June 4, 1952

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Quite. Clause (c) will be preferred stock purchased by the Minister of Finance in exchange for a note or an obligation which the Canadian National Railways might want to give for the percentage of the gross revenues of that fiscal year.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

And the moneys are to be used for additions and betterments to be made in the future?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Yes, and to be deposited in an earmarked fund for that purpose.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

One other question. Is it the intention that this measure will put the Canadian National Railways in the position of being used as a yardstick for the setting of freight rates? At the present time I understand that the Canadian Pacific Railway is used as that yardstick. Will the result of this measure be that the Canadian National Railways will be used instead of the Canadian Pacific Railway as the yardstick for setting the rates?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Well, in so far as I can ascertain, the Canadian Pacific Railway will remain the yardstick by which rates will be fixed under the jurisdiction of the board of transport commissioners. This bill does not change that position. It would be for the board of transport commissioners to determine whether or not they want to use another yardstick. Whether they will or not, I am not in a position to say, but it is their responsibility.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I have been thinking over (b) since the minister and I discussed it a moment ago, and there is one observation I am going to make which is not a question. I make it in passing. I find it an odd way to arrive at the amount. I am going back to (a) for a second. I find it an odd way to arrive at the amount in (a), which I understand is arrived at by taking the public indebtedness and the indebtedness to the government and dividing it by two. However, I am merely mentioning that in passing. There may be some reason that will become clear later.

Remembering that under (b) the minister cautioned us against getting too deep into Newfoundland, he at least directed our attention to it by mentioning it. I do want to ask this. I presume that every effort has been made in making these recommendations to get as clear a view as can be of the future operating position of the railway. I assume that the Newfoundland situation has been taken in, and that full regard has been had of the possible operating losses there. I do not know whether a change of gauge arises there or anything of that kind. My question is: Are we to take it that the government considers they have made up in some way to the Canadian National Railways for the decision not to pay any regard to recommendation No. 1? I will repeat it. I want to know whether the government, in ignoring recommendation No. 1, has taken into account the Newfoundland situation and if it is, so to speak, fully incorporated in the government's thinking with regard to this recommendation?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I would say the answer to that is yes.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The minister will notice that on page 198 of the report there is a recommendation that a policy be followed with respect to new lines which are not going to be profitable similar to that recommended for the Newfoundland railway. Has this recommendation been taken into consideration also?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Not in so far as this formula is concerned.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

What about the provision in the report for the setting up of a reserve by the railway? Is that left to the management of the railway, or is any provision made in this bill which will enable-

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

It is covered in (c) of the resolution. That is the object of the (c) part of this resolution.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The object is to enable them to set up that reserve?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Something to come and go on, yes, for additions and betterments.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in.

Mr. Chevrier thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 308, to revise the capital structure of the Canadian National Railway Company and to provide for certain other financial matters.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO RELEASE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS FROM CERTAIN CLAIMS BY HER MAJESTY IN EXCHANGE FOR PREFERRED STOCK, ETC.
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT

AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.

LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. Milton F. Gregg (Minister of Labour) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940, to increase certain rates of benefit under the act; to reduce the number of waiting days before the receipt of benefit; to extend the period of entitlement for supplementary benefits; and to make provision for certain administrative changes.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

Will the minister make a statement?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Gregg:

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I will make a brief statement at this time.

This resolution will form the basis for a bill which will provide for a number of amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act. Of these amendments five are of a good deal of importance and the remainder are designed to improve the routine administration of the act.

One of these five main amendments is related to the administration of the national employment service. This amendment provides that there shall be no discrimination because of racial origin, colour, religious belief or political affiliation in referring workers seeking employment. This will now establish the principle of fair employment practices in the statute.

The first of the four important amendments related to insurance will provide an increase in benefits for certain classes. The present maximum benefit for a person with a dependent is $21 a week, and the amendment will provide for raising this to $24 a week, with comparable increases in other benefit rates.

The second insurance amendment provides for a reduction in the period known as waiting days. As the act now stands the waiting period consists of eight days; that is, not counting that one non-compensable

Unemployment Insurance Act day. This period will be reduced by the amending bill to five waiting days; that is a reduction from eight to five.

Also there is an amendment that will permit the commission to make regulations to provide that, where a benefit year terminates while the insured is unemployed and he qualifies for a further period of benefit, the waiting period in the new year may be deferred.

The new legislation will also extend by fifteen days the period of supplementary benefit so that it may be paid from January 1 to April 15 in each year. At present supplementary benefit is payable from January 1 to March 31 in each year.

The foregoing amendments affecting the insurance fund have all met with the endorsa-tion of the unemployment insurance advisory committee which is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the status of the fund from time to time and making recommendations in regard to it. These amendments will not cause any increase of payments into the fund on the part of employee, employer or government.

The remaining amendments are introduced with a view to clarifying the existing law,, facilitating operation of the unemployment insurance program, and protecting the fund. They are more or less routine in nature and, with minor exceptions, have no particular significance from the viewpoint of the general public.

I shall be glad to make a further statement later, on this resolution or on the bill, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.
Permalink
PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Ellen L. Fairclough (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that I am greatly pleased with the amendment which is being made to the employment service section of the act with regard to antidiscrimination. I compliment the minister, and I hope it will be highly successful. While it cannot be described as operative in all fields, nevertheless it signifies the intention of the government to recognize this problem, and I am greatly pleased that it has been put in this section of the act.

With regard to the increase in rates of benefit, which the minister has told us will be raised at the top level from $21 to $24, it is interesting to note the condition of the unemployment insurance fund as of April 30 of this year in comparison with its condition a year ago. As of April 30 of this year I am informed that the fund stood at $782,231,826.91 compared with $672,760,902.75 on April 30, 1951, an increase of $109,470,924.

As to this increase, Mr. Speaker, of course one is reminded of the increased contribution

Unemployment Insurance Act that was put into effect a year and a half ago-in July of 1950, I believe it was- whereby both employer and employee contributed an additional 1 cent per day to cover the cost of paying supplementary benefits under part II of the act. I believe the government did not match that contribution; that was purely from the standpoint of the employer and employee. I would ask the minister whether that is correct.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Gregg:

Yes.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATES OF BENEFIT, TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF WAITING DAYS BEFORE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, ETC.
Permalink

June 4, 1952