July 9, 1942

NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

All right, but our trouble comes from there having been no discussion when the bill entered its second reading. We let it go into committee on the expectation that we would be able, on the short title, to say what we liked. If we are not to be allowed to do that, no bills will get second reading without discussion on second reading.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

It is not a question of curtailing the discussion but of bringing it under the proper clause; otherwise it is repetition. The questions which the hon. gentleman has just put are applicable to the scope of the bill which is covered in sections 3 and 4, where such questions will be in order.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

What I had in mind was that the hon. member for York South was shut off. Ordinarily he could have made all his speech in a much more extended manner had he done so on second reading; but like all the rest of us, when it was desired to get the bill into committee, he refrained from saying anything on second reading, and therefore he missed the opportunity of saying what he

Vocational Training

wanted to put before the committee. I assume that, having been an ex-teacher, he knows something about vocational training. He has taught in high school. But he has been shut off, and the committee has been denied whatever experience he had as a teacher in connection with vocational training.

I, too, was going to say something; I have had a very long experience in technical training. But at this hour of the night I would not say it. I am prepared to let the bill go through and refrain from trying to add anything to the discussion of it.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I am in the hands of the Chair. I have no objection; in fact I welcome the experience of my hon. friends.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

I also regret that further discussion is not permitted on the short title, because it was understood, when Mr-Speaker was in the Chair when the bill was before the house for second reading, that full latitude would be allowed at this time.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. Was there an undertaking given on second reading?

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

No, there was no undertaking.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

The short title section states[DOT]

This act may be cited as the Vocational Training Coordination Act, 1942.

I think this is one of the most progressive steps that has been taken for a long time. Those who have studied the educational systems of other countries realize that education is a matter of national concern, and I believe that in drawing up the statutes which originally organized this country in its constitution, had the fathers of confederation made provision for equality of opportunity by such means as federal grants, much of the disunity which prevails to-day would have been avoided. This bill recognizes the principle of responsibility on the part of the federal government in making possible grants to provincial governments for educational purposes, but it does not interfere in those matters of controversy which usually prevent advances in education. When the nations guard so jealously the various rights they have, this bill leaves full administrative powers in the hands of the provinces. The matter of curricula is left in their hands, and this measure provides them with that much needed resource, namely, financial assistance. Any study of economic conditions in Canada shows us that various parts of the dominion are seriously handicapped by reason of the failure of crop conditions, or for some other reason, which hinders the provision of educational facilities. Those of us

who have been in drought areas of- the west have seen educational facilities ruined and educational systems badly broken down.

Another great thing which this bill recognizes is the fact that the greatest natural resource of a country consists in the brains, the ability and the skill of its youth and manhood. In so far as this bill recognizes that, we are taking a great step forward. There can never be democracy without knowledge, and there can never be true citizenship without knowledge. Where you have no knowledge you have fear. When we learn that the largest province of the dominion had no compulsory education up to a few years ago we cannot be at all surprised at the fact that we lack unity. In so far as this bill is taking, as it does, a broad view of educational opportunity, and the fact that responsibility rests with those in charge of the nation's affairs to recognize the national importance of education, it deserves the support of all.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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Section agreed to. Section 2 agreed to. On section 3-Minister may undertake projects.


NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

This is to provide among other things for fitting persons for employment for any purpose contributing to the efficient prosecution of the war, whether in industry or in the armed forces. Some four or five years ago the Toronto school board requested that some aid be given them in connection with work they were doing _ in vocational training at the central technical school, more especially in connection with the training of aeroplane mechanics and artisans, but every time they came here they were turned down cold with one excuse after another. Last year when they came here they had a promise from the then Minister of Labour that something might be done so that they might be able to carry on this work in the schools. It was represented then that there was a difficulty inasmuch as it was not desirable to establish a precedent with regard to the erection of a building. On the other hand, it was suggested that the apparatus might easily be supplied. This has been delayed so long that we find this year when we come here that the priorities board have prevented the board of education from putting up their building. I wish to protest. I think the board of education of Toronto and those men who are doing that work in that technical school deserve the greatest consideration. The citizens of Toronto have spent their money on these vocational projects and have never had any help. I suggest that they would have

Vocational Training

gone much farther ahead and we would have had more men trained if we had had the slightest help from the dominion government. I protest against the delay there has been in this matter. The board of education of Toronto has been given the run-around by the dominion government.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I have no objection to my hon. friend's protesting in the most vigorous words. I have some recollection of the subject matter of which he has spoken. If I remember rightly, the request was first made in 1936-

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

About 1931 or 1932.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I suggest that my hon. friend look up the brief. However, it may have been before that. Be that as it may, since the expiration of the grant under the Technical Education Act, it has always been the policy of the federal government not to contribute to the erection of permanent buildings for educational purposes. That responsibility has always rested on the municipalities. When the war broke out, the board of education of Toronto came to the federal government and argued about some expenditure which was felt to be necessary because of war conditions. Of course the federal government took the same position as it did in 1936, or in 1932, as my hon. friend says. I want it clearly understood that I am offering no criticism whatever of the magnificent contribution made by the Toronto board of education toward the general application of the war emergency training programme and also of the programme prior to that. We felt that, notwithstanding there was a war, we could not break with the principle that the federal government would not contribute to the building of permanent school buildings in any city in this dominion. The matter was thoroughly explored both by the provincial authorities and by the federal authorities, and the conclusion was reached that there was ample room for any extension of the training facilities necessary in Toronto without putting up this permanent building, which would have required. I am given to understand, about eighteen months. That is the story as T understand it.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

That is the story;

I will be frank with the minister. He has been fair about it, and I do not think it came under his supervision. But the point is-and other hon. gentlemen will bear me out-that they were told they would be given a grant of money to help out in getting the machinery and the necessary appliances, and that is the least that could have been done. They have done a marvellous job, and they are doing

it for the whole of Canada. It is the only place where the same thing is being done for the whole of Canada, and they should have had more consideration than they have received.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I have allowed this

discussion, but hon. members will realize that under this bill we could not discuss subsidies sought to be obtained or granted for every technical school in Canada.

Progress reported.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Friday, July 10, 1942


July 9, 1942