Hon. Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour):
Yesterday the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) asked if the government had been requested to extend the date for the payment of supplementary benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act. These benefits, by an amendment to the act approved at this session of parliament, were to lapse as of April 15.
I may say to the hon. gentleman that some municipalities did ask if the benefits could not be continued until a later date; I think May 31 was mentioned in one instance. However, we felt that we could not do this because of the special provision that had to be made to take care of the cost of the supplementary benefits up to April 15. We have also been watching the employment situation, and indications are that there are now increased opportunities for employment. As hon. gentlemen know, the act as amended provides for
supplementary benefits in future years, to those qualified, covering the period January 1 to March 31.
Our main efforts now are concentrated on getting men and women back into gainful employment.
Subtopic: STATEMENT AS TO EXTENSION OF SUPPLEMENTARY BENEFITS