February 1, 1937

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

I shall deal with that in a moment. The hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) answered that question adequately when he pointed out that, altogether apart from other difficulties, a province legislating with regard, for example, to hours of labour and wages might find itself at a grave disadvantage in comparison with provinces which were, shall I say, more backward and would not legislate along those lines. I regard the method of individual provinces legislating in social matters of that description as cumbersome and quite ineffective, and I do not believe we shall be able to find satisfactory solutions to the problems which confront us if we rely upon that particular method of procedure.

^Mr. Coldwell.]

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND AMENDMENTS LOOKING TO IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

May not conditions be very different in various sections of the country? And how could one section impose its own viewpoint in the light of its own particular interests upon other sections of the country whose interests may be very different?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND AMENDMENTS LOOKING TO IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

I can quite understand the. question, and I think the answer is this. In a country as large as Canada conditions of necessity must differ in various provinces; there are diverse conditions. But I submit that it is quite possible for a government to lay down regional regulations which would meet the situation in the various regions with widely dissimilar conditions. When you speak of minimum wages and so on you need not apply those minimum wages in the same form in provinces with varying costs of living.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND AMENDMENTS LOOKING TO IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

The same is true of hours of labour.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND AMENDMENTS LOOKING TO IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

You need not apply the hours of labour to industries in precisely the same manner. For example, take agriculture. We speak industrially of an eight hour day, but in agriculture there are certain seasons of the year when the hours of labour must be longer than eight hours, and in legislation of the type to which I refer certain exceptions, certain regional difficulties can quite well be met; at least that is my opinion.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) considered the resolution inopportune and somewhat objectionable at the present time, but I would reply by stating that the resolution was quite opportune inasmuch as it was placed on the order paper without a knowledge of the fact that the privy council decisions would be down before the resolution was discussed. In my opinion it has served the purpose of bringing at least certain aspects of these decisions before the House of Commons at this time.

We are told that parliament ought to have jurisdiction only through cooperation and consultation between the dominion and the provinces. I believe, of course, that position is sound. Before I sit down, however, I should like again to refer to the speech of the hon. member for Selkirk. I took a number of notes when the Minister of Labour was speaking and I intended to reply step by step to certain of bis remarks as he made them; but the hon. member for Selkirk demolished the minister's case entirely in a comparatively few words, and I would advise the minister to study that answer to-morrow morning. The hon. member for Selkirk, in my opinion, made the position clear. If there is no power in

The late Herbert Earl Wilton

this parliament to regulate or control industry and if that power is vested in the provinces, how real is that power? There is the crux of the situation as it faces this parliament and the dominion to-day. He pointed out that industry would boycott a province which was more progressive in these matters than other provinces. In other words, the pace of progress in Canada would be regulated by the most backward and reactionary of the provinces, whichever that province at a given time might be.

It has been suggested to me that the resolution setting up this committee might result simply in a recommendation for the presentation of an address from both houses of parliament and that this recommendation might cover the situation at the moment. I am not going to withdraw the resolution, because I do not believe the government have placed before the house any indication that they have any other plan in mind. They have not told us that they are calling an interprovincial conference or even suggesting that that should be done, and therefore, in my opinion, the resolution should stand.

Motion (Mr. Coldwell) negatived on division.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND AMENDMENTS LOOKING TO IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Tuesday, February 2, 1937


February 1, 1937