February 15, 1905

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Last year it cost $2,000.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

How was that expended ?

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It was expended on a fixed scale, established by the statute, of payment to judicial officers of courts all over the country. Five cents, I believe, is the amount paid for each case, and in the case of summary convictions, two cents. We pay so much for each return ordered, which may contain one case or fifty cases. I am told we paid one dollar for each return. In many cases we pay the officer of the court so much for a return, according to the number of returns he sends in.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Will the minister discontinue that method of obtaining statistics ?

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, I propose to continue it on that line.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Would the minister use the same staff to that extent, that he has been using for that purpose ?

air. FISHER. There is no staff except the one man here in Ottawa, who compiles the returns which are obtained from officials all over the country. I propose to use that same agency still. I am reminded that by law, and this law re-enacts it, those officers are bound to make these returns at the rate of pay which is fixed by statute.

air. HENDERSON. Under section 4, it appears to me that the minister is taking to himself full power to appoint all the enumerators. My impression was that heretofore the enumerators were appointed by the commission. I would like to ask the fion. minister if this is a change, or is he not taking to himself greater powers than he had before, and if so, what is the reason for the change ?

3Ir. FISHER. I can assure my hon. friend that the wording of this part of the clause which applies to the appointment of enumerators is just the same as it is in the present Census Act. I take no extra power and I have no intention of making any change. The census enumerators have been appointed from Ottawa just the same as the commissioners themselves. The commissioners do not appoint the enumerators. They are appointed through the department here by Order in Council.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Then, as I understand, the meaning of the Act is that these enumerators are to be appointed practically by the minister ; that is to say that he is not satisfied with the patrongae which former ministers had.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, the hon. gentleman will excuse me ; I am making no change. 1 am taking no power that I did not have before.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

That is quite possible, but I think the hou. gentleman is taking powers that were not exercised by previous governments showing that he has the disposition with this great ' I ' that we hear so much about, to make all the appointments instead of the member for the county or the commissioner for the county having some little say in the matter. My impression is that the commissioners in the various counties will understand much better who are fit and proper persons to appoint as census enumerators, and if the Act is changed in regard to the census of 1901, and made different from what it was in 1891, I think it would be very well to take a backward step. I think the old rule was the best, that is to appoint the commissioner and let the commissioner from amongst the people living in the riding whom he knows well and with whose qualifications he is familiar, name his enumerators without having to fall back on the minister who could not possibly know the men who are qualified to do this work. I am not at all favourable to concentrating all the patronage of the country under the head of a department. I think we had a sufficient illustration of that in the province of Ontario and I am glad to say that the people have condemned it and I think they will condemn it here too. I think it is a bak principle for the government to persistently seek to take power from the people. Seventy-five or a hundred years ago the fight was to obtain power from the Crown and vest it in the people. Here we have a government calling themselves a Liberal government-

Some bon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.

Mr. HENDERSON

and yet they will not allow the people to have anything to say in the administration of their own affairs. That is for the purpose of keeping a string upon the people, of concentrating and centralizing every power that can be possessed under this great ' I ' that we hear so much about. I think it is a mistake and I would advise the hon. minister to go back to the old rule and let the commissioners appoint the enumerators.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am ready to go back to the old rule ; in fact, I have never departed from it. Tlie minister who conducted the census in 1891 followed this very same rule. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Henderson) was in the House at that time and he did not object to it. The minister who conducted the census of 1881 under an administration which the hon. gentleman supported for many years carried out that rule and that practice and appointed every enumerator in the Dominion of Canada from the central office at Ottawa. I dare say the rule is wrong. I dare say that the principles which the hon. gentleman is enunciating are right, but if ever there was an occasion when the great ' I ' was repeated and exemplified in this country it was before the present Liberal government came into power.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I remember when the census of 1891 was taken. I remember the gentleman who was commissioner in the county which I have the honour to represent, and I am quite satisfied that he appointed his own enumerators. I am not aware that he had to send to Ottawa te have his appointments confirmed ; at any rate he made the appointments himself. There is no doubt about that. Whatever the statute was the practice was different. The practice was that the commissioner appointed his own enumerators, selected hi* own men and appointed them to the work they were to do. If that practice is not consistent with the Bill, then the words applying to the subject should be eliminated, from the Bill so as to leave the appointment of these men in the hands of the commissioners without having to appeal to Ottawa to have these appointments confirmed. It seems to me that it is only dealing fairly with the commissioners and I am quite sure that a better selection will be made if some greater powers are given to the commissioners in the counties, because they certainly know a great deal better who should be appointed than an officer at the) head of the department here. It is quite absurd to say that an officer here should know who is fit in the country to be appointed an enumerator. It is very nice-apparently the hon. minister thinks-to have the honour ofi that patronage. I am not aware that even the representative of the country is permitted in any way to interfere with the commissioner in his appointments. In the county which I have the honour to represent at the present time and which I represented at the time the census of 1891 was taken, I abstained altogether from attempting to influence the commissioner in his selection of enumerators. I think it should be made non-political, that the commissioners should be given a free hand, that these appointments should not be political appointments, but that the best men available should be selected. We are simply providing means to make these appointments purely political appointments, independently of fitness, honesty, or ability to do the work. I would advise the hon. minister to eliminate the words from this clause that vest in him powers to control the appointment of enumerators and tq leave these appointments entirely in the hands of the commissioners.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I would beg to point out to the hon. minister that the statement he has made is not exactly in accordance with the fact. Under the Conservative regime the number of enumerators was very muchi less than under the hon. gentleman's re-i gime. In my own city, for instance, under! the Conservative regime there were four enumerators, while under the hon. gentleman's regime there were fourteen. The difference as between four and fourteen is very great, and when you apply this to the whole of the Dominion of Canada you will see

liow it is that the hon. gentleman has increased the expenditure for the taking of the census. In the first place the census commissioner must collect these enumerators together and instruct them in their duties and for their attendance these men get so much per day. Take fourteen enumerators at $3 per day while obtaining their instructions and it will amount to so much, whereas, in our time, the instructions were, only given to four men. Four men at $3 per day would mean $12 and if the hon. gentleman will multiply 14 by 3 he will see the difference between the two systems. That applies throughout the whole Dominion. The hon. gentleman has not only increased the number of enumerators but he has increased 'their pay, and the result shows the difference between the two systems. The hon. gentleman has stated that section 4 of this Bill is somewhat similar to the "old Act. Section 9 of the old Act is section 4 of the new.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

But, the hon. gentleman has added these words to it ' and in remote or sparsely settled parts of the country the minister may appoint one or more assistants for each enumerator.' While in the census of 1901, as compared with the census of 1891, you multiplied the number of enumerators, you are, by the Act you are now introducing, going to multiply that to a still greater extent in 1911, and it can only mean the increasing of the cost of taking the census of this country.

On section 0,-forms, rules, regulations and instructions, and rates of allowance.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Does the minister propose to keep the commissioner down to the schedule referred to in this clause ? The minis-: ter will remember that when this matter was before us two years ago, many instances were recorded where enumerators had overcharged the department, and these amounts had been paid. The hon. member for East Simcoe brought up a case the other day where an excessive amount had been charged, contrary altogether to the Act. The minister or his officials had signed for it and the money had been paid. If we are going to endorse the old rules we should have a promise from the minister that he will keep his departmental officials down according to the Act and not permit them to collect too large amounts.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I will try as much as possible to keep them to the rules.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I suppose he will be more careful in the future in respect to the kinds of officials he appoints.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Experience teaches.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Experience teaches, the minister says. It does not always teach, but I hope it will with my hon. friend. I would

draw his attention to the fact that in North Hastings the commissioner who was appointed by his government had a bill of $053.14, and that mnay of the items were in excess of the table laid down by the hon. gentleman. Some little trouble took place in the county and Mr. Kelly thought he would bring some political pressure on the hon. gentleman, and so he brought down the famous Mr. A. B. Lott, who is well known in Canada at the present time.

Topic:   THE ANSWERING OF QUESTIONS BY MINISTERS.
Subtopic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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February 15, 1905