Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister
of Finance) moved the second reading of Bill No. 11, to increase employment by encouraging the repair of rural and urban homes.
He said: I need add little on the motion
for second reading to the information which I placed before the house when the financial resolution which preceded the introduction of
the bill was under consideration. It will be much more convenient to take up the details in committee of the whole, and I hope the house will soon move to that stage in order that we may go into the .proposal in detail.
In the meantime I desire to indicate that while of necessity the guarantees will be administered by the Department of Finance, the organization of the cooperative community effort which is necessary if the objective is to be attained will be, and in fact is, in the hands of the National Employment Commission, which reports to my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers). It is because this function is all-important in relation to the attainment of the objective that I devote a few minutes to it.
In brief, the commission has undertaken to put steam behind the plan. This involves arranging publicity to make the Canadian public home-repair conscious and to explain the plan to all concerned. The publicity takes the form of distribution of booklets, which have already had quite a wide distribution; newspaper advertising, radio broadcasting, and public addresses. Much work along these lines has already been done, and the success evident during the first two months' operation is an indication that results are beginning to accrue. I should point out in this connection that the costs involved in the publicity campaign will be financed not by government moneys but by private funds raised from public-spirited citizens and business interests who expect to benefit from the expenditure involved.
I believe the organization of provincial committees has now been almost completed by the employment commission. There will also be local advisory committees in every community to stimulate home improvement activity, to afford every encouragement and information, to prospective borrowers, and to interest local participating industries and business groups. A vital point which is being taken up vigorously by these local committees is the matter which was mentioned the other day during the discussion on. the financial resolution, that of the increase in assessment which normally would occur in a community when home improvement had been undertaken according to the plan. The dominion government stated, in announcing the plan originally, that it deemed it to be essential that local efforts should ensure that the home improvement plan should not be frustrated as a creator of employment by increased tax assessments. In all parts of Canada local committees are dealing with that phase of the matter, either with their municipalities, where the municipalities have power
Home, Improvement Loans-Mr. Dunning
to deal with it, or by making, in respect thereto appropriate representations to the provincial governments.
The point I am making is that this is a genuine national community effort. It is not in any sense of a partisan political character, and in that respect I was particularly appreciative of the remarks of the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Esling) the other day.
I think it may be said that all these local and provincial committees throughout the dominion are doing their best in a community effort regardless of whether they are Liberals, Conservatives, Labour men, members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation or Social Crediters. That is the spirit which the employment commission found had made such a success of a similar plan in the United States. I only desire to say at this stage that there is every evidence that the community effort now being put forth across Canada will, ere the spring months, produce a very considerable volume of much-needed employment and in a manner tending to make more comfortable the living conditions of our people.