June 1, 1950

LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

It is the first time I have heard about it, but I am fairly sure that I could get a good story from my officials. We do not spend the public's money without having assurance that it is well spent. But I can give all the information the hon. member wishes on my estimates, or I can try to get it before that time.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
Permalink
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I should like to be quite clear on this point. I am quite sure that the Minister of Public Works can get an explanation. But while it is an expenditure, my view is that one of our duties in examining the estimates for the current year is to compare what is asked for this year with what has been spent previously, and that has been the practice as we go along. At the moment all I am asking is what would be the correct

procedure. I think this matter should be discussed in the committee; but should it not be discussed under the Department of Resources and Development, or do I take it from the statement of the Minister of Public Works that he will allow us to discuss it on his estimates?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Certainly. If we in public works spent that money, you will certainly have all the time you wish to discuss it in committee on my estimates.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
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PC

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Casselman:

What about the chairman? Will he agree to that?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Who did spend the money?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

If I correctly understand it, it is under his estimates. We probably had a transfer of funds in the putting up of this building. We are responsible for putting up the building and renting the land. I am glad the hon. gentleman has given me this advance notice so that I will be well prepared when he brings the matter before the committee on my estimates.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

This whole group of estimates covers undoubtedly one of the most important activities of the new department whose estimates are under consideration. This afternoon the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe raised a point that I believe should be given earnest consideration and one which calls for a plan of co-operative effort between this department and the provincial departments which are handling the problem of forest protection, particularly the prevention of fires. This subject was discussed briefly on an earlier occasion. I wish, however, to emphasize the point that no matter how carefully plans may be drawn to ensure the perpetuity of the forest crop by the ordinary cutting methods, those plans will be defeated and there will be continuity of the forest threat unless more effective measures can be taken to prevent the tremendous devastation by fire that occurs each year. It is doubtful whether it is possible to prevent fires, but there is no question about it that a large percentage of all fires are preventable and a large percentage of all fires can be stopped in the early stages if the proper steps are taken just after the fire has broken out.

The prevention of fire is something that can well be considered on a wider basis than a division of areas by provinces. Some of the provinces now have effective fire protection services of their own. Other provinces are not able to maintain the fleet of aircraft necessary for that purpose. There is not a single province, however, that would not benefit greatly by some arrangement under

which highly-trained firefighters could be carried quickly into threatened areas far from roads and far from ordinary water communication, and dropped by parachute. For that purpose it would seem to me that a plan of co-operation with the Royal Canadian Air Force could be worked out under which various commandos could be trained to go into any area where fires have broken out as a result of lightning or from other causes, and where they are remote from ordinary direct access.

I do not want any suggestion to be made that I am proposing that the Department of Resources and Development attempt to supplant, or in any way to enter into the field of direct responsibility of, the provincial departments. I feel sure, however, that the provincial departments would welcome some plan which would make it possible to fly in either their own or other trained men to some of these areas, with aircraft in the possession of the Royal Canadian Air Force which could do a job that the highly effective but smaller aircraft of the various protection services are not able to do.

This whole problem is one that goes beyond that of protection of the forests themselves. This department has under its administration the encouragement of travel into this country. Right at the present time there are a number of areas in different parts of Canada where travel is prohibited because of fires, even at this early season. This therefore is a matter of direct concern not only from the point of view of protection of the forests for commercial services but also because of its effect upon the tourist business. Once again I am placing before the minister the importance of a plan whereby the transport aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force could be brought into operation under some cooperative arrangement, and whereby they could fly, into areas not otherwise accessible, parachute firefighters with special equipment who could drop in and do this job. It is not any new suggestion over here, nor is it a suggestion of something that has not worked. It is being worked today very successfully in a number of areas in the United States.

I make this proposal to supplement what has already been said by the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe as to the immense importance of taking every step possible to prevent loss by fire, which actually is eating up more wood than all the industries that are producing so much in dollars at this time.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

Supply-Resources and Development BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE Mr. Fournier (Hull): Mr. Speaker, as

arranged some time ago, tomorrow we will have a discussion on freight rates under item 524 of the Department of Transport. Then we shall try to dispose of the few items that are left in that department. I understand there are a few left. We hope to conclude the estimates of the Department of Resources and Development and then we shall proceed with the estimates of veterans affairs and citizenship and immigration.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   $96,500 COMMONS
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At 11.03 o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. [The following items were passed in committee of supply]:


DEPARTMENT OF RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT


A-Department



358. Departmental administration, $370,640. Development services branch- 359. Branch administration, $55,215. Water resources division- 360. Water resources division, including the administration of the Dominion Water Power and Irrigation Acts, and including grant of $350 to the international executive council, world power conference, $541,766. 361. To provide for studies and surveys of the Columbia river watershed in Canada, $380,000. 362. Lake of the Woods control board, $12,480. 363. To provide for the expenses incurred under the agreement between Canada, Ontario and Manitoba, confirmed by the Lac Seul Conservation Act, 1928, moneys to expended to be largely reimbursed, $17,750. 364. To provide for excavation of a flood channel at Dalles rapids in Winnipeg river in Ontario to reduce flooding of riparian property affected by regulation under the Lake of the Woods Control Board Act (revote), $60,000. Wildlife division- 365. Wildlife resources conservation and development, including administration of Migratory Birds Convention Act, $300,000. National parks and historic sites division- 366. National parks and historic sites services, $10,138,886. 367. Trans-Canada highway-surveys of route in Banff and Yoho national parks, $25,000. 368. Grant to the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, $5,000. 369. Grant to aid in the development of the international peace garden in Manitoba, $15,000. 370. National Museum of Canada, $250,000. 371. Lands division-administration of dominion, ordnance and admiralty, and public lands; seed grain collections, $282,200.



Supply-Resources and Development Northern administrations- 372. Administration, $151,000. Mackenzie river division- 373. Operation and maintenance of services, including Wood Buffalo park, $678,415. 374. Forest conservation, including Wood Buffalo park, $337,295. 375. Roads, buildings and other works, as detailed in the estimates, $715,450. Yukon division- 376. Operation and maintenance of services, including forest conservation, $174,500. 377. Roads, buildings and other works, as detailed in the estimates, $2,741,000. Arctic division- 378. Operation and maintenance of services, including Eskimo affairs, $300,935. 379. Buildings and other works, as detailed in the estimates, $35,000. Engineering and construction service- 380. Engineering and construction services, $500,000. 381. Stony Rapids-Black lake road-contribution to the cost of construction a mining road between Stony Rapids and Black lake in Saskatchewan in accordance with the terms of an agreement to be entered into between Canada and the province of Saskatchewan (revote), $12,500. 382. Cranberry Portage road-to provide funds for the 1950-51 contribution to the cost of section B, Cranberry Portage to Cuprus Mines, of the proposed road between The Pas and Flin Flon in Manitoba, in accordance with the terms of the agreement between Canada and the province of Manitoba, dated September 30, 1948, $32,000. ,



Friday, June 2, 1950


June 1, 1950