April 16, 1926

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I do not know that

uniformity is absolutely essential. We are fixing in this paragraph a period of five years as the length of residence in the province necessary to entitle the pensioner to come under the scheme. That is a comparatively short time in a matter of this kind. If. one, two or three provinces come into the scheme, there will naturally follow a gravitation of persons approaching old age to such provinces, where they will take up residence with a view -to obtaining pensions after five years.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
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LAB
CON
LAB
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Sections 10 and 13 relate to transfer of residence and they cover the point which the hon. member is making.

Old Age Pensions

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I do not see any necessity for paragraph d). We are providing in paragraph (c) that (efore anyone may obtain a pension he shall have resided in Canada for the twenty yeurs preceding the date at which the pension begins. Very well; that protects the interests of the Dominion. But why should we invade the provincial sphere and decide for the provinces the period of residence that shall be necessary? Why not leave that to the provinces themselves?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Does not this provision refer to the administration of the act? When a pension is granted to anyone who has been only five years in the province, the other provinces in which he has lived are asked to contribute their share.

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CON
LAB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I do not see why (d)

should fix a period of five years rather than ten or fifteen. The paragraph is not necessary.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Unless a man has been five years in the province he cannot file his application for a pension.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I say that the clause is wholly unnecessary and should be deleted.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Suppose, as the hon. member suggests, one province should come under the scheme and a large number of prospective pensioners began to gravitate to that province 'for the purpose of getting the pension: that province might decide to make the period of residence two years and there would be nothing m this bill to prevent it.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

We may trust to the

province to look after its own interest in that respect, and that is the very reason why I am arguing that we should leave it to the province to decide upon residence within its own boundaries. But suppose all the provinces were willing to fix the period at two years; why should the Dominion government worry ?

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSIONS
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Would you likely get uniformity if you left it to the provinces to decide the question themselves?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I do not know that you

require uniformity in respect of the period of residence within the province. Let the provinces determine that. As long as this parliament cares for the main principle of a twenty year residence anywhere in Canada, I do not care where, that is all it is concerned

in. We are going into partnership with the provinces; let each province, therefore, determine within its own borders what the residence shall be there.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

If it was decided that uniformity was not necessary, I would be prepared to agree with the hon. member for Vancouver Centre, but I am yet unable to see how you can dispense with uniformity.

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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

Clause (c) provides:

(c) has resided in Canada for the twenty years immediately preceding the date aforesaid;

That is, he must have arrived in Canada twenty years before reaching the age of seventy. Is there not danger in that clause to the welfare of Canada? I presume the whole purpose of this legislation is to reward those who have worked for the welfare of Canada. I think we all agree that this is desirable. Unfortunately the working people of Europe by the time they have reached the age of fifty are pretty well broken down. I have seen hundreds of them and know what I am talking about. If they come here at the age of forty-nine years and eleven months, and are not in a physical condition to give any labour to Canada between that age and seventy, they might live to the age of ninety, and although owing them no reward the Dominion would be paying them a pension for that period. That is the only bad point I see.

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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Replying to the

statement of my hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie) regarding the resolution he submitted from a returned soldiers' organization, I think it would be well not to complicate the bill by making special classes. If .parliament is disposed to deal with returned men I am quite in sympathy with such action, but I think it would be a mistake to interfere with the uniformity of old age pensions under this bill. As to the time of residence, in Great Britain, the British Dominions and the United States, and I think in some of the South American countries and also the European countries twenty years residence is generally accepted as sufficient. If people broken down in health come to this country at the age of forty-nine or fifty, they probably would not live to be seventy anyway, and I doubt very much whether they would get by the Immigration authorities.

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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

I have known people to

come to Canada after they have passed their fiftieth year.

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April 16, 1926