask the member for Mackenzie to withdraw the remark that the hon. minister finds offensive.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Mr. Speaker, the minister is misrepresenting our policy and party decision in this Legislature. At no time did our party ever come up....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please, hon. member. The member was not asked to engage in debate; the member was asked for a withdrawal. He will have further opportunity to enter into debate, which is what this House is for. But at this moment I would ask the member to withdraw the statement which the minister finds offensive.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: If the minister finds the statement offensive, I'll withdraw.
HON. MR. CHABOT: It's very clearly recorded in Hansard: the member for North Island (Mr. Gabelmann) very clearly indicated that his party was against the private ownership of land. That is inconsistent with the policy of this government, and that's why we are making so much residential. and recreational land available to the people of this province.
On the question of the availability of agricultural land, we've probably made.... I don't have the specific figures; I'll have them during my estimates. I'll also read to the House that quotation from the member for North Island, which I've read before. I'll repeat it, because apparently they won’t listen. They want to forget those terrible statements they made when they were government. I'll remind them again of that quotation from the member for North Island in which he clearly indicated that the NDP were against the private ownership of land.
I believe we've made available as much agricultural land as we ever have before. It's been made available to a cross-section of British Columbians. To suggest that only the very rich have access to this land is a false statement; it isn't truthful. I can produce the evidence of the type of people who have bought agricultural land in this province. They've bought it in every region of British Columbia in which agricultural land is available that does not compete with other resources.
One thing they seem to forget — and I want to repeat this — is that the availability of recreational and residential land carries with it a commitment to perform, as does agricultural land — a commitment to build a home. To suggest that residential land is made available for speculative purposes in some instances is sheer nonsense.
The member for Victoria talks about the successful bidder not being able to get land because of this amendment. I don't know what he's talking about, so I have some difficulty in responding to that.
On the question of the elimination of the certificate of purchase, it served its use at a particular stage in the development of this province. It's no longer a useful document, and we believe that there is another mechanism that could be better utilized than the certificate of purchase. That's why it's being phased out.
The member for Victoria also talks about first-time farmers and farmers not being encouraged to acquire agricultural land. I don't know really what he's talking about. I have some difficulty with that because our policy is geared to making agricultural land available to British Columbians in select areas of the province. He didn't really clarify his point, so I have some difficulty with it. He talked about Governor Douglas' land-disposal policy. If the member would make that available to me, I would be glad to look at it to see if there are any points that Governor Douglas had in his disposal policy that could be put in place here.
[ Page 8298 ]
With those few words, I look forward to a full debate on the various sections contained in this minor piece of legislation amending the Land Act.
AN HON. MEMBER: Minor?
HON. MR. CHABOT: They're minor in nature, and they're varied in nature as well. Mr. Speaker, I move second reading.
Motion approved on the following division:
YEAS — 27
NAYS — 21
Division ordered to be recorded in the Journals of the House.
Bill 54, Land Amendment Act, 1982, read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole House for consideration at the next sitting of the House after today.
HON. MR. GARDOM: Mr. Speaker, I call committee on Bill 4.
MOTOR VEHICLE AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
The House in committee on Bill 4; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Sections 1 to 4 inclusive approved.
On section 5.
HON. MR. FRASER: I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
On section 5 as amended.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I just had a new amendment handed to me, and I have to look at it very quickly.
I just want to make a few comments on section 5. We have no amendment to this section, but I'd just like to put this on he record. We've looked this bill over quite carefully and it's the feeling of the official opposition that there are really quite undue powers granted to the superintendent under section 5. It is our feeling that the courts should have some discretion in these matters of suspensions. We obviously feel that unfit drivers should not be on the road — and I hope that doesn't include me.
In our view, any restoration of a suspended licence should be conditional on the person taking a driving course and reexamination. There should also be evidence that the person needs the licence for transportation to work, and it should be a first offence.
The public is actually entitled to be protected from bad drivers, but the system has to be predictable and fair, and justice has to be seen to be done. The only way to ensure that these things happen is to inject some process into the system.
I see the superintendent, Mr. Whitlock, sitting with the minister, I should say at this point that this side of the House does appreciate the cooperation we have received from the superintendent of motor vehicles, the minister and Mr. Isaac in preparing for committee stage of this bill.
MRS. WALLACE: Mr. Chairman, I'm pleased to see that there is at least a step in the right direction here. The minister has recognized that the act, as it was originally brought in, would have worked a very great hardship on certain members of the community. While I share the concerns expressed by the member who has just taken his place, I would hope that we will see this interpreted in the way in which I'm sure it is intended.
I do feel that it would have been better to have precisely spelled out the kinds of conditions that you're talking about. It does leave a lot of discretion in the hands of the superintendent without any guidelines set down as to what the intent is. I think we all know what the intent is; at least I hope we know what it is. The fact that the superintendent has that opportunity means, I believe, that we could see it being abused. Perhaps the bill should have been more specific about those exceptions that can be made in certain cases. If there were some more definite guidelines within the legislation itself, I would feet more comfortable with it. I do feel that it leaves a lot of power in the hands of the superintendent. It's at his discretion and he would be subject to pressure. Heaven forbid that the minister would ever do that, but there is that opportunity because there is nothing specific in this amendment. It simply says that the superintendent can make these decisions at his discretion.
We've pointed out many times from this side of the House that it is a tendency with legislation that has been prepared by the government benches during the past few years to leave more and more of these things to be done in secret without any firm guidelines in the legislation. While I'm pleased to see this amendment, I would certainly have preferred to see it more specific.
MR. HALL: Mr. Chairman, there has grown up around the regulation of drivers in the province, especially young drivers, a mythology about regulations, and it's a mythology that all of us have a great deal of difficulty in correcting. We spent some time exchanging correspondence with this excellent public servant who is in the chamber today finding out the facts in order to puncture the myths and legends surrounding the regulations, about driving automobiles. Incorrect assumptions are made about points. Incorrect facts are bandied
[ Page 8299 ]
around among the young community who drive motor vehicles excellently in average fashion and, from time to time, extremely badly. It takes a lot of effort on the part of our administrators and parents to puncture some of those myths. Now we're going to place upon the shoulders of the administration another quasi-judicial function, and I hope that we're not going to establish another set of myths in that way. "I've had my driver's licence taken away from me and I've only got 12 points, and I know 16 young fellows that are driving around and they've got 40 points." It's part of the legend and mythology of the Plymouth Satellite, the Chevy Corvette, etc. We all know that. Anybody who has an office — and we all have offices, I presume — knows that. What I would like to see the minister do, either today or in the future, is to explain another public relations campaign as to how this is going to operate. People will accept that. I share the misgivings of my side about the transference of a judicial nature to the quasi-judicial public servant function. I think if we start right we may have a chance of finishing right. But if we don't start right, as they say in my home county, we will never finish right.
I think that is what's required: the clear and exquisite way in which this particular office is going to function on this section, what guidelines are going to operate, how this gentleman is going to dispense what in some people's minds is the most important feature of their lives — the ability to get to point A from point B in the fastest possible time, with the shiniest possession that he's ever going to have in his life. It is sad to relate, but that often is what possesses some of our young people, and those of us with sons know that that together with a lead foot takes up a lot of our waking moments as parents. I think that if we can do that, we can start to make this piece of legislation a working piece of legislation. I would take second place to no one in the desire to get tougher driving laws and to get dangerous drivers, not behind bars, but off the road. In coming from Surrey, with the worst possible record in the province, where it's more dangerous to drive than to walk on the Gaza Strip or, last week, to swim around the Falkland Islands.... You know what I mean. I make an earnest appeal to the minister to start right, and maybe we'll finish right.
MRS. DAILLY: Mr. Chairman, I too want to speak briefly on the honest and sincere attempt being made by the minister and his superintendent to enforce more specific regulations to deal with one of the most tragic problems that we face today: that is, the virtual massacre of people on our highways, and particularly the young. I am in order, Mr. Chairman, if I deal briefly with what I have an obsession with, and that is the need for doing something about the accident rate of young people. I would like to talk briefly about driver training and driver education.
First of all, I think we're all aware — but perhaps I should put it in the record again — that the under-25 drivers have approximately twice as many crashes, and the crashes cost approximately twice as much per claim than the overall average. The statistics are there.
MRS. DAILLY: Okay, three times — right.
What we have to find out, of course, is why. What are the reasons? That is one of the most difficult things. I have been reading on it; we've been studying it in our ICBC subcommittee; and I know that the superintendent, the minister and his staff probably have been studying this also. It has been shown, Mr. Chairman, that there's a combination of three elements which are causing this massacre of young people on the highways: alcohol, excessive speed and driver incompetence. We have to think about that, and this is what it really comes down to.
I know that there have been sincere attempts to do something about the matter of drinking. I know we'll discuss more of that under the Attorney-General's (Hon. Mr. Williams') estimates. I want to deal with what comes under this minister's purview more.
There is no question about it that the driver inexperience does play a considerable part in the accidents and deaths of teenagers. An interesting thing, too, is — and there's no question about it — that there's more flaunting, perhaps, of the rules than there is as you become older. It has been found out that there are a tremendous number of teenagers who get in their cars and do not use their seatbelts. Unfortunately, there are not enough statistics yet to check through the coroner's reports of these many tragic deaths of teenagers to find how many actually did have seatbelts on. It would be helpful if somehow we could get some more statistics on that. The general feeling is that young people pile into cars, coming home from parties, etc. They're even in cars where there are not enough seatbelts for each. There are too many in the car for the proper usage of seatbelts.
I'm sure most of us here are parents. As the member for Surrey (Mr. Hall) said, this is one of the things which distresses most of us. What can we do about it? I think the superintendent is aware, and perhaps the minister is, that there was a section, never proclaimed, of the Motor Vehicle Act several years ago that stated that no person could get a valid B.C. driver's licence unless he or she could prove having taken a valid driver-education course. One of the former Social Credit Attorneys-General, Mr. Peterson, brought that in. This has never been proclaimed, and there is a great deal of debate, I know, over whether insisting that every person in this province take some form of driver education is going to decrease the number of traffic accidents. Naturally, we're dealing with a large number of young people.
As far as I'm concerned, any training in defensive driving is better than none. I've pointed out that there are other factors such as alcohol, but surely it is the responsibility of this province to do everything it can to stop the massacre on the highways. Therefore I intend to continue to bring this up. I would like to see that section of the act proclaimed so that nobody goes out on these roads without having taken some form of driver-education training. It is rather upsetting to know that the assistance that was given formally by ICBC — I don't want to stray too much — for driver training has now been removed. I feel that this should be looked at again. I would like to see that amendment brought in by the former Socred Attorney-General brought forward again through whoever's ministry it is. I suppose it's the Attorney-General's. It is an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act.
Mr. Chairman, I have the feeling that you're looking at me and wondering when I'm going to stop. I simply want to say that as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing more important than coming to grips.... Only we, as members of this Legislature, have the authority and responsibility to bring in some changes. I feel that there are too many of us who sit
[ Page 8300 ]
back and say: "Isn't this massacre dreadful?" But we stop realizing that we alone, here in this place, can make the laws that perhaps will prevent some of the carnage on our highways, particularly for our young people.
I want to say to the minister and the superintendent that I support anything you are attempting to do — I say "anything" within, of course, the bounds of law — that will make it tougher for young people to get into a car. I won't just pick on young people — for the new driver to get into a car. That brings me to another point. I think that the motor vehicle branch's driving test standards are not high enough. It really gets down to: can you parallel park or not? I've always had difficulty parallel parking, but that seems to be the basic thing. There is so much more to going in for a driver's test. I make a plea to the superintendent. I think you are making some changes, but I think they should be really tough, as long as I don't have to go through it again. I know attitude has a lot to do with it, but I think that the more education anyone has is going to be helpful.
I could go on a long time on this. I'm hoping that the ICBC committee will be making a report and that there will be a lot more opportunity to discuss that. I have two points for the minister. Would you consider bringing back that section that says you can't get into a car in this province unless you've taken a valid driver-education course? Would the superintendent, through the minister, give consideration to really making those initial driving tests much tougher? I think everyone should be put on a probationary, provisional licence for at least two years.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. members, we seem to be straying just a little bit from the amendment before us. I'm sure that while all of us share the feelings of the member, we must remember that we are in committee and currently on the amendment.
MR. MITCHELL: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman. If the minister could explain what he means by it, we would have something to stick onto the discussion of what's under debate.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Actually what we're debating at the present time, hon. members, is the amendment before us printed on the order paper, and it is fairly clear.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I'll try to explain what the amendment is. First of all, I'd like to introduce the superintendent of motor vehicles, Bob Whitlock. The other gentleman here is a solicitor from the Attorney-General's ministry who has worked on the legal side of it for some three or four years; his name is Rick Isaac. On behalf of the government I want to extend our sincere thanks particularly to these two gentlemen who have worked on this for, I believe, between three and four years to get where we are today.
HON. MR. FRASER: Thanks to the task force where a lot of the recommendations came on, but these people picked up from there and brought us to where we are now.
This amendment deals with not only young drivers but any class of drivers and has been amended to add specific conditions to allow the restrictions to be placed on the driver's licence of individuals or classes of persons. This will enable a driver's licence of minors to be restricted in terms of the time of day or day of the week they can operate a vehicle; to restrict them to a certain area; and to restrict the number of passengers they may carry in a vehicle. These restrictions could be placed on individual licences or on a certain age group. The concept is requested because there is an indication that very young drivers often get into trouble late at night and while carrying a group in their vehicle. So this is the intent of this.
I'd just like to say on behalf of the young drivers that the majority of our young drivers are good drivers, but approximately 5 percent of the young drivers cause themselves and all of us difficulties, and this is trying to get a handle on that.
There were other things probably not pertinent to the amendment, but the reason the one section.... It's not in the act any longer, to the member for Burnaby-North (Mrs. Dailly). Driver training was deleted because there weren't the facilities across the province to carry it out; there aren't today the facilities to carry that out. It is the intention of the superintendent of motor vehicles to increase the written test and the road test — in other words, they're going to get tougher, and he intends to do that, I guess, starting this year, as far as I know, so there will be an advance there and it won't be quite as easy to get a licence as it has been in the past.
MR. LEA: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to say that we're having a bit of phony debate here — not that the people debating it are phony, but the debate is phony — because what we hope to do is to cure something by law: we hope to make better drivers of our young people especially by passing laws and regulations and applying those laws and regulations to drivers.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please, hon. member. I'll ask the first member for Victoria (Mr. Barber) to remove himself from the chamber until he is properly attired. Right now, hon. member; that's an instruction from the Chair.
MR. LEA: Mr. Chairman, we can pass laws and regulations and apply them strictly and diligently, and we're going to have the same problems, because as long as young people grow up watching their parents speed, watching their parents drink and drive, watching their parents go through stop signs, and all of the infractions that parents do when driving, we're going to end up with a bad bunch of drivers. Because I think there are going to be more people driving according to the role model that they see than applying themselves to the laws and regulations of the land. And how many of us who drive really know of the laws and regulations of the land? Probably scantily.
One of the things I only learned in the last couple of weeks here in this Legislature as a legislator is that a parent can go down and actually cancel the driving licence of a minor. I think parents should know that, and I think there should be some way of making more parents aware that that does apply and that they can do it. Education has to be the answer, but if we want to have our young people grow up to be good drivers, then we've got to clamp down on the parents. The parents have to become good drivers. As long as we just say to the young people, "oh, I guess they're young; they're frivolous; they don't listen to and go along with the rules as much as those of us who are a little older," we're losing the battle. It's only through the role model of the parents and the adults that
[ Page 8301 ]
the young people see that we're going to improve the way we handle ourselves on the highway as a society in the long run. Although I think what we're doing is worthwhile, I do feel like it's a bit of a lost cause. What it does in many ways is it lets us as legislators and parents, and everyone else out there who is a parent and a member of society, off the hook. We feel we're doing our part by passing tough laws and speaking in a lecturing way to our children about speeding, when we speed.
[Mr. Richmond in the chair.]
MR. LEA: Sure, I'm generalizing. I'd say there's probably one out of a thousand who doesn't drive the way I'm talking about, but for the most part we all speed.
MR. LEA: Do I speed? Yes. So do you. That's true. If we want our young people to improve their driving, and then their children improve their driving, it's up to us as the adults in society to start driving by the rules, the regulations and the law. Until we do, we can bat our gums all day in here and we're not going to improve much. It's like sending our children to school and hoping that the educational system will discipline them and give them values instead of doing it ourselves. It's the same with drivers' licences. We want somebody else to do it, as long as we don't have to tow the line ourselves.
In concluding, I would just like to ask the people in of the gallery to note this debate. The legislators, regardless of side, are talking about a problem. That's what we do about 80 percent of the time in this Legislature, and I guarantee that you won't see a word of this in the press.
MR. RITCHIE: Mr. Chairman, I ask leave of the House to make an introduction.
MR. RITCHIE: I'm very pleased indeed to introduce a group of 90 students. They'll be entering the chamber in lots of 30. They are from the W.A. Fraser Elementary School and are being led by Mr. John Roberts. I would ask the chamber to please welcome these students.
HON. MR. HEWITT: My remarks will be brief. I rise as minister responsible for ICBC. I recognize we're dealing with the amendment on section 5, and it deals with those variations to drivers' licences etc.
The comments I wish to make are ones that relate to the amount of work that has gone into this particular bill in attempting to address the question of the problems on the highways and byways today. We all recognize that it is not a right to drive a vehicle; it's a privilege. We all recognize that a vehicle is a lethal weapon if it is not driven in a responsible manner. The task force that has been talked about, the efforts that the Minister of Highways has put into this bill, the involvement of the Attorney-General and, I might say, the involvement of representatives of ICBC have resulted in this bill and in this debate today. As the member for Prince Rupert said, we are recognizing a problem.
I would like to say something with regard to this particular section and the restrictions that the section relates to. I may be straying a bit, but I read an article in the Times-Colonist a week or so ago. I hate to refer to it, but it was in the Dear Abby column. It was brought to my attention by a reader who sent me a copy of it. It's called: "The Day I Died I Was 17," and if you ever want to read an article that brings home to you very clearly the problems we have on our highways, you should read that one. I'd just like to say that this legislation may appear to some to be a little heavy-handed, but I think the problem that exists on the highway today needs something like this legislation and these restrictions that are outlined in this section to stop the carnage on our highways. I compliment the Minister of Highways for bringing this bill forward.
MRS. WALLACE: The remarks of the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Hon. Mr. Hewitt) about "The Day I Died I Was 17," bring to mind a tragic incident last weekend in the Cowichan Lake area, where a young man, four days after he got his driver's licence, was killed while driving on his motorcycle. I was very pleased to hear the minister outline the way in which he thought this particular amendment would be used, and I wonder whether he's considering imposing any restrictions on that particular class of licence for a motorcycle, which we all know is one of the most hazardous vehicles on the road. There is no protection for the person riding a motorcycle, and so many of our young people are killed on those machines.
There is another thing that I would like the minister to comment on. As I say, I was pleased that he outlined what he saw this particular amendment relating to.
I guess I'll have to explain a little. If a person loses his licence for drunk driving, or for driving while impaired on the way home from a party, it is a much greater hardship for the person who drives a vehicle during working hours, say a logging truck, than it is for the person who lives three blocks from an office where he works. When I saw this amendment, I thought the minister was perhaps going to relate it to that particular situation in which a permit could be issued to a person to drive from seven until four-thirty in the vicinity of his work. I'm wondering if in fact it is intended for that purpose and would be used in that case.
Certainly there's no one more concerned than I am about keeping off the road people who have been using alcohol; it is, I believe, the major killer on the highways. Speed, of course, but speed usually goes along with the alcohol because people get overconfident and think they can.... Well, they're not responsible, really, under those conditions, so it's the alcohol and the speed. But I think speed is the second thing and follows along with the alcohol. There's no way that I want to see on the road a person who has been drinking, but it's very unlikely that a person going to work, perhaps driving a truck during those daytime hours, would be consuming alcohol. If that were the case, certainly no licence.... He gets carried away some night and makes a mistake by putting his keys in the ignition, maybe he doesn't even start the motor, but the keys are in the ignition. He's picked up and loses his licence because his alcohol content is above 0.08. If he happens to be a truck driver he's in a very bad position — not only himself, but also his family. The whole support is probably gone from that family unit.
[ Page 8302 ]
Would the minister give us some idea whether this is a situation that might be left to the discretion of the superintendent; also about the motorcycles.
HON. MR. FRASER: In reply to the member for Cowichan-Malahat (Mrs. Wallace), first of all, regarding your comments on motorcycles, this section does apply. I might say that on Vancouver Island the Capital Regional Safety Council are doing a good job in educating motorcyclists, and we support them. It is a distinct help. This section certainly applies.
I'll give you my opinion on the way it has been working, as I understand it, regarding drivers. You are really talking about drivers who lose their privileges when driving on pleasure, while they're at a party — and they are professional commercial drivers. I think they should remember that and do what I do: get your wife to drive you home. It's sound advice. In other words, you are jeopardizing your job. The superintendent of motor vehicles gets a lot of correspondence now, and for quite some time in no case has a commercial or professional driver been given back his licence on the grounds that he has to have it to earn a living. Public opinion seems to be that they must suffer the same consequences as anybody who isn't a commercial professional driver. I'm happy to say that we don't have too many cases like that now. But they will be given no special consideration at all.
HON. MR. WATERLAND: I was going to comment on this before the minister responded. I'm very pleased at the response he gave.
People who are professional drivers cannot turn off their professional attitudes because they happen to be driving for pleasure. I think the responsibility lies with them to demonstrate a professional driving attitude at all times, not only when they're earning a living. Because they have so much more at stake, I think it behooves them to do just that.
MR. MITCHELL: I would like to comment on the previous two speakers, but I believe that's covered under section 18 of the act. So we'll do that when we get to it.
I support this section, which gives a class of people the right to drive in certain areas and localities, on the grounds that a lot of people in the rural areas, especially older people, need transportation to get into the community or to the transit line. If the superintendent can make regulations to cover this class of person.... I think it's also imperative, though, if you're going to allow a person to drive in a restricted rural area where traffic is not heavy, to look at the possibility of having the driving tests given in that locality. It's hard for older people to come into the city and pass a driving test on a busy road, and then be restricted to an area, especially the Sooke and Jordan River area, where all they want to do is drive into the village to catch a bus or do their shopping.
If these modifications can be made within the regulations for the testing of this class of person, I think it would be a valid step in making transportation available right now to people who can't pass a driving test in the city.
HON. MR. FRASER: The member raises a good point. I will just tell you that we will go to those people to give these tests. We are doing it in Sidney and we'd be glad to do it in Sooke. In other words, the testing group will go to them. We've done it to a small degree; we'd be glad to expand that service. If you would contact the superintendent, we can do that in that area. That applies in any area of the province. It might take a little longer because of staff and so on, but we're actually doing it now. It's a really good point.
MR. MITCHELL: One other point: has the superintendent ever considered a different style of licence for a person who is restricted to driving in a certain area so that it's more identifiable than the standard licence, with the check mark on the back of the list of restrictions?
Speaking from very practical experience as a policeman, at night or whatever you don't always go through all these restrictions on the back. If something is restricted to an area, there could be something definitely marked, like a different colour or a special type of driver's licence, so that it's identifiable by the police officer or persons checking it — something to make it workable.
HON. MR. FRASER: The superintendent advises me that a new type of licence coming out in October 1982 will do just what you are asking: identify certain things on the new format.
Section 5 as amended approved.
On section 6.
HON. MR. FRASER: I move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
MR. LOCKSTEAD: This appears to be a housekeeping amendment on the minister's part, Mr. Chairman, and we'll support it.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I'd like to move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
On the amendment.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I have a few brief explanatory words on this section. Basically, this section legalizes the procedure for ICBC to, by sending an order over to the motor vehicle branch, have someone's driver's licence suspended for non-payment of bills. That's probably fair enough up to a point; but it is the feeling of the opposition that this, in effect, creates a situation where we place the citizen in double jeopardy without due process. We've had a number of cases, which I think we have cited in the past, where people have been actually suspended from driving and haven't known about it. There are a lot of reasons why you can be suspended. Legal non-payment of a bill may be a good reason for drivers having their licences suspended, but for one thing, the person should know he's suspended. We've had cases where drivers have not received the correspondence or notification, for whatever reason, from the motor vehicle branch and have been picked up for some small infraction or stopped, or whatever, and all of a sudden find they've been driving — and are in fact charged with driving — under suspension without knowing it and without having recourse to due process in law.
Further, we feel — and I certainly feel — that ICBC, like any other corporation or company, could use other legal means to collect bad debts. All companies in private industry do it. For example, Woodward's can't write to the motor
[ Page 8303 ]
vehicle branch and have somebody's licence suspended because he owes a bill at Woodward's. What's the difference with ICBC? They're a corporation apart and separate from the motor vehicle branch. The civil liberties people have written to the minister and to us on this matter; they're extremely concerned about this process as well. I therefore move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper.
MRS. WALLACE: I would like to support this amendment. Certainly the kinds of things that we've seen happening with ICBC lately — the most recent headline was, of course, that they had declared somebody dead who was very much alive — indicates the kind of problems they are having just keeping their records straight. I think it would be very unfair for someone to lose his driver's licence because of a statement or a claim by ICBC.
During the debate on ICBC many cases were raised in which these sorts of situations had occurred. There was one in my constituency where a woman had been charged year after year with a $76 debt and finally paid it, even though she didn't owe it, in order to be able to get credit for her next insurance policy. I sent a letter across the floor that appeared in our local paper last week. I sent it across to the minister for his information just yesterday. This particular family had been told by ICBC that they owed $27. They had tried to phone the numbers indicated. The lines were busy; they were never able to get through. And here they were told that they owed $27 which, to the best of their knowledge, they didn't owe.
These are the kinds of situation that would result in having drivers' licences cancelled under this legislation. It seems to me that, apart from those mistakes, what we're doing here is saying to people that they are going to drive based on their ability to pay, not on their ability to drive.
MRS. WALLACE: The Attorney-General (Hon. Mr. Williams) is saying that that's good. If you are in fact talking about a person who has had a claim, who has had an accident, then yes, certainly. And that's what this amendment does if he's a bad driver. But if, in fact, for some reason that is no fault of his.... The example has been raised where, if a person has moved and transferred his bank account and has issued post-dated cheques to ICBC and, just through an oversight, has not changed those cheques with ICBC, he would find his driver's licence cancelled. That seems to me to be a wrong direction to be going in. If there is in fact a claim and they have had a legitimate problem, fine. This amendment changes the original bill that is before the House to eliminate the kind of problem where clerical errors or mistakes in bookkeeping and accounting and those kinds of things cause a person to lose his driver's licence. I certainly believe that that would be a fair way to go. We shouldn't be saying that just because a person has missed a payment his driver's licence is going to be suspended. I think it's too much power in the hands of lCBC. The issuing of drivers' licences is not within the realm of their responsibility. Their record and their bookkeeping is far from good, and I would just hate to see that kind of power put into their hands.
HON. MR. FRASER: The amended section 6 permits the superintendent of motor vehicles to refuse to issue a driver's licence. It has nothing to do with suspensions. The refusal to issue a licence is to be used to collect money owing the government or the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia where a fee or premium has not been paid. This will be in place of the previous policy of suspending the driver's licence of a person who owes money to the Insurance Corporation. It was a task force recommendation that a driver's licence not be suspended for monetary considerations, and there has been a great deal of pressure from both the court and the police for this change. In view of those observations, we do not accept the amendment.
Section 6 as amended approved.
Sections 7 to 11 inclusive approved.
On section 12.
HON. MR. FRASER: I move the amendment standing on the order paper on section 12. [See appendix.]
Section 12 as amended approved.
On section 13.
MS. BROWN: I was hoping that the minister would have used this opportunity to include as a general offence any adult driving an automobile in which there is a child under the age of six who is not securely placed in a car seat or some other kind of restraint. This would have been an opportunity, in amending this piece of legislation, to do something that the minister says he has been wanting to do for a long time. A number of people have brought to the minister's attention that it doesn't make sense to make compulsory the fact that seatbelts must be worn by everyone in the province over the age of six and not do anything about children under the age of six.
It seems to me that every year that I have been in this House I have to get up, either under the minister's estimates or under one of these amendment pieces of legislation, and ask over and over again for the same thing. I get the same response: "Research is being done. The car seats presently in existence do not meet Canadian standards; they do not meet American standards." I have the Hansard from last year's debate on this, and I can read back to the minister his own words. Once again we were told that studies continue, research continues, and while all of this research is going on small children are increasingly being very seriously injured in automobile accidents.
[Mr. Davidson in the chair.]
I shared with the minister my experience as a social worker in the cerebral palsy ward in the Children's Hospital in Montreal, where 90 percent of the children with brain damage were in there as a result either of being hit by an automobile or of being in an automobile when it was hit and being injured by being thrown around inside the car and banging their head against the various structures on the inside
[ Page 8304 ]
of the car. I'm not sure whether even an inadequate car seat isn't better than no car seat at all at this point.
Last night I was told of the experience of my colleague, the member from Shuswap-Revelstoke (Mr. King), whose own children, on their way home from a visit to the Legislature, were hit on the passenger side of the car. The only thing that saved his grandchild was that that child was firmly restrained in one of these unsafe car seats that the minister keeps talking about. Yet the seat was safe enough to save that child's life. The child wasn't thrown around inside the car, and the brain damage that results from that didn't happen.
Maybe the minister can give us some idea and date about when all this research and study is going to end, because the longer it goes on, the more children are being severely damaged, usually brain-damaged, as a result of this law not being on the books. If buckling up is compulsory in British Columbia, surely to goodness it's important that children under the age of six be protected by this legislation, which the minister's own statistics say saves lives every year. We're told that by buckling our seatbelts we're saving all kinds of lives, yet somehow we don't seem concerned that children under the age of six are not being protected by this legislation. I just wanted to say that I'm disappointed that in section 13, under the general offences, it has not been made an offence for any adult to drive an automobile in this province in which there's a child under the age of six who is not restrained in some form of car seat, seatbelt or whatever. That's one way to start.
HON. MR. FRASER: I thank the member for being persistent. I feel the same way, but to bring you up to date, they're still studying it. They're trying to come out with uniform standards for Canada. It appears that it's not very far away. Once that's done, no legislation is required; it can be done by regulation, so I hope we'll get something done in the next while. I don't know how long that would be. I hope it would be within the next 12 months.
MS. BROWN: Can't we go ahead? We don't have to wait for Canada.
HON. MR. FRASER: I believe one province has started to go ahead. I guess we can when we're doubly sure that the thing will work. We haven't had that big a success with seatbelts themselves. When they first came in the percentage of use was very high, and it's been dropping. Now we are on the enforcement side of that to try to correct it. I have no argument with what you're saying. It's just a question of when we get it done, and I hope it will be soon.
Sections 13 and 14 approved.
On section 15.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
Section 15 as amended approved.
Section 16 approved.
On section 17.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [see appendix.]
On section 17 as amended.
MR. MITCHELL: I believe that particular section takes into consideration a person who has been reported to the superintendent by the police, a neighbour or someone, because in their opinion he should be called in for retesting. In a lot of ways I support that 100 percent, from personal experience. I just wonder if the superintendent, when someone is called in — I know it's not policy to divulge where the information came from — perhaps should instruct his staff to explain some of the procedure and not be too bureaucratic, because I have received complaints of people being called in and when they inquired, the particular inspector was very harsh with them.
I know you don't want to say, "Your neighbour phoned up and said that you were drunk," but give some explanation of why a person is called in and why he should be retested. Maybe in many cases the complaint was true, and the driver is definitely going to deny it three weeks later. But explain why the superintendent and motor vehicle department have to go through this procedure, because they should depend on some of the information they get from the public. It's not all bad. It should be checked out, especially with some of the more senior drivers who are still feeling as fit as they were when they were 20, but when they get to 75, they're not quite as good drivers as they think they are. I think it's a PR job that should be done in the ministry.
Section 17 as amended approved.
MR. CHAIRMAN: On section 18, hon. members, we have two amendments. Possibly we could deal with those one at a time.
On section 18.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment to section 18 standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
First amendment to section 18 approved.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the second amendment to section 18 standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
Second amendment to section 18 approved.
On section 18 as amended.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Mr. Chairman, I move the first amendment dealing with section 87 of the Motor Vehicle Act standing in my name on the order paper, and the reason for this is very complicated. I thought it was going to be simple, but it's not. Actually, it's self-explanatory, so I'll just move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix. ]
[ Page 8305 ]
On the amendment.
MR. MITCHELL: Mr. Chairman, I brought this to the attention of the minister before, and I still feel that if we're going to make this Motor Vehicle Act effective, it's got to be realistic that it can be enforced. Again, from statistics provided in, I believe, the task force, where they say that 40 percent of those under suspension are driving.... You know, I honestly believe that is quite true. There are a lot of people who are going to be caught in this time bomb, and there are a number of timebombs in these particular amendments. One of them is the collection of the money owed that is paid out by ICBC for an accident that they caused when they were convicted under a certain section of the Criminal Code.
There are going to be a lot of people who don't realize it, but they're going to be under suspension until they pay large sums of money back, and a lot of these people are not the real criminal element. They're that 60 percent that most likely would obey their prohibition. But many of these people live in rural areas where there is no transit; they do have to go to work, and they are going to be forced under the circumstances to take chances. I really think that the superintendent should look at some ways of modifying the regulations. I'm one who believes that there are lot of people who should be off the road, but for people who, in the superintendent's own opinion, can be granted restricted licences so they can drive to work or they can drive to an area where they can catch public transit....
I think that we want to make it workable, and I think once the timebombs in the new amendments that come through explode, there are going to be a lot of people caught in the net. From my experience dealing with the people in the motor vehicle branch, they have been very reasonable. There are occasions that under certain regulations, some type of licence similar to the one that we were talking about earlier for older people, that can restrict people to certain areas and to drive only for employment or to get to work.... I think it's something that we're going to eventually come back to, because I don't think this particular harshness is always going to be workable.
From experience, we're going to find that some of these sections, though they sound nice when you're dealing with the people who are demanding harsher treatment.... In fact, when you get out onto the road, when you're dealing with a lot of the good part of the general public, I think there should be some regulations in there that certain modifications, under certain circumstances, with very specific regulations restricting that particular driver to driving to work in order to hold his job, to be able to support his family and to pay his mortgage.... I think somewhere down the line we're going to have to make these amendments. I just wonder if the superintendent or the minister would give some consideration as to what type of thoughts they may have on that, because, I say again, there are timebombs in it.
There are a lot of people who are not listening to this debate, or not reading this act, or not reading about it in the paper because it doesn't get the press that is needed. I said it before and I'll say it again: these amendments and the effect they're going to have on the driving public should be well publicized so the people know what they can expect. I know it's going to take a few dollars, but it's going to save a lot of problems that will arise, not only at the constituency offices but with the police and the superintendent. I don't think the jail system should be used to collect money, or as a threat to keep people from earning a living when there can be some reasonable amendments, or a reasonable regulation.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Mr. Chairman, we discussed this with the minister at one point after the bill was introduced. Once again, we feel the courts should have discretion, and restoration of a suspended licence should be conditional on the person's taking a driving course and a re-examination. There has to be evidence that the person needs the licence for work or transportation to work, and it being a first offence the public is entitled to be protected from that driver. We all agree with that. The system, as we say, has to be predictable and fair, and justice has to be seen to be done. The only way to ensure that these things happen is to inject some process into the system. The member for Esquimalt–Port Renfrew (Mr. Mitchell) explained the reasons quite adequately.
MRS. WALLACE: Mr. Chairman, I expressed my thoughts on this earlier, but I would just like to point out, now that we have passed the section relative to a debt to ICBC being responsible for your not being able to issue a driver's licence.... This is a possibility that could happen. I would think that it should be quite obvious that a person could well find himself in a very difficult financial position. If a person lives on a bus line and doesn't own a vehicle, takes the bus to his place of work, and then drives a commercial vehicle, there's no question as to whether or not they owe ICBC any money. When because of some billing error, which it could well be, they don't have a driver's licence issued to them, why should they be prohibited from earning their living? That's really what it amounts to. The person doesn't own a vehicle — there's no question — but he has a driver's licence to drive a commercial vehicle.
The Attorney-General says you wouldn't want people driving without insurance. Of course not, but the company that owns the commercial vehicle has the insurance. All the driver is required to have is a driver's licence. His driving ability should not be judged by his ability to pay some debt to ICBC, whether correct or incorrect. The two things don't relate. This particular amendment would correct that, Mr. Chairman.
On section 18 as amended.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
Section 18 as amended approved.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, so there's no confusion, section 18 is now being passed with the two amendments which were standing on the order paper in the name of the minister.
MR. CHAIRMAN: That is correct.
Sections 19 to 24 inclusive approved.
On section 25.
[ Page 8306 ]
HON. MR. FRASER: I would like to propose an amendment to section 25, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I will read the amendment, hon. members. "25(a) By deleting in the proposed section 121(l) (e), 'where allowed under subsection (2)' and (b) by adding in the proposed section 121 the following subsection: (4) actions against the minister under section 53 of the Police Act of against a municipality under section 54 of the Police Act are not proceedings within the meaning of subsection (3)."
On the amendment.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: Firstly, I wish to thank the Attorney-General and the minister for forwarding to us a copy of this proposed amendment. At this point, I might say that one of the people who helped us greatly in going over this bill section by section, Chris Eves, at a meeting with the superintendent and Mr. Isaac and the minister pointed out this anomaly under the act and the conflict with the Police Act. I must say that I'm very appreciative of Mr. Eves' work in this regard, and am appreciative that the government did take action, under section 25, to fix this matter up. Therefore we will not be moving our amendment under section 25.
Section 25 as amended approved.
Sections 26 to 28 inclusive approved.
On section 29.
MR. CHAIRMAN: On section 29, the minister.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
MR. CHAIRMAN: One moment, please, hon. members. The Chair is mistaken.
HON. MR. FRASER: Wrong member, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The member for Mackenzie on section 29.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: The minister has been good enough to move the amendment. [Laughter] I presume now that the government will accept our amendment.
MR. CHAIRMAN: It was the Chair's mistake, hon. member. The Chair recognizes the member for Mackenzie, who moves the amendment standing in his name on the order paper.
On the amendment.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: This is the so-called radar section, the fuzz-buster section, or whatever you want to call it.
There were 14 recommendations in the task force report which were not, in fact, implemented in this bill we're debating here this morning. Section 29 deals specifically with the radar detector devices. Perhaps the minister could explain why this particular recommendation — because there were a lot of strong feelings in our caucus about this recommendation from the task force — was dropped from the bill.
HON. MR. FRASER: We get lots of advice from lots of people. We accept some and reject others. That's what happened in the case of this one.
MR. LOCKSTEAD: I have to speculate. I wonder if the advice on this particular section came from the minister's own caucus. We don't discuss those things in committee.
Sections 29 and 30 approved.
On section 31.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
Section 31 as amended approved.
Sections 32 to 39 inclusive approved.
On section 40.
Section 40 as amended approved.
Section 41 approved.
HON. MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, I move the committee rise and report the bill complete with amendments.
The House resumed; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Bill 4, Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1982, reported complete with amendments to be considered at the next sitting of the House after today.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: Committee on Bill 3, Mr. Speaker.
OFFENCE AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
The House in committee on Bill 3; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Sections 1to 6 inclusive approved.
[ Page 8307 ]
On section 7.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment to section 7 standing in my name on Orders of the Day. [See appendix.]
Section 7 as amended approved.
Sections 8 and 9 approved.
On section 10.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment to section 10 standing in my name on Orders of the Day. [See appendix.]
Section 10 as amended approved.
Sections 11 to 14 inclusive approved.
On section 15.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Chairman, I move the amendment to section 15 standing in my name on Orders of the Day. [See appendix.]
Section 15 as amended approved.
Sections 16 to 24 inclusive approved.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: I move that the committee rise and report the bill complete with amendments.
The House resumed; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Bill 3, Offence Amendment Act, 1982, reported complete with amendments to be considered at the next sitting of the House after today.
HON. MR. GARDOM: Committee on Bill 52, Mr. Speaker.
WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
The House in committee on Bill 52; Mr. Richmond in the chair.
On section 1.
MR. SKELLY: I move the amendment standing under my name on the order paper. [See appendix.]
On the amendment.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, the government does not find the amendment acceptable. In fact, the amendment is out of order.
MR. SKELLY: Mr. Chairman, I would think that it's the duty of the Chair to decide what's in order and what's out of order in this House, not the Minister of Environment, who's never been that accurate. Maybe I should read the amendment.
The amendment to Section 1 adds a new subsection under the definition of waste. As you read there, waste includes air contaminants, litter, effluent, refuse, and subsection (e) is special wastes. What I propose to add is a new subsection (f), which is waste heat energy and water vapour.
One of the serious problems we have in the whole regulation of pollutants in this province is the fact that we're releasing tremendous amounts of heat into the atmosphere, which changes the climate of the area surrounding the release. Also, heat can cause serious damage to, for example, fish habitat. As we all know, fish can survive in a healthy way only within waters that have a very small temperature difference. Releasing additional amounts of heat into that water can make the environment impossible for fish and other animals to survive in. It can change the whole environment so that certain types of desirable fish will be eliminated, or become more susceptible to disease, and certain coarser types of fish and predator fish will then take over the area. In fact, we can destroy large parts of the fresh water environment of the province by releasing waste heat energy into watercourses or into the atmosphere.
Having gone through the act in some detail, I can find no part of this act or, in fact, any other statute by which the government can legally regulate the release into the atmosphere or into the environment of waste heat. Knowing the dangers that this release can cause, I would ask the minister to reconsider his refusal to accept the amendment.
There may be a problem with the amendment in that it also ties in water vapour, and I would be willing to change that section of the amendment; but I certainly think that the minister should give to himself the right to regulate the release into the environment of waste heat energy. It's especially important because of the fact that pollution-control permits that are outstanding right now attempt in certain ways to regulate the discharge of heat energy into the environment. Yet the government doesn't seem to have the legal authority to regulate that release of heat or to prevent the release of heat. That's why I have sought to give the government that authority by including that definition in the section which defines waste.
I'd be interested in the minister's response.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, if the release of heat causes a pollution problem, then it is covered under the permit system. If you look at Section 1 in the interpretation section, under "waste," waste includes air contaminants, and in that case it can be applied; but it would be covered under the industrial permit section rather than under a separate section.
MR. SKELLY: "Air contaminant," then, refers back to an additional definition in a previous part of this section, which defines it as a substance, and I'm not sure that that's sufficiently clear to cover energy. If energy is a substance, then perhaps I've learned something new today. In that case,
[ Page 8308 ]
it could also have been considered under the old subsection (f), which was "any other substance designated by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council." In the authority granted to the minister and to the branch, I would prefer to see the act a little more specific in the way it deals with energy. Energy is a serious potential pollutant in some cases. It's already a serious pollutant in this province when you look at places like Port Alberni with a massive pulp and paper complex that releases a tremendous amount of steam and heat into the environment. You're dealing then with something that can change the climate of the area, the health of the people living in the area. It can change transportation access to the area. I think the government should at least have the authority to regulate energy.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Of course, we would consider water vapour to be a contaminant; that's a substance. I might point out that if we were to deal with your particular amendment, we could also be dealing with heat energy from brake shoes, from electrical resistance and other things as well. We have, within the act, the ability to accomplish what you want, but to broaden it could bring in superfluous definitions of waste energy that is not controllable.
MR. SKELLY: The minister is getting involved in semantics here. We don't license brake shoes in the province for any kind of contaminant. The minister is aware of that, and so am I. Under the permitting stage, we're talking about contaminants of sufficient quantity. Right now we're talking about energy which is not a substance. As far as I can see, waste energy cannot fit under the definition of air contaminants. Perhaps the minister should give himself some opportunity to review the problem and look into it. Maybe he would be willing to accept this definition.
Perhaps he would like to hoist the section and take a look at the problem. The government has massive new developments on stream. B.C. Hydro is looking at massive new developments that are going to involve a tremendous discharge of waste heat energy into the atmosphere. We're talking about coal thermal electric plants, refineries and smelters, new pulp and paper complexes. Right now, with pollution control permits you're attempting.... I can't see the legal authority, in fact, where you're preventing the discharge of waste energy into the atmosphere or into the rivers of this province. That waste energy has a tremendous potential for damage to the environment. I would urge the minister to give this special thought, because it is a serious problem.
[Mr. Davidson in the chair.]
Amendment negatived on the following division:
YEAS — 18
NAYS — 27
An hon. member requested that leave be asked to record the division in the Journals of the House.
Section 1 as amended approved.
Sections 2 and 3 approved.
On section 4.
MR. SKELLY: I move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper. [See appendix.] It seeks to insert on line 3 between the word "permit" and between the word "that"....
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: On a point of order. I apologize if I did not accurately hear the vote that you put with respect to section 1. Did you say "Section 1 as amended," because the amendment was defeated and there was no amendment before the House.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The Chair apologizes for that. Section 1 passes without amendment.
We're now on the amendment proposed by the member on section 4.
On the amendment.
MR. SKELLY: I'm seeking to amend section 4(l)(a) by placing between the word "permit" and the word "that" a new section issued in accordance with section 14A and the regulations.
Mr. Chairman will note that one of the problems with the new Waste Management Act is that it has virtually eliminated all of the public involvement provisions that were present in the previous Pollution Control Act. It appears that this is in accordance with government policy over the past few years. Where the public had any opportunity at all to comment on approval procedures conducted under government legislation, that public involvement procedure is now being eliminated. As the NDP caucus in this Legislature, we are seeking to restore the public's right to know and be involved in those decision-making procedures which affect the environment and the lives, health and safety of the people in this province.
Under the previous Pollution Control Act it was possible for objectors to a pollution control permit to file objections. For example, there was a requirement that an applicant for a pollution control permit place ads in the Gazette or in papers circulating locally throughout the province. Objectors had a right then to file objections, giving their reasons and stating their interest in why this permit should or should not be granted. Any opportunity for public involvement, with one exception, has been eliminated in this act. What we are
[ Page 8309 ]
attempting to do by this amendment — and by a number of other amendments — is to restore public involvement in the decision-making procedures with respect to matters relating to the environment.
This new section would allow the transportation and storage of special wastes by permit only after there's been a public involvement procedure in determining whether that permit should be granted.
HON. MR. ROGERS: We do not accept this particular amendment, as we will not accept many of the others that include section 14A, because I think section 14A offends standing order 67.
MR. SKELLY: I'm not sure that the section does offend any section of the standing orders, Mr. Chairman. We brought this amendment to the attention of the Clerks and asked whether they were in order, and the Clerks seemed to indicate that they were, which is why we allowed them to go ahead without any changes. What seems to be offensive is the fact that the government is taking steps — every step along the way — to eliminate public involvement in decision-making with respect to the environment.
When you look at the coal guidelines, when you look at the metal mining guidelines, when you look at the minister's sacking of the Environment and Land Use Committee secretariat, every step along the way public involvement has been eliminated. One of the worst features of this act is the fact that public involvement has been eliminated. It is the right of the public to know what the minister and his ministry are doing to them with some serious environmental contaminants and threats to their health and safety. All of those things are now being done behind the closed doors of cabinet or the minister's office. We are asking that a public involvement procedure be incorporated into this act that is as good as or better than the procedure that was in the old act. It's not enough for the minister to say it simply offends this section of standing orders or that section of standing orders. The minister can accept a public involvement procedure. All my amendment does is describe that procedure and allow the minister to make regulations giving it effect.
If the minister had any concern about public involvement at all, if the minister had any concern about the public's right to know at all, if the minister had any concern about the public at all, then he would have incorporated a public involvement procedure in this statute from day one, and we wouldn't have to amend this act. I'm asking again for the minister to reconsider his almost knee-jerk reaction to any suggestion that the public has a right to know what the government is doing to them.
HON. MR. ROGERS: The reason that this particular section is superfluous if we don't accept section 14.... If 14(a) is accepted, the entire public process is involved. It is the intention of the ministry under section (35)(2)(e), (f) and (g) to prepare regulations that would require notice to the public on the permit application and amendments that are sought by the permittee.
MR. SKELLY: Mr. Chairman, that is the problem. The minister is talking about allowing this to be done under regulation. The government may or may not require public notice. There is absolutely no way of telling from a section that allows the government to make regulation.... There is absolutely no assurance to the public that the government will require notice. What we are saying is that in the case of pollution control permits, transportation, storage and the handling of special wastes, these provisions should be written in the statute and the public should be aware that they are protected by statute, not protected by regulations that can change from one day to the next. This is one of the most critical amendments that we are making to this act. We are asking the minister to take a careful look, because the regulations simply aren't protection enough for the citizens of this province.
I'm asking the minister to reconsider his decision to allow section 14(l) to go ahead and to incorporate the provisions and the requirements of section 14 (a) into this one, which allows for permits for the storage of special wastes.
Mr. Chairman, I can find no legitimate explanation for the minister's stubbornness in this regard. What are they trying to do? Why do they want to eliminate the public involvement in this procedure? Who are they trying to protect? Don't they want the public to know who is storing special wastes, what they term special wastes and where they are stored?
I can't understand the government's reluctance to allow the citizens of this province the right to involvement in decision-making that affects their lives and health. I can't understand the minister's reluctance. In every single piece of legislation that this minister has charge of, the public involvement procedure has been wiped out — in the guidelines, in the operations of the Environment and Land Use Committee secretariat and everything. Have you no confidence whatsoever, Mr. Minister, in the people who have elected you in this province? They're certainly losing confidence in you as a Minister of Environment.
MR. SKELLY: It's not a personal attack, but it's definitely an attack on a minister who is abusing the public by denying them the right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives, health and safety. In almost every other jurisdiction, the public's right to be involved in the decision-making and to be informed is secured by law. In this jurisdiction we're taking that much out of the law again. It's shameful, and the minister should be ashamed of himself, because no matter what else you take out of the act this is one of those things that should be assured.
The minister, who's mouthing off from his desk in the back corner, has set up a public involvement procedure in his own ministry; he has hired Dr. Fraser and other people to set up a public involvement procedure to talk about advisory groups. This minister should take some credit for the advisory procedures that he has established. He is now criticizing this opposition for saying that a similar procedure should be placed in the Waste Management Act. I find that a bit of a contradiction. I find that almost anything that minister does is a bit of a contradiction.
Mr. Chairman, this is one of those pieces of legislation where the interests of the people should be secured. I would ask the minister to reconsider, possibly to pull the bill in committee stage, to move an adjournment until he has had an opportunity to read the amendments on the order paper and to give it more thought.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, I intend to move that section 14A is out of order as it involves necessary
[ Page 8310 ]
expenditure of public funds and comes under section 67 of our standing orders. Therefore the subamendments that involve section 14A are also out of order.
I think that it would be appropriate, though, to comment on some of the remarks made by the member, because all of the records of the waste management branch are open to the public. A mandatory public hearing on every application would be a needless expense of government money. All permits issued are appealable, first to the director, and then to the Environmental Appeal Board, and I think there's ample opportunity for the public concerned to appeal.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. members, it appears to the Chair at this time that in view of the fact that the minister has now informed the House that expenditure of public funds will be required, under standing order 66 the motions therefore would be invalid. The members are fully aware of the process that can be used in the House, but the Chair is bound by the standing orders. The Chair is here to enforce these orders. Let me just read standing order 66: "This House will not receive any resolution stating an expressed or abstract opinion of the House on recommendating the expenditure of public money unless recommended by the Crown." The Chair is bound to instruct that the amendment before us is therefore out of order.
MR. HOWARD: On a point or order, you do that without offering anybody in the opposition an opportunity to express a view about standing order 67? That was why I rose earlier, Mr. Chairman, and you asked me to wait for a moment.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I will entertain....
MR. HOWARD: But you have already ruled.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Under these circumstances, hon. member, I will be more than pleased to entertain the remarks of the member.
MR. HOWARD: What I want the Chair to consider is this: simply because a minister says something is going to involve the expenditure of public funds, I don't think that's sufficient for the Chair to come to the conclusion that in fact that will be the case. The proposed section 14(A) does not mention anything about the expenditure or the appropriation of public funds. It talks about a procedure. If, in putting that procedure into effect, it is necessary to expend public funds, then the minister is under the obligation to bring in a message bill to deal with that particular expenditure. But I submit to you that this does not, by itself, entail the expenditure of public funds, and the declaration of the minister that it might or might not, etc., is not sufficient grounds to do that.
Let me reiterate: if the minister feels, in the process of administering this, that public funds are necessary, then the minister, as a minister of the Crown and pursuant to standing order 67, brings in a message bill in order to put into effect the general declaration of the Legislature. I submit that this would be the appropriate ruling to make, Mr. Chairman.
MR. SKELLY: Mr. Chairman, we worded the amendment this way, if we're talking about section 14(A) now, since it relates back to section 4(l)(a).... We stated in this amendment: "...until a public involvement procedure has been completed." We did not say in any place that that involvement procedure had to be one conducted by the Crown. For example, under the guidelines procedure established under the Environment and Land Use Act, the proponent conducts public hearings; the proponent provides public notice at his expense; and the proponent is required to provide full public access to information at his expense. The Crown, at every step along the way, has attempted to eliminate their involvement in paying for the public involvement procedure, and there is no requirement under section 14A for the Crown to lay out a nickel of public money.
MR. KING: On a further point of order, Mr. Chairman, I think the Chair should take notice that the minister has indicated his entitlement to call a public hearing under the regulations. Certainly the essence of this amendment is that that provision should reside under the statute rather than the regulations, so I find it difficult to conclude how a statutory provision would involve any expense additional to what would be required under the regulations suggested by the minister.
MR. CHAIRMAN: As hon. members can appreciate, the Chair is not in a position to determine what is or is not an expenditure on the Crown — the mechanics of the act. Traditionally the Chair has accepted the statement of a minister, who is in fact the administrator of the legislation before us, when he states that there is an impost on the Crown. The Chair is bound by that, and the ruling of the Chair is that the point of order raised by the minister is a valid one. Therefore the Chair has no choice but to instruct the committee accordingly, and I so rule.
MR. HOWARD: You are therefore saying that ministers of the Crown are determining what our standing orders mean, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The member for Skeena raises a valid point. As I tried to explain earlier, because I anticipated that remark, hon. member — and rightfully so — again, the minister of the Crown is the one responsible for administering the bill before us. Therefore it is he who must make the decision as to whether or not there is an impost on the Crown. Hon. members, on that point, as I stated, I so rule.
MR. SKELLY: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman. When an amendment is drafted by a member of the opposition, are you saying that the minister of the Crown can then form some kind of intent relating to an amendment put forward by a member of the opposition? The intent in putting this motion on the floor was that no Crown funds would be expended or required to be expended. The minister can now unilaterally rule an amendment by a member of the opposition out of order simply by saying that if he were to administer it he would spend government money on it. It simply does not make sense, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please, hon. member. The Chair can appreciate the position in which the member finds himself in having to accept the ruling of the Chair. Nonetheless, hon. member, I'm sure that a study of what has taken place in this House over many years — and it has not varied — will prove that the Chair has no alternative but to make the ruling that was just handed down. That must conclude the matter at this point.
[ Page 8311 ]
MR. SKELLY: May I ask which citations the Chairman is bringing to this decision. You're simply saying that by long-standing tradition....
MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please, hon. member. The Chair has ruled on the matter. There is a method open to the member, but I would encourage members to look back in the records available to them, as well as to the Chair, and I'm sure they will find that the ruling of the Chair is most consistent with the actions of this House in innumerable cases.
MR. SKELLY: In that case, Mr. Chairman, I challenge your ruling.
The House resumed; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, in committee the ruling of the Chair pertaining to section 4 under standing order 66 was challenged.
Mr. Chairman's ruling sustained.
The House in committee on Bill 52; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Section 4 approved.
On section 5.
MR. SKELLY: In this section the minister has a right to issue permits for the transportation of special wastes, and there is a section in the regulations which allows cabinet the right to issue licences to those companies or firms or persons or individuals who will then have the power to transport what are defined as special wastes in the province of B.C. We recognize the value of a manifest system in order to trace these special wastes through from their point of origin in the province — whether they're created in the province or brought in — and we think that's a valuable addition to the waste-management legislation of this province.
In the case of licensing those who would transport special wastes in British Columbia, there is a danger here that these licences are granted behind the closed doors of cabinet. This is not a procedure like the granting of motor carrier licences in the province — where there is a public involvement procedure, where the issue of those licences can be challenged by the public — whereby the character of those who would transport special wastes could be questioned by the public and by people who may have special information. Again, the government is setting up a group of people who can be licensed by cabinet and can derive great profit from the transportation of these special wastes in the province of British Columbia. They have virtually captive clients. The people who produce these wastes are captive clients of those who have licences to transport them. What we are concerned about is the fact that those who will transport the special wastes will obtain their licences from cabinet, behind the closed doors of a political body. We'll again see the same type of conditions that prevail when land is taken out of the agricultural land reserve by what is essentially a political appeal process. If you flash your Social Credit Party card, then you're going to get a licence; if you don't have the right political credentials, then you won't get a licence. We're saying this is an extremely dangerous section because it does not provide a public forum for the granting of licences to transport special wastes — as there is a public forum for the granting of motor carrier licences in this province — whereby people can challenge the credentials, the ability and the equipment of the people in the province who are standing forward to provide those services. We are saying that this makes the whole issue of special wastes more dangerous to the people of British Columbia, because they do not know who will be granted those licences and whether or not those licences will be granted strictly on a political basis. It certainly gives some people in this province the right to make tremendous profits on special categories of wastes and the cartage of those special categories waste. We cannot accept this section.
I've proposed an amendment which requires the issuance of licences in a public forum. I'm certain that the minister can say this is going to involve the expenditure of public funds and therefore he's not going to accept it. Mr. Chairman, if the minister recommends that that amendment be accepted, then those licences will be granted in a public forum, there will be no question of political favouritism, and the public and the people of the province of British Columbia will be protected. I ask the minister now, during debate under section 5, if he is willing to see those licences granted in a public forum similar to the granting of motor carrier licences or other licences granted in the province of British Columbia.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, it is intended that any carrier would also have a Motor Carrier Commission licence. That is a motor vehicle licensing requirement that comes prior to permits to transport special waste. They would go through the standard Motor Carrier Commission appeal, and it would be a standard Motor Carrier Commission licence. To that extent, they don't vary at all. Two acts come into place here. One is the federal transportation of dangerous goods act. Special wastes make up less than 1 percent of the goods that are transported in the province, so the transportation of dangerous goods act would be the paramount act in terms of transportation and in terms of licensing. So to that extent I don't think it's necessary. In fact, in this particular bill, because of the manifest system, we will have control from the cradle to the grave, as it were. We will be able to track the entire transportation of the goods. So it's even more restrictive than it is on the outside for other people.
MR. SKELLY: Mr. Chairman, that is not true at all. What we are trying to do is an improvement here on motor carrier licensing provisions. People who are transporting special wastes are going to require special equipment, specially trained personnel and specialized emergency equipment, and those things simply aren't covered by the act that governs motor carrier licences.
[Mr. Richmond in the chair]
If that were the case, why is the minister setting up a separate special regulation provision in section 35 of this act for the licensing of people who transport special wastes? What we want is something written in law, a rule of law with respect to the granting of those licences so that it's done in a public forum, in much the same way as motor carrier licences or other licences for bodies involved in public transportation of goods and people.
[ Page 8312 ]
This one is going to be done behind the closed doors of cabinet. We're concerned that people who transport special wastes with special equipment and special personnel are going to have captive clients. Certain people who are the favorites of the government can make tremendous profits by holding captive other citizens of the community. I'm concerned that this legislation does not protect either the people who produce those kind of wastes or the citizens of British Columbia. I think the minister should give some consideration to changing this section to allow those licences to be granted in a public forum, and that the provision for granting these licences be spelled out in the legislation in a section of this statute.
Mr. Chairman, as we're approaching one o'clock, I move that this committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.
The House resumed; Mr. Davidson in the chair.
Divisions in committee ordered to be recorded in the Journals of the House.
The committee, having reported progress, was granted leave to sit again.
Introduction of Bills
PETROLEUM AND NATURAL
GAS AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
Hon. Mr. McClelland presented a message form His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Petroleum and Natural Gas Amendment Act, 1982.
Bill 56 introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
TELEX TO FEDERAL MINISTER OF FINANCE
HON. MR. CURTIS: I rise to make a ministerial statement. I wish to share with members of the Legislative Assembly the contents of a Telex which was dispatched one week ago to the federal Minister of Finance. I will not take the time of the House to read the concluding paragraph, which is readily available, but which deals with another topic. The Telex is as follows:
AS FINANCE MINISTER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, AND AS A CONCERNED CANADIAN, I URGE YOU TO TAKE EARLY ACTION TO DEAL WITH THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS. WHILE I DO NOT BELIEVE THERE ARE QUICK OR EASY SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM, THERE ARE SOME ACTIONS OF AN IMMEDIATE NATURE WHICH SHOULD BE TAKEN. I'M PARTICULARLY CONCERNED WITH THE LACK OF INVESTOR AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN CANADA. I'M GRATIFIED TO SEE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN STEPS TO MODIFY THE NATIONAL ENERGY PROGRAM AS WELL AS A NUMBER OF THE MORE DAMAGING TAX PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THE NOVEMBER FEDERAL BUDGET. I SINCERELY BELIEVE, HOWEVER, THAT THESE STEPS ARE TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, AND THAT A FUNDAMENTAL RECONSIDERATION OF THESE FEDERAL PROGRAMS IN THE CONTEXT AND PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC REALITIES IS IN ORDER.
I THINK YOU WILL AGREE THAT CURRENTLY HIGH INTEREST RATES REFLECT WHAT MAY WELL BE A SHORTAGE OF FINANCIAL CAPITAL IN NORTH AMERICA. CANADA CAN ILL-AFFORD POLICIES THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO UNDERMINE OUR ABILITY TO ATTRACT THOSE INVESTMENT DOLLARS NEEDED TO GET OUR PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. SERIOUS CONSIDERATION SHOULD THEREFORE BE, GIVEN TO MODIFYING POLICIES DETRIMENTAL TO ATTRACTING CAPITAL INTO CANADA AT REASONABLE RATES OF INTEREST.
I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO REGISTER MY CONCERNS WITH THE INTEREST RATE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. ALTHOUGH I UNDERSTAND THE DIFFICULTIES AND COMPLEXITIES ASSOCIATED BETWEEN DIRECT LINKAGE WITH CANADIAN AND AMERICAN INTEREST RATES, I AM SURE YOU ARE AWARE THAT THE IMPACT ON CANADIANS IS CONSIDERABLY MORE DAMAGING THAN FOR OUR NEIGHBOURS ACROSS THE BORDER. I AM REFERRING IN PARTICULAR TO THE FACT THAT CANADIAN TAXPAYERS DO NOT RECEIVE THE BENEFIT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES OF BEING ABLE TO DEDUCT MORTGAGE INTEREST PAYMENTS FROM PERSONAL TAXABLE INCOME.
FINALLY, I THINK YOU WILL ALSO AGREE THAT THE CURRENT CRISIS IN INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS MAY BE AT LEAST AS SERIOUS FOR THE 1980S AS ENERGY SCARCITY HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST DECADE.
I TRUST YOU WILL NOT CONSIDER IT PRESUMPTUOUS OF ME TO SUGGEST THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CANADIAN PROGRAM FOR FINANCING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE. A PROGRAM OF ACTION SHOULD BE DEVELOPED ON A PRIORITY BASIS TO ENSURE THAT OUR CAPITAL NEEDS ARE MET WITHOUT MAJOR DISRUPTIONS TO CAPITAL MARKETS, INTEREST RATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL VALUE OF OUR CURRENCY. IF A MEETING OF FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL FINANCE MINISTERS AND TREASURERS TO CONSIDER THESE MATTERS WOULD BE OF ASSISTANCE, I WOULD BE PREPARED TO ATTEND.
That is the end of the relevant portion of the Telex to the federal Minister of Finance.
Mr. Speaker, the reason I make this statement at this time is that not withstanding follow-up Telexes, I have to advise the House that not only have I not received a reply; I have not received an acknowledgement of its receipt in Ottawa.
MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the minister's bringing the contents of the telegram to the House. As I understand it, the telegram had been released publicly. I think it's important that the minister bring to the House these important areas of requests from the federal government. I regret that the debate has been opened so late. I will not cast reflection on the fact that an opportunity to debate this very important matter was raised in a request for an emergency debate by my colleague the member for Comox (Ms. Sanford). Nonetheless, the subject is here, albeit briefly, on a quiet Friday afternoon.
I agree essentially with the thrust of the telegram, but it is an escapist telegram in light of the fact that when we talk about capital formation within Canada for mortgage rates and new funds for venture capital, it is a fact that in this very House in 1975, when that minister was a member, we passed legislation known as the British Columbia Savings and Trust, which would allow the province of British Columbia to go directly into the mortgage field without waiting for anyone else to move. I find it a little less than convincing that while the federal government heaps scorn on the United States
[ Page 8313 ]
government and requests them to adjust on the basis of mortgage rates, the provincial government's response is to ask the federal government to do more. When we ask all Canadians to do for themselves things that should be done for themselves, included in that are provincial governments, and this provincial government should be proclaiming the B.C. Savings and Trust act immediately to help stimulate the economy here in British Columbia.
It must go with recollection of the fact that in 1978 the Premier of this province, in a monetary statement, at an economic conference in Ottawa, declared his support for high interest rates and monetarism. There has been no doubt until now that it has been a panic response by this provincial government. The Milton Friedman monetarist policies that have brought North America to this terrible condition, based on the United States policies, received not tacit but overt verbal and written support, officially, by the Social Credit Government in British Columbia in submissions in 1978 to a federal economic conference. This government cannot escape its direct responsibility for deliberately requesting the federal government to embark on those foolish, right-wing, simplistic economic strategies that have brought the economy of British Columbia, Canada and North America substantially to its knees.
We are in the midst of a depression, Mr. Speaker. Tens of thousands of British Columbians are now on the edge of losing their homes, their cars and have lost their jobs. Of the potential workforce of 6,000 people in the city of Alberni, only 500 people are working at this day. Here we are at a few minutes after 1:00 p.m. responding to a ministerial statement slapping the wrist of the federal government when 5,500 people in Alberni alone would have dearly loved to have heard the minister stand up to demand and announce some action by the provincial government to help those unemployed right across this province.
In responding to the telegram asking for a reduction in mortgage rates and a change in policy, I have not seen one single initiative from this government or that Minister of Finance in terms of reducing mortgage rates, as he mentions in the telegram, for people to purchase homes or save their homes here in British Columbia. A small comfort it is indeed to read a telegram telling Pierre Trudeau and the federal Liberal Party what you think they should do when in fact you asked for power in two elections saying that you were going to straighten out the economy of British Columbia. All you've done with your policies is create the mess that we are in here in British Columbia.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member while response is allowed to a ministerial statement, the opinion of the Chair is that the member is clearly abusing that privilege to some degree in going well beyond the scope and entering into what could best be described as a full-fledged debate. I ask if he could more or less restrict his remarks in fairness to the position that the Chair is in.
MR. BARRETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand the Chair, and I appreciate what the Chair is saying. I will do my very best.
But I must say that this is the first opportunity we've had since the budget debate came down to have a general discussion on the economy. This province is in terrible shape. The minister is quoted in an interview with a newspaper reporter as indicating that we may be heading for a deficit in this fiscal year. There hasn't been a word in this House about it.
I will stick to the subject raised in the telegram, and I made notes about those. The minister suggested more Canadian content in capital formation. What about it? What about more Canadian content in capital formation? Again, I refer — and I'll be brief — to the the B.C. Savings and Trust, which you voted for. Proclaim that bill and come up with provincial government initiatives in terms of exemptions from provincial income tax, if need be, as incentive for British Columbia capital formation for secondary and tertiary investment in this province. I want to refer to the response of the high interest rates, related to capital formation and small business. It is this government's own policy that is driving hundreds of small businessmen to the wall, and to read a telegram today, without any mention of this government's position on the hundreds of small businessmen whose taxes are a matter of tax revolt and tax debate.... You don't even make any reference to them today and....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please, hon. member. Clearly at this time the member is well beyond the bounds of ministerial response, and I ask the member now to conclude his remarks.
MR. BARRETT: Not to conclude, but contain.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: A little of both, hon. member.
MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker....
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please. Hon. member, the Chair must advise that the right of response is not the right to an open-ended debate. Clearly, hon. member, I think upon reflection you will see that you are maybe taking a little bit of advantage of the situation, and I would ask you to please bear that in mind in concluding your remarks.
MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker, there have been occasions when I have taken advantage of the latitude of rules. This may be one now. But I ask the House to bear with me, because we've got close to 200,000 people unemployed in this province and somebody has got to stand up and fight for those people, instead of sending a weak-kneed telegram from the minister, without a statement by this provincial government in defence of those people who have worked hard to buy homes, buy cars, and create a good life. I don't want this debate in any way to appear to be limited.
But I will do my best to stick to the rules, and I intend to stick to the rules. I understand the time, and if you want to pull closure on me you go ahead, but this is the first time in a week that we've had a chance to fight for those people. You're trying to stop me from saying a few things on behalf of the unemployed.
DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, please, hon. member. Again, hon. member, the Chair must ask the member to conclude his remarks at this time. Clearly, he is abusing the rules of the House, and I am convinced the hon. member is fully aware of that position. I would ask him at this time to conclude his remarks. I urge the member so to do.
MR. BARRETT: I will take with seriousness your admonition and refer my final remarks to comments about capital
[ Page 8314 ]
formation. In my opinion, capital formation should also be involved in aggressive marketing and sales. Could it be said, in terms of some attempt at capital formation, that at such a conference this provincial government would cooperate with the federal government on an agenda to seek new markets? That too would have been welcome.
Now I will conclude. I do not wish to abuse the House. But I will say this: what a sorry failure that telegram proves this government is. What a sorry and pathetic failure this Social Credit administration is in coming up with something more important than anything mentioned in the telegram. It's a word that I'll conclude my remarks on; it's simply a matter of hope. There has been absolutely no lifting of one finger by that Minister of Finance or by this provincial government to give any British Columbia citizen a sense of hope coming out of some leadership from this provincial government. You're a failure. And you've failed again today.
Hon. Mr. Phillips tabled the eighth annual report of the British Columbia Development Corporation.
Hon. Mr. Williams tabled the annual report of the Ministry of the Attorney-General for the period ending March 31, 1982.
Hon. Mr. Williams moved adjournment of the House.
The House adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
42 Ms. Brown asked the Hon. the Minister of Human Resources the following questions:
With reference to the Council of the '80s—
1. How often has the Council met, where, and how many persons attended each meeting?
2. What are the names of those persons on the Council?
3. In which towns do these persons live?
4. Do the members of the Council receive any remuneration, honorarium expenses or moneys from the Government?
The Hon. G. M. McCarthy replied as follows:
"1. The Council of the '80s has met three times in Vancouver: September 9, 1980, May 8, 1981, and February 19, 1982. Approximately 90 people attended the initial meeting in September, 22 attended the second meeting and 14 attended the third meeting which was limited to Vancouver and Lower Mainland members. In addition, members meet with local ministry staff in their own communities.
"2 and 3. A list of names of Council members and towns in which they reside follows: Mark Ando, West Vancouver; A. V. (Vill) Backman, Vancouver; Leonard Bawtree, Enderby; Val Beeston, Qualicum; Vic Bowman, Prince George; David Bruce, Vancouver; Art Cameron, West Vancouver; Larry Chalmers, Kelowna; Craig Clark, North Vancouver; Ted Cohen, Vancouver; G. Henry Coleman, Nelson; Herbert J. Conroy, Calgary; Lawrence Dampier, Vancouver; Tam Deachman, Vancouver; W. R. Dibble, New Westminster; Rev. Walter Donald, Nelson; Davene Dunn, Golden; D. R. Earle, Vancouver; Rev. A. Gordon Faraday, Penticton; George Fierheller, Vancouver (Chairman) ; Doug Finley, Kelowna; Russ Fraser, Vancouver; Ron Gadsby, Agassiz; Stan Glazer, Richmond; Louis J. Graziano, Vancouver; May C. Gutteridge, Vancouver; Lee Hafft, Vancouver; W. M. (Bill) Hamilton, Vancouver; Jack Hawthorne, Victoria; R. F. Hendy, Vancouver; G. H. D. (Gerry) Hobbs, Vancouver; John E. Hoegg, Vancouver; Hans Holst, Vancouver; Wm. J. Howard, West Vancouver;
[ Page 8315 ]
Lillian Hudson, Vancouver; Peter Kains, Vancouver, W. J. Kazun, Vancouver; Gary Kenwood, Vancouver; David L. Killam, Richmond; Laverne Kilner, Nanaimo; Dawn Kopp, Tsawwassen; Lorne Kramer, Surrey; Peggy Lee, Vancouver; Robert H. Lee, Vancouver; Ald. Doug Little, Vancouver; Earl Little, Fort St. John; Andy Livingstone, Vancouver; Donna Mackey, West Vancouver; C. Woody MacLaren, Vancouver; Erick Mahrt, Comox; Norris Martin, Vancouver; Keith Matthew, Delta; Brian Maunder, Vancouver; Eric McCook, North Vancouver: John Murchie, Vancouver: Molly O'Dell, Maple Ridge; Frank Ogden, Vancouver., Ralph Olds, Vancouver: Helen Patterson, Vancouver; David Padler; Vancouver; Chuck Railton, Penticton; Brian Ratcliffe, Vancouver; Edgar Reiswig, Enderby; Leonard Remple, Surrey; J. E. (Ernest) Richardson, Vancouver; Elizabeth Richter, Victoria; Clive Roberts, Vancouver; M. Roden, Prince George; Henry Roethel, Victoria; Gordon Rowntree, Vancouver; George Sakellaridis, Vancouver; Joseph Segal, Vancouver; Gardner Shaw, Surrey; Klay Shumann, Vancouver; Keith Siddal, Vancouver; Thomas A. Simons, Vancouver; William Sleeman, Vancouver; C. R. Mallory Smith, Richmond; Ed Snider, Burnaby; Roy D. Spooner, Vancouver; Wade and Dorothy Stoneman, Vancouver; Paul E. Termansen, West Vancouver; Jean Thorne, Victoria; David S. Toban, Vancouver; Richard Tompkies, Halfmoon Bay; Audrey Tompkins, Fort St. John; Dora Tysoe, Vancouver; Eldon Unger, Chilliwack; Rod Verstrate, Terrace; George Wainborn, Vancouver; Lorne Welsh, Fort St. John; Fred von Shellwitz, Campbell River; Art Wiebe, Victoria; George Wilkinson, Vancouver; Joan Williamson, Sicamous; Peter Wing, Kamloops; and Earl Wood, Langley.
"4. Members do not receive any remuneration or honorarium. Minimal travel expenses have been paid on occasion for some members from outlying areas."
46 Ms. Brown asked the Hon. the Minister of Human Resources the following question:
With reference to the Zenith Child Abuse line, what are the figures for 1979, 1980, 1981 and to date in 1982 for the following categories: anonymous, by neighbours, by parent, by family member, by child involved, any by professional or agency; and other calls: parents wanting help, children lonely or wanting help with problems, information about child abuse, other problems, and crank calls and hang-ups'?
The Hon. G. M. McCarthy replied as follows:
ZENITH HELPLINE FOR CHILDREN STATISTICS
Type of Call
|Agency or Professional||2||5||24||30||20||21||25||14||26||30||27|
|Regarding Self||28||215||1 126||731||627||570||443||409||488||368||522|
|Information of Child
|Total Calls||124||1 347||1 875||1 486||1 060||852||711||647||735||707||1 360|
[ Page 8316 ]
Type of Call
|Agency or Professional||29||68||94||64||120||70||26||32||35||40||38|
|Information of Child
|Total Calls||2 163||2 050||1 215||1 060||1 160||988||924||785||818||1 045||912|
Type of Call
|Agency or Professional||30||44||51||41||41||34||41||30||42||49||35|
|Information of Child
|Total Calls||959||1 059||1 699||1 473||1 230||1 000||749||976||887||890||778|
Some calls may appear in more than one column. For example: an anonymous call concerning possible child abuse which was dealt with by initial telephone counselling and then referred to a ministry office for follow-up would appear as an anonymous call, a counselling call, and a call concerning child abuse.
The figures in this table differ in some cases from previously released figures. The recording and reporting systems have undergone extensive revision and some identified problems are still to be resolved. The figures in this table have been generated by computer analysis of all previous recording systems; however, systems difficulties can and do result in under-reporting in all categories.
The variance in calls in the "crank" column results from procedural changes in the recording system. Up to June 1980, there was no computer reporting category for crank calls or hang-ups. The figures obtained prior to June 1980 came from a manual check on written records where such observations were made.
47 Ms. Brown asked the Hon. the Minister of Human Resources the following question:
With reference to child apprehension in British Columbia, what is the breakdown of the parents of children apprehended in 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81 and to date in 1982: single parents, parents on social assistance, breakdown by age, and percentage of cases involving native Indian parents?
The Hon. G. M. McCarthy replied as follows:
|"Parents on Social Assistance||803||770||395|
|Both parents native Indian||19.4%||18.2%||15.4%|
|One parent native Indian||14.6%||12.7%||14.0%|
Information on marital status and age of parents is not collected."
[ Page 8317 ]
49 Ms. Brown asked the Hon. the Minister of Human Resources the following questions:
With reference to Pharmacare—
1. How many persons have received payments under Pharmacare since its inception in 1977?
2. What is the total paid to patients to date?
3. What is the total paid to pharmacists for prescription fees to date?
4. What is the total cost of drugs prescribed and supplied by pharmacists to date?
The Hon.G. M. McCarthy replied as follows:
"1. Since the inception of Universal Pharmacare benefits on June 1, 1977 through May 31, 1982, 293,385 individual claims were accepted for processing.
"2. From June 1, 1977 through May 31, 1982, the total paid directly to patients was $29,638,426.
"3. From April 1, 1977 through April 20, 1982, $84,450,146 were paid directly to pharmacists for dispensing fees.
"4. From April 1, 1977 through April 20, 1982, $112,262,493 were paid directly to pharmacists for drugs prescribed and supplied."
AMENDMENTS TO BILLS
3 The Hon. L. A. Williams to move, in Committee of the whole on Bill (No. 3) intituled Offence Amendment Act, 1982 to amend as follows:
SECTION 7, in the proposed section 25 by deleting "peace officer or enforcement officer" wherever it occurs and substituting "person".
SECTION 10, by deleting subsection (1) of the proposed section 32.1 and substituting the following:
"32.1 (1) An appearance notice may be issued by
(a) a peace officer under section 121 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act,
(b) a person where he has a power to arrest without warrant under an enactment, and
(c) an enforcement officer, for contravention of an enactment in respect of which the regulations under this act allow him to issue an appearance notice."
SECTION 15, in the proposed section 121.1 (2) by adding "issue an appearance notice under section 32.1 (1) or issue both a ticket and an appearance notice," at the end of paragraph (b).
4 The Hon. A. V. Fraser to move, in Committee of the Whole on Bill (No. 4) intituled Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1982 to amend as follows:
SECTION 5, by deleting the proposed section 24 (7) and substituting the following:
"(7) In respect of a driver's licence of any person or any class of persons, the superintendent may
(a) delete, vary and add to the restrictions that are prescribed for the class of driver's licence issued to the person or a class of persons,
(b) restrict the hours of the day and the days of the week during which the person or a class of persons may drive a motor vehicle,
(c) restrict the area in which the person or a class of persons may drive a motor vehicle,
[ Page 8318 ]
(d) restrict the motor vehicle or class of motor vehicle that the person or a class of persons may drive,
(e) restrict the number of passengers that the person or a class of persons may carry in a motor vehicle driven by him or a member of the class, and
(f) impose other restrictions on or add any conditions to the driver's licence of the person or a class of persons that the superintendent considers necessary for the operation of a motor vehicle by the person or by a member of that class.
"(7.1) Restrictions or conditions
(a) that are added to a driver's licence or deleted or varied by the superintendent under subsection (7), and
(b) that are in respect of a person, and not a class of persons are not regulations within the meaning of the Regulation Act."
SECTION 6, in the proposed section 24.1 (2) by deleting "any permit issued" and substituting "any permit".
SECTION 12.1, by adding the following section:
"12.1 Section 67 is repealed and the following substituted:
"Failing to stop and
"67. (1) A peace officer may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a peace officer who is readily identifiable as a peace officer, shall immediately come to a safe stop.
"(2) When requested by a peace officer, the driver of a motor vehicle or the person in charge of a motor vehicle on a highway shall state correctly his name and address and the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle.
"(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $2 000 or to imprisonment for not less than 7 days and not more than 6 months, or to both."
SECTION 15, in the proposed section 75 (1) and (2) by deleting "statements contained" and substituting "facts stated".
SECTION 17, in the proposed section 85 (a) by deleting "requested" and substituting "required".
SECTION 18, by adding the following section after the proposed section 92:
"Prohibition from driving
for failing to stop
"92.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle commits an offence where
(i) is signalled or requested to stop by a peace officer who is readily identifiable as a peace officer, and
(ii) fails to come to a safe stop, and
(b) a peace officer pursues the driver in order to require him to stop.
"(2) Where a person commits an offence under subsection (1), he is liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $2 000 or to imprisonment for not less than 7 days and not more than 6 months, or to both.
"(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), the court shall prohibit the person from driving a motor vehicle for a period of 3 years from the date of sentencing or the date the court takes any action permitted under section 20 (1) of the Juvenile Delinquents Act (Canada), notwithstanding that he is or may be subject to another prohibition from driving under this Act.
"(4) Section 90 (4) applies to a prohibition ordered under this section.
"(5) Subsection (3) does not apply where neither the defendant nor his agent or counsel appears before the court at the time of conviction.
[ Page 8319 ]
"(6) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (1) and the evidence does not prove the offence but does prove a contravention of section 67 (1), the person may be convicted of contravening section 67 (1)."
SECTION 18, in the proposed sections 89, 93 and 94 (1) (a) by deleting "section 90, 91 or 92" wherever it occurs and substituting "section 90, 91, 92 or 92.1".
SECTION 31, in the proposed section 214 (8) by adding "other than alcohol" after "drug, ".
(a) by deleting "1982," and substituting 1983,", and
(b) by deleting "900 000." and substituting "2 700 000."
4 Mr. Lockstead to move, in Committee of the Whole on Bill (No. 4) intituled Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1982 to amend as follows:
SECTION 6, delete sections 24.1 (1) (b) and 24.1 (2) (b) and substitute the following in both cases:
"(b) is indebted to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for reimbursement of money paid in respect of a claim where the driver's policy was voided, or where the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has obtained judgment against a driver in respect of money paid out as a result of a false or fraudulent claim by the driver, ".
SECTION 10 (b), section 31 (3) is deleted and the following substituted:
"(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 31 (1) of this Act, a person whose driver's licence or right to obtain a driver's licence or privilege of operating a motor vehicle in the Province is under suspension as provided in this Act shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle in this Province under a driver's licence, permit or certificate issued by another province, state or country while the suspension is in effect."
SECTION 16, after section 82 insert the following:
"82.1 Where a person whose driver's licence or right to obtain a driver's licence has been suspended or cancelled under this Act applies and obtains a licence, the licence is of no effect and shall be deemed never to have been issued."
SECTION 18, section 87 (3) is deleted and the following substituted:
"(3) The court to which an appeal is made under subsection (1) shall
(a) dismiss the appeal, or
(b) order the superintendent to terminate the prohibition imposed under section 86, or
(c) limit the prohibition geographically or by hours of the day and days of the week where a person proves to the satisfaction of the court:
(i) that the person resides in a rural area with no adequate alternate transportation, or
(ii) that the prohibition deprives him of his usual livelihood because driving is an integral part of the job, or that driving is necessary for getting to and from work.
"4. Where the court, after considering all the evidence, finds it necessary to maintain a continuing deterrent against bad driving, or to protect the safety of the public, the court may refuse to exercise the powers contained in 87 (3) (c).
SECTION 18, delete in section 91 (5) "Section 90 (4) applies to a prohibition ordered under this section" and substitute the following:
"(5) A prohibition ordered under this section shall:
(a) take effect immediately,
(b) continue for the full day of each day of the prohibition; and
[ Page 8320 ]
(c) continue for consecutive days, except where a prohibition is ordered under another section of this Act, in which case the prohibition ordered under this section shall take effect immediately after any other prohibition has expired."
SECTION 25, insert after subsection (3):
"(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), the minister, on behalf of the Province, is jointly and severally liable for torts committed by peace officers in the performance of their duties.
"(5) Notwithstanding that a peace officer is not found liable for a tort committed by him in the performance of his duties, the minister may, in his discretion, pay the amounts he considers necessary to
(a) settle a claim against a peace officer for a tort committed by him in the performance of his duties; or
(b) reimburse a peace officer for reasonable costs incurred by him in defending a claim against him for a tort committed in the performance of his duties.
"(6) The Minister of Finance shall pay out of the consolidated revenue fund, on requisition of the minister, sums required for the purposes of subsection (5).
SECTION 29, by adding new subsections:
"(3) No person shall
(a) drive or tow on a highway or have the care and control of a vehicle whether it is in motion or not that is equipped with or carries or contains
(b) cause or allow a vehicle of which he is the registered owner to be equipped with or carry or contain a device capable of detecting or interfering with
(c) radar, or
(d) any other electronic equipment that may be used from time to time in measuring the speed of vehicles.
"(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to a vehicle used by
(a) a peace officer in the course of his duties, or
(b) a person in conducting a driver survey authorized in writing by the superintendent.
"(5) A person who contravenes subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.
"(6) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (3) the device is forfeited to the Crown and shall be destroyed as the Attorney General directs."
52 Mr. Skelly to move, in Committee of the Whole on Bill (No. 52) intituled Waste Management Act to amend as follows:
SECTION 1, to include in the definition of "waste" a new subsection (f) "waste heat energy and water vapour" and to reletter the current subsection (f) under the definition of "waste" to subsection (g).
SECTION 4 (1) (a), line 3, between "permit" and "that" insert "issued in accordance with section 14A and the regulations".