March 20, 1914


On motion of Hon. W. T. WHITE (Minister of Finance), Bill No. Ill, to amend the Civil Service Insurance Act, was read the second time, and the House went into Committee thereon, Mr. Blondin in the Chair. On section 1-Revised Statutes, chapter 18, amended;


CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

This Bill contains certain amendments to the -Civil Service Insurance Act, which is to be found in the Revised Statutes of Canada, chapter 18. There are two principal features to which I directed the .attention of the House upon the occasion of the consideration of the resolution preceding the Bill. The first is that the benefits of the Act are extended to female members of the service, so that the sexes are placed on an equality in that regard. The second feature is that the maximum amount of insurance is increased from $2,090 to $5,000. The other provisions of the Bill relate principally to these two features. For some time past the Civil Service have requested that legislation of this character should be enacted.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE INSURANCE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I do not happen to be

familiar with the original statute. The question has been asked, in what particulars does the status of female members of the service differ from that of the male members at the present time.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

I was under the impression, that my hon. friend was familiar with the statute. The Civil Service Insurance Act was enacted in 1893. Under its provisions any male member of the service occupying a permanent position is entitled to take out an insurance policy for an amount not exceeding $2,000 payable upon his death, upon paying premiums based upon fraternal society actuarial rates. The Act does not include the female members of the' service, for the treason, I presume, that at the time tne Act was passed, there may have been comparatively few females in the service. There seems no good reason why there should be a discrimination .against the ladies, and this legislation is introduced to place them upon an equality with their male fellow members of the service. The .life insurance companies generally accept risks upon the lives of women as they do upon the lives of men. At the time this Act was passed, it was considered that $2,000 would be a proper maximum amount. It is now considered that $2,000 is too small as the -maximum, having regard to the increased cost of living and other matters which I need not mention,

and that the maximum might well be increased to $5,000. The Act is administered through the Insurance Department, and therefore at comparatively little cost. According to the information I have received from the Insurance Department, the premiums paid are sufficient from an actuarial standpoint to justify the insurance granted.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I assume that taking out policies under the Act is optional with the members of the service. Do a large proportion of the service take advantage of the terms of the Act?

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

About ten per cent of those eligible have taken advantage of it.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Is it retroactive as

applying to employees who are superannuated?

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

That matter was brought

to my attention by my hon. friend (Mr. Lemieux). The Act will not apply retroactively to those who have left the service or who have been superannuated. In the case of those now in the service who have taken out a policy for $2,000, upon passing a medical examination and paying from the date of the insurance forward, the amount of premium proper to the policy which they took out, they may increase their insurance up to a maximum of $5,000.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I had in mind those

who had been superannuated. I am under the impression that a superannuated officer is amenable to his minister, and is liable to be called back into the service to fill a temporary vacancy or for other cause. I would ask the attention of the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) to that point. For in stance: a customs inspector has been superannuated; a vacancy occurs through death' or illness of one of the employees; has the minister authority over that superannuated officer to bring him back into the service for a time?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If an officer has been superannuated, he may be recalled to the service and re-employed, but lie is not paid a salary more than will make, with his superannuation, the salary he received before his retirement.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

That is the point 1

was making. The retired officer being liable to be recalled, should not the increased insurance apply in his case? For, as the

Minister of Finance says, the maximum of $2,000 which hitherto has been fixed is very low. I know that the rate of premium is moderate and the system is a good one, and I congratulate the hon. minister on the step he is taking. It seems to me that those v ho are superannuated and who, as has been shown, are amenable to their ministers, and liable to be recalled, should get the benefit of the new Act.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I may say it is very seldom that an officer is recalled.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If their health is in such

condition as to allow it, they may be recalled, but the number of those who have been recalled is very small.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON:

What will be the

effect upon one who has severed his connection with the service?

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Under existing legislation regulations are made to cover that point. As a matter of practice the insured are permitted to continue their policies, but the minister has the right to pay a cash surrender value or to issue a paid-up policy for a suitable amount.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

There may be fatal

objections to the point that I raise, and if so the Minister of Finance will enlighten me. But I know as a matter of fact of one man who has been superannuated, and who, I am sure, would take advantage of the new Act.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

I do not know that the

objection would be fatal, but I think that such insurance would be found inadvisable. In the first place, as my hon. colleague (Mr. Reid) has pointed out, services of retired officers are very seldom requisitioned. If they were to come back to the service, I think they would be entitled to the benefits of the new Act. But superannuation takes place at the age of sixty-five or later, usually nearer seventy, and for the most part men are not insurable at that age. Having regard to these considerations, I should think it would be inexpedient to extend the benefits of the Act.

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March 20, 1914