February 19, 1935

CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

No, not at all. Matters are at present being carried on with all the provinces under the relief act of last year, and the time is definitely certain. The relief act expires by the effluxion of time at the end of the fiscal year, and the agreements with the provinces under which we now operate will expire with the close of the fiscal year. Between now and that time, if the representations made by the provinces seem to indicate the necessity for continuing help to them, then that matter will have to be determined by the government, and the policy of the government with respect to it

will not be unduly delayed, but will be brought before the house at the earliest possible moment.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

If I may say so, that is not much more definite than the minister's last answer. Can he tell us when we may expect to be told what the policy is, because it is a matter in which a great many people are vitally interested at the present time. If it can possibly be avoided, and surely it can, there should not be any delay until the closing hours of the session. I should like to know whether the minister has any idea as to when he is likely to inform the house what his policies are.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

At the present time the dominion government, acting under agreements with the various provinces, is lending such support and assistance as would seem to be necessary in order to enable the provinces to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

My hon. friend from Vancouver Centre says the provinces have lost all their constitutional rights.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Everyone will make up his own mind about that. At the moment we are carrying on under these agreements. With the exception of the province of Quebec, I know of no province that has submitted any plan that would vary the agreements which are now in existence with respect to assistance by the dominion government. The agreements now in existence will continue until the end of the fiscal year. I do not think that even an invitation is necessary to most of the provinces to approach the dominion government with respect to assistance they think they may need to carry through after the end of the fiscal year. But communications will undoubtedly pass before the end of the fiscal year between the provinces and this government with a view to determining to what extent the provinces can discharge their responsibilities, and to what extent if any they may need dominion support. When that is made apparent, then I assume, if the dominion has to come to the aid of the provinces again for the coming year,

Supply-Labour

appropriate legislation will, if it is found necessary, be submitted to the house for discussion and approval.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I am very much obliged

to the minister for his explanation, but it does not get us very far. As I understand the situation-and I just want to see if I have it correctly-with the exception of Quebec nothing has so far been received from any of the nine provinces as to what they expect their requirements from this government to be for the year that will start about six weeks from now. If I am correct also in my interpretation of what the minister says, he and the other members of the government have at the present time no idea whether relief similar to what has been given for this year will be required for another year, or whether no relief will be required at all. Am I correct in interpreting the minister's statement?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Communications have

passed between this government and the provinces concerning mainly the mechanics of the working out of the present agreements, but no request has been received from the provinces, nor has there been submitted to this government by any of the provinces any plan with respect to what they may need after the end of the present fiscal year. Unquestionably I think it will be necessary to consult with the provinces.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Do I understand the

provinces are satisfied with the manner in which the agreement for the current year is being carried out by the dominion government?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

In the main, yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Do I

understand the minister to suggest that the policy of this government is to be based entirely on the nature of the requests received from the various provincial governments in regard to the next fiscal year?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Largely, yes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

The minister told us a moment ago that all the provinces except Quebec were satisfied with the agreement. How much is the government paying per month to Quebec just now?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I may say that under

this item I did not anticipate having to meet the questions which have been put to me, but I will do the best I can to answer them and when the proper item or the legislation comes squarely before the house I will go into

the matter in greater detail. Under the agreements which at present exist the dominion is paying to the province of Quebec a lump sum per month as a grant in aid, and that lump sum carries with it no restriction other than it be devoted to the relief of those in distress and needing direct or other relief.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

For the months of August and September the amount provisionally was $600,000 per month, and for the remainder of the fiscal year the amount, if my memory serves me correctly-and I think it does- was such as to provide $500,000 per month. That lump sum as a grant in aid is given to the province without any restrictions, leaving it entirely in the judgment of the province as to where the money should be spent, in other words, where the necessity for the expenditure of the money is most acute. The only restriction is that it be devoted to the relief of those in distress and needing direct or other relief.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

The minister said that the province of Quebec was not satisfied with that grant. Did he receive a counter proposition from the provincial government for other amounts?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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February 19, 1935