March 8, 1935

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

In Great Britain

they have a very strong trade union movement which alters the situation materially. In this country we have no strong trade union movement, especially in those trades *where this legislation would apply, and it would be very difficult for an isolated worker to take action. In England the whole trade union movement would stand behind a victimized worker, and go on a general strike rather than permit an injustice. Here the worker has not that protection, and therefore the state or the commission has a duty to protect the welfare of the individual worker.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

May I point out without

being unkind that at the present time we are legislating for Canada, and in the words of a very great statesman, our concern is Canada.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

That is quite

right, but none of us is above learning from the experience of others. That is true of this side of the house at any rate.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

May I ask the leader of the

house whether the British act has in it any provision enabling the commission to sue employers for contributions in default? In this bill there is nothing of that nature, and what I am afraid of is that in the event of such a default, if the suggestion is made that the commission should sue the defaulting employer, the answer may be: We have

I Sir George Perley.]

no power under this measure to sue him; the only person under it who has power to sue in such case is the workman.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Put in the necessary provision.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

Yes, but it is not there. I

am suggesting that there should be in the bill a provision enabling the commission in such case to sue. If there is no such provision, I am very much afraid the commission will answer that under the legislation they have no power to do so. That provision might be added to subclause 2 of clause 31. After the provision in regard to fine or imprisonment there might be some such clause as this:

And in addition the commission shall be entitled to recover from the employer so in default, as a civil debt the amount of contribution so in default.

I submit that to the leader of the government.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

The commission has power to sue.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

Where is that provision?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

Clause 4, subclause 5:

The commission shall be a body corporate having capacity to contract and to sue and be sued in the name of the commission.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURY:

That is a very general clause; that may not be sufficient. There is a specific clause in relation to the suing of an employer who is in default; that is the only provision in the bill relating specifically to the suing of an employer in default, and it is one which only gives to the employee the right to sue. I still maintain that such general provision as is contained in subclause 5 of clause 4 is not sufficient for the particular purpose which I mention.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I am inclined to agree with the remarks of the last speaker. There should be in the bill a definite, specific and mandatory clause dealing with the point raised. But that is somewhat aside from this particular question. Under subclause 1 of clause 33 there is a distinct admission that the employee will be subject to possible loss in the case of a swindling or defaulting employer. If the acting Prime Minister will turn to page 8 and read subclause 3 of clause 17, he will find this:

The employer shall in the first instance be liable to pay both the contribution payable by himself and also, on behalf of the employed person, the contribution payable by that person,

Unemployment Insurance

and subject to any such regulations shall be entitled to recover from the employed person, by deduction from his wages or otherwise, the amount of the contributions so paid by him on behalf of the employed person.

In the event of the employer defaulting or failing or neglecting to turn in the payments that he has collected from the employee there is in my opinion no sense in penalizing the employee or in asking him to take suit to recover. That is the responsibility of the commission, not of the employee.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I have tried to explain that the theory of this legislation is that all these fees or contributions are paid by stamps. These stamps have to be purchased beforehand and affixed to the books and so forth in order to comply with the legislation. Therefore there should not be many such cases arise as are provided for in this clause. The idea of inserting it is to follow the British act giving the employee a chance for an action in the few oases that might arise. I must admit that I have listened for a long time to this debate, and I am interested to hear the views of different members on the subject. I have not close at hand the reference I hoped to have with regard to the application of the British act which is exactly the same. I will try to get it, and if the committee wishes I will leave it for a time and perhaps come back to it again to-day. I want to get the reference from the British act, because if they found it all right in Great Britain-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

It does not follow that it would be suitable here.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I do not say it follows, but it is a strong indication that it is wise.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I suggest that if we are going to follow the British act we shall have to make a great many alterations in this, and it would be of great advantage to the employees if we did.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

William Pate Mulock

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

It is a question of principle, whether these men who have part of their wages kept back for protection in case of unemployment are to be protected if unemployed. To keep part of a man's wages back and have him deprived of his rights under this bill through the neglect of the commission or through misappropriation of funds- because it is not the employer's money but the money of the employee-does not seem fair at all. I protest against the section in this form. I absolutely agree with the hon. member for Comox-Alberni.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I think there is a misapprehension as to the purpose of subsection 1 of section 33. The reason for this section, as for the similar section in the British act, is to give an additional remedy to the employee. It does not take anything' away from the rights of the commission or otherwise to collect from the employer, but in case the employee suffers by reason of the default of the employer it gives the employee an additional remedy which ought to be there for his benefit and protection. My difficulty is that I am not familiar enough with the act to find the section which casts the onus on the commission to collect the premium.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

Wilfred Hanbury

Liberal

Mr. HANBURY:

Is there one?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

There is in the British act, and I think there is in this. If there is not one such as subsection 2 of old section 20, which provides a penalty for non-payment, there ought to be. Certainly this subsection is put in for the protection of the employee and should remain in; but it should not be his only protection. I am not sufficiently familiar with the act to say whether it is the only protection or not. I suggest that the section stand for the time being and we will find out whether there is a corresponding provision that I think ought to be in the act for the protection of the employee. But I would leave this subsection in.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I do not think that answers the objection, no matter what may be in the British act. The difficulty in this country, is that once an employee sues his employer he ceases to be an employee; that is the practical difficulty. A man is not allowed to stay once he sues his employer. That provision may be workable in England or some other place where the employer has not the same power to discharge his employee that he has in this country, but here it is an absolutely impossible provision, it never will work. The remedy is not worth anything.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
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March 8, 1935