Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, 28th Parl, 2nd Sess, No 13 (15 September 1970)
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Citation: Canada, Parliament, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, 28th Parl, 2nd Sess, No 13 (15 September 1970).
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Twenty-eighth Parliament, 1969-70
THE SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE.
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
DAWSON, YUKON TERRITORY
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1970
(See Minutes of Proceedings)
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
L’hon. Maurice Lamontagne
Mr. Mark MacGuigan
Representing the Senate
Representing the House of Commons
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerks of the Committee.
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
TUESDAY, September 15, 1970.
The Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada met this day at 11: 22 a.m. in the Centennial Hall, Dawson, Yukon Territory. The Joint Chairman, Mr. MacGuigan, presided.
Representing the Senate: Senators Cameron, Fergusson and Yuzyk.—(3)
Representing the House of Commons: Messrs. Allmand, Asselin, Brewin, Dinsdale, Gibson, Hogarth, Hopkins, Lachance, MacGuigan, Marceau, McQuaid, Osler, Rowland and Nielsen.—(14)
Witnesses: Mayor Fabian Salois, Mayor of Dawson; Mr. V. C. “Jim” Mellor, former Mayor of Dawson and former Territorial Councillor.
The Joint Chairman introduced His Worship Mayor Salois. His Worship welcomed the Committee to Dawson and made a statement.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. Mellor who made a statement to the Committee and was questioned.
During questioning of the witness, at the invitation of the Joint Chairman, the following spoke from the floor: Mayor Salois, Miss Lillian Munroe, Mr. Axel Nordling, Mrs. Margaretta Gaundrone, Mr. Pat Ray, Reverend Ken Snyder, and Miss Colleen Tyrner. Those who spoke from the floor were questioned.
During questioning, it was agreed, at the request of Mr. Hopkins that the staff of the Committee should try to obtain the detail as to what tax, both corporate and personal, were paid in the Yukon.
The questioning of the witness and the parties speaking from the floor continued.
Later, the questioning of the witness and the parties speaking from the floor being completed, the Joint Chairman thanked the witness and the audience for their attendance and comments.
At 1: 16 p.m. the Committee adjourned until later this day.
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerk of the Committee.
(Recorded by Electronic Apparatus)
Dawson City, September 15, 1970.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): The meeting will come to order. Ladies and gentlemen, we are here with you this morning as a Parliamentary Committee, a Committee representing both the Senate and the House of Commons in Canada which has been given the responsibility of considering proposals for change in our Canadian Constitution. These proposals may come from the federal government or the provincial governments or from the people themselves. And in the case of this Committee, our particular interest, especially in this cross-Canada tour that we are making. is the views which the people of Canada themselves have about the kind of country they would like to see us be in the future.
It is with that in mind that we are here to talk to you. We are not going to talk at you; we have no speeches to make to you. I understand that there are one or two of you who are prepared to make comments to us and we will invite you to come up and sit alongside of me to do that and we will also encourage any of you who would like to make comments on the things that are said either by your fellow citizens from down there or by us fi-om up here, to come up to this microphone and say these words to· us.
On the technical side I might just mention that we do have to use two microphones. One is for amplification in the hall so that you can hear us in this large hall and the other is for our recording equipment because everything that is said at one of these meetings, since this is an official meeting of a committee of the Canadian Parliament, is recorded and later transcribed and printed in the Minutes of Proceedings of our Committee hearings. So in later months you will be able to look at the official record and see what you said at this meeting and what other people said about your ideas if you are one who is presenting ideas.
We would like to have all of you say something if you would like to. We are very pleased to have been able to include Dawson City in our itinerary. For a while up there in the clouds this morning it looked as if we were not going to be able to get down at all, and this would have been a great disappointment to all of us in the Committee because we have heard so much about Dawson
City over the years. Your fame has preceded you and we have very much looked forward to coming here to share your hospitality and to hear the views that you. may have on the problems of our country.
I am not going to make any more of an introductory statement except to introduce the members of the Committee to you so that you will see that they represent the whole of Canada. Some will be members of the Senate and some will be members of the House of Commons, and of course your member of Parliament for the Yukon is also sitting here with us during our hearings in this part of the country.
My own name is Mark MacGuigan. I am the Joint Chairman of the Committee and I come from Windsor in Ontario. Now I would like to introduce the Senate members of our Committee, the Honourable Donald Cameron from Banff in Alberta, Senator Muriel Fergusson from Fredericton, New Brunswick, and the Honourable Paul Yuzyk from Fort Garry in Manitoba.
From the House of Commons we have Mr. Warren Allmand from the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grace in Montreal, Mr. Andrew Brewin from Toronto, Greenwood, the Honourable Walter Dinsdale representing Brandon-Souris in Manitoba and a former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Or was that the title at that time, Walter?
Mr. Dinsdale: Northern Affairs and National Resources.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Northern Affairs and National Resources at that time. Next is Mr. Colin Gibson from Hamilton-Wentworth in Ontario, Mr. Douglas Hogarth from New Westminster, British Columbia, Mr. Leonard Hopkins from Renfrew- North in the Province of Ontario, Mr. Georges Lachance from Lafontaine in la province de Quebec, Mr. Gilles Marceau from Lapointe in Quebec, Mr. Melvin McQuaid from Cardigan, Prince Edward Island, Mr. E. B. Osler, Winnipeg South Centre in Manitoba, Mr. Douglas Rowland from Selkirk in Manitoba, and finally your own member of Parliament, Mr. Erik Nielsen, the member for the Yukon.
I understand that your mayor would like to say a very few words to us to begin the proceedings and I will invite him to come up here to do so. Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to call on the Mayor of Dawson City, Mr. Fabien Salois, to address us. Mr. Salois.
His Worship Fabien Salois (Mayor of Dawson City): Good morning, honourable and
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure for me, as the mayor of Dawson City, to welcome you here today. I will not speak for too long because I know that many of the guests are better speakers than I. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mayor Salois. I understand that a former mayor of Dawson City would like to address some words to us on some of the subjects that interest us and I would ask Mr. Miller if he would come up and take his place as a witness. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Mr. D. C. Miller, former mayor of Dawson City and former Territorial Councillor, Mr. Miller.
Mr. D. C. Miller (Former Mayor of Dawson City): Mr. Chairman, Committee members, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure for me to speak on this occasion. I have a few things to say which I believe would be of benefit to the Yukon. First of all, I feel that the time has come when the Yukon must take over its own and go into provincial status. I have heard the remarks that the time is not ripe. That is ridiculous for the simple reason that until we do have provincial status we will never get industry into the Yukon. At the present time we have potential mining companies who, in the very, very near future, will be opening up mines but that is not the only thing. We must get others than mining; we must get industry into these Territories.
I must further stress the point before you gentlemen that the time is ripe now when we should have a bridge across the Yukon in Dawson here. Asbestos from the Clinton Creek asbestos mines is held up for want of a bridge. The cost of ferry, the hold-up in the freeze-up in the fall and the break-up in the spring are detrimental to the economy of the Yukon. I can definitely state this as a fact—this disastrous strike which was held against the White Pass people by the American people; the American citizens were the ones that continued this. There are now 17 trucks which carry in the neighbourhood of 40 to 50 tons of asbestos per day going to the Alaska side through the tide water at Valdez. Surely anybody who has got any grain of sense must realize that that is having effects on the whole of the Yukon. I sincerely ask you gentlemen to do your utmost to persuade our government to at least start and get off their backs—and I will not say the last part of it.
I would say this in all sincerity and not from bias, Mr. Dinsdale. I have known Mr. Dinsdale; I can remember the times I met him
here. He has been the only one, when he was Minister of Northern Affairs, to do any development as far as the Dawson area is concerned. We have to thank him. He and his colleagues in Cabinet were the ones who started the Dempster Highway. Surely it stands to reason that until we do get a progressive government and progressive ministers, we cannot hope to have the increase of tourists, which is one of the great things for the Territory. If we cannot hope to get along, we will be stagnant.
Mr. Chairman, gentlemen, I hope that you will bear in mind my request which I make on behalf of the people here in this part of the Territory. Thank you very much.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Miller. As I mentioned earlier, we are pleased to have with us your member of Parliament, Mr. Erik Nielsen, and I would now invite Mr. Nielsen to make a brief comment.
Mr. Nielsen: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Jim Miller has opened up a subject which is very close to the hearts of Yukoners and perhaps a very brief thumbnail sketch of the history of the concern of the Yukoners for constitutional reform might be of assistance to the Committee members.
Not originally, because it occurred as far back as the turn of the century, Yukoners have been concerned about constitutional reform. In 1963 a convention assembled, the Yukon Progressive Conservative Association passed a resolution calling for reform. The Yukon Liberal Association passed the same resolution about five years later, and over that course of seven years the Territorial Council unanimously passed the same motion at two successive sessions of their Council.
That resolution has been put on the record in Hansard in the House of Commons by myself and it has been put on the record of Committee Proceedings in the Standing Committee of the House on Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
Briefly, the resolution calls for an increase in the size of the Territorial Council, which now sits at seven members. And the reason behind the asking for an increase in the size of the Council is so that there can be some real division of opinion. It is difficult for a seven-man council to act in any fashion other than some sort of permanent opposition to the administration, which is directed in the final analysis by the Minister or by his officials in Ottawa.
Yukoners in large majority believe that they are being governed by the state instead of being governed by their elected representatives. The idea that we have a wholly elected Council of seven members stops far short of any form of responsible government. We have a representative government in the Yukon only in so far as we are permitted to elect our own members of Council. The municipality of the City of Dawson and the municipality of the City of Whitehorse and indeed municipalities in your own constituencies in your own parts of the country have more powers with respect to government than does the Territorial Council. A very brief and quick example will point up this feature of our government here. The municipalities of Dawson and Whitehorse, and indeed most of them across Canada, are clothed with the power to tax the residents of those municipalities, and the municipal councils, once they raise revenues in this fashion, have the power to spend them on improving streets and other municipal services.
Contrast that situation with the situation confronting the members of the Territorial Council where Ottawa, through the Minister, directs to the Council what revenues must be raised and the kind of taxes that must be imposed in order to raise those revenues. If the Council does not act on the instructions of the Minister, the elected representatives are confronted with their budgets being cut. Such a confrontation occurred two-and-a-half to three years ago when Mr. Laing was the Minister and the Council had no alternative other than to back away.
The Council, while they are told from Ottawa what taxes they must impose upon the people who elect them to sit on ·council have absolutely no power whatsoever to spend one single red cent of those taxes. We in the Yukon liken that situation with the situation in the colonies and the events that gave rise to the Boston Tea Party. When George III imposed a certain tax on tea, the colonists in New England were so incensed that they dumped all the tea into the harbour and the reason was that they wanted some say in how those tax moneys were spent.
We in the Yukon do not ask—and we want to make this very clear—for immediate provincial status. What we would like to see is constitutional reform which would result in a blueprint for the gradual emergence of the Yukon as a province in the fullness of time: And over the course of that time we have suggested through the resolutions to which I have made reference, a blueprint for achieving that end.
We have suggested that the Yukon Act, a federal statute, must be amended in order to increase the size of the Council so that once elected, it can pass some responsibilities to what in effect would be the nucleus of the cabinet system.
We suggest that we have the capability and the knowledge in the Yukon to take over completely the administration, through elected representatives, of our educational system. The people from the Province of Quebec, indeed any province, will surely understand our legitimate desires in that direction.
We also suggest that we are perfectly capable, perfectly responsible and intelligent enough to assume responsibility for the administration of such matters as health and welfare, as public works, as municipal affairs and other housekeeping responsibilities like resources, save the natural resources which we suggest stay under federal control for the time being.
We say that the day is long past when this horse in the Yukon must continue to be driven by a minister from Ottawa with reins 4,000 miles long.
As we assume these various responsibilities through our elected representatives, we suggest that the position of the Commissioner should be retained in order to administer those residual federal responsibilities which in the initial stages would be the majority of the responsibilities. Over the course of years, as our population grew and as our skills in government grew, and as the responsibilities were gradually transferred, eventually full atonomy and full responsibility would be achieved. At that time the position of the Commissioner would be redundant, indeed a good many civil service positions in Ottawa would be redundant, with a consequent saving in tax moneys to the federal taxpayer. A lieutenant governor would be appointed and we would achieve full provincial status.
I made it clear at the outset that what we are thinking of is a gradual process and not an immediate process notwithstanding the fact that several civil servants and the Minister have stated that we are asking for immediate provincial status which is not true. The repetitive statements to the contrary are grossly misleading. We are not that radical.
There are those that say that Ottawa is footing the bill and he who pays the piper will call the tune. I think that thinking is archaic as most of us do in the Yukon. There
is the other argument that there are insufficient numbers in our population to justify constitutional reform leading to the kind of mechanical reform that I have described. Both of these arguments can be met shortly and forcibly. With respect to the dollar argument, on a per capita basis, hon. members· of the Committee will check and find that Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island are two provinces which draw more per capita from the federal government than the Yukon does. You will find also that there are only two provinces in Canada that may sustain themselves without any support from the federal government—if you want to put it on that mechanical basis—and those are Ontario and British Columbia.
We say simply that there can be no price tag put on the structuring of democratic institutions. And we say the same thing with regard to the population argument. One cannot constantly be met with any validity by the argument that the establishment of democratic institutions depends on numbers of people. That is simply a falsification of the principle in which I am sure we all believe. And if one wants to contrast their belief briefly, look at the situation in the Northwest Territories when the Prairie Provinces emerged in 1879 after operating on a formula for several years which led to a gradual increase in the size of the Council and upon which I am drawing very heavily in my remarks to the Committee today. The Province of Manitoba was formed in 1879 and there was a federal voting population at that time in that new province, carved out of Assiniboia, of 1,051 voters. DBS figures are grossly misleading and are constantly quoted by officials of the Department and by members in the House of Commons including the Minister. They set the population figure of the Yukon at 16,000. This is grossly inaccurate. It is in excess of 20,000 and in my own estimate, judging from surveys that have been submitted to CRTC and other government bodies, it is closer to 24,000:
The other popular misconception is that we have not got people of calibre in the Yukon in order to discharge these functions. I invite Committee members in their travels through the Yukon to gauge the capabilities of the business people and others here. I am sure that you will come to the conclusion that we are perfectly capable of discharging functions which Ottawa would permit municipal councils to do but not our own Territorial Council.
Finally, there would be extremely significant and substantial savings if the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Develop-
ment were administered right out of existence. They are trying to give away the Indian people now to the various jurisdictions. There is no reason why we cannot emerge along the lines that I have described.
There is one more point. One might say that the resources and these Territories belong to all of the people of Canada. That argument might have been valid if we were not confronted with a situation where we have a federal state of things in Canada. Once we have that federal system of government, comprising of provinces which have gradually emerged throughout our history as provinces—incidentally I might add here that this Territory was created in 1903 before the Province of Alberta, before Saskatchewan, and very slightly behind B.C. —we either have to change that system entirely and become a republic adopting a presidential system and doing away with provincial boundaries, or we must perpetuate the system which we have structured over the last 100 years. Surely that leads to the only logical conclusion that in the fullness of time, the Yukon, the Mackenzie and other districts in the North will become provinces.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for this opportunity of throwing out the guidelines for a discussion and of acquainting the members of the Committee with some of the background and some of the feelings that Yukoners are really concerned about.
The Chairman: Mr. Osler first.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, I presume that we are speaking to the former Mayor.
The Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Osler: I have one short question which I would like him to answer if he might. What is the significance of this bridge over the Yukon that you speak about? If a bridge were built would this mean you are independent of the railway system to Skagway or is this something else?
Mr. Miller: Mr. Osler, for one thing a bridge over the Yukon would mean faster service. It could be used to go to Skagway on the Alaska Highway. A route has been surveyed whereby the Yukon Territory did not have to go to Skagway.
Mr. Osler: This is what interests me, sir.
Mr. Miller: This is another point Parr Inlet on the tip of the Province of B.C. It is definitely a possible route to a deep sea port and
the Yukoners would not have to go to Skagway.
Mr. Osler: There is an alternative being looked at at the moment. There is the feasibility of moving the B.C. Railway up to Fort Nelson. I am not acquainted with the geography well enough to know what I am talking about. Mr. Nielsen would probably know. If that occurred then you might put up quite a lot of serious opposition to having to. go to Skagway at all do you not think?
Mr. Nielsen: This has nothing to do, of course, with the constitution and the business of the Committee, but very briefly, our port is Skagway, 105.6 miles from Whitehorse served by the White Pass and Yukon route. This is the only access we now have to tide water. All members know that it is more economical shipping by sea than by any other method.
The people of Dawson City feel that it is grossly uneconomical for an asbestos mine, producing some 40 to 50 tons to go through by 40 miles to Dawson City during freeze-up over this river over which an icebridge is constructed. During break-up, it goes by aerial tramway which I hope you will see today.
The cost of the aerial tramway and the cost of a new ferry would have gone a long \Yay toward constructing a bridge. If the bridge were constructed then this product would be capable of being shipped all year round. This is the point that the poeple here want to make.
Mr. Rowland: How would that affect tourism?
Mr. Nielsen: It would increase tourism and it would increase other exploration and development generally. Any improvement in road and other communications has got to have that result. I am just saying you do not have the time at your disposal in the Yukon to see the kind of development that has occurred here as a result of policies of both governments over the course of the last 10 years because it has been explosive. There is no indication that it is going to stop.
The Chairman: The next questioner, Mr. Rowland.
Mr. Rowland: I would like to come back to your earlier comment about immediate provincial status. I expect that the difference between yourself and Mr. Nielsen is more apparent than real because obviously if you
were to gain provincial status there would be a period of gearing up local administration and so on to handle it. Both of you are talking in terms of a relatively short period of time I would expect.
Could you go into some detail about our arguments counter to the arguments which are usually posed against provincial status. It is usually argued that provincial status is impossible for the Yukon because of the low population. It is impossible because of lack of governmental talents within the Territory. It is impossible because the Yukon does not raise sufficient revenue itself to support a provincial administration. Mr. Nielsen has covered some of those but I would like you to give us some idea of your thinking along those lines.
Mr. Miller: Mr. Rowland, in the first place you gentlemen are well aware that the ones who are unsold on the Yukon are conservative. I would simply say that in the citizens of the Yukon desire to govern themselves. That is the point.
Mr. Rowland: That point counts certainly. It is a most important one. Could you give me some idea about why you do not think that the arguments against provincial status have any weight? You would say that the desire of the Yukoner to govern himself overrides any other argument that someone could put up against it.
Mr. Miller: People who hold power never like to give up the reins. I am sure in my own mind that Ottawa does not wish to let go the reins. I think that is perfectly clear.
Mr. Rowland: So you would dismiss the arguments that have been employed against provincial status for the Yukon as being simply a rationalization of a bureaucracy which wishes to retain its present powers.
I would like to ask you two other questions. I hope you will excuse my ignorance in this matter. I am from Manitoba. This is my first trip to the Yukon and I do not know as much about it as I should. Why do the people of the Yukon seek provincial status for the Yukon as opposed to incorporation into another province, Alberta or British Columbia for example?
Mr. Miller: In reply to the second question, the majority of the people of the Yukon have no desire to become part of the Province of British Columbia. The money out of federal coffers that is spent in the Yukon is a mere drop in the bucket. When the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation was operating,
they were putting in those same coffers, $1.5 million a year. There is far more wealth going out than coming in.
Mr. Rowland: I have a further related question, Mr. Chairman. Once again I want to impress upon the witness that in asking a question this way I am not arguing against provincial status for the Yukon, I am simply trying to elicit information.
The Yukon has a small population, a limited resource and tax base, not many industries and those industries are rather concentrated, large and powerful. I have been associated with the provincial government and there might be occasions when public policy goes against the wishes of large businesses that are able to bring considerable pressure to bear upon the government to change its mind, even in a wealthy and well-populated province. In an area such as the Yukon, where the economic power is so concentrated, do you think it is possible that self-government might lead to domination of the government by two or three large corporate enterprises within the Territory?
Mr. Miller: First of all, I would like to say that we were getting into an argument, I was just rather loud in trying to strike points. In answer to your question, I do .not think the Territory would be dominated by corporations. I think there would be self-government by the people. I also agr.ee with the remark of Mr. Nielsen that the Commissioner would be of great benefit to the Yukon. I think, not 10 years from now, nor 20 years from now, but within a reasonable time we should have our own self-government. I cannot give you any other reasons and I thank you for your questions.
Mr. Rowland: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, there are some five other Committee members who want to ask questions but before proceeding to them I want at this time to issue an invitation to anyone who would like to speak from the floor to add his or her comments now. You will have other opportunities as I will invite you again in the course of the meeting, but if you have been provoked by this time to any thoughts that you would like to let us have, I would like to ask you to come forward. All you have to do is stand up and we will get the microphone over to you. Would anyone care to make a comment? Yes.
Mr. Salois: Mr. Chairman, I do not know too much about the Constitution but when
you talk about the economy of this country, no matter how important the bridge is, for the Yukon, employment is the only means whereby we will have an economy; employment by building a dam, a true power operation in this northern region and we have the potential. For the past 20 years that I have been up here they have had a power dam at North Fork where they produce electricity at 4/10 of a cent per kilowatt. We have the potential to build a dam right at the bridge to have power and for half a cent per kilowatt it could supply this end of the northern area, it could supply Clinton Creek. Just as the government invested $9.5 million in Whitehorse last year to build a third unit to supply Anvil, we could have the same thing here and the economy of this area would change tremendously. I know some mining operators and just to get the water to their mine it cost them $115 per day for electricity. We pay 8, 10 and 12 cents per kilowatt. I know, and I repeat, that the bridge is very important but cheap electricity would be three times more important for this area than a new bridge. Thank you.
I can say it in French. We have the potential for a dam. The bridge is four hundred feet-high.
We could have a dam right here with 400 feet gravity. We could produce power to supply Clinton Creek and even Anvil. If it were to operate for 40 years at 4/10 of a cent per kilowatt this power could be produced even cheaper than buying and hauling fuel oil 2,000 miles at 35 and 38 cents a gallon. To me, if you would like to develop the North and our economy and create employment you have to invest. This is a project we cannot do ourselves. It cost $9 ½ million to build the third unit of the Whitehorse dam, and I repeat, we cannot afford it. Now we have only one tool left, if the federal government does not help us we will have to go to the tourist trade only. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Is there anyone else who would like to say a few words? Yes, a lady in the first row. May I have your name please.
Mrs. L. L. Munro: Mrs. Munro. I would like to speak about education. I feel that the time has come when possibly it would be better if we could have education standardized across Canada or at least in the Western Provinces because our children are on the B.C. cur-
riculum and when they reach university age they have to go to B.C. Sometimes they would like to go to other provinces and if our education were standardized for a mobile population it would certainly be advangageous. Thank you very much.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think that is very important. We heard in a meeting just as soon as we came up here about a conference in which you have been talking about a northern university. So that is certainly a lively subject at the moment. Is there anyone else who would like to make a comment? Yes?
Mr. Axel Nordling: My name is Axel Nordling and I was born and raised in Dawson City and I find it a good place to live and work. However, there are a few things that disturb me quite a lot now and one of them is the take-over of the Klondike in Edmonton. I thought most Canadians knew that the Klondike was up here in the Yukon and I can not see how any government could allow the City of Edmonton to claim a Klondike city as being in Edmonton.
There is another thing that disturbs me at the moment and that is the cutting of a slash across the face of Dawson City where the slag is. Any picture you see, the slag shows up and now they are cutting a firebreak across the centre of that and they are going to scar that whole hillside and I believe that slash should have been cut further back just over the rim of the hill. We do not seem to have any say. When we question who is doing this we get the runaround. I think that is all I have to say at the present time.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Nordling. Any other comments from the floor? If there are not at the moment, then we will go back to questioning by the members whom I have in this order: Mr. Gibson, Senator Fergusson, Messrs. Dinsdale, Hopkins, Hogarth and Lachance. Mr. Gibson first.
Mr. Gibson: Mr. Chairman, some famous person once wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met”. Well friends, we as members of Parliament, will leave Dawson with vivid memories of visiting an important part of Canada which has unique and historic significance. We will leave the Yukon, conscious of a warmth and vitality which has touched us all. Also we welcome the opportunity and the approaching day when the Yukon will enter Confederation with complete provincial status. When we leave the Yukon each and every one of us will leave with a greater
appreciation and understanding of your problems and we will help you to develop this future province as you see fit.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Gibson. Senator Fergusson.
Senator Fergusson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think we all agree with Mr. Gibson and I think we all respond very much to the warmth of the welcome we have received up here. Certainly, we will not forget to carry down with us to Ottawa the requests that you have made.
Although I have been very much interested in the discussions about provincial status, I would like to ask another question of Mr. Miller. During the course of his talk to us he spoke of wanting industry and he said, “Until we have provincial status, we will nver get industry. We have mines but we must have industry.” I belong to a part of the country, New Brunswick, where we have. felt very jealous of the larger provinces in which industries are situated in Canada and we have been trying to get them and we have gotten some. But we, too, have some hydro electric potential and I know that. you have great potential hydro power but what industries do you think of as being something you can set up in this part of the country? The reason I asked you about this is because there is no use our setting up industries just to give people work unless there is some outlet where you can market those industries profitably. In view of the distances here, I would be interested to know what sort of industries you feel could be established.
Mr. Miller: Senator Fergusson, in the first place I think there is an opportunity in this northern part of the Territory for a cannery. We have the finest fish, salmon, grayling and all that. It may seem small but it could be developed. I know very well some of the people with whom I am well acquainted have got a salmon order if they can get the salmon out to Edmonton. If the fish were canned it would be part of an industry which I feel sure would enable some of the people to be employed. We have native fruit, the finest fruits that are grown in the whole Dominion of Canada. We have an abundance of them at times and a shortage at other times but that happens throughout the whole of the Dominion. I cannot just think offhand what other industries we could have. I feel sure that some people could suggest something which I have not thought of.
You must understand that I am trying to answer you in a truthful way and I have to
be on my toes because it is very seldom I am amongst a very distinguished crowd such as these gentlemen. Because you are politicians, you are quite used to this in the House; I am not. So if I cannot give you a truthful answer, you must excuse me: I hope that will satisfy you, Senator.
Senator Fergusson: Mr. Chairman, may I say that I think Mr. Miller is doing very well and I do not want to cross-examine him, it is just that I am curious. I would like to know what native fruit you refer to. Also, if you will not mind my asking further, do you not think that transportation difficulties would make it very difficult to market these things that you speak of?
Mr. Miller: I must explain to you that I do not think you are cross-examining me by any means. You asked what fruit we have. We have the northern blueberry which is in great demand and there is a tremendous crop. We also have tremendous growing power. In this northern land the soil is never tilled until June, the ground is frozen until June. Then, on August 17, which is Discovery Day, we have a horticultural show with some of the most tremendous vegetables, flowers, and so on.
You mention transportation; you must understand that we still have plane service if northern fruits were required. You must agree that when they want salmon in New York they do not pack it by road, it goes by plane. The same thing would apply here.
When I talk of road transportation I am talking of the heavy load that goes out and the return trip which brings back to the Yukon the supplies necessary for the people here in the Yukon. Does that answer your question?
Senator Fergusson: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Miller.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Chairman, while the microphone is in this end perhaps I could just add to what Mr. Miller said that there is great possibility for the pulp industry here, a chip mill and a pressboard manufacturing industry, a smelter is inevitable and it is on the doorstep, in my view. There is fish and fur farming that we could pursue. As for transportation, we have products now in our copper, In our asbestos, in our silver, in our lead, in our zinc, in our cadmium and all of the by-products of our mines which are reaching world markets and are competing in world markets right now. Although transportation offers obstructions because of a lack of development of the various communications which establish a transportation network,
nonetheless we are getting by and we are competing.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I will now call on the Honourable Walter Dinsdale.
Mr. Dinsdale: Mr. Chairman, I have been impressed by the reaction of the members of the Committee who have already taken part in the discussion because it is obvious that without exception they have been captured by the spell of the Yukon. I think all that is necessary to realize the hopes and the dreams—if I may use that word—the vision of the Northerner would be to get every member of Parliament to come into the Yukon, to Whitehorse and to Dawson and you would have no difficulty at all, I think, achieving some of the long delayed hopes that you have cherished over the years. I am impressed by the fact that notwithstanding almost overwhelming setbacks, you still keep pressing on. In the air force we used to have a slogan, “It is not enough to be keen, you must press on regardless” and certainly that expresses the spirit of the Northerners here in the Yukon.
I would like to be brought up to date on one or two matters. Obviously there has been tremendous development in the mining field which has been an impetus to the economy of the Yukon. My friend, Mr. Miller, has indicated that there is a desire to diversify the economy of the Yukon in terms of industry. It always has been my impression that the number two, or even the number one industry should be tourism, because I think this is the appeal for the increasing number of people visiting the Yukon Territory.
Could you bring us up to date, Mr. Miller, in the progress that has been made in Dawson City with respect to tourism as the number one or a number two industry? They used to say that in all parts of Canada tourism has great potential. They speak of it now as the billion dollar industry, ahead of wheat and crowding closely in on the pulp and paper industry as a source of dollar earnings. What progress has been made in recent years?
Mr. Miller: Mr. Dinsdale, as far as the tourist industry is concerned, a lot has and is happening in Dawson. We have a very good association called the Klondike Visitors’ Association which is doing tremendous work here.
As far as tourist trade is concerned, I have noticed in the last year or so, especially this year, that there has been a great increase in the number of tourists into the Dawson area.
At one time we had mostly American tourists, who travelled from California and even from the State of New York, but last year and this year I noticed that we were rece1vmg more Canadians, even from as far back as the Maritimes.
This is the real Klondike, regardless of what others say. We have restored our historical sites. Unfortunately that happened about 30 years too late. It has been an awful long time. I would like Mr. Pickersgill from Bonavista-Twillingate to come up to Dawson and see what we have here. We have had a great many Ministers come. Unfortunately, we never have had the pleasure of our Premier, Mr. Trudeau. I would like him to come and visit us.
Apart from the historical sites we will have a little more to show them in time. We have the Robert Service cabin, we have the Jack London cabin, we also have the original Bonanza where the original gold rush took place. Now they cannot take that away. That is here for good. We have many other things.
I would agree that the tourist trade is number one. I would say mining is number two. We have a mine on Solomon’s Dome on which the owners have been doing prospecting, and I do not think that I am out of turn in repeating what was passed mi to me by the owners that they have had very good showings there, very good indeed.
Mr. Dinsdale: Reverting to the tourist industry, do you feel that progress towards responsible government, as outlined by yourself and Mr. Nielsen, would put you in a better position to promote this area and increase interest in the Yukon, especially by getting the facilities and services that are needed, paved highways, roads to resources and so forth? You have zeroed in on the difficulty of senior civil servants from the remote ramparts of Ottawa. having the main say in determining development policies in the Yukon. Do you feel that responsible government would be helpful in promoting your greatest economic potential, the tourist industry?
Mr. Miller: First of all, I· would like to answer just one of your questions. As far as resource and other roads is concerned, the government pays 50 per cent and the mining companies pay 50 per cent. Because of the 50 per cent the government pays they receive the whole of the minerals that are taken out. Therefore they are not giving anything, they are just giving a little bit away, and a very small piece.
As far as the tourist industry is concerned I stand to be corrected on this, I do not think there has been very much government money spent here. I know very well that the territorial government now has an office established in Vancouver, B.C. Other than that we have our Tourist Information Bureaus here, which are doing a good job, both in the south and here in Dawson. As far as I am concerned, I do not see any money being handed out by the government for publicity of the Yukon. If I am wrong, I would only be too pleased for anyone to tell me. I will ask this of anyone of you gentlemen, especially from back East. Have you ever seen anything advertised in the papers, paid for by the government, promoting the Yukon?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I do not know that anyone of us would be experts on that Mr. Miller. I wonder, without taking away from Mr. Dinsdale the right to continue his questioning, if I might invite anybody from the floor at this time to say anything further about the tourist industry. I know a lot of you here would be involved with that. Mrs. Gaundrone, for instance, on the way in from the airport was telling us about everything in Dawson City. I wonder if she or anybody else in the audience would like to make any comments on the tourist industry.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Chairman, before you do that I wonder if I might, with respect to Jim, correct an inaccuracy in something he just said. The Roads to Resources Program was discontinued in 1963 and has not been replaced by any other federal government equivalent. I just did not think that should stand on the record.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mrs. Gaundrone, would you like to say anything about this?
Mrs. Margretta Gaundrone: As most people around here know, tourism has been something of an interest in the Yukon, especially in Dawson, for a good many years. Perhaps it now could be our first industry. Boats have come in as long as I can remember. We have had a certain number of tourists into Dawson. We always have had our Service cabin and a few places around town, the Commissioner’s residence and so on.
Now that the government has moved from Dawson to Whitehorse and the population has decreased, we have concentrated more on tourism.
I did not come here planning on speaking today, but I think that tourism is very much
on the increase. You mentioned a bridge across the Yukon. Many people say that that would not help tourism but I say it would because our ferry, which is in very good working condition as a rule, could break down. If it is broken down on this side of the river and the tourists are on the other side, they cannot get gas for their cars to go back and they just have to sit there. They do not have food and they might sit there for possibly 10 or 12 hours, or maybe longer. As anybody who knows anything about machinery will tell you, although you have good mechanics there are times when because of some little quirk they have a hard time to get it to work. That is why I feel that the bridge across the Yukon is very, very important.
One of the gentlemen asked if the bridge across the Yukon would mean a discontinuation of the trains from Skagway to Whitehorse. A bridge across the Yukon would have nothing at all, as far as I can see, to do with the White Pass and the Yukon Railways. It would just go across the Yukon River also, it would be of help to the Cassiar Asbestos Corporation in bringing their asbestos across when the power line is not working. Many a time the asbestos cannot be brought across the Yukon River by ship in freeze-up.
Another thing is that in freeze-up they build an ice bridge across the Yukon by piling up cordwood and pumping water over the top of it. But what happens in the spring of the year to this bridge that is used to carry these big trucks across the river? At that location the Yukon River is unable to break up on its own without assistance and one year we had a very bad flood because the logs floated down river, the ice could not get through and the river backed up. This is getting off the subject of tourism which I started to speak on, but all these work in together, and if we could have the bridge across the Yukon I think tourism would build up. We are continuing a program started in about 1961 or 1962, at which time we started with our Palace Grand. The Keno was brought down from Whitehorse and put on the docks. We have that for the tourists and it is very interesting through it. We hoped that you gentlemen would be able to visit this little boat which used to ply the Yukon River, and we hope you will go through the Palace Grand. You will see what a wonderful building that is. The post office built in 1901 is to be restored. That post office was used some time in the thirties when they moved the post office down to the federal building, which at present is our museum site. There is a good program starting up and I do feel that tour-
ism will be a very important thing here in the Yukon. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mrs. Gaundrone. A gentleman would like to say something.
Mr. Pat Ray: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. There is just one question I would like to have you take back to Ottawa. I have been asked by 50 or 60 people this summer why we have not a paved road up to Dawson, including the Alaska Highway? I am in the fire hall here and I have had occasion to talk to maybe 5 per cent of the tourists that have come through Dawson so far. Every one of them has stated that they would like to come back to this country time and time again to get away from the pollution problems and the hectic day-to-day life down South but they will not try that highway again because of wear and tear on vehicles and so forth. Anybody in the transportation business today in the Yukon knows just exactly what this cost is. Tourism, in my own personal opinion, would increase 50 per cent with a paved highway.
Would you take that home and think about it? Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Ray. Reverend Snyder.
Reverend Ken Snyder: I am a newcomer to the country. I have been here for three years but have lived in the Northwest Territories before. Although I am not a cheechaks, I am not a sourdough either because my vocation prohibits me from some of the qualifications.
One of the things that I would like to emphasize is that I have been interested in tourism and in the potential that exists in Dawson City. To get back to the Constitution, the importance of tourism—I think Mr. Dinsdale was trying to get some feedback—is that tourists’ money represents our potential to put money into Yukoners’ pockets thereby giving it a chance to stay in Yukon circulation and that relates directly to provincial status or relationship with Ottawa. Tax revenue taken out of resource extraction in the past has been based on a philosophy of rape and run, thus this has not been too accessible to Yukoners in developing industry within the country. I think we have to seriously look at this.
The Yukon has tremendous potential for tourism despite what we say about Edmonton stealing the Klondike, or Whitehorse. I think
if we got off our fannies tourism could represent one area in which we could go forward. I think if people who are not supposed to believe in the future of the country were turned loose they might be able to do a tremendous amount of good. Tourism relates to peopling of the country, which relates to population growth, economic growth and so on.
So I think that tourism, as Mr. Dinsdale was trying to bring out, has a direct bearing on a constitutional thing that we have wandered far away from. I think it would be good if we could get away from rape and run and back to a philosophy of peaceful coexistence. I would sense that in some relationships I have had in this country that there had been the possibility in peoples’ minds of saying that tourism and mining do not go equally together and that it is just not possible to proceed along these lines in developing the country.
In the constitutional realm, if I understand it rightly, I think that if territorial jurisdiction were given things would spring to life.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Would anyone else on the floor like to get his two cents worth now?
Mrs. Colleen Tyner: I want it to go on record that I do not think the government really listens to what we have to say. They come here, they listen to us talk, write it down, and then go away and forget all about it.
There is a lot of potential in the Yukon and I agree with everybody that has said anything about it. But if somebody would just listen to us—really listen, and do something.
Dawson has been declared a national historic site and the only thing that has been done is the rebuilding of the Palace Grand in 1962.
Again, the Tourist Information Bureau stepped in and bought that building, and now it has been turned over to the government as have others. I think that in the Yukon, by forcing our Council to tax our necessities, we are being penalized for living here. Instead of getting encouragement for people coming to the North, we are being taxed for being here and wanting to stay here. Our fuel is high; that is a necessity. Our gasoline is high, higher than anywhere else in Canada, I believe, and that is a necessity. They tax liquor too.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you. You have certainly had an atten-
tive audience here of members of Parliament and Senators this morning and I hope that the seed has fallen on fertile ground. You realize, of course, that this Committee is directly concerned only with constitutional matters. We would be happy to hear all of your comments but our report when made will deal only with the constitutional question. However, I think that all these things are certainly involved in the constitutional question. As Father Snyder pointed out, having provincial status—without saying whether it is on your own or as part of another province, although it is clear that you people want it on your own—might do a great deal for the development of your industries here, especially the tourist industry.
Mr. Osler: This is just a remark, if you will let me put it in: I do not think it is fair to say that these remarks have nothing to do with the Constitution, because one of the proposals that the federal government has already put up is equality of opportunity for people wherever they live. If people in the North are to have equality of opportunity, if they are to have tourism and so on and so forth, surely to God they either need to have less income tax or write-off incentives, or something.
It is all very well to talk about Dawson City and how great a tourist attraction it could be, but people are people and they are going to require good accommodations to come and return. It is unfair to ask somebody to build a motel that the average American or Canadian citizen will accept when he has a two-and-a-half month time span. He should not be taxed on the same basis as some person who has a year time-span outside Toronto. So that it is constitutional, Mr. Chairman. That is the only remark I want to make.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Osler. I hope that I did not give the impression that it was not constitutional. What I was saying was that the Committee will report on what it considers to be constitutional, and I can see that you are a strong proponent that we take a very broad look at the meaning of constitutional change. That is fine.
Are there any other comments from the floor? I would like to go back to Mr. Dinsdale then, because I interrupted him in his line of questioning earlier, and I am not sure whether or not he had finished.
Mr. Dinsdale: I just want to comment, Mr. Chairman, that that was the discussion that I
hoped would arise from my prodding, and it also gives the lie to this myth that there is not the potential leadership in the Yukon to carry out the tasks that would be required with greater responsibility and autonomy. And I merely want to say that as a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers, I am very pleased to hear this response.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): The next questioner is Mr. Hopkins.
Mr. Hopkins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was quite interested in the remarks that the gentleman had to make about the Alaska Highway because I think that my own personal case is one point which proves his point. I had been quite enthralled with the idea of putting my family in the car and travelling up the Alaska Highway to this area of the country, and then when I started studying some of the literature on the Yukon for this trip and found out that they were recommending that you cover your gas tank with some rubber tube and you put plastic over your headlights and so on, I began to change my mind. So his point is certainly well taken.
Mr. Allmand and I were discussing this point the minute before he came to the microphone. And we heard the comments last night. Some people were saying that they did not think the Alaska Highway should be paved. Others were saying it should be paved. Because this is a very important transportation link, I would like to have some consensus, if Mr. Miller could give me any, or if the gentleman could who was at the microphone previously, of why there is this difference in attitude, and whether it is prevalent or whether this is an isolated case.
Reverend Snyder: I certainly think that there has been tremendous debate about the Alaska Highway. The Present Minister of Public Works travelled up the Alaska Highway by bus at the request of the Yukon people. He experienced the gravel road and he passed judgment on the fact that the road was in excellent condition and that it need not be paved. Engineering people, I presume, were behind this.
I think the figures that Erik Nielsen conveyed were that one-third has to be completely rerouted, one-third rebuilt, and one-third might be ready to be paved. But the Minister, when he shot down the Alaska Highway, brought up the situation of airports and nobody in the Yukon seemed quite free enough from the shock of the Alaska High-
way to discuss the situation that exists, to talk about airports, and we actually need both.
Tourists who do not want to get their windshields broken and their gas tanks broken and so on, can also come to this country through airports. But it is not just a local problem. We are related to people in the Northwest Territories who also need tourism and so on. So these things come in together and actually it would not hurt if the present policy were pursued. Let us say our airports were really fixed up so that quite good planes could come in and bring tourists in that way. We can travel on these gravel roads and our territorial roads.
By way of inference, I think it is safe to say this is probably still federal money, but regarding our territorial road coming from Whitehorse to Dawson, it is a fairly general comment of people that it is generally always in better shape than the Alaska Highway. And I think this is something that should be brought out because our territorial fellows have at least done a good job according to lay people like me in that regard. We are happy about that because we travel that one more than the Alaska Highway.
However, whether airports or. roads were concentrated on, we think all the arteries for transportation would be good. And certainly I think that a 200 per cent increase in tourism would be putting it mildly about the Alaska Highway. I think it would really take the top off the lid. Some people do not want that, but I think the tourist traffic in this country would really go because we are dependent upon American people as well, and they are not bad to have around and they want to see Alaska. They live through their life, some of them, to come and see Alaska, and I think we would get that return visit two or three times.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Reverend. Mr. Hopkins.
Mr. Hopkins: Thank you, Father. I think I should put on the record at this time, Mr. Chairman, the fact that I think Yukoners can take a little lesson out of politics. We heard last night that when the Minister came up here to travel the highway to find out what condition it was in, someone gave him an air-filled cushion to ride on, and I think this is very impractical politics and I think you should improve your strategy.
Mr. Chairman, I have one question and I think that either Mr. Miller or Mr. Nielsen will be able to answer it for me. What is the total annual budget of the Yukon government at the present time?
Mr. Nielsen: The last budget was close to $15 million. That is for looking after our own needs here. Someone mentioned the tax base being very narrow. This is not quite the case. You have Anvil Mines being taxed—no, they are still in the tax-free period. There are Venus which is coming up, New Imperial Mines, United Keno Hill Mines, Clinton Creek Mine across the river, and other large corporations which by no means monopolize the scene. That is a popular myth that is propagated and perpetuated by senior public servants in Ottawa because they have to have a straw man. Mr. Chretien found that out when he made a speech here during the last resources conference which aroused the ire of a good many monkey wrenches and other people from the lower income groups.
But try to get the information. Time after time I have asked the departmental officials, “How much do you take out of the Yukon in tax revenues? How much do you take out in corporate taxes? How much do you take out in personal income taxes?” And you get the run around. Ask them to break down CBC costs and they do not do it; they will not do it. Ask them to break down CNT costs; they will not do it. This is the kind of information to which members are entitled on behalf of their constituents, and we do not get it. And I might say we did not get it when we were in power.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hopkins.
Mr. Hopkins: In view of those remarks, Mr. Chairman, it might be helpful if this Committee were to put in a request for financial status of the Yukon and where these moneys are spent in view of the fact that we have to discuss budgets in order to arrive at some consensus on the Constitution. And I would like to leave that at this time.
Mr. Nielsen: Good luck.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I would think, Mr. Hopkins, that we would not need a motion on that. I think that the Committee can make this request, or alternatively we might ask our economic advisor to see if he can assemble this material for us from whatever source it may be available. But we will certainly note the request. I do not think we need a formal motion for it.
Mr. Hopkins: I think it should be noted here too, Mr. Chairman, that the people in the
Yukon can take heart from the fact that, as I believe, the first annual budget for the whole of Canada in 1867 was something in the neighborhood of $150,000 to $200,000, and people were complaining about high taxation. So in view of this budget of $15 million for the government and the amount of money that is going out of here; I think they have a good case.
The desire for autonomy in the Yukon is a natural and healthy sign. Naturally you are going to need better transportation facilities, power development and economic development in general, and you have a problem built-in here that is not unusual to the whole of Canada, because we have regional views across Canada where people feel that they are being left out or neglected. But I think that when we look at our country as a whole, it is not so surprising if we have problems and complaints in Canada today on a regional basis as it is surprising that in spite of all these problems that tend to divide a country, we still have a country whose people retain a strong desire to continue to build a nation. I think this is something that we should not lose sight of at all. There are a lot of pluses there.
Local government and autonomy of local government are important to national unity because they give people the privilege of getting complaints off their chest at the local level and get a hearing. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that at this hearing today, and I think it has come out in a couple of others we held, there is frustration being built up because people do not feel that they have a way of expressing their views in a practical manner.
I would just like to conclude by saying, commenting on Mr. Dinsdale’s statement about possibilities, that there is another old air force motto which says, “We do the possible right away, but the impossible takes a little longer”. I think this Committee is doing what is possible now by hearing views across Canada, and we are going to meet the impossible task and try to get around it when we start deciding what recommendations we are going to make for the change in the Constitution.
I have one last comment, Mr. Chairman. I know you are getting impatient with me, but I think that one of our great statesmen, Sir John A. Macdonald, said when the first three provinces united to form Canada in the beginning that the more we fellows get together, the more we realize that each of us is human, or something to that effect. I think that it is good for this Committee to be travelling across Canada and hearing the views
of these people here, and I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we from the East have helped to convince the people in the Yukon that we Easterners are not such bad people after all, because we here have a great deal of sympathy with them and we will certainly try to do our utmost to be constructive in our comments about this state. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, we are now drawing rather short of time. I have three other members who have not yet asked a question who want to do so, and there is at least one who wants a second chance. I will at least give the first questioners an opportunity of asking their questions, but perhaps at this point I might encourage them to be somewhat more brief than members have been up to now. Mr. Hogarth, Mr. Lachance and Senator Cameron. First, Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, I will forego any questioning I had on the question of provincial status, but I would like to assure the people here that the suggestion that the Yukon or any part of it become a part of British Columbia has been met with the reaction in the people that belong to the political party that I belong to as being one of complete madness, and one in which the person who made it had absolutely no concept of the people living in the North.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I will just recall, for your information, that Mr. Hogarth is from British Columbia.
Mr. Nielsen: I think it should be placed on the record also that he is a Liberal.
Mr. Hogarth: You can always put that on the record.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Next we have Mr. Lachance.
Mr. Lachance: Mr. Chairman, I would like to address a question to his lorship Mr. Mayor. If he could come forward, it would be for him easier to answer to my question.
Mr. Mayor, I wish to thank you for your warm reception and that of the citizens of Dawson City. Originally, you are french-speaking from the Province of Quebec and you are the Mayor of Dawson City.
The French-speaking population is very important there. I would like to know how the Dawson education plan. provides for the
French-speaking people and on the cultural plan what proportion of the Dawson population is French-speaking.
Mr. Fabien Salois (Mayor of Dawson City): I believe that around 20 per cent of the population are French Canadians; as for those who speak French, they constitute around 10 per cent of the population.
Mr. Lachance: What is accomplished both on the cultural and educational plan for the French-speaking population?
Mr. Salois: Very little I am afraid for there has been a French school only for three years. Before that, the French-speaking teacher could not even speak that language. Several times I wanted to speak with them but they could not speak French. And yet they teach the language.
Mr. Lachance: Is there a wish within the French-speaking population of Dawson to continue to speak French and to study the language?
Mr. Salois: All the French-speaking residents understand the majority is English-speaking. Among us, we speak French but whenever somebody arrives who speak English only, everybody starts talking English.
Mr. Lachance: Does the French-speaking population wish in any way to see some improvement in this language situation?
Mr. Salois: If there were more of us, we would organize ourselves. But since we are so few, after 10 or 15 years in this city, the French-speaking people lose their tongue.
Mr. Lachance: Are there programs in French on the radio or on television?
Mr. Salois: These last years, there has been a few programs which were not worth much if you ask me.
Mr. Lachance: On television?
Mr. Salois: Yes, on television, programs coming from Montreal with a duration of 15 minutes where a singer may give two songs in French and other in English. And then, a week later, the same thing is done again.
Mr. Lachance: There is only one television station in Dawson?
Mr. Salois: These are registered programs which are picked by CBC and retransmitted between 4 and 11 o’clock.
Mr. Lachance: Briefly what is the population of Dawson city?
Mr. Salois: I would say around 800 persons. Of these, some 200 are not residents of· the city and are rather minors and apprentice minors, etc.
Mr. Lachance: Any of this number, 20 per cent would be French-speaking?
Mr. Salois: Of French descent, yes.
Mr. Lachance: Thank you very much.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Senator Cameron is next.
Senator Cameron: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I will be very brief. I would like to start by emphasizing a slogan that has been heard quite frequently in the last few years, the slogan of participatory democracy, and I would suggest that this is a good illustration of what is meant by participatory democracy. We are giving the people a chance to say what they want to say and make their recommendations first hand to a Parliamentary committee. We frequently hear that the local member does not count for much in Ottawa, he is not heard from. I would just like to say by way of an aside that your member is quite frequently heard from and is quite well listened to.
I was interested in the comment about provincial status and I am one of those who feel that we have too much government now, but I have a great sympathy with the people of this area when they ask for self-government because I, too, am a second-class citizen having lived in a national park. So I know exactly how you feel and I can assure you I have every sympathy with you and will do anything I can to assist you in getting out from under the control of a detached bureaucracy operating, as Mr. Nielsen said, by driving the horse with reins 4,000 miles long.
I think, however, if you are going to be successful in your campaign—and this relates to the points I am going to make—it is important that you translate your aspirations for a bridge, for the paving of Alaska Highway, for cheap power, for the development of the tourist industry, into dollars and cents. What is this going to cost you and the taxpayers of Canada? In other words, if you are able to project the cost over a phased period of time, thinking in terms of what you need to do, in terms of priorities for two years, five years, ten, fifteen or twenty years, put a price tag on
this as nearly as you can. You will help us and help yourselves.
The mayor referred to the need for cheap power and it is quite agreed that cheap power is the basis for any successful industrial development, and I am sure you have plenty of the potential for it here. He also mentioned that it would cost $9 million in capital to put a plant in here. I suspect that this may be one of the areas where you may have difficulties. Where would you get the capital? Will this be something that will have to come from the federal government? Again, this is something I suggest you spell out in practical terms.
I want to come to that very touchy subject, Klondike Days, because this related to tourism and I have had some correspondence I think with Mrs. Gaunderone and others about the matter of Klondike Days when they thought that I had assisted my former fellow citizens in Edmonton in pirating a good idea. Maybe Edmonton did pirate the term “Klondike Days”, but my reply to you is that this is the best advertising the real Klondike has ever had. Edmonton tried for years to get something that would compare with the Calgary Stampede in terms of an attraction. They failed. They had the Daniel Boone hats and nobody would be caught dead in them. Then they went to the oil derrick man’s hat and nobody would wear that either. But because they took this idea from you, Edmonton now has taken a pride in its Klondike Days and you are getting a secondary benefit from it. Today you do not only see the white hats in the Royal York or the Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, but you see the Klondikers there. In other words, it has made people all over Canada conscious of this country. So I say that Edmonton may have stolen something from you, but I think, in terms of advertising, it has given you something you could not possibly buy.
My next point—and this relates to Klondike Days—is tourism. You suggested we should pave the Alaska Highway. I say, all right. I admit it should be paved. How much,, what is the price tag? I have heard it, but I have forgotten the figure. It is not just a question of paving the highway, you need larger and better airports. So again, you must translate this into dollars and cents and a time scale. So I suggest you make these representations through your member, through your Council, and so on and you will help us to help you. The cost of the bridge is another factor.
I do not want to take any more time except for one question, one point. This is the question of leadership. There is no question that you people have the capacity to run your own show very competently. I happen to run one of the top business management schools on this continent. That is not my rating, it is the rating of the Harvard Business School and others. I met five of our best business alumni in Whitehorse, and I will name them because they are businessmen who can hold their own anywhere in Canada. One was Bob Campbell, you know him; the other is Rolf Hougen—Ralph is one of the bright coming young men who can hold his place anywhere. Another is Bob Choate. Jim Smith who is Commissioner is another one and Keith Fleming. These are the kind of people who are living here who can hold their own anywhere. So, I say, you do not need to apologize for the quality of leadership you have, and there are many more like these people.
As far as I am concerned, I have welcomed this opportunity very much, indeed, and you can depend that any support I can give you will be given. I also hope you will understand the Klondike pirating in a little more sympathetic light.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, I will give you one final opportunity from the floor to make any comments you would like to make. Are there any further contributions from the floor? If Mr. Osler can ask his question very briefly, I will give him a second chance after which I will regretfully have to declare the meeting closed.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question, but first I would like to read into the record something that emerged from a conversation I had earlier with a lady who is in the audience and who is evidently just too shy to come forward. I had hoped she would. She pointed out to me that there is quite a lot of evidence of unequal pay for equal work. That is a constitutional matter. Men cooks in mining camps or in construction camps in this area are paid more than women cooks of equal quality. I bring· it up only because this is an example of another point of a brief which was presented to us earlier, equality of status for women is a question in this area. I would like to then pose this as a question and it does not necessarily need an answer.
It seems to me that even if you ultimately get provincial status here, you have still the other side of the constitutional question and that is how does Yukon or any other less populated area with a relatively small number of representatives in the House of Commons get an adequate voice in the remaining federal matters? Even if you get provincial status, you still have federal matters to deal with, and I suggest that with one member of Parliament and no Senate representation, as far as I know, you will still have the same feelings of frustration on the federal level even though you have provincial status. I would like Mr. Nielsen or anyone else who wants to think about it, to consider whether it is worthwhile to re-examine the original basis on which the Senate was set up which was to allow regional representation. It has been suggested that the Northwest Territories should be allowed Senate representation, possibly on an elected basis, to give it more power and that the representation should be adjusted in the West in general to give it more power, so that we have a voice on regional matters as well as on a rep by pop basis. Mr. Nielsen is not going to carry the same weight in the House of Commons as one member from the Yukon …
Mr. Nielsen: Oh no?
Mr. Osler: Well, you carry a hell of a lot of it, but not the same as 60 per cent of the House which comes from Ontario and Quebec. So he has to have an extra load to help him somewhere. Therefore, I wonder if some kind of fundamental reform within the federal system is not as necessary as provincial status.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Osler, as you said, I do not think this is a question that can be answered here and now, but I think it is a question that members have got to take back with them because if reflects on the Senate, for example, for the whole country. Mr. Miller just said that he would not be satisfied unless there were Senate representation, too, and I think it would be obvious that if the Yukon became a province there would have to be Senate representation. However, I will leave this as a rhetorical question.
Mr. Nielsen: With respect to Senate representation, I have made in the House of Commons on several occasions over the past
dozen years under both governments, representations to have a Senator appointed for the Yukon as well as for the Northwest Territories, but this will, of course, require an amendment to the Act.
With regard to the other point you raised concerning representation in the House of Commons, I simply draw your attention to the fact that the population of Prince Edward Island is slightly over 100,000 and they have 4 members, so some kind of restructuring might be necessary there. He made one further point at the outset which slips my mind at the moment. Those. two points in any event are covered and just iii closing, Mr. Chairman, this is the point I want to make.
Dawson City has a substantial population of Indian people and I invite you to look around and try to find one here today. If any one of our peoples require some kind of reform in their treatment, it is the Indian people. I hope you have an opportunity while in Dawson to look at some of the places they live in. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, it is perhaps fitting that our first hearing in the Yukon should · have been in the original capital of this Territory and the city that made the name of the Yukon synonomous with adventure and hard work. We are very pleased to have been here with you this morning, but we were even more pleased by the way in which you have attended our meeting and have participated in it.
I would like to thank all of you who have spoken here this morning. You have given us many ideas and you have given us much knowledge of the Yukon. I would like especially to thank Mr. Miller who has performed the extraordinary feat of remaining in the witness’ chair for two hours and while we have not compelled him to answer every question, he has certainly done an outstandingly fine job of helping us to become better acquainted with the Yukon.
Meeting adjourned to the call of the Chair.