February 24, 1950

CURLING

DOMINION COMPETITION IN QUEBEC CITY

LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker

Liberal

Mr. E. A. McCusker (Regina City):

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, I should like to call the attention of hon. members to the fact that sitting in the gallery today are six young curling teams, four from the western provinces of Canada, and two from Ontario. They have been taking part in the dominion competition in Quebec city for the Sifton trophy, emblematic of the championship of school curling in Canada. They tell me that they have had a wonderful time there, and much has been done to cement the entente cordiale.

I am also pleased to announce that the team from my home city, the Scott collegiate institute team, was successful. That in itself is not important. The important thing is that today throughout Canada there are thousands of young boys and girls learning this game, which teaches people to lose gracefully and win graciously.

Topic:   CURLING
Subtopic:   DOMINION COMPETITION IN QUEBEC CITY
Sub-subtopic:   VICTORY OF REGINA TEAM
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FEDERAL DISTRICT COMMISSION

TABLING OF FIFTIETH ANNUAL REPORT

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

I should like to table the fiftieth annual report of the federal district commission, in English. I am sorry that the French version is not ready. It is in the hands of the translators, and will be tabled as soon as it can be prepared.

Topic:   FEDERAL DISTRICT COMMISSION
Subtopic:   TABLING OF FIFTIETH ANNUAL REPORT
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COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT

ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONER

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to announce the appointment of Mr. Thomas D. MacDonald, K.C., as commissioner under the Combines Investigation Act. Mr. MacDonald graduated from Dalhousie university in arts in 1931, in law in 1933, and immediately entered the department of the attorney general of Nova Scotia. In seven years he had risen to become the head of the department as deputy attorney general in 1940, and except for a period of war service he occupied that position continuously until 1949, when, in April, he

resigned to accept a position with the federal Department of Justice, as superintendent of bankruptcy, and also as counsel. In that post he served until he accepted the present position.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONER
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MAIN ESTIMATES, 1950-51 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


A message from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1951, was presented by Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance) and read by Mr. Speaker to the house.


LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Douglas Abboit (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, it has been the practice in previous years to table the estimates and move that they be referred to the committee of supply without any explanatory statement in this house. My predecessor as minister and I have usually sent a brief explanatory statement to the press immediately after tabling the estimates. This year, in response to various suggestions, I propose to make a brief explanatory statement to the house itself when presenting the estimates.

It will be observed that the total of the estimates being proposed for the new fiscal year commencing April 1 is $2,308 million. This includes those items for which continuing statutory authority for the expenditure is already available-a total of $1,011 million- as well as the 560 votes for expenditure which we are putting before this house for its approval, and which add up to $1,297 million. In addition, we are proposing votes for loans and investments which will create active assets and which total $105 million. These are, of course, not included in the expenditure totals.

First, I wish to indicate how these figures compare with those for the current fiscal year now drawing to its close in March. As usual, we have shown throughout the estimates the comparable figures for the votes already passed by the house this past year, including supplementary estimates made to date, and the forecasts of statutory expenditure placed before the house with the estimates last year. These add up to $2,335 million-which is about $27 million more than the estimates now presented for the new year.

It is difficult to determine what past figures make a satisfactory comparison with those

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES, 1950-51 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Graydon (Peel):

May I be permitted to make a suggestion which I hope will find some favour in connection with consideration of the estimates? It is not a new suggestion, and I hope the government, having considered the matter from previous sessions, will be agreeable to following it, at any rate to some extent.

Main Estimates

In the past we have been pursuing a rather irregular course in connection with the estimates. Some departments are brought in1 day-after day, while other departments are not touched until the last. My suggestion is that this session we try to find an orderly way of dealing with the estimates so that they may all be covered on something like an equal basis.

I am going to suggest to the Prime Minister that the house devote one day a week to estimates, and that each week the estimates of a new department be introduced. Having in mind the normal length of a session, we would reach the later part of the session with all departments dealt with although they might not be completed.

I think this would meet public desire, because no one could then say that parliament had not given all the estimates fair consideration as they went through. Of course toward the end of the session a number of matters would still require to be examined; nevertheless the examination of estimates would be spread over the entire field, something which, to the knowledge of all of us, has not been done for the past number of sessions.

I make this suggestion in perfectly good faith, in the hope that we may be able to establish a custom and practice in the House of Commons that not only will meet public favour but will prove of great convenience to the government and to parliament in general.

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES, 1950-51 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, on the very day of the opening of parliament, dealing with the motion for the consideration of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I declared that that suggestion had been made and had been considered, and that it would be our endeavour to try it out. It was for the purpose of getting into a position to do that that the motion was presented in the form in which it was.

We shall be most happy to attempt to get the co-operation of groups in the house to carry out that procedure, namely, the calling one day in each week of a department that has not previously been called, so that on the item covering administration there can be general discussion of the affairs of that department. I hope we shall get the co-operation of the various groups to the extent of not having the whole of that day spent in discussing the motion to go into supply.

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES, 1950-51 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

That will depend upon the government's removing the grievances.

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES, 1950-51 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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Motion agreed to. (Mr. Graydon.]


UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

EXTENSION OF COVERAGE IN THE LUMBERING AND LOGGING INDUSTRY

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Acting Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table, for the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell), P.C. 474. In connection with this order in council I wish to announce that the government is making an extension of unemployment insurance coverage in the lumbering and logging industry. With this important step about 75,000 workers in industry will receive the protection of unemployment insurance.

It will be recalled that the exclusion of lumbering and logging in the 1940 act was due mainly to the difficulty of administration. The chief difficulties were:

(1) the seasonality of the industry in most

parts of Canada except on the west coast;

(2) the inaccessible location of some of the

operations;

(3) the high turnover of employees;

(4) the large amount of subcontracting, and

(5) the large number of farmers, fishermen

and other non-insured persons who work in logging camps for very short periods.

Initially attention was directed towards the establishment of the over-all insurance scheme, and later, after experience had been gained from the operation of that program, questions of extending the coverage to some of the excepted occupations received consideration in the light of newly-gained experience.

Both the unemployment insurance commission and the unemployment insurance advisory committee have for several years given a great deal of study to the advisability of and ways and means of extending coverage to this industry.

In 1946 employees in lumbering and logging in the province of British Columbia were brought under insurable employment. The government insured lumbering and logging in British Columbia because in that province it is an all-year-round industry, whereas in other parts of Canada the seasonal factor is important. Further, it was considered that it would be useful to gain some experience in one area in Canada before extending coverage to other areas.

Since this time the advisory committee and the commission have reviewed the question of further extensions, and the commission has held public hearings. Every effort has

been made to obtain workable provision for the coverage of those employees in the industry who require protection.

As a result of full investigation of the many phases of the industry it has been decided that seasonal regulations under the Unemployment Insurance Act will apply to the industry except in British Columbia, where of course they are now in an insurable state.

This means those people whose only insurable employment is in lumbering and logging can draw benefits only during the logging season. In the prairies this season is for the time being regarded as from November 1 to April 15, and in eastern Canada, from November 1 to March 31. However, people who are employed in lumbering and logging during part of the year and in other insurable employments during the remainder of the year, even to a limited extent, are not affected by the seasonal regulations, which are designed to exclude from benefit in the off-season only those whose employment is seasonal.

Provision has also been made for the voluntary exclusion from coverage of farmers, hunters, fishermen, and others whose main employment is not insurable when these persons do not expect to work in lumbering and logging for more than sixty days in any year. It would be unfair to take unemployment contributions from persons who would be unable to obtain sufficient contributions to qualify for benefit. Accordingly this exclusion is voluntary to allow flexibility that might be needed in certain cases but in the main only affects those whose contributions from their work in this industry would not be sufficient to give them benefits under the act.

Up to the present time certain planing mills and saw mills which work only part of the year have been excluded. These saw mills will also be brought under insurance coverage.

April 1 has been set as the date of commencement of these new provisions, because it is thought to be the most suitable date to begin contribution collections. It comes at a time when employers in the industry will not be in the position of having to apply the regulations to their employees when their payroll staff is overloaded with work. Since insurance books are renewed each year on April 1, it will be an advantage to issue books for the new insurance year 1950-51 rather than to issue books at an earlier date for the current fiscal year, which would have to be renewed shortly afterwards.

Unemployment Insurance

These coverage provisions have been carefully adapted to the particular needs of the industry. As I mentioned yesterday in this house, our seasonal trends are, because of our climatic conditions, more pronounced than in other countries, and we believe we should shape our insurance scheme as far as practicable to take these conditions into account. This extension of insurance coverage to lumbering and logging in parts of Canada where the industry is highly seasonal will bring to these workers the protection they need and deserve against the hazards of unemployment. The broadening of coverage under this measure is another important advance in the development of a more comprehensive insurance program as a first line of defence for workers and their families against unemployment.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF COVERAGE IN THE LUMBERING AND LOGGING INDUSTRY
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I should like to ask the minister a question arising out of his statement. Has any decision been reached as to the inclusion of hospital workers?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF COVERAGE IN THE LUMBERING AND LOGGING INDUSTRY
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February 24, 1950