[Opening Prayer read by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions.
Reading and Receiving Petitions.
Presenting reports of Standing and Select Committees.
The Honourable Member for St. Matthews.
DR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Mr. Speaker, I wish to present the second report of the Special Select Committee.
CLERK: The Select Special Committee beg leave to present the following as their second report. Your Committee has considered Bill No. 13, An Act to amend The Veterinary Science Scholarship Fund Act, and has agreed to report the same without amendment, all of which is respectfully submitted.
DR. MARTIN: I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Winnipeg Centre, that the report of the Committee be received.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and after a voice vote declared it carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Notices of Motion.
Introduction of Bills.
Orders of the Day.
HONOURABLE GURNEY EVANS (Minister of Mines and Natural Resources): Before the Orders of the Day, I should like to inform the House of some favourable developments that have occurred in connection with the water supply for the Town of Carman. It has been discovered that on - in the centre of Section 30, Township 6, and Range 7, there are three wells - three flowing wells have been discovered; the first one of which was tested at nearly 400,000 gallons of water per day, and there are thought to be approximately three wells of equal size. This would seem to indicate a flow of perhaps a million gallons of water per day; but it should be borne in mind that there will be very considerable loss in taking that water by means of ditches down to the Boyne River, where it will then supplement the normal flow of the Boyne. The loss might be as high as 50% or more, which would seem to indicate the water supply that might reach the Town of Carman of something in the neighborhood of perhaps a half a million gallons or less. But, it is thought that the requirements of the Town itself are of the order of 100,000 a day, and I know that all Members will rejoice that some of the impending difficulties of Carman seem pos-
sible of solution. I think we should all bear in mind, as we undoubtedly do, that there are many "ifs" in a situation of this kind, but the Water Resources Branch, does feel encouraged that this source of water from flowing wells within striking distance of the Boyne River, has been discovered, and we hope it will bring relief to the Town of Carman.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Has the Honourable Minister any information, favourable or otherwise, as to the situation in Altona and Gretna?
MR. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, I have just received a report from the Water Resources Branch, dealing with the water supply situation quite generally throughout the Province. Some time ago, we ordered the Department of Water Resources, to make a survey of the possibility of water shortages in the centres of population, particularly in the south, where they are thought to be acute. And I am in receipt of this survey, which is in some detail, and I think to answer the Honourable Member's question without too much detail, I would say this - that there does not seem to be any acute emergency arising at Altona because they do secure their water supplies from Niche which is across - actually across the border in the United States. They bring it in by truck, and there is no shortage of a good supply of water at Niche and it can be brought then, to Altona by truck. It's expensive, my understanding is that it's approximately a cent a gallon - $10.00 a thousand gallons. I believe other towns, including Rosenfeld, get their water from Niche. In the case of Rosenfeld, the cost being $12.00 per thousand gallons. Plum Coulee gets its water in similar manner from Morden, where the cost also is $12.00 per thousand, and Horndean gets its water from Morden at a cost of $14.00 per thousand. Those, I think, are the main spots where it was thought that emergency conditions of an unusually severe nature might arise. I think the towns that now receive their water supply by truck or hauling it as they do now, are able to get an ample supply - the main problem or difficulty at the moment being the cost of doing it, which is high. Our study is continuing, it is noted throughout this report that dugouts for water for cattle are, in some cases dry, but in many cases - more cases than we like to see, are low. Perhaps the only relief that's in sight for that at the moment that we can see as a practical plan, is the hope that precipitation will occur and that we will have a delay in the freeze-up to enable the dugouts to fill up. At the moment there is some danger of dugouts running dry.
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Honourable Minister a question. As a matter of fact, I have three questions. The first one is - what was -- could we have that location again -- location of those wells, and how far are they from the Boyne, and how far are they from Carman?
MR. EVANS: I will read the paragraph so that the honourable gentleman will get the exact detail as I have it here. "A discharge measurement of one spring, near the centre of Section 30,
Township 6, Range 7, indicated a yield of 9.73 cubic feet per second, equal to 394,000 gallons per day. Two other springs of approximately equal size were examined, and members of the party indicated that we had examined about one-third of the potential supply. In all, there is apparently a supply of at least 1,000,000 gallons per day."
Now, the honourable gentleman asked a question as to the distance from the Boyne River, and also from the town of Carman. According to the sketch map that I hold in my hand, my information, Mr. Speaker, is that it's a distance of 18 miles from Carman where the actual springs occur. The distance from the Boyne River to the location of these wells is a little more than - Mr. Speaker, it is not quite certain - the figures do not appear on the map, but judging it from the sketch map which I hold in my hand, it seems to me that the distance must be in the neighborhood of three or four miles from the Boyne, and then a further distance from there of perhaps 10 or 12 miles down the Boyne to the Town of Carman.
MR. GREENLAY: Thank you very much, Sir. Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are proceeded with, I'd like to direct a question to the Honourable the First Minister, and ask him when I could expect the reply and the information on the Order for Return with regard as to the Post War Fund.
HONOURABLE DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): I'll be glad to look into that, Sir.
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, it is with regret that I draw to the attention of the House, the absence of our Honourable Leader. Unfortunately, the Honourable Member for Osborne is confined to bed under doctor's orders. I'm sorry I cannot say just exactly when he will be back - I'm sure that it's only under circumstances such as this that the Honourable Member would be absent from the House in this crucial Session. I'm sure that the Members of the House join with me in wishing him a speedy recovery, so that he may take his proper place in the Assembly.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, before -- I appreciate my honourable friend from Radisson, for giving us this information, and ask him to convey to his Leader our regrets and hope he will keep us informed of his progess.
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are proceeded with, I would like to raise a matter in connection with the reporting of Hansard. I've already said that I think, considering the fact that this is just a start, that the folks who are in charge of that work are doing a very good job, and having complimented them on how well they are working, I'm really sorry to raise such a serious question now, but it applies to a remark my Honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture, made. Sorry I can't hold him guilty for it - if I could, I'd really make a great big fuss about it. Inasmuch as it's evidently the mistake of the reporting staff, I call your atten-
tion to Page 27, where there's a grave error committed in the -- of Volume 1, Number 6. Grave error committed in the spelling of Flee Island. If my honourable friend, the Minister of Agriculture were himself to blame, I would hold it to be extremely reprehensible. But inasmuch as the reporting staff are perhaps not as well aquainted with the great merit of that particular community, I would suggest that they be instructed to the fact that Flee is spelled F L E E. It is a very historical name, it takes its name from the fact that in the old days, the local Indians there had their homes and strongest fortifications in that area. When they met with reverses elsewhere as they did at times, because the invaders were more war-like and mighty than they, they fled -- fled back to where their homes were and their few meagre fortifications, and it acquired the term "Flee Island". And, I trust that if the historical background is considered, that neither the Honourable the Minister himself, nor those reporting him would have ever - either raised out of the district of no great importance or mispelled the name.
HONOURABLE ERRICK F. WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture): Mr. Speaker, I join with the Leader of the Opposition, because this is the most tragic mistake, and I do recommend to the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, that possibly because of the historic interest in this name, he should actually change the name of his constituency to Flee Island.
MR. D. ORLIKOW (St. John's): Before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Health. The question is as follows: What is the Government's policy regarding the payment of hospital insurance fees for (1) people on old age pensions, (2) people on old age assistance, (3) family on mother's allowance, (4) families whose total income is less than $1,620.00, or individuals whose income is less than $960.00 a year?
HONOURABLE GEORGE JOHNSON, M.D. (Minister of Health and Public Welfare): Mr. Speaker, in reply to the Honourable Member's question as to the Government policy regarding hospital insurance fees for people on old age pensions, I presume he means their - presuming the old age pensions, by that you mean old age security. The Hospital Act provides by and large, that if the person, being single, has an income including old age security of less than $960.00 a year, he is exempt from the premium payment, and if being a married person he has an income of less than $1,620.00 a year, he is exempt from the premium payment. In regard to people on old age assistance, under the provisions of the Act, recipients of old age assistance are exempt from premium payments. Families on mother's allowance, under the provisions of the Hospital Services Insurance Act, families in receipt of mother's allowance are exempt from premium payments. The families whose income is less than $1,620.00 or individuals whose income is less than $960.00 under the provisions of the Act, all individuals and families who are not provided with premium exemptions under the Act, are required to pay premiums. That is, if the family makes under
$1,620.00 or the individual under $960.00, and he doesn't come under social assistance, or any other -- under The Welfare Act, then he is required to pay premiums with the proviso that the municipality in which they reside may pay their premiums on their behalf. I think that answers all the honourable gentleman's questions.
MR. PAULLEY: I wonder if the Honourable the Minister would allow a supplementary question? As I understand it, under the present provisions of The Hospital Act that those over the age of 70, not at present qualifying - of course they're not under the means test - but it's my understanding that if they have estates in excess of $1,000.00, they must pay the premium, whereas under $1,000.00 they do not. My question would be, is the Government giving consideration to revising that provision in order that the more - may more be in line with the qualifications on the means test basis, between the ages of 65 and 70?
DR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, in response to the honourable gentleman's question, this matter came to my attention again this morning on another occasion, where the Act says that if it -- they're in this income bracket, as over 70, and just have their old age pension -- this is the question you're asking, they are under the terms of the Act only allowed $1,000.00 in addition to this amount of the pension. That is the law, the way it is now, and we are having a look at this, but, I can't answer you any further at this time.
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the Provincial Secretary again to Hansard. I was just starting to read from Hansard No. 6. It reports my speech on the education bill on Page 5, just about the centre of the page. I had been making reference to the fact that the Government was putting about $6,000,000.00 or more money into education, and I am reported as having said, quote, "and I say that the Government is ready to put that money without condition with respect to certain residence," - d e n c e. I'm sure that I intended at least to use the word residents - d e n t s. The "ts" has been change to "ence" which doesn't seem to make very much sense, and I have my doubts if we should carry on. I've noticed three or four already, mistakes, - should carry on printing this Hansard, which doesn't read very nice. Some of us speak as much with their hands as with their tongue, I suppose, and we move around, and it's pretty difficult for the persons working on this to catch our words very well. Some of us are suffering, due to the fact that we are not using our mother tongue, and we do not pronounce so very well, so I'm wondering if the time has not come to decide that we should revise this Hansard.
MR. M. E. McKELLAR (Souris-Lansdowne): Before the Orders of the Day, I would like to mention, that last Saturday evening, the Honourable Mr. Willis, the Honourable Mr. Thompson, ... and myself, attended the official opening of the artificial ice plant in the Town of Souris. Most -- for your information, this is a town of 1,800 population, and they have raised $20,000.00 to instal this, the artificial ice plant in their ...curling rink. It
opened with a reception at 5:30 followed by a turkey dinner at 6:30, and after that, we proceeded to the curling rink, where the Honourable Mr. Willis, performed the official opening ceremony. I'd like to say also that there was a rink from Minot Curling Club there, which gives the international touch, a rink from the City of Brandon, and a rink from the Manitoba Curling Association. These four -- four games were played, and I also refer to mentioning how our games came out, because although all we ended up with was a bunch of blisters, we didn't get very many points, but we did enjoy the game. And, I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Souris Curling Club for being the first Town in Manitoba, for intsalling an artificial ice plant.
MR. CAMPBELL: ...I'm sure all of us join with him in the congratulations. He doesn't need to apologize at all for their rink not getting very many points, if they had the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture skipping it. Not many threesomes can carry a load like that.
MR. E. R. SCHREYER (Brokenhead): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the Minister of Health, pardon me, the Minister of Education. I'm sorry that I didn't give him notice of this, but he may regard this as such: in view of the Bill No. 2 now before us, will the Department ask the Brokenhead larger secondary area committee to postpone the vote that was intended to be held this month?
HONOURABLE STEWART E. McLEAN (Minister of Education): Well, I'll take that as notice, Mr. Speaker. I must say I wasn't aware that they were intending to hold any vote this month.
MR. SPEAKER: Before we proceed with the Orders of the Day, I should like to inform the House that there will be a photographer in the gallery this afternoon, taking the odd snap for the C.B.C., and it is in connection with the inauguration of the Hansard in this House.
Adjourn debate. On the motion of the Honourable Member for Roblin, for an address to His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor, and the amendment thereto - the Honourable - this question is open. Are you ready for the question?
MR. J. G. COBB (Arthur): I would first, Mr. Speaker, like to congratulate you on your election to the office of Speaker of this Assembly, and I believe that you will conduct that office with dignity and justice to this Assembly.
I would also, Mr. Speaker, like to compliment the Honourable Member for Roblin, the mover of this motion, on the fine address that he gave, and I expect great things from him during his tenure of office in this House. Of course, insofar as the Honourable Member for St. Matthews is concerned, we all know what he can do. We have heard him many times, and we got his ususal good address.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I think the most of the people in this House, believe that we are living in the best part of the Dominion of Canada, and of course, as I represent the constituency of
Arthur, I believe that that is the best part of Manitoba. We are primarily a mixed farming area, and it is considered one of the better mixed farming areas in the prairie provinces. We also have what is considered to be one of the largest mink ranches, privately owned. In our area, in the very extreme south-west part of our area, we have the Lyleton shelterbelt area, which is pretty well known across the border in North Dakota. This past summer, we have had numerous delegations from that State, viewing the work that has been done there over the years and the results therefrom and they are very much interested as it apparently is a very much superior type than what they are using in the State of North Dakota.
Also in my constituency, Mr. Speaker, we have a body of water known as Oak Lake. This lake has been for years a pleasure resort on a limited scale. Last year I understand that the previous administration has bought land along the edge of that lake, in rather close proximity to the present resort, and it is my hope that the present administration will develop that property to such an extent that it will give entertainment and facilities to that section of the country, which at the present time they have to go miles to obtain. In conjunction with that, of course, is the matter of water supply. This past year, the water supply in that lake was extremely low. But on the Pipestone Creek, which has had successive years of flood, there is a very ideal spot for the construction of a dam, and I understand that there has been a considerable amount of work done in the estimating of that project. And, it is my hope, not only from the standpoint of an access of water, for that lake, but from a water conservation standpoint, and the prevention of flooding of the Pipestone Valley, that that work should be completed.
In our constituency, we also have I believe, the first oil field in the Province of Manitoba, and from that extension of that field, we have now several smaller fields which have developed, and it is our hope, that particularly in the south-west part of that constituency that development will maybe proceed in the not too distant future.
We also have a comparatively good district from the standpoint of hunting, Mr. Speaker. We are blessed with considerably more deer than I would like to see, in the jumping deer that are habituated in our south-west section and, we also have, and have had in the past, a very good upland game bird field. And also of course, we are in the -- due to the fact of our bodies of water, which are adjacent to us, we have unlimited duck hunting in the good falls.
We also have in our constituency something that is not very common to the prairies as a whole, and that is the American bird dog trainers. And in the fall, we have their field trials, which are something to watch.
In the fields of sport, our small towns are very active in the fields of hockey, baseball and curling. And, it isn't too far back, Mr. Speaker, that the little Town of Pierson was very active in hockey and still is, and they were in a position, to very closely taking the Intermediate Hockey Championship. And, the credit that should be coming to them is in that they are practically
speaking, all home town, and mostly from the farms.
Now the other day, Mr. Speaker, we heard several speak upon the matter of the water shortage in southern Manitoba. During the past number of years, water shortage in our particular area hasn't been too severe. But, I have known it when the river that goes by our town had been completely dry. However, there is in our particular area, a gentleman who has given a great deal of time and thought on water conservation. At the present time, he has been in touch with the Federal authorities, and the State authorities in North Dakota, and I believe that they are sympathetic to the idea, and that is -- the diversion of water from the Garrison Dam in North Dakota. And, the idea there is to use the water course of the Souris River, as a means of conducting that water through the southern parts of the Province of Manitoba, over into the Pembina area of North Dakota, for irrigation purposes.
Directly to the south of us, we have a very natural place that could be utilized for the storage of water, and the figures that they have come up with at the present time is that this one particular spot would have in the neighborhood of 720,000 acres feet of storage. Now, I would think, Mr. Speaker, that with a situation of this kind, if through the provincial participation with the Federal authorities, in conjunction with the American authorities, that we might get something that was well worthwhile, to this province of our own and would possibly, in the future, make it possible that we would not only have an ample supply of water, but that we may be also in a position to have irrigation at least on a limited scale, and I believe that any person, who has been in areas where we have seen irrigation as it is used in the Province of Alberta, that a thing of that nature would be well worthwile to our farming community.
Now, Mr. Speaker, this is a new procedure for me being in a House of this sort, and naturally it has certainly, the short time I have been here, been very entertaining. The verbal fencing that we get is certainly something, and I hope that at some future date that I might be able to get in on that sort of thing. It is certainly unusual, as I might say, to me.
Now, in the amendment to the motion as proposed by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, I certainly wondered at this because I would think that any of the rural members who could support the idea of that amendment, that it is certainly beyond my thinking. My experience in my own constituency is such that the bill as we have it at present is certainly a great help - or will be a great help to the farmers who may be of need of such assistance. Insofar as the arguments as we have had it in the past week on a matter of five or six percent, that is something again that I can't understand. Any farmer today who has to obtain money from private sources and can get it for as little as 6%, I would think, would consider himself very lucky. And insofar as getting the money from any other source, that is next thing to impossible. And I am quite sure, Mr. Speaker, that any farmer, be he young or in the elderly bracket, that might be able to obtain this assistance, that the information in the Bill that we have in front of us, will certainly be acceptable. And it is my hope that they may have that opportunity in the not too distant future to use it.
MR. N. SHOEMAKER (Gladstone): May I firstly compliment you, Sir, upon your usual fine appearance today, and indeed upon being elected to the highest office within the gift of this Assembly. I wish to assure you, Sir, that I too hold nothing but the highest respect for you, even though your election on the opening day might indicate otherwise. Being a new Member of this Assembly I will probably make many errors and I trust that you will have the patience to bear with me. You may find it necessary to correct my procedure, which act I will appreciate.
And I must also compliment the Honourable Member for Roblin on his maiden speech to the Throne. I was extremely impressed with his manner. I take only one exception to his remarks. The Honourable Member for Roblin suggested that Roblin was the finest constituency in the Province, and just recently the Member from Arthur took him up on that point. Now, ...Pardon me? ...Now, I will go along with the statement of the Honourable Member for Roblin on the condition that he places second, since I lay claim to the first one, and I thought perhaps I'd better get this in before too many of you got spoken or I'd be down about 57th on the list. Now, I will have to admit that the Roblin constituency is a very close second. I had been born there and raised in his constituency, and presently my parents, three brothers and two sisters, are all farming and residing in the constituency of Roblin, so it is easy for me to understand his praise for that section of Manitoba.
I would also like to congratulate the Honourable Member for St. Matthews on his fine oratory. I just wish that I had some of his ability along those lines. And I trust that the First Minister will also accept my congratulations on his success at being elected to head the first Conservative Government this Province has had in over 40 years. I would also like to wish Mrs. Roblin and the First Minister well on their recent marriage. It is my sincere wish that they both will live many, many years to enjoy happiness together. I suppose, that as a Member of the Official Opposition, it would be in order for me to add that since happiness comes first in marriage, that his life will not be long burdened with the heavy responsibilities of heading the Government.
I would also like to congratulate the 27 new members - I believe that is the correct number of new Members - here, and it is interesting to note that of the 27 new Members, the number that are here representing the insurance industry, to me, my observations are that at least 10% of the Assembly, that is 10% of 57 would be 5.7 or 6 - at least 10% of the Members present represent the insurance industry so that if the Honourable Members to my immediate left get off on this subject of insurance, perhaps we'll be able to get them back in line again.
Now, Mr. Speaker, every new Member is expected, I do believe, to say something about the constituency he represents when replying to the Speech from the Throne. The Gladstone constituency, Mr. Speaker, will certainly be remembered by yourself and all of the old stalwarts who have occupied seats in this Assembly during the last decade or so, every time the name "Morton" is mentioned. The late Honourable William Morton, who passed away immediately prior to the last Session of this Legislature, occupied a front
seat in the benches of the Government side for some 20 years, and was highly respected by all Members regardless of their political allegiance. Mr. Morton was not famous for his oratory, but rather for his sincere manner and his sound administration of whatever department he was head of. Two remarks made by the late Mr. Morton I will never forget, and I think are sound advice for all would-be politicians. He said this to me more than once: Always do what is right, not merely what is expedient. And another remark that I will always remember him for, he said: If it's there and right, it's right to fight. And Mr. Morton was always ready to fight for whatever he thought was right.
I wish to thank the people of the Gladstone constituency for the trust that they have placed in me by honouring me to succeed a man who so faithfully served the people of this Province for so many years. I accept the challenge, knowing full well the responsibilities that I must be prepared to assume. Like all other constituencies in the Province, Gladstone took on a new shape following the redistribution. Within its boundaries, in an area of some 1500 square miles bounded on the east in part by the western shores of Lake Manitoba and on the west by the high upland hard wheat producing areas of the Riding Mountain escarpment, one finds commercial fishing, farming of a most diverse order and light manufacturing, as well as the Province's only salt well and refinery located at Neepawa. There are, within the constituency, two main urban centres. Gladstone, being the pioneer settlement at the third crossing of the Whitemud River, retains its position as the hub of the eastern portion of the territory whose interests, as I have mentioned previously, were cared for by the late Honourable W. L. Morton for so many years, and further west the Town of Neepawa, only slightly younger, but somewhat larger, is the hub of that portion of the former constituency of Beautiful Plains, which was represented here by such honourable Members as George Little, Dr. Poole, and Sam Burch to name only a few.
It is interesting to note that Neepawa provided a Premier of Manitoba. The one great Leader of the Conservative Party, Arthur Meighen at one time represented Portage-Neepawa constituency. It is my opinion that the constituency might be more adequately described as the Gladstone-Neepawa riding which would more properly indicate the portion of territory that is being welded together as a unified group for the purposes of representation in the Provincial House. It does seem significant, too, that this same territory, which has one of the most pressing water control and soil conservation problems in the Province, should have formed a voluntary Whitemud River watershed authority to attack this very problem and that the central and -- and that the control area envisaged by the authority takes in the whole of my constituency with only some small peripheral additions from adjoining constituencies.
Now I feel that it isn't necessary to labour too long about the virtues of the constituency of Gladstone since everyone knows what a great part of Manitoba it is, and what it has contributed to the life and welfare of this Province as far back at 1860. I think the electors in my constituency would thank me more if I were to point out to this Government some of the perplexing problems facing us rather than leaving the impression with you that
we were living in a paradise in the Gladstone constituency.
Since it is an established fact that agriculture is our basic industry here in Manitoba, Mr. Speaker, and in order to assure that it will always maintain that position in our economy, we must do more - far more - to save and protect our soil. Manitoba has about 18 million acres of farm land of which 11 million acres are under cultivation. Of this figure, three million acres have been severely affected by soil erosion due to wind and water. The remainder of the 11 acres, or eight million acres has been slightly to moderately eroded by the same hazards. Prior to the period known to many as the dirty 30's, there was little regard for protection against soil losses by wind, and to the present day there has been very little attention given to protecting our soils against erosion by water. Water control over the years has developed into a program of increasing the size of the built-up artificial drainage system in order to hurry or speed the water on its way from the escarpments of this Province to the large lakes, and even in my short time in the Legislature I have noted two or three municipal men making demands on the drainage department, Department of Public Works, for additional grants to deepen and clear the existing streams, and I'm just wondering if they are following the right approach - in fact I doubt it very much. Water which once took months to flow to the lakes, now takes only a few weeks. As a result of this approach we experienced flooding and erosion of our most valuable asset - our farm lands in the spring months, and drastic water shortages for our towns and livestock during the late summer and fall months. We must approach this problem realistically and plan to utilize land and water resources to develop maximum wealth both in human and economic values, and at the same time maintain the productivity of our land. I am happy to report that the people of my constituency realized over two years ago that steps would have to be taken to alleviate our water and soil erosion problems, and formed what is known as the Riding Mountain Whitemud River Watershed authority, and it was this Committee which was instrumental in the passing of Bill No. 108, at the last Session of the Legislature.
During our discussion last week, we heard a great deal from the Government benches about our attempt to kill the Farm Credit Bill. What the people of Gladstone constituency would like to know, is what has happened to Bill No. 108? Its lack of action on this Bill has all but killed the Committee that we set up two years ago, and which since has worked so hard to form the Watershed Authority. While I'm on the subject of water, I would like to ask the Government what it's intention is in regard to carrying out the recommendations of the Royal Commission on measures for the control of the waters of Lake Manitoba. On page 28 of that report -- on page 28 of the report brought in by the Commission I quote: "As a whole", and this is a quote from page 28, "As a whole it appears that the cost of controlling Lake Manitoba for local interests is not out of proportion with the significant benefits that could be derived from such control". That's the end of the quote. How the municipality of Lakeview alone, which lies to the immediate west of the Lake Manitoba, suffered extensive damage by
flooding in the years 1954, '55 and '56. Thousands of acres of agricultural land was inundated, much of which is still out of production. On page 14 of the same report, under the heading, "Estimated Flood Area and Agricultural Losses", you will find as respects Lake Manitoba, 155 thousand acres were effected and the agricultural losses for the three years, '54, '55, and '56, amounted to $1,600,000.00. On page 26 of the same report, it does seem significant that the entire cost of the Fairford River control project, which is the one recommended to control the levels on the lake, is exactly the same figure as that given for the agricultural losses, namely $1,600,000.00. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that this, in effect, constitutes a cost benefit survey - or cost benefit study, and that this Government is obligated to get on with the job. And I suggest further, Sir, that the Fairford River Dam project is one that might well be considered a winter works project for the relief of our unemployed.
And on the matter of roads I would like to make a few comments. We heard so much prior to June 16th last about deplorable conditions of our provincial trunk highways and municipal roads and the lack of any kind of a program. I would like to read you an item taken from a leaflet that was widely distributed by the Conservative candidates, from which I quote, under the heading "Nine Point Program for Greater Manitoba", and most of you have seen this in your day, and under the heading - or sub-title: "Roads under the Nine Point Program for a Greater Manitoba" - "A new Roblin is pledged to give immediate attention to roads urgently requiring construction or repair, as well as carry forward work where construction has been undertaken; (2) Undertake a province-wide survey of trunk highways, municipal and market roads and town and city arteries to place a road system for the forseeable future; (3) On this plan initiative road building and improvement program designed to bring all roads up to 20th century standards, sufficient to accommodate the needs of commerce, agriculture and industry; (4) Establish an equitable formula for the sharing of road costs between municipalities and the province; (5) Work in close cooperation with the Diefenbaker Government in its program to construct access and tourist roads to develop Manitoba's northern areas."
Now that's under roads, and I would also like to quote and remind the present Minister of Public Works of what he said on February 4th, 1957, in his reply to the Throne Speech. And here I quote, and he's talking about roads here, "Fourthly I suggest to the Government that they should do some five-year planning which has been suggested here many times. That is the most economical method of building roads - to have your plans made well in advance. All your political barriers of which there are many and if they are laid out three, and four and five years in advance, each Member during the term he was here would know which roads were going to be built and in which year, and if he told his people, I think in most cases they would be satisfied". Now I concur 100% with what the Honourable Minister said on February 4th, 1957. I know this to be a fact that municipal men - many of them - would also like to know what action they must now take to make certain
that their road program is placed on your long-range road-building program. They also want to know well in advance of budget time, which is about January or February with most municipal men, what the equitable formula your department has established, is, for sharing road costs as between municipalities and the province. In my opinion, a formula must be established to assure fair treatment to all municipalities. In the past, and I know this to be a fact from experience, the municipality that talked the loudest and longest ended up with the largest grants. Let's get away from this "squeaking-wheel gets the grease" policy.
MR. WILLIS: Here! Here!
MR. SHOEMAKER: Now, Mr. Speaker, I promise that I will not be much longer. I wish to commend the Government for the action that they have taken on the many important matters, that is the Education Bill, Industrial Development, and the much debated Farm Credit Bill, etc., and I feel that after they have passed the Committee that they will prove of real benefit to a definite number of people. I do regret, however, that this Government has not been as successful, as they indicated that they could be if elected, at convincing their Federal friends to assist this Province in so many ways, that as a result we find duplication and I refer in particular to the Farm Credit Bill, and the Manitoba Industrial Development Bank, duplication, Mr. Speaker, which costs our taxpayers many additional dollars. I believe sincerely that all levels of Government must be responsible in seeing that the taxpayer does get 100 cents of value for his dollar. Governments, too, because they are the largest spenders of money, have a moral obligation to control this galloping inflation that has crept into our economy. The evils of inflation are numerous and they've already resulted in the price squeeze that the farmer finds himself in today. I believe, and I talk with some authority on inflation, for I've seen the effects of it in the Republic of Mexico where their dollar is worth eight cents in relationship to ours, and I understand that our dollar at the moment is only worth about 40¢ in terms of what it would buy 20 years ago, or even less. What I wonder is, will our dollar in 20 years from today be worth the same as a Mexican peso, that is eight cents. I therefore regret, Mr. Speaker, that with regard to agriculture, Manitoba's basic industry, the Speech from the Throne refers to one matter only, and ignores the many problems of which I have mentioned only a few.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity this afternoon on speaking on the amendment to the Throne Speech. There has been a good deal said in the last few days about the difficult position we find ourselves in, in the Province of Manitoba, with regard to water, and I would like to spend a few minutes on that particular problem. But before doing that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow the tradition of this House in extending to you, Sir, my hearty congratulations - you
having been appointed Speaker of the House. I am sure, Sir, that all Members of the House will respect your high position, and the dignity and honour that you bring to it will help us to do that very thing. I must say, however, Mr. Speaker, that it did occasion some surprise throughout this Province, when after many years in this House you had been considered the agricultural expert, that you did not receive the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture. The knowledge that you have of agriculture throughout this Province and I think that you were well qualified for that position, and I can say Sir, that we will miss in the debate to the House the contributions that you have made from time to time in that respect.
The problem of water shortage has received considerable consideration in this present Session of the Legislature, and that is very right that that should be so, because we are certainly faced with a difficult problem. It almost seems impossible, Mr. Speaker, that in such a short space of time we should move from a condition in the Province of Manitoba where we were plagued with too much water, in a matter of a few months almost to find ourselves in a position where we are short of water, which indicates how the vagaries of old Mother Nature can present one problem after another to us. However, when we recognize here in the Province of Manitoba that the -- one of the largest watersheds of the world converges on the Province of Manitoba, flows across our Province and out into Hudson Bay, we can recognize at once that we're not only very vulnerable to high water periods here in this Province, but conversely when dry times come along we can be vulnerable too. And by the same token, the problems that have presented - presents itself in the forms of control that we can take, and measures that we can take provincially, become very complex, because where we have authority over our own streams and rivers to a large degree - when you consider that we have a watershed that extends from the Rocky Mountains of the west and away down south into our great friendly neighbors to the south and down into Ontario - it immediately presents a tremendous problem as far as water control, water regulation and all the other problems that go along with it.
There has been some suggestions made this afternoon on what might be done as far as immediate relief is concerned, and, Mr. Speaker, I think that they are all good suggestions. I have one particular project that I want to mention that I think takes, at the present time, top priority over everything that has been mentioned in the House so far, as far as a water - providing water, particularly in my opinion, Sir, for the Pembina Triangle. Discussion has been held - there's been some newspaper reports on the project of the Pembina Dam, and certainly I am agreed on that. That is an imaginative program. But, Mr. Speaker, it's a few years off - quite a few years off - because we have to consider the fact that international waters are considered here, and it's not easy, in spite of the fact that there's the best of co-operation between the authorities on this side and the other side of the line, it's not an easy problem to get agreement on the use of water. And then there are some large engineering factors in connection with the building of the Pembina Dam. First, the supply of water into the Souris River; then the diversion of the Souris River into the Pembina; and the construction of the Pembina Dam itself. A big
project, and I believe, Sir, in the final analysis, possibly a very necessary project for the -- to serve particularly the southern end of the Pembina Triangle, and it's something that I was glad to see that the Government was proceeding with, and we need to keep right after it.
The Honourable Member for Melita, this afternoon mentioned that in his speech. I suggest to him, Sir, that in the particular area that he lives in that the project that should take number one priority is the construction of the dam on the Antler Creek. Now I know that there is some local problems in connection with the construction of that, but personally, and I'm no engineer, I'm quite satisfied that there is a good dam site there - that it could be built fairly readily. There is no international problem as far as water is concerned, and it would give quite a nice amount of storage capacity for water in that area. He also mentioned what is commonly known down in that district, the fine storage basin that there is on the Blind River, which is actually rather an ancient oxbow of the Souris River, and certainly Mr. Speaker, there is there a wonderful fine natural reservoir for the storage of water, and that would come into effect when we did get a diversion of water from the United States. But that's a long time off, so I suggest - or at least some time off, we can't get at it right away - I suggest that the Antler Creek should be proceeded with at once.
Then there's the project that I believe is going on at the present time on the Morris River, at least I hope that they're going ahead with those projects, of the small stock-watering dam, on the Morris River. That was the plan, to go ahead with that last spring, and I hope that has been done. I understand the dam is being built on the Mary Jane Creek and certainly that will give some assistance down in that part of the country.
But, Mr. Speaker, there are two particular aspects that I want to deal with. One is for the need of recognition and action in respect to this matter at the Federal level. And the other is the need for, in my opinion, getting started, with the present projects that I'm going to mention a few minutes later.
For many, many years, when we were in office, we continually urged the Federal Government, that because of our particular situation here in the Province of Manitoba, and being vulnerable to all the outside areas, that we should have special recognition when it comes to expenditures of money for this type of water control. We had some success and we appreciate that, we got a good deal of money under the P.F.R.A., and I want to say this, Mr. Speaker, during the time that I had the privilege of working with P.F.R.A., that I found them a fine group to work with. I have no particular criticism, oh, at times I thought they could have moved a good deal faster in getting projects lined up, getting estimates and surveys and that sort of thing, but in general, wherever we had to deal with P.F.R.A., where we had an agreement, such as the Northwest Escarpment Agreement, and where the Director of P.F.R.A. could get the money out of his appropriation, parliamentary appropriation, we could get along with works. But when it came that we had to have a policy decision at the Federal level, is where
we bogged down. We had difficulty. Now, when the election came along, a year ago last June, we thought those troubles were all going to be over, because here came a group of men who were committed in their election promises to immediately, immediately, to co-operate with the province, in developing a national scheme of soil and water conservations, and we took them at their word, 18 months have gone on, Mr. Speaker, and there's been nothing finalized yet. In fact, the record in those 18 months, Mr. Speaker, has been a dismal one indeed, a dismal one indeed, in the Province of Manitoba, and I want to spend just a few minutes to just place on record what has happened in the last 18 months in this Province, because it indicates to me that all Parties in this House should be joining together, regardless of politics to see what can be done towards getting national recognition of the problems that we have.
I have a particular one, Mr. Speaker, up in my own part of the country, on the Minnedosa River, what is commonly known as the Rivers Dam. In 1954 the local people in that part of the country began to suggest to their Chamber of Commerce, through their Rural Municipality, that a dam be constructed on the Minnedosa River, and the Government of the day in Ottawa gave heed to it and in the spring of 1957, that project was approved. The election came along, a new Government took office, and up until -- it was nearly a year later, nearly a year later, Mr. Speaker, before any action at all was taken on that dam. And the important thing is this, that had that project went along as slated, it would have been in operation now, the water would have been there, and for that particular area, it could mean before spring, a great deal. It could mean a great deal.
And what is the record on that? Shortly after the election and the new Government took over they said that they were going to look at all of these projects to see, if in their opinion, they were feasible and sound as far as the spending of money was concerned. That was right and proper. It was right that they should do so. And the Rivers Dam was one that they questioned. Time went along and then on the 20 - on the 19th of September, the 19th of September in 1957, the Rivers Gazette reported that the Member of Parliament for Marquette, Mr. Mandziuk had come back from Ottawa and had stated that the former Liberal Government had recinded the Order-in-Council calling for the construction of that dam. Now, Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member never denied that newspaper report, and I expect that, by that he had confirmed it. And, Mr. Speaker, that was completely erroneous, completely erroneous. The former Government had never rescinded the construction of that dam. I have both copies of the Order-in-Council. The former Government amended an Order-in-Council approving of the construction of the Rivers Dam. And the reason they amended it was because it had been placed under a parliamentary vote of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, and the Government felt, when they got an estimate of the cost of the project, it was too large to carry under the regular vote, so they amended the Order-in-Council, and placed it under a special vote for large irrigation and drainage projects.
And so right off the bat we had what appeared to be an outright delay, an outright stall, on the part of the new Government
at Ottawa, as far as this project was concerned. I was in the office of the Minister of Agriculture just at that time, urging that this project be done and he pointed out to me at that time that he thought the price-tag was too high on it. And I tried to point out at that time that there was a large area effected there, and in my opinon, the agricultural area around Rivers would be benefited greatly, plus the fact that there was a great water control value in the construction of that dam, a tributary of the Assiniboine. Time went on, and then, I suppose just by coincidence, Mr. Speaker, just prior to the date of the election last March, they announced that they were going to go ahead with the Rivers project. Over a year's delay in that one particular project. However, we're happy Sir, that it is being built now, and it will serve that area well, and it will also serve as a water control feature on the Assiniboine River.
Then we have the same example of delay as far as the Seine River is concerned. In fact, Mr. Speaker, in that regard, these people who were going to be more generous, when it came to the Seine River project, they backed out completely moneywise. No financial assistance at all. We should at least have had, in my opinion, $800,000.00 or a million dollars on that project. And possibly with this Government, that are friendly to them, they may be able to go down there, and if they really twist their arm, if they really twist their arm, they may get something out of them.
And there are many others. The project up at Neepawa on the White Mud River there. A project in my opinion, that is urgently needed, particularly...there for the Town of Neepawa, because that town is growing, and a lot of these towns are going to need additional projects in that regard if these dry years continue. But those projects should be given priority at this time, and we should get along with them. The St. Malo dam was another one that was exactly in the same position. Held up for one year until last March, and then they announced that they were going to go ahead with it.
And I want to emphasize before I leave the point, once again, Mr. Speaker, that we need action at the Federal level in this regard. And we met the Federal Government a year ago last fall, and here is a problem where once again we have unanimous opinion as far as the Provinces of Canada are concerned. Just as we met on credit, on the problem of land use, soil conservation, water control was dealt with when we met Mr. Harkness a year ago last September in Ottawa. And we suggested at that time, that the Prairie Farm Assistance Act, and the Marshland Reclaimation Act, which is used in eastern Canada, be amalgamated, put under one Act and then be administered by the Government of Canada on an earned assistance basis similar to the help that we got on the Trans-Canada Highway, where we in the Province were prepared to put up a certain amount of money. And I don't suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we should get off the hook completely as far as payment of these things. It puts us in a position where all we have to do is ask, and that's not good. I think we should have to pay our share as we did on the Trans-Canada Highway, but once we've undertaken a
project and it has been approved by the Provincial and the Federal engineers, then, we should be in a position to know that the money is forthcoming on an earned assistance basis. That is the recommendation we made to the Government of Canada, and, unless the present Government gets along with it, Mr. Speaker, they won't be there for to influence...
Now I want to deal with one particular project that I think should have top priority here in the Province of Manitoba at the present time. And I think it's fitting that I should deal with it this afternoon, because the Minister of Mines and Resources, when the House opened, before the Orders of the Day, indicated that they had found wells that could be diverted into the Boyne River and possibly give some relief to Carman and that area. And I'm glad to hear that, Mr. Speaker, but I believe that the project that I have to offer, the proposition that I have to offer, while it would take a little while, not too much longer to make a start, could offer a great deal more help, than the suggestion made by the Honourable the Minister of Mines and Resources. And I suggest the project that P.F.R.A. have given some consideration to already, I know they were discussing it last spring and I suggested it should be given priority at that time; and that is the construction of a dam on the Assiniboine River in the area that number 34 crosses the Assiniboine, practically straight north of Holland. And the P.F.R.A. from preliminary investigation indicate that a dam can be built there and then diversion can be made into the Boyne River which could supply the Town of Carman and a great part of that area down there with a large volume of water. In fact, Mr. Speaker, it isn't necessary to build the dam in order for to get the water moving to start with, because the diversion could be dug and a pumping arrangement could be made to start them, but the pumping isn't an economical thing for the long pull. In my opinion, the project of building a dam in there, and the location is good, and then have a gravity flow into the Boyne and down into the Pembina triangle, could have, could have, a great deal of merit in it.
Then it could have other benefits. I think the first great benefit would be, it would immediately give an assured supply of water down in that area, because, after all, the Assiniboine River is one of our large rivers here in the Province of Manitoba. It would give an assured water flow down into that area. Secondly, it would certainly provide a program of flood protection for the City of Winnipeg, to have that type of water control, and in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, and I know this opinion is held by some engineering authorities, that it could take the place of what is commonly known as the Portage diversion of the Assiniboine River. And if we could spend several million dollars there and put in a water storage project, which could serve the south side of Manitoba rather than a diversion just to go into Lake Manitoba, you can immediately see the set-up of that. Then, up in that part of the country it would provide, in my opinion Sir, a much needed recreational area. There would be possibly a storage space in there some 15 miles long and you can imagine at once the value it would be to that part of the
country. And I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the Government, and I don't know they may have made some start at this, but I haven't heard anything of it, that they should put this right at the very top of their list, Mr. Speaker, and not only that but I think the Government of Canada should be in on this immediately and work, if proper footings can be found for a dam site, work could be started on it practically at once and it could mean a great deal.
I understand the Honourable Member for Portage la Prairie suggested a dam at Portage and I have no doubt in my mind, Mr. Speaker, that the City of Portage la Prairie, if this dry weather keeps up, is going to need water and need it badly and they would no doubt need the small dam at Portage, but if they need the small dam at Portage they're going to need a big dam further up the river in order to get the control of water. And I think that in the whole set-up of water control in the Province of Manitoba, and particularly on one of our big rivers, that this project should receive top priority.
I wanted to mention that, Mr. Speaker, because the situation at the present time is serious and there are two points where I want to emphasize we should have action. One is, we need to have action at the Federal level to recognize what their responsibility is in this regard both in dry years and in wet years, and get that action, get them moving and then to get on with the project.
HON. ERRICK WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture and Immigration): Mr. Speaker, throughout the years I have heard speakers say on commencement that they didn't intend to speak, and then they made a speech from which it was very plain that they had been preparing it for many weeks. Not only were the apples polished but also the speeches.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Did I say intended to speak?
MR. WILLIS: I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about the speech I was about to make...and if you would permit me to do so I shall go on with the speech.
As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, before I had to answer this question, I had not intended to speak but I thought I should bring the Honourable Member who has just spoken up to date in regard to conservation within the Province of Manitoba.
Firstly I should like to inform him that there is a nation-wide meeting on conservation which will include the P.F.R.A., which is taking place on November the 16th and 17th this month in Ottawa, to which I will bring to, his ideas with regard to the water situation within Manitoba.
I was happy to hear the Honourable Member for Minnedosa start his address today by saying that at times there are amazingly quick changes in regard to water within the province. Suddenly you'll have one time you have plenty of water and then very soon you have a terrific shortage and I would like to agree with him in regard to that. Not so long ago in this building, we had conversations with the P.F.R.A., to bring to their attention the great difficulties within the Province of Manitoba and urging them at the same time that they should take action on many fronts, in order to do something about the supply within Manitoba. I have not been in contact with them this afternoon, but I was this morning, as I am on many mornings in regard to the projects within Manitoba. And this morning I discussed with Mr. Riesen four different projects which we have been urging them to pay attention to within Manitoba, in order that we may have a better water supply. The Rivers Dam, as mentioned, is one of the important ones. The Honourable Member and myself inspected it not so long ago, when we were down at the opening of a seed cleaning plant at Rivers, and I didn't know the past in regard to it, but all I can say is now that it seems to be progressing quickly, they seem to have adequate supply of machinery. They're doing a very large job there which I understand will cost upwards of one million dollars.
The question of getting immediate action, in regard to these many problems, is not an easy one. I'm not here to defend the P.F.R.A. but I'm here mostly to prod the P.F.R.A. to try and get the maximum of action out of them that is humanly possible. But when you consider the P.F.R.A. in Manitoba is now, to my knowledge, investigating nine different projects within this Province at the same time, you will immediately see the engineering difficulties in regard to such a project, and also that many of them are difficult. The one at Carman, for instance, where they're trying to estimate as to whether, if they did impound the water
there, whether they could keep it or not. And there is a difference of engineering opinion in regard to it, that they came up with the final solution they say, it is at least doubtful whether we can impound the water and keep it there at the location which was first suggested. They have however now, not being sure of their ground there, they have now transferred their particular attention to the dam at Holland which is now under direct investigation, and the present opinion which is not yet complete or crystallized is that it is probable, it is probably that the better approach is the Holland dam which would do great things for the Province of Manitoba and the town of Carman, particularly along the river. So that is being pressed to aid the solution at the present time, and I think something may come of it as well.
At Carman too, we had good news today in regard to a supply of water which was not previously known, which was spoken to by the Minister of Natural Resources, and there again we are hoping for a solution in regard to a situation which is sudden, unusual and unexpected, and which is difficult to face immediately. I am of the opinion that the P.F.R.A. in the past has not spent enough money in Manitoba and I am here to prod them on every possible occasion because, I think, when the Honourable Member who has just finished speaking was the minister in charge, he didn't prod them sufficiently. The result is now that we have a situation which overnight we can't handle, because you can't handle a situation of that size quickly. The question of building dams is not a matter of doing something quickly but rather it is one of engineering and investigation and finally action.
So I rise particularly to say to the House that we are doing everything possible with P.F.R.A., and I find them not reluctant but I find them reasonably active on our behalf to the limit of their capacity. The P.F.R.A., too, is aware that in the past the Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa came from the Province of Saskatchewan. There in the Province of Saskatchewan there is a great adequacy, if I may use the word, in regard to work which was done within that province at the time when Mr. Gardiner was the man in charge. Just as the same way in regard to the P.F.A.A. where we pour in our money in regard to wheat and find it spent within the Province of Saskatchewan, so in the past, too, we have found that the money which came through P.F.R.A. was largely spent within the Province of Saskatchewan. That situation I know the present Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa desires to change and I'm sure that it will be changed. And I have discussed the matter with him on three different occasions and he has told me that it is their desire to try and rectify a situation which should never have occurred, if the other provincial governments had made sure that Jimmie Gardiner didn't steal all the loot.
Consequently, now it will be our pleasure and duty and responsibility, which we gladly accept, to try and get for the Province of Manitoba more expenditures of money in regard to drainage and conservation within this Province. Consequently, I am looking forward to the meeting which will occur two weeks from now with Ottawa when we shall again urge them as to the necessity for increased conservation, waterwork within this Province, dams large and small, so that we may have an adequate supply of water.
I should like to speak just for a moment in regard to the remarks made by the honourable member for Gladstone who seemed to have all his guns trained in this direction. To say to him too that it has been said we were going to survey the situation in regard to building highways within this province. May I assure him that such a survey is now going on, may I assure him too, that I have discussed the matter with the highway officials in the State of Minnesota in regard to their plan. I have discussed the matter with the officials of the Department of Highways in the Province of Ontario in regard to their plan; particularly in regard to their ideas of planning our highways. And I think I have received valuable information from them in regard to the proper course which we should follow. Minnesota had a plan which in its day was fairly good but which doesn't apply as closely to Canada as it does to the United States. Following that plan and based to a degree upon it, the Department of Highways of the Province of Manitoba brought forward their plan, Ontario brought forth their plan, and that plan I have discussed with the planner and with the men who built it, and subject to minor changes, they believe that plan to have been adequate after three years of practice, and to a large extent I would anticipate that within this province, we would follow largely the Ontario plan because it is the best plan in Canada. It is one which has taken out some of the mistakes which were made in Minnesota and which with small changes will probably fit the Province of Manitoba as well as any other plan which is available for our roads.
May I say to the honourable member who has just spoken from Gladstone. He spoke about twentieth century standards. And I have called in what you might call the 'top brass' in the Department of Highways, and I have said to them the quality of roads in the future in Manitoba must be better. And you have--the department in the past, due to lack of finances, has built roads which were inadequate. We were able to go over those roads and they were able to point out to me the roads which were inadequate. But in the future, there must be higher standards particularly as to the foundation of the roads which after all is the main essential in the building of roads.
And the honourable member spoke too, he said that in the pamphlet which he read that we were going to have Federal aid apparently in regard to our roads, particularly in northern Manitoba. And the facts are that we have a promise of fifteen million dollars worth of work in that area, split fifty-fifty with the province, which will go over the next three years, which to me appears as reasonable progress.
In regard to plans too, which were to be announced as to highways, I would hope this week that we would be able to give you our first batch of plans for the province of Manitoba. And these are being announced now, in order that in many cases construction of highways can commence this fall, thereby save a loss of about a month to a month and a half in the spring when formerly they were not ready. The contractors will be ready and most anxious to commence the building of roads immediately the frost is out of the ground.
The honourable member has asked as to how they get on the program. There is no magic in regard to getting on the program, all you need is a road to be built and we will try and deal fairly with all the Province of Manitoba. And when the program is announced, you'll see it covers Manitoba from one end to the other. That is the equitable formula. Then again, of course, in the winter session we will be able to announce plans, new plans in regard to the treatment of municipalities so far as roads are concerned. These things will come forward and they will come forward at that time. When they do, I trust the honourable member who has been so critical will be able to say that we're doing it within reasonable time. But in the meantime you'll get two road programs within six months. If you want more than that, well, there's no satisfying you then in Manitoba or any place else. The honourable member said too that there's duplication in regard to farm credit and I think when he sees our bill becomes an Act, is on the books of the province, and when it is operated in co-operation with the Federal Act, he will see that there is no duplication but rather a reasonably complete coverage.
And the honourable member has complained that as far as agriculture is concerned, it has been neglected. I wonder for how many months it has been neglected. I wonder if he told the people of the constituency where he was elected, just a few months ago, that agriculture had been neglected, consequently that they shouldn't vote for anyone supporting the then government, but rather turn them out because agriculture had been neglected. And we came to power in July the 1st, and we have during that time, made plans which will be helpful for the future of agriculture. We have the strange conception, I think, within the department, that it is desirable to spend one dollar when you can make three; that it is desirable, too, that agriculture should not continue to be starved, but rather that it is the basic thing in progress within this province; that something more has to be done for agriculture, for research; for co-operation with the universities; that we must be on top of all these things and that we must try and keep our scientific men within the province, by making larger rewards to them here in the Department of Agriculture. We will be, to a degree, re-organizing the Department of Agriculture, within the Province of Manitoba, on lines which long have been recommended and which have long been neglected. These things we will do. We've been in power since July the 1st and I think since that time we have made such progress as would convince anyone who could be convinced, a reasonable person, that having made this progress, we are likely to make much greater progress within the present year. Therefore, I suggest to these two honourable members, be not disappointed. Those things which we have promised, we have made steps towards..., and I am quite satisfied that the steps which we will take will be satisfying to the people of Manitoba. And that there are those opposite who think they will not, then let us have an election now, and put it to the test.
MR. A. A. TRAPP (Lac du Bonnet): Mr. Speaker, I had hardly intended to speak to the amendment to the Speech from the Throne, but I would only ask--like to make certain statements in the form
of a question to the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture. That while we do not question at all that the intentions are of the best, and while we know that the government is trying to do as many of the things that they said that they would do, there are questions, though, that arise in people's minds and the answers to which the people seek are these: This government, what steps and what stand does it take on the question of deficiency payments? I realize it is somewhat of a federal problem, I fully realize that. But, there is a very great question here involved, because it is important to the economic welfare of this province. Therefore, the people of this province look to the provinicial government for some assistance in bringing the attention of these matters to our other level of government or our other steer of government and that is in the federal field.
There is also the question of crop insurance. Will the government pursue this plan to the point where it will give benefit to the people of Manitoba? I'm sure they will, I'm sure they will try to. But, in time, I think that we will want to have a definite statement just how that will be done.
Are the floor prices that we have now in our agricultural products, are they high enough? Are they high enough so that we, who can only now get the floor price for our products, is that price enough to be able to keep a man in business? Today we are faced with a very serious problem in this province as in any other that is engaged in the agricultural industry.
The question of grain deliveries is a very important one and it is on the lips of almost every farmer in this province, as I know. Grain deliveries have been very slow, very slow, and it is a matter that is reaching considerable importance. Does this government feel that there should be an alternative point of delivery? Or does this government believe only in the single point of delivery? This is a very important question to the people of Manitoba. We know, and I know, of certain places where the elevator has been filled, where a man has taken out his permit to deliver his grain too, but there may be another place, maybe 20-30 miles away, and he's willing to haul it there. He's willing to haul his grain there. But, because of the system that we have, he can't. These are things that we want to know more or less, what the government feels, what their opinion on these matters are? We would like to know whether this government is in favour of the present system of marketing our grain or whether we should have a two-price system. That is a very vital question.
And these are all matters that I am sure will come out in time but the people of Manitoba today are waiting for that, because we have a new government and they want to know, I'm sure our people want to know, just what the stand is on these matters. Therefore, we on this side, have felt that while one section, one problem that is facing agriculture is being dealt with in the Throne Speech, there are so many others that no mention, no particular mention has been made of at this time and while we feel these are all important, not only the credit side, but also the income side of it, that these matters should be given attention as soon as possible.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure whether I will take advantage of the opportunity to speak in the debate on the main motion. But perhaps I might follow the custom of some others in offering to you now, my good wishes on your election to your office. I think by you activities to date, Sir, that you have justified our hope and expectation that you will be a good Speaker in this House and I'd like to add my congratulations to those who have spoken.
I would also like to say a word to the members that have taken their seats in this House for the first time. I cannot speak to you with that wealth of experience in this Chamber that others can claim, but I can underline something which I think even the newest member here knows. And that is that one of the greatest honours that can be given to any man in a democratic society is to be chosen to represent his fellows in a Chamber of this sort. I am sure that you have come to your task here as I can recall doing myself, some time ago, filled with the best of intentions in carrying out your responsibility here. If your experience is like mine, I'm afraid, perhaps, you'll see from time to time that your performance failed to measure up to the opportunity and that we all fall something below that high standard that we would wish for ourselves. But I hope that you will never lose that dedication to excellence, which I am confident you possess at the moment. With that goal in sight, let us hope that many of our shortcomings will be excused.
I would like to say a word of congratulation to the honourable member who moved the address and that delightful young man that seconded the address. Both of them made an excellent contribution to this debate, Sir. I am proud they are on this side of the House. I know that other members are proud of them as well. Many of the new members have made a splendid contribution here and we are appreciative of them.
Et maintenant Monsieur l'Orateur afin de signaler le bilinguisme de cette Législature je désire prononcer quelques mots en français. Je souhaite particulièrement la bienvenue aux députés de la langue française et surtout ceux qui siégent pour la première fois en cette Chambre. L'expérience et le dévouement de mon ami et mon collègue l'Honorable le Secrétaire Provincial au Conseil Executif m'est bien précieux. Son apport au gouvernement, Monsieur l'Orateur, de cette Province est hautement apprécie et je suis certain qu'il pourra compte sur l'appui de mes concitoyens de la langue française, mes concitoyens franco-manitobains.
The debate in which we are engaged, Sir, is one expressing a want of confidence in the present government. And I would like to say that all the gentlemen opposite who have spoken here, have, I think, given me an easy task. Because I have yet to hear one single good reason why this administration should not carry on the government of the Province of Manitoba. I cannot deal with all the speeches that have been made but perhaps it would be fitting and proper if I were to say a word about the speech of the honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, who proposed this motion in the House. Really, Sir, the kind thing in my inclination would be to ignore it. But it has attached to it, a want
of confidence resolution which demands a reply. I think there will be little interest, Sir, in the major theme of that speech, which was a re-match of the bout of June 16th, a threshing of old straw. The people spoke. We are here. We are quite willing to leave the past to the Liberal Party. On our part, we are interested in a constructive future. But there was, Sir, in that speech, something which perhaps, I cannot pass without notice. And that is what seemed to be an attitude of mind, a necessity for some form of self-justification for the events of the past. And after all, that's entirely a human and understandable thing to do. We heard that my honourable friends were poor publicists, that their case went by default. Some of the other members over there told their Leader such was not the case. I must say I agree with them. But there was another effort at self-justification, which I think can be summed up in that line from the 116th Psalm: "I said in my haste all men are liars." As I listened to the speech that was made introducing this amendment, I couldn't help but be struck, as I'm sure other were, by some of the words describing the activities of the Conservative Party--"unfair," "untruthful," "belittling," "misrepresentation," "perverting," and words of the same import and meaning, Mr. Speaker. We freely concede to the gentlemen opposite, all them, the desire and the intent to be truthful and honest and honourable. Perhaps it would be fitting to attribute to others, some of the same motives we see in ourselves. Because it is a simple fact, common to all mankind, that the same problem and the same issues, seen from different standpoints, take on different views. Surely politicians with experience in this House know that's the truth. And that other view is not a lie; it is not misrepresentation in itself. It is not perverison. It may merely be just different. And I say to you, Sir, that this House exists because of that principle of the right to differ in good faith. And I think it is unbecoming that members should try to put the gloss and appearance on our activities that I have referred to just a few minutes ago.
But when the Leader of the Opposition finally got around to considering the current business, namely the Throne Speech, I must say that I regarded what he had to say, (and I trust that he will allow me to use these adjectives, which I assure him are not intended to be rude)--I thought that what he had to say was a little bit petulant, rather negative and decidely unconvincing. Special Session, they're against it. They are against it if nothing will come out of the Special Session with respect to financial arrangements before December 1st, January 1st, I think it was, in the field of education; against a Special Session for education, unless there was some financial arrangement to begin on January the 1st, and there isn't; it's April the 1st. But that's quite in character. Let it wait. My honourable friends have been letting things wait for some time. The voters have checked them on that. We promised to act, Sir. We are acting. We don't claim to be perfect. We will abide correction and amendment; but we are acting and there'll be no more of these Liberal hesitation waltzes in the field of education, that we have seen in this province in recent times. In spite of the words of the speech, the vote was for the government policy.
Industrial funds, farm credit, duplication, that's an old argument here, Sir. One of the standard features of the policies of my honourable frined had been: "Let George do it; let somebody else have a crack at it. Don't ask us to, we think it's some one else's responsibility." There may be some point in that argument. But we have taken our stand here, Sir, that we will act, and we are acting. But we are prepared to co-operate fully with other provinces or with the Federal Government on any of our policies. If need be, however, we will act alone. And that is what we're doing in these two matters.
Do any of my honourable friends opposite really believe that the Canadian Farm Loan Board and the Act that we have here are duplications? I think there's one who does. Because I see making his speech in Minnedosa the other day that the honourable the member for that district said that at first glance our act appeared to be more restricted than the Farm Loan Board legislation available to federal legislation. Some people are a little bit hard to coach, but if he really wants to know, if he'd listen to the explanations carefully, he'd see where this Act is not duplication. No one who has been familiar with the day to day operation of the Canadian Farm Loan Board can think that there is not room for another credit instrument here. And the same line of argument, I think, is substantially correct in discussing the Industrial Development Bill. But, Sir, there's no need for me to argue the point, because in spite of the speeches, the action spoke much louder. We have an easy opportunity of testing the depth of the conviction of my honourable friends opposite on the bills referred to in the speech and in the policies referred to in the speech, because they have noted for them. And I can't really expect any more demonstration of support than that. They may have voted against phases of the bill, various sections; I would be surprised if they did not. But the principles that were attacked in the Throne Speech and in the speeches, have been supported when we have counted the heads, Sir. And I say that the kind of opposition we are getting is rather shallow.
I am interested to remember, Sir, that any time, well, in agriculture, 22 years, (when my honourable friend first became the minister in that department, the 10 years his government ruled the province, for 36 years his friends were in office) that any time these bills could have been brought in. They were specifically and positively refused on grounds of principle, I assume, on June 16th, and in the days immediately preceeding. But it seems to me that those principles have evaporated pretty quickly.
Criticism on roads, unkind of us to do that, Sir; criticism of the Civil Service, Sir. How long have my honourable friends been in a British Parliamentary institution? To add all the years up, quite some time. And they know perfectly well, Sir, that criticism is not directed at civil servants; it's directed at the policy makers. And the policy makers are the politicians, and they take the blame, whether in government or out of government, as the case may be. And that is as it should be.
Agriculture--oh, we hear our criticism was unfair during the election times. Cost price squeeze, trying to impute responsibility for federal policies on my friends. I say that's quite incorrect--wrong. I'm not going to call anybody a liar. I'm not interested
in charging misrepresentation. I don't know how many of my honourable friends ever had the opportunity to listen to Conservative speeches during the election on the agricultural problem. But if they had, they would have known, Sir, that we were careful to make a clear distinction between those matters of tariff and price, and market and trade, which are Federal responsibilities, and those other matters which are within the provinicial field. And my honourable friend tacitly gave recognition to that fact when he read, and I thank him, part of the Conservative platform, particularly that part dealing with agriculture. Was there an issue in there, Sir, that had anything to do with the Federal responsibilities? I think not. I think they were provinicial; and that's what we fought our political campaign on during the time that the election was on. And yet, he says we were wrong--he says we blamed provinicial politicians; in that case the gentleman opposite, because of Federal policies during the election. He turns right around now and he says "I admit that they're Federal policies and that the province can't do anything about them. But you taxed us with them in the election," (which I maintain is wrong). And now he says "I condemn you because I don't like the present Federal government's policies on trade and tariff and markets and prices and the likes." Well, Sir, that kind of lop-logic speaks for itself. We simply say that we refuse to bite on that bait. Not content with refighting June 16th, my honourable friends would like to engage in a refight or a rematch of the election of March 31st as well. The criticisms that were raised at that time go farther; no confidence in the government, Sir. Forget about the Federal part--I don't think my honourable friend was very serious about that anyway. But he said, let's forget about that. We have no confidence in you because you had not implemented the full agricultural program which you placed before the electorate. Well, Sir, I have to admit that that's true. I have to admit that we laid down a program to the electorate. We made it crystal clear to the voters of Manitoba just what we would do, and we're not prepared to do, in this special session. We named the items one by one, and everyone of those items--and in agriculture it happened to be credit--we have brought into this special session and dealt with it. My honourable friend who sits beside me has said some of the things I might have said, about water control and insurance and research and all the rest, coming up at the regular session. But I simply say to you, Sir, that we laid down a clear timetable to the electors of Manitoba and they approved of it, and we're carrying it out and I don't think that you should try to put us out, because we are carrying out the things that we said we would do and that the electors put us here to do.
The argument goes even deeper than this, that my honourable friend is criticizing us and all his back-benchers who apparently have conveniently ignored everything that has happened in the last few years in the political life of Manitoba. He wants to throw us out and they want to throw us out because we're not doing now the things that they didn't do, and they wouldn't do when they were in office and they had the chance. And how long was that? Four months ago. And they wouldn't do it then. They had the
chance. They could have put these things on the Statute books about drainage and crop insurance and all those other issues on scientific research. Where were they then? They were here, and now they're over there, and that's where they're going to stay. You are not doing - you are not doing now, in spite of the fact that you gave the electors clear notice that it would be for the regular session -- you are not doing now the things that I wouldn't do when I was in your place, he says, therefore you should go. I don't think that we're going to pay much attention to that kind of argument, Sir. They were here for 10 years, or 36 years--I don't care how you call it, it adds up to the same thing.
I want to tell my honourable friend that's worried about crop insurance, the honourable member from Lac du Bonnet, he needn't worry. We've been in touch with the people in Ottawa that we want to get some co-operation from in this particular matter. We're going to have our legislation brought, brought into this House as the next session. He'll be able to see what our plans are. My honourable friend over there who is talking about water conservation and soil erosion and control and heaven knows many of the things he said were right; well he ought to know, he had the chance to do them himself -- lots of chance and he didn't do them. And now he comes complaining to us because we haven't done them in four months. He didn't pick very good arguments on that one at all. I want to tell him and I'm afraid the news has already been broken here by my honourable friend here, but I fully intended to tell him about that meeting two weeks from now. I ought to tell him something more. That by the time he next has an opportunity to debate a Throne Speech in this House, he will be able to debate a water control policy that means something.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Hear! Hear!
MR. ROBLIN: He will be able to debate a province-wide water control policy that we promised the electorate we would do, and we're going to do it. My honourable friend over there--he has a fine time--he makes a nice speech. He had the chance to act, but he didn't take advantage of that opportunity, Mr. Speaker, and I don't think he'll have the chance again for quite some little time.
Well, other speeches were made in this debate. I want to mention one. I want to talk about my honourable friend from Portage la Prairie. I think I can give him the credit for having made the silliest statement in this debate. I must say that many of the new members made a good contribution--the members on the other side, and I listened carefully; but I really thought I'd heard the end when I heard my honourable friend talk about the treasury board leading straight to the horrors of dictatorship. Yes, the other members of the Cabinet, chore boys to the treasury board. Some one person or other ruling the roost and all that kind of thing. You know I really didn't think my honourable friend knew much about modern administration; but I didn't plumb the depths of his ignorance until he made that remark. Down at Ottawa, during the administration of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent, a great Canadian, nor particularly fond of
dictatorship, they had a treasury board. The country doesn't seem to have gone quite to the dogs; the dictatorial dogs. The Province of Ontario, they've had a system. The Province of Saskatchewan, a lot of bad things sometimes said about Saskatchewan, but I don't think anyone ever called it a dictatorship. Our treasury board policy procedures were adapted from there. Where did they get theirs from? They got it from the Mother of Parliament--Westminster--where the treasury board system has been in operation, lo, these many years. Those terrible dictators over there, the Mother of Parliament, their treasury board leading the people down the garden path; chore boys... [Interjection. ]
Now, I would like to say a word about my honourable friend, the member for Carillon, because I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that he made an excellent speech. I can't recall when I have heard him more charming; more persuasive; more eloquent. That is, not since he was in the opposition last time with the Manitoba democratic party. When, when he was in that party, and I must say here that I was always an independent--I wasn't in that party myself, but I had the pleasure, and I say this sincerely, Sir, the pleasure of a close association with my honourable friend, I always appreciated his understanding of the British constitution. He understands the parliamentary method as well or better than anybody in this House, and I think he demonstrated that knowledge and that capacity to comprehend in the address that he gave us here the other night. I'm going to spare him and the House many quotations from election newspaper clippings; I've got some real humdingers here. I must say that I attracted no small amount of attention myself that way from Liberal candidates. Mind you, none of the really interesting quotations were uttered by men who got elected, but they are interesting just the same. I wish I could just find one here. There is a dandy about my physical attributes, two heads and all that kind of thing. Here we are. Oh yes. "Roblin is too much of a pill for anyone to swallow." I thought that was rather good. "Looking around at a crowd of fifteen people in the school auditorium." - No need to continue it - I don't need to read any more of this, because I think what I said speaks for itself. Oh, but it wasn't my honourable friend. I certainly won't charge him with that. "Sure Duff Roblin draws the crowds because people like to go to a circus. He's his own circus; a one man show. He distorts the fact like the distorting mirror, stretches the truth like an India rubber man, he is the two-headed man, etc., etc." But, I needn't repeat this because the honourable member for Flin Flon was there. He heard it all and probably he was just as much amused by the whole thing as I was. There are other suitable quotations from Liberal candidates that I might use but, as I say, I don't think any of the choicer morsels belong to people who got elected so we can just ignore that.
Coming back to my honourable friend. He said the duty of the opposition is to oppose, and he's right! That's the first principle of the Constitution as far as the opposition is concerned. And he pointed to his friends over here and he said why don't they vote for our motion? He said this want of confidence motion is not a vote of confidence in the Liberal party, it's not a vote of confidence
even for Liberal policy, but it's a vote against the Government and it's a vote for a new election, and any opposition worthy of its salt will consider that as the first principle of a want of confidence vote. That's what he said!
Well, he's got something there. The only trouble is, Sir, that he had--he seemed unable to carry his line of logic to its logical conclusion; because everything he said about his amendment applied in reverse order to the amendment moved by my honourable friends in the C.C.F. ... [Interjection] ...No, they say! Did he talk about Liberal policies in his speech? No, he said it's a vote against the government. You're not voting to put Mr. Campbell in as Premier, you're voting for a new election! Well, I'm happy to announce that this administration survived its first want of confidence test, thanks to the Liberal party; thanks to the honourable member for Carillon, the honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville, the honourable member for Lakeside, and all the rest. It seems to me, Sir, that the opposition that we have heard in this House to date has a rather hollow sound to it.
MR. BEND: Would the Honourable the First Minister permit a question?
MR. ROBLIN: Go ahead.
MR. BEND: Looking over the amendment proposed by the C.C.F. party, could you support it under any conditions?
MR. ROBLIN: Ask your honourable friend beside you from Birtle-Russell. He found himself able to support it.
MR. BEND: What's your answer?
MR. ROBLIN: My answer is this: That if my honourable friend from Carillon was right in his criticism of these people because they didn't vote with you, the same argument works in reverse. "Physician heal thyself"... [Interjection] ...It certainly does.
Here we have an opposition with their heads buried in the sands of the last election. Well I want to say, Sir, that the province didn't follow them on June 16th; the province is not following them today and the province will not follow them when the next election comes around. I suggest to you, Sir, that there is a very obvious contrast here. There is a contrast between a government even if it is only a minority government getting on with the job. A government which, living up to its promises in every particular, has brought in bills on education which has secured the unanimous support of my honourable friend, and some others, as being a good bill. A government which has brought in bills on farm credit and industrial credit which were not opposed in principle by the members opposite in spite of the fact that they opposed them in principle when they were in office. A government which has brought in a bill on winter employment which is going to be helpful. A government which has proposals to make
in the field of roads which also fulfils our undertakings and our pledges to the electorate. A government which has been forward and progressive looking in its efforts to work for the Province of Manitoba. And we have an opposition, Mr. Speaker, which seems to be conducting a bit of a charade. An opposition that wears a very fierce mask; that has a false face, I suggest with a lot of harsh talk but sweet acquiescence when we get to the votes that count.
Two political parties, Sir, jockeying for position on a want of confidence motion because that's what they're doing. I want to tell you boys, you want to stay on the same plank because you've got to keep this up and make sure that when one is up, the other is down, and when one is down the other is up. Teeter, totter. There sits Mr. Teeter and Mr. Totter is home in bed today and we're very sorry for him. But there they are and I say that they are abdicating any pretensions they have to be an effective opposition in this province simply by their refusal to vote against the government on want of confidence motions. We've been upheld by the Liberal party in one of them, Mr. Speaker, and I may be wrong, but I'm willing to place a small bet that we will be upheld by the C.C.F. on the next one.
Want of confidence? I want to say, Sir, that I haven't got any confidence in either of the two gentlemen opposite. I want to say to them that this Government will carry on and we will carry out the policy that we have called this special session to approve and to perform. Our policies, Sir, on all the promises that we made to the electorate are well advanced, looking forward to their completion, and in the days immediately ahead I can promise this House and I can promise the Province that they will see these policies coming to fruition. This administration will continue undeterred by these want of confidence motions to build a better Manitoba.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question? The question before the House is the amendment to the Throne Speech which reads as follows: But we regret that with regard to agriculture, Manitoba's basic industry, the speech from the Throne refers to one matter only but ignores the many other immediate and serious problems facing the farmers of our Province.
[A standing vote was taken, the result being:
YEAS: Messrs. Bend, Campbell, Clement, Greenlay, Guttormson, Hillhouse, Hryhorczuk, Jobin, Lucko, McDonald, Miller, Molgat, Prefontaine, Roberts, Shoemaker, Shuttleworth, Tanchak, Teillet, Trapp.
NAYS: Messrs. Alexander, Boulic, Carroll, Cobb, Corbett, Cowan, Evans, Gray, Groves, Hawryluk, Jeannotte, Johnson, Juba, Lissaman, Lyon, McKellar, McLean, Martin, Orlikow, Paulley, Peters, Reid, Ridley, Roblin, Scarth, Schreyer, Seaborn, Shewman, Stanes, Strickland, Swailes, Thompson, Wagner, Willis, Wright. ]
MR. CLERK: The YEAS - 19; the NAYS - 35.
MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion defeated, main motion. The proposed motion, the honourable member for Roblin for an address to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, in answer to his speech at the opening of this Session.
Are you ready for the question?
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member for Inkster that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The adjourned debate on the proposed resolution of the honourable member for Inkster. The honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville has the floor.
MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood-Iberville): Mr. Speaker, this will be five occasions that I have taken part in this debate, on this particular resolution and I have stated at other times that I thought it was one of the most important on the Order Paper. I haven't changed my opinon. In the first place I don't propose to summarize all those other speeches but there are several points that I would like to make perfectly clear so that they will appear on the record, because as I heard various members taking part in this debate I could only come to the conclusion that many were not at all familiar with what the policy had been and is at the present time, prior to any changes that might be made to it.
I think that one point has to be made quite clear at the start. That certainly during those four sessions that I speak about and as near as I can recall in the others that I was a member in the House when this very resolution was debated, I never remember there being any great divergence of opinion on one point. And the point was that certainly help should be available. Where the difference came in was exactly in what manner this help should be given. There was the main difference of opinion. Anyone who has administered a welfare program, and I am sure the present Minister would agree with me on this statement, must be and has to be concerned with many of his programs to see that those who really need help get it and those who do not need it, don't get it.
Our contention has been that this responsibility is three-fold; that any help that should be given in this particular field, there are three bodies that bear a responsibility; one Federal, Provincial and Municipal, and so our legislation and our policies tried, wherever possible, to draw those three in. Now I did notice one thing this last debate so far, that although one or two speakers came close to saying nothing was done before, not quite as many as in previous years, because, Mr. Speaker, there was a great deal done before and each year saw further changes in policies and help that was available. I would like to deal first with the third part of the resolution, however, since it is somewhat separate--And be it further resolved that in the opinion of the House the Government should give consideration to the advisability of making provisions for increased aid for housing projects for Old Age Pensioners. This is in no way contra to the policy that was begun some two years ago in which we provided for the first time help towards the construction of such housing. And then the following session, which was last session, we exactly doubled and it kept in the picture, as the Honourable Member for St. Matthews so aptly put, the desirability of keeping both voluntary and government services in this field. Now, I know that a great deal of discussion can be entered into as to how much should be the fixed, and indeed each time that it was discussed in this House before, the only arguments that were advanced from the opposition of the day was that it should be more. However, as a result of that policy, and I haven't the recent figures, but certainly when--the last figures I had before leaving the Department, it could be definitely
established that some 500 beds had been established for this type of care which were not, which hitherto had not been available. Now then, I am pointing this out to say that I see no objection to...if the experience is shown, and indeed I have made that statement, Sir, on the other side of the House, if the experience showed us that increased help needed to be made here that certainly we were willing to consider and we had done as I say, by doubling.
There is another feature though in the resolution that, true enough, we hadn't covered and it is one that in these...the Department foresaw and I mentioned here, that would become increasingly more important with the inception of the hospital plan. And that has to do with the establishment of provincial nursing homes for the aged. Now then I don't know how lucky the new Minister has been in this respect. I know that if he has checked the files, and I'm sure he has, he will note that there are one, at least, letter, if not two in which we were pointing out to the then Minister that we felt that this should be under the hospital plan. And, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that there is ample evidence for that position. Now I tried and I'll be quite frank with you, Mr. Speaker, I tried unsuccessfully with Mr. Martin when he was there. I tried, equally unsuccessful, with Mr. Monteith in pointing out that certainly it would take no time at all to become quite evident that with the hospital plan covering the cost of the care when in hospital and then getting to a point where somebody would say, well, you no longer require active hospital care so we put you into a home where the person or their...somebody is responsible for that cost. That obviously there would be a very difficult administrative problem in meeting the situation and I was - the last words I had with the then Minister was while he did admit the strength of the argument he - his comeback was, and you could hardly criticise him too much for it, was, "well, let's try it for a year, let's see how it operates and then changes will be made accordingly." And I say in all sincerity to the new Minister, and indeed I assume that he has already done, that he should really keep after the Minister to try and impress upon him the importance of getting this field, if possible, under the hospital care. Then, I think your administrative difficulty, which I am sure, has arisen already, would be very much eased where you would have a certain flexibility of moving your patient from your active hospital stage into a nursing home or some other type of care - custodial, say, wasn't nearly as expensive. And with the coming of that plan I can see as well there might be a requirement for some of these homes to be built. It will have to come certainly sooner or later, whether Ottawa agrees to come in and share on this particular program. Whether or not they agree to do that, there must come in a certain intermediate sort of care between active hospital and ordinary routine nursing home care. And so I honestly, Mr. Speaker, see no reason why we could not support on anything that we have done before the third part of this resolution, because I maintain it is simply carrying out what was instituted by us two years ago.
Now then I would like to deal, however, with the next two together - the first two parts of the resolution. Because here we come back to the difference of opinion I have spoken about.
Nobody in this House, that I can recall, ever got up and said, Well look, we do not think these members of our society should receive assistance. The bone of contention was, how? Now then we always maintained that the federal people certainly admitted responsibility when they went into the field of pensions, that they should be kept, irrespective of what stripe of government was at Ottawa, in the picture. We also thought that Municipalities should make a contribution to it and that all three fields of government should be responsible. Now then at first, the policy two years ago introduced was this - that 80% after one mill of welfare costs would be borne by the Provincial Government for any municipality - for all municipalities. And that any care extended to the elderly citizens in those municipalities in this way would be on that formula. Now then there was a reason behind that. Rightly or wrongly, our reason was this - that so long as that care was given in that manner, on a basis of qualification, 50% of it came back from Ottawa, and so you kept Ottawa in the picture contributing 50% of that money. But the moment that you went in to saying there is so much across the board or you made your help statutory, and that's the main difference between the two counts, then Ottawa is out of the picture and you don't get your 50%. For example, in Saskatchewan where they have the supplementary scheme as is recommended here, they do not collect 50% from Ottawa.
Now, I don't want to quarrel with anybody today after that very vehement lecture we received a few minutes ago, but I would simply say this, that speaking to the honourable member from St. John, he says not one municipality to my knowledge ever availed itself of this offer. Gee, Mr. Speaker, it's simply not true, because they did.
Now then, going back to the session following, we came in with a further amendment and our amendment now placed this help on a straight 80%. That was done last year, in which no longer did you require one mill on the equalized earned - equalized assessment and 80% after, but any help that was given to any old - elderly citizen receiving old age assistance, old age security and the others listed here, 80% of that was paid. And why I - I contradicted what has been stated here. I can remember just before the turnover that the City of Winnipeg was actually separating the category as were many other municipalities. And why shouldn't they? Because anything that went to these elderly citizens was assessed and was placed separate on their welfare accounts and could qualify for 80%. And so up until now when this change, as the Minister has said that he's going to bring about, up until now the situation is this - that if dental, not surgery, surgery was left out...or is it medical? Surgical was left out but the others - dental, optical were included in the resolution as passed last year. In those categories anything that was provided for one of these groups, 80% of it came from us; 50% of the overall though, could come from Ottawa when we claimed for it on our Unemployment Assistance Agreement. And so you see, Mr. Speaker, you kept the three levels of Government in - the Provincial, the Municipal and the Federal, and I think that the other advantage was that the municipal people were close to it
and, while true, they only had a 20% stake in it, still it was enough that they would be fairly careful in the administration of the policy itself.
The main reason that I am taking part in this debate today, other than to congratulate the Honourable Member which I will do in a minute or two, the main reason is to set the record straight, and if there is any one in this House harboring the idea that nothing had been done, that's not true. Now, whether it's right to do it this way or not, that is the question. Now, in addition to the fact that you held Ottawa in and now she escapes, for under this, of course, when you are bringing in the straight supplement as a statutory requirement, then your 50% will not be forthcoming. I was interested in Saskatchewan's experience and, indeed, the Honourable Member for St. John's mentions Saskatchewan. And now I just want to reiterate once more, what I have mentioned in other times in this debate and I will say, that this resolution gets away from it, but the situation out there, is this: Take your Over 70 group and your 65 to 70, that is, the Old Age Assistance, 65 to 70, your Old Age Security over 80, are dealt with under two different policies out there and it's interesting to note the history of it because the first policy in was for the Over 70s when Ottawa came in on her punch. They put in a policy much like this one, that is recommended here, a supplementary allowance each month, and they had that in operation. Now, when Ottawa moved in to taking over completely those over 70, as far as the $40.00 a month, Saskatchewan Government, and I am not being critical - I am just outlining what they have done - and I think it has a certain amount of value for us when we are going into this field. They did not continue that policy for the 65 to 70 - they already had it over 70, Mr. Speaker, but they did not continue it in the 65 to 70, but they adopted a policy very similar to the one that we are using here, in which, the...help was available on the basis of need and individual case with the municipalities and the provinces being in. So you see, that type again would be shared with Ottawa, this type wouldn't.
Now I have tried very briefly to outline the two particular approaches to this problem. I wanted to put it on the record quite clearly that we believe that our approach was right for the various reasons I have enumerated; that actually right now any of this can be done and is being done, or I am very much surprised, in various municipalities. True enough, not right across the board or not on a certain amount a month, but on a basis of giving to those who need it and seeing that they get it, 50% from Ottawa of that and the municipality only paying $2.00 out of every $10.00 so advanced. Now I take it that this will remove the $2.00 of the municipal responsibility, will remove the 50% that was available from Ottawa, and this will become a straight provincial program.
Well, in closing, Mr. Speaker, I would say only this - I feel much like the way the First Minister has spoken, because I'm sorry, the former First Minister, the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, because I can remember over those years listening to how ardently this case was presented, and going home and wondering if you're really right or not; if - if the convictions that you've had are -- really the ones. I am a bit relieved, in a way,
because we'll see the other approach now. I certainly have no intention of voting against it. Maybe experience which I will watch very, very carefully, will show that I was wrong, or that we were wrong. Well, it wouldn't be the first time that a person's been wrong. However, approaching it in that way certainly the people, have said that we believe that the other side is right because both the C.C.F. party and the Conservative party did have this in their platform program, and it was accepted by the people since more of you are there than we here. So it is with a great deal of interest that I will watch this. I am not yet convinced that we were wrong, but certainly in the light of what the people of Manitoba have said, I'm quite willing to see this operate, and then we can tell maybe over the years whether we were right or whether we were wrong. But I couldn't close up without a few words to the Honourable Member (I was going to say Winnipeg North - it's Inkster now), the Honourable Member from Inkster - Mr. - I am not supposed to say but just Honourable Member from Inkster. We've debated this across this House many times and I know that he has felt that I was sincere and certainly I have felt that in his presentation he was sure that he had the right approach. I know it's taken a long time for his full suggestion to be implemented. Each time that we made our changes, he accepted gracefully but said it wasn't enough. Well, finally after all those years his resolution as we worded it, is being accepted, and also I still wonder if it's the right solution to this. I certainly sincerely congratulate him on having been successful in getting his ideas adopted, and I think, Mr. Speaker, that ends the contribution I had to make with respect to this particular resolution. It certainly is an important one; it is certainly one that bears the honest appraisal and consideration of all parties in this House.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, if no one wishes to speak I wish to adjourn the debate, that will close the debate, so I will wait a minute and see whether anyone else wishes to speak or not.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Inkster speaks and he closes the debate.
MR. GRAY: No, I wish to adjourn the debate. I move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Elmwood, unless somebody else wants to speak, Mr. Speaker, by the Honourable Member from Elmwood that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The proposed resolution of the Honourable Member for Gladstone.
MR. N. SHOEMAKER (Gladstone): Mr. Speaker, due to the fact
that I have already spoken this afternoon at some length, I wonder, if I could get permission to allow this to stand over until this evening, this resolution of mine.
MR. SPEAKER: Does the honourable member have permission to have the order stand?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, we have no objection to it standing until tonight.
MR. SHOEMAKER: Thank you very much.
MR. SPEAKER: The proposed resolution of the honourable member for Ste. Rose.
MR. G. MOLGAT (Ste. Rose): Mr. Speaker, in view of the time of day, if it's not holding up the works of the House, I would appreciate it if this could be stood over until tonight. If not, I can go on now.
MR. ROBLIN: If the Honourable Member thinks he can't finish in 15 minutes, we have no objection to having the matter stand.
MR. SPEAKER: The proposed resolution sending in the name of the honourable member for St. George.
MR. E. GUTTORMSON (St. George): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable member for St. Rose; WHEREAS commercial fishing on Lake Manitoba is a primary source of income for many residents living around Lake Manitoba, and an important secondary source of income for many others, and WHEREAS there is only one fishing season per year permitted on Lake Manitoba, and WHEREAS the number of licences issued on Lake Manitoba is limited, and WHEREAS there are several fishing seasons on Lake Winnipeg and WHEREAS it is well established policy on the part of the Government to limit commercial fishing on Lake Manitoba to resident fishermen, and WHEREAS this policy is being circumvented, therefore it be resolved that the government take immediate action to stop this practice.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the honourable member for St. George, seconded by the honourable member for Emerson, the following motion: WHEREAS commercial fishing on Lake Manitoba is a primary....
Are you ready for the question?
MR. GUTTORMSON: Mr. Speaker, fishing is very important in the constituency which I represent. For that matter, it is very important for all the residents living around Lake Manitoba. Because the lake is small the Department of Mines and Natural Resources has limited commercial fishing to one season; the winter season and the limit of the amount of fish taken from this lake is also limited, as well as the number of licences issued for the lake. In contrast, Lake Winnipeg has several seasons and it is many times larger than Lake Manitoba. At the present time the
department permits 5 1/2 million pounds of number one fish to be taken from the lake each year. Last year there was more than 6 million pounds taken, including rough fish. In the past, Lake Manitoba fishermen have experienced many bad seasons of low production and low prices. Fortunately, last year, fishermen had a reasonably good catch in most places, with a favourable price. There are indications that this year similar conditions will prevail on Lake Manitoba. Certainly, there are indications that the market will be strong. Some authorities have predicted that the market might reach an all time high. Lake Manitoba is much easier to fish than Lake Winnipeg. Because of its size, fishermen don't have as far to travel and they don't need the deep nets, which are much costlier than those used on shallow Lake Manitoba. The present policy of the Government is to retain fishing rights on Lake Manitoba for local residents. However, last winter there were a number of large fishing outfits who were not residents, that fished on Lake Manitoba. This year I have been informed that even a larger number of fishing outfits from outside are planning to obtain commercial fishing licences to go on Lake Manitoba. Mr. Speaker, Lake Manitoba fishermen are deeply concerned by this threatening situation. If the Government doesn't take sufficient steps to stop the outside commercial fishermen from fishing Lake Manitoba, the local fishermen will be frozen out. These larger outfits, suspected of being in the employ of large fishing companies, will cause the limit to be reached early in the winter. This would cause the limit to be reached possibly in January instead of March, and such a situation would cause undue hardships on the local fishermen. The season opens in approximately two weeks. I would urge the Government to take immediate action to see that the resident fishermen of Lake Manitoba are protected from this threatening situation.
MR. H. P. SHEWMAN (Morris): I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from River Heights that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, as we have come to the end of the order paper, I will move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, that the House do now adjourn and stand adjourned until 8:00 o'clock this evening.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried and that the House be adjourned until 8:00 o'clock that evening. ]
Page revised: 2 July 2009