September 14, 1903

IND

Arthur W. Puttee

Independent Labour

Mr. PUTTEE.

I am aware that the recommendations in regard to health have been taken note of by the quarantine officers and that a great deal of good has resulted from the regulations drawn up by the officer in charge of that Act. That strengthens my argument that the other regulations of the commission could very well be taken up, and probably the rules and regulations laid down in the Department of Agriculture could be attached to the rules and regulations applying to other matters and grievances that have not so far been given any force at all. The matters of the pay, the transportation, and the general care of the men should not be left absolutely at the mercy of the camp bosses and sub-contractors. In bringing this matter before the government, it was my hope to accomplish something, not to embarrass them at all. It seems to me that it should be a valuable suggestion at this time, that if something is not done there will be abuses, there will be agitation, and probably royal commissions, who will report as usual after the fact, when the report is simply useful for reading, and that is all.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

What reports has the hon. minister received since 1900 with respect to the Health Act ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

There is a report made every year, which is embodied in the report of the Department of Agriculture, which is laid on the Table.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

It works out in this way. The regulations, which were laid on the Table in the year 1000. require certain accommodation for working people on public works. They required that medical attendance shall be available and hospital accommodations where cases can be taken in and be treated. The inspector's duty is to see that the regulations are carried out. and lie makes a tour at least, once a year through every public work in the country.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

At least once a year. In addition, if anything occurs to indicate that the work is not being properly conducted, he goes and investigates.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

He makes reports from time to time about the work to Dr. Montizambert.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Sir. C. A. Fisher.

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LIB

Arthur Samuel Kendall

Liberal

Mr. KENDALL.

I am in thorough accord with the request of the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee), and I have had probably more experience in matters of this kind than most hon. members. While I think it important that a system of weekly payment should be established, or at least payments every half month, there is another matter in this connection which I think of great importance. In the construction of a railway, hundreds of miles away from the centres of population, men will have to be provided no doubt by the contractors with goods, and it is just as Important not only to see that tiie men are paid frequently but that, when they have to buy from the contractors' stores, they are dealt with fairly in the matter of quality and price. I would suggest that the Minister of Labour or the [DOT]government should undertake to arrange that the workmen on this great railway shall be paid fortnightly and shall not be swindled in quality of price when they buy from the contractors.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I think that the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee) deserves great credit for having brought this matter to the attention of the government. Section 40, which the Postmaster General has quoted. does not go far enough to remedy the grievance of which the hon. member for Winnipeg complains. IVe all remember quite well that in the construction of the Crow's Nest Pass Railway, the men had to endure many hardships and some of them lost their lives. Advantage was taken of the men by the foremen and others personally interested on behalf of the contractor, and there is no provision at all made here against grievances of that character. There are good foremen on construction work and others again who are inclined to be arbitrary, and think they are performing their duties best when acting very arbitraily towards those employed under them. The government should provide some remedy for the workmen who have grievances of that character. Again it is well known that there are employment agencies which take advantage of the labourers who seek employment on the contraction of railways. Some provision should be made for the protection of the labourers against these employment bureaus. I am glad to notice that, according to the statement of the Minister of Agriculture, the Public Works Health Act provides for better accommodation for these labourers. In the case of the Crow's Nest Pass, that was a serious grievance, but I was very sorry to hear the hon. gentleman say that inspector only visits the works once a year. It would require more frequent inspection to see that the Act is properly carried out. I have sim-

ply drawn the attention of tlie government to some of these things that I think very important to those engaged on construction work. If they were employed on construction work in the neighbourhood of Oltawa, there would be no great hardships, but out in the wilderness the case is different. It has been said many times that the Canadian Pacific Railway are responsible for the suffering of these men at Crow's Nest Pass. I understand that Mr. Haney had that contract. He is a very respectable mau and extensive contractor. He has had very large contracts on the ' Soo ' canal in partnership with the late Mr. Hugh Ryan, and is a man from who the public would naturally expect fair treatment to the men lie employed. I have heard it frequently said that the Canadian Pacific Railway are entirely responsible for what took place at the Crow's Nest Pass, and I think it is oily fair to that company to ,say that it was not responsible, but, that it was the contractors who were really to blame. I hope that nothing of the kind will occur in connection with this new railway, but that the government will see that the men are properly treated. With respect to time checks and the cashing of these checks, that is a grievance on all new railway work. We know, that there are many stakemen who go on a railway that is being constructed and who will not work the required time. They will work a certain period and before the time comes to receive their pay, they leave the service and get their cheeks discounted by persons who make a considerable amount of money by shaving them. I would ask the lion. Minister of Agriculture how long the inspector remains when he is visiting a public work to see that the Public Works Health Act is complied with.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

1 think perhaps the hon. gentleman did not quite comprehend the duties of the general inspector. His duty is to go around the different public works, under the operation of the Act, and see that the rules and regulations passed by Order in Council are enforced, but one of these rules requires that there shall be a medical man on every such public work, for every 500 employees, and he must visit the work every ten days at least. The works are thus really visited at least once every ten days, although the inspector might not very often visit any particular work. The employees on all these works know that certain rules and regulations have to be carried out, and, at any time, they have it in their power to make complaint, first, to the local inspector. and then, if they choose, to the general inspector to see that the regulations are properly carried out. Speaking from memory, I think there are only two or three instances in which complaints have been made to the department of the rules not being carried out. The general inspector immediately visited the works to see that the Mr. INGRAM.

regulations were enforced. The local inspection is carried on all the time, as provided for by the rules and regulations.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I presume that the hon. minister's report contains the report of the medical officer visiting the works from time to time.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The report is that of the general inspector, and in it reference is made to the different works visited and the way in which the regulations are carried out. The general inspector examines the local inspectors' reports, but I do not think the report contains the report of any local inspector.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I desire, in one word to call attention to the injustice suffered by the men in many cases in the high prices charged for supplies of food, clothing, &c., for their use.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Of course, the hon. gentleman understands that the inspector of public health has nothing to do with that.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Of course, I am drawing the attention of the government generally to this point, and I think steps should be taken to remedy this evil. But we shall have another opportunity of expressing our views more fully on this important aspect of the question.

Section 11 agreed to.

Section 12 agreed to.

On section 13-expropriation of lands,

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend from Hamilton (Mr. Barker) has called my attention to the fact that there is no machinery provided for the recovery of compensation where the party is expropriated. There is a clause saving recourse of the party expropriated by the commissioners, but no machinery provided. I think it well to call the attention of the Minister of Justice to that, and he might consider the advisability of referring the parties to the Railway Act for compensation, or providing some machinery.

The MINISTER OF JUSTICES The Railway Act w'ould apply.

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September 14, 1903