March 4, 1927

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 116, to incorporate "La congregation de Saint-Dominique du Tiers-Ordre en-seignant." Mr. Raymond. Bill No. 117, respecting a patent owned' by The John E. Russell Company, Limited.- Mr. Chevrier.


RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES


Mr. A. M. YOUNG (Saskatoon) presented the second report of the select standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines as follows: He moved: Your committee have considered the following bills and have agreed to report the same without amendment, viz: Bill No. 71, an act respecting the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company. Bill No. 76, an act respecting La Compagnie du chemin de fer de Colonisation du Nord. Your committee have also considered the following bills, and have agreed to report them with amendments, viz: Bill No. 73, an act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Old Age Pensions Bill No. 77, an act respecting the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway Company of Canada. A resolution has been referred to the committee in respect to a direct railway outlet from the Peace river country to the Pacific coast. Your committee recommend that 300 copies in English and 100 copies in French of the evidence to be taken by the committee in connection therewith be printed for the use of the committee and of the House of Commons, and that rule 74 be suspended in relation thereto. He moved1: That, in accordance with recommendation contained in the second report of the select standing committee on railways canals and telegraph lines, 300 copies in English and 100 copies in French of the evidence to be taken by that committee respecting a direct railway outlet from the Peace river country to the Pacific coast, be printed for the use of that committee and of the House of Commons, and that rule 74 be suspended in connection therewith. Motion agreed to. OLD AGE PENSIONS The House resumed, from March 3, consideration in committee of Bill No. 70 respecting old age pensions.-Hon. Mr. Heenan- Mr. Johnston in the chair. On section 9-Maximum pension $240.


LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Before we consider section 9, with leave of the committee we might return to section 8 in order to meet the objection raised by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. iStevens).

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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Is it the desire of the committee that we return to clause 8?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

On section 8-What persons are pensionable.

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LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre raised certain objections to the wording of paragraph (a):

Is a British subject, or, being a widow, was such before her marriage.

There was quite a discussion about it. Since the point was raised I have had time to examine the law, and chapter 44 of the statutes of 1914 covers the case of an alien woman who marries a British subject as to her status when she becomes a widow. Section 11 reads:

A woman who, having been a British subject, has by or in consequence of her marriage become an alien, shall not, by reason only of the death of her husband, or the dissolution of her marriage, cease to be an alien, and a woman who, having been an alien, has by or in consequence of her marriage become a British subject, shall not. by reason only of the death of her husband, or the dissolution of her marriage, cease to be a British subject.

Therefore the argument which I ma.de last night that the clause as it reads now covers both cases holds good, I submit, but there is no doubt that the phraseology might be improved. My hon. friend from Toronto referred to the interpretation which should be given to the word "such". If the interpretation is to be restricted to the rules of grammar, my hon. friend would be right. I move, Mr. Chairman, that paragraph (al be amended by inserting after the word "widow" the words "who is not a British subject."

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Amendment agreed to.


UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

Referring to paragraph

(cl, which reads "has resided in Canada for the twenty years immediately preceding the date aforesaid," I would refer to those people who come here from Great Britain say at the age of 58, who in twelve years would be 70, and who would have to sacrifice any right to a pension they might have received from Great Britain. At the same time, under this clause, they would have no right to a pension in Canada until they had reached the age of 78 and completed twenty years' residence in this country. I would ask the minister if there is no way of meeting that situation, so that these people who come here from Great Britain and have been in this country twelve years by the time they reach the age of 70 may receive a pension.

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

That has been considered, but we do not want to load the bill up with any more provisions than it had last year. This bill may not be all that we require- and here I am taking the same ground that I took last year, and the same ground that was taken by my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre-but we feel that it is a step in the right direction, and we do not want to do anything to jeopardize its passage through the second chamber If the bill works any hardship upon any British subjects, there will be time enough to look after that once we get the principle established.

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CON

Franklin Smoke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMOKE:

In connection with the same paragraph of this section, may I cite the case of a person born in this country and who fifteen years ago went to the United States, and then came back here in a couple of years. Under this clause he would be entirely deprived of any benefits under this bill until he had lived here for twenty years after his return from the United States. Surely it is not intended that the bill should not provide for a case of that sort. There ought to be some provision in the bill that exceptional cases of

Old Age Pensions

89U

this sort should be treated as if the person had continued to live here for the twenty years.

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

Mr. Chairman, I do not want to be bobbing up and down all the time answering questions, but I think my hon. friend- will realize that we must draw a line somewhere. This bill is not intended to provide that the man who leaves this country for the United States and stays there until he gets too old to work shall come back here and then get a pension from Canada.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I should like to

have an answer from the minister to the question I raised last night in regard to certain immigrants from England who might be qualified under the old country scheme, who come to this country and forfeit any rights they have in the old country to a pension, and who would not have any rights under this scheme short of twenty years' residence in Canada. It was suggested at the Imperial conference that an arrangement could be made by which there would be some sort of reciprocity between this country and the old country, and in that case the old country could give a financial consideration to cover its proportion of the period. I would submit to the minister that this is not a matter that would interfere with the passage of the bill through the Senate. It involves no extra expenditure by this country in any way. It would simply mean the insertion of a clause in the bill providing that in the case of such immigrants it might be possible that the British government would advance certain amounts of money; that the time spent by the immigrant over there would be, as it were, credited to him. I think in view of the very large number of old country immigrants coming to Canada it would be wise to have a provision of this kind, and I would like to ask if it is not possible still to insert such a provision.

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I think there is a great

deal in my hon. friend's contention, but as I said before, we want to get the principle of old age pensions established before we load the bill up with further provisions. Let us get the scheme into operation and see how it works out.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

If we cannot insert a single provision in the bill, why not just come here and say, this is an old age pension bill, and then let us pass it and send it on to the Senate, and then when it comes back here, we can make a bill of it.

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

Perhaps that is what my

hon. friend would do.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The proposal I am making, Mr. Chairman, would not involve one dollar of expense to this country. It is simply to insert a clause by which we could enter into an arrangement with Great Britain that, if they wished to do so, they could advance certain moneys, and the immigrant would benefit under that arrangement. This is not something that I am proposing. It is something that was proposed at the Imperial conference, and it is a suggestion that was accepted by the government of Canada at the Imperial conference. Now that we are drafting this bill, I do not think it is too much to ask that a clause along this line should be inserted, which would leave us free to enter into an arrangement of that kind in the future.

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LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

My hon. friend will

realize that we have had a whole lot of trouble with this bill coming from the other side on account of our having to come to certain agreements with the provinces, and on account of our lack of jurisdiction over the provinces. His suggestion, which certainly contains a whole lot of good, immediately opens up another difficulty, that of our legislation having the effect of encroaching, so to speak, upon the imperial jurisdiction.

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March 4, 1927