March 4, 1938

LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I so move.

Topic:   INSPECTION AND SALE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REGULATIONS RESPECTING BINDER TWINE, SALT AND OTHER COMMODITIES
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Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to.


CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

Is the minister satisfied

that there is no confusion between the penalty prescription in clause 12 and the penalty set out in new clause 14? The penalty in clause 12 refers to persons charged with the enforcement of this act, the whole act. The penalty in new clause 14 refers to the violation of a provision in part II, and the penalty clause in section 10 specifically speaks of part I.

Topic:   INSPECTION AND SALE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REGULATIONS RESPECTING BINDER TWINE, SALT AND OTHER COMMODITIES
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I judge from the wording that it is clearly defined. Section 12

says:

Every person who obstructs an inspector or other person charged with the enforcement of this act from entering any premises to examine binder twine as provided by this part . . .

The same inspector might be enforcing the whole act. but this relates to when he is working under this particular part. I am letting third reading stand over, in any case, to have it all checked.

Bill reported.

War Veterans' Allowances

Topic:   INSPECTION AND SALE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REGULATIONS RESPECTING BINDER TWINE, SALT AND OTHER COMMODITIES
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WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES

EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD


Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health) moved that the house go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the War Veterans' Allowance Act so as to extend the allowance payable thereunder to a class of veterans of the great war not presently the recipients of such allowances who, because of tangible or intangible disabilities and handicaps, are incapable of maintaining themselves; to include certain veterans of the South African war; to include among the classes of moneys non-deductible from allowance, pensions or grants accompanying certain military decorations; to provide for the avoidance of over-lapping of benefits payable under the War Veterans' Allowance Act and those payable under the Old Age Pension Act, and to enlarge the membership of the war veterans' allowances board. Motion agreed to and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Johnston (Lake Centre) in the chair.


LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It will be remembered that the War Veterans' Allowance Act was passed in 1930 to provide for the maintenance of veterans who are in necessity and because of age or incapacity were unable to provide for themselves. It was based on the assumption that the people of this country do not want to see its veterans in the bread-line or suffering hardship from lack of the necessities of life when they become too old or too disabled to work, even though their disabilities could not be proved to be a result of war service and consequently are not pensionable.

The act provided for a maximum allowance to a married veteran of $40 a month, provided he had reached the age of sixty or was so disabled as to be " permanently unemployable.'' In addition to this $40 per month, he could earn or receive from other sources $20 per month, giving him a total income of $60 a month. With the single veteran, the amounts were half the sums named. Since the act was based on the assumption that the terrific strain on those in battle during the last war would pre-age the veteran as compared with the civilian, the act provided that the veteran must have served in a theatre of actual war. It provided however that those who received small pensions, no matter where they served, would also be entitled to its benefits. It also provided that those who served in His Majesty's imperial forces and in the forces of His Majesty's allies should receive the same benefits provided they were domiciled in Canada when they enlisted.

fMr. Gardiner.]

The government at the time this act was enacted in 1930 knew that the cost of legislation would increase as years went by. As a matter of fact the cost in 1930 was $318,000, and during the last fiscal year it was $3,178,000. It will continue to increase for almost another twenty years. The expenditure at its peak in about the year 1957 is expected to reach twelve to thirteen million dollars and will look after approximately 35,000 to 40,000 veterans. At the

present time 12,800 veterans are in receipt of the allowance and $4,500,000 will be required to make provision for the recipients under this act during the next fiscal year, although a supplementary vote will be asked for to cover those it is proposed to bring under this amendment.

It has been stated that the legislation was originally enacted to provide for the veteran of sixty and the veteran who was "permanently unemployable." "Permanently unemployable" has, broadly speaking, been interpreted to mean totally incapacitated. After the act had been functioning for six years it became apparent that there was another class of veteran for whom the act did not provide but who was incapable of maintaining himself. For the main part it was found that this veteran was in his late fifties; he had not quite reached the age of sixty, and he did not have sufficient disability to classify him "permanently unemployable." Yet he was physically older than his years, and because of his pre-aging found it difficult to secure employment. The act was therefore amended in 1936, bringing in a third and additional class. The amendment provided for the man who, "having served in a theatre of actual war, has attained the age of fifty-five years and is in the opinion of the board incapable of maintaining himself because of disability, pre-aging and general unfitness." Over 1,100 veterans have been granted the allowance as the result of this amendment of 1936.

It is now proposed by this legislation to broaden the act still further, so as to enable the board administering it to provide for any veteran, regardless of his age, who cannot maintain himself because of industrial as well as physical incapacity or inadequacy. I refer to the veteran who is only partially disabled but whose tangible or intangible disability, combined with certain economic or industrial handicaps, such as having been unemployed for a long time, render it extremely unlikely that he will be able to maintain himself again.

The amendment will empower the board to award the allowance to any veteran, having

War Veterans' Allowances

served in a theatre of actual war, who because of a combination of conditions and circumstances is not likely again to become selfsupporting, and it will exclude only those veterans who are physically fit to maintain themselves as and when work is available to them.

The veterans' assistance commission, whose report was recently tabled, found there were approximately 15,000 veterans unemployed throughout the dominion who had service in a theatre of actual war and were unprovided for by pensions or allowances. They classified these veterans into three groups, "fit," "partially fit" and "unfit." Over 10,000 of these veterans were classified by the commission as being "fit" and 5,171 were classed as "partially fit" and "unfit." It is this group of just over 5,000 veterans that the amendment contemplates providing for, subject of course to investigation and approval by the board. The anticipated annual cost will be about $2,000,000.

Summarizing the situation, therefore, it may be said originally the act provided for the veteran of sixty and the totally incapacitated veteran. Later it was broadened enabling the board to give special consideration to the veteran over fifty-five. Now it is proposed to amend the act further to the end that the board administering this legislation is empowered to grant the allowance to any veteran, regardless of his years, who in its opinion, because of economic conditions and handicaps combined with disabilities, is unlikely again to become self-supporting.

It may be said that in passing this legislation we shall be fulfilling to the utmost the requests of the returned soldiers themselves as expressed through the dominion convention of the Canadian legion held in Fort William early in February when a resolution was passed on the subject of cash bonus to veterans of the Great war. The resolution reads in part:

That this convention endorse the resolution passed by the dominion executive council to the effect that it is unalterably opposed to the principle of any bonus for service in the great war, conceiving it to be the responsibility of the government of Canada to adequately provide only for those disabled as a result of war service and dependents and dependents of the fallen and to ensure adequate assistance for those who saw service in a theatre of actual war and who are now by reason of economic conditions combined with their disability, tangible and intangible, resulting from war service, unable through no fault of their own to secure employment.

With respect to this resolution I submit that provision has already been made through pension legislation to "care for those disabled as a result of their service and dependents and the dependents of the fallen," and I further submit that this amendment is intended for and will take care of those who "by reason of economic conditions combined with their disabilities, tangible and intangible, are unable to secure employment."

The veterans' assistance commission, with regard to the War Veterans' Allowance Act recommended as follows:

That the act be amended by removal of age fifty-five years where it refers to the granting of an allowance because of disability, pre-aging and general unfitness, and that it be amended further so as to permit a more liberal interpretation of legislation covering the granting of the allowance at any age to a veteran who saw service in a theatre of actual war and who because of his unfit condition or other handicaps is unable to maintain himself.

This recommendation is being fully implemented by this amendment, and moreover, certain classes of veterans with respect to whom recommendations were made by the commission involving lesser allowances will now, by this amendment, be provided for under the War Veterans' Allowance Act which provides a more generaus scale of assistance.

I have no hesitation in stating that with this amendment the War Veterans' Allowance Act of Canada will be broader in its scope and more generous in its terms than similair legislation in any other country.

It is also provided, in accordance with the undertaking given last year that if it was feasible to do so it would be done, that South African veterans shall be brought within the provisions of the War Veterans' Allowance Act. While it was very difficult to get at the exact figures, it is estimated that this will cost approximately $30,000 to $50,000 per annum.

It is also provided that, in view of the increased amount of work placed on the shoulders of the members of the board, the board be enlarged from three to five members.

Provision is also made for the exemption of the grants which accompany certain decorations such as the Victoria cross and the distinguished conduct medal. These grants, as hon. members know, amount in the case of the Victoria cross to approximately $50 per annum, and a somewhat lesser amount accompanies the distinguished conduct medal. There was no legislation providing for an exemption in respect of these amounts, and it is now provided that there shall be.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

I have no wish at this stage to start a debate on this resolution, particularly since the government, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, has apparently now seen a great light

War Veterans' Allowances

and is adopting a suggestion that we have pressed earnestly upon it during the last two sessions. However, I should like to have a more complete report from the minister. He has referred to five thousand of the fifteen thousand unemployed veterans who served in a theatre of actual war, but he has said nothing about the other ten thousand who are fit and whose plight was very fully dealt with in the report of the veterans' assistance commission. The recommendation was made that they should be paid a provisional economic allowance. On February 15, I asked the minister a question-which appears at page 493 of Hansard and is as follows:

Mr. Green: If the minister is not prepared

to make a statement to-night with regard to the recommendations of the veterans' assistance commission, how soon will he be ready to make that statement?

Mr. Power: As I have already stated, within a week or ten days.

That was the answer the minister made then, and he has had twice that length of time in which to make the statement. Can he now tell us what is to be done about the other recommendations of the veterans' assistance commission?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I do not know that I am under any obligation to make such a statement on this resolution leading to the introduction of a bill, because we are fully implementing and more than implementing one recommendation. I do not think there is any reason why we should be called upon to deal with fifteen or twenty recommendations, some of which have no relation to this bill.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Perhaps the minister could deal with the recommendation with respect to the provisional economic allowance. That is the main recommendation in the report, and if he will deal with that alone I think that we shall be satisfied.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

To some extent I am dealing with the provisional economic allowance. The commission recommended, in one part at least, that a great many of these men- five thousand of them who are going to be covered by the war veterans' allowance- should receive a provisional economic allowance amounting to $18.75 per month for single men and $30 for married men. This bill will give $20 to the single men and $40 to the married men, so that in that respect it is more generous than the recommendation made by the veterans' assistance commission. I have no objection to laying down principles in so far as this bill is concerned. This bill will not deal with the one hundred per cent fit man. Most hon. gentlemen will agree

tMr. Green.]

with me in considering that the one hundred per cent fit man is not the responsibility of the federal government. If he is out of work at the present time it is due to economic causes and not to war causes. If a man is absolutely fit to work it is extremely difficult to attribute his unemployability to his war service. But it is intended by this bill to cover everybody who can in any way attribute his present unemployability to the war, who is suffering from a disability which may be intangible, who, in other words, is possibly washed up, burnt out, who has not been able to obtain employment for the last few years. That man will come under the provisions of the bill. If, however, a man is absolutely fit and can take a job if one is offered him, he is not considered to be a responsibility of the government under the War Veterans' Allowance Act.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Is there to be an age limit?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

None whatever.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Are we to take it from what the minister has said that the government is against the finding of the commission as set out at page 63 of the report in the following words:

. . . the commission has come to the conclusion that it can do no less than recommend that the dominion government accept responsibility for all indigent unemployed veterans who were domiciled in Canada at the date of enlistment and who saw service in a theatre of actual war.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The government is accepting responsibility for the fit man by endeavouring to find employment for him. As a matter of fact through the instrumentality of the veterans' assistance commission during the past year it has accomplished the following:

Employment-

Permanent placements 2,210

Temporary placements 4,784

Casual placements 4,329

Total 11,323

Probational Training-

Commencements 598

Discontinued 79

Employed as trained 263

Employed otherwise 10

Tourists' guides 45

Not retained by employer.. 40

Still on training 161

Total 598

Corps of Commissionaires-

The appointment of a board of governors in Montreal led to the appointment of boards of governors and divisions of the corps in leading centres throughout the dominion.

Actually since the corps was organized last year 48 commissionaires have been permanently

War Veterans' Allowances

placed and 67 have secured temporary employment. This is exclusive of the excellent divisions which have been functioning in V an-couver and Toronto for some years.

Projects and Schemes-

Montreal.

The workshop gives employment to 80 men at present and since it was started in February, 1937, 329 have been reconditioned in that workshop for permanent placement in other industries.

Toronto.

Fourteen veterans and their families were established on experimental small holdings last year and the venture gives the committee every encouragement of success.

A grant was made to "Poppy Fund Incorporated" to assist towards the purchase of new premises.

This factory at present employs 83 veterans. Windsor.

Twenty veterans and their families are being settled on an experimental small holdings project and of these six are now settled on the property.

Winnipeg.

Twelve veterans and their families have been established on experimental individual small holdings.

Regina.

A workshop was started on the 1st September, 1937, and so far has operated very successfully.

Moose Jaw.

A small grant was made to the committee to assist towards the operation of a workshop which has been operated for a few years with a fair degree of success, but lacked the necessary funds.

Vancouver.

Grants have been made to assist towards schemes which have for their objective the principle of becoming self-supporting and to give employment to a number of veterans. These schemes are:

(1) Veterans' auto parking and protective corps.

(2) Residential night patrols.

(3) Veterans' industrial first aid.

(4) Parking spaces and auto service.

In connection with the amputations placement service, a small grant was made to a subcommittee for the purpose, and the honorary local committees, who have done a great deal of good work during the past year, are being continued in office. It is proposed that they be continued during the next year.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

I have no wish to reflect upon the work done by the honorary committees, but I take it from what the minister has said that the government has no intention of adopting the suggestion that there should be a provisional economic allowance.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Certainly not under this legislation.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Is it proposed to act on the recommendation during this session, to bring in legislation to carry out the report of the commission?

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

That can be more fully discussed under the item in the estimates providing for unemployment assistance. At the present moment we are dealing with a certain class of veterans under the legislation which we now propose.

Topic:   WAR VETERANS' ALLOWANCES
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF ALLOWANCES TO INCLUDE CERTAIN OTHER CLASSES-ENLARGEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP OF BOARD
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March 4, 1938