June 12, 1952

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am trying to think it out as I go along. I am prepared to hear further argument on this point. Let us suppose the committee decided that the commission should be set up; under those circumstances would the House of Commons be bound by that decision and be required to set up the commission, thus involving an expenditure of money? Could I hear the views of hon. members on this matter?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

I think, Mr. Speaker, you will have to decide whether the terms of the rule apply to something done by a committee empowered by the House of Commons to do it. The rule says-

-may not be presently entered upon, but shall be adjourned till such further day as the house thinks fit to appoint; and then it shall be referred to a committee of the whole house, before any resolution or vote of the house do pass thereupon.

Does the word "house" in the rule include the select committees appointed by the house to represent it, and to do a certain job? If it does, then the rule should apply. But if on the other hand Your Honour does decide that the committee does not come within

British North America Act the language of the standing order, then my point of order may not be well taken.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

May I point out that committees frequently make reports to the house which are not acted upon. If a committee makes a report the government is ready to act upon, that action is taken by the government itself. Let us take as an example the very bill now before us. A draft bill, identical to the one we are now discussing, was submitted to the house by the special committee on redistribution. No question was raised in that committee as to whether or not we had a right to recommend that draft bill merely because it might involve an expenditure of money. In a sense it would, because it would increase the number of members. It would increase the number from Yukon and the Northwest Territories by one, and it also would increase the number of members from Saskatchewan from what would otherwise have been the case. Then there are extra expenses connected with the elections because of those additional seats.

But that did not make it a money bill. It did not make it something the committee did not have the power to recommend. The bill having been recommended in draft form by the special committee, and it having been acceptable to the government to go ahead with that draft bill, a similar bill, identical in form, was introduced by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

In reply to Your Honour's question as to what would happen if the special committee on redistribution dealt favourably with my proposal, I submit the result would be that that committee would report back to the house an amended draft bill. Whether or not that amended draft bill would be presented to the house would depend upon the government. If it were to come before the house the minister, in turn, would have to present it. But-and I submit this is very important-even if the committee did recommend a draft bill with a provision in it to appoint a redistribution commission later on, the government would not treat it as a money bill and precede it with a resolution, any more than was done with this bill; because any expenses resulting from the bill would have to be dealt with by other measures.

Your Honour also asked what would happen if the committee recommended back to the house the establishment of a redistribution commission. That would not be the recommendation of the committee under the terms of this motion. It would be a recommendation that the British North America Act be amended in such a way as to call

upon parliament to do it at a later date. So I submit any steps we would take as a result of this amendment would not be a money measure at all. Any money involved in it would have to come later.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

On the point of order, I think the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has abandoned the position he explained in the first instance. The intimation that any action taken in committee would not have an effect upon the house does not bear consideration, and for this reason: that if the result of the deliberations of the committee was to insert in the British North America Act a provision that the redistribution of seats in the House of Commons would be undertaken by a commission, it would then be obligatory upon the government to introduce a bill to appoint a commission. Therefore to that extent the committee would bind the house to provide funds for that purpose.

If this were not a bill amending the constitution and establishing a means of readjusting representation perhaps the situation would be otherwise. But I do suggest that if, as a result of the act of the committee and of the house, a commission were set up to do a job which is now done by parliament, inevitably there would be an expenditure of public money.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The question which the

Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has raised is an important one. He referred to standing order 60, which reads:

If any motion be made in the house for any public aid or charge upon the people, the consideration and debate thereof may not be presently entered upon, but shall be adjourned till such further day as the house thinks fit to appoint; and then it shall be referred to a committee of the whole house, before any resolution or vote of the house do pass thereupon.

The British North America Act provides that all legislation involving the expenditure of money must be recommended for the consideration of the house by His Excellency the Governor General. In dealing with the present amendment I am faced with the problem of determining whether it would involve the expenditure of money if carried. The Prime Minister has raised the question whether the word "house" includes select committees. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Harris) has said that if a recommendation by the committee would necessarily involve the expenditure of money it would be out of order, and with that I agree. But would a mere recommendation of a committee necessarily involve an expenditure?

Let us suppose that this amendment carries. The question would then be considered

by the committee as to whether an independent commission should be set up. If that independent commission were set up it would clearly involve the expenditure of money. However, does the committee set up the commission? Clearly the committee could not set up the commission. Could the committee do more than bring in a report recommending that such commission be set up? Supposing the committee did make that recommendation would the house or the government be required to act upon it. In other words would the committee's report be a direction to the government to bring in legislation involving the expenditure of money?

This is an important question and I would not like a ruling given today on such limited reflection to be considered as binding on future occasions. There is some doubt in my mind as to whether it would be a direct order to the government to bring in such legislation. The government and the house I believe could reject the recommendation of the committee. As there is some doubt in my mind- and' I repeat that I do not want this ruling to be considered a binding precedent-I feel that I should allow the amendment to stand.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, though I am only too glad to support the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) in his suggestion that his amendment is in order, that does not by any means imply that I believe the amendment to be a valid and proper one in the circumstances and on its merits. May I say at once that with respect to the bill I am by no means convinced that it should pass on its merits. I am quite satisfied with the amendment to the British North America Act which was made in 1946 and I see no great necessity for the amendment now proposed.

However, with respect to the amendment moved by my hon. friend and the complimentary references he made to my efforts to have a study made to bring about a scheme or plan whereby redistribution would be made by persons outside this House of Commons, I want to say here and now that although on two occasions I have presented a bill which would have had the effect of setting up some sort of commission to prepare a general plan of redistribution it was never my intention, and it is not my intention, that that should form part of our fundamental constitution.

I believe we have reached such a stage of confusion, are in such a practical morass, have got ourselves into such a mess with respect to redistribution by amending and modifying and changing the various principles with respect to representation by population, 55704-201

British North America Act with respect to geographic units, with respect to county boundaries that we must have a new deal. I have too much respect for the members of this house to burden them with the duty and responsibility of making that kind of new deal in connection with redistribution. However, I do not want to see us get away from the responsibility of parliament to carry out the duties which we as members have been sent here to do, the duty laid upon us by the British North America Act which says that redistribution shall be made by the parliament of Canada.

In the bill which I presented there _ is scarcely one section which would not require modification. I insist only on certain principles, namely, first, that we should start afresh; second, that parliament maintain its control and responsibility over the action it takes with respect to redistribution and, third, that we lay down some set of rules and regulations upon which we can base future redistributions.

With respect to some of the provisions of the bill it is quite clear to me, as it would be to anyone, that the position and status of the unfortunate civil servant whom I have nominated to be a sort of umpire between the upper millstone of Toryism and the lower millstone of Liberalism would be most unhappy. He would either be obliged to resign before the job was done or he would be fired by one or other of the parties when the job was completed. Therefore there should be at least some discussion on that section of the bill.

There are some sections which I think need to be carefully studied. There is above all a need for a brand new redistribution. The reason I think it should be taken out of the responsibility of members of the house is that it would place too heavy a burden on them. If the job were properly done it is extremely unlikely that any hon. member would be representing the same geographic unit after the job was over. I do not think members should be called upon to commit hara-kiri any more than they should be called upon to meet the importunities and pressures that would be brought upon them by local interests, by people attached to the traditions of the county and by people attached to party tradition. It is for that reason I suggest that for once anyway we ask people from outside the House of Commons to do the job. Where they will come from I am not prepared to say. Whether they are to be appointed, as I suggest in the bill, in a bi-partisan way or whether they are to be appointed in a non-partisan way makes no difference, but I do suggest that when they have made their report and have laid before parliament

British North America Act a plan and scheme for redistribution, parliament in the last analysis should be the judge whether that plan and scheme is or is not a proper one.

I am convinced, and it may be only a faint hope, that if some such redistribution is made then notwithstanding local objections, notwithstanding the difficulties and the obstacles which will confront individual members of parliament, a plan of that kind presented to the people of Canada would carry such force and authority that it would be very difficult to alter or modify it in any degree.

With respect to the specific amendment of my hon. friend, I do not think he would expect me to support it. I have been too outspoken in my objection to commissions, bureaux and bureaucrats receiving delegated powers to do jobs which should be done by this assembly, this House of Commons, to now be willing to enshrine in the ark of the covenant of our constitution an omnipotent bureaucracy to do the work of redistribution which is primarily our concern. I have no objection to creating non-partisan machinery to do the job in order to give us a pattern of what we should do for the future, but I do not think we should place in the constitution of this country for all time and, as my hon. friend further says, for the next census and for the censuses to come, any provision which will free us from the responsibility which has been laid upon us.

Again with respect to this particular amendment, my hon. friend does not anticipate that it will be effective immediately. He says it needs to be effective only in the census of 1961. Why does he not join with me at the next session in an endeavour to prepare some kind of bill that will pass the house or at least be referred to a committee for discussion? With our joint efforts in the ten years to come we might achieve something. As it is now all he would get from the committee- and I would be glad to get it too, but not in the form of a constitutional amendment- would be a sort of pious hope that some day we would have a commission. I suggest that the two of us get together, hammer out a bill, endeavour to overcome the obstacle of its being out of order, and eventually convince our colleagues that that is the proper thing to do for at least once.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I declare the amendment lost. Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair. Sections 1 and 2 agreed to. Title agreed to. Bill reported.


LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

When shall this bill be read the third time?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Now.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

By leave.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

By leave.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

By very gracious leave.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Although I am not making a ruling, I am inclined to believe that it is not necessary to have leave. However, as I say,

I am not making a ruling. I am merely letting the house know that I do not feel myself bound by any leave the house may give at this time. Does the house wish third reading now?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Now.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce) moved

the third reading of the bill.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR General administration-

187. Departmental administration, $598,070.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

Does the minister intend to make a statement at this time?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

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

Mr. Chairman, I am entirely in the hands of the committee. I would hate to talk out my own estimates. Furthermore I should not like to take time which hon. members might * want to use to make suggestions and ask questions. However, I have a fairly brief statement, if it is the wish of the .committee to have it.

Hon. members will notice that the estimates for 1952-53 total just under $67,900,000. This compares with the total for last year, including supplementary votes, of almost $65 million. The total for this year represents an increase of just under $3 million. This increase is more than accounted for by increases in salary rates which were announced last December and the normal 55704-2014

Supply-Labour

increase in the government's contribution to the unemployment insurance fund. For instance, the salary increases were $1,516,700. The increased contribution to the unemployment insurance fund, which of course is based upon the increased number of people being insured under that fund, was $1,800,000, or a total increase in the two items of $3,316,700.

In the past fiscal year the number of people employed by the Department of Labour rose from 674 to 676 and the number employed by the unemployment insurance commission fell from 7,051 to 6,885. This is an over-all reduction in staff during a period when the work load on nearly all branches continued to expand in response to public demand and in response to developments which can hardly be considered as normal. In the past year we have had to consider methods of improving both the quality and the quantity of our labour force to enable it to meet the production demands of both the present needs and the needs of an uncertain future. On the other hand it has been necessary during the past winter to deal with a fairly sizeable measure of seasonal unemployment.

I should like to mention a few of the activities which have been particularly occupying the attention of the department during this past year. Last year's expanded immigration program gave increased work to this department which co-operates closely with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in the movement to Canada of groups of immigrants required to meet specific labour needs in the economy. During the past year the number of people brought to Canada in these organized group movements numbered 18,887, more than double the total of the previous fiscal year.

During the year the federal-provincial farm labour program continued to operate. Under agreements concluded with each province except Newfoundland, the work of recruiting, transporting and placing workers in agriculture and related industries went forward, with expenses shared between the federal and provincial governments. This present year promises to be a very active one for our people working on the farm labour program.

The vocational training branch of the department administers the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act, 1942. Under that act, in accordance with agreements concluded with the provinces, the federal government grants financial assistance to various types of approved training schools and programs. Last year over 230,000 persons were enrolled in the schools and programs to which the federal grants applied; and it is the hope of the government that this figure will be higher during the current fiscal year.

Supply-Labour

I do not think I can emphasize too strongly my belief that the future welfare and expansion of the Canadian economy is dependent in large measure upon the availability of more skilled workmen. If we are to maintain our recent rate of industrial development and if we are to be ready for whatever emergency may develop in the future, then we must do what we can to increase the number of training programs and apprentices in all parts of the country, particularly in the manufacturing industries.

With this thought in mind, a national conference on apprenticeship got together in Ottawa recently. Provincial and federal officials assembled with representatives of labour and management to consider the obstacles in the way of increasing apprenticeship, and to recommend methods of removing them. Those recommendations are now being considered by everybody concerned, and it is hoped that they will encourage and lead to uniform standards for apprenticeship in all provinces and a steady increase in the number of apprentices in training.

I should like to commend to the committee the increased amount set out in the main estimates for training; and I might say that I shall be asking for a further amount in the supplementary estimates. These days we are seeking skilled personnel outside of Canada, and we are spending some money bringing these skilled personnel to Canada. With that procedure I am heartily in accord. I think that under the careful control which is being exercised now it should go forward; but at the same time I think we should give to our own home born an opportunity, early in life, to learn skills and become part of our industrial life. Furthermore, for many of our people who are physically disabled we have undertaken active steps to fit them so they can work. For them and for fit workers, lack of skill is a handicap which we hope to help overcome.

Our industrial relations branch is one about which the committee and the public do not hear a great deal. But if our industrial relations branch does not get into the public news or into the headlines, I feel that is no reason why it should be thought that it is not doing its duty. It has three functions. One is to minimize the incidence and the effects of industrial disputes within the industries under federal jurisdiction. Another is to stimulate interest in the importance of increasing productivity by promoting the formation of labour-management production committees in industrial plants throughout the country. I should like tonight to pay tribute to the staff of my department charged

with this work of conciliation and of improving industrial relations. They have an exceedingly difficult task. More and more the stress is placed upon helping to create a climate in which industrial peace may flourish rather than waiting for the dispute to break out into strife and then hoping to make some spectacular conciliation. The defence program and the means of achieving maximum production placed a very heavy burden upon this branch. In addition, of course, the sharp increase in the number of government contracts awarded as a result of the defence program has meant a heavy increase in the work of administering the fair wages policy which is part of the work of this branch, the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act of 1935 and other orders related thereto.

Hon. members will recall the national conference on rehabilitating the physically handicapped which was held in the city of Toronto in February, 1952. From that conference came a request for federal assistance to help co-ordinate the activities of the various agencies which provide rehabilitation services. During the past year, in order to get this work on co-ordination under way, my colleagues the Minister of National Health and Welfare, the Minister of Veterans Affairs and myself have worked very closely together. A national advisory committee was appointed and held its first meeting here just a few weeks ago. This new undertaking is a worthy one, and I sincerely hope it will provide new opportunities for work and useful living to disabled Canadians who have no rights under either veterans benefits or the workmen's compensation benefits within the provinces.

Just recently, within the last two weeks, the committee of the government that I have spoken of, the ministers of national health and welfare, of veterans affairs and of labour, acting on behalf of the government, have been fortunate in being able to procure the services of Mr. Ian Campbell as coordinator for this work, carrying out the co-ordination of voluntary agencies, supporting their effort, which I think is a very important phase of the work, along with the provincial governments, municipal governments where applicable and the federal departments that I have mentioned; and I am sure all hon. members, many of whom have spoken about this matter in relation to measures that were going through the house, will wish this effort the greatest possible success. Mr. Campbell, I might interject, had very effective experience in the organization and development of the rehabilitation work under the workmen's compensation act of Ontario.

The publication of the Labour Gazette, the provision of information for the public on such subjects as seasonal unemployment and the employment problems of older workers, the valuable research work done by the legislation branch and the economics and research branch, the administration of the annuities act and the Government Employees Compensation Act, the international work of the ILO, the excellent contributions made by advisory bodies including the national advisory council on manpower, are all matters which I shall be glad to go fully into when the items are up in my estimates.

I shall turn for a moment to the unemployment insurance commission. Since we have a bill before the house on which that will be discussed I shall try not to overlap tonight in my comment on it. The three man commission which is responsible for administration of the Unemployment Insurance Act is representative of employer and employee organizations, with a chief commissioner acting as chairman. The two operating branches of the commission's country-wide organization deal with employment and insurance respectively and in that order of importance. I do not think we should look upon the insurance feature as having a high priority. Only after all efforts toward employment have failed does insurance come into the picture.

At the close of the last fiscal year the commission was operating 262 offices in Canada. These were located at key points in every province with a view to giving efficient service to the public. Five regional offices are located at Moncton, taking care of the four Atlantic provinces; Montreal, taking care of the entire province of Quebec; Toronto, taking care of the province of Ontario, less the western end of that province, west of the twin cities; the prairie region, with headquarters at Winnipeg in charge of the prairies and running up to the north pole through the Northwest Territories and including a little slice of British Columbia in the northeast corner east of the Rockies, and at Vancouver in charge of all of the remaining part of British Columbia and the Yukon.

First, the employment field during the last fiscal year: in that period local employment offices received some 2J million applications from persons seeking employment, while employers registered 1J million vacancies. It is of course unnecessary to state that some of these 2| million applicants for jobs may have been the same person repeating in some instances. Hon. members will appreciate that suitable work is not always available for unemployed persons, nor are suitable workers

Supply-Labour

always available for jobs which employers have to offer in that particular place. Nevertheless the national employment service was successful in effecting 926,000 placements, which represented some 75 per cent of the total jobs registered. Applications for employment were up 10-4 per cent from the previous year; vacancies registered by employers were up 5-7 per cent, while placements were up 9-3 per cent.

I think it would be of interest to mention that included in the total placement figures of the employment service were some 106,400 placements of veterans; also that 37,000 placements were effected by transferring workers from one part of the country to the other for certain types of seasonal work.

The fiscal year opened with some apprehension as to the labour supply required to meet the defence program. The civilian economy was operating at a very high level. Demands for the defence program turned out to be less than had been anticipated, and except for certain highly skilled occupations no real shortages developed even during the heavy employment summer months. With the usual seasonal slackening of employment toward the winter, together with a heavy flow of immigration during the late months of 1951, a situation developed where there were considerably more workers available than there were jobs. A peak of unemployment was reached this year on April 3. It may be interesting to compare this year with the last two years. The peak in 1950 was on April 6 at 434,323. The low that year was September 28, at 133,074. The peak in 1951 was February 8 with 303,666, which was relatively low for a high point of seasonal unemployment. The low of 1951 came on August 30 with 127,136. This year the peak came on April 3, as I said a moment ago, with 385,008, and the medium on May 22, which is the last figure I have, and which might be called something of a medium period, when it stood at 242,508.

These figures will give the house some idea of the extent of the commission's operations in the employment field. In addition to what is generally regarded as the function of an employment service-that is, finding workers for employers and jobs for workers-the national employment service by the clearance system now in effect can enable an employer in one part of Canada quite often to obtain the services of rare types of workers from some distant part of the country, and with some time lag it has been possible to fill individual needs through immigration resources. Without going into detail on the matter as to how it is worked out, I can tell the committee that the system has, in my opinion, produced quite good results.

Supply-Labour

The commission has special facilities for counselling and placing handicapped persons who might otherwise be unable to obtain employment. It will be noted that under the work of the Department of Labour proper, which I mentioned a moment ago, I indicated that part of this task in connection with handicapped persons must be carried out in the field of training. Very intimately related to that is the task of placement which, of course, with us comes under the national employment service. But I can tell the committee that those efforts are very closely co-ordinated, not only in Ottawa but in the regional offices.

During the calendar year 1951 the figures disclose that 14,344 jobs were found for physically handicapped persons in Canada by local offices of the commission. This represents an increase of more than 3,300 placements over the 1950 figures. This branch also furnishes special facilities for counselling and placing young people who never worked before, as well as older workers who find it difficult to get jobs. Co-operation is being given the other interested departments in connection with the new national committee which has been established for the purpose of assisting in the rehabilitation of disabled persons.

A division of the employment branch of the commission devotes itself particularly to dealing with problems connected with women's employment. More than 265,000 women were placed in employment by the commission during the last fiscal year. This is an increase of 7-5 per cent over placements made in the previous year. The placement of women immigrants to Canada has constituted one of the responsibilities of this portion of the commission's work. Nearly 3,000 women entered Canada during the fiscal year as domestic workers.

The employment services, together with the Department of Labour, co-operate in the closest possible harmony with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in the reception of immigrants at the airports, and their placement.

The government has introduced an amendment to the act. I shall not go into the phase of the matter dealing with the fund itself, because that can be discussed later. I should like however to mention that provision was made in November 1950 to enable veterans of Canada's special forces to count their service toward the payment of benefits if unemployed after honourable discharge, in very much the same way as the veterans of 1945. During 1951 this arrangement was extended to veterans of Canada's regular forces who enlisted after July 5, 1950, and

who are discharged within three years of their enlistment date.

The cost of administering the unemployment insurance program is not charged against the unemployment insurance fund. It is paid out of the general revenues of Canada. Administration costs for the fiscal year ended March 31 last totalled $23,519,567 as compared with $21,904,809 in the previous fiscal year. The increase is due almost entirely to increased salaries and wages of the staff. At the close of the last fiscal year the total regular staff of the commission stood at 6,885 in comparison with 7,051 at March 31, 1951. In addition there were 1,262 casual employees on strength. These were assisting in meeting the very heavy claims load remaining toward the end of the usual winter peak period. They were also working in connection with the annual renewal of unemployment insurance books.

I hope what I have said will give the committee some very general and perhaps patchy information about the work of the department and of the commission. I shall be glad to furnish any more detailed information that I can, as the discussion on the estimates proceeds.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to thank the minister for his statement, although I was not able to grasp immediately the significance of all of it. I shall read it in Hansard, and perhaps I shall have comment to make at some later time. At this stage I do not propose to make any remarks about unemployment insurance or its administration because, as the minister said, an amending bill will be before the house for consideration within a few days. With the opportunity then afforded, and that offered in the discussion of the items in the estimates, I believe we will be able to ask any questions we may wish concerning the commission.

I cannot refrain from saying that the minister's statement that 265,000 women were placed during the past year supports the plea I have made in the house on former occasions that the personnel of the commission should be enlarged by the addition of a woman commissioner. I believe there is very definitely work for her to do on the commission. The fact that so many of the insured persons and so many of the applicants are women would support my contention that a woman should be on the commission, one who has had experience in the field of female labour and who will understand the problems with which women are confronted in the various types of work in which they are engaged in Canada.

For a short time this evening I would direct the attention of the committee to some general items which, I believe, can be dis-

cussed under the heading of activities of the national advisory council on manpower. I noticed that in reply to a question asked a short time ago by the hon. member for Broadview the minister said that the last meeting of the council was held on February 26. In the light of that fact it is interesting to note that in the estimates the amount requested for the activities of this council has been practically doubled, and the staff has been increased. This leads me to ask whether or not the council has a definite plan upon which to work, or whether it is merely meeting to hear reports prepared by officials of the department.

I noticed in a recent issue of the Labour Gazette that a new member, in the person of Mr. J. C. Armer, president of the Canadian industrial preparedness association, has been named to the council. I think that is all to the good. People well qualified to review the activities of the department and to inquire into conditions of labour generally in Canada from time to time should be invited to participate' in the activities of the council. I should like to say, however, that I believe we are passing up a great opportunity if we permit this council, formed I believe with the idea that it was to meet at regular intervals and make recommendations to the Department of Labour, to fall into disuse and become merely another name in the records of the department.

Many things in the labour field should be looked into, some of which the minister mentioned tonight. At this time I would make special reference, first, to the matter of vocational training. I see the vote is slightly increased. I believe the provinces should be called into closer co-operation to provide specialized training for those capable of absorbing it. Many of our people are capable of receiving training in addition to what it has been their privilege to obtain in the schools or vocational institutions in the ordinary course of events, paid for by their own families or their own efforts. One class in particular I am thinking of, and I know this from personal knowledge, is stenographic help. I think the minister knows that there is a great shortage of stenographers. When one attempts to fill a staff in an office he is confronted with the glaring inadequacy of the supply. Yet many of the young women applying for work at the employment offices are capable of taking further training to fit themselves for these positions.

I know that this cannot be done overnight because it takes a while to train for this work, but some of the young women who through circumstances have been forced to leave school and take positions in factories, as

Supply-Labour

sales clerks or at various types of clerical work which do not require any preliminary training are quite capable of assimilating this type of training. This is just one example which I mention. I urge upon the minister that schedule M of the dominion-provincial training agreement be implemented to make provision for this type of training for those who are capable of taking it.

I think the whole rehabilitation program should be based upon the needs of the labour market. Vocational training could then be employed to make available the type of worker required as disclosed by a survey of the positions which remain unfilled for any length of time. I do not know how far the department has gone in this regard, and perhaps when the minister speaks again he will tell us what plans they have under way. I think this problem is one which could well be taken under consideration by organizations such as the national advisory council, which in turn could set up a committee to inquire into the matter.

I know there are groups throughout the country engaged in welfare and social work who have studied this problem. In my own city I know the Canadian welfare council and the council of social agencies have joined together with the Canadian Congress of Labour and the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada to study this question and prepare recommendations to be presented to the Department of Labour. I commend them for the interest they have taken in the matter. I feel that when voluntary organizations are willing to spend time and effort to promote the interests of the working men and women of this country the Department of Labour should pick it up from there and accelerate this whole program.

There is another problem which causes me grave concern. I know I am not alone in this because the publications of the country are filled with articles by various individuals interested in sociology and labour conditions who express like concern over the problem of the older worker. I was interested to note that in the brief presented by the Canadian Congress of Labour to the government on March 27 this problem was dealt with. I should like to quote a couple of sentences in that brief which 1 think pretty well express the general concern which is being felt:

It is becoming more and more difficult for workers over forty years of age to obtain employment in either public service or private industry. The life expectancy of Canadian citizens is increasing, and it is becoming highly important that employment should be available for workers, at least up to the age of 65. We strongly urge the government to set an example to private industry by raising the age limits on new employees who are otherwise qualified, and that the Department of Labour continue its efforts in this regard.

Supply-Labour

I am sure I am not saying anything new to this house when I say that a popular topic Df conversation and basis for study these days is the increased life expectancy of Dur citizens. I feel sure we all agree that :redit must be given to many departments Df health and voluntary organizations for ;he work they have done on a paid and voluntary basis among their fellow human Deings. However, the impact of this fact m society in general and on the economy of ;he nation is now being felt.

I was interested to note that A. R. Mosher, i leading union man in Canada, has written :wo interesting articles which appeared in ;he Canadian Unionist which are well worth ;he perusal and study of hon. members. At ;his time I intend to quote only a few words )f what he said. Dealing with this problem md having noted the increased life expectancy of most citizens, he said:

Within the next eight years Canada will have me and one-half million persons 65 years of age md over, or one-tenth of the population.

This is a sharp increase over the figures of i few years ago, and I suppose it would be *easonable to assume that as time goes on wen this estimate may be surpassed. Speaking >n this matter a year ago, with particular [DOT]eference to unemployed employables, I said:

Then there are those who are over-and I think I would be safe in saying this-45 years of age who ire not particularly acceptable in many industries :oday, through no fault of their own. As workers hey are just as good as, if not better than, some if the younger people. But I am sure hon. mem-jers of this committee know full well why they are lot acceptable. It is true enough that some of the lifficulty is the fault of the workers themselves who have from time to time insisted upon protec-ion; and insurance companies being what they are, jeing dependent upon actuarial balances and wish-ng to establish themselves firmly, find that it is mpossible to take older men into their insurance ichemes.

I do not know where the fault lies, Mr. Chair-nan. It is a vicious circle. Certainly the men ire right in seeking to protect themselves in their ilder years. But certainly it is also true that those vho are financing these schemes and who feel that hey must establish this insurance on an actuarially ;ound basis cannot be criticized for protecting the rery contributions of the men who are paying into [DOT] he fund. That is only right and proper; but it ilaces the older man in a particularly bad position, vhen he is thrown out of one job, probably through 10 fault of his own, and is forced to seek employ-nent elsewhere. More often than not, that par-icular man finds that he is a drifter in the produc-ive world. He takes a job where he can get one vhen workers are so much in demand that em-iloyers will take anyone; then when the labour orce catches up with the demand, he is out again, lonsequently from that time on he has no continuity if employment and no hope of establishing himself or his old age.

I have purposely repeated those words vhich I spoke in this debate a year ago iecause I feel they are still very true. The ituation is probably becoming more of a >roblem as time goes on. Mr. Mosher also

comments in this same vein when he says in his article in the Canadian Unionist of May:

There is another aspect of this problem, namely, the refusal of government and industry to give employment to workers even in their forties. If anyone over 45 loses his employment, he finds it increasingly difficult to become re-employed, and ironically, this practice is partly due to the adoption of pension plans.

It will probably be clear now why I wanted to read what I said a year ago because no less a person than Mr. Mosher agrees with me, or I agree with him. In any event, we are in agreement. Mr. Mosher goes on to say:

Older workers who are taken on by a new employer are ordinarily unable to make sufficient contributions to a pension plan to provide for retirement at sixty-five. What we are faced with, therefore, is not only the failure of government and industry to make the fullest use of the available manpower in the middle age group, but a stringent requirement that no one shall be permitted to retain any gainful employment after he reaches 65.

He makes a very good point, too, when he says a little later in the same article:

It is noteworthy that, while industry and government lay down a fixed retiring age of 65, persons who are self-employed, running a corner grocery, a bookstore, or a cigar stand may continue to earn a good livelihood and manage their affairs efficiently even in their eighties. The same observation applies to farmers, who are usually quite capable of operating their farms, from an administrative standpoint, at least, until they reach an advanced age.

I am sure there is not a member of the house who has not within his personal acquaintance someone who at an advanced age is doing an excellent job of earning a living for himself. Because a person passes a certain age in life does not mean that his capabilities are necessarily impaired. True, there are many who suffer from various conditions of impairment of faculties, but on the other hand there are some who, while they may suffer from physical disabilities, retain a bright intellect to the end of their days. There are others who, while such faculties as sight and hearing may be slightly impaired, are still capable of undertaking heavy jobs of work which require great strength.

Therefore one cannot lay down a hard and fast rule for any group of workers, and I believe with Mr. Mosher that this a problem which we must face and to which we should be giving considerable study at this time. In the May issue of the Labour Gazette there is an article which tells of conditions within the United States. The heading is, "Fewer men over 45 now working in United States." The article reads:

In spite of the increased employment in the first half of 1951, the proportion of men 45 and over in the United States labour force was lower than it was in April, 1945, according to a report just issued by the bureau of labour statistics. Women 45 and

over, however, had regained by April, 1950, the high rate of participation they reached during the second world war.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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An hon. Member:

There are no women over 45.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO READJUST REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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June 12, 1952