May 20, 1930


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance) moved that the house go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution: That the time for receiving applications for insurance under the Returned Soldiers' Insurance Act be extended for three years from the 31st August, 1930. Motion agreed to and the house went into, committee, Mr. Johnston in the chair. Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Dunning thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 264, to amend the Returned Soldiers' Insurance Act. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Would the minister explain the actuarial situation?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I have not those details

before me, but the bill constitutes acceptance of the recommendations of the special committee which has been dealing with returned soldiers' problems. The time has now expired for the acceptance of applications for insurance, and the recommendation has been made that this time be extended for a further period of three years.

Mr. DUNNING moved the second reading of the bill.

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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Johnston in the chair. Section 1 agreed to. On the title.


CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Could the minister give us any information as to the cost of carrying this insurance?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I did not think that we

would reach this stage of the bill to-day and I did not bring the figures with me. This matter was gone into thoroughly by the special committee, but I would be willing to leave the bill in committee.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

What interpretation is to be put upon the phrase "reasonable expectation of life?" I know of one case where the man is able to participate in hockey games and other sports, although there is no question that he is suffering from a disability. He has been refused insurance but I should think that when a man can participate in sports he has a reasonable expectation of life. My understanding was that the interpretation of this phrase would be very wide, and that a man unable to obtain insurance from other companies would be able to avail himself of the provisions of this act. Could the minister give me any information in this regard?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My department is concerned only with the actuarial administration of the act; the feature of the act to which the hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Ross) refers would be administered by the Department of Pensions. The minister, I know, is getting the information now and he will be here in a few moments. My understanding

Relumed, Soldiers' Insurance Act

of the matter is that in practice a most liberal interpretation is placed upon the phrase to which my hon. friend calls attention. One can understand how difficult it must be to administer such a section correctly. A reasonable expectation of life of course would not or should not include a man who is very evidently dying. That, at least, is my personal view. On the other hand my hon. friend directs attention to a case in which he says there was a reasonable expectation of life, but apparently, if we are to judge from his information, the insurance was not granted. I think this would be a matter of taking up the specific case with the pension department in order to get the facts. I have not the information personally.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The case is looked into by a medical officer under instructions of the pension commission. He goes through the file and if he wishes to make further examination the matter is referred to the unit. The individual is then examined and his case is reported upon.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

What I am concerned about is whether the spirit of the act has been carried out or been abused.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

It has been carried out.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

The spirit of the act was in favour of taking care of such cases. Granted that a man has returned from the war and cannot get insurance owing to being a war casualty or suffering from some disability attributable to war service, it seems to me it is going a long way under the terms of the act to shut the man out from the benefit of the insurance, because all we tried to do was to place him in the same position as he was prior to the war.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I understand the cases are being looked into very carefully and dealt with liberally. The rejections are fairly few and the cases are thoroughly investigated.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

This is the case of a returned man who for years believed in the possibility of obtaining a pension. He is turned down. He is still continuing at his work and in addition to that he is able to take part in hockey matches of a league nature and so on. Yet we are told he has not a reasonable expectation of life.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I should like to have the name or number of that individual, so that I may look into the matter. It does not seem to me right, because in many cases men who would not be considered fit for insurance are being taken care of under this legislation.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

My understanding of the measure is that it is a sub-standardized case that would be covered and I think it is unfair to shut out such a case as this.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I shall be glad to look into it.

Bill reported.

Mr. DUNNING moved the third reading of the bill.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

As the minister is now in his place, could he give us the information for which I asked a few minutes ago, as to the loss, if any, in carrying this insurance?

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The net insurance in force is $72,508,725.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is the amount of risk?

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May 20, 1930