July 19, 1911

CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

The minister may have been able to settle that strike but he could not settle that of the Grand Trunk Railway operators. Beyond doubt it was understood that the Labour Department was to have settled that strike so as to give satisfaction to the men or give them the terms on which they understood the strike was settled. I have heard of a great many strikes, but I fail to find that any have been settled by the government. They have all been settled by the parties themselves. In the case of the Grand Trunk railway strike, the minister undertook to settle it, but to-day some of the men are walking around yet, doing nothing within 12 miles of where I live. The hon. minister knows that on the Grand Trunk railway some of the strikebreakers are still occupying the very best positions in charge of the trains or as conductors, and men who served for years have not been put back in their former positions. If that is the way the Labour} Department is going to settle strikes, of what use is it?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE COAL STRIKE.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

Abolish it.

Mr. REffD (Grenville). It should be abolished and the minister superannuated and I believe that the strikes would then be settled a good deal quicker, Although we have a -minister in charge of the Labour Department, who has been all over the world inquiring into labour conditions, the department is evidently useless.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE COAL STRIKE.
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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

This is only another example of the incompetence of this government. From some remarks of the Minister of Labour this afternoon, it seems to me he ought to have been a supporter of the leader of the opposition in his policy m regard to the lands and natural resources of the Northwest provinces during the last ten years. The Minister of Labour tells

us to-day that the Dominion government has practically made up its mind that it can do nothing to settle this difficulty, and that the people of the Northwest will have to freeze this winter, so far as this government is concerned. At the same time he says the provincial governments out there ought to take proper steps now.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE COAL STRIKE.
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. KING.

My hon. friend misunderstood me. I did not mention the provincial governments at all in this matter.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE COAL STRIKE.
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?

Mr PERLEY.

The people of the northwest provinces, I understood him to mean that the people of the northwest as a whole, and as a body ought to make preparation for this trouble and to provide themselves with coal for the coming winter. If the policy of the leader of the opposition had been carried out the provinces of the northwest would have had control of these lands, and these coal mines, and could then have taken proper steps to see that they were operated in such a way as to be of benefit to the people of the northwest. We know that years ago many of these lands, the best of them, were practically given away and that there were many frauds in connection with applications for these lands as has been brought out m discussion in this House many times, and if the provinces had had control of these lands they would have been able to find some other method of administer-mg them, and would have better control over the coal mines themselves.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE COAL STRIKE.
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THE CENSUS - OMISSIONS IN ENUMERATION.

CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

In connection with the question asked by the leader of the opposition before going into the orders of the day yesterday with regard to the census, it seems to me very necessary that the Minister of Agriculture should hasten his explanation and statement regarding the census. Many reports have appeared in the newspapers as to the incompetence of tim census officials, the incorrectness of ifix. rePor^s and their failure to enumerate all the people. In that connection I would read an article which appeared in the Ottawa Evening Journal' yesterday:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   THE CENSUS - OMISSIONS IN ENUMERATION.
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CENSUS TAKING IN OTTAWA AN EXAM


OR wSr.SE. °SSAL ^COMPETENCl Conditions Prevailing in Other Cities seem be much more Serious in the Capital Ottawa seems destined to lose considerably Population owing to very many famili being overlooked-Most Glaring Examp of Carelessness in connection with tl Census that Canada has yet witnessed Numerous complaints being register! daily by families and individuals who ha-been overlooked. Whatever grounds there may be upon whi< to base the numerous protests in other towi Mr. PERLEY. and cities of omissions from the census records, of one thing at least a great number of Ottawa citizens are perfectly satisfied. In so far as the capital city of the Dominion is concerned, the census taking has proven to be a colossal farce. The question asked by the average citizen in the streets of Ottawa to-day is not what gains in population the city will show, but what success has attended the apparent efforts of the enumerators to make its population appear smaller. Facts are Supreme. It is not merely a question, as claimed by the census commissioner, ' that it is quite possible that, in some instances, persons and families have been overlooked.' It is a demonstrated fact that very many families have failed to attract the wandering eye of the casual enumerator long enough for census purposes, and it should not be forgotten that the numerous instances which thus far have been reported must merely represent a small portion of the entire number. Whether or not the deplorable situation, or conditions, which prevail in Ottawa, so evident in the daily and almost hourly complaints from families and individuals, it at least lends colour to the complaints being registered all over the country. Not a Political Question. And in face of the bare proven facts it is difficult to understand how certain newspapers, and persons, can find ground ujion which to base the charge that the complaints made so far are registered merely for partisan and political purposes. Every citizen is, or at least should he desirous that Canada should show a large increase in her population. The same applies to the citizens of Ottawa and of every other city, town, village and hamlet, throughout the whole Dominion. The public spirited citizen of any community is anxiously awaiting the returns to ascertain whether or not his district is showing the growth, which he believes it must. It is hard to understand what any one party could possibly hope to gain through certain families or even districts being ' passed up.' Therefore it must be taken that any complaints which have been made were not prompted by a desire, for political purposes, to show that enumerators, who ' omit persons or families,' are doing so under orders from their superiors. It can only be said that they are registered because of a desire on the part of citizens who take a just pride in this city to have their names entered in the census. Negligence Astounding. Although, it is pointed out that no census, that has ever been taken, or that ever will he taken in the future will be absolutely correct or infallible, it is yet astounding and almost unbelievable that so many prominent and well known citizens of Ottawa should have been overlooked. Almost every day cases are coming to light where the entire households, and in some cases the entire staffs of offices have aparently been overlooked with almost studious care. In the face of the fact it is not surprising that the bulk of Ottawa citizens should disagree with the census commissioner when he says that ' the work of enumeration has been well and thoroughly done/ Ottawa will Feel Loss. It is very easy to see that it is in cities like Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, &c., where the loss will he felt the most through the inefficiency or carelessness of the enumerator or of the officials in charge. They have the largest population without fixed and permanent abode, or domestic relations, and it is this class that is more likely to be neglected or overlooked. The enumerator received 5 cents per name, and was not altogether likely, if not closely watched to chase ail day after illusive people who could not be discovered on his first or second visit. Many enumerators have complained of a lack of co-operation on the part of the people which they consider they were entitled to. While this complaint may he just in many respects on the other hand, business men do not think it was their duty to remain at home from their offices in waiting to accommodate the enumerator when he was pleased to call at their homes. Some of the Causes. They declare that this census man had a right to hunt them up at their places of business for the necessary information. And just here is the cause of a great number of persons being overlooked. Enumerators have undoubtedly refused to do this as it made their work more onerous and unremunerative. What the results have been is daily being demonstrated. Of the whole piece of business only one thing can he said, to quote a well known citizen yesterday: ' It is the most glaring and serious example of incompetency, through lack of proper organization, that Canada has yet had to contend with/ The system of payment by the department of 5 cents per head is one that may lead to many abuses and that, as this article points out, will not induce the enumerator to take the trouble of going to the house more than once or twice in order to enumerate the people. In June, when the census was taken, many people were out of town, and I know myself how difficult it would be for the enumerator to get track of them all. I have been told by several persons that they were not enumerated in this census. I mention that in case the minister may think that this article is not definite enough. I also find specific charges contained in a telegram from Montreal appearing in the ' Citizen ' of July 11. That article reads:


MISSED BY CENSUS.


Many Complaints as to way Numbers were Left Out. Montreal, July 10.-Complaints as to the manner in which the 1911 census has been conducted are coming in by the score, not only from individuals who have been overlooked, but also from whole districts. ' Not a householder in Rosemount has been called on by the census enumerators, as far as I can learn/ said Aid. Drummond to-day. ' No enumerator called at my house, although I represent the ward in the council of Montreal. But I was not the only one treated in this way. I have received scores of complaints from residents of the ward That no enumerators called upon them. This is remarkable. In my ward there are some three thousand houses, so you would think that the enumerators would not have been so careless as to neglect the place. It is most remarkable/ Whole parishes, streets and corners have been similarly neglected. While a canvass of business men shows that in very many cases the enumerators, finding the head of the houses away, jotted down what information they could obtain from servants and children, completing their work by the use of imagination. This is a matter of great importance. _ In the first place, we are all naturally anxious that the entire population of Canada should be enumerated in order that we may make as good a showing as possible in that respect, and on this census will be based the representation for this House of Commons for the next ten years, in the Bill which, I presume, will he brought down in the House before long. Now it would be an unfortunate thing if the census should not be reliable. I am not bringing up this matter as a political question, but simply to call the attention of the minister to this state of affairs, and to ask him fox an explanation.


LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

In reply to the hon. gentleman I would say that the statement which he has just read, taken I believe from the 'Journal' of last evening, is about as reckless, and as unfounded a statement as I have read in a newspaper. It is an exaggeration in every way, snape and form. It happens that in the city of Ottawa the chief census office is situated; and if any such condition of affairs has existed as described in that paper, it is extraordinary that the people who were concerned did not make their complaints to the census office. It was the easiest thing for them to do. My hon. friend shakes his head. They are not bound to do it, I grant; but at the same time the public were asked to co-operate with the census officials in taking a correct census, and if such a state of affairs existed as described, it seems to ' me that the' people affected would have made their complaint to the census office, either by telephone or verbally.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   MISSED BY CENSUS.
Permalink
CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Could they not make their complaint in the public press much more effectually than by communicating with the officers of the department?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   MISSED BY CENSUS.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, if xne public press gave names and places. But when a reckless article of this kind la published, giving no name or place, it is evidently not the best way of making complaints. But.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   MISSED BY CENSUS.
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&quot;9715 COMMONS


if any one makes a complaint in the press giving name and place, it 'will be investigated at once. But here in Ottawa there was an easy opportunity for people who are thus described, as numbering scores and hundreds, according to the tenor of that article, to notify the census office, and have matters set right. That would not be the case in Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere, I grant; but at the same time the public have been invited to make any complaint of that kind to the census office, free by post, and such complaint would be investigated. Now as a matter of fact in the city of Ottawa we have had a few complaints, not a score in all have come to> the office. A majority of these complaints have been investigated, and have been discovered to be unfounded. As a matter of fact there have been a few cases where people have not been enumerated, and immediately on representations having been made, the enumeration has been properly done. There have also been a few such complaints in other parts of the country. Many of those coming from the cities are owing to a fact which the complainants seem to have overlooked. This census has been taken as of the 1st of June, during which month a large number of people left their residences for -other parts of the country. We have, however, provided machinery for looking after them. They are enumerated in the place where they are found, and a special card is sent to the department here to indicate that these people, while enumerated at their temporary residence, at Britannia or up the Gatineau, for instance, are residents of the city of Ottawa, and the enumerator in Ottawa who has not been able to find the individual in his house, or to get information, sends a card into the general office to that effect. We compare the two, and when the final revision of the enumeration is completed, the corrections will be made, and all these people will be counted in the place where they are properly resident. That has all been arranged for, and I have no doubt whatever, that the people who have made the complaints spoken of have all been enumerated as inhabitants of the city where they live. I may say that in the census of 1901 we had such complaints as are now being made. Every complaint where a name was mentioned was investigated immediately, and according to my memory, it was discovered that a large majority of the complaints were unfounded. The people had been enumerated. An instance was given to me the other day. A gentleman resident of the city of Montreal said that his household had not been enumerated. His household was away for the summer, he himself was away, but he had left in charge of the house a confidential servant, and that servant had given full details of the Mr. FISHER. entire family. She had made one mistake, however, in giving the age of the proprietor, reporting him as two years younger than he actually was. That gentleman came to the census office about the matter, and on investigation we found that his complaint was absolutely without foundation. That is a kind of thing which has occurred in a few instances in different parts of the country, and that is a kind of thing om which reckless journalists are basing absurd accusations, such as are contained in the article read by the bon. member for Argen-teuil. I venture to say that the census is being accurately taken, that it is being taken with the greatest care, that proper machinery has been provided to take it effectively, and that when the returns are finally revised the actual population of Canada in its various parts will be known. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition asked for a statement which I had not at the moment, and which I now have. The census was taken as of the 1st of June, and we expected the last enumerators to get through their work in less than three weeks. That has been done to a large extent, but not altogether. In some instances where the enumerators have made omissions they have been directed to go over their work again. In one instance I know of a half street being left out. The census enumerator was sent back by the commissioner to do that half street, and it has been done, and the return is in. I will now make an answer to the questions of the leader of the opposition yesterday. The returns have been coming in very rapidly. At the present date there are 9,322 enumerations. I may say that that number will be slightly added to, because some of the outlying districts have been subdivided, but the actual number as reported to us at the time of the taking of the census, was 9,322. We have received the returns from 6,556 of these districts leaving the balance of 2,761 to be received. Of those that have been received the first compilation has been going on since they were received, and out of 6,556 about 6,500 have been gone over up to the present day for the first count. I say clearly for the first count, because we have to revise all these schedules and compare them after the first count. Then we go over them a third time, check them and see that they are correct. That provision includes the compilation of these cards I have just alluded to, and a comparison and correction where any indication exists that a_ person may have .been counted in two places. For instance, the other day I was counted here. I found when I went home to my farm in Brome that I had been counted there also. Therefore, this checking and revision have to take place before we can issue any figures which would be reliable or correct. After that is done we have to go over the whole of them again and check them, this being largely done by the machines, to see that they are accurate before we can issue any statement of figures. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition asked if we were going to issue statements of the returns as they came in. In former censuses we issued statements when we had finally concluded what was the actual population, but I would not like to undertake to issue a statement until that final revision and checking have taken place so that no misconceptions may arise, and so that nobody may be misled by what may turn out to be not absolute accuracy. My hon. friend also asked when the final figures would be given out. I am not prepared at the moment to say, but we think that the final figures should be completed in the month of October. It is possible we may be able to get them out earlier, but I would not like to hold out any hope that it would be at an earlier date than some time in the month of October.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would like to have one point cleared up, and that is to ascertain whether I am enumerated in this census. I do not know whether I have the honour to be included in this census as a citizen of Canada. I do know this: that up to the time I left on the 15th of June for the west I had not seen anything at all of these enumerators. I have been informed since my return that inquiry was made at my house as to whether the head of the house was at home, that the person who made the inquiry was informed that the head of- the house was absent, and that is the last that has been heard of him. No papers were left at my house to be filled in there as far as I can ascertain, and I do not know whether I have the honour to be included in this census. I would like very much to find that out.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   &quot;9715 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I will find it out.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   &quot;9715 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I know that a memorandum was prepared giving the particulars, as far as they could be foreseen, that would be required for the census enumeration, and if a call had been made at any time when any person was at home who would be prepared to hand that out, these particulars would have been available But, that has not been handed out as no one has called whatever, except on the occasion to which I have alluded at which time he got no information on the subject. That does not seem to me to indicate that care which the minister is so confident has been taken in the city of Ottawa. I was here for fifteen days of June, ready and willing to give all information available and I heard absolutely nothing of any census enumerator having called; nor was any application made to me. I do not know the method of

taking the census. Is it not customary to leave some papers in which the person being enumerated) will find out certain statistical information?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   &quot;9715 COMMONS
Permalink
?

Mr FISHER.

No. That might be done in case several calls had been made and a person could not be found or something of that kind The duty of the enumerator is to see somebody in the household.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE PORCUPINE FIRE.
Subtopic:   &quot;9715 COMMONS
Permalink

July 19, 1911