Possibly, but it would be discovered shortly and an end put to that practice. The only difficulty would be with the province of Alberta, where they would simply have to step over the line, but the pension board would soon become familiar with a situation of that kind.
If that occurred a means of redress would be found. The five-year period is, I think, sufficient to prevent such a thing. The delightful climate of British Columbia is attractive, I know, but I think the class who would come under the provisions of this bill will hardly be travelling very much at the age of sixty-five, in order to get located for this scheme.
section 10, then, which provides that no matter what part of Canada the man has lived in, if he came to British Columbia the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta would have to pay a portion of this pension, but we would have the old gentleman wilth us.
whose claims mi^ht be considered before passing this section; I refer to those who presented a petition the other day for [the blind. I do not know whether it is possible to make provision in this act for them. We all recognize that people with such a disability are in need of an old age pension earlier than are other people, because it is much more
Old Age Pensions
difficult for them to obtain work. I do not know whether it would be possible to have an amendment to subsection (b) to provide that in the case of blindness the age might be reduced by five or ten years. In one or two of the other acts such provision is made. Ideal disability insurance should perhaps be dealt with by a special act, but in the case of blindness comparatively few would be affected, and the expense would not be very heavy. I would at least suggest to the minister that an amendment might be made to subsection (b), to make it read:
-has attained the age of seventy years or, in the case of the blind, the age of sixty years;
hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Dickie) that in such a case as he suggests it would not work such a hardship on British Columbia, because the prairie provinces would be paying their proportion of the Dominion tax. British Columbia, would be deriving some of the benefits, while the prairie provinces would have none. So that even in the extreme case mentioned, and I do not for a moment admit it would work out even in that case, British Columbia would be benefited.
I think the clause quoted by the hon. member for Comox-AIbernd absolutely covers the point which I raised. I do not at all agree with the hon. member for Mackenzie. The sum of $20 a month is not going to support these old people, and we are not going to see them want if they come to British Columbia. But clause 11 absolutely covers the objection which I raised.
going to say to my friend from Winnipeg North Centre in regard to the case of the blind, of whom he has spoken, that I imagine there is no class in the community for whom we would desire to do more than for those who are deprived of their sight, but I think the matter of blindness ought to be considered independently of the matter of old age. This is experimental legislation at this stage, and I am afraid that if we burden it unduly by adding to old age other features, we may have difficulty in getting the general support we would like to have for this legislation. I would be inclined to think that any suggestion of that kind had better be deferred until after the statute is enacted, and if the provinces wish to make that proposal themselves in their own legislation, there would always be the opportunity if it were deemed advisable, to have our legislation amended.
There is the further fact that the federal government at the present time is appropriating some money, not a great deal, specifically for the blind. I have in my hand a copy of the estimates, and one item, under Miscellaneous, refers to a vote that we expect to get from parliament for the blind-Grant to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, $10,000. If I recollect aright, there was some other vote for the blind we did appropriate in a previous year. I think we had better not at present introduce a new feature in this legislation.
Subsection 2 of section 9 refers to the transfer to the pension authority of the property or house in which the prospective pensioner may live. I cannot quite discover from a casual reading what becomes of the property after the death of the pensioner. Is it returned to his heirs less a certain amount retained for charges, or what becomes of the property?