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 16 (16 September 1970)
By: Canada (Parliament)
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 16 (16 September 1970).
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Twenty-eighth Parliament, 1969-70
THE SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
MINUTES AND PROCEEDINGS
WHITEHORSE, YUKON TERRITORY
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 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
WEDNESDAY, September 16, 1970.
The Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada met this day at 8: 05 p.m. in the Elks Hall, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The Joint Chairman, Mr. MacGuigan, presided.
Representing the Senate: Senators Fergusson and Yuzyk (2).
Representing the House of Commons: Messrs. Allmand, Asselin, Brewin, Dinsdale, Gibson, Hogarth, Hopkins, Lachance, MacGuigan, Marceau, McQuaid, Osler, Rowland and Nielsen—(14).
Witnesses: Mr. Norman Chamberlist, Member of the Territorial Council, Whitehorse East; Mr. R. E. Hudson, Past President of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Ken Shortt.
The Joint Chairman noted that the Yukon Conservation Society had tabled a copy of its Spring 1970 NEWSLETTER (Vol. III—No. I) which was filed with the Clerk of the Committee as (Exhibit No.2).
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. Chamberlist who made a statement and was questioned.
During questioning, at the invitation of the Joint Chairman, Miss Pam Wilton and Mr. Erwin Armstrong made statements from the floor.
The questioning of Mr. Chamberlist being completed, he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. Hudson who presented a brief on behalf of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Hudson was questioned.
During questioning, at the invitation of the Joint Chairman, Mr. George Wing and Mr. Archie White made comments from the floor.
Later, the questioning of the witness being completed, he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. Shortt, who made a statement to the Committee, after which he was questioned.
During questioning, Mr. R. A. Hodgkinson, Assistant Commissioner (Executive) of the Government of the Yukon Territory, was called to supply some factual information.
At the invitation of the Joint Chairman, Mr. Rolf Hougen, Mr. Burt Boyd, President of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, and Mr. Tony Fakette made comments from the floor.
Later, the questioning of Mr. Shortt being completed, he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman thanked the members of the audience for their statements and comments.
At 11: 05 p.m. the Committee adjourned to Thursday, September 17, 1970.
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerks of the Committee
(Recorded by Electronic Apparatus)
Wednesday, September 16, 1970
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): The meeting will come to order.
Ladies and gentlemen, last night we began the meeting by telling you a little bit about ourselves. I see in today’s Time that we have been called The Travelling Road Show which, I think, we can take in a favourable sense. You are part of the show because you are going to be the performers as well. I will not bore you by repeating, for those of you who were here last night, the introduction I gave at that time, but I would like just to introduce to you again the members of the Committee so that those of you who were not here last night will be familiar with the people who are up here and the way in which they span the country.
My own name is Mark MacGuigan. I am a member of Parliament for Windsor-Walkerville in Ontario, and I would like to introduce the other members in alphabetical order.
We have representing the Senate, the Honourable Muriel Fergusson from Fredericton, New Brunswick and Senator Paul Yuzyk from Fort Garry, Manitoba. We lost Senator Donald Cameron a few minutes ago, he had to go back to Austria. He came from Austria for these hearings where he was involved with high matters of state, but he could not stay for the last day unfortunately.
Representing the House of Commons we have Mr. Warren Allmand, representing Notre-Dame-de-Grace in the Province of Quebec; the Honourable Martial Asselin from Charlevoix in the Province of Quebec; Mr. Andrew Brewin of Toronto-Greenwood; the Honourable Walter Dinsdale, Brandon-Souris in Manitoba; Mr. Colin Gibson, Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario; Mr. Douglas Hogarth, New Westmister, British Columbia. Mr. Hogarth apparently has not arrived yet. Maybe he went with Senator Cameron. Mr. Georges Lachance from Lafontaine in the Province of Quebec; Mr. Gilles Marceau from Lapointe in the Province of Quebec; Mr.
Melvin J. McQuaid from Cardigan, Prince Edward Island; Mr. E. B. Osler, Winnipeg South Centre; Mr. Douglas Rowland, Selkirk, Manitoba,-yes, I was just checking to see if your own member, Mr. Erik Nielsen, was here. He is and I will introduce him to you. I am sure he needs no introduction.
Mr. Hopkins: On a point of privilege, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your leaving me out, because if you are mentioned singularly, you get better recognition.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): My apologies, Mr. Hopkins. I must have missed your line on the list and I would like to introduce to you Mr. Leonard Hopkins from Renfrew North in the Province of Ontario who, I am sure, will make his presence felt later in the meeting.
There you have our side of the travelling road show and we will ask you to introduce yourselves when you come up to give us your comments at this microphone in the centre.
Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to bring to your attention in the light of the comments last night on the subject of pollution and pollution control, that Mr. Garth Graham of the Yukon Conservation Society is filing with us some material which we will take notice of at our leisure and apply to the understanding of this problem. I understand that Mr. Graham does not want to make a formal presentation tonight.
We do, however, have with us three witnesses. Our first witness will be Mr. Chamberlist. He will be followed by the spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce and our final witness will be Mr. Shortt from this City.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Committee, I would just urge you to keep in mind that we do have three witnesses and, therefore, there will have to be some limitations on what we say if we are to give adequate time to the people on the floor.
Another gentleman is going to get a singular introduction because he has just arrived and that is Mr. Douglas Hogarth from New Westminster, British Columbia.
Now ladies and gentlemen, I will begin this evening’s proceedings by calling on Mr. Norman Chamberlist, the Member of the Territorial Council for Whitehorse East to present us with his thought, followed by questions from the Committee and questions and comments from you. Mr. Chamberlist.
Mr. Norman Chamberlist (Member of Territorial Council, Whitehorse East): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Madam Senator and gen-
tlemen, I, first, would like to indicate that what I have to say today in no way reflects the position of the Territorial Council. I would hope they agree with my sentiments, but it should be understood, Mr. Chairman, that they are my personal feelings.
Mr. Chairman, when you refer to amendments to the Constitution and a question was asked last night, “Will you explain what the Constitution is,” I think it should be explained that the Constitution can be a written documentary thing such as they have in the United States. When we refer to the Constitution of the United States we refer to a written document; when we refer to the Constitution of the United Kingdom this is made up also of documentary matters, unwritten and judicial decisions, and conventions and customs which form the Constitution of the United Kingdom. In Canada, as I see it, from the various literature that has been printed in late years, everything seems to start from the British North America Act of 1867 and this is just one piece of legislation which was incorporated by the Imperial Parliament for the legislative control and government of the federal—that is the central and provincial—government of Canada, plus the customs that had been passed down from the United Kingdom and accepted as such.
I feel, though, that this Committee, and I am sure most gentlemen here are historians of some description, have omitted to recognize that the only written Constitution that was ever submitted for Canada was the Constitution that was drafted by a firm of law attorneys in England by the name of York and York who at the time of the capitulation of Quebec and Montreal submitted for the Board of Trade and Plantations of the United Kingdom which is the organization that took care of colonies in those days through the commanding general of the British forces after the death of General Wolfe, a written constitution and that was in 1763.
I am somewhat surprised that no reference has been made to this at all because the first amendment to that very Constitution took place on September 2, 1765 and this was where it cleared up for ever more in Canada what, indeed, was one of the worst things that could have happened whereby the first
Constitution, the one in 1763, rejected people of a certain faith, of the Catholic faith, from the right to be judges, qualify as lawyers or, indeed, take public office. So I think we should be thinking back beyond 1867 when we speak of the history of the Constitution of Canada and not basically depend on the 1867 Act. The Quebec Act of 1774, indeed the Constitutional Act of 1791 and the British North America Act of 1867 and amendments did not alter in any essential respect the Constitution of Canada as was written in 1763. So, in fact, what we are trying to do is look for a way of amending an Act that has long been in effect for 200 years and not for just over 100 years.
I think in Canada the British North America Act established legislative and administrative responsibilities for both the central and provincial governments and, as I said earlier, the customs that were brought down, carried down from the United Kingdom Parliament.
In the B.N.A. Act and the amendments, Section 109 indeed relates to all the lands, minerals and royalties and so on belonging to the provinces in which they are situate or arise. I think your first job is that this Committee should be recommending that the amendment to this particular section include the word “Territories”, should we not in the very near future come to a position of being treated as of similar status to that of a province, not necessarily complete provincial status as has been obtained via various acts—the Manitoba Act, the Alberta Act, and so on—later, after the initial confederation of Canada.
When we speak about constitutional rights, surely the first thing we must consider is the constitutional rights of human beings in Canada. There is a basic requirement for a written constitution to clearly define the responsibilities of man to man, because without doubt the greatest enemy of mankind today is man himself. The philosophy of the United Nations which, in December 1948, declared a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be a basic thing in a written constitution for the people of Canada.
Without that responsibility, with Canada as a sovereign nation being accepted into the United Nations without that thing being instituted in its own constitution, I think we
would be failing in our duty, not only to the United Nations, not only to the people of the world, but certainly to the people of Canada.
I am not going to deal at length with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but I think we must consider some of the basic things that are referred to, and read through various areas. In Article II, it says:
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Then, madam and gentlemen, we look around at this great country of ours and go to some of the areas where some of our first citizens live—and I defy any member of this Committee who does go and see how some of the Indians live in this Yukon Territory, to hold his head up high and say that he is a Canadian and so are they, that you are being treated and they are being treated on an equal status. I defy anyone of you to have the courage to say that because I think it is a bluff in the society of Canada.
The situation should be continually arising, and you heard some of it this morning at Watson Lake. I would ask that, before you leave the Yukon tomorrow, you take your bus and go and see how the Indian people in this community live. It is a disgrace. I think you should do this before you leave. Indeed, you will not have fulfilled your function in travelling around the Yukon Territory and Canada unless you see this for yourselves. I would implore you to make sure, Mr. Chairman, that your members do just this.
I do not know how we can speak of the inherent rights of freedom in a constitution. When we look at the process and the money with which Indians and Metis are dealt. In my opinion, the time has come for the Parliament of Canada to consider dispensing completely with the Indian Act. Repeal it, get rid of it, and say: You people are Canadians. We want you to live in the same manner that we are accustomed to living in. Help them to obtain and retain the status that all Canadians should have.
In a constitutional reform for Canada, we must look at the type of constitution under which all peoples in Canada are living. Members of this Committee, Mr. Chairman, may be content with the fact that they live in provinces where the provinces themselves, because of the British North America Act, have been given the right of sovereign states within themselves. But today, you are in an area where frustration after frustration, seventy years of the worst type of colonial status, exists.
In a Crown colony such as Hong Kong even, the people there who are elected have the power to administrate over their own affairs. Yet that very power that is given to them, the Parliament of Canada has refused, yes, refused, to give to the people of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Chairman, I would try to make it quite clear that I am not castigating the present federal administration, and so that members of the party in the present federal administration can feel better about it and members of the opposition not be comforted by my remarks, I say that it is a continuing situation, applicable to continuous federal governments, whether it be the government of the Progressive Conservative Party or the government of the Liberal Party. I think that both parties have failed in recognizing the needs of the people of the Yukon and Northwest Territories to live as Canadians live all over Canada.
For the members who do not belong to the Conservative Party or the Liberal Party, who have not had the responsibility of government so that one cannot say what they might do or what they might not do, I would suggest that they would fall into the same trap and continue keeping a blindfold over their eyes, if—and I say “if”; it is a long “if”—this should ever happen, that they ever get control of the government of Canada.
I want to make it clear that I have no wish to participate in political bandying here but that I wanted people to feel that what I say is something of very, very great importance to the people of the Yukon. I think that the time has come along when the constitution should be written and should say quite clearly when the people of the Yukon Territory are going to have the status of other Canadians.
I said in Ottawa, of the first federal-provincial conference of February, 1968, that we are the illegitimates of Canada. We are treated in that way. But you people have come along, and I tell you that I think that most people in the Yukon—I am sure I echo their senti-
ments—are grateful, Mr. Chairman, for the visit of this Committee. It is the first Committee, I would think, that has shown direct interest in constitutional matters of the Yukon.
We are very grateful, and I would like to place that on record at this time.
I think the people of the Yukon have demanded to govern themselves. I am not of the political philosophy of our member of Parliament, but let me say that I think Mr. Erik Nielsen, in the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development, while Bill C-212 was being discussed, made quite clear his feelings for the people of the Yukon, and I think he is to be commended on that particular score. I hope sincerely, Mr. Chairman, that your reports, after you have finished your tour across Canada, will not go down the drain in exactly the same way as the reports of the Standing Committee of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, when representatives from the Yukon sit with them and advise them as to the needs of the Territories. To my knowledge the first time that any members of the Territorial Councils were invited to sit with the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development was in the April meeting, and this only because of the pressure put upon the Commissioner and the Minister to have this done.
I would ask members to note issue number 11 of April 16, 1970, the Minutes of the Standing Committee. On that date I, with the President of the Chamber of Mines, as a result of information we had received, went to Ottawa and made representations with reference to Bill C-187, the Northern Inland Waters Act. I can tell you that nobody in the Territorial Council and nobody in the Territorial administration were made aware of any legislation that was pending in relation to the Northern Inland Waters Act, which affected the people of the Yukon so directly. I would like to read into the record, if I may, Mr. Chairman, certain portions of that evidence.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Could you give us the date and the page number?
Mr. Chamberlist: The date is April 16, page number 13. This is myself speaking:
I would like to preface my remarks by saying that the Yukon Territorial Council was very unhappy with the situation whereby an Inland Water Bill has been presented to government without the people of the Yukon being in any way consulted. Not only were the elected representatives of the Yukon not consulted but I have assurance from the Commissioner and his administration that the first information they had of the contents of the proposed Inland Water Bill was when copies of it were sent to his office after the first reading on February 16 of this year with a covering letter from Mr. Nay Smith asking for any comments. Consequently, it was towards the end of April before this information came to our hands, members of Council that is.
I have been instructed by the members of the Territorial Council to place before this Committee its very strong views that it was a negligent act on the part of the federal government not to inform the Territorial Government as to what is taking place with reference to waters, or for that matter lands or any of its natural resources, in which we are directly concerned. We feel there are areas of this Bill which are detrimental, not only to the people of the Yukon but especially to the people in the mining industry.
And on page 14.
But we are not being asked as to whether we agree with these things. This is being done in an arbitrary manner by the federal government without the people of the Yukon Territory being asked at all whether or not this is suitable for us. We in the Yukon Territory look forward to the time when we will be taking care of our own natural resources and our own mineral resources, and we do not want them to be used in such manner that we cannot unbind ourselves from a lock that the federal government will place on us for the next 100 or 150 years.
I think it is necessary, Mr. Chairman, to place before the members of Committee what is really happening in Ottawa when it comes to matters of the Yukon. I am sure that if any of you gentlemen who have been brought up with democracy instilled in your minds would look at these things try to relate democracy to what has been happening to the people of the Yukon, you would get up, shake your heads
and wonder why. Yet, you are the people that are legislating for Canada. This is why it is so important that you should know these things.
On page 21 I said:
What we are afraid will happen is that our land, our natural resources, our mineral rights and even our people will be tied up because the federal government—and this applies to consecutive federal governments over the years—does not recognize the fact that the Yukon is not just land, it is not just water, it is not just mineral resources, it is people, and wherever possible we want to have matters that affect us discussed with us.
Then on page 22, in answer to a question that Mr. Borrie had put, I said:
No, Mr. Chairman, I think Mr. Borrie has hit on one point that is of coure of great concern to us because as a legislative body we do not have control over anything. We have the power to legislate but not the power to administrate, and when it is suggested that there are certain areas over which we have some control, this is not so. I wish to make it very, very clear that the legislative body of the Yukon has no control. The Commissioner, a person who is appointed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, has the control, and even over the legislation that we put forward. If either he or the Minister do not wish to bring it into force, they do not bring it into force.
Please recognize this, Madam and gentlemen, because this is the actual situation.
Lastly, on page 38 I make one very strong plea. Incidentally, I will interject because I am making the same plea here.
I make one very strong plea to members of this Committee to keep a watching brief on all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and to ask each time: Has the Yukon Legislative Council been consulted before a particular bill goes to Parliament so that we can at least have the opportunity of making comments on a particular matter that affects us and our children and our children’s children. It would be most improper I submit, Mr. Chairman, if this consideration were not given.
I would also like the Standing Committee to inquire into the forestry management and timber disposal policy of the government relating to areas where our timber resources are going to be put up
for sale and timber rights being given without the people of the Territory being consulted in it. I make this plea and ask you to consider whether you would want this to happen in your own living areas.
Mr. Chairman, we have to come back to what we are here tonight for. We are talking about constitutional changes for Canada. Now should it not be written that for no part of Canada, whether it be a province or whether it not be a province, should the federal government introduce legislation before discussing such a piece of legislation with the people involved? I am sure that not a member here would disagree with me when I say that what has happened is wrong. It is basically wrong and I would say it is morally wrong.
The BNA Act was drafted without delegates from Canada being there. It was drafted in the Imperial Parliament.
Mr. Hogarth: No, no. Wait.
Mr. Chamberlist: Just a minute. I will get to that. This BNA Act when it was first discussed there were no delegates. It was only when the Fathers of Confederation sat together—then delegates were sent there afterwards. Now, Mr. Hogarth interrupted my comment because the comment I would want to make on that is that I fear that Canada should not consider that you have to go back to London to make up your decision as to whether or not you should change what we have here. Do it yourself right here in Canada. And I am from England. I was born there and I think that it is wrong for us to have to go back to England to ask the Imperial Parliament for permission to change.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Mr. Asselin: Mr. Chairman, may I raise a point of order. I would like to ask the witness if he can give to us a sort of formula in order to repatriate our Constitution in Canada.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Asselin, I think that is rather a question than a point of order and I will be happy to put you on the list of questioners and you can address that question to Mr. Chamberlist later. I would ask you not to answer that now
because it will only delay the completion of your talk.
Mr. Nielsen: On a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes.
Mr. Nielsen: If Mr. Chamberlist would select some quotations from the Committee reports which were uttered by myself he could probably shorten his argument a good deal rather than quoting himself!
Mr. Chamberlist: Well, Mr. Chairman, that is a question of opinion. Mr. Chairman, I found in reading the minutes of the Committee that the remarks that I have made seem to have more depth than the honourable member’s.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Mr. Hogarth: Shafted again, Eric.
Mr. Chamberlist: I think we are fortunate, Mr. Chairman, in having had one particular Royal Commission that I think should be read very thoroughly and considered by members of this Committee in making recommendations on changes and that is the Royal Commission in Ontario, the McRuer Report, regarding civil rights. I think it is most valuable and, Mr. Chairman, that from these writings alone the constitutional changes can be brought forward.
I am satisfied, Mr. Chairman, that there have been certain areas of fault lying in all sides of government, both territorial and federal, when it comes to the Constitution of the Yukon Territory. I am trying to speak on a broad base and include the amendments that would affect the Constitution of the Yukon and at the same time affect the Constitution of the Northwest Territories which both together make up about 50 per cent of the land mass of Canada.
I think that reference has been made to the territorial government and its status. I think, Mr. Chairman, it is necessary for me to comment that the Territorial Council and the improvements that appear to have been made are really not improvements at all but here is another point where I find it not hard but very easy to agree with the member of Parliament for the Yukon. I think that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development’s suggestion that two elected members be appointed as members of an executive committee does not go far enough. I think that what has been done is a little piece of
icing on the cake; the cake is exactly the same and I would quote from Standing Committee Minutes, Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Thursday, May 28, Number 22, on pages 11 and 12, and again I must quote from what I thought was the better depth, my own comments. I said yesterday Mr. Nielsen presented an amendment to the Territorial Lands Act part of the Bill and I cannot but agree with the position he has taken and the position other members of this Committee have taken in support of him. And I notice this was support given by all political parties. It is pleasing to note this because I am of the opinion that for years and years the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development have built themselves a government within a government, attempting control of about 50 per cent of Canada without consideration to the people of this area. And I interject here I believe that we have in the Yukon Territory a fine, conscientious public service. I believe that in the federal government there is a fine public service but I believe that there are those in the federal government who wish to protect the powers that they have as members of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and it is because of this I feel that this Committee would do well to take a look at that particular situation and will find very easily what happens.
In the last session of Council an Assistant Deputy Minister brought a paper already printed with the Commissioner and his men at the bottom and distributed it out to members of Council for discussion at Council. The paper was not signed by the Commissioner. During question period I asked why it was not signed. He said, “I saw it a few minutes ago”—and it is a pat on the back for our Commissioner to say this—”and I will not sign anything I have not had time to study.” It was brought straight from Ottawa, given to him, and handed to us, the Territorial Council, to deal with.
Needless to say, I took my piece of paper and tore it up because I am not going to have at any time any legislation of any matter put before me five minutes before and say to me “deal with it”. And this is the type of thing that has been occurring, Mr. Chairman. And this is the type of thing that we have to think of when we are talking about the constitutional rights of people. You are up in the North; you
do not matter so much. Here is your instruction, take it. This is what we want you to do. The people of the Yukon are not like that. We are a bunch of individuals and are pretty rugged individuals and I would like all of you when you go back to Ottawa and when you go travelling around continuing with this Committee to say that when you have been to the Yukon you have seen people, and you see more people, and you will see more Canadians because we are both. We are proud of being Canadians and we are proud of being Yukoners and we are going to let you people know all the time and as often as possible that what we want is that Canada will recognize us and recognize the entity that we want to form in Canada.
I am going on to deal with the next area and I said of the various areas of the Yukon that first of all I agree with the suggestion that has been made by the Minister in relation to the two appointments by the Territorial Council of two members to an Executive Committee headed by the Commissioner in conjunction with a makeup of the Commissioner, his two assistant Commissioners and two elected representatives on the committee. This is something that is outside the legislative body of the Yukon Act and because it is outside the legislative body of the Yukon Act gives the right to the Minister or the Commissioner on the say-so of the Minister to remove that Executive Committee that he has set up at any time.
Now I do not know why, when the recommendation to the Standing Committee was made that the Yukon Act incorporate those two positions in the Act, that it was not included. I cannot but remark at this time and quote the Votes and Proceedings—rather the Hansard of Thursday, May 14, 1970, when the Minister said:
I think we are taking a very far-reaching step in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. On the committee that I will order the commissioners to form, there will be two elected members who are part of the executive committee. It is true that this is not provided in the bill, but this is because we want more flexibility. The fact that no provision is made for this in the bill means nothing at all, since the commissioners always act on the direction of the minister.
There you have the nub of the whole situation of the Yukon Territory. If the minister
decides that the executive members who have been appointed are not playing ball with the administration in Ottawa he can say, “Cut it out'” and he can say that because what has been given can be removed. It is not in the legislation and this was a bad thing.
I think it is necessary that we get the requirements from the federal government to understand that the people of the Yukon Territory wish to participate as equal Canadians on an, equal status. I know that some questions will be asked, Mr. Chairman, in relation to provincial status and what our requirement is for responsible government, but I believe that when we talk about responsible government we are not necessarily talking about immediate provincial status.
I believe that it would be foolhardy at this time to request provincial status immediately, but I think the time has come when the federal government must not say, as it has said through two of its ministers, that the mineral resources of the Yukon belong to the whole of Canada. I doubt whether the ministers would say to Mr. Bennett of British Columbia or Mr. Robarts or Mr. Bourassa that the mineral resources of those particular provinces belong to the whole of Canada. I would much prefer to hear them say that we are holding the mineral resources in trust for the people of the Yukon Territory. This would be the better thing to say.
Generally when we speak about changes to the Constitution we must think in terms not only of changing the Constitution for Canada and the provinces, but we must remember that the people of the Yukon Territory are not. second-class citizens. We wish to play our part in Canada. We wish one day to join Confederation with equal status and, an equal basis. I have made some comments in the past on what I think about whether or not, in fact, the land mass belongs to Canada. Administratively we are managed by the federal government, but this is not a point involved at this time. I do hope, Mr. Chairman, —my throat is getting a little sore—I do hope that I have expressed generally my feelings in regard to what shall be included in constitutional changes.
In brief, constitutional changes must consider people everywhere, not just geographical areas. If you think in terms of constitutional changes for the people of Canada you must impress on everybody’s minds that you are including the people of the Territories and Yukon who make up the people of Canada as well; thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mr. Chamberlist. I
have as questioners Messrs. Hogarth, Gibson, Asselin and Osler and after that I will call for comments or questions from the floor. First is Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. McQuaid: Mr. Chairman, I have a question of privilege. In view of our experience last night when we were only able to hear two briefs, would the Committee give some serious consideration to allotting a certain amount of time to each questioner, not necessarily, and by no means, to the man who presents the brief but to each questioner? My suggestion is that perhaps you should get an indication at the beginning of the question period how many members propose to ask questions, divide that number by, say, 30 minutes and allow that time to each questioner. I am afraid, Mr. Chairman, that we may not be able to hear all the briefs people may want to present tonight unless we put some very serious restrictions on the question period.
Some hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Agreed. Another way of proceeding is simply to allot five minutes to each of the questioners and to restrict the number of questioners. It makes no difference to me which we choose to follow, but perhaps we could begin with a five minute rule and see how that works out for the first few questioners. Would that be acceptable?
An hon. Member: Yes, agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Otherwise we might end up with only two or three minutes for each questioner and a Member of Parliament can hardly state his question in that time.
Mr. Hogarth: He can hardly state his name.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: One thing, Mr. Chairman, the Biblical inscription that the last shall be first and the first last was proven tonight. I apologize for being late, but at least I got to the top of the class here.
Mr. Chamberlist, you have advocated the repeal of the Indian Act. In that connection, and considering the position of the Indian people of the Yukon Territory, has your Council, or have you, ever advocated on their behalf that the Indian people as of right be represented on the Territorial Council?
Mr. Chamberlist: Every Indian person has a right to stand for election.
Mr. Hogarth: I appreciate that, sir, but have you or has the Territorial Council ever advocated that because a person is a member of the Indian race he has a special right; that is, he is elected by Indians to be on the Territorial Council? Have you ever put that forward with your advocacy that the Indian Act be repealed?
Mr. Chamberlist: Mr. Hogarth, I will make this point and make it very clear. I would prefer to see no such thing as Canadian Indians, Canadian Scotsmen, Canadian Frenchmen; just Canadian is what I would like to see.
Mr. Hogarth: You take the position that the Indian people of Canada including those of the Yukon have absolutely no special relationship with the federal government at all despite the treaties, despite the reserves, despite their claims for aboriginal rights; is that correct?
Mr. Chamberlist: No, I am not suggesting that at all. What I am suggesting is that should the Indian Act—when I say this it should be in consultation with the Indian people because they are affected and, after all, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 already lays out certain inherent protective rights in the constitution and this is a constitutional thing that has been left out. The Proclamation reads:
And, We do further declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure, for the present as aforesaid, to reserve under our Sovereignty, Protection, and Dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the Lands and Territories. . .
and so on and so forth. So we have that.
Mr. Hogarth: I take it then that the simple answer to my question whether you personally have ever advocated or your Council has ever resolved that Indian people should have a representation on the Territorial Council as of right is: no, this has never been put forward.
Mr. Chamberlist: Because I do not think they have that right.
Mr. Hogarth: But it has never been put forward?
Mr. Chamberlist: No, because in my opinion they have no right apart from the fact that they are Canadians. If they wish to run for office they should be given the right to run for office.
Mr. Hogarth: I hope the next time you are in Ottawa you are introduced to such people as Mr. Harold Cardinal.
Mr. Chamberlist: I am aware of him.
Mr. Hogarth: He would not exactly take that point of view.
Mr. Chamberlist: I have had discussions with him and he has bent to me on a number of occasions.
Mr. Hogarth: You are the only man he has ever bent to. Mr. Chamberlist, there is one thing in his concept of provincial status that worries me. We know, those of us who have confidence in the North, that the resources here are very, very vast. We know at the same time, relative to the quantity of resources that are going to become available, that there is a very small population. This has to be admitted. Regardless of how you quote the population of the Yukon, it becomes relatively very small.
I think that one of the great concerns is that a great, vast amount of resources—and here we are dealing with resources because the Territorial government for all intents and purposes have pretty well domain over everything but resources and justice.
Mr. Chamberlist: Oh, no, this is not true.
Mr. Hogarth: Excuse me, but resources is one of the big factors.
Mr. Chamberlist: With respect, I must interject. Before you come forward with a statement like that I would suggest that much more study be made. I am being fair to yourself, Mr. Hogarth. It is not right for you to come out with a statement like that until you have made your study of the situation.
Mr. Hogarth: All right. Let us consider what things you want jurisdiction over that you do not have jurisdiction over, in the broad general sense?
Mr. Chamberlist: In the broad general sense, we would like jurisdiction over all matters.
Mr. Hogarth: Fine.
Mr. Chamberlist: But we do not have jurisdiction. You were asking in a broad general sense and obviously I have to answer you in a broad general sense.
Mr. Hogarth: Never mind what you have or do not have, but to give the development of the resources on a provincial status to such a small number of people, would you suggest that the taxation necessary to develop those resources could be raised by such a small number of people?
Mr. Chamberlist: Mr. Chairman, if we had our resources we would not have very much of a problem in raising money.
Mr. Hogarth: You say that if you had complete provincial status. . .
Mr. Chamberlist: I did not say that. I want to make my position clear. I have not indicated complete provincial status. This will come, but I think we need responsible government and we want our resources so that we can get to the position of complete provincial status.
Mr. Hogarth: I am not so sure that I do not agree with you, but this is my point. What is your formula? What do you personally advocate as to when this change should take place? Is it based on population? What is it based on?
Mr. Chamberlist: I would say to you that population should be a secondary matter completely. I would bring to your attention the Province of Manitoba as an example. There was, of course, a council of Assiniboia which grew into Manitoba. Did anybody worry at that time about population? Why all of a sudden now, in this great modern world with scientific ways and means of extracting the riches from the ground of the Yukon Territory, should we be worrying about population? Give us our resources and the population will come here.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chamberlist, I am very limited. My concern is not what happened in 1870 in Manitoba. My concern is what is your formula as to when the transfer should take place of all powers, or how do you stage it?
Mr. Chamberlist: You did not ask me that straight question. Now that you have asked me I will answer it for you. I say this with respect, of course, Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: We do not get much respect, so I think you.
Mr. Chamberlist: I think it is necessary to set a day so that we know where we are
going and what we are aiming at. I would suggest that we set five years because it can be done with this step forward supposedly in an exercise in administrative government for elected people that is about to take place, as little as it is. It may well show the federal government that we are capable and that we have capable people. Let me say this, that we have capable people not only as legislators but we have capable people to administrate as well.
Mr. Hogarth: This is not in doubt but is your formula one that is based simply on five years?
Mr. Chamberlist: I think we could do it in five years.
Mr. Hogarth: All tight. Then in five years’ time there would be an automatic provincial status?
Mr. Chamberlist: No, I did not say that.
Mr. Hogarth: Please tell me what your formula is for the provincial status that you seek?
Mr. Chamberlist: It took Pierre Elliott Trudeau, when he was Minister of Justice, something like three months to write this book, which is a formula of the Canadian charter of human rights. The amendments to the Constitution by the late Hon. Guy Favreau, I understand it took him about a year, and you are asking me in five minutes to give you a formula. I think this is an unfair proposition. I am quite prepared to say to you that if you want a formula from the Territorial Council we will prepare one and gladly send a copy to every member of this Committee.
Mr. Nielsen: You have already done that.
Mr. Chamberlist: We have done that once, this is quite true.
The Joint Chairman Mr. MacGuigan): Yes, I thank you.. Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps this is a good point at which to leave this discussion. I have allowed Mr. Hogarth to go beyond his five minutes because he was asking such Short and pointed questions and also because the matter seemed so fundamental. I think, With thanks Mr. Hogarth, that We Will have to limit you to that. We can expect, I think, a future document perhaps from the Territorial Council.
Mr. Hogarth: I would like to speak on a point of order. History will regret that Mr. Chamberlist and I cannot continue.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We did invite the Territorial Council members in Watson Lake if they so wished to prepare a brief and forward it to us in Ottawa and we will be very interested in receiving it. The next questioner is Mr. Gibson.
Mr. Gibson: Mr. Chamberlist, I am delighted and proud that you have expressed agreement that the amending formula for amendments to the federal Constitution should all be passed in Canada and that we should get rid of the anachronistic, archaic concept of walking or sending our papers across and hoping that they will be passed in Westminster. True, it is a formality but let us get on with the job. Do you agree, sir, that all amendments to our Constitution should be made in Canada bientôt, which means soon?
Mr. Chamberlist: Not soon, now.
Mr. Gibson: Now.
Mr. Osler: We have the interpreter.
Mr. Gibson: I do not have long to question here, the time is short, but I want to say that the members in the new House of Commons, since the last two years anyway, a lot of us are learning French and we are enjoying it. About 50 or 60 members of Parliament are in the process of learning French now and we are enjoying it and we are learning to get along beautifully with the other members. They are co-operative and they are helping us.
We shall soon succeed in changing the Canadian Constitution. If Mr. Chamberlist. .
Now, if Mr. Chamberlist has anything to do about it. Another thing I wanted to say is that this Committee has been bandied in the press as being a junket, and I assure you that we may have our fun on this trip because we are up in the Yukon and you have given us the most wonderful entertainment and you have been friendly, but we have really been working at this problem and we intend to continue. We shall continue to succeed. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Gibson. Your question took
the five minutes, so Mr. Chamberlist has no time to reply.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, would it be permissible to interject that I have heard definite and serious rumours that the whole deal of bilingualism is off since Gibson and I have been trying to learn French. The French are so scared they want to learn English!
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Asselin.
Mr. Asselin: Mr. Chairman, as Mr. Gibson has just made his speech in french, I have thought that. . .
I just want to say, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Gibson had made my speech in French, so I will pass. I will give the people time to ask their questions. There is a girl here and if she wants to ask a question of the witness I will let her ask the question.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Asselin. I now have Mr. Osler and Mr. Nielsen, and then I will invite comments from the floor. Mr. Osler.
Mr. Osler: I would like to place on the record that I think if you used the Province of Manitoba as a particularly good example of coming into Confederation you must also look at the other side of what happened to Manitoba, which in fact is that 15,000 people were living in Manitoba when it probably prematurely became a province. Probably prematurely in the long run, and it got badly clobbered, but most of them, particularly those of mixed blood, and most of the Scottish Selkirk settlers too, got completely submerged in a very greedy immigration from Western Ontario. The whole climate and profile of what they thought was to be their province was unalterably changed within 10 years. I just interject that as a note of caution, although I agree with your trust, I think one must look at every question twice over to see whether, as Mr. Hogarth says, 20,006 people can handle all aspects of provinces without some safeguards for their own protection for at least the take-off time.
Mr. Chamberlist: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Osler, I appreciate your comments but I will make
this remark: the people of the Yukon are much more informed today than the people of Manitoba were in those days.
Mr. Nielsen: Even today.
Mr. Osler: As a matter of privilege, Mr. Chairman, I must say that statement was self-evidently denied by the two people from the Yukon.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Nielsen.
Mr. Nielsen: I would like to zero in on the mechanics that Mr. Hogarth was so interested in. The mechanics for achieving the legitimate aims of the people of the Yukon for a constitutional reform have been made the subject of resolutions by both federal political parties in the Yukon, the Yukon Progressive Conservative Association seven years ago, and the Yukon Liberal Association three years ago, and I want to be emphatic about my remarks following being non-partisan in the most sincere assertion of that statement. Those resolutions were followed and were passed concurrently by two successive sessions of the Territorial Council, one of which at least Mr. Chamberlist was a member, unanimously. The mechanics were set forth in the Council’s Resolution No. 40 six years ago.
Mr. Chamberlist: I think it was 41.
Mr. Nielsen: In that Resolution the mechanics adopted by both federal political parties up here were pretty well adopted seriatim. That resolution has been read into the record of Hansard which the Committee knows, as I have said this before, and in the Standing Committee, and it has been repeatedly put before Ministers of the Crown who have had the responsibility for the portfolio of Northern Affairs. There is no doubt that the Council and I, and the people of the Yukon have been getting through to the Minister in these legitimate requests. The first confrontation was With the previous Minister who threatened to cut our budgetary throat unless we did, as bureacrats, what he wanted us to do, and we did what he wanted us to do. The second confrontation was recently when the members of Council went down to Ottawa and asked again to have these reforms implemented. So your formula is there. It is not a question of putting a time limit on it of five years or ten years of fifteen years; it is a question of designing a blueprint of gradual transition of the powers which now reside in Ottawa to the elected representatives of the people here.
The suggestion has been very briefly in a thumb-nail way that immediately the size of the Council be increased to 15 members. This is the question I want to follow up with to Mr. Chamberlist to see whether or not he agrees with the formula that we increase the Council immediately to 15 members, that we immediately transfer responsibility in the portfolios of education, health and welfare, public works, municipal affairs and justice to the elected representative of the people and the Council themselves would select from among the majority—presumably the minimum would be eight—the people to administer these portfolios. In the meantime, the residual powers would continue to be held by the federal government and administered by the Commissioner until in the fullness of time all of the powers that now reside in Ottawa would eventually be transferred to the elected representative of the people here in the same democractic way as has been the history of every province created out of this federal system of ours.
As to a formula in Manitoba, and I can find nothing wrong with it, except to question Mr. Osler on his statistics notwithstanding the fact that there are 15,000 people in Manitoba, when that province was carved out of the District of Assiniboia in the Northwest Territories in 1879 nonetheless there were only 1,051 voters eligible to decide that question. In the last year there were 7,600 and now it is closer to 10,000 or 11,000.
An hon. Member: The women have a vote now.
Mr. Nielsen: And so do the younger people, but why not adopt the formula which I had sold to the previous administration and the Council was increased from five to seven at that time? Had we still been in office I am sure the formula would have carried on. Why not adopt a formula that for every 2,000 increase of population there be one member of the Territorial Council added, assuming a base of 15? Add one additional member for every increase in population of 2,000 until we reach 21, at which time we achieve provincial status. Now that was the formula in 1879 when Manitoba flowered. I only ask of this Committee that they do not recommend we follow DBS population figures because they are invariably grossly distorted. I am sure that it is not intentional; it is simply that they are not in step with the times here. Now that is the position the Territorial Council took in two successive sessions and I am
going to ask Mr. Chamberlist whether he agrees with that formula and whether he is urging this Committee to put that kind of formula before the federal government?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I would just ask you to reply very briefly, Mr. Chamberlist.
Mr. Chamberlist: Yes, I will. The remarks made by Mr. Nielsen in fact are correct with regard to the proposition submitted by the Territorial Council. I take one exception, of course, and that is to Mr. Nielsen’s remarks with reference to the fact that when his party was in power they increased the Council by two. I cannot quite understand why, when his party was in power with the largest majority that Canada ever had, they did not take the bull by the horns and give the Yukon Territory its responsible government then with 15 people. Apart from that, I think the message is quite clear.
Mr. Nielsen: I am sure we are both on the same side. Let us be nonpartisan.
Mr. Chamberlist: Right. We will do that.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise a point of order. What concerns me, and I must confess I am sure there is an answer, is what the resolutions recommended as to who was going to pay when you transfer education and social welfare and all these matters to a tax base of 20,000 people or whatever it might be. What did the formula recommend about how these things were going to be paid for. Did the formula recommend that the federal government still pay?
I want to make my position clear. I am not against the formula but let us be realistic, if we are going to pour $25 billion a year or whatever it might be from Ottawa into the Yukon and the Yukon wants more economy—I am not saying I am against that—how are they” going to pay for it? You cannot expect the people of Canada to give money to the Council without holding some purse strings on what is done in the various areas. This is the problem.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Chairman, you cannot expect the people of the Yukon to refute with any intelligence the dollars argument that we get continually thrown hi our face, Mr. Chair-
man, by the bureaucrats and by whoever might be in government at the time unless they break down the money that they spend on CNT up here and the CBC and NCPC and correctional institutes and hospitals and all this overplanning and welfare and what have you and then they come back and say, “Look, you need this building, you need this project”, and they simply add to the total of millions of dollars that they spend here. Then when we ask them to break it down for us, to extract it from the books so that we can refute their arguments, they say, “Oh, I am sorry, it is lost in the bookkeeping; we cannot supply that information”. Now heaven knows, I have tried often enough, the members of Council have tried and we are refused all the time. I just hope this Committee confronts Parliament with the demand to break these figures out, and then we will see that the Yukon tax base is broad enough to support this kind of reform.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Chamberlist?
Mr. Chamberlist: I think Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Nielsen really gave it to you the way I would like to give it to you Mr. Hogarth, because . . .
Mr. Hogarth: I do not mind taking it. I am not in any argument about it.
Mr. Chamberlist: . . .quite often, the federal government says it is putting millions of dollars into the Yukon but it is putting them into federal administrative structures, and, in any event, they put that type of money into the provinces as well. They cannot say that they are putting it specifically into the Yukon for a particular purpose and not putting it anywhere else.
But when it comes to corporation taxes, the various large corporations that pay their taxes, if their registered office is at Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, then they file their returns and their returns are added to a return as if it comes from that particular province. There is no possible way in which I can go to the Department of National Revenue and say to them: “What was the corporation tax base for such and such a company?”
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Osler?
Mr. Osler: On a point of order, without in any way trying to cut this discussion off, it seems to me that, first, the proposals that
have been talked about are a matter of record and we can study them as they have been referred to, and I propose that we should have them brought before us and studied; and secondly, this particular problem of separating the money out has already been referred to, and you have instructed the Council to go ahead and see what can be done about it for our Committee. I am just worrying about the other briefs and the general public.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think, Mr. Osler, this would be a good time to go to the floor for comment.
Mr. Dinsdale: Mr. Chairman, could I have a question of privilege?
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes. Mr. Dinsdale.
Mr. Dinsdale: Very briefly, then. I have not participated in the discussion but constant reference is being made to a former administration with which I happen to be very closely associated.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Oh, yes, I heard about this.
Mr. Dinsdale: I would like to ask Mr. Chamberlist this brief question. When Commissioner Cameron was appointed in 1961, it was on the assurance from the Prime Minister that the level of responsible government that he is advocating here tonight be assured to the Yukon Territory by 1967. Mr. Cameron refused to accept the appointment because he felt that that guarantee had been broken, and I want the record to be corrected in this regard.
Mr. Chamberlist: Mr. Cameron and I do not see eye to eye and he did not mention anything to me about this particular thing, so, I will have to accept what he said.
Mr. Dinsdale: It is a matter for public record, of the Prime Minister, that is.
Mr. Chamberlist: Well, I have not seen this, then. The Prime Minister of that time has not passed out any of his correspondence to me.
Mr. Dinsdale: We accepted the resolution of 1963 as the progressive steps required.
Mr. Chamberlist: Thank you.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, as a matter of privilege again, this may or may not be more important to an ex-minister than it might be
to the rest of us but I think we have the general picture that in the opinion of those who live in the Yukon, there is much at fault with the relationship with the government.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think Mr. Dinsdale’s point of privilege is completed and I will now call on anyone who would like to comment from the floor, either by way of statement or by way of questions.
Miss Patty Wilton: Mr. Chamberlist, you said before, in your brief, that the Yukoners were not treated like Canadians. For my own interest, I would like to know in which way the Yukoners are not?
Mr. Chamberlist: Well, quite simply, the main point is this. We have not the power to elect people, not only to legislate on our behalf, but to manage our affairs on our behalf. We differ in the Yukon Territory inasmuch as the legislative body has powers to legislate but not the powers to administrate. So therefore, we are already essentially different to that of a province where the elected representatives of the people form the government of the people, whereas here in the Yukon, elected representatives do not form the government but appointees of the federal government for the government and administration of the Yukon.
Miss Patty Wilton: At one point in your brief you said that the Commissioner did not wish to sign anything he had not studied so, you simply ripped it up and threw it away. Would it not have been a better idea and helped everybody more if you had simply kept your study or your copy and studied it, so that you could know all about it before you threw it away?
Mr. Chamberlist: Well, Miss, it did not take long to read. I had to read it before I got down to the bottom. However, there are many copies that I throwaway afterwards. But the point was, to show my objection by tearing it up.
Miss Patty Wilton: Like objection to policy decisions, from what I understand.
Mr. Hogarth: I am going to give that lady my next five minutes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hogarth, you do not have another five minutes.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, that is what the people of the Yukon are complaining about. We never have the time to listen.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any other comments from the floor, please? Yes? Would you come up?
Mr. Irwin Armstrong: I have had considerable contact with the Indian people, in mine, timber and logging. Some of the Indians have asked me repeatedly to try to make changes in the educational system in order that their children may get manual training after they are around 12 years of age. The Commissioner and practically everybody else said: “Oh no, we have got to have education”.
Mennonite people in Ontario have probably, according to Prime Minister Mackenzie King, proved to be our finest settlers. He told us that in a speech before he quit. As for my experience here, and knowing that part of the country because I was born there, I can understand why Mackenzie King made that statement—he said that the rest of the Canadian people could very profitably follow their way of living.
A great deal of criticism has been handed down in connection with the Indian people. My opinion is that they have been given a bum steer by both our educational system and our missionaries, and I do not hesitate in stating that the big trouble here in the Yukon has been due to religious organizations who have refused to acknowledge the fact that the care and development of our natural resources, industries and people is the basis of christianity.
Mr. Chamberlist is quite anxious to protect democracy but we had a speaker here a number of years ago who claimed that democracy was not christianity. Prime Minister Trudeau told us, at his first Dominion Day speech, that the Canadian people should endeavour to understand what the will of God really is, and is that not to take care of our country?
We have allowed a bunch of pack rats and reptiles to come in here and use the Yukon as a milch cow, and, as far as I can see, Prime Minister Trudeau’s ambition is to eliminate that trouble. Apparently, Mr. Chamberlist wants to be free to do as he jolly well pleases. He has suggested payroll investment of wages and this is a policy that has been pursued by the Mennonite people for generations. A great many of our contractors have gone bankrupt because they have had to pay wages in cash for their employees to go
down town and get drunk, and cater to Mr. Chamberlist’s cocktail lounge.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Chamberlist, would you care to make any comment?
Mr. Chamberlist: No sir.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any further comments from the floor? Speak now or forever hold your peace. There will be other chances later on to comment on other witnesses.
If there are no further comments at the moment I will on behalf of the Committee thank Mr. Chamberlist for his presentation and ask the next witness to come forward. Mr. Chamberlist, we are grateful to you for giving us the benefit of your advice.
Ladies and gentlemen, our next witness is Mr. R. E. Hudson, Past President of the Chamber of Commerce in Whitehorse. He is also a Past National Director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. R. E. Hudson (Past President of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce): Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce was established in 1948, and represents over 80 businesses in the Whitehorse area. The subject of constitutional reform and constitutional variation is a large one, and, because of the limited time available, this brief is largely comprised of random comments on the subject in general. The matter of constitutional reform, with specific regard to the Yukon Territory, is one of immediate concern to its residents and, therefore, of immediate concern to the members of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.
Governmental reform, whereby the policy making function is democratically placed in the hands of the people through their elec’ed representatives, is supported by the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.
Immediate provincial status is, in our opinion, theoretically desirable at this time, but for practical purposes is not suggested as an immediate step to be taken. Steps in this general direction, however, are advocated, so the governmental function in the Yukon can more fully follow generally accepted democratic principles.
This brief urges an increase in Territorial Council to 15 elected members, and supports
the idea of a commissioner to be one of the elected members, and directed by the Territorial Council. The executive committee, which is about to be formed, should concurrently with the increase in the number of Territorial Councillors, be formed so as to provide for a majority of elected members with plans to phase out the presence of appointed members entirely. Consequent amendments to the Yukon Act to eliminate the colonial nature of the present government organization would be required as each step was taken, culminating in the amendment of Section 4 of the Yukon Act to provide for a fully responsible government in the’ same general terms as is now held by the provinces of Canada.
Hand in hand with the reorganization of government to comply with generally accepted democratic principles, would be the transfer of administrative control over natural resources, land and other matters generally held by the local governments, meaning provincial governments in Canada.
The first of these is generally understood to be the matter of justice, where steps are already being taken.
The transfer of control over development of natural resources to local responsibility, it is suggested, could be commenced by an early transfer of the complete administrative function geographically to the Yukon Territory, while remaining within the jurisdiction of the federal government. What is suggested here is that there be situated locally, an organization sufficiently large and comprehensive enough to fully determine those applications made to the govermnent for the distribution of natural resources, for the enforcement of regulations in connection therewith, including regulations regarding pollution, and generally to administer the natural resources, subject to set and clearIy defined policies determined by the federal government at this time in consultation with the Territorial Council.
Perhaps the most immediately pressing need is the desire to have land distribution policy and administration located locally. It is understood these matters are proceeding, and the position of the Chamber is they should proceed rapidly, so that a fully comprehensive organization, carrying, out a policy of land distribution and land development is situated in the Yukon Territory to result in the development of land within the Yukon Territory to the benefit, principally, of the residents and citizens of this area of Canada.
There are examples of delays and impediments to the development of the Yukon, resulting from the present administrative sit-
uation, where virtually all decision-making administrative functions are located in Ottawa.
Persons desiring to invest funds in businesses, residences and general development of the Territory, continually find themselves frustrated in that small errors in applications made, both by the applicant and by the government, take months to be corrected, policy changes take a considerable time to be communicated to the local representatives of the departments involved, and it is our recommendation that a transfer of this authority to local location can only improve the general situation.
Following upon the transfer geographically, this brief urges a direct and continuous program of transfer of jursidiction to the elected representatives of Yukoners.
The matter of pollution control is felt by the Chamber of Commerce to be better handled on a local basis.
The more built-up areas of Canada,. such as the Great Lakes area and certain portions of British Columbia and the Maritimes, are engaged in a battle to reclaim areas in danger of destruction by pollution, and fight to eliminate pollution occurring presently at an alarming rate. The situation in the Yukon Territory shows an advantage. The major efforts of those involved in pollution control would be in prevention and they would be in a position more easily to enforce regulations decided upon. The economic effect of such regulations on industry and others, would not be as traumatic, and with the· policies determined locally, it could be made clear to those involved. With local enforcement, the prevention of pollution, it is felt, would be more successful than if enforcement originated in Ottawa.
While perhaps not constitutional in nature, it is recommended that, so long as the Territorial status remains, there be a Department of Northern Affairs. This department should not be attached to any other portfolio because of the very important transition stage through which the Yukon Territory is now proceeding. We feel our affairs are important enough to warrant a Minister of Northern Development so that our affairs be handled with expedition and accuracy unimpeded by the necessity of consideration of other matters not directly related to northern development.
Generally this brief finds difficulty in accepting that there be established a point of
development of the Territory, at which time provincial status would be available to the area upon its request. It is felt that the present sections of the British North America Act of 1871 remain the machinery for obtaining provincial status, and the matter proceed as outlined above in the brief without specific targets of population, gross territorial production or total local government revenues being fixed, since none of these factors are in themselves decisive of the matter, and upon the theory that all democratic institutions should be available to all citizens of the country, the setting of artificial targets for such does not seem to be appropriate.
The authors of this brief, in considering the discussion and argument with relation to provincial status for the Yukon Territory, would raise the point that objectors to provincial status for the Yukon Territory should have no objection to a provision in the Constitution of Canada, whereby present provinces who fall in their level of population or economic development below a certain standard, should lose their provincial status, and become territories as the Yukon Territory is now. This argument, we feel, is applicable as well to the setting of standards of development prerequisite to the attaining of provincial status, and the authors of this brief prefer to accept the historical development of provinces and to suggest that progress to provincial status for the Yukon follow those historical lines.
In support of the recommendation that development of natural resources be firstly placed locally, and secondly, transferred as a jurisdiction to the elected representatives of Yukoners, the authors of this brief cite two matters; first is the Taiya project, a multimillion dollar project involving a reversal of the flow of the Yukon river system, and developing power in large quantities for sale in the northwest area of this continent. This project, as understood, is one totally in the hands of the federal authorities and has extended over a period of 10 years, and continues. As a result of this project, development of land along the water system of the head waters of the Yukon River, has been frozen. The settlement of Carcross, for the sake of the saving of dollars that might have to be spent on expropriation, has been at a standstill for over 10 years and the resultant lack of investment, lack of development in this area, is apparent, and, in our opinion, is unsupported in view of the large dimensions of the Taiya project. It is felt that the savings of possible expropriation expenditure does not justify the depression on development in
this area, and that were these decisions to be placed into local hands, as we have outlined, a more equitable, at least to Yukoners, development would have, in the past, been done, resulting in a greater level of development in a larger area of the Yukon Territory.
A further example is the proposal of the establishment of a chip mill and forest harvesting area in what represents a potential recreation area. The concept of the development of this industry is not in itself proven to be undesirable at this time. What has caused this development to be, at the least, delayed is the fact that all decisions at the initial stages were made in Ottawa, without local consultation, and in fact, apparent inaccuracies and inconsistencies showed up when the plans for this development were finally disclosed to the Territorial Council. In the result, the Territory appears to have temporarily, at least, lost a potential industrial development, a potential developer has become frustrated and confused as to his position in the Yukon Territory, and a possibility of losing a recreational area to a developer has been shown to be almost a fact without local consultation. There are examples of the kind of impediments to development which could be eliminated if the changes suggested in this brief became fact and law.
The authors of this brief feel that they would be remiss in not taking the opportunity to make comment on one of the greater issues in the matter of alteration of the Constitution of Canada, and namely, the Senate.
This brief is inclined to agree with the thought that the appointment to the Senate should be altered so that the Prime Minister of Canada retains the right to appoint a bare majority and that other political areas of Canada, through their elected representatives, would be empowered to appoint the balance of the members of the Senate. This brief suggests an appointment for a 5-year term, which term would not be renewable. This brief further suggests that the powers of the Senate remain with perhaps additional powers in the matter of conducting inquiries upon their own motion. Salaries should at all times be equivalent to those of the members of the House of Commons, and it is anticipated that the alteration of the set-up of the Senate result in a younger over-all membership and more active Senate in total (agreeing that in many respects present Senators contribute greatly to the Government of Canada).
With regard to the Constitution of Canada and with, however, an eye on the tool to be used by the Yukon Territory in establishing its practical right to provincial status at some future time, this Chamber suggests that it be established that each political area of Canada do have a right to be informed of the amount of federal government revenues generated within that political area. At present, Yukoners are constantly told that the federal government is paying the shot in the Yukon Territory; therefore, the federal government has the right to determine how the money will be spent and how the area will be developed.
These statements should not, however, be treated seriously until such time as the total contribution of Yukon Territory to the revenues of the federal government are known. At the present time, it is impossible to learn this by reason of the fact that many companies active in the Yukon pay their tax in a province.
It is felt that the accounting problems presented are not unsurmountable and the establishment of these figures, even if only based on estimates, would be preferable to the present cloudy situation.
In this brief we hope to have presented matters which will provoke discussion and we thank the Committee and the Government of Canada for this opportunity.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Hudson.
Two members have already indicated their intention to begin questioning you. The first is Mr. Rowland.
Mr. Rowland: Mr. Chairman, first of all I am sure that the rest of the committee would like me to do this: to commend the Chamber upon the quality of its presentation. I think this is a most useful brief, and it contains a lot of the information in very concise form that we have been attempting to elicit since we have been in the Yukon Territory. I thank you for that brief.
I would appreciate if you will look at Page 2 of your brief. You mention, at the top of the page, that
Immediate provincial status is, in our opinion, theoretically desirable at this
time, but for practical purposes it is not suggested as an immediate step to be taken.
I wonder, bearing in mind the fact that the Chairman is going to cut me off after five minutes—I have a couple more questions—if you could briefly explain some of those, elaborate on some of ‘those practical reasons.
Mr. Hudson: I think I have to agree in the immediate today that the spade work has to be done. For instance, before we can bargain for provincial status, we have to ascertain the contribution of the Yukon Territory to the federal revenue. There is no way that we can, all of a sudden, produce a civil service to perform the function of the government service. These things will have to be done over a period of time in the same way as tax reforms sufficient to raise those funds which, after being in receipt of the information I have spoken of, would be necessary to complete the government service, together with funds received from the federal government. These things would have to be done too. So these are some of the reasons that occur to me at the moment, Mr. Rowland, as to why this is said in this brief.
Mr. Rowland: In your brief, you have also noted the opinion of the Chamber that the matter of pollution control and the matter of control over natural resources should be transferred to the Yukon Territory. I should first of all say that I am in Wholehearted agreement with the principle that the people of the Yukon should be treated no differently than people living elsewhere in Canada and if these powers are held by provincial governments elsewhere, that they should very rapidly be turned over to the people of the Yukon. However, we are looking at the possibility of a new Constitution. We are at perfect liberty to let our minds roam over the potential for a different allocation of powers than now exists. I think there are strong arguments for the retention of at least, as in the case of pollution, the federal government having sufficient powers to establish national standards of pollution control which could be administered locally—national standards, so that there is not the temptation for the areas seeking development to obtain that development through reducing the cost of investment by making pollution control less stringent. Similar arguments could be brought forward in
the area of resource development and I wondered whether it was your thinking that this should be exclusive control for the Yukon Territory and indeed the provinces or whether you would see some form of joint jurisdiction as being a preferable situation or rather if it applied across the board in the country, hands of the federal government.
Mr. Hudson: Mr. Chairman, before I answer, I would like at this time, in answering the questions and perhaps other questions, to say that I am probably going beyond my status as representing the Chamber. My views may be personal but I hope they will be of use anyhow.
As far as pollution control and its jurisdiction is concerned, I think it would be foolhardy not to take advantage of the possibility of a joint effort in setting reasonable regulations. I simply feel that in the refinement, in the detail, the control, even at the legislative level, would be well served locally. I cannot agree philosophically that there is reason to share jurisdiction, once jurisdiction has been transferred in the natural resources area. In this, I am simply stating what I trust would be the attitude of most provincial jurisdictions.
Mr. Rowland: On Page 7 of your brief, you discuss the matter of some sort of constitutional formula for admission of territory to provincial status and I think there is a great deal of merit in many of the arguments you put forward. Would it be useful, do you think, to have a provision in the Constitution which would allow initiation of the process towards provincial status to be undertaken by residents of an area, which now has territorial status or which is a portion of an existing province? For example, the Government of Canada would be obliged, upon receiving a petition which represented “X” percentage of the population of an area, to present the matter to the House for debate or something, even if it was only that little.
Mr. Hudson: I feel quite sure the Chamber would look with favour on such a suggestion.
Mr. Rowland: One final question, Mr. Chairman, with respect to the recommendations of the Chamber in regard to the Senate. Just one point of principle that I would like you to comment upon. One of the objections to the current structure of the Senate on the part of many people is one of democratic principles, in that they object to the idea of an appointed body having real power in a democracy, and you have advocated the continuance of an appointed body. I wonder if you would care to comment upon that idea in the context of democratic institutions?
Mr. Hudson: Well, I think you have got to consider, when you consider the Senate, either abolition, resort to an elected body, or keep it the same as it is. I find it difficult to put it into a category as a democratic institution. I prefer to look at it in the sense of Canadian history and a certain amount of usefulness, which I would hope the suggestions we have made would cause it to improve. The only approach, it seems to me, fitting within pure democratic institutions is that at least the appointments would be made by the elected people. I do not find in the Chamber a solid thought to abolish the Senate and the matter of proceeding to an elected body involves, I would think, such over-all constitutional changes that have not really been gone into and are looked upon with some trepidation by. . .
Mr. Rowland: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Osler: I point out that in my opinion senators are chosen by people elected by the people right now.
Mr. Hudson: Oh yes, I am not saying otherwise.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise a point of order if I may and I will forgo any five minutes that I might be entitled to to question Mr. Hudson. It must be obvious to us, gentlemen—we have heard it in Dawson, we have heard it in Watson Lake, we have heard it here twice tonight, it is a recurring theme—that before we can assist these people, which I think we are duty bound to do by recommending to the government or putting in our final report, some recommendation with respect to the problem of provincial status or some interim formula—before we can do that, we have to find out, as Mr. Nielsen has said on several occasions, we have to find out the tax contribution of the Yukon Territory to the federal coffers. I
would like to move, because I think we have the power to call the witnesses before us . . .
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): But you are on a point of order.
Mr. Hogarth: Yes, and I am going to move on a point of order, too. I would like to move that a subcommittee be struck off this committee to enquire into and to endeavour to ascertain the contribution of the residents of the Yukon Territory, personal and corporate, to the federal government of Canada by way of federal taxation so that we can get to the bottom of this problem and come up with something sound that will assist these people in eventually having provincial status.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hogarth, I cannot accept any motion tonight. With Senator Cameron’s departure we do not have a quorum for the making of motions although we do have a quorum for the con: ducting of hearings, and I would also recall too that we agreed earlier and have instructed our staff to attempt to collect this information. However, if at a subsequent time you wish to make such a motion I will be pre. pared to accept it but it will have to . . .
Mr. Hogarth: We will not get it through our staff. We will only get it as a Joint Senate and House committee by calling witnesses from the Department of Finance. It is of no use getting the run around Erik has had for years.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): In that case, you can bring the motion in Ottawa when we have the officials at hand but I cannot accept the motion at present.
Mr. Hogarth: That is what I am going to do.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, since I will not. . .
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Well, there is no point of order now since I have ruled against it.
Mr. Nielsen: Well, on another point of older, since I will not be in Ottawa when there likely will be a quorum to consider a similar type of motion, I would like Mr. Hogarth to include in it not only the corporate and personal income taxes but also Crown corporations such as CNT and CBC
and that entity which does not have the respectability of a Crown corporation, the NCPC, and all other Crown agencies who are investing in the Yukon. I want to leave my point by converting now to a point of privilege to make it quite clear that regardless of the results of that kind of enquiry—which I think are going to be favourable and which I think are going to reflect support for what I and other witnesses that the committee has heard in Dawson, Watson Lake and here have been saying—there can be no price tag on the formation of democratic institutions, and constitutional reform does not rest on whether or not we contributed as much as B.C. or as much as Ontario per capita—and I know we contributed more than Newfoundland or P.E.I. —that is not the criterion. The criterion is that we should have the same rights and opportunities of every other Canadian to participatory democracy.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Gentlemen, these are not points of order or points of privilege; they are really supplementaries. I think that it would be better if you would request permission for a supplementary rather than raising a point of order or privilege which is not such.
Mr. Hopkins: I have a question of privilege with regard to a suggestion, Mr. Chairman, because I made such a suggestion in yesterday’s meeting at Dawson City when we did have a quorum and you discouraged it at the time. However, I am very pleased that I have been able to point the way through Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Nielsen.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Well I think that is a question of privilege. Now, I propose to give Mr. Allmand and Senator Yuzyk a chance to ask questions and then to open this to the floor. Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Chairman and Mr. Hudson, I want to deal with a point that was raised by Mr. Rowland on page 7 of your brief. On page 7 you point out that the Chamber of Commerce does not favour a formula in the Constitution which would set out criteria for achieving provincial status, and last night—and I do not know if you were here or not—the Chamber of Mines suggested that we do accept a formula. They were not specific but they suggested that there should be a formula in the Constitution which would set out the requirements in some way or other whereby Territories would advance to consti-
tutional status. Because you are both representative bodies and probably you have a lot of people who are in both your groups, has there been any discussion between both your groups on this?
Mr. Hudson: No, I would say not, from memory sitting here. The Chamber of Commerce’s statement here bears upon criteria of exact numbers of population, exact gross territorial product, estimates in exact amounts of potential tax revenues, and it is these items which we do not think should be borne on heavily, which the Chamber of Mines seems to do. I am not too sure whether that really is the intention.
Mr. Allmand: I appreciate that, but on the other hand you seem to be satisfied with the formula presently in the British North America Act of 1867 and 1871 which are very, very general terms and are no type of formula at all. It would seem to me that there might be a middle ground where you would not have to put down exact numbers of population or exact tax revenue and all that sort of thing but which still might be guidelines, almost as incentives to work towards provincial status. What would be your reaction to something like that?
Mr. Hudson: Guidelines? It is hard to imagine, Mr. Allmand, guidelines without having some exact statement, and it is in the manner of an exact statement that we support.
Mr. Allmand: Fine. I asked those questions because I think both your briefs, both your brief and the Chamber of Mines, are very good and responsible briefs and since I am an outside I am confronted with these two opinions. Now, Mr. Chairman, I want to deal with the point on page 12 of the brief which deals with this very argumentative question which was raised by Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Nielsen and also by this brief regarding trying to pinpoint the revenues that come out of a Territory or of a province with respect to that particular area, and I am not going to argue it at length. I am just going to put this on the record because I have had to deal with this in my own province at great length. I am from the Province of Quebec and we just fought a very serious provincial election there, and we who believe in federalism tried to compile figures. We were trying to show that the federal government put in much more than came out through revenue to combat the philosophies of the separatist parties, who felt that
they could do economically as well all by themselves. Now here is the difficulty that we ran into. Sure, you can easily get the number of taxpayers, both corporate and individual, who live in the Province of Quebec and who pay income tax to the federal government but you end up with this.
Take a company like the CPR with its head office in Montreal. It is a Quebec taxpayer and it raises its revenue all across Canada. You get the situation, if it is fair to say, that what Canadian Pacific Railway pays to the federal government from Montreal is revenue coming from Quebec. On the other hand, a company like Ski-Doo which was a Quebec company, founded in Quebec, but now its sales agencies are right across Canada and the product is sold all across Canada. They pay their taxes from Quebec, so is that revenue from Quebec? I could give you example after example. T. Eaton Company pays its taxes from Toronto, but it has stores, personnel, promotion and production all over the country. same with a mine. The investors in the mining company may live in many provinces. The production area may be in one province or a territory; the administrative and sales staff may be in several provinces and at any rate we run into one hang of a problem. The same thing comes with the spending of money.
For example, I think when the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada spends money on historic sites in the Yukon, it is just not for the Yukoners, but it is for all Canadians. At any rate, Mr. Chairman, I put this on the record because I went through this whole process in fighting the separatist problem in Quebec and I really could not come up with too much. I would not oppose Mr. Hogarth’s motion later if he tries to make it. Let us get as much information as we can, but let us not be mislead by thinking because a taxpayer is resident in one province that that revenue comes from that province, it is usually generated throughout the whole country.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. I might point out if that argument is pressed too far it becomes very tricky, certainly at a little later stage of a province’s development. Manitoba is trying to develop Mr. Allmand’s argument in reverse. We are trying to say because we put so much into the CPR, because we put so much into Eaton’s and so on and so on, all of which is taxed either in Ontario or Quebec and all of whose head office employees, expertise in accountants and all the rest of it are in Ontario or Quebec and are taxed on a high rate because they are high paying people, we are not getting our fair share. So it will work both ways.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Osler, this was another nonpoint of order, I am afraid.
Mr. Osler: Well, it is made.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Do you want to make a very brief comment? It seems to me these are statements rather than questions and I do not know if the witness can usefully add anything. However, if you wish to add a word you may do so.
Mr. Hudson: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Osler’s comments are equated to the situation in the Yukon, the situation that this brief suggests. The suggestion in the brief is that some estimates would be better than the cloudy situation we have now. It may be a naive suggestion that normally comes, but one suggestion that has been made is one small addition to tax returns, that there be a section for the taxpayer to estimate the percentage of the taxable income that he is declaring apportionable to each political area of Canada.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Senator Yuzyk.
Senator Yuzyk: First of all, Mr. Chairman, I would like to state that I certainly enjoyed the hospitality of the Yukoners.
Mr. Osler: You hope to recover.
Senator Yuzyk: Not only to recover, I have even decided to modify my name. I have often been known as “Manitoba Yuzyk” and I have now decided, because I understand your problems a little more, you can call me “Yukon Yuzyk”. It is even more euphonic.
Another thing I can assure the Yukoners, because I feel I now have a good grasp of the problems and your aspirations, that until we get these changes in the Constitution or in legislation, you can be assured I will fight for your rights in every way I can in the Senate.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Senator Yuzyk: Not only in the House of Commons do you have someone to speak for you, but also in the Senate.
Mr. Hudson: God bless you, sir.
Senator Yuzyk: I am very pleased, too, Mr. Hudson, that through your institution you have expressed in one way, at least, confidence in the work of the Senate. That is not always available in other parts of the country because it is a maligned institution. Before I ask the question, however, I would like to refer to a statement there that probably I would just like to modify a bit, because stating in the middle of page 11 :
… additional powers in the matter of conducting inquiries upon their own motion.
The Senate has all these powers and certainly in recent years, if we have come into the limelight, it has been through the work of our special committees, which will soon be releasing its report, its recommendations which will fundamentally, I think, change even the organization of the government. Mass Media is another committee; the Poverty Committee is very active, the Committee on External Relations regarding the Caribbean and our relations with the Caribbean, and there is tax reform and so forth. The Senate in the last few years has taken upon itself a role it had not assumed up to that time and that is the investigative action, I would say.
My questions are two because I know I have only five minutes. The first one is regarding your statement about the appointments to the Senate. I quote:
… other political areas of Canada, through their elected representatives,
would be empowered to appoint the balance of the members of the Senate.
Those members who would constitute less than 50 per cent of the Senate.
Now just what do you mean here? At the Federal-Provincial Conferences the Prime Minister, I think, indicated that the provinces might be allowed to appoint half of the Senate body. Do you have this in mind?
Mr. Hudson: Yes, I think Senator Cameron referred to something similar last night.
Senator Yuzyk: Well, fine.
Mr. Hudson: As the brief says, “It is not an original idea with the Chamber, it is an agreement with the existing ideas.”
Senator Yuzyk: Yes. I am very happy you are not supporting an elective Senate because an elective Senate, as all will realize in the United States, becomes the all powerful body. Under our system I think the Senate is a supplementary body to the House of Commons and should be aiding the House of Commons and the elected representatives in their work. We feel responsible in that way because we are appointed through the Prime Minister, whom you indicate should continue these appointments and we feel we are responsible to the people, too. Many of the Senators do get right down to the people, try to find out their problems and fight for their rights.
The other question, my last one, is and again I quote:
… an appointment for a 5-year term, which term would not be renewable.
This is the thing that probably frightens me more than anything else. Not that I am worried, because I am very sure if I were not in the Senate, as a former Professor I would get a higher paid position at the university. However, I am concerned because if the Senate is to continue as an investigative body and to aid in the work of the House of Commons that once many of these members did get the experience in five years you did not see fit that they should be returned at least for another term. I think this would make the Senate more effective in that they would be able to qualify if they had made their contri-
butions in the Senate for another term; and there is the continuity factor, too.
Mr. Hudson: Thank you, Senator.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think the Senator would like to know whether you are impressed by this argument.
Mr. Hudson: I am impressed with everything the Senator says. Partly the thought behind this suggestion is the hope that the general public of Canada might have more confidence in a Senate with a definite duration of tenure, and that perhaps the press and other areas would not engage in the maligning of this body that sometimes goes on.
In so far as losing the experience of Senators is concerned, and this was part of the discussion, it would be the hope that, after their five-year term, they would see fit to run for election to the House of Commons thereby perhaps upgrading the standard of representation in that body.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): That sounds very interesting.
Mr. Osler: Can I inject a question? I think that when one is making judgments of an exploratory nature, one has to sort of look inwards and say: Does this look sensible to me and would I do it? I would like to ask Mr. Hudson, who has demonstrated that he is the kind of fellow that might be looked upon as a leader and be approached to go into a Senate of this type, if he honestly would leave his present job for a $15,000 or $18,000 a year job for five years, with no future at the end of it other than to get to work and lose your shirt getting elected! I do not think it would be attractive to anybody unless he were a millionaire.
Mr. Hudson: I am suggesting that a lot of people would.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): A lot of people would?
M. Hudson: No, I am not excluding myself. I think it would be a tough, tough criterion to put before somebody.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, I think this is an appropriate time at which to invite comments again from the floor and I now do so.
Yes, please come up.
Mr. George Wing: I have been a local resident for 22 years. I think that the very first chapter of the brief of the Chamber of Commerce hits it right on the head. They represent 80 people, 80 business people. They do not represent young people, native people, or the labouring class, or anyone along those lines.
I would like to ask just two questions. I do not believe in complete election for all offices of the administration in the Yukon. Is there one case where an appointed member has not come up to Mr. Hudson’s expectations?
Mr. Hudson: Mr. Chairman, the brief is not intended as a criticism. It is intended as a suggestion on constitutional reform for constitutional reasons. I think the simple answer is “no”.
Mr. George Wing: I believe that some of these appointees from Ottawa do a much better job than some of the people who would be elected here. It says in the brief that Carcross is stagnated and that there is no investment made in Carcross. Is there one documented case of this.
Mr. Hudson: I was talking about the inability of the people who have been living there for years on the lakefront to acquire title to the property so they can receive mortgage advances to improve their property; as a single item, if you wish.
Mr. Wing: We cannot receive mortgages right here in Porter Creek, let alone Carcross and outlying districts!
Mr. Hudson: You are maligning your federally pointed members who are in charge of administrating mortgages.
Mr. Wing: No. It is CMHC. At every stop in the country, the Chamber of Commerce has brought a brief.
They have brought a brief for the Chamber of Commerce members and nobody else. I
would like the members to remember that. I am not lecturing but just keep it in mind.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Wing. Are there any other comments from the floor?
Mr. White: I would like to make one brief comment on this very interesting point. I have been a resident of the Yukon for three and a half years and I am very sentimental about this. I am proud to enjoy the country and to travel about it. I do not claim to be a sourdough because so far I have only swum the Yukon River. Some of you may appreciate that.
I feel upset about pollution and the possibility of doing something about pollution. I feel that some of the things that were mentioned in the Judd Report concerning the development of the Yukon can perhaps be better done by the federal government than by a provincial situation. As I say, I speak sentimentally. I am really not too keen to see the Yukon overdeveloped. I often think that the old story of ’98 that said: “Get in; get it; and get out”, still applies.
Some comment was made earlier about the Manitoba situation. I often think that the CPR and the Hudson’s Bay Company got a heck of a lot more out of Canada than the rest of the Canadians got out of it. These are just some of my thoughts.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. White. Ladies and gentlemen, if there are no further comments from the floor, I would like to thank Mr. Hudson for his presentation to us. Thank you.
I would ask our last witness, Mr. Shortt, to come forward. Mr. Ken Shortt is a Whitehorse newspaperman. He will present the final brief.
Mr. Ken Shortt (Yukon newspaperman): Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee and ladies and gentlemen. “Will self-government ever be possible for the Yukon?” is the title of my brief. Before one can understand the implications contained in the title of this brief, one must clearly establish what the present status of the Yukon is. This is not as easy as it first seems. There are very few Yukoners who comprehend the constitutional entity that we call the Yukon Territory. There are even fewer Canadians who live outside this territory who have the remotest understanding of our historical background and what it means in practical terms to the Yukon of the present.
Over the past ten years, I have tested the knowledge of other Canadians who have visited here, including scientists, educators, economists, businessmen, newsmen, members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers. While I found them to be extremely well informed on certain facets of our history, economy and politics, only four or five out of the hundreds that I interviewed had a good grasp of our constitutional situation. The vast majority had not the vaguest notion that almost 20,000 residents of the Yukon were and are being treated as second-class citizens.
If you think that the judgment of this writer is unnecessarily harsh then I would invite the members of the honourable Committee composed of 10 senators and 20 members of Parliament assembled here to study the constitution of Canada to submit to a knowledge-testing series of questions. Ask yourselves if you realized that the Yukon is a Crown Colony? How many of you know that the body that we call the Yukon Territorial government is not a legal entity? The only government that we have exists in the person of the Commissioner of the Yukon and since he is an appointee of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, he is not responsible to the people of the Yukon and therefore, we do not have a responsible government. While we elect representatives to sit in assembly and debate bills and pass taxes upon us, these same representatives cannot spend that money. They cannot introduce money bills and they have almost no control over the expenditure of our taxes. In effect, we have a classic case of taxation without representation—a situation that our ancestors felt was intolerable 200 years ago!
Mr. Justice J. H. Sissons, in his Reasons for Judgment in a civil case before the Territorial Court of the Yukon, July 13, 1962, neatly explained the historical makeup of the Yukon political system. He shows clearly that no intent was ever included in the Yukon Act to give Yukoners a government that was responsible to the people. It gave them only a minor voice in their own affairs in an advisory capacity. This is a violation of the very principle of democratic government which is based upon the idea that a government be responsible to the people first.
Mr. Justice Sissons said, and I quote:
The Yukon was established and set apart as the Yukon Judicial District of the old Northwest Territories Act in 1897, The Northwest Territories was formed in 1870 when Rupert’s Land and the Northwest Territory were admitted to the Union pursuant to Section 146 of the BNA Act 1867, and upon an address of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada upon certain terms and conditions. In 1872 a form of government and administration was set up in the Northwest Territories which bore analogy to those which existed in the provinces, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the admission of the Territories to the Union; with a Lieutenant-Governor and Legislative Assembly and an Executive Council responsible to the Assembly.
By the Yukon Territory Act, 1878, the Yukon Judicial District of the Northwest Territories was constituted and declared to be a separate territory under the term of the Yukon Territory and reverted to colonial status.
The Yukon is still a Crown colony. The legislation and administration are controlled by the Dominion Government. There is no Legislative Assembly. The executive body and the legislative body are one and the same. The Council is to aid and advise the Commissioner. It is not a Legislative Assembly and it is not responsible to any Legislative Assembly.
I know of no government of the Yukon Territory distinct from the Commissioner or the Commissioner in Council and the home government of the colony is the Government of Canada.
Mr. Justice Sissons’ judgment resulted from a case where a plaintiff attempted to garnishee the government of the Yukon Territory in connection with a contract let by the government to another individual. The applicant failed because the defendant proved that there was no Yukon Territorial government—it is not a legal entity and, therefore, it could not enter into a binding contract and could not be sued because it did not exist!
There is more to this than a fine legal point which is of interest mainly to lawyers
because it follows that if there is no Yukon government and it is not a legal entity, then it has been operating illegally since it was conceived. It has never had the right to sign contracts, make agreements, collect bills, or to tax the citizens of the Territory. If it is illegal, then all of its actions over the years have also been illegal.
The only legal entity that is the government of the Yukon is in the person of the Commissioner, who is appointed by the Queen’s representative, the Governor General, who in turn is advised by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Commissioner is responsible only to the Minister of Indian Affairs. This means that Yukoners have been paying taxes for nearly 100 years to a legal nonentity alleging to be the government of the Yukon Territory while the true government has been a single federal appointee called the Commissioner. Since the Commissioner is not responsible to, nor representative of the citizens of the Yukon, the Government of Canada has been guilty of condoning taxation without representation here since 1878.
Before the Gold Rush of 1897-98, there was some justification for making a special case out of this new and isolated territory. This is what prompted the government of the day to ignore the democratic principles of representative and responsible government and treat the new area as an infant colony, too weak and under-populated to govern itself. An interim plan for government was set up and a Commissioner was appointed as an administrator for the territory. To give the novel system the appearance of being representative, the Yukon Act also provided for the naming of an advisory body called the Yukon Council. Its members were at first federally appointed but years later the people were allowed to elect some of its members. This, by the way, is the same system which exists in the Northwest Territories today. Still later, the Yukon Council was wholly elected as it is now. To the present day, the Yukon Council still has the responsibility of advising the Commissioner and ratifying his actions. It has no real control over administration. It cannot introduce money bills. It functions as a pseudo- legislative body but without the powers of a legislative body.
In attempting to cope with their predicament, the members of all the previous Councils have been particularly frustrated in trying to bring some semblance of local control to their government. While the record shows that whenever their ideas on policy agree with the Commissioner, his administration, and his employer, the Minister of Indian Affairs, the Council has been able to work in harmony with the local administration. But the record also shows that whenever their ideas differ, the argument is invariably won by Ottawa. It is at this time that the importance and the meaning of our constitutional anomaly becomes clear and residents of the Yukon become aware that their government is not responsible to them.
It is worthwhile to examine the makeup of the population of the Yukon to understand what the public’s attitude is regarding the Yukon’s lack of constitutional status. In round figures, we have about 18,000 to 20,000 residents. Of these, about 5,000 to 7,000, depending upon whose figures you are quoting, are of Indian status or Metis. For the most part, they are highly disillusioned with Ottawa, the Department of Indian Affairs, the white man’s law, and government in general. Their concern is with housing, education, welfare payments, and general bread-and-butter issues. Such talk of constitutional reform, responsible government, repatriation of the constitution and so on is just so much gibberish to them; the kind of nonsense that they have come to expect of the white man’s way.
In the North, we have a higher proportion of federal civil servants and Crown Corporation employees to other residents than any other area in Canada. They have a profound effect on our economy, our attitudes, and our daily administration. Although many of these people have lived here for years, a large percentage of them must be considered to be non-permanent residents. This is evidenced by the fact that they live in government-provided housing, receive special northern allowances, and they are subject to transfers and other postings on short notice. Most of these people have little personal interest in the constitutional makeup of the government and hence they are not pressing for a change.
The Yukon’s basic economy is mining and the workers in the mines are highly transient.
Some companies report a 400 per cent changeover in personnel annually. These residents can hardly be expected to care much about the makeup of our government.
Even some old-time residents, mostly those found among the merchants and well-established members of the business community, are not eager to see changes of any kind. They are doing well now and they feel that any change in the status quo might be a threat to them.
We see that constitutional reform is of most interest to the non-Indian wage-earner, local homeowner and small businessman because they are bearing the main burden of taxation. Because they intend to remain here as permanent residents, they care very much about resource control, land management and taxation. These considerations are of little interest to the others. In other areas of Canada, the people who are concerned with the implications of constitutional government form the majority of the citizens. Not so in the Yukon. The very makeup of the population puts these concerned people in the minority—a problem which continually crops up at election times when candidates for the Yukon Council who campaign on constitutional issues invariably find themselves losing badly to candidates who profess themselves chiefly interested in day-to-day matters.
But despite the public apathy to constitutional matters, the federal government has recently come into more and more conflict with members of the Council itself—even those bread-and-butter candidates who manage to win elections—because it is only when they are faced with trying to affect the day-to-day issues of taxation, land reform, education and so on, do they find that the constitutional framework in which they must work is of practical and vital importance. How can a Yukon Councillor affect land management when most of the land is controlled by Ottawa? How can he voice an opinion, much less affect policy, when the Yukon’s resources are held firmly in federal hands? What point is there in worrying about the problems of the local natives when they are solely the responsibility of Ottawa?
In their anguish and frustration, recent members of the Yukon Council have loudly demanded more control over our own affairs. Very grudgingly, the last three or four federal Minister of Northern Affairs have thrown them sops at times to keep them from com-
plete rebellion. The Council was expanded from five to seven. Two members were allowed to join with civil servants as a Financial Advisory Committee. Later, certain Councillors were allowed to join with top civil servants on the Legislative Programming Committee. Over a year ago, it was even promised that the Fisheries Department would be turned over to the Council to operate but apparently the federal minister later decided that this was too radical a departure from the status quo and he reneged on his promise. In its place, the present Minister, Hon. Jean Chretien, decided that a member of Council would be appointed to a position of a pseudo-Cabinet Minister, who would join in an executive committee that would include four senior civil servants and together, they would be responsible for the administration of the various government departments.
When the Minister first made the proposal, it was greeted by loud cries of anger and derision from the Councillors because it did not go far enough in giving the Yukon responsible self-government. At least one member of the Council loudly complained that anyone who accepted such a position should be considered to be “a traitor to the Yukon”. After some consideration and debate, Mr. Chretien agreed that two members of the Council would be accepted on the executive committee along with three civil servants and they would have Cabinet rank with a $20,000-a-year salary. At that, the protests from the sitting members of Council fizzled out. An election was approaching and the odds looked good that the two loudest members would get the big jobs if elected again. Apparently the Councillors of the day decided that two “traitors to the Yukon” was a much better proposition than a single one!
The two so-called Yukon Cabinet Ministers have yet to be officially chosen or to assume their duties, but when they do, it is certain that they will begin to appreciate the fundamental differences between legislative and executive arms of government because they will be in the impossible position of occupying both without the power of either.
Neither will they have responsibility or control over whatever department they are “entrusted with” because they will be acting as part of an executive committee whose members share the responsibility. They will be outvoted on that committee by civil servants, who are answerable and responsible not
to the people but to their employer, the Commissioner and through him directly to the Minister. Similarly, the two councillors chosen for this dubious honour will have to answer for the actions of the entire Committee to their peers on the Council and later to the people as elected representatives. As executive members of the government, they will be honour-bound not to reveal to their fellow Councillors certain matters which are privy to the executive arm. Some of these would be advance information of departmental budgets, taxation to be levied and so on. And their own judgments are bound to be determined by information which is revealed to them alone and not to the other members of Council. This, in itself, is sufficient to cause deep divisions between the executive and legislative members of Council and the rift will nullify whatever effectiveness the Council now has, acting solely as an advisory body.
Up to now, the Council has been most effective as a representative body of the people by its negative effect. For all practical purposes its only value has been its ability to act as a kind of “Loyal Opposition” to the real government which is the Commissioner. But now that two members of the Council have, in effect, “joined the other side”, albeit without any real power on that side, this leaves only five members of the Council to be the working Opposition with the other two being in the untenable position of having to criticize themselves as part of an Executive Committee which they cannot control.
This last “step toward self-government” graciously handed to the Yukon by Mr. Chretien is certainly the most cunning, notorious and calculating piece of demagogy ever perpetrated upon the people of the North. It shows clearly that the federal government has no intention of handing over control of the Yukon to its own citizens in the forseeable future, if ever. It means that we are now farther away from any meaningful form of self-government than we have ever been before.
Why is the federal government so reluctant to relinquish its iron grip on the North? Well, consider a statement made by the former Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing, who said: quote: “The wealth of Northern Canada belongs to all of the citizens of Canada”. This statement was reaffirmed recently by the present Minister, Mr. Chretien, who said: “The resources of the North belong to all of Canada”.
What they meant in plain English was that the North is coming into its own with a half
dozen new mines in production in the Yukon alone or about to go into production. There is frenetic oil and gas exploration going on in the Yukon and Northwest Territories Arctic regions and they are on the verge of a major new find. There is a north-south pipeline about to be built to carry that oil to southern markets. And what will probably turn out to be the most valuable asset of all, our vast unpolluted watersheds, are still undeveloped and the entire continent is eyeing them thirstily.
Far from being a poor, underdeveloped, chronically deficit area, the North including the Yukon and Northwest Territories promises to be the richest area in Canada in terms of natural resources. This is not eons away, or centuries, or even decades. Probably we will see it in the next five to ten years.
Now where does this leave us—we the citizens of the Yukon and Northwest Territories? We have it from the lips of the federal minister in charge of our affairs who said that our natural resources belong to all of Canada. In constitutional terms, this is a direct contradiction to the implications and guarantees of the British Nor h America Act which holds that the natural resources of the provinces belong to the citizens of that province in the first instance and only secondly to the citizens of the nation. What Messrs. Laing and Chretien really meant was that the ownership as well as the control of our natural resources belong to the federal government.
If the question of legal ownership sounds unimportant, I challenge anyone to imagine what Premier Bennett would say if he were informed that the mineral resources of his province were now owned by the federal government. Or can one imagine what Premier Strom of Alberta would say if he were told that the oil and gas now produced from wells within his borders belong to Ottawa? Or can you conceive of Joey Smallwood’s reaction to the suggestion that the power being generated from his giant Churchill Falls project would henceforth fatten federal coffers and not go to his impoverished province?
The Toronto Globe and Mail columnist, Bruce West, pointed out recently that direct participation by the federal government in oil exploration in the Arctic through the Panarctic syndicate, gives it a special stake in the resources of the North. Any revenues derived from northern resources have a special value to the federal government inasmuch as they
are not raised through direct taxation. This gives the Cabinet a far freer hand in spending these dollars than they would normally have if they were raised through any other form of taxation.
It is only in this context that the average person can appreciate what it means to the Yukon’s constitutional aspirations to have our natural resources heritage stolen from us by official Ottawa dictates. It means that without the revenues from our natural resources we can never be self-supporting as the provinces are. Our natural resources are our life’s blood because we have a resource-oriented economy. If we cannot claim our natural resources, then it is also certain that we can never make the claim to self-determination or self-government. We shall be doomed forever to the status of second-class citizenship, always begging the federal government for “handouts” on which to subsist, and always being underdeveloped because we shall not have the revenues on hand with which to develop our area. On a smaller scale our position will be similar to Canada’s, always handing over control of our natural resources to outsiders in exchange for funds with which to develop our area, but losing more and more control over the area that we are developing because others are supplying the capital and they are demanding a bigger voice in the future. We would remain always an economic colony.
The Yukon’s plight would be even worse than Canada’s in terms of outside control. We would not only remain an economic vassal of the federal government but a constitutional orphan, forever incapable of self-government and robbed of even a semblance of self-determination. We would be denied the same basic rights of self-determination that the Charter of the United Nations guarantees to even the smallest and poorest of the emerging nations. If you think that statement is far-fetched, then I recommend that you read an article published in Canadian newspapers by a former Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Yukon, Mr. Dave Judd, who forecast that the future of the Yukon would not be in provincehood, or its present form, but a new federal state, directed, controlled and owned by Ottawa.
In closing, may I remind the Members of the honourable Committee on the Constitution of Canada, that in drafting their recommendations for a meaningful new Constitution for our nation, they give consideration for the case of the Yukon Territory within
that Constitution. We are not interested in “opting out” of Confederation; we want to get in. We want to be Canadians, with the same rights as all other Canadians. If we are to look upon any new Constitution with respect and honour, then it must be written to respect and honour us, the citizens of the Yukon.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Short. I have indication of three questioners and I will propose to leave it at that. I see that Mr. Allmand is putting up his hand, but really I think at this hour three is all either we or the audience can absorb, and I would ask you to bear with me in restricting it to Messrs. Hogarth, Hopkins and Osler. Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, I might be wrong, but I have been under the impression that the government of the Yukon Territory, with the greatest respect to your views, is almost completely analogous to the government of a province with respect to those matters and things which were set out in Section 16 of the Yukon Act. That is to say, the Commissioner in Council, acting as if he were Lieutenant-Governor in Council, can proceed to legislate in the many numerous things that are set out in that particular Section. That is subject to a power of disallowance by Ottawa, and subject also to the administration of any such ordnances being under the direction of the Minister in Ottawa. It appears to me—and I speak with respect to your view—that in those fields the Yukon Territory has quite a bit of power. But as I stated before, and as I thought your member had previously said earlier, it is the field of natural resources and justice, and one or two other fields which are residual to the federal government, with which the Yukoners are most concerned.
Mr. Nielsen: You were not listening.
Mr. Hogarth: That may be so. I would be happy to be corrected on this. I am here to learn. In the light of what the Act says, where is the problem with respect to these matters in Section 16?
Mr. Nielsen: On a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman, what I said in Watson Lake was that the powers given by federal legislation—the Yukon Act—to the Commissioner in Council under Section 16 of the Act were analogous in all respects to those that the provinces have under he BNA Act, with three and only three very important exceptions. One is the field of justice. The second is natural resources, and the third is the most important for Yukoners, the most odious sec-
tion of the Yukon Act, Section 24, which prohibits the elected body from introducing any money measure. This is the key to the whole problem.
Mr. Hogarth: All right, but that, at the same time, protects them in many ways. Assuming that to be your position, there are only those three very important onsI had forgotten the third earlier—with which you are concerned.
You have the power of direct taxation. How much revenue is raised by direct taxation within the territory for territorial, municipal or local purposes? How much do you raise for subsection (1) of Section 16 for education?
Mr. Nielsen: Exactly what Ottawa tells us there is.
Mr. Hogarth: How much is that? That is what I want to know.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I understand that the Assistant Commissioner is in the audience. It may be that he would have those figures at his fingertips.
Mr. Hogarth: I am taking education. I want to know how much is raised by direct taxation for education within the Territory and how much is contributed by Ottawa. Here is one of the fields in which we can get the very accurate information.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): May I ask Mr. Hodgkinson to come forward? We understand that as a civil servant he is not responsible for policy, but perhaps he would be able to give us the factual information which is being requested.
Mr. R. A. Hodgkinson (Assistant Commissioner, Executive, Yukon Territories): The Revenue in 1969-70 is estimated at $5.5 million. That is through liquor profits and taxation, the taxation that is allowed, the direct type of taxation.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Sir, could you speak just a little louder? I do not think I got that.
Mr. Hodgkinson: The revenue estimates for this year are $5.5 million, which includes profits from liquor sales and other types of taxation that we are allowed to impose in the Territory. Recoveries under federal-territorial cost-shared programs are $4.3 million, and the operating deficit—that is the money from Ottawa to make up the difference between expenditure and revenue—is $4.9 million.
Mr. Hogarth: That is for education.
Mr. Hodgkinson: Do you mean education expenditures?
Mr. Hogarth: Yes. What are the education expenditures?
Mr. Hodgkinson: That is $4.8 million.
Mr. Hogarth: So the whole direct taxation field in the Yukon Territory just meets the educational cost with $1.5 million to spare.
An hon. Member: This is distorting the whole …
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Gentlemen, before we have any points of order—we have too many witnesses and too many speakers here at the moment. I think if there are any more questions to be directed to Mr. Hodgkinson while he is here, I will allow that, and then after he has sat down again we can proceed with other points.
Mr. Hogarth: Perhaps, Mr. Chairman, we could excuse Mr. Hodgkinson. I have a general proposition that I will put to the meeting.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Hogdkinson is here now, Mr. Chairman. I would like to ask him a question before he goes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Certainly.
Mr. Nielsen: Do any of your figures, Mr. Hodgkinson, include any NTC revenues, NCPC revenues, personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, or any other revenues accruing to the federal government?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Gibson, what is your point of order?
Mr. Gibson: My point of order is that Mr. Hogarth is in the middle of questioning and somehow Mr. Nielsen has edged in on him. I submit that Mr. Hogarth should be allowed to finish.
Mr. Nielsen: He smuggled a witness in here.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Gentlemen, order please. I cannot allow the point of order. I recognize that Mr. Hogarth basically has the floor, but we did call Mr. Hodgkinson up from the floor, which is a somewhat irregular procedure, and I think that since Mr. Nielsen had a question to ask him, we should allow that question. Mr. Hodgkinson, did you get the question Mr. Nielsen was asking?
Mr. Hodgkinson: Yes, Mr. Chairman. Answering Mr. Nielsen’s question, No, this does not include any of that revenue that he refers to unless there are grants in lieu of taxation in municipalities given—no, it would not be. This would be outside municipalities, so there would be no revenue from Crown corporations included in the $5.5 million.
Mr. Nielsen: I see. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Hodgkinson. Mr. Hogarth, you may continue.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Shortt, on 13 May 1970 …
Mr. Shortt: Do you mind if I go back to your question? I do not think I fully gave you an answer. I would like to answer your question as originally posed to me. I would like to give you some kind of an answer to it.
Mr. Hogarth: I was going to ask you another question which was in a more general vein, which, I think, will encompass it.
Mr. Nielsen: I think the witness should be allowed to answer.
Mr. Hogarth: I am trying to shorten the proceedings.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think that the dialogue here is somewhat amicable between Mr. Hogarth and the witness, and I would propose to let them continue.
Mr. Hogarth: Thank you. Just hear this question, and answer both if you wish. On 13 May 1970 Jean Chretien said in the House of Commons on the second reading of Bill C-212—and this is the problem with which we are going to be faced. He said:
For the fiscal year 1970-71, the government of the Yukon Territory has budgeted for expenditures of approximately $26 million, of which local revenues will meet slightly more than 20 per cent.
Is that accurate?
Mr. Shortt: No.
Mr. Hogarth: I see. How much more than 20 per cent are local revenues going to meet, that is to say, tax imposed under Section 16(a), direct taxation?
Mr. Shortt: If you had been listening to the presentation that was given tonight by Mr. Hudson, you would appreciate the problem I have, or anybody in the Yukon would have, in giving you a legitimate answer to your question.
Mr. Hogarth: You should have no problem in giving me an answer as to what direct taxation within the Territory will bring.
Mr. Shortt: What I was trying to say is that because of the manner in which the Government of Canada keeps its books and forces the Yukon Territory to keep its books, nobody could possibly give you an answer. What we have been trying to determine time and time again is exactly what you are saying. How much do we raise here in direct taxation?
I cannot tell you this, but I know that what Ottawa gives us back in the form of figures is totally inaccurate because they do not include such things as corporation taxes which are raised in direct revenue. Death duties—we raise these in direct taxation. I do not know how many other kinds, as Mr. Nielsen also said—revenues derived from Crown corporations and so forth. These are not included in the figures that we get back. This business about 20 per cent I know is totally inaccurate, because it certainly does not cover …
Mr. Hogarth: All right.
Mr. Shortt: Also it does not include fees that are imposed on mining companies, the resource industry. In the oil business, the money that is put out in permits is not included, and then when we get figures back they are continually lumped together with those of the Northwest Territories. I am talking about DBS figures and so on.
For example, I opened a publication not too long ago saying that we in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon had a fishing industry of some $15 million. You have almost no fishing industry in the Yukon. It is very, very minor. They have a very large one in the Northwest Territories. But because they lump them both together, it gives a very distorted picture.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hogarth, because your time has been somewhat interrupted, I will allow you to ask another question.
Mr. Hogarth: I know the members are anxious to proceed, but I just want to point out that I am not ignorant of the argument that there is a great deal of revenue that comes to government from the Yukon Territory that is outside the field of direct taxation within the Territory. We suffer the same situation with the CPR that they do in Manitoba and that you do with the Yukon White Pass Railway Company here. We all suffer from that. But
all I wanted to know is—and it appears that you cannot specifically tell me and I appreciate that you have not been given the information—what direct taxation within the Territory brings.
In any event, to conclude my remarks, you say that Mr. Chretien’s suggestion that the $26 million local revenues—that is to say, revenues imposed in the Yukon corporations and individuals—will meet slightly less than 20 per cent, is wrong.
Mr. Shortt: I would say totally inaccurate.
Mr. Hogarth: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hopkins?
Mr. Hopkins: Today, Mr. Chairman, at Watson Lake, .. the question of natural resources came up, and I believe it was mentioned up at Dawson City as well. I am interested. in the witnesses’ comments on this. Mr. Shortt, do I gather from your brief that you feel the Yukon should have control over its natural resources as a step towards provincial status?
Mr. Shortt: Eventually, of course, I think that control should be in the hands of the people who own them. But prior to that, I think we should have a clear statement as to who owns them.
We have had a statement to date telling us that the resources of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories belong to the federal government. They called it the people of Canada Which I take to mean the federal government. This is ownership we are talking about, no1 control. They are denying that Yukoners own their own natural resources, and we are the only place in Canada where this is done. Certainly no one would suggest that in a province without fear of getting shot. But in the Yukon, they seem to be able to get away with it.
As to control, at the outset, my personal opinion is this. I want immediately a clear statement from the federal government saying that the resources in the Yukon are ours; that they are being held in trust for us by the federal government. I would be quite prepared to allow the federal government to control them until such time as we are capable of taking over control and management of the resources ourselves. Until that time I would not argue about an interim period whereby the federal government controls resources.
There is a historical precedent for this. All of the Western provinces went through this stage—Manitoba, British Columbia, and so on and so forth. At no time was it denied that the actual ownership of their resources belonged to the people within the provinces or in their areas.
Mr. Hopkins: So what you are in fact saying is that you want the revenues from those natural resources to stay here in the Yukon?
Mr. Shortt: No, I did not say that. I want acknowledgement from the federal government that these resources belong to us and nobody else. I want the federal government to tell us that they are holding our natural resources in trust for us. I would like to see that a portion of those revenues be returned to us. But I want a recognizable thing. I want to know what the pie is worth and how much we are entitled to it.
I appreciate that the provinces hand over revenues from their natural resources to the federal government; and we all have a stake in the federal government so I do not disagree with supporting it. But I resent very much the fact that the federal government tells us that we do not own our own house, that we can live in it all right but that they are going to tell us how much we are to pay for rent. I resent that.
Mr. Hopkins: I might say that, in my own province, large sections of our forest resources have been doled out to American companies so we really, on these long-lease terms, have been stuck on it too.
But we have a choice, and I was rather appalled when I was on the way to Ottawa one night to hear a provincial minister degrading the federal government for giving away the resources of Canada when this very situation exists in Ontario itself.
Mr. Chairman, I just want to say to Mr. Shortt that he has a very precise, factual brief here that has provoked a lot of thought in the minds of members. I would like to say to him as a newspaperman that we have got the feeling up here that there is a lot of resentment towards the East arid I have been trying to get this on the record in each meeting that we have been at.
This is my own first trip north as it is for some members of this Committee but I hope that you will not hold your antagonism towards the establishment in Ottawa against the members who are here in a sincere effort to assist you. I want you to feel that we have come here in good faith, that we have been
very impressed by the evidence that has been placed before us and that I am glad that you are trying to get into Confederation. We hope that we will be able to assist you. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): The final questioner will be Mr. Osler. After that, I will invite any final comments from the floor. Mr. Osler.
Mr. Osler: Mr. Chairman, at the risk of looking much more magnanimous than I am, I will pass because Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Hopkins have come all around the area that I had in mind, too.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Osler.
Would anyone like to comment on this sometimes lively exchange that you have seen? Yes?
Mr. Rolf Hougen: Very briefly, one point. A statement was made in connection with the $26 million that the federal government spends in the Yukon currently. That includes funds that would normally be spent in all provinces of Canada such as for justice, police services and for many other government services, but when you start talking percentages like 20 per cent for television, it is really a distortion. I only want to make that point because so much of the information available is a distortion of the true facts of the financial relationship of the Yukon with Ottawa.
Touche, Ross, Bailey & Smart, if you are not aware, made a study of Yukon taxation in 1968, and this study, while it contains a good deal of conjecture because factual statistical information was not available, is a good base from which to start a discussion of this point.
One part of the report would indicate that the per capita taxes paid in the Yukon are greater than all provinces except Ontario and British Columbia. They further propose in this study that we can afford to pay additional taxes and, on the formula they recommend—and it has general acceptance in the civil service in Ottawa, from conversations I have had—would place us on the highest per capita tax base in all of Canada by an amount of $106.
Mr. Hogarth: May we have a copy of that proposal?
Mr. Shortt: It would be available from the Department of Northern Affairs.
An hon. member: It was tabled in the House.
Mr. Shortt: We are hopeful that this report, which is based on 1964-1965 available figures, will be updated shortly. That is really my only point—do not belive all these figures. The Minister gives a certain figure and it is correct in the context in which he gives it, I am sure; but you have to look beyond this.
Thank you very much.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you.
Are there any further comments from the floor? Yes?
Mr. Bert Boyd: On revenue, I think it is safe to say that approximately 30 per cent of the money earned in the Yukon by the working force, from the spring until fall, is by transient help. This transient help earned big wages—I am thinking of mining camps, drillers.
I can name one camp in particular where there is not one Yukoner, and they have been there since early spring and they will be there until next spring. I can go on and name like this. Here is revenue earned in the Yukon—big money—which does not show in our figures whatsoever.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any further comments from the floor? Yes?
Mr. Tony Fekete: I have lived in the Yukon Territory for 14 years. It was of great interest to listen to all the briefs in the Yukon presented to this Joint-Committee. However, I think there was one point missed by everybody from the Yukon Territory and I do not know if this Joint-Committee will take it into consideration.
There is a political and economic evolution taking place in Canada. Down in the area where this economic evolution is already visible, the recommendation of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Planning and Development Corporation, under the able leadership of Professor McKay, is that—and I presume the figures are correct—the Maritime Provinces unification be approved and that they will net approximately $500 million to $600 million as revenues saved by the simplification of administration.
In the northern concept, if we look forward to a political evolution—we are a part though I presume that we are backward somewhat—there will be five economic areas or political economic areas created in the future in Canada as a political and economic necessity and a government necessity. I also suppose that, eventually, despite economic regions, the
economic development and economic maturity of this country, and the transportation and communication problems, are going to create three political economic areas in Canada, eventually two and, then, eventually one.
The problem is that if we create a province out of the Yukon Territory now—of which I am very much in favour—we are going to face a problem which we will face if we write a new Constitution: to unmake a new kingdom. It is very easy to create a kingdom but very difficult to unmake a king.
I know what serious problems the federal government will have to create a new Constitution for which they will try to expropriate the present policies in Canada, especially if we talk of Mr. Bennett or Mr. Robarts. This, in my opinion, the Constitution Committee should take into serious consideration.
This is my only remark, and I am speaking because I am, in a sense, a Canadian. I am going to be a Canadian; that is, a citizen. I have lived in three different countries. I studied their system of four or five political systems. I am looking into this room from the top while Canadians who were born in this country are looking only from within.
My suggestion is only this, that if we look forward to creating a new constitution for this country—and I think we have to create one—please take into consideration that political, economic evolution demands today not eleven provinces, or ten provinces, or nine provinces, but maybe not more than five or four provinces in Canada.
Thank you, gentlemen.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Fekete.
The hour does not permit us to have any discussion really on your very provocative statement but I think it is something that the Committee members will have to think about very seriously.
Are there any further comments from the floor?
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like in the process of concluding to thank a number of people: Mr. Shortt, our witness, who has given us a very interesting and incisive brief; Mr. R. A. Hodgkinson, Assistant Commissioner, who came up here during somewhat tumultuous circumstances and provided us with the factual information which we needed; and we are especially grateful to several gentlemen from the Department of Travel and Publicity of the Territorial Council, Mr. Harvey Dryden, Director, and Messrs.
Ken Sullock and Bryan Martin, Information Officers, who were of great assistance to us during our arrangements and during our actual stay here.
We may not be the best road show in the business but we are one of the longest. However, since we have to rise at six in the morning to catch a plane to Churchill and as our technicians will have to spend an hour taking down the equipment, I think that we cannot detain you here longer. Even if you want to stay, we do not.
An hon. Member: Speak for yourself.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I would not like to leave you with that impression. We have very, very much enjoyed, in the human sense as well as in the business sense, our visit to the Yukon. We have learned an enormous amount. For most of us this has been our first trip north. We have learned a great deal about you, we have absorbed a great deal of your thinking and I think I can promise you, on behalf of the Committee, that it will have some effect, at least, and maybe a very considerable effect, on the ultimate product of the Committee in its final report.
Mr. Nielsen would like to say a final word to us before we conclude the meeting.
Mr. Nielsen: Mr. Chairman, members of the Senate and of the House of Commons, it is always nice to have the factual information presented to the Committee by one’s constituents in order to bolster the representations that have been made over the years in the House of Commons.
Particularly I would like to extend to members of the Committee the thanks of the people of Dawson City, of Watson Lake, of Whitehorse and, generally, of the Yukon Territory for the Committee’s having taken the time and the trouble to come to hear their views. We hope that you will be back again, and we, more than anything else, hope that the dialogue that you have heard in these past two days will result in something substantive in your final report to the House of Commons and to the Senate.
The Joint-Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): The Committee is adjourned to the call of the Chair.
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