March 21, 1935

CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Mr. Chairman, I think

the hon. member need have no great fear for the future in connection with this matter. The bill under discussion is the same bill that has given the government power to make guarantees to this company. That power ceases by passage of time on March 31 next. Surely it is obvious to every hon. member, whether the government was right or wrong in taking the course it did to support the grain market in western Canada, that having done what it did it -must continue after March 31. It is quite true that on the order paper there appears a resolution with respect to a grain board. All I can say-and the hon. member knows this very well-is that when that legislation -comes down its intent will be made clear, and the extent to which it will supersede the present policy or whether the board will be entirely separate from that policy. I can say no more about it; the legislation when it is brought down will speak for itself.

Unemployment Relief

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir

Liberal Progressive

Mr. WEIR (Macdonald):

The minister is

quite prepared to say that the passing of this legislation does not prevent the bringing of other legislation before the house?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Quite so.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

This afternoon there was a

discussion as to the assistance the government had given to the provinces and, in turn, the provinces had given to the municipalities. I made the plea that the government should at least make some attempt to make provision whereby the municipalities might be relieved of some of the burden they are now carrying. Evidently my plea and that of other hon. members has not fallen on receptive^ ears, because only a few moments ago the minister informed the committee he hoped that when in the near future his department met with the provincial premiers there might be provision whereby the amount allotted by the government to the provinces for relief would be lower in the coming year than it has been in the past. I believe I am not far from the mark, and if I am wrong I hope the minister will correct me, when I say that the amount the government has given to the provinces and,: in turn, the provinces have remitted to the municipalities for direct relief, would amount to approximately twenty-five per cent of the expenditures. I believe I am fairly close to the mark when I say the amount would be about twenty-five per cent. In previous years the amount given by the government was one-third of the total, the provinces contributing one-third and the municipalities the remaining third. I say the additional eight and one third per cent has been carried by the municipalities, and in most cases the load is too heavy for them. I believe it is admitted on all sides that unemplojrment is not primarily a municipal problem. It is a national problem arising as a result of national conditions for which the municipalities are in no degree responsible.

Years ago, before we suffered from an acute unemployment problem, or one similar to that with which we are now faced, it was within the purview of the municipalities to grant relief to indigent cases which came under municipal control. Those indigent cases were due primarily not to problems of unemployment but rather to conditions arising out of sickness, invalidity or old age, or circumstances under which people were physically unable to find employment. However, since we have been troubled with an acute unemployment problem we find a completely new difficulty facing our municipalities, and I say we should

not expect them to carry a load ranging between thirty-five per cent and forty per cent of the cost of maintaining the unemployed. It is quite true that the problem may adjust itself; with the advent of public works and with improved economic conditions the difficulty may be lessened, but even then I say the federal government should assume its just share of the responsibility in meeting the difficulty. I am wondering whether or not the government would return to its former basis of granting relief rather than follow the practice of granting a lump sum to the provinces, not knowing whether such sum would be sufficient or insufficient to meet the necessities of the situation. I am wondering whether they would go back to the method employed prior to 1934, that of giving relief on the basis of a percentage of the cost of unemployment relief within the boundaries of the municipalities.

I am informed the province of Quebec made an offer to the government to the effect that it would asume half of the responsibility of unemployment if the federal government would assume the other half. I do not know whether any other provinces have made similar offers, but as unemployment is a national problem I do think the federal government ought to assume a much larger share of the cost than it now assumes. A few momenta ago I asked the minister if he could give the figures showing how much had been spent by way of relief to rural and urban municipalities. He was unable to give the figures, but made the statement that for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1935, approximately $32,000,000 had been spent. That figure does not convey all the information I should like to have, because some of the money was spent in the drought areas and could not be said to have been spent for the relief of the unemployed. If we had more detailed figures showing the amount actually spent we might then have some idea of what the added burden to the federal exchequer would be if the federal government assumed a larger share than it assumes at the present time. I stated earlier in my observations that the amount assumed by the federal government was approximately 25 per cent, as compared with 33j per cent in previous years. Perhaps the minister would give us the correct figures in that respect. I should also like to know if at this time he is prepared to state on behalf of the government whether or not it would grant to the municipalities more relief than they have been able to obtain from the government during the past twelve months.

Unemployment Relief

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I can add nothing to what I have already said. The figures have not been prepared in the manner the hon. member has suggested, and I doubt very much whether they could be broken up to disclose the difference between the urban and rural contributions. However I give the hon. member the assurance that we will endeavour to comply with his request. I cannot say that we will be successful in an attempt to set up figures which would be accurate and dependable, but we will do the best we can.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I know the amount paid by the federal government to the government of Manitoba resulted in the city of Winnipeg being compelled to spend far more per head for municipal relief than it had to pay when they were receiving a grant of one-third of the cost. The amount received to-day by urban centres for municipal relief would amount to approximately 25 per cent. I do not believe I am in any way underestimating the amount granted by the federal government for this purpose. The minister may not be able to rake up those figures, but I am informed that in 1934 the figure was about $40,000,000, and that this year it will be about $32,000,000. The difference represents a drop of about $8,000,000, or 20 per cent. Across the country there has been a diminution to the extent of 10 or 11 per cent in the number of those receiving relief this year as compared with the number in previous years. Consequently there has been a greater drop in the amount of money granted than there has been in the number drawing relief, a circumstance which would seem to bear out my contention.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I should like to get some information which the minister may not be able to provide to-night but which he may furnish later. I should like to get from him the amount of money the federal government paid per month as its share for each county in New Brunswick. May I repeat that I want to have the dominion's share, paid to the provincial government, for each county of New Brunswick for each month of 1933. If the minister cannot give the information offhand he might prepare a statement and let me have it within a few days.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

It would be difficult to comply with the request of the hon. member for Gloucester, because the dominion has contact only with the provincial government. We make our grants to the provincial governments. If the report that was tabled last year does not give the information the hon.

member has asked for I shall endeavour as soon as I can to get a compilation of figures that will reflect the information sought by the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

That will be quite satisfactory. The information is important in view of something that is to take place in the very near future in consequence of statements that I have made on the floor of this house, which statements in regard to relief are quite correct, but I wish to have them substantiated by official figures from the department. While I am on my feet I would ask the minister if he can make any statement to-night as to the agreement between the provincial government and the federal department of Labour in connection with the trans-Canada highway in the province of New Brunswick. Have the arrangements been concluded between the provincial and federal governments as to the share the federal government is going to pay, and the route to be followed, on which the payment will be based?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The trans-Canada highway in New Brunswick has been designated so far as our contribution to the work is concerned, from Hartland to Woodstock in the county of Carleton. The work is the laying of a three-inch asphaltic and concrete base, wth one-inch sheet asphalt surface for about a mile. The amount is $3,905 for the dominion contribution.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

It is not necessary to give all those details. Can the minister say what route is to be followed?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

From Fredericton to Mc-Ginley Ferry; from Saint John city, Westfield Corner to King's and Saint John; from Sussex to Penobsquis, King's county; from Moncton east and west, county of Westmoreland. Those are all the approvals that we have made of suggested work on the trans-Canada highway in New Brunswick.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Has the minister any information as to the route of the trans-Canada highway as defined by the provincial government? Is it from Moncton to Sackville by way of Shediac, cape Bald, and Port Elgin?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The only order in council that has been forwarded to the dominion government by the province of New Brunswick designating the route of the trans-Canada highway covers only a portion I believe of the route. Perhaps it would be best if I read the description:

Beginning at a point from the boundary line between the province of Quebec and the province of New Brunswick where the main trunk

Unemployment Reliej

highway route No. - 2 intersects the said boundary line of the western side of the Madawaska river; thence following the main trunk highway on the west side of Madawaska river to Edmundston; thence along the eastern side of the Saint John river to Grand Falls; thence along the western side of the Saint John river to, Andover crossing Saint John river to Perth; thence down the east side of Saint John river to Hartland; thence down west side of Saint John river through Woodstock, Fredericton, Oromocto, Gagetown, Westfield to Saint John; thence from Saint John through Sussex, Moncton and Sackville to the Nova Scotia boundary near Aulac.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

That is quite satisfactory;

thank you.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink

Section agreed to. On section 2-Agreements with provinces. Mr. COOTE; It seems to me it is quite evident that, whether a grain board ia set up or not, clause 2 is necessary. The wheat that is held under government guarantee, whatever form that guarantee may take, must be carried for some time, and I may say frankly that that is one of the main reasons why I voted for this bill, which contains many features I do not approve of. I would ask the minister how long the present arrangement with the provinces is to continue and whether a conference has been arranged with the provinces in connection with the grants that are mentioned in clause 2.


CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The agreements with the

provinces expire by the effluxion of time on the 31st of this month. Arrangements will have to be made without delay with a view to determining what assistance the provinces may need. It seems to be the judgment of some hon. members that of necessity the dominion taxpayer must give more to the provinces than has been the case in the past. I am not at all prepared to acknowledge that to be the situation. I wonder if we in this chamber remember that we have only one set of taxpayers in this country. I sometimes wonder if we are not forgetting that. These matters are in a measure determined by the capacity of the various taxing authorities to raise the money that is thought to be necessary. Arrangements with the provinces will be carried on temporarily after the end of this month until a conference with all the provinces, or with some of them where the arrangements will have to be changed, can be brought about. I cannot give the hon. member the day when such a conference will be convened. It would be utterly impossible for me to do it.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

One reason why I asked

the minister the question I did was that in my constituency three large coal mines have been shut down for some time. The last word I had was that they were shut down due to the fact that the railway company had not placed any orders for this year. I do not know just what developments may have occurred during last week. I have taken up this matter with the government and with the railway company in an effort to see if some orders cannot be given to these mines. The whole population of three towns is dependent upon the mines, there being about 900 miners involved. When I received this telegram two weeks ago two of the mines, employing 600 miners, had not worked for three weeks. I understand that the other mine has since stopped operations. The total population of these towns is between three and four thousand, and as the municipalities are wholly dependent upon the operations of the mines they are unable to make any worth while provision for relief. I suppose all they can do is to appeal to the province, and I was wondering if the minister could give us some assurance that when the province makes application to the government, as I suppose it must, there will be as little delay as possible in making some provision for these towns. It is generally agreed that the financial position of the western provinces is not such as to enable them to take care of any considerable addition to their unemployment relief bills. I have no intention of bothering the minister about the matter in connection with this bill, but I do want to impress upon him the seriousness of the situation. I am sure these municipalities have not the resources with which to meet a situation of this kind, even for a period of a few weeks. I do not know to what extent the province will be able to take care of it without some assistance from this government. I urge upon the minister that he hold himself in readiness to give what help he can to these cases. Perhaps the government could persuade the Canadian Pacific Railway to spread its coal orders to take in the three towns involved.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Mr. Chairman, it must

be remembered that this government has been and is now assisting coal production by means of subventions, with the result that Saskatchewan coal has practically displaced competitive foreign fuels in the province of Manitoba. But the paradox is that instead of any control being exercised over coal mines in Alberta, about fifty new mines have been opened in the last few years. All mines in

Unemployment Relief

the province are under the control and jurisdiction of the provincial government. These small mines used to be called waggon mines, but they are now known as truck mines. The result is that the large employers of labour have been eliminated from the home market. I believe the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) is well acquainted with this situation. While the dominion taxpayer is contributing to these coal mines by way of subventions, the Alberta government is charging a royalty on the coal mined.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I have some sympathy with the minister in this connection. My hon. friends over there who talk so glibly about cooperation, about marketing and over-production might well take a hand in their own province to see what they can do about coal mining. This simply demonstrates how difficult it is to do anything like this. I have been intimately acquainted with the Alberta coal mines for at least twenty-five years. Coal is so plentiful and so easily produced that it is very difficult to control. I remember at one time we had 350 mines operating when fifty would have been sufficient to supply the market. May I say to the minister that I also have some sympathy with the Alberta government. It is very difficult to regulate things of that sort.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   FURTHER PROVISION FOR CARRYING OUT RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURES, MEETING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND MAINTAINING CREDIT OF DOMINION AND PROVINCES
Permalink

March 21, 1935