1982 Legislative Session: 4th Session, 32nd Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 1982
[ Page 8535 ]
Water Amendment Act, 1982 (Bill 6 1). Hon. Mr. Rogers
Introduction and first reading –– 8535
Select Standing Committee on Standing Orders and Economic Affairs, fourth report.
Mr. Strachan –– 8535
Indian Cut-off Lands Disputes Act (Bill 58). Hon. Mr. Williams
Introduction and first reading –– 8536
Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 1982 (Bill 53), Second reading.
(Hon. Mr. Williams)
Mr. Macdonald –– 8536
Committee of Supply: Ministry of Environment estimates. (Hon. Mr. Rogers)
On vote 32: minister's office (continued) –– 8536
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 1982
The House met at 10 a.m.
HON. MR. GARDOM: Mr. Speaker, minosan konnichiwa. It's a great pleasure and an honour for me to introduce to members of our Legislative Assembly officers of the Japanese training ship Katori. These officers are here together with their ship and crew, on the first leg of a 152-day training and goodwill mission, which will touch many Atlantic and Pacific ports both in North America and South America. I'd like to introduce to members of the assembly Rear Admiral Tanabe, commander of the training squadron, Captain Hairama, chief of staff, Captain Furukawa, the commanding officer of the Katori, and Commander Kakimi, the commanding officer of the Asagumo. We say welcome, a good and a safe journey, and do come again, to our very good friends from Japan.
MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker, Rear Admiral Tanabe bears a very famous name in Japanese naval history. It was an established record of a naval presence that has been an important part of modern Japan. Great Britain played a major role in the development and assistance with the Japanese navy, and there are very close contacts. Those contacts were demonstrated today, during the last week of the visit, and on behalf of the official opposition might I say in appreciation, watakushiwa hontoni araigata desu.
MR. HALL: As you well know, Mr. Speaker, many of us are fortunate in having volunteers helping us in our constituency offices. Today I'm very pleased to have a group of friends and volunteers visiting Victoria. They are led by Joan Matheson, who frequently helps me in my work in Surrey. I'd like the House to welcome them.
HON. MR. HEWITT: In the gallery today is a young gentleman who is visiting the Legislature and my office. He has volunteered to assist my staff in the office today. He's young Kipp Lightburn, the son of my executive assistant. I ask the House to bid him welcome.
Introduction of Bills
WATER AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
On a motion by Hon. Mr. Rogers, Bill 61, Water Amendment Act, 1982, 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.
Hon. Mr. Strachan, Chairman of the Select Standing Committee on Standing Orders and Private Bills, presented the committee's fourth report, which was read as follows and received:
"Mr. Speaker, your Select Standing Committee on Standing
Orders and Private Bills begs leave to report as follows:
"The preamble to Bill PR403, intituled An Act to Amend the Vancouver Stock Exchange Act. has been approved and the bill ordered to be reported.
"All of which is respectfully submitted, W.B. Strachan. Chairman, Select Standing Committee on Standing Orders and Private Bills."
HON. MR. STRACHAN: Mr. Speaker, by leave I move that the rules be suspended and the report be adopted.
MR. SPEAKER: Hon. members, before we call Committee of Supply, on Thursday last several points of order were raised from each side of the House with reference to the rules applicable to oral question period and their enforcement by the Chair.
The hon. member for Coquitlam-Moody (Mr. Leggatt) objected that some answers given were not relevant to the question asked, and the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Lockstead) objected to lengthy answers being given during the question period to questions taken as notice. The Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (Hon. Mr. McClelland) objected to supplementary questions being asked with respect to a question taken as notice.
Other points of order relating to question period have been taken from time to time, notwithstanding that the Chair has given much guidance on points of order which recur with some frequency.
The Journals of 1977 disclose the following comment from the Chair. which now bears repeating:
"My perusal of Hansard reports of oral question period since its inception in this House clearly shows that very great latitude has been taken by hon. members, both in the posing of questions and in the answers given thereto. The tenor of the points of order taken on Thursday last, when the Chair was asked to review oral questions, indicates to me that it is the view of many hon. members that there has been too much latitude and liberality of interpretation taken with reference to both questions and answers. Accordingly, the Chair can only respond by seeking the cooperation and adherence of hon. members to the numerous but explicit rules relating to oral question period."
Hon. members, upon reading those rules, will readily see that their strict and meticulous application during oral question period would preclude the Chair from allowing the vast majority of questions and answers advanced in this House. Therefore, without some degree of latitude, constant intervention by the Chair would, in the absence of greater precision in framing questions and answers, lead to the total impoverishment of question period. Having said that, I must add that hon. members would be in error to ignore the rules and must not presume to constantly test the limits of any latitude extended by the Chair. If hon. members continue to transgress, the Chair will assist the orderly conduct of question period by intervening as frequently as is necessary.
On the points of order now specifically before me, I refer hon. members to Sir Erskine May's sixteenth edition at page 363, relating to oral answers and supplementary questions. I quote:
"An answer should be confined to the points contained in the question, with such explanation only as
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renders the answer intelligible, though a certain latitude is permitted to ministers of the Crown."
"Supplementary questions without debate or comment may, within due limits, be addressed to them which are necessary for the elucidation of the answers that they have given."
"As a proper supplementary question seeks clarification or explanation of an answer already given, there cannot be a question supplementary to a question taken on notice. The number of allowable supplementary questions is not fixed by any practice. So long as questions are properly supplemental and so long as other members are not unfairly deprived of an opportunity to participate in the question period, the Chair need not intervene to limit the number of supplementary questions."
Beauchesne's fifth edition states as follows:
"The question must be brief; a preamble need not exceed one carefully drawn sentence. A long preamble on a long question takes an unfair share of time and provokes the same sort of reply. A supplementary question should need no preamble."
The following statement of practice appears in Hansard of March 26, 1980, at page 1694:
The practice of the House is this: it is acceptable during subsequent question periods to answer questions taken on notice. If the question requires a lengthy answer, it is the option of the minister to ask leave to answer the question at a time other than question period, but this is only a courtesy and is at the option of the minister. If the question is of such a nature that it requires a lengthy answer, perhaps the best way is to have the answer on the order paper itself, as though the question had been a written question.
Finally, the Chair ruled as follows on April 7, 1981:
Lengthy answers to questions previously taken on notice would best be deferred until after question period, so as to keep intact the time allotted. It is the opinion of the Chair, in accordance with the practice adopted in other jurisdictions, that points of order generally should not be raised at all during question period, but would more properly be deferred until the question period has been completed. In view of the authority vested in the Chair by the sessional order, it is very difficult to conceive of a valid point of order being raised which would require any significant time to deal with unless, of course, there were any disposition to have been improperly engaged in protracted discussions on points of order with the Chair. It is my view that if the Chair itself has to interrupt question period for a significant period, any time so utilized ought to be restored, as determined by the Chair. Should any hon. member insist upon raising a point of order during oral question period, rather than deferring the matter without prejudice until after question period, any extension of time ought best to be left to the discretion of the Chair with leave of the House according to the circumstances.
As hon. members have sought guidance from the Chair on the matters to which I have referred, I urge that members govern themselves accordingly.
Introduction of Bills
INDIAN CUT-OFF LANDS DISPUTES ACT
Hon. Mr. Williams presented a message from His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Indian Cutoff Land Disputes Act.
Bill 58 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.
Orders of the Day
HON. MR. GARDOM: Mr. Speaker, I ask leave to proceed to public bills and orders.
AMENDMENT ACT, 1982
HON. MR. GARDOM: Second reading of Bill 53, Mr. Speaker.
MR. MACDONALD: I'm the designated speaker. We've discussed this bill in caucus, and we've decided not to oppose it on second reading, but during the committee stages we're going to speak in favour of the various sections and vote against them.
Bill 53, Miscellaneous Statutes 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.
The House in Committee of Supply; Mr. Strachan in the chair.
ESTIMATES: MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
On vote 32: minister's office, $206,012.
MR. LEA: He's not going to filibuster, is he?
HON. MR. ROGERS: To the member for Prince Rupert (Mr. Lea), no, I'm not. I'll try to be brief. I'm just trying to clear up a couple of questions that were asked yesterday by the member for Alberni (Mr. Skelly).
The three issues that you brought up that had been before ELUTC will be coming before ELUC, I would have to guess, early next month rather than later this month as this month has just about expired. The three major issues that we're going to be concerned with are the Valhalla, the Cascades, and the other one, which we've had a substantial amount of mail about, Windy Bay. There are others as well, but those are the three ones that have come up.
You asked about the Skagit Valley yesterday. We still maintain that the Skagit Valley agreement of 1942 was an invalid agreement. I made the Gordon-Berry report public recently, and their proposal was that as an alternative to flooding High Ross, they would allow the flooding of Seven Mile into the United States and Seattle would pay that cost. They would also allow the fifth generator to be installed at Mica and Seattle would pay that cost in that capacity, but not the energy. The energy would have to be repaid within 24 hours, but the capacity from the fifth generator at Seven Mile and the transmission lines would belong to Seattle at their cost.
What that would do is give us substantial employment in British Columbia with no real environmental problem. There would be a one-inch drawdown in Kinbasket Lake during the period of time that that generator would be operating for Seattle, and at the end of 30 years the generator would revert to B.C. Hydro and Power Authority without charge to the
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taxpayers of B.C. Based on the Gordon-Berry report this would give the people of Seattle approximately the same amount of energy and capacity per dollar that they would get elsewhere. Of course, the Canadian dollar has chanced substantially since the time of that particular proposal. Nonetheless, I think it's still a very attractive basis for settlement. Those are essentially the two questions you put to me yesterday.
MR. LEA: I'd like to ask the minister a couple of questions on a proposed gold mine operation on the Queen Charlotte Islands — Cinola mines. When we're looking at an industrial project, we always have to look at the trade-offs between environmental standards and the good that an industrial project will bring. The feeling that I get from the people of the Queen Charlotte Islands in regard to this proposed gold mine is that they would like to have more jobs produced and a better economic taxation base for services to the islands, but they don't want to cut off their nose to spite their face.
The Yakoun River is next to the proposed gold mine, and people are very, very afraid that the effluent from that gold mine will have an adverse effect on the fish-producing capacity of that river. The Yakoun River is already a river that is very high in mercury content. It has a higher mercury content that is normally found in British Columbia Rivers. It's that way because of natural consequences — the physical location of the river.
I think the people of the Queen Charlottes are a reasonable group of people. They want industrial development, but not at the expense of the environment if it's too large an expense to pay. We also have to take a look at another industry, and that's the fishing industry. There's no point in going ahead with the mine when the average mine in the province probably has around 15 years of life and fishing is perpetual if the proper precautions are taken to safeguard the fishing industry.
It seems to me that the best way to handle the consolidated Cinola mines proposal is to have a public inquiry under the Inquiry Act or some other piece of legislation that would do the job that everyone desires to be done. I would assure the people of the Queen Charlotte Islands, should this mine go ahead, that all the safeguards have been taken to guard the environment and therefore guard the fishing industry — the sports fishing that people enjoy in the Yakoun River, which is one of the best steelhead runs in the world.
Will the minister assure the House and the people of the Queen Charlotte Islands that before approval is given to phase 2 — the application for which should be coming in this fall from the company — a full public inquiry will take place in the province, with hearings on the Queen Charlotte Islands? Will the minister ensure that government — through some source of government — will supply some funding to the local residents so they can adequately do research into the information that comes under the phase 2 application, so that we can be reasonably sure the government has done its job and the people of the Queen Charlottes can feel absolutely sure that the people of the Queen Charlottes have done their job in order to safeguard the environment, which in the long run — and even in the short run — they are going to have to live with?
Will there be a public inquiry? Will hearings be carried out on the Queen Charlotte Islands? Will there be funding from some area of the provincial government to ensure that local residents can do adequate research to satisfy themselves that all the safeguards will be in place if the project goes ahead — or, on the other hand, if enough safeguards cannot be put in place to preserve the environment, that the project will not go ahead at all?
HON. MR. ROGERS: Just to bring you up to date, we are expecting the stage 2 report on August 31 from the metal mines steering committee. At that time, ELUC will have to evaluate it and decide whether it's acceptable to proceed. It would be the decision of the Environment and Land Use Committee of cabinet as to whether or not a hearing would take place. My ministry has no budget amount for funding advocacy groups in these cases, nor is there any in the ministry of my colleague the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (Hon. Mr. McClelland), so I can't give you an answer to your question about whether or not there would be. It may very well be that the matter will not proceed beyond the stage 2 submission to ELUC.
MR. LEA: I take it, then, that it's not government policy to do any funding of environmental groups or to hold hearings, but that it may or may not be done, according to whim or the evidence as the Environment and Land Use Committee sees it. Is it not government policy that public hearings be held when there is a danger to the environment? Is there no funding at all?
HON. MR. ROGERS: There is no funding within my ministry. Some groups are funded every year by the Ministry of Environment for certain actions on behalf of government. But there is no specific funding. There never has been any funding in the time I've been the minister, and I don't believe there ever was previous to this. Of course it's possible under the Inquiry Act; it could be a government policy decision. But there is no necessity for a public hearing, although one can be held.
I have been approached by a host of people from the Queen Charlotte Islands, including the mining company, which is very knowledgeable about the pressures on that island and its sensitivity. If the people there want it at all, they want it on a very low-key basis. They do not really want to chance the lifestyle of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The company is extremely concerned about environmental sensitivities. They're also concerned about the socio-economic sensitivities. The people don't want a great industrial boom there: that's not the kind of thing that suits the lifestyle of the people of the Charlottes. That doesn't preclude us from holding an inquiry, but I can't give you an assurance that we will hold one. There isn't any funding in my ministry for public advocacy groups.
MR. LEA: Would the minister agree that there should be some funding somewhere within government so that environmental groups can actually do their job? Is it not best for democracy that it be done? If the cabinet committee took a look at the proposal, and in their wisdom decided that it should go ahead because the environmental problems were minimal, but the people of the Queen Charlotte Islanders were not satisfied in their minds that justice was being done, then democracy would not be served.
I'd like to have the minister's opinion about whether there shouldn't be some funding for environmental groups, so that not only will the proper decisions be made but they will also be seen to be made. I think that's an important role of a
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democracy: government should not be there just to make decisions, but should be there to make decisions which are seen by a majority of the people to be good decisions.
In terms of a public inquiry, I think it would be a travesty if the people of the Queen Charlottes, or the people of British Columbia, did not get one. All the ramifications are present for this proposal to become another Amax. If we had had proper public inquiries prior to permission being given to Amax mines, we wouldn't have the problems we're facing today.
Public inquiries are much needed in our society. It's a process that cannot be ignored, because to ignore it is to deny people their democratic right. I urge the government, regardless of how they see the phase 2 submission, to hold a public inquiry so that people will have their say; and others, seeing this discussion take place in public with all three groups — the mining company, the environmental groups and the government — will be satisfied in their own minds that the project should or should not go ahead. To do otherwise would, I think, be a disservice not only to the people of the Queen Charlottes, but to everyone in British Columbia. I urge the minister to hold a public inquiry so that people can have their say, and others can see and hear the process.
MR. LORIMER: I want to mention two matters to the minister, the first being the situation with reference to the processing of fish in British Columbia, and the monopoly control being gained by Canada packers through their purchase of a number of plants. I refer specifically to Oaklands Fisheries Ltd. in Victoria and the plant in Prince Rupert.
Whereas Canada Packers has had a substantial operation in British Columbia for the past great number of years, it now has almost total jurisdiction in processing of our fish, which in my opinion is an unhealthy situation. Plants are being closed to be put into one or two areas, with a great loss of jobs for the people of British Columbia. I think the minister has to look at the whole problem of monopoly control of the fishing industry and take some action to preserve jobs for British Columbians, ensuring that the people of British Columbia get the benefit from the fishing on the Pacific coast.
The second matter is one on which the minister may say he has no jurisdiction, as it concerns the actions of the federal government with reference to fishing treaties and regulations on the Pacific coast. What I suggest to the minister is that he take an active consultative role with the federal government in order to preserve fishing areas for Canadian fishermen. At the present time, whenever there's a meeting between Canada and United States' negotiators, British Columbia loses more fishing rights and grounds on the Pacific coast.
Two or three years back, the department put out a white paper on their position regarding the AB line and the boundaries in Juan de Fuca. I believe they took a fairly good position on that, but we've heard nothing about it. I'm afraid it's being completely ignored by Ottawa. It's my opinion that a much more aggressive stance should be taken by the provincial government, through the Minister of Intergovernmental Relations (Hon. Mr. Gardom) and yourself, to make sure that the fish on the Pacific coast of British Columbia will be fished by British Columbia fishermen.
Every time there are negotiations between the federal government and the United States, we lose more fish and territory. The AB line is presently being threatened with being moved substantially south, and the Juan de Fuca line substantially north. The question of eastern fisheries is going before the international court at The Hague, as to whether the boundary between Nova Scotia and Maine will be the canyon concept or the equidistant concept. What I suggest is that the provincial government make sure that no agreement on the Pacific area is concluded until a decision has been made on that question before the international court, because if there is a decision, I am convinced that we will lose more. I would hope that the minister would take an active and an aggressive interest in making sure that our territorial and fishery rights are not alienated through the actions of the federal Department of Fisheries and the international agreements that are reached. I suggest to the minister that he has the power and should exercise that power with the federal people regarding this whole problem.
The other matter — which is a federal matter, of course, but is one that I would like to the minister to take an interest in — is the scallop fishery off the coast. It is a substantial fishery, but is only being tapped now. However, there are more and more boats now going into scallop fishing, and there are basically no regulations whatever as to the process of scallop fishing. The big danger is, of course, that the scallop industry could be destroyed unless there are some regulations, some control and some action taken in order to manage this resource for the benefit of our people for years to come. It could well be fished out if more and more people become interested in that fishery and there are no regulations and controls to take care of that. I hope the minister will tell us that he will in fact take an interest in those areas in which he has no direct jurisdiction. I suggest he has a great amount of power to determine the route taken by the federal government with reference to the Pacific fisheries.
Also, there's been a lot of talk about the question of clean rivers and so on in the province over the past number of years. I would urge the minister to make sure that the environment along the fishery routes — their spawning routes and so on — is kept clean and prepared for the fish to spawn in. We may talk about hatcheries and so on, but the greatest hatchery we have is the natural hatchery of the Pacific Northwest. If we preserve that hatchery, it will not be necessary to be concerned about dividing rivers into private hatcheries in which the resulting fish have a detrimental effect on the natural fish. If the minister would look at the question of keeping our natural hatchery in a clean condition in order to look after the reproduction of our fish, I think he would be providing the fishing industry some benefits.
I want to hear the minister tell us what he is doing or intends to do regarding the federal discussions now going on with the United States regarding Pacific area jurisdictions.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Perhaps I can clarify.... I believe you're worried about B.C. Packers, not Canada Packers. Canada Packers is in the red-meat business more than they are in the fish business.
The AB line, which has been given an extension by negotiations, was presented by Mel Smith of Intergovernmental Relations in that paper. Last week we had a meeting with Canada's ambassador to the United States and we discussed this very matter. They were hoping to solve the east coast dispute first. As you know, it was accepted by Canada, but rejected by President Reagan. Now I'm told that the Canadian and American judges for the Hague meetings have been picked and they're waiting for a third party to adjudicate that. Of course, the difficulty is that what's good for the east coast isn't good for the west coast. It's much better for us to
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follow the natural canyon lines than it is to go for equidistant lines, especially in the Juan De Fuca area. But Mel Smith's paper made very good points for the line coming out of the AB line and then going up the coast to the Alaska panhandle, and it was a very justifiable one too. It would be a real success if we had it. It's not something we've let go; it's something that we — both Intergovernmental Relations and the people in the marine resources branch — have continually worked on.
We are doing some research into scallops, oysters and mussels and getting more information on them. In terms of fisheries research, I think our main effort should be towards products for which there is a domestic market rather than an export market — especially a single-country export like Japan — because we're far too vulnerable. We can't supply even the British Columbia demand for mussels, oysters and scallops and we have constant demands from Alberta and the Prairies for more product, and there just isn't enough being produced here. So our research in our fisheries products, those off-salmon ones, should go into things for which we have a market.
I agree with you on the rivers. We should be expending our efforts on spawning channels much more than we should be on hatcheries, because a hatchery gives such a major shock to a certain species that comes into a river system. The indigenous fish, which usually turn out to be the Chinooks and sometimes steelheads, get clobbered pretty badly when harvest time comes after the hatchery has been in production. Spawning channels are very easy to maintain. It's just a question of building a bigger nursery. One of the problems is that when the fish do come back they are fighting for space. Nice clean shaded gravel with cool water running over it is really productive and costs very little to run. Also, we don't have the problems of poisoning and some of the other vandalism that has happened in some of the hatcheries, and they're much more inexpensive to operate.
You mentioned jobs in the fish-processing industry. Last year there was an enormous amount of work in British Columbia created by Alaska-caught fish being processed here, because they didn't have the capacity to do it. On one occasion when I was in Prince Rupert, at the end of a ten-hour shift the crew got the word that there was another vessel coming in with Alaska fish. So we still do tend to process a lot of American fish, because we have greater capacity than they do — certainly in the Prince Rupert area.
There has been a problem with industry concentration, but all of the companies that are involved have had financial difficulties. The cooperative situation in Prince Rupert is a labour-management problem now as much as anything else. It's a very new plant which has received both federal and provincial funding in its creation, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to proceed.
One of the bright spots for the groundfish industry is that the price of beef is going up. When the price of beef goes up, people start eating fish again, which is terrific. With the depressed prices in the agricultural community, people have tended to shy away from it. In my house the diet happens to be mostly fish so it doesn't make much difference, but I can't make much of an impact on it. Those are some of the things that we're doing. I hope that answers the questions of the member.
MRS. DAILLY: In the interests of brevity. I just want to remind the minister that I posed a few questions to him yesterday on the whole subject of the banning of the leghold trap. I'll just go back over those questions again.
Firstly, what is your timetable? I think most people have been pleased to hear that you have stated that you will ban 98 percent of leghold traps for land animals and you have set up an advisory committee. When are you going to bring in the regulations? You stated it will be in 1982.
Secondly, could you explain the rationale behind the fact that the leghold trap ban will not apply to beaver, muskrat, mink or otter — the animals trapped in water. We know that a great percentage of animals trapped in B.C. are the beaver and the muskrat, and there is a considerable number, as I'm sure the minister knows. Also, the ban does not include land animals such as the fox and the wolf. I wonder if you could tell us why it will not apply to these animals. I don't think there's any question that they suffer extreme cruelty, whether under water or not.
My third question has to do with the wolf. I know that the member for Omineca (Mr. Kempf) has a huge file there, and he may be planning to again expose the House to the gruesome pictures of what the wolves do to the cattle. Putting aside the gruesome pictures that that member feels are necessary to bring forward to make his point — and he has a right to do it — I would like to ask the minister if he can really tell us what statistical and factual background has gone into the decision by his ministry to poison wolves to the extent that they are being poisoned. In spite of the fact that the member for Omineca feels very strongly about it, as well as many other people.... As a city girl, I can only go by what I read and hear. I am not exposed to it as that member is, but I hear that other people who live in rural areas of this country take the opposite viewpoint. They say it is not true that the wolf is the predator that some people consider it to be. I'd like the minister to clear up some of this and give us the background for your ministry making this decision on the wholesale poisoning of wolves. It would indeed be a tragedy if it has just been based on the concern of a few people and not on fact. I would like an explanation for that particularly.
I want to commend the minister again for listening to the many concerned people of B.C. who have expressed such great concern over the cruelty of the leg-hold trap. I must say that I hope he will give consideration to my questions at this time.
HON. MR. ROGERS: The regulations are out, so that's one thing.
What we have done in trapping is that the federal and provincial governments got together and spent a great deal of money, time and effort trying to define a humane way of trapping through the federal-provincial humane trapping committee. They determined that trapping a beaver, muskrat or otter with a leg-hold trap in a drowning set is humane. So it depends on the set that you use the trap on. I'm a little more experienced than I was last year, after having spent three days on a trapline in the middle of winter.
MR. LAUK: Where was that?
HON. MR. ROGERS: It was near 70 Mile House. We got one otter and one beaver. I have a friend who is a test pilot for deHavilland. so I sent him a nice photograph of the otter and the beaver. He appreciated the humour. I personally went out with some trappers and we set traps for wolverine and beaver
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— we got an otter in that trap — and we got a beaver in the otter trap. We took some squirrels and one marten.
AN HON. MEMBER:, Did you have a licence?
HON. MR. ROGERS: Oh, yes.
In the evening, for entertainment, I was subjected to actually having to learn how to skin and dress the animals out. I have a considerably better knowledge of this than the city boy I am. If you'd like to do it, I can tell you that the president of the B.C. Trappers Association would be absolutely delighted to take you out and show you what actually happens on the trapline. In fact, in your case perhaps it would be better if his wife took you. She's probably a better trapper than he is. She does a better skinning job. You could see it from a woman's perspective, because there are a lot of women who successfully trap in the province.
The federal-provincial humane trapping regulations came out and said that where it's possible to replace the foot-hold trap with a Conibear trap or some other type of killing trap, it should be done. There are certain species for which we have not yet developed a trap. They include the wolf, the coyote, the fox and the lynx. Those make up less than 4 percent of all the species taken in the province. That's where we get the statistic that 96 percent of the animals that are killed are killed in humane sets. If they use the foot-hold trap in a drowning set, of course it's different.
In addition to that, we have funding in this year's budget specifically earmarked on a five-year program to assist trappers in replacing their old traps, because many of these people don't have a very high income. We have a committee set up, with a member from the United Native Nations, the Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals, the Trappers Association and my fur specialist from the ministry. They met and have developed a formula for surrendering traps and replacement of traps so we can get the more humane traps into the hands of the trappers, especially those who have difficulty affording them. At the same time we are working on trying to find a trap to catch these four species, with which we still have difficulty, in a more humane way. I can't go out to the trapping industry, which is about 6,000 people — about 50 percent of whom are native people — and say: "I'm going to put you out of business because we don't accept it." We can't do that. They still have to survive. We have strict regulations.
When I came back from one of the days I spent out there I spent a day in a fur depot, seeing what the furs look like when they're brought in. That's a real problem we have in the industry. When some of these animals are taken they are not properly handled, so a skin that may have been worth $200 when it was trapped, had it been properly handled, would only go for $40 or $50. To that extent, we run our own trapper education program, which is now, I understand, on Dr. McGeer's Knowledge Network. In fact, it's a very successful program. It's taught at the college in Fort St. John and Prince George and is very popularly received. It's very important that if this resource is to be harvested and it's a multimillion dollar resource for the province we should get the maximum value out of that resource. So we not only want to train the trappers in the humane use of trapping, but in getting the very best value for their pelts. Of course, the pelts vary with the fashion industry. This year it's all the long-hair furs which are the ones that are valuable, and the market just isn't there for the short-hair furs. So we want the trappers to be much more aware of the humane side of it and all so of the other side.
Of course, when they took me trapping, as you might well imagine, the minister probably had the most sophisticated tour that could possibly have been arranged. Nonetheless, we went out and set them and caught the animals and took them, and I'm very impressed with what they're doing.
MR. SKELLY: Expensive wine on the trap-line.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Well, I won't tell you what kind of wine we had on the trapline, because it's not that kind of operation, but if you'd like to go, I can make the arrangements and they'd love to have you. I hope that answers some of your questions about trapping.
MRS. DAILLY: The wolf! The wolf!
HON. MR. ROGERS: You wanted to ask a question about the wolf?
MRS. DAILLY: Yes, just one quick answer. I want to know why.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Because there is no other way to catch that animal. There just isn't another acceptable way of humanely trapping that animal.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Oh, you want to know why we poison the wolves. We only poison wolves currently where they interfere with livestock operations. We don't poison wolves in any other way, as a wildlife management method, although we're under considerable pressure to do that from outdoor recreation groups, from hunting and fishing clubs, from the wildlife federation and from others, if you want to talk about it, where the wolf populations have expanded so much that they're starting to affect the ungulate populations.
At this point I have to lean on the biologists in the ministry to give me some expert information, but at the present time we use four grams of monosodium fluoracetate for the entire province for the entire year. That's a very small amount, it's very selective, and we only use it where we've had attacks on domestic cattle.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Oh, you should talk!
And the baits have to be checked every 72 hours.
HON. MR. GARDOM: It's a typical Friday, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I would ask leave of the Committee, on behalf of me and my colleague from Kamloops (Mr. Richmond), to make an introduction.
HON. MR. GARDOM: Mr. Chairman, it's a great pleasure to introduce to members of the assembly members of the Norwegian Parliament's Committee on Consumer and Administrative Affairs. They're touring Canada and the United States. They are Miss Loewig, the chairperson; Ms. Martinsen; Mr. Odd With; Mr. Gulbrandsen; the consul, Mr.
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Ronneng; and the vice-consul, Mr. Antonsen. I would ask all members to bid a special welcome to them. It's good to see you in British Columbia.
MR. RICHMOND: Mr. Chairman, it was indeed a pleasure for me last night to spend a delightful evening with four members of the Norwegian Parliament and to show them some of the sights of the fair city of Victoria and the surrounding area. I would like to introduce Beute Bakke, Brita Borge, Tore Liltved and Halvor Stenstadvold, and I would ask the House to please make them welcome.
MR. KEMPF: Mr. Chairman, I wasn’t going to get up this morning and repeat what I've said in this House many times in regard to the predator problem, but the member for Burnaby North (Mrs. Dailly) made a very good point, and I would just like to elaborate a bit on that.
MR. NICOLSON: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, when the hon. member for Omineca rose to his feet, I think almost everybody on that side of the House left. Could you count and see if there is a quorum, Mr. Chairman?
MR. CHAIRMAN: The point of order is: is there a quorum? Yes, there is. Please proceed.
MR. KEMPF: I can't help it if they're sick and tired of hearing from me in regard to a proper predator program in this province; they're going to be a whole lot sicker until they bring one in.
Mr. Chairman, what I wanted to say.... And I agree with the member for Burnaby North. She makes a good point for a very real necessity in this province for a program of 1080 poisoning of wolves, because it's a known fact — and you don't have to take my word for it, you can ask those who are very expert in that field — that that is the most painless and most humane way of controlling the wolf predation problem in this province.
Mr. Chairman, I too welcome our friends from the Norwegian Parliament. You know, I've said it in this House before: we don't have to reinvent the wheel in regard to wolf predation and the predator problem that we're experiencing in the province of British Columbia. We only need to travel — in fact, not even travel — to those countries, and just ask these people what they do in their countries to control wolf predation. The Norwegians have a very good program, as do the Swedish people. They don't allow the wolves to run rampant over their countries and eliminate the ungulate herds. They get into the corrals and pastures of our cattlemen.
The member for Burnaby North asked me about the pictures. I have it here in living colour, and I'm only too happy to show this House these pictures once more. I know you're not supposed to show pictures, Mr. Chairman, but they show in living colour what's happening there in regard to the wolf problem in this province.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please put them down. No exhibits. please,
MR. KEMPF: The member for Burnaby North makes a very good point.
MR. KEMPF: I agree with that — the only thing that bothers me is that some of the pictures are red.
The member for Burnaby North is right and we very badly need a predator control program in this province that is humane and painless. I want to say to the House today: don't take my word for it; ask those who know. The poison 1080 is the most painless way, the most humane way to institute a predator control program in British Columbia. In the hands of those who are knowledgeable regarding that poison, it's the best possible way to control the wolf problem that we are presently experiencing and it's of no danger to other species. It's a canine poison. It kills them very quickly and very painlessly. It's the only program that we should be considering bringing in, and we should be doing that immediately — through you, Mr. Chairman, to the member for Burnaby North, who doesn't know about these things and admits it. I think we should be listening to those who do, and there are many of those in this province, including people like Jim Hatter and Cyril Shelford, who know perfectly well that a proper predator control program in this province is a 1080 poisoning program. We should bring it in immediately.
In regard to the problem with the leghold trap, I just want to comment briefly on that this morning, because I think all hon. members of this House know exactly what my position is in regard to abolishing the leghold trap. That is that we can't, Mr. Member for Vancouver Centre, abolish the leghold trap until we have an alternative. I think this government is doing a lot of things in that regard, but we don't have an alternative to the use of the leghold trap in several instances.
[Mr. Richmond in the chair.]
The minister mentioned 6,000 trappers. Yes, we have 6,000 people who earn their living by trapping in the province of British Columbia, and I think we've got to give a whole lot of consideration to those people before we adhere to those people from the urban areas of this province who only like to make great headlines. I saw that publication you're just putting away, and I'd like you to show it to the House, because I'm not ashamed that I have taken that position.
That gives me a very good opportunity. The people who printed that piece of paper over there took a very small part of a letter that I wrote to a concerned person about the use of leghold traps in this province. They made a big thing. They, were very selective in what they took from my letter. In order to set the record straight, I'd like to read into the record of this House the entire letter that I wrote to that individual, so that there's no doubt in anyone's mind as to exactly how it is I feel about the leghold trap situation in this province. I quote from a letter that I wrote to a Mr. Paul Seddon of Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C. on March 5 of this year:
"I'm in receipt of your letter of February 9, 1982, with several signatures, for which I thank you. As an MLA who represents a constituency in which many individuals have made and continue to make their livelihood from trapping, I totally disagree with you."
Mr. Chairman. It's just about time, I think, that some politicians in this chamber disagreed with people out there, because I think those things should also be said in this chamber. You can't just agree with people all of the time for fear that you might not get their vote at the polls next time around. I continue to quote from a letter that I wrote on March 5 :
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"Firstly, let me say that as far as I'm concerned there is no humane way of killing anything, whether it be animal or human being, and I would suggest that your ultimate goal is to ban all trapping, period!
"Well, trapping and the use of the leghold trap has gone on for hundreds of years on this continent, and in fact was one of the industries which helped to build the Canada which you and I enjoy today. During this time, and as today, those who know trapping, which I'm sure you do not, have used the tools at their disposal as humanely as could be expected. Your story of 'intense torture, death by thirst, hunger, slow freezing, gangrene, and asphyxiation,' is merely designed to reach those in the public who do not know any better.
"Certainly I would like to see an alternative to the leghold trap, and everything possible is being done by government to have someone come forward with such an alternative.
"I would suggest that should you, and people like you, who claim to be so terribly concerned, put your money and energy in the same direction, instead of playing petty political games with the subject, an alternative would be found more quickly.
"In summary I wish to say that I support my trappers. They too carry on an industry which, like all others, we cannot afford to lose in this province. In fact, I would like to see British Columbia paying more attention to wildlife management in order that industries such as trapping would prosper.
"As for the voters at the polls in the next election, you forget one thing: trappers are also citizens. They also vote, as do many other British Columbians who rely on the trapping industry and that which it lends to the economy of the many small northern communities.
"So let's not play politics. Let's wake up to reality and say it the way it is."
Mr. Chairman, I believe that. I support the trapping industry in this province. I too abhor the use of the leghold trap, but until such time as a viable alternative is found I will support the use of the leghold trap. I think that makes my position on this subject very clear.
MR. LAUK: Mr. Chairman, I want to speak on B.C. Place, for which this minister has responsibilities.
Before I do I want to comment on the hon. member for Omineca's suggestion that if more of the members of this chamber learned to disagree with the people out there.... I think that if we could follow the member for Omineca's example we could learn how to do that. He's probably the most disagreeable member of the committee, Mr. Chairman.
If I could have the minister's attention for a minute, I want to talk about some cost figures. When the B.C. Place site was acquired by the government, Mr. Chairman, I had a conversation with the Premier, who informed me that this was a tremendous opportunity for the city of Vancouver; that this great site on False Creek accumulated by the province would give an opportunity to develop a jewel — a star development — that would be a classic example to other cities around the world. The Premier informed me at that time, after the very first announcements about the acquisition of the site, that this design and development would be with a great deal of sensitivity to the communities that would be affected and would be with the full cooperation of the city of Vancouver; that they would seek every opportunity to plan jointly and progress with the city of Vancouver in the development of this site.
Mr. Chairman, I have not spoken often on this project, which is in my constituency, but I regret to have to report to the members of this committee that that has not taken place. The attempts at cooperation between the city and B.C. Place officials have seen what I would call very serious philosophical roadblocks, the major one being that B.C. Place officials constantly use as their touchstone in this plan that the development must have an economic return. In that economic analysis, they argue that such a valuable piece of land must be developed in keeping with its value. They say we have land in the middle of the city that is extremely valuable. The worth placed upon it by the marketplace is quite high; accordingly, they argue that the plan for its development should include massive construction of commercial space and, in many ways, high density-housing.
In addition, B.C. Place officials take the narrow view that they are like a private corporation and must maximize their profit, and they are willing to do a number of things that I find repugnant to achieve that goal. You cannot maximize your profit unless you ignore the legitimate goals and ideals of the communities that will be affected, and unless you ignore the foisting of costs onto the city taxpayer without reasonable contribution. Therefore B.C. Place officials are on a collision course with the non-partisan legitimate goals and aspirations of the communities that will be affected by the project, and this in addition to the cost to Vancouver taxpayers. I've asked for and received reports from city officials, including the city engineer, the city manager's office, city planning and city social planning, to give, at least at this stage, an estimate of the tax burden that would be placed upon the citizens of the city of Vancouver. Perhaps the most startling report comes from the city engineer. It's only fair to mention that some of the projects he has reported were, in terms of city expenditure, on the books before B.C. Place, but it should be pointed out that they were long-term goals. That would certainly include the Cambie Street bridge.
But long-term means long-term, and the B.C. Place concept has accelerated the decision-making process within the city with respect to doing something about the Cambie Street bridge. That's fine in ordinary times, when it's a good thing that provincial government projects, through its Crown corporation, accelerate the city's decision-making with respect to such needed redevelopments. But these are not ordinary times. These are times when health-care costs are being cut back; when this recession, which is euphemistically called a financial correction in the economic system, is taking its heaviest toll; when people are unemployed; when city taxes are already too high and this minister's own government has decided to limit municipal budgets to increases of a maximum of 12 percent. Yet B.C. place is going its merry way, not pulling back its proposals, and laying upon the city the spectre of a burden of costs that the city taxpayer cannot possibly meet in these times and in the foreseeable future — I mean three to four years.
I'm told that full replacement of the Cambie Street bridge would cost in excess of $60 million. If we opt for only the north end replacement, it will be about $20 million. The sewer system will cost at least $15 million; the water system, $1.5 million; streets, $6 million. B.C. Place and the province will be paying about half of the bridge cost, all of the road costs, I'm told, and a significant part of the sewer and water
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costs, as per the cost-sharing agreements that will soon be reported to council. What must be asked is this: can those costs be realistically met by the city taxpayer? I reckon they cannot. I say that B.C. Place is on a collision course, this government is on a collision course, with the city of Vancouver taxpayer. They cannot be asked to meet those costs at this time. You're going to have to rethink the proposal for B.C. Place in relation to the city costs.
Other expenditures I would argue are indirectly related to B.C. Place would be the Bute tunnel at a minimum cost of $10 million, Malkin connector at $5 million to $10 million — I know these are cursory, but we're talking about ball park figures — Great Northern cut at another $10 million or $15 million, Kingsway connector at $3 million and the Cambie Street widening at perhaps another $2 million. These facilities may not be built for some time, but they are indirectly related and will be accelerated by B.C. Place. Staff costs to the city of Vancouver have also been provided to me by the city engineer, and they are quite high as well, ranging into several millions of dollars.
My point is simply this: the cost impact alone.... B.C. Place officials have placed most of their attention to this in terms of a cooperative effort, but they haven't succeeded in rationalizing and making a reasonable timetable in terms of these costs for the city of Vancouver. At a time when the government is limiting municipal budgets, B.C. Place is going to put a strain on the city of Vancouver's municipal budget. It's quite unfair. It's placing the city in a vice and in the middle. On the one hand, there's a demand for restraint in time of recession; on the other hand, there's this cost push for the city taxpayer. It's reaching a critical stage — what you might call a critical path. I think that something has to be done to cool things off.
Perhaps the most regrettable part of my report is the mindlessness of the planning by B.C. Place officials. Their proposals for massive amounts of commercial space are totally unrealistic. I'm quite surprised that as businessmen they argue that for the return on the investment, the revenues produced make it economic. After all, they say, the land values are high there and we should maximize our profit by high development of this site. The same argument can be made for Stanley Park. If you're going to ignore values, esthetics and legitimate goals of the community, you can make an argument for Stanley Park. Why don't we strip Stanley Park, log it, put up parking lots, shopping centres, malls, highrises and so on? After all, it's the most valuable land. It's even more valuable than the B.C. Place site.
We who represent the public do not embrace the goal of maximization of profit. We embrace the legitimate goals of the communities that are being affected. I say that an injection of community responsibility into B.C. Place planning is required now. They've got to lower their estimates for commercial space, because even on a business basis, the projections during this recession, which is going to last for some period of time, are that the demands on commercial space downtown are going to lessen considerably. I'm reliably informed that construction of commercial space in the downtown core is continuing quite rapidly. There will be a peaking amount of commercial space available. It will drive down prices. To overdevelop B.C. Place is a bad business decision when other more important goals should be met.
I'm surprised that some civic officials who represent a minority.... One of them who has now entered the mayoralty race doesn't even want a school on the B.C. Place site. He wants to create some massive executive city on the B.C. Place site. which was rejected long ago by the vast majority of citizens in the lower mainland. The GVRD is made up of a group of politicians who represent a cross-section of the people of the lower mainland, Their livable region plan is inconsistent with the proposal of an executive city. Economics now dictate against the development of a central core policy of an executive city. It should be for families. Housing, not only in a token way as B.C. Place officials are proposing, but family and social housing developments, should be involved, with parks, playgrounds and schools, that will make it truly, in the centre of one of the greatest cities of the world, a jewel — a project that will, indeed, attract the attention of the world. The B.C. Place officials are very limited in their imagination and have no pulse-taking with the people and their values. There is a major collision course there. Already we've seen the profiteers moving in and around the borders of the B.C. Place site. They have accumulated property and are ripping down old hotels and established places of residence to make the large profits that the B.C. Place project promises to them.
This government, unfortunately, is playing into the hands of the profiteers on almost every occasion. It is regrettable, indeed. Even B.C. Hydro, a Crown corporation, is acquiring property near the area for their own commercial space needs. A Crown corporation is a direct competitor with B.C. Place. Other private companies — I think there's one called Stadium Enterprises — have acquired some downtown east side hotels. What have they decided to refurbish? Not the rooms for the residents there, but the bars. They're trying to refurbish the bars around the stadium so that the patrons at the stadium can have access to these bars. That is not consistent with the majority goal and value of our community in the city of Vancouver. The minister knows full well that drinking at sports events — or before or after sports events — encourages impaired driving. A lot of these patrons come from the lower mainland suburbs and other districts. I know the city has a responsibility to police these things as well as possible, but it's the idea of profiteering and the effect on the communities that bothers me.
My last point is that there has not been a significant social impact study on the community surrounding B.C. Place. We do not know what it's going to cost us socially in disrupting these very stable and historic communities. I'm not satisfied that B.C. Place officials are taking the social impact needs of those communities seriously. I think that they are businessmen, and businessmen of a narrow view. It is therefore incumbent upon the government. through this minister, to bring community goals and standards to that board and, if necessary, impose those community standards upon the board in its planning and cooperation with the city of Vancouver.
The government has a tremendous opportunity here to make this concept work we'll. It can only do it with a little bit of patience and a great deal of cooperation. It cannot do it by espousing blindly a private capitalist view of the project, and that is to maximize profit.
My three points, then, are: (1) B.C. Place has not considered the immediate costs — or even the short and intermediate long-term costs — on the city of the project, including the stadium and the other proposals; (2) the plan itself, on the site, does not reflect the legitimate goals of the community; (3) B.C. Place and the government have not, in good faith, done adequate impact studies on the communities in the
[ Page 8544 ]
surrounding area. On those three points, Mr. Chairman, I say again that the B.C. Place project is heading on a collision course not only with the city officials and elected representatives of council but with all of the citizens of the city of Vancouver. It's time now for this minister and this government to step back a bit and reflect clearly on what now has to be done to solve those problems.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: I ask leave of the committee to interrupt these proceedings to make an introduction.
HON. MR. WILLIAMS: We have in our galleries today four young sea scouts from West Vancouver: Patrick Chilvers, Steven Chase, Chris Welsh and Michael Shebilyov. They have sailed from the mainland, taking three days, to visit us in Victoria. They are accompanied by their leader, Jonathan Chilvers, and I ask the committee to welcome them.
HON. MR. ROGERS: I'd like to respond to some of the questions from the member for Vancouver Centre.
B.C. Place is a 20-year project, at the very least. We are endeavouring to take a long-term look at how the west end of the city, that downtown peninsula, should develop. I don't honestly believe that you seriously think DERA, the community that is affected — that very narrow group of people who have attended almost every public meeting — truly represents all of the surrounding neighbourhoods. We've had more than 250 public meetings all over the west end, and in other areas as well, to discuss a draft plan. This isn't written in stone; it says right on it that it's a draft plan, just a suggestion. A host of the suggestions in that plan have already been rejected. Some were rejected by the city, some by the people; some were rejected as being just plain bad ideas. After a host of meetings, we felt it was necessary to explain to the public, and to others who wanted to know, the kinds of concepts we're trying to carry out. Because of the present economic situation, it may very well be that the whole thing will be put on hold. However, I ask you this one question: isn't it better now than it was before? Should it have been left forever as a CPR railway yard? I don't think so. Efforts by the CPR and others to change it were not successful.
We at B.C. Place would like to have social housing. We'd like to have twice the percentage that exists in the city at the present time. We think that's an acceptable goal, and it is twice the city's standard across the board. We think 15 percent of it should be social housing — subsidized housing, assisted housing — and 75 percent should be aimed at the moderate-income family; only 10 percent should be luxury. That's what we have said all along, but it has been somewhat distorted. The only profiteers I know of who are building adjacent to B.C. Place are actually occupying a parking lot that was there. I think the hotel they envision is a big advantage.
You asked about the cost to city taxpayers. There's no doubt about it: any event that takes place in the city, from the PNE parade to B.C. Place, costs city taxpayers money, but there are also substantial benefits to the city. I think the costs and the benefits balance each other out; I really do. It's very early to give a definitive answer as to what the costs will be and what the benefits will be. It may very well be that the Connaught Bridge won't be rebuilt. It may very well be that we are premature on the Connaught Bridge; that it's merely a negotiating point with the city. I think the city engineer would tell you that his long-term plan to assist traffic right through your riding is to have the Connaught Bridge realigned to connect the two streets, and to go from four lanes to six. Technically, the bridge can last for another 20 or 30 years at the rate it's going; I think it will be falling into dust at that point. At the present time that's all we are doing there.
British Columbia Place was given a mandate by the government to develop that project in such a way that the taxpayers of British Columbia would get a return on their investment. That's really our only objective.
I want to talk about the people we've had consulting here. This plan wasn't developed by the B.C. Place people. We brought architects from San Francisco, New York, Washington and London, and we also invited the city people. About five months ago we had a conference and said: okay, let's ask people from totally different disciplines but with architectural planning backgrounds to come in. I sat in on some of those meetings, and they were really invigorating. These people tore the plan apart and built it up; they said where it was wrong and where it was right and what the proposal should be. Ironically, in other jurisdictions they're saying: "You don't have enough office component. If you want to build housing, you've got to build offices with it." In fact, if you propose to build a housing project in San Francisco at the present time, they insist that you include a component of office space.
You refer to the mindless management of B.C. Place, just cranking out this great project. I could give you a list of names of the people. People like Arthur Erickson have looked at our project and they don't think we have high enough density; they don't think the plan is imaginative enough. But it's a discussion paper.
Quite frankly, the provincial government could roll over the city; but that is not our intention, and has never been our intention. There have been all sorts of meetings. Of course, it does get political at times. The city of Vancouver is actually steaming along pretty nicely now. The only thing they've got to get excited about or to fight over seems to be B.C. Place. Our plan does call for schools, despite what the various candidates have said.
AN HON. MEMBER: Are you going to vote for him?
HON. MR. ROGERS: The mayor of Vancouver and I have known each other since 1975; I defeated him when he wanted my seat in this place. He and I will have a long talk about it in Montreal, and I guess I'll make up my mind whether I will or whether I won't.
The question of commercial space: we're talking about a 20-year development, not about a giant development happening instantly. We have that site adjacent to the stadium and it will be serviced by the ALRT. It should be properly developed with a sufficient density to be able to justify those amenities. If you go with density, then your cost per square foot comes down. It's the same thing in housing and in other issues. We think we are going to be of tremendous positive benefit to the city.
HON. MR. ROGERS: I know Bruce Eriksen won't like it. In fact, the other night when you and I were upstairs in a meeting in the Hotel Vancouver, I left the meeting to go
[ Page 8545 ]
downstairs to make a phone call. Bruce Eriksen was holding court in the bar downstairs, and had his entire crowd upstairs. They're so on tune that he doesn't even have to be up there to orchestrate any more.
But you know and I know that those aren't the only people affected; there is a whole host of other people representing that community and the other communities around it. There is no question that we will have an effect. There will be some negative factors and there will be some positive factors. If you look at the way the thing has been run so far, with the professionalism that's been in place.... If we can't come to an agreement with the city of Vancouver on a development, then we can set a pattern over the next 20 years for the development. We've got to fold in Expo and then get the benefit that comes out of Expo instead of letting those buildings just lie idle afterwards.
I extend this invitation to you. You haven't been to see the people of B.C. Place and heard their side of the story. Have you actually been down to see them? I don't think you have, but maybe you have.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Yes, you have met with them, but come and see our side of the coin. If you just take it all from the city side.... In some cases, you know, the city is looking at this as the golden goose and if they can just squeeze enough eggs out of it, they're going to get a whole host of things for nothing. Well, you can only get the goose so often and then the goose doesn't lay eggs any more. It may very well be that that's the proper thing to do with it.
I want to say a few things about the project, and pay a real tribute to the construction of that stadium. People have come here from other countries very quietly — no diplomatic stuff; just a little phone call — and asked to show somebody through. We have now given 25 VIP tours and about 40,000 regular tours through the building. If they want to come and see how it's done.... It's a tribute to the construction workers, the engineers and the suppliers that it has gone without a hitch. There isn't anyone anywhere who has done one before. I'm just going to take credit on behalf of all the people who work in the organization, because it's been terrific as far as the stadium is concerned. The Vancouver Province shows the latest picture.
I want to read just one little paragraph of a letter I have from Alan Emmott, and it says:
"Nearly all of British Columbia Place concept is in keeping with the board's regional planning policies. In particular we support increased housing within the city, public open space, enhancement of waterfront area for the public use and added cultural, entertainment and recreational facilities. In this regard British Columbia Place offers an almost unprecedented opportunity to make a very significant contribution to the enhancement of Vancouver's liveability."
Though it doesn't quite fit with their regional plan....
HON. MR. ROGERS: Alan Emmott.
MR. LAUK: Yes, I know. Read the rest of the letter.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Oh, yes. It doesn't totally agree, but they don't totally disagree with it either. So I think we're on the right track. As you know, the plan we published is a discussion document. We have had comments provincewide, and we have had some out-of-province discussion. It will be very radically changed before we go ahead with it. But I still think that we're on the right formula in terms of social housing — housing for working Canadians. I think we should be looking at the greatest majority, or people who under normal circumstances would be working. Things are probably a little different now, but over the next 20 years this project is going to be something that....
I know that the second member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Barnes) has been down to sneak a look at the stadium. He keeps telling me that he's not sure he wants to vote against it because he kind of likes it and he thinks the people like it too.
MR. LAUK: I just have a brief comment. The second member for Vancouver Centre also reported to me quietly that the south end was sinking into the sand and that it's 50 feet too short for football. But we won't spread those rumours around.
Mr. Chairman, I don't want to leave the impression with the committee that I'm speaking only on behalf of the downtown eastside residents. Briefs presented at all of the 250 meetings, or most of them, were presented by a number of interested community groups that are going to be affected. In addition to the Downtown Eastside Residents Association there is Chinatown, the CBA and other groups that have made representations, Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, Yaletown, the core of the city itself and, indeed, the West End. And I've heard from all of these folks and a lot of them have the view that I have expressed here this morning.
MR. BRUMMET: Mr. Chairman, it's unfortunate that sometimes we can't keep the debate to particular topics, but I guess the minister's area is fairly broad and I would like to take it back to wildlife and some areas in that realm of his jurisdiction under his ministry.
I'd just like to suggest that one of the things that bother the people who live and work in the rural and remote areas of British Columbia is the decision-making that's made for them by others, and for what reason? For instance, I feel there's far too much generalizing done. Any group can take one wildlife instance and use that to develop a particular cause and then exert pressure; that pressure comes from numbers in a group, from the noisiness of the group, and often with a minimum amount of knowledge.
I certainly commend the minister for going out and looking at some of these situations, as he mentioned on the trapline, and studying them himself. I think if we had more people from the heavily populated southwest corner of the province, if we had more people actually learn what they are talking about, it would be a considerable help. I'm not maligning those people for the views that they hold. I think they have adopted those views because of certain groups who have selectively picked certain information, and then made an emotional issue of it.
Let's face it, a lot of the information passed around this province is through the major media — with headquarters in Vancouver. and those reporters like to sell stories, their bosses like to sell papers, and so you have these emotional issues spread around among those people and throughout the
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rest of the province. Then we have television. For most of British Columbia it comes from the headquarters in Vancouver. For some of us it comes from Alberta, because we can't get the B.C. network. However, that's another story.
We have a great deal of decision-making in this province influenced by people who take on causes because, to a large extent, they are misinformed, so they legitimately believe in their cause. The press take the easy way; they do not bother to go out on a trapline and talk to a trapper; they do not go out in the bush and talk to a real hunter or someone who lives out in that bush full-time. They take the story that's fed to them, and they influence people perhaps far more than they realize. In turn, those people influence decisions such as leghold-trap decisions and predator-control decisions and so on.
I know the member for Omineca (Mr. Kempf) is laughed at and ridiculed because he becomes so incensed about the wolf-control program. It's easy to become incensed when you live in an area where you know people who function among wildlife, use it as a resource, make their living from it, and know what is really happening. They know that their own beef herds are being severely damaged and that wildlife, in some cases, is being destroyed because of a predator problem. They cannot deal with that predator problem because the power of decision-making comes from people who do not know what is really going on.
In the North Peace region many times our people are just so incensed because they feel they are in an unfair competition against so-called experts. Some of our people live and work at something all year, and then there is a pressure developed by other people. Some people form a cause in the lower mainland. It's easy enough to get people to join a cause — Greenpeace, ban the dams, etc. Because people who live in frustration in some of the heavily populated.... Here's this compressed situation and for a fee of $1, $2 or $5 they too can become giant-slayers; they can attack big corporations and they can attack governments. It's easy enough to get a cause and get people to support it. We find that some of these groups then hire professional PR people to promote their cause and they hire professional lawyers, and the money goes to them. I'll give you a couple of examples.
On the Alaska pipeline hearing, the federal government gave $350,000 to the natives to push their cause — their concerns about the pipeline. When the hearings were over, the experts who came in to study and the lawyers who said, "We can represent your case much better," picked up the $350,000. The natives got none of it. And there you have a great cause that was being promoted. I think the biggest cause was their pocketbooks.
I can tell you that in the Site C dam situation there is not one local lawyer from the Peace River representing the antidam groups. They're being paid by the hour — outside people who come in and say: "Look, we can present your case much better." You have these ridiculous situations going on, and it's no wonder that the people who live there get upset.
If I could make one point on the leghold trapping promotion, they've very successfully used one picture on TV. It creates a horror picture of a squirrel hanging in a leghold trap with the leg skinned. It's a very effective device. What makes the real trappers so mad is that the skinned part of the leg is above the jaws of the trap. There is no way that that squirrel could skin the leg and have the skinned part above the jaws of the trap. That picture goes into schools and on television and it makes the case for the cruelty of leghold trapping. At least these people might have the sense, but then, who checks? It's a very effective picture. The skinned part shows better if it's above the jaws of the trap. I can give you other examples where that is the type of thing that makes the decisions about whether leghold trapping should be done. So we have people who say that's cruel and the leghold trap should be banned.
I would like to conclude very briefly on the leghold trap issue, that for some reason people seem to feel that trappers want animals to struggle and die slowly. Any trapper worth his salt wants that animal killed as quickly as possible, because he wants the best fur. Any animal that struggles in the trap for any length of time will ruin its fur. So why not talk to the trappers? A lot of that is going on, and I'm pleased that the minister is talking to the trappers, but for too long we've had a study necessary. That study is commissioned to the scientists, who study the situation, and the last people they ask about what happens are the people who make their living at it and who know about it. For some reason or other, people who are knowledgeable seem to have a vested interest, according to them, and so their information isn't that important.
For instance, one of the things that we need for proper management control is a good inventory of game animals and wolves. There are a lot of people who function out there, whose count is not taken or accepted, and so we have to go to great expense to do our own count. It is expensive to do that type of inventory from helicopters and airplanes and from various studies. I'm not saying that anybody's — say a guide outfitter's — word should be taken immediately, but I think that a much better system could be worked out to get the people who are there anyway to provide much more of the information.
I'd like to deal a little bit with the wolves. It has been said that we have a difficult time getting an inventory of wolves. I notice one article in the paper where a Greenpeace group went into the bush to count wolves. The member for Omineca (Mr. Kempf) smiles. The wolves are far smarter in the bush than any of us.
To go out in the bush.... I've hunted for at least 16 years in various parts of the Peace River country. I have seen a lot of wolf trails and I have seen numerous wolf kills, but I've seen very few wolves. They have learned to avoid man. You can cover as much territory as you like — when you're flying in the wintertime is when you really see them — but just wandering through the bush, or sitting there at a campfire to count wolves, you will see very few, so we won't get an accurate count. The people in the business do see what is happening, and they can interpolate as well.
For instance, when we talk about game management, we're really talking about a matter of choices. To people who live in the populated areas, the wolf — that darling, furry little thing — is just as important as an elk, moose, deer or caribou. So it may be true.... None of us who are in favour of predator control would ever like to see the wolf eradicated. We're talking about control. The member for Omineca has shown some pictures to try to make some believers and to get people to realize that the wolf is not that benevolent animal that weeds out the sick and the diseased. There are estimates that a wolf will eat one wild game animal per week. You don't need very many wolves to realize what will happen. There are many people who probably don't realize that the propagation of herds — if we decide that we will have elk herds.... I know the next argument that generally comes is that the only reason we want elk herds is for those mean and miserable hunters to shoot and kill them
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cruelly. A lot of this discussion, of course, will go on over steak dinners. Have any of those people been in a slaughterhouse and watched the beef being slaughtered? Have any of them seen any of those situations? While you're eating a steak dinner it's easy not to say it's cruel to kill elk or moose. I don't believe in waste, but I think game can provide an industry, it can provide a sport, a recreational function, and it can provide food, which it does for many people.
Let me tell you how the wolves affect the wildlife herds. Wolves need to eat. They are ferocious, ruthless killers, and they do not in fact eat all they kill. If anyone has any familiarity with dogs on a sheep ranch, they will know that they do not just kill one sheep and start eating it: they will keep killing. They get incensed and they will kill whatever they can, and eating is not necessary. It is known that wolves very seldom come back to eat cold meat. If you want to talk about cruelty, about poisoning a wolf — which is quick — let's talk about the cruelty of wolves. They prefer calves and the females because they don't get near as much fight from them. The propagation depends on the young coming up and the breeding going on, and the females bear calves. So you need them to keep the herd going. If you eliminate the young and the females in an ungulate herd, the herd soon goes out of existence. There's plenty of evidence of that, but it's very difficult for anyone to sit in the bush and watch the wolves kill.
There are people who say that the natural cycle works. Certainly the natural cycle works, but let's just visualize how it works. When wolves move into an area they start killing the young, and then the females — they take their easiest targets. Yes, I suppose they eat the diseased, the sick and the crippled; but as soon as those run out, they're after the others. Because they have all this game, wolves breed at an astounding rate — the wolf herd builds up and they need more food. It doesn't take long before they actually wipe out that ungulate herd.
MR. BRUMMET: Nuts we're at the bottom of the cycle! Those wolves travel miles and go over into the next territory, where they follow the ungulates. Of course, when they eventually run out of wildlife.... They generally avoid man, but they will move in and start killing the cattle. They move into the next area. When they've cleaned that out, they move into the next area. In the first area that they've left the natural cycle starts up, so some elk or caribou might wander into that area. How long does it take for them to breed to a viable herd again? As soon as they do, of course, the wolves have made the cycle and they come back. The wolves have very few, if any, natural enemies out in the bush. If we decide that the natural cycles should work, then I think we should stop spending any money on game enhancement and management programs. Let the wolves manage it. They do a fantastic job.
I happen to believe that wolves have, other than fur, very little use. We generally get down to a matter of choices. If we choose to have our elk, moose and caribou for food, recreation and viewing, then we have to have predator control. I'm not suggesting that we should, willy-nilly, go all over the province and poison all the wolves. I'm suggesting that that is one way you can get to the wolves. Ask any trapper how easy it is to catch a wolf. It takes a little skill to set a trap that a wolf won't smell out or spot. Wolves are notorious for avoiding traps. That wilderness is their territory. They own it by comparison with man. We're amateurs in the bush by comparison with them. They will destroy the useful animals in the wilderness — and "useful" is, again, a relative term. The only time a wolf starts starving off is after he has wiped out everything else. If that is what we want — natural cycles — then by all means let’s not waste money on enhancement programs.
I happen to believe that the enhancement programs are working. For instance, up the Tuchodi River, north of Fort Nelson, there have been some burns.... There has been a considerable amount of work done on an elk-enhancement program. Elk were starting to build up. Those elk could be transferred over to the Kechika and other regions as well. In their words, one could use those local herds to propagate a lot of the country and propagate the elk species. What they're finding now is that all of a sudden, despite the enhancement program and what they've seen, the elk herd is not growing any longer. Why? They're spotting more wolves in the area. We're spending thousands of dollars on elk enhancement — and not just taxpayers money, a lot of the users.... The fish and wildlife branch and many of those people are spending a lot of money on game enhancement programs that are working and are very effective. All of a sudden the elk herds are no longer growing.
MR. BRUMMET: Yes, that means that there are fewer elk for hunters to take. But the hunters make pretty good use of it.
Let me give you one example. There are many people in he area who can tell you, through objective counts and subjective judgments, that there used to be at least 350 sheep on the upper Kechika. I was there by boat last summer to look at the area. I didn't take a sheep licence; I just went for a holiday. We had glasses and watched some sheep and goats. Apparently there used to be at least 350 sheep in this one area. They're now down to 50. Very few have actually been taken by hunters. But the wolves have moved in. On one winter expedition by members of the fish and wildlife branch they went out by helicopter....
MR. BRUMMET: Yes, I appreciate that this is not a problem to the people on the Island and the city-dwellers. So you'd like me to stop; you'd like to have that one version.
MR. KEMPF: Pay no attention to them.
MR. BRUMMET: I don't intend to. I think it has to be said on some occasions. I would like to get this one example across.
On a game count they came across three dead sheep and a wolf trail. The helicopter continued and found another two sheep dead immediately over on the other side of the hill. They were dead and left there, and the wolf track went on. They followed the wolf track over the next ridge and found another four sheep killed and left. They went over another hill and found a pack of wolves that had surrounded another 17 sheep. If that helicopter hadn't scared them away, probably those other 17 sheep would have died. A herd of about 26 sheep would have been wiped out in that one killing foray by a bunch of wolves, but that's not important to the city dweller.
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Let me tell you something else that wolves do which people don't appreciate. Even when they don't kill, they can kill sheep through starvation. Sheep have to come down off the rocky crags to feed, particularly in the winter when it's cold, and that's when the wolves move in. They prevent those sheep from coming down and eating. They harass them keeping them up on the crags, starving, or force them to come down and be killed. It also affects the breeding season, it affects the young. So you have this destruction among cariboo herds, among sheep herds and so on. The wolves are cruel and ferocious killers.
There's only so much we can do, but I think we can do a lot to keep it under control. I'm going to conclude by saying that enhancement and wildlife management programs must include predator control. And it must not be a blanket control system across the province. It must be specific, using the knowledge of the ministry's people and the people for that particular region. I think we can deal with it effectively without eliminating wolves. I think we can do good management programs if we don't try to have blanket regulations, although I know that a certain amount of it has been done.
I think we can do a lot more towards cooperative effort on inventory. The guides and outfitters have a vested interest in keeping as much game in the country as possible, and they have a legitimate interest, as do the rest of us. Perhaps the minister might consider this one suggestion for predator control, maybe to turn the lemon into lemonade.
The guides and outfitters have a vested interest. They have lodges, centres of operations, out in the wilderness, and many of them have airplanes which they can equip with floats, wheels or skis. The best and perhaps most effective time to control those wolves, or to get at them, might be in the wintertime, when the rest of the season is closed. Prolong the hunting season for the guide and outfitters. Perhaps they could ski-equip their planes and take in hunting parties. There must be many people who would pay for the privilege of taking home a wolf pelt, or to mount a wolf that they shot themselves. I think there is a possible business there.
MR. BRUMMET: You wouldn't eat the meat, no.
I'm not suggesting that they start shooting out of those planes; I'm suggesting that they be allowed to spot and land in the proximity of the wolves, and to take in hunting parties. I think that would do a great deal to help these people with the problem that is affecting the rest of their business.
I know it's difficult for the minister to comment. I don't think I need to convince the minister to any great extent about some of the real problems, because he's making a point of finding out. But he's also influenced by a lot of city dwellers who, through misinformation, can exert pressures against wolf poisoning, against wolf predator control, against a variety of things — on a lot of either poor information or misinformation. I wish some of those people would try to find out both sides. I wish some of the reporters in the media would try to find out what's really going on, instead of taking the easy route.
MR. NICOLSON: The minister's certainly been given a great deal to think about by the previous speakers, so I'm going to give him a chance to think about it.
MRS. WALLACE: I have several unrelated items and I will try to run through them as quickly as possible. Perhaps if the minister takes notes we won't need to stop after each item to deal with it.
The first question deals with his responsibility as chairman of ELUC. I asked him in another form in this chamber not too long ago whether or not transcripts of ELUC hearings relative to ALR land are usually kept. He used the term "usually." I would like him to tell me whether or not transcripts were made relative to the Delta hearings — or what is commonly known as Spetifore lands — the Gloucester hearings, the Wenger property in the Columbia River area, the Moffat property at Prince George, and also the Blaeberry property near Golden. If in fact there were transcripts made of those various hearings, are they available? Can I contact the minister and ask him for a copy of any specific transcript of those hearings?
I'm sure the minister hopes I will never mention again — I know a lot of my colleagues would join him — an item that I've raised so many times in this Legislature: the Cowichan estuary. They may have hoped it was a dead issue. I think maybe the estuary is getting close to dead, Mr. Chairman, but the issue is far from dead. As recently as this February, there was quite an article in our local paper quoting some of the people who have been involved in the Cowichan Estuary Protection Society. At that time they said: "The estuary is not any safer for fish and wildlife a year and a half after the long awaited task force report. Nothing has changed, in spite of $250,000 the provincial government has spent on the estuary, and nothing is likely to change until the government begins to enforce what regulations are in place already."
The minister received a letter prior to that public statement, so I assume that they did not get an answer. I received a copy of this letter, dated December 2, which pointed out the inconsistencies in update number one on the task force report; in fact, in one part of the report, on page 3, the mill site there was dedicating a piece of land, and on page 4 of the appendix there is a recommendation that dryland log storage be put in there. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no response to that. I talked with your representative up there who, I think, is perhaps trying to do a job. We're just not getting government support to ensure that even the minimal kinds of recommendations that came down in that report are upheld. The rules and regulations are not being enforced. It's the same old story. In spite of the task force report, we're still right where we were years and years ago.
In that connection, I had a complaint from some representatives of the local government who were involved in a massive appeal case as a result of zoning. It cost them $15,000. They then had to review the evidence and put up another $5,000. They feel that they're being forced to use regional zoning to carry out a provincial responsibility. Foreshore management is really a provincial responsibility, yet they're being forced to use local zoning for that purpose at a pretty terrific cost to local government.
Speaking of cost, just in going through my Environment files — I know there are a lot more — I came across two documents. One is "Protecting a Resource: the Fraser River," a very glossy, high-class, picturesque kind of document, and the other is "Ministry of Environment." It is a glamorous kind of thing.
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MRS. WALLACE: That's the B.C. Spirit; I guess that's it.
I think that's a fantastic cost. Is it any wonder that we're concerned about the cost of advertising in that ministry, when we see a 90 percent increase in their advertising this time around, on top of all this kind of stuff? I just have those two examples. I was a bit disgusted, in a time of restraint, to come onto those two — I know there are many more — and then to look at the figures in his budget and see the increases in advertising costs that he's asking for this year.
I want to deal with another subject briefly: acid rain. When we're talking about something like acid rain, this is the kind of document that the ministry puts out. It's a little four page, newsprint kind of document, as compared to these others. It's interesting to note what the minister says. There's no date on this, but it was obviously sometime since mid 1981 that it was published. It mentions that they have been doing some monitoring on acid rain: "Three of the coastal monitoring stations — Vancouver, Port Hardy and Terrace — have consistently registered above-average acidity levels." I'm just quoting bits from this. "In early '81, B.C. and Manitoba joined with two other provinces and the federal government to create a senior technical committee which is coordinating acid-rain studies in the four western provinces. That was March of '81. I'm wondering whether the minister has any report back from that committee.
It goes on to say that British Columbia has initiated computer-programming, which will be used to summarize.... "All this new information on acid rain will be incorporated into British Columbia's environmental planning program, so we will be able to detect and prevent acid-rain problems before they develop." What sort of information has been coming back, and has it been incorporated as this thing says?
It's interesting to note, and I agree completely with what this says, that "unless something is done to reduce the increasing emissions of sulphur and nitrous oxides into the atmosphere, other regions, including the west, will eventually feel the bite of acid rain." It goes on to say that technologies do exist and pollution controls can be placed on smokestacks and cars, and coal can be washed, but the price tag for all of these measures is considerable. In the current economic climate, with increasing energy costs and belt-tightening budgets, both industry and government are cautious when it comes to spending money. Then the punch line is — and this is from the minister's pamphlet: "However, experience elsewhere has shown that the cost of not taking action will ultimately be far greater than the cost of installing adequate emission control."
I'd just like assurance in this Legislature that the minister still stands behind the statements made in this particular document. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a date on it, but I'm sure the minister will be aware of the document I'm talking about.
While I'm talking about acid rain, I think there is another thing that we have to look at. We may really be into some problems, with the downturn in the forest industry, in the use of pentachlorophenol. Certainly the IWA and the PPWC, both unions involved in using this, have mounted a pretty big campaign expressing their concerns. I've had a lot of concern expressed to me about the alleged burning of those dioxins in the Alberni installation of MacMillan Bloedel. I'm particularly concerned in my own area because the Western Forest Products dip-tank at Honeymoon Bay is still there. It's my understanding that the substance is now being transported to B.C. Forest Products at Youbou, and I'm wondering what kind of safety precautions are being used in the loading and hauling of this material. Also, what's going to happen when they get down to the bottom of the tank and all the sludge? Are you monitoring it, Mr. Minister? Is there anybody keeping an eye on what's happening? There are a lot of rumours around that that may just wind up in a lake that's used for drinking water, and I would urge the minister to keep a very close watch on that particular thing.
The last subject I want to talk to the minister about is the chemical spraying that's proposed on Vancouver Island. I have been writing the minister asking him to put a stay on both the CPR and the B.C. Hydro permits. All I seem to get back are letters from his secretary. They are very nice letters, but they give no assurance. This has been going on now ever since the permits were advertised, and I still have no assurance from the minister.
Interestingly enough, I'm told by some of the people on the Lake Cowichan council that they have a letter from the minister saying that he has put a stay on the CPR spraying. It would seem that if he can find time to write to them....
He's shaking his head. Well, this is their understanding. I don't know how they got this. Maybe it wasn't in a letter, but their understanding is that the minister has involved himself in putting a stay on that spraying. I'm told that as far as B.C. Hydro is concerned, the pesticides appeal board has in fact got down on bended knee and pleaded with Hydro, and they have graciously agreed not to spray until such time as the hearings are completed.
Every year we have this same thing, Mr. Minister, and every year there's more and more evidence that we don't know what these chemicals are or how they react. I came on some very interesting information recently in the federal government report of the special committee which recommended very strongly that there be alternative types of controls. That federal committee report went into this at some length, and in conjunction with that.... I'm sure the minister has read the report of the Canada Environmental Council under the leadership of Dr. Ross Hall, professor of biochemistry at McMaster University. It's come down squarely on the side of integrated pest management. I would certainly refer the minister to that report, and I would point out that there has been some very interesting information coming out very recently. I have an article here by Douglas Foster and Mark Dowie, published in the United States in a magazine called Mother Jones. They've done a lot of research on this, and I have some selected quotes: "What we found is that much of the research and regulation effort aimed at ensuring us a safer world is either fraudulent or useless."
I'm sure the minister is aware that we do base our decisions as to the use of certain chemicals on recommendations made by the United States. I won't go into the IBT lab fiasco — the minister is well aware of that — but this article goes on and on with those kinds of approaches and details in great length. Certainly I'd be happy to send the minister a copy of that if he's interested in it. My point is, Mr. Chairman, that the minister really needs to involve himself in assuring that we have more knowledge about these chemicals before he allows the spraying to go ahead. There is just too much uncertainty and too much new evidence turning up year after year that points to the hazards involved in using these chemicals. Certainly in a time of low employment opportunities it seems to me a good time to make a start about using some
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manual labour to get rid of some of these growths that are unwanted. We've just come to spray them with chemicals as a matter of course. I think we have to take a second look, Mr. Chairman, and I would urge the minister to be a ringleader in that particular item.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, if I could just talk about chemicals and agricultural spraying for a minute as I go through my notes backwards, I have not issued a stay for the CPR on Vancouver Island or the E&N Railroad. There may be something else from somebody else in the ministry, but certainly not from me. I want to tell you that I'm getting pressured by a number of people to say that everybody who uses pesticides in the province should have to go to the same hearing, and I wonder what your position would be if the farmers also have to submit to the Pesticide Control Appeal Board. The Pesticide Control Appeal Board was actually done away with last year, but it's the Environmental Management Board which hears both of them. I realize that's just a mistake, but we have a double standard. If it's in the forest and if it's on the railroads and on the Hydro rights-of-way, we submit the whole thing to an appeal, and yet if it's on agricultural land or in private use.... The biggest misuse happens with the private user, the agriculturalist. In fact, the cost of the pesticides or the herbicides they're using are so prohibitive that they're not going to waste any. But there are people, like my dear mother, who think that if one ounce per gallon is good, two ounces will kill them twice as dead, and this is not very good. We work in the regulations end. There are groups that would like to see it go both ways, so agriculturalists have to submit themselves to the same things as Hydro and the railways.
There is a joint report coming out on PCPs between the unions, the Ministry of Environment, the federal Department of the Environment, and the companies. With the passing of the Waste Management Act we can now handle those sludges which before we couldn't designate. As soon as the act is proclaimed and we have our regulations in place, then those sludges will be special wastes and will have to have special treatment, which is something we haven't had before. So the problem that you've mentioned would, I hope, disappear.
Acid rain. That publication you referred to was released at the joint meeting of the western Canada Ministers of Environment in Saskatoon — I believe it was in February. You mentioned those two brochures. We put out information bulletins and they are undated because we hope they will be of timeless value for at least several years. Those documents we put out are done by our own staff people, who are pretty proud of the work they've done. We get an enormous call for them from schools throughout the province, as a guide to the ministry. They're a very small part of our advertising budget. Our major costs are in putting out papers for air data, for inland fisheries, for fishing regulations, for shellfish regulations, the snow survey and Queen's Printer for mapping.
I appreciate there will probably be a reduction in one of my votes, but I can tell you about the big cost of advertising and the big cost of travel. One is regulations and the other is travel for conservation officers' service, which the member for Shuswap-Revelstoke (Mr. King) has been onto me about for years. They got a very substantial increase in their budget this year for travel, and I am sure it will be one of the things he'll want to roll back.
HON. MR. ROGERS: Yes, we certainly did give them more work to do.
The Cowichan estuary report. I wonder sometimes why Doman gave that land, because they gave it out of the goodness of their heart and they've had nothing but grief for having donated it. I think Ken Lambertsen is doing a good job. They have negotiated some land transactions; they're also negotiating deep-water storage. If he's able to negotiate an alternative deep-water storage site, that in itself is a major solution to the problem. Of course, the ombudsman is also involved in this one. It gets complicated.
On the subject of appeals to the agricultural land reserve, there are two methods of appeal; one is an individual method and the other is a method by regional district. Where a regional district is involved, no record is kept, but where there is an individual involved, there is a record. I've gone through these; I didn't sit on the Moffat one; I understand it was an individual one. The Blaeberry one was a regional district appeal. I think the Gloucester one was a regional district appeal; I can't remember. I could tell you, but that's approximately the breakdown of them.
MR. WALLACE: Are they available?
HON. MR. ROGERS: No, they're not available. They are considered records of the committee and are not released, but we do keep that transcript.
MRS. WALLACE: Relative to spraying on agricultural land, the minister has made a point and I do have a concern about that. I have raised many times in this House the need for further research and development so we don't leave the farmers out on a limb, if and when the time comes that there is a need to do away with some of those chemicals used in agriculture. I just wanted to clarify my position on that.
The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.
The committee, having reported progress, was granted leave to sit again.
Hon. Mr. Gardom moved adjournment of the House.
The House adjourned at 12:35 p.m.