Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):
Will the minister be good enough to inform us in a few sentences whether or not the rehabilitation services are set up in Toronto and the organization is established?
Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans' Affairs): Perhaps I had better briefly
explain, first, the purposes for which the vote is asked. This is entirely for salaries and cost
of living bonus for additional staff required to administer the war service rehabilitation services, in respect of which staff no provision had been made, and also for furniture and equipment required for such additional staff, provision for which was made by order in council on November 17, 1944, which authorized the expenditure of $50,000 from the war appropriation, subject to recovery from' supplementary estimates.
As regards the second item-I suggest that we deal with both, by consent of the committee, because that would be more convenient-the War Service Grants Act, 1944, came into force on January 1, 1945. It was necessary to engage staff to administer part II thereof, that is, the credits part, from that date, positions having been established for such purposes at head office and in the district offices as follows: director of war service grants; assistant director of war service grants; administrative district supervisor; rehabilitation grant department; solicitors; law clerks and other clerks.
Provision, has been made in the main estimates of 1945-1946 for their salaries for the coming fiscal year, so that these are the amounts already incurred to the end of the present fiscal year, and all the elements of discussion on these two items will come into the main estimates or possibly in the war appropriation estimates at the appropriate time.
In regard to the question asked by the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Hams), we are making substantial progress in the Toronto area in connection with rehabilitation. We have, of course, problems of hospitalization, but we have an excellent advisory committee of private citizens who are assisting the boys as they come back and who are thoroughly familiar with the legislation passed by parliament in the last five years, both by statute and in orders in council. We have had the assistance of public spirited men like my hon, friend in regard to some hospitalization problems and the provision of accommodation for nearly two hundred boys in the Toronto East hospital.