March 19, 1952

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

My hon. friend will admit that the revenue of his province is larger now than it was then.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

Yes; but a dollar will buy only 52 cents' worth of materials or services as compared with what it would buy ten years ago.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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?

An hon. Member:

More education.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Poulioi:

This is too much education. Anyhow, the provinces now have much larger revenue than they had then. In all provinces, more schools are built by the provinces for the use of school children. I will tell my hon. friends what has happened in my province- and I speak mostly of my province because I know it better than I know the other provinces, especially in a provincial field, because education is a provincial field. I was impressed when I learned that the provincial government of Quebec had paid the debts of the school boards of my province. A large amount of money was involved. Following the method of reasoning of my hon. friends, may I say that there is a greater population in the province of Quebec than there is in some of the western provinces; but, on the other hand, the proportion of the students should be approximately the same. I wonder why the Saskatchewan government, which has been enterprising in so many fields, has not decided to follow the example of Quebec and to pay the debts of the school boards without any assistance from Ottawa?

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Sluder:

Everybody wonders that.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Poulioi:

I know that; but that question mark is in my mind just the same as it is in the mind of my hon. friend. This is an example from Quebec, the banner province of Canada. Why do not our friends who support the socialist government in the province of Saskatchewan inform their friends of what has been accomplished in the province of Quebec in behalf of education and without the assistance of the dominion government? Why do they not tell the premier and their minister of education: This is a good example to

follow. Do that; after we have done it, we will speak on education in the House of Commons of Canada, but not before. With each right there is connected a duty. The students have the right to education; they have the right to any benefits that can be derived from anything in this country. I shall not discuss the merits of education that is given, because that is outside what I intend to say today. But until those who discuss federal and provincial matters together have reached a satisfactory agreement, a common agreement, I do not see how we can discuss

Education

matters of the kind here in the House of Commons. It would create dissatisfaction and difficulties throughout the country.

The hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) has pointed out that we have the Royal Military College at Kingston, and that we have schools for the navy, the air force, and so on. It is only natural that the government should look after those young men who want to make careers in the army, the navy or the air force, because the militia is under the control of the federal government. This could not be classified as primary, secondary or university education. It is education in a special field, and for a career which, by virtue of the constitution, is under the direct control of the dominion government.

I admit that this is a difficult matter. However one has only to read the confederation debates to see with what care the fathers of confederation discussed those questions from every angle.

For a time I have heard many speeches in the house as to the possibility of the dominion government by-passing the constitution and giving grants in respect of matters under provincial jurisdiction. This is a bad policy,'and it is a bad policy for several reasons. One reason is that in those matters decentralization is desired to the utmost. There is better control of education when it is decentralized, and where the authorities concerned can make a better check upon the spending of money for a definite purpose. Then there are also the traditions to be considered, the school traditions and the teaching traditions-all of which may be a very good thing for Canada, but may also be different in the west from what they are in the east. They may not be the same thing at all.

My hon. friends who insist upon dominion grants for education surely do not realize the difficulties that would be the outcome of such a gesture on the part of the federal government. They have only to read the reports of those interprovincial conferences so ably presided over by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) to find out that when I speak as I do I am not exaggerating.

This is a very contentious matter. I will not say that education is better in one place than in another. I can say however that in the province of Quebec, where I live, millions of dollars have been spent on education, generous grants were made by the provincial government to the universities, and excellent schools have been built. Teachers may complain that they are not paid well enough- and in some cases their complaints may have been legitimate. But all the strikes of those teachers who did not give a good example to

Education

their pupils appear to have been terminated satisfactorily. Those were unfortunate incidents, and I hope they will not occur again.

I would hope that all the provinces, including that from which my hon. friend comes, will look after their teachers and professors well enough so that they will not complain about being paid less than the average person in the same category.

In concluding I would say that the hon. member's motion is premature. It is premature for the reason already given, that the matter is not yet agreed upon. If agreement is given by the dominion government, we will have more trouble, not only in Quebec but in other provinces as well. What guarantee do we have that any provincial government will accept or reject a subsidy of this kind? We have seen how delicate a matter it was to have university grants accepted by the provinces. Those grants were given to the provinces for distribution among the universities. In my province a joint commission has been set up to award the grants to the various universities so that there may be no infringement upon provincial

rights. , .

I am sorry I cannot support the motion o the hon. member for Saskatoon. I withhold my support, not because I am opposed to education, but because I find that at the present time the only thing to do is to defeat the motion in the house, for the common good of the country.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Donald M. Fleming (Eglinton):

Mr. Speaker, the two members who have spoken today on this resolution have, I think, more in common in their ideas than they may realize. I think there is more common ground in the speeches they have made today than may strike them superficially. In any event I believe I find myself on ground common to both of the speeches made today.

I invite the attention of the house to the fact that the resolution is not in sweeping terms. It seems to me it is a rather carefully drawn and moderate invitation to the house to give expression to a principle. The resolution reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should take into consideration means of expanding and equalizing educational opportunity across Canada, by the granting of financial assistance to the various provinces for that purpose.

May I say at once that in trying to harmonize the views of the two members who have spoken, the concluding words of the resolution do bring them onto more common ground than has been yet acknowledged. This is not a new subject in the house. Hon. members will recall that resolutions in similar terms were introduced by the hon. member

for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) and debated on October 19, 1949, May 22, 1950, and February 19, 1951. Therefore if this resolution be premature, as the hon. member for Temiscouata has contended, it seems to me that it must be so because there has not been any attempt on the part of the government here to find a common ground in negotiations with the provinces with a view to providing to the extent approved by the provinces the kind of assistance that I think is generally acknowledged to be required in the light of the quite inadequate sources of revenue placed at the disposal of the provinces and the municipalities under the constitution of this country.

The hon. member for Temiscouata has laid emphasis, and rightly so, upon the necessity for the most strict respect for the provisions of the British North America Act. I yield to no member of this house in my regard for the sanctity which must be attached to the provisions of that constitution. There is no feature of the division of jurisdiction between the dominion and the provinces wrought by that constitution which is of more importance than that of education. Section 93 of the British North America Act is explicit in its provisions. It provides:

In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education.

The power of the provinces with respect to education is exclusive and, so far as I am concerned, it should remain that way. In giving support to the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Saskatoon, as I am doing today, I wish to make it abundantly clear that there is nothing in the position I am taking which subtracts one iota from the sanctity of the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act. Education is, and must continue to be, in the kind of country we have, exclusively within the jurisdiction of the provinces.

Evidently the problem then is to harmonize the constitutional position, which must be respected and maintained, with the problem created by the other factor to which I have referred, the result of the constitutional distribution of revenues. This is not the only place in our present federal-provincial relationships where the distribution of revenues brought about by the constitution is creating difficulties and where the constitution is creating problems for the provincial authority.

Do I need in this year 1952 to argue the importance of education? I do not suggest for a minute that education is all-important, but I do submit that in the kind of world in which we are living, in the age in which we are living, the importance of education grows daily. If we have not recognized that

fact I think we shall have to very soon. The standard of education in all the provinces of this country has risen greatly in recent years. Let us all commend that raising of educational standards, that broadening of the field of education, and express our determination within the proper constitutional limitations to assist in that commendable progress.

It seems to me that the matter has special significance in the light of the fact that through education we have at hand a more effective, a more useful and a more adaptable means of equalizing opportunities for the young people of this country than could be provided by any other method. Many talk glibly about the equality of opportunity in life, but it is more easy to talk about that than to create it. We have in education the best, the most effective and the most useful instrument for attaining that object so commendable but otherwise so difficult of complete attainment.

I said a word about the distribution of revenues as between the dominion and the provinces. There may be some provinces in this country which feel that their sources of revenue today are adequate, but I think most provinces will contend that their sources of revenue under the constitution are quite inadequate to meet the responsibilities cast upon them. In what fields has the public come to demand increasing services? My answer to that is that that demand lies principally in the fields for which responsibility under our constitution rests upon the provinces. The fields of education, social services and allied services are fields for which under the constitution the provinces must assume responsibility.

This is not to say that the provinces have all the responsibility in the fields in which the public today is demanding action on the part of governments and not receiving it. For instance, in the field of providing for the employable unemployed the responsibility ought to be assumed by the federal government. It has not assumed that responsibility. I think there are many fields where in recent years the demands of the public for governmental services has been increasing the burdens cast upon provincial governments; and their sources of revenue, being limited under the constitution to direct taxation, are not adequate to meet the increasing demands which are being made by the public.

Therefore something should be done. It will have to be done by common agreement on the part of the dominion and the provinces. None of us can tolerate attempts by the federal government to reach into fields of jurisdiction and without the consent of the provinces to usurp those fields. Far from

Education

it, whatever assistance is given by the federal authority must be given in the light and to the extent of agreement with the provinces.

I come back to the expression used this afternoon by the hon. member for Temis-couata, that this proposal is premature. I say that if it is premature, after a discussion of the subject at session after session for some years past, it is because there has been a failure on the part of the federal government to initiate such negotiations with the provinces as should be designed to assist the provinces to meet these burdens that their revenues are not adequate to enable them to meet today.

In this field, sir, recognition on the part of the federal government of responsibility with respect to assistance to the provinces-and that is what I am arguing for now, assistance to the provinces-is not without precedent. The federal government, as a matter of fact, for many years past, has interested itself in the field of education. It is true that every case has some special aspects to it; but in the sum total, sir, the array is rather formidable. Let us recall, for instance, that in days gone by the federal government has given assistance to the provinces with respect to technical education. It has assisted the youth training plan, which is a joint undertaking on the part of the dominion and the provinces, and has operated successfully; and, sir, it seems to me in the operation of that dominion-provincial youth training plan we have had an example of what can be accomplished in a constructive and useful manner, where the dominion and the provinces are working together to a common end.

The third factor, of course, is one that is present in the minds of us all. It was the federal assistance given to some 130,000 veterans of world war II to pursue their higher education in this country. For years past ailso this parliament has been making grants for the assistance of schools of social work scattered across Canada. These schools of social work, which are in practically every case faculties of universities, have received these grants, and have used them for the purpose of assisting students with bursaries and in other equally commendable ways.

Then, sir, there has been federal assistance given through provincial channels for research, and no money has been better spent than the money that has been spent on scientific research in this country under these joint auspices. And then, sir, of course there is the final, the most recent, the most direct and most striking example, namely, the grant that parliament made last June by way of

Education

gentlemen who support the government opposite. For instance the present Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) said this away back in 1945:

But the constitution does not prevent the federal government from giving substantial assistance to education. Direct assistance might be given in different ways.

Then I have a statement by Mr. J. G. Brown, who until the last Ontario election was the financial critic for the Liberal party ini the legislature of this province. In a broadcast on April 9, 1950, this is what he said, as reported in the Globe and Mail:

The Ontario government should seek further federal participation in provincial programs, J. G. Brown (L., Waterloo North) said In a provincial affairs broadcast on the Ontario network of the C.B.C. last night.

Mr. Brown said he could see no reason why the federal government should not share In school costs. If there could be federal contributions to hospital building and old age pensions, why not to teachers' salary and school construction, he asked.

I may not go quite as far as Mr. Brown goes, because I have said what he at least is not quoted as saying, that whatever is done here must be done with the assent of the provinces. Nevertheless I point to these opinions expressed by Liberals in public life.

Then, sir, I stress the problem of the rising cost of university education.

Here is a statement made by Dr. F. Cyril James, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill university. It appears in the Globe and Mail of May 10, 1951 under the heading "University Education Costs in Canada Highest." It reads:

A university education costs Canadian students more than in other countries, Dr. F. Cyril James, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill university, said tonight.

"A young Canadian from a family of modest circumstances has less chance of getting a university education today than a youth in any other country with which I am familiar." Dr. James told annual meeting of McGill associates.

He urged governments to participate in the cost of education because work of the universities was of vital importance to the community, and government had not lived up to this responsibility in Canada during the last two decades, as far as the education of civilians was concerned.

I quote a similar statement made by Dr. Sidney Smith, president of the University of Toronto. It is to be found in the Globe and Mail of May 7, 1951. This is the passage:

He noted that it costs the university $1,000 a year to keep one student in an arts course, yet the student pays a fee of $240. And he suggested that since another fee increase will apply in September -the amount has not yet been decided-it will be increasingly difficult for the boy in Swastika and Sioux Lookout to enroll.

"It will be a tragedy," he said, "if universities become places where only the students who live near them are able to attend."

Dr. Smith was full of praise of the DVA students. Despite the burden of a huge enrolment, he said, Canadian universities in the past few years have done a better job of educating than ever.

"The men who came to our university," he said, "could never have hoped to come without federal aid, and some of them were our best students. We had a truly democratic cross-section and it was proved that academic high calibre is found not only adjacent to universities and in the homes of the well-to-do."

The president added that under a scholarship scheme, there is a compulsion on the student to work hard and do well because he knows someone has made an investment in him.

He said that at present, fewer than 10 per cent of Canadian university students have been granted bursaries or scholarships, while 82 per cent of the students at Oxford and Cambridge receive such financial assistance, either from the government or other sources.

The lack of financial aid hits the all-important field of graduate studies, too, the president stated. Universities in the United States receive with open arms graduates of Canadian universities who wish to do postgraduate work. And although they could get just as good a training in Canada in many instances, the students are lured away by the larger fellowships offered. Over 50 per cent of them stay there, according to Dr. Smith. Answering any argument that education is a provincial matter and therefore the federal government should keep out of it, he produced statistics which showed that 20 per cent of the 100,000 living alumni of the university of Toronto are in other provinces. The university, therefore, is making a national contribution. The same is true of all other Canadian universities. Over 50 per cent of the university of New Brunswick's graduates, for example, are in other provinces.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliol:

If the hon. member permits, may I ask whether Dr. Sidney Smith did not publicly declare a while ago that there were too many students at the university of Toronto?

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

No, sir, I think the hon. member is referring to a statement made by the chancellor of the university of Toronto.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliol:

No, Dr. Smith.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I think the hon. member is mistaken. It was a statement made by the chancellor, who happens to be the governor general of this country now. He drew attention to the fact that the university is not the place to send everybody. The university enrolment must be based upon a selective factor, but the same right hon. gentleman would be the first to say that the basis of selection should not be the pocketbook of the parent or the fact that the student happens to have the good fortune to live near the university. That is the great weakness in the present position because, as Dr. Sidney Smith has pointed out, the increase in cost of education at university level has had the effect of making it increasingly difficult for students from a distance, or students whose parents have only modest means, to obtain a university education. Consequently the need for

these bursaries and scholarships becomes greater than ever before. I thank the hon. member for reminding me of that fact which does so much to strengthen the argument I am offering at the moment.

My time has almost expired, and in conclusion I shall mention only one factor. It is a factor that I believe emphasizes the measure of responsibility that rests upon the federal government as a result of its own policies. Today immigration lies largely within the scope of this government. The proportion of immigrants coming to this country who have not that command of either the English or the French language which they require is rising .very sharply. The proportion of immigrants into Canada last year who came from countries other than English-speaking or French-speaking showed a very sharp increase over previous years. What happens to those immigrants when they take up their residence in the various municipalities across the country? At once, you put your finger upon the need for adult education.

Where does that responsibility lie today? The financial burden certainly should be borne, should it not, by means of federal assistance to those municipal and provincial authorities upon whom rests the burden of providing adult education for these immigrants. Yet today the federal government is shirking that responsibility. Last year in my city of Toronto, provision of these courses in adult education for immigrants who took up residence in Toronto cost the taxpayers of that city $68,000, and in addition the province paid $41,000 to provide for a portion of the salaries of the teachers. The federal government should no longer be permitted by this house to shirk its own plain responsibility in that respect.

This is my final word on this subject. What has been said today ought to dispel any fears or misunderstandings or misgivings that any hon. members in this house or persons outside of this house may entertain about any suggested intrusion upon the field of exclusive provincial jurisdiction over education. I emphasize again that if that were involved, I should be the first to oppose it. The exclusive jurisdiction of the province over education must be respected. There must be no intrusion by the federal authority into that field. But that is a very different matter from justifying a refusal on the part of the federal authorities to make provision for assistance to the provinces, leaving the provinces with the free hand which they require in the disbursement of moneys in the course of providing education for the people in their respective provinces. There

Education

must, as the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) said, be no bypassing of the provinces. In this field of education in which Canada has led in the past, let us not contemplate a deterioration in the facilities or quality of education. The federal government, in due consultation with and association with the provinces, recognizing the exclusive provincial jurisdiction in education, must today meet the responsibility that properly rests upon it as a result of the inadequate revenues placed at the disposal of the provinces under the constitution.

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Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. F. D. Shaw (Red Deer):

As indicated by the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight), this resolution has been before us upon three previous occasions. My colleagues and I have supported it upon each of those occasions, and we support it again today. In order to do that, I should not find it necessary to speak for any lengthy period of time or to repeat so many of the arguments which we have advanced upon previous occasions. I agree with the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) that there does exist in all quarters of this house a good deal of support for this resolution. I know that, from personal discussions which I have had with private members from all quarters of this house. Because of that fact, among other things, I should certainly like to see a vote taken upon the resolution today.

We have repeated in the past that, in such a vast country as this, we do have greatly varying economic conditions which must of necessity result in inequality of opportunity arising, more particularly in the field of education. We have expressed the view that no child in this country who possesses the ability and the desire to acquire knowledge should be deprived of that opportunity because of the fact that, owing to existing economic conditions, his family may not have the wherewithal to provide that education. In a country such as this, where people move freely from one geographic area to another, it seems rather unfortunate if not tragic that we should not make every possible effort to establish the same level of educational opportunity right across the country.

I was shocked, as I always am, to hear figures with respect to teachers' salaries. I am not influenced merely by the fact that I happened to spend quite a number of years in that profession. I am shocked when I stop to realize that the average teacher today could go out as a common labourer and earn considerably more than he can earn in the school-teaching profession, and could do so possibly with far fewer headaches. Even if one goes into the higher salary brackets, he still must be shocked to realize how those

Education

salaries compare with those paid to persons who have not had to acquire the same education, the same training and who do not have to contend with the same difficulties with which every teacher has to contend. I sometimes wonder how long it is going to take before the people of this country generally realize that a teacher is performing what I would call the most valuable service that can be provided within the country. If one stops to realize the number of hours in which our children are in their care and the influence which they can have upon the children, it seems most imperative that we should all realize how important it is that we hold out every conceivable inducement to secure and to hold the best possible teachers that we can acquire.

We realize fully, Mr. Speaker, that the administration of education falls within provincial jurisdiction. I might say to the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) that there is no argument with respect to that fact. We are not trying to change it. We would oppose any change. We want it to remain within provincial jurisdiction.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

Completely.

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Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

Yes, completely; and I would underline that word. I would point out to the hon. member for Temiscouata that even if the revenues of most of the provinces have increased substantially, so also have the costs which confront governments, municipalities and school boards. The result is that in many cases they are struggling with difficulties which are just as intense as they were ten or fourteen years ago. For example, in my own province I happen to know that the grants paid by the provincial government for educational purposes have increased over the last sixteen years until they are approximately twenty times what they once were. The budget has increased during the same period until it is approximately seven times what it was. The largest single appropriation there is for educational purposes. Yet in spite of the high grants, running as high as 70 per cent to 80 per cent in many of the more unfortunate outlying school areas, we all know that in those school districts or in most school districts, financing the cost of education presents an exceedingly acute problem. If those difficulties exist in the province of Alberta, we can realize how much more difficult they must be in those provinces which have not been fortunate enough to have the same excellent type of administration, might I say.

I might also point out to the hon. member for Temiscouata that the federal government itself, through permitting a condition of inflation to obtain, reduced the value of our dollar

to about 52 cents. He knows what effect that has upon the school boards in his own province and upon the provincial government within his own province. I am sure the hon. member for Temiscouata would agree with me that, in spite of all that may have been done by his own province or his government in the field of education, it would be a fine thing if suddenly a substantial amount of revenue were to become available to them for educational purposes, provided no strings were attached. I think he would agree that that would be a fine thing.

I know, however, what he fears. He fears that the federal government might claim the right to interfere, if they made grants to the provinces for educational purposes. He knows from experience that that is the thing that would likely happen. We, with him, would oppose any such thing happening. He knows that it has been the policy of the federal government, when making certain grants available to the provinces, to set up practically whole new departments in order to interfere, should I say, in the spending of those grants. He fears that, and I know it; and we would stand with him in opposing any such action when it comes to making grants available in order to bring about equality of educational opportunity. He would agree with me, naturally, that in interfering after making these grants the federal government has shown what I might call a lack of appreciation of our constitution, and even a lack of common decency, in dealing with the provinces. We stand on common ground with the hon. member for Temiscouata, I believe, in saying that; that is, if I properly interpreted his speech.

The federal government today makes grants to the provinces; it makes per capita grants, I believe, in lieu of the high cost of government, let us say, or the cost of government within the provinces.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

A subsidy.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

A subsidy is actually what it is. As far as that grant is concerned, there is no interference that I am aware of. It is an example of what could be done in the field of grants for educational purposes.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

They are just offered in good faith.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

Yes, they are just offered in good faith, as the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) says. But should the federal government decide to make educational grants available to the provinces, who would be in a better position than the hon. member for Temiscouata himself to influence them as far as keeping out of the thing is concerned; that is, as to the administration of it?

I am sure that he would be a powerful influence in persuading them to keep their hands off the administration aspect of it.

I agree with the hon. member for Temis-couata that, under the constitution, these jurisdictions were carefully established. The provinces were given certain things which they alone have the right to do. The federal authorities were given certain fields in which they had complete jurisdiction. Then there were certain fields that were, in a sense, overlapping. Education, as he states, falls within provincial jurisdiction. But those of us who think we know something about the constitution have always thought that when this division of authority was made there was also intended a proper division of ways and means. The latter just has not occurred.

Today for example we find the federal government taking from the provinces under tax grants, by agreement, vastly larger sums of money than they are paying back. I am not objecting to that. For example, if we in Alberta are enjoying such fortunate economic circumstances, then surely we would not object to some of that additional revenue taken by the federal government going into other parts of Canada, so as to assist those who might be described as being less fortunate.

On the other hand we find that through the process of other forms of taxation-taxation generally-they are taking out of certain areas in this country vastly larger sums than they are putting back in. We think one method by which some balance could be brought into the situation would be through the granting of financial assistance to the provinces, without any strings attached. These would be unconditional grants.

I said earlier that it would not take long to say what I have to say. Further, I do not wish to contribute in any greater measure than I have toward talking out the resolution. But let me underline this fact, that were we of the opinion that the only grants that could be made to assist the provinces in the field of education would be grants offered under the condition that the federal government would interfere in their administration, we would be absolutely opposed to such grants. We are with the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) and other hon. members from Quebec who feel the same as we do in this matter.

I, for one, find it extremely difficult to understand why, in the light of all other grants made to the provinces, and in the light of all that has been done in the field of technical and vocational education, there should develop suddenly such a fear that this

Education

is going to result in federal interference in the administration of education within a province. It should not; and we would oppose it if it did.

We are supporting the resolution because we believe it is timely, and we believe what it recommends is required in order to bring about the desired degree of equality of opportunity in the field of education.

(Translation) :

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Pierre Gauthier (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words only in connection with the motion introduced by the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight). It is not the first time this motion has been on the order paper. We have discussed it on a number of occasions and as I have taken part in previous debates on this matter, I shall deal only briefly with the matter this afternoon.

I have listened very closely to the speeches delivered this afternoon and I enjoyed especially the contribution of the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) who has placed the matter of jurisdiction in its true light. He stressed the fact that the matter of federal grants to the provinces in the field of education is a matter coming under provincial jurisdiction and that provincial autonomy, of which we are so jealous in Quebec and elsewhere,-which is as it should be,-must be respected.

I have here a pamphlet, presented by the movement "Education Week in Canada", which I intend using in order to prove that education should be further promoted and that we have not yet reached the point where we should feel disinterested in the matter, but that we must, on the contrary, further encourage our young people to get a better education, provided, however, that the grants, if any, are made by those authorized to do so.

This pamphlet is of interest to a great many associations, like the Canadian Association for Adult Education, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Congress of Labour, the Canadian Association for Education, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Home and School Federation, the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League, the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, the Canadian School Board Association, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the National Council of Women, and the Canadian Trade and Labour Congress.

When one studies the various activities of those associations, one understands that the problem of education should never be neglected; we should endeavour, to the best of our ability, to ensure its success.

Education

I have with me a few figures which show clearly the necessity of stressing the importance of education. According to federal statistics published in the pamphlet of the national education week, it would appear that:

Out of every 100 public school pupils, 32 do not complete their elementary course. Only 68 reach the eighth grade, which represents the first part of education.

Out of these 68, only 53 enter high school. Half of them drop out and only 22 complete junior matriculation or the equivalent.

The ranks thin again at senior matriculation level; out of 100 pupils that entered public school, only 13 reach that pre-university stage.

Nine of these senior matriculants take a job, another takes some other form of training and three students only enrol at the university.

During their college years, two out of three will take up employment. All in all, out of the 100 pupils that entered school, one only will finally obtain his university degree.

As our young people progress along the way of education, as our boys and girls become adolescents and grown-ups, a good many of them drop out for some reason or other into which I cannot go here.

I am trying to prove that education is a problem which should be of concern not to governments alone, but to all family-heads as well; to better establish my point I have a booklet entitled "Federal Aid for Education in Canada", published by the Canadian Teachers' Federation. It contains a statement pertaining to all provinces, together with figures showing that much more could be done in the field of education. I shall quote the percentage of Canadians who have left school before reaching the eighth grade.

Prince Edward Island, 50-6; Nova Scotia, 50-5; New Brunswick, 58 0; Quebec, 62-5; Ontario, 40-1; Manitoba, 49-6; Saskatchewan, 51-6; Alberta, 45-0; British Columbia, 35-4.

That, Mr. Speaker, goes to show that there are still far too many young people,-and I am not discussing the reasons they have for leaving school,-who spend no more than eight years in the classroom before leaving it to earn their living by working with their hands or with their brains.

Some members are always asking the federal government for more and more money on just about every account,-including this matter of educational subsidies. These members, subsequently, should not accuse the government of spending too much.

I often hear them criticize the government for their surplus whereas, were they to have a deficit tomorrow, they would not fail to

attack them violently. After all, we should be a little logical in our discussions and see to it that our criticism is fruitful.

I was listening to the member who spoke before me mentioning the question of teachers. I have here a document emanating from the Ontario Teachers' Federation. I will quote it in English since the figures concern teachers:

(Text):

To illustrate this situation may I call your attention to some pertinent facts contained in a brief submitted to the dominion government by the Canadian Teachers Federation in February. 1949.

(a) One out of every ten teachers in Canada holds only a permit or temporary certificate.

(Translation):

As you can see, Mr. Speaker, there is room for improvement in this connection.

(Text):

(b) The average salary of rural teachers throughout Canada is $1,207 per annum while urban teachers' salaries average $2,120. (These figures do not include Quebec or Newfoundland.)

(c) The median teachers' salaries for the year 1947 range from $816 in Prince Edward Island to $2,042 in British Columbia.

(d) At the end of 1947 there were 1,700 fewer teachers in Canada than there were in 1939.

It would appear that the great need is for more teachers because the number of pupils is increasing steadily.

(e) In April, 1948, approximately 22,000 pupils in two provinces were receiving their education through correspondence courses because of the lack of teachers.

(f) That 31 per cent of the teachers of one province and only 2 per cent of those in another are university graduates.

If federal grants are to be made to the provincial authorities to aid in education they should be used for the educating of teachers as well, as long as subsidies are distributed through proper and constitutional channels.

(Translation):

Dealing further with this matter of education-I do not want to speak at too great length in order to give others a chance to speak-I have risen in this house quite often, to ask the government of the province- of Quebec to accept the National Physical Fitness Act. Quebec is the only province that has .not accepted this act, and yet the few thousand dollars we might thus get through the federal government's generosity might enable us to make grants to the recreational or educational centres we are building in the province. However, I must be fair towards the government of my province. They have done a great deal for recreational and

educational centres; but it seems to me that, by accepting the National Physical Fitness Act, they could do more.

I recall that under the Youth Training Act, the federal government has given rather substantial grants to the technical schools and to youth, following agreements with the provinces. Obviously, we should never lose sight of the constitutional aspect of the question and if the provinces lack money, they have only to make agreements with the federal government in order to be in a position to distribute more money for education. Besides, that is what many provinces have done in the case of grants to their universities. The government of my province could do likewise and obtain the same aid from the federal government, for primary education. They should do in this case as they did for technical assistance, assistance to youth and assistance to universities.

And now, Mr. Speaker, I feel Quebec has set an example with two councils of education, one for the Catholic schools, the other for Protestant or non-denominational schools. These two councils direct the policy of the provincial government in matters of education and keep the people of the province informed.

I shall go even further-here I request the attention of the hon. members from the other provinces, especially those who may be at the head of school boards-and state that the province of Quebec is setting an example which should be followed by all. In my province, grants are made without regard to the faith to which the educator belongs! Such an example is worth following.

As there is at present a surplus of funds earmarked for education in the province of Quebec, the government is able to give such grants as are necessary for the proper operation of our educational system. But, as I already said, those grants are always equally distributed among the schools, whatever their denomination. We thus set an example for the other provinces to follow.

I have already told the house that the provinces which are being discriminatory in their way of treating schools of different denominations would be considered as curiosities in a few years. And I hope that time is not too remote. Well, Mr. Speaker, I shall not proceed any further, for it seems to me that I have stated my position clearly enough to make it understood by all my colleagues. I am possessed of a doctor's turn of mind -it has never failed me during the 25 years of

Education

my public life-which leads me, each time that problem is studied here, to express my approval of everything which can foster education; I am always ready to approve of all things which may offer to our youth, our children, our young men and women and even our grown-up citizens, an opportunity for normal education, thanks to which they may become good citizens and make an honest living. I do not say however that people who are uneducated, because fate did not give them parents or patrons who could pay for their education, cannot earn a reputable living. The respectability of our citizens does not always depend on education alone. One must also take discernment into account.

Then there is family education which comes before college or university education. There is education provided by the mother, to which we must also give all our attention. I must congratulate the federal government for its Family Allowances Act which has demonstrated the concern they have for the education of our children. The act is framed in such a way that those who wish to draw the allowance must see to it that their children attend school assiduously for as long as the law requires them to. Consequently, I wish to congratulate the federal government for having passed a law which sets down exactly the age up to which children must attend school if their parents wish to draw family allowances.

Those who are listening now know what I mean; they know that our mothers are able to give their children a better education thanks to these benefits.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for having brought in a motion enabling us to express our views on the matter.

In conclusion, I repeat once again that I am in favour of grants to the provinces so that they may give our educational system whatever aid is required, provided the provinces can reach an agreement in this connection; but these grants must not be made unless the fundamental principles of our constitution are properly respected.

(Text):

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of ihe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I question very much whether a more important subject will come before the house for discussion during the present session than the subject which has been brought to our attention by this resolution. As I have indicated on earlier

Education

occasions when this has been brought forward for consideration, there are very serious constitutional problems involved in any such proposal as that which is made, and the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) has very appropriately pointed to some of the dangers that are inherent in any plan of this kind.

I propose to support this motion, and in doing so I hope that I may explain why I do so with full recognition of the concern expressed by the hon. member for Temiscouata, but at the same time seeking to avail myself of the opportunity afforded by this resolution to emphasize the need for something being done which will make it possible for every provincial government in Canada to give to every child the kind of education for which that child is able to prepare himself through his own mental capacity. I say nothing new today, I say nothing that I have not said over and over again long before I entered this house, when I say that there can be no higher purpose guiding those who are responsible for government at any level than to do these things which will make it possible to equalize the opportunity for education throughout the whole of Canada, regardless of the financial condition of the parents or the place where the child may live. The way in which that is done does present difficulties; the way in which that is to be done demands the constant as well as the wholehearted approval and in fact the responsibility of the provincial authorities.

I hope that in what I shall say later I may meet the concern that has been expressed. Before I deal with that, however, I wish to lay before the house reasons why I regard the whole problem of education as one of the most critical problems facing Canada today. This is not just something that can be measured by our own impression as to the type of education which should be given to the children of this country. We are talking about the whole future of Canada. It is not any trite observation to say that the kind of country Canada is in the years ahead will depend on the kind of education that we give our children today and tomorrow.

The reason I said that this is one of the most critical situations is that we are faced with the possibility that there may not be enough teachers to give education to our children. In fact we are not only faced with the possibility, we are faced with the likelihood-nay, we are faced with the certainty- that unless some steps are taken which will provide the financial resources necessary we are going to be so desperately short of teachers that in many parts of this country there will be a very serious question as to

whether the children can get any of the ordinary school education that we have taken for granted so long. We are not confronted now merely with the question of continuing the advances in education that have been going on for years; we are confronted with the very real possibility of education falling away to a point where it is going to be extremely difficult to give even the basic education to our children, which is an essential requirement in any country that describes itself as civilized.

These are strong words, but they are borne out by the facts. They are borne out by the facts that should be in the minds of every hon. member and of every Canadian today. True, we have many magnificent schools, but some of our schools are not so good. On the whole, however, the recent construction of schools has given to us buildings of the most modern type, equipped with the most modern educational facilities. But, after all, the teacher is the first, the vital and the essential requirement of all education in the schools. I say "in the schools" intentionally, because I repeat the obvious when I say that education is not confined to the schools alone. Education is given in the homes, in the churches and in the schools. Today we are talking simply of education in the schools.

Education is not something that can be produced like an ordinary industrial product. The finest building that was ever constructed for this purpose is nothing but a cold mass of brick, stone, glass, machinery and equipment until there are the teachers in the rooms of that school who give to it its life, its meaning and its purpose.

Education is not something to be found in any simple formula. It is something of the heart, the mind and the spirit. Education, without a religious content, education without the spiritual factor following all through its whole course may not be education at all but only instruction.

There are others here who have seen the schools of Russia. There are those who saw the schools in Germany and Italy under nazism and fascism. There the important thing was the extent to which the strictly material aspect of education was being emphasized. In the days before the war I saw some of the finest school buildings to be found anywhere in the world, buildings that have since become the architectural models for schools in this and in other countries, in nazi Germany; but they were not getting education, they were simply getting instruction. In some of these schools they were giving perhaps as fine technical training, as fine engineering instruction as was to be

found anywhere in the world, and we felt the deadly impact of that instruction, but carefully they were avoiding the spiritual aspect of education, which is the thing that gives character, and which builds the life of a country. It is something, as I said before, of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit. That calls for a sense of dedication on the part of the teachers second only to the sense of dedication called for by those who enter the ministry. In fact the teacher stands side by side with the minister in giving to the life of this country the quality we would wish it to have. Teachers also must have confidence in the future of the country, built upon the feeling that their place in society is recognized, if they are to convey that confidence to the minds of our youth which will be the greatest assurance of success in the years ahead. You cannot expect teachers who feel they are not respected as they should be, whose remuneration is less than that of wholly untrained workers, to have that spirit of confidence and optimism which must be in their hearts if they are to transmit it to the children who are going to face the problems of life in this country when they leave our schools.

We have heard today the amounts received by teachers right across this country. One reason so many teachers are leaving the schools is that they can go out and make more money in other occupations which call for very little preliminary education. It is not only the fact that we are losing the teachers from our schools now because their salaries are not comparable with those paid in occupations for which similar education is not required. What is more serious' is the fact that young people, looking at the salaries paid teachers today are not so likely to take the long years of training and to commit themselves to the expense of the education which is required before they can become teachers, if they can go right into some daily occupation that promises them as much money almost as soon as they start work. That is one reason education is threatened today with the possibility that we may not have enough teachers. Surely there can be no doubt about the danger of that disaster with which we are confronted, when we find the estimate of the bureau of statistics that if the present trend continues we shall have in 1955 a shortage of 25,000 teachers in Canada. Let that figure remain in the minds of the members of this house when we are considering the problem now before us. If the present trend continues there will be a shortage of teachers in 1955 of close to the total number of teachers now in the schools of Ontario.

Education

Only one result can follow from a situation of that kind. Many schools in this country will be closed, and in many other schools the burden upon the teachers will be so heavy that there will be still further inducement for people to leave that profession and take up work which imposes upon them less physical and nervous strain. And when I mention nervous strain I do so advisedly. There are those in this house today who recognize that the children who sometimes impose some strain on their parents do not suddenly become saints when they enter the school door. When the collective energy of a group of young pupils is gathered together in one schoolroom it not only takes a sense of dedication and a sense of discipline, it takes an immense measure of patience and love for the children to be able to maintain that sort of discipline without severity which is so essential in our schools.

That is the problem with which we are confronted, dealing with the question only on the basis of our present educational standards and requirements. Even those give reason for considerable concern. Already this afternoon the fact has been mentioned that too many pupils are leaving our schools too soon, and at too early an age. I would like to repeat those figures in the context of these remarks. According to the last available figures, 55 per cent of our population have less than eight years of schooling. In other words they have little or no high school education. Only about 35 per cent of the pupils who enter grade 7 complete their secondary school education. The remainder drop out largely in grades 8, 9 and 10. These are the figures across Canada for those who have less than eight years of schooling, some of them unfortunately much less than eight years:

per cent

Prince Edward Island 50-6

Nova Scotia 50-5

New Brunswick 58 0

Quebec '' 62-5

Ontario 40-1

Manitoba 49-8

Saskatchewan 51.5

Alberta 45.9

British Columbia 35.4

Those figures give us a picture which should not be too satisfactory to any Canadian who regards education as the first responsibility of government. So that this statement, removed from its context, may not leave the impression that I am suggesting that education is the direct responsibility of the dominion government, I emphasize as vigorously as possible that education is and must remain exclusively the responsibility of the provincial governments. What I shall come to is

Education

the necessity for this government and this parliament to take steps to provide the financial resources which will make it possible for the provincial departments of education to tackle such a serious situation as that which is placed before us in these figures.

I repeat that it is in relation to such a situation that we are going to have a shortage of 25,000 teachers. If we were giving our pupils now education for the number of years they should receive it, then instead of 25,000 we might well be 50,000 teachers short by 1955. I repeat, this is not just a discussion on whether we agree with the type of education being given. We are confronted with the possibility of real disaster in our educational system unless this situation is tackled without further delay.

That being the situation, confronted with the necessity for dealing with this subject in a manner that will equalize the opportunity for education right across Canada today, what can be done to meet this situation without in any way impairing the constitutional position and the exclusive jurisdiction of the provincial governments over education? That is the question that we must be able to answer if we are, in turn, to indicate any way in which the government, with the support of the parliament of Canada, can tackle this problem. Last year the dominion government decided to make grants to universities. In doing so they recognized the urgent need of the universities in Canada for additional money if they are going to be able to give to young Canadians that higher type of education which is so essential in a rapidly expanding and developing country like ours.

By giving that grant, the dominion government recognized that it is beyond the financial capacity of many of the provinces to meet the demands of our universities. Unfortunately, the procedure that was adopted has already raised difficulties. It will be recalled by many members that, at the time the decision to make these grants was announced, I asked whether these grants were to be paid directly to the provincial government. I did so because I think that is the only way it should be done. I did so because there are two reasons why grants should not be made direct by the dominion government to the universities. First of all is the fact that, if the grants are made directly by this government to the universities instead of to the provincial governments, then the dominion government may make those grants without any knowledge of some special arrangement which is being made in regard to a particular university by the department of education in that particular province.

Moreover, that grant may be made without knowledge which is in the possession of the provincial government of certain reasons why it is either inadequate or in particular circumstances might be more than is required at the moment. Unless the dominion government is going to set up a department of education in Ottawa, then it has not the information which justifies it in making those grants, unless they are made on a simple arithmetical basis such as the number of pupils enrolled. There are reasons why grants cannot be made on that simple basis. Some universities have a much more costly type of education than others. Some of the universities, by the nature of the courses they are giving, must make very much larger expenditures than other universities, excellent though such universities may be in their own field. For that reason it would be necessary to have officials here who could go to those universities and examine what was being done, before a grant could be made with real knowledge of the requirements of a university.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink

March 19, 1952