March 16, 1954


John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

The Prime Minister took the same attitude.


Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

I draw that to the attention of hon. members to demonstrate that there is a difference in their attitude towards wheat, which is being produced in this country today by, I believe, ten times as many people as are employed in all of the gold mines in Canada. The figure is at least ten times greater, because I believe there are no less than 250,000 wheat farmers and only about 22,000 workers in the gold mines. Yet we are subsidizing the production of gold and we would not think of establishing something like a support price for wheat in order to stabilize the economy to a greater extent than has been done in the past.

I draw that to the attention of the hon. gentleman because I feel there ought to be some consistency in our policy. I am not doing this to rub it in or to indicate any opposition to this measure.


An hon. Member:

It makes good rubbing, though.


Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

I make that statement merely because it indicates that those of us from the west are just a little bit more charitable than some of the fellows from the east. We are supporting this measure because we understand what it means and we are trying to keep in mind the welfare of the entire country. We believe that if, in the case of any of

these important producing industries in our country, it becomes necessary to take unusual methods to encourage their production so that they will meet the need which exists, we ought not to jump to the conclusion that we are going to rule out support. I believe support prices have their place in any economy. That, Mr. Chairman, can very easily be proved, for you cannot possibly ensure that each group within the national economy shall obtain a fair share of the national income unless something in the nature of a support price is established. I do not mean permanently, but the principle generally has to be established, and. I recognize the wisdom of that principle.

We are supporting this measure because we recognize that at the present time we must give encouragement to the production of gold because, in the first place, those who are dependent upon its production need that assistance, and secondly, because we need the gold, particularly for the settlement of the adverse trade balance which we have with the United States. That is our reason for supporting this measure, Mr. Chairman, and I do not think I need say any more at this stage.



Armand Dumas


Mr. Dumas:

Mr. Chairman, as I do not

want to delay the passing of this resolution, my comments will be very brief. However, I reserve the right to speak at greater length on the motion for second reading of the bill.

Mr. Chairman, if there ever was a resolution which no one in this house should oppose and which should, on the contrary, be supported by every hon. member, it is the resolution now before us. I understand however that it is the duty and responsibility of all members to ask for information, to inquire as to the provisions contained in the bill and to make sure that the money our Canadian taxpayers have been called upon to pay because of the enactment of a measure such as this, has been well spent.

I have been puzzled, however, by the stand some hon. members have taken and I intend to make a few comments for the benefit of those who only look for shortcomings in this industry, as well as in the interest of those who might be tempted to do likewise because they fear our government is making a mistake or is giving too much assistance to our gold mining industry.

First of all, payments made under the gold mining assistance act are not so large compared to the over-all budget of our country. Neither are they large compared to the subsidies paid to other key industries to tide them over difficult periods. They are not 83276-193

Gold Mining

large in comparison with the amounts the government obtains, through income tax, from the gold mining industry and the people it employs. They are not large in comparison with the total profits made by all those other industries which do business with the gold mining industry. Finally, they are not large compared to the cost of reopening those gold mines and of putting the mining centres on an active basis once they have been abandoned for want of assistance.

In all sincerity, I urge all those who are concerned about this matter to think it over before declaring themselves squarely against the passing of a bill to help an industry and a section of our population which is in dire need of such help.

Let us examine the matter calmly and unselfishly. Let us remember that the welfare of the nation as a whole always requires that citizens be satisfied with their lot.

Once the price of gold will have reached a proper level, the gold industry will occupy the place it deserves in our economy. Instead of constituting a burden for the Canadian taxpayer, it will contribute generously, as in the past, to the welfare of the nation and of all Canadians.

That is why the resolution now before the house concerns not only the gold mining industry and the mining, agricultural and other centres directly dependent upon it, but also the country as a whole.

Let no one believe that the Canadian taxpayer is willing to sacrifice an industry as important as the gold mining industry. No, never. That is why the Liberal governments that have been in power these last few years have, as we all know, legislated in accordance with the wishes of the Canadian people and in their interest.

One must not consider lightly the importance of an industry which during 1951 paid for salaries, electricity, fuel, equipment, machine parts of all sorts and buildings, the fat sum of $127 million. Nearly $69 million were paid in salaries alone.

No, Mr. Chairman, the gold problem does not concern only the gold mining industry. It does not concern solely the provinces where we find gold mines; it does not concern only towns like Kirkland Lake and Timmins, in Ontario; Malartic, Yal d'Or and Duparquet

Gold Mining

in Quebec; Ogama-Rockland and Snow Lake, in Manitoba; Bralorne, Hedley and Wells in British Columbia; Dawson and Yellowknife in the Yukon and Mackenzie river country, to mention but a few. It is a problem that concerns all Canadians and Canada as a whole.

Since the middle of 1946, production costs in gold mines have constantly increased, although technical progress and a better yield have enabled the industry to keep the increase in costs to a minimum.

The industry suffered a further disadvantage, and it is not the least. The price received for an ounce of gold not only remained the same, that is the equivalent in Canadian dollars of 35 United States dollars, but also, following the appreciation of our dollar, in terms of the dollar of our neighbour to the south, the operators constantly received inferior prices, so that, on the average, an ounce of gold yielded $34.27 in 1952, $34.45 in 1953, and went down as low as $33.76 during February last.

The Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act is essentially intended to help the owners of Canadian mines to meet the considerably increased cost of gold, the price of which, contrary to that of primary products derived from mining or other industries, not only has not increased, but has had a tendency to go down during the last few years.

This act was given royal assent on May 14, 1948, and put into force during the years 1948, 1949 and 1950. It was afterwards amended in 1951, 1952 and 1953, and it lapsed on December 31 last.

On October 7, 1953, the Right Hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) explained that the particular problems which during the past few years have confronted the gold mining industry and the communities depending on it still existed, and he announced that consequently the government intended to ask parliament to extend this legislation for another year. That was referred to in the speech from the throne at the opening of this session and a resolution to this effect is now before us.

I have always had at heart the interest of my constituents and it is for this reason that I am today well at ease to deal with this question from all its angles. The miners, the workers and the farmers of my district know of what stuff I am made and they are

well aware that I have always tried to protect their interest. They recognize also that those who try to run down the industry and its leaders, while masquerading under the title of protectors of the working class, are doing them more harm than good.

I want to say again that I never miss an opportunity in this house to point out the difficult problems confronting the gold mining industry. I always did my best to collaborate with the government and the other members who have at heart the improvement of the industry and the welfare of the people connected with it.

I am convinced that by rising to the defence of the gold mines I am working in the best interest of all those who live in the county of Villeneuve, whether miners, farmers, merchants or small property owners. I feel that I have done my duty and I am determined to continue to do so.


Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in.

Mr. Prudham thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 376, to amend the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.




Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)


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

the second reading of Bill No. 326, to amend the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act.

He said: Mr. Speaker, following the passage of the resolution on March 3 I attempted to cover some of the points that had been made during the debate but in looking over Hansard I find that I did not cover them all; and perhaps the ones that were covered were not fully dealt with. I am just going to mention the points, one by one, that I have jotted down and make comment on them. The hon. member for Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) asked for the reason for the increase in the membership of the advisory council. The purpose of the increase is to provide for representation from all the provincial governments and at the same time to have enough vacancies so that other national bodies within our Canadian community may have representation on the board.

Then she asked this question: Under whose auspices will the training be given? The training will be given under the auspices of the federal-provincial training program known as the Canadian vocational training program and the trainees will be selected by special committees representing the federal government, provincial governments and the social agencies concerned with the individual trainees.

Then she also asked this question: Is it

planned to confine this training to schools or will some rehabilitation centres be authorized to give training? The answer to that question is that all available training facilities will be used as they may be required, including schools, existing rehabilitation centres and, I would hope, future rehabilitation centres. The question was asked: Will training be given along apprenticeship lines? The answer is yes, and also along any line that may be required to meet the needs of the trainees. I am now of course speaking exclusively of disabled persons in need of rehabilitation training.

I made some reference the other day to what my friend the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) had said. He asked me few direct questions but he said this, and I am going to quote his words as reported at page 2625 of Hansard:

I am concerned about giving the boy who had to leave school before reaching the eighth or tenth grade a chance to go back for a year and pick up the knowledge of mathematics necessary to get into a trade course.

That is the end of what I will quote.

Even though, as I stated the other day, the suggestion made by my hon. friend falls pretty well within provincial jurisdiction, I consider that it is a very important one. To answer with some optimism, I think it is true that the provincial governments are all trying quite hard to encourage their young people to obtain a well-rounded basic education. To this end some encouragement is given by the very terms under which family allowances are paid. But I can hear my hon. friend saying that that is all right but nevertheless they are leaving school-too early in many cases-to help their large families of brothers and sisters from what they are able to earn.

As a matter of fact he brought such a young man to see me just the other day. But I think I can tell him that by full utilization of the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act provincially and federally-and I am not saying that it is being utilized fully-a great deal could be done to meet the needs of the 83276-193J

16, 1954 3039

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act young people about whom he is greatly concerned. So far as the officials of my department are concerned, they are very anxious to utilize it to the greatest extent.

The hon. member for Brandon-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale), in addition to questions which I answered, asked whether there would be financial assistance for agricultural schools for rural young people who lack the advantage of a formal high school education. Under the provisions of the youth training schedule established under the act, such training is given through short-term courses in the winter months. Vocational courses in agriculture in secondary schools are also assisted under the vocational schools assistance agreement. All financial assistance is given through the provincial governments and is usually shared fifty-fifty. He also asked whether financial assistance is possible for a large school area program. By "large school area program" I take it that he refers to what some provinces term regional high schools, a large school which takes in a large country area. The answer there is no, not in full, but any vocational courses included in such a large school area program might be eligible for assistance.

He also asked whether there is any provision in the act for vocational guidance. I said the other night that the only means 1 knew of by which federal assistance in training personnel in vocational guidance was given was under the physical fitness program of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). However, I was reminded afterwards that in the federal Department of Labour we do provide assistance to the provinces to some extent by supplying occupational monographs on various skills and by providing special film strips giving occupational information.

The hon. member for Wellington South (Mr. Hosking) inquired as to what proportion of the cost of vocational schools the federal government is prepared to pay. I think I answered the other part of his question the other night. Normally the federal government refunds to the provincial government up to 50 per cent of the cost of approved vocational school buildings and equipment. All such expenditures are of course subject to the limitation of the funds that may be voted by parliament from year to year.

The hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green) asked if the scheme was wide enough to provide retraining for merchant seamen. I think I answered that question the other night. He also asked what changes are to be made in the training given to men and women in the defence forces. No


Vocational Training Co-ordination Act changes whatsoever are visualized under this bill. I think that covers most of the questions. After the debate on second reading is concluded I should like to move that the bill be referred to the standing committee on industrial relations, not because it contains any particularly difficult sections but because there may be some relevant matters that members of the committee would like to look into more fully. In addition, they may wish to have officials appear before the committee to answer questions in detail.


Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Clarence Gillis (Caps Ereion South):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the minister has announced that he intends to send the bill to the standing committee on industrial relations for study. I have examined the bill, and everything suggested in it is an improvement over the old act, which indicates that the department has at least been giving some study to the matter. I consider the question of vocational training to be a very important one. It has much more importance than a lot of people in the provinces attach to it. I have looked at the 1953 figures for immigration, education, employment and job vacancies. Anyone who does so will realize the need for study. I also want to emphasize that we are not living in a time when we can sit back, throw old slogans at people and say that there is a solution in those slogans. We are living in a world that is going through a revolution. We in Canada and on the whole North American continent are living in a time when we may have to start retraining many people who have been in certain industries for a long time.

In my judgment the basic job that we have to do concerns the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act. We have made a start on it but it requires further study and other mechanics must be devised. Without elaborating on this angle too much, I want to point out that the 1953 figures for education show that only 40 per cent of Canadian students got through high school and only 10 per cent of that 40 per cent to university. These are national averages. That means that 90 per cent of the children leaving school in Canada today are in need of further training. That alone indicates that there is a job to be done in this field.

I looked at the immigration figures. We are bringing a lot of people into the country. I think the average is 160,000 a year. Unemployment insurance commission figures show that as of May, 1953, there were 407,000 registered unemployed but alongside that there were 338,000 job vacancies involving the filling of jobs largely in the skilled trades. When you consider that 90 per cent of our children leaving school need further

training, and couple with that the immigration figures of the number of unskilled personnel we are taking into the country and the wide open field for skilled tradesmen as indicated by the official figures, it definitely points up the need for the committee to sit down and take a look at the whole problem.

The original act, as suggested in the 19451946 report, was a pretty realistic approach to the problem. I have looked at it section by section, and one thing was recognized very definitely. If you look at page 16 of the vocational training report for 1945-46 it will be found that some pertinent observations are made on this subject of prematriculation schools. This is something that has not been followed up in connection with the whole program of vocational training. Then again, if you look at the report for 1948-49 it will be found the minister is correct when he points out that much of the responsibility for taking advantage of the mechanics laid down in the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act rests with the provinces. The fact is that the provinces just have not gone out and made use of this type of training, as they could have.

In discussing this subject hon. members will, of course, express pride in their native provinces; and if a province is doing a reasonably good job it is understandable to hear an hon. member pointing out what his province is doing. But I do suggest to some hon. members I see across the floor of the house, who are pretty well qualified in the field through having had jurisdiction in provincial administrations, that we have to sort out what we mean when we talk about vocational training.

In my judgment vocational high schools do not fit into the picture of vocational training, except in so far as they can give the student the academic education required to enter some trade. A considerable number of vocational high schools have been established across the country; but in my view the vocational high school is a short-cut and an easier way to get money for the purpose of building schools. It presents less difficulty than facing up to the necessity for a trade school that will turn out skilled tradesmen who are able to take a job. In most vocational high schools -and they are found in every section of every province-an automobile will be placed in a classroom for the benefit of the students. By the time they spend a year in the class they may discover that the engine has six cylinders, but they do not have sufficient information to go out and take jobs as motor mechanics.

We must sort out our thinking on the subject and, in most provinces, we will have to retrain adults who may have been in

industry for a long time. I think in particular of the textile industry. Mills are being closed and whole communities are faced with total unemployment. Those people cannot be expected to walk out of an industry in which they have been engaged for years and take work in another with which they are not familiar. In many communities in which there are industrial casualties, in this process of free competition, the workers will have to be retrained. That cannot be done with the sort of training offered in the vocational high school.

In my opinion this is the big problem facing us. I might also make reference to the coal industry which, because of technological advances and the introduction of oil and gas, is being scrapped. We cannot run away from this problem, and some retraining will have to be done in the coal industry. Only a few nights ago the president of Dominion Steel and Coal company said that he considered the coal, steel and textile industries in the maritime provinces to be depressed industries. A good deal of retraining may have to be done in the steel industry.

When the committee gets down to business it will have to realize that it is not possible to have equality of opportunity in any phase of our educational program, unless there is some arrangement between the federal and provincial governments whereby equality can be established. It must be kept in mind that all provinces in Canada do not have the same per capita incomes. While British Columbia and Ontario might be able to do an excellent job, there are other provinces who cannot participate in the 50-50 proposal for the setting up of trade schools or, indeed, any other kind of school.

Provincial governments in that position will have to sit down with federal government authorities and work out some arrangement whereby the problem can be met. There is not the same need in every province for retraining and vocational training generally. The problem will be much greater in those provinces least able to handle it, and we are going to have to make special arrangements in this regard.

Looking at the net revenues of the various provinces as revealed in their budgets for 1954, which appeared in the press, one is confronted with the following figures:

Province Net Revenue

Newfoundland $30,947,000

Prince Edward Island 7,044,000

Nova Scotia 45,942,000

New Brunswick 45,388,000

Quebec 289,275,000

Ontario 333,486,000

Manitoba 53,119,000

Saskatchewan 85,094,000

Alberta 125,483,000

British Columbia 182,061,000

16, 1954

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act

This difference in provincial incomes proves definitely that there is no possibility of equality in this matter, as between province and province, without some special arrangement being made with the federal government to meet the cost.

Then, in a province such as Ontario we find organizations such as the Atkinson charitable foundation, which assists greatly in the field of education. While I am not going to discuss the figures in detail, the report for 1953 indicates that a large amount of money is being allocated to special educational projects that are of great assistance to both the provincial and the dominion governments.

However, this is not found in some of the other provinces. The Atkinson fund is limited to Ontario. For this reason Ontario is able to do more in the field of education than another province which does not have the support of organizations of this kind.

If anyone looks at the list of responsible organizations across the country that are making a particular study of the subject, he will see listed the Canadian welfare society which, in its last report, makes definite recommendations in the matter of unemployment, retraining, and youth leaving school who require more training. All these are matters our committee should study.

I hope this time we will do a real job in the field of vocational training because, in my opinion, it is basic to the future of our country, and is badly needed.

In the memorandum presented to the government recently by the Canadian Congress of Labour they ask for the calling of a meeting of representatives of provincial governments with a view to establishing some degree of uniformity in the matter of apprenticeship training, vocational training and the like.

When this committee begins its sittings I do not think it should try to do the job in a hurry. When the committee is in session those responsible for handling vocational training in the different provinces across the country should be called before it in order to determine just what are the limitations in the provinces in regard to meeting the commitments under this act, because certainly there is something wrong when a better job is not done.

There is some set-up in Nova Scotia. I went to the trouble of getting in touch with the minister's very efficient officials who handle the matter, and it did not take very much paper to give me the facts on vocational training in Nova Scotia. However, something is established there on which you can build. They have vocational high schools


Vocational Training Co-ordination Act also, but I was not concerned with vocational high schools; I was concerned about the trade training schools.

A lot of confusion exists on this subject. Many people think if they have a number of vocational high schools it is the answer to the problem. Nobody coming out of those vocational high schools can walk down to the unemployment insurance office and say he is a mechanic, a bricklayer or a carpenter. The individual has to get into one of those trade training schools, or he has to get into some industry under the apprenticeship plan and serve his apprenticeship on the job. It is a good type of training, but it is completely within the hands of the employers of this country. It is a different proposition when you come to get boys and girls into industry for the purpose of training on the job. There are a lot of roadblocks to overcome.

In those trade training schools, such as the one in Halifax, a boy or a girl can enrol and be completely trained as an automobile mechanic, a machinist, a carpenter or a bricklayer and he or she can command the wages that are paid in that particular trade.

I recall the school that was set up at North Sydney, which is now unfortunately limping along on one foot. I think one course is still given there. Most of the equipment has been shipped away.


Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Small:

It is next to defunct?

'Mr. Gillis: Just about, but during the time it did function it was set up primarily to train service personnel. They did a very good job there in turning out carpenters and bricklayers. Bricklayers have been turned out there. I have questioned some of the men at the steel plant as to whether the graduates of that school were good, bad or indifferent. They told me that they were first-class. They had one in that plant who commanded top wages. They were considered good tradesmen.

The school at Halifax is still functioning. There are classes there. I notice, as an example, that at Halifax several are studying aircraft sheet metal work. Forty-seven were learning that trade; in machine tool operations there were 46; in welding, 40; in aircraft technician work, 36; electricians and construction, 67; machinists, 70; plumbers and pipefitters, none in the class; steamfitters, none.

That centre is at least operating, but from the information I have received I am reasonably sure it is labouring under difficulties. It is the only one that is functioning now. The buildings that were used by the trade school at North Sydney are still there. Most

of the equipment is still there. There is a supervisor in Nova Scotia who is looking after the whole thing as best he can. That school should be re-equipped.

The island of Cape Breton is one of the largest industrial centres east of Montreal. Many boys and girls who have gone through school need some special training. As the minister well knows, it is difficult for these boys and girls who come to this part of the country, when they get out of employment, to fit into other occupations. When they get out of employment on some labouring job they are stuck. They cannot take advantage of anything else. They come in to see you, and under those circumstances it is difficult to know what to do about them. There are hundreds drifting around the country today.

I am hoping that we shall not be in any hurry in giving final approval to this bill. I hope we will take a look at the whole vocational problem, that we shall call in representatives from the different provinces who are associated with the administration of this program and find out the difficulties they have to contend with in matching dollars in setting up the type of organization that is necessary to cope with the problem that is developing today.

This is one of the biggest jobs we shall have in the next couple of years. We shall have to see that adequate facilities are provided to take care of this problem of training boys and girls and those who may be displaced in other industries, to fit them for other vocations where they will be able to earn a living.

I would also suggest at this time that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) might have dinner with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Harris). With things developing as they are in the field of employment in this country, the minister should take a look at this matter of immigration. Our immigration should be on a more selected basis instead of just taking in a certain percentage of unskilled individuals. We have a large number of those now. To say that we are going to take in 185,000 next year, regardless of conditions in the country, is to be unrealistic. That problem dovetails into this whole picture.

I am a member of the committee, and as far as I am concerned I am not going to be in any hurry to get the evidence we need to make the adjustments that are necessary. We should be prepared to sit around that table for a long time and get all the information and advice we can so we may be able to get a working organization in this country, and also to clear our minds on the question

of apprenticeship, trade training and vocational high schools, because they are entirely different training.

In the field of actual trade schools we could do what we were doing during the war in bringing boys and girls up to a certain standard in certain subjects that were necessary in order to get them into some particular vocation. Pre-matriculatipn sections in the regular vocational training school are an absolute necessity. I hope this whole question of education, with particular reference to this problem, will be handled in a different way. I suggest that the provincial governments should sit down and rearrange their prejudices. They should try to do some serious and realistic thinking on this whole question, because you cannot sit on the prejudices of the past and improve the future, and I am afraid that is what is going on in many of the provinces in the whole field of education.


Francis Thrower Fairey


Mr. F. T. Fairey (Victoria, B.C.):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to speak at any great length upon this bill. Before I do address myself to this question may I say that I could not agree more with anybody than I do with the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) in most of the things he suggested a few moments ago.

With respect to the bill itself, there are just two points which I would like to bring to the attention of the house. One I think will satisfy all. That is the provision which permits representation on the advisory council of all provinces in Canada.

Where we are working in co-operation with the provinces it is time, as the last speaker said, that all should be present at council meetings so we may have their views and the benefit of their advice.

The second important amendment is the one which provides for training programs for the rehabilitation of the physically handicapped. I spoke at some length on this point at the resolution stage, and pointed out that in this and every country there are thousands of young men and women who are physically handicapped, maybe from birth or because of industrial accidents, disease or some other cause. Normal occupations are denied to them, but through retraining they can be made selfsupporting and therefore, as I said before, self-respecting. There is a tremendous opportunity to do a great work in this field. It is encouraging to know that the provisions of the act are to be enlarged to make this possible.

That is practically all that is in the bill. The act which it amends provides for many of the things mentioned by the hon. member

16, 1954 3043

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act for Cape Breton South. If I may I should like to comment upon some of his remarks. First, there is provision in this bill-it has been done for years-for the retraining of those whose former occupation is now denied them, and where the necessity has arisen for transfer to new occupations. That has been done and is being done.

I should like to remark upon the suggestion that vocational high schools are not the answer. That is perfectly true. Vocational high schools are supposed to provide young people an opportunity to find themselves, the 90 per cent of our school population who will have to earn their living in the workaday world, who will not go forward to the universities. These people have to be trained vocationally. By the way, may I remark that I would like to know what kind of education is not vocational. Even university education is training for some vocation, although perhaps "vocation" is not dignified enough for university people.

Nevertheless, for the 90 per cent of our young people who do not go through university, who have to go out to work, vocational high schools are intended to provide a background. It is what we sometimes call the finding process, during which young people through proper guidance can determine for themselves the employment into which they should go. When I say "should go" I mean because of their particular aptitudes or because of their particular training.

They are not intended to provide the world with mechanics. No school ever pretends to turn out mechanics. I go further and say that no school can turn out mechanics. I even doubt that that can be done by a trade school. No instructor in a trade school pretends that without the environment of the industry itself a young person can feel fully at home in any trade. That is why under this program we have followed the practice of trying to establish what we call plant schools for training on the job, and why under the present act we have provision for apprentice training. This is done in every province, in different ways it is true because the conditions are different. In every province in Canada there are courses for apprentices. I am sorry if I seem to be usurping the function of the minister, who will reply to this later on. The hon. member for Cape Breton South mentioned a course in coal mining. We tried to do the same thing in British Columbia, but I think he will agree with me that you cannot train a coal miner in a school.

One important contribution the hon. member made was to refer to the difficulty we have always experienced in the matter of


Vocational Training Co-ordination Act equality of opportunity. Due to the inequality of financial resources the richer provinces naturally can provide better facilities than those not so well favoured. That is why the council was established to advise the minister. It is an advisory council. The council has wrestled with this problem for several years, and I think it likely that some concrete suggestions may come forward from it this year so that the participation of the federal government will not be as it was in the past but may in some measure meet the objections which my hon. friend mentioned.

I have already mentioned apprentices. There is a good field there. The council which is to be constituted under this amending bill will, as I have said before, be representative of all the provinces. Therefore we shall be able to get a broader concept of the needs of the country as a whole and each province individually will be able to place its views, and advice before the minister.

I think this is just a step. I agree wholeheartedly with my hon. friend that vocational training is a major and important undertaking in this country. We have only just begun it, and it must be developed. Perhaps I might remind you of what I said at the resolution stage. Once we get the door to federal participation open some of us are ready to give it a little push and open it a little wider.


Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

May I correct the record. The hon. member says you cannot train miners in a school. I agree with him. However, despite their experience in British Columbia there was a good school established underground by the coal mining industry in Nova Scotia. This did an excellent job during the war and should have been continued.


Leon David Crestohl


Mr. L. D. Crestohl (Cartier):

Mr. Speaker,

I should like to make one or two observations on this matter. I feel like the hon. member for Cape Breton South and all those who are of the opinion that not sufficient attention is being given to the value of vocational training schools generally. I am pleased to see that the minister has now introduced a measure which may enable us to highlight the importance and the value of vocational training.

The hon. member for Cape Breton South referred to the fact that people coming to this country require training. Veterans returning from duty overseas, who have been away from their work, will need training if they intend to go into the trades. This country must keep abreast with mechanical progress, and that can be done only through vocational training.

We face the problem that the provinces are continually setting up by legislation joint committees or boards before which young people must appear to obtain what are called competence cards to qualify them for employment as bricklayers, machinists, electricians or carpenters. The people making up these boards which deal with competence cards are often those employed in the particular trade, and they may feel they have a certain vested interest in suppressing competition in that trade, and are apt to create difficulties for people who want to enter the trade. I feel that the creation of a system of vocational training schools would perhaps improve the present procedure under which young people must qualify for employment in various trades.

If, for example, a person graduates from a recognized trade school as an electrician or a carpenter and obtains a diploma from that school which, in effect, declares that he is now a competent carpenter, electrician, bricklayer or barber, that should be sufficient to enable that individual to qualify for a job in that particular trade. He should not again be subjected to scrutiny by a group of superexaminers within that trade who might be interested, as I pointed out, in forestalling competition and therefore might unfairly review a man's competence. To my way of thinking, the establishment of schools where people can be trained is not unlike the establishment of a system of universities. The previous speaker very properly pointed out that 90 per cent of our people do not attend universities. Yet, though I have not the figures with me, I believe we will find that a far greater proportion of money is expended in training the remaining 10 per cent of our population in the professions than is expended in training the 90 per cent in the trades in a form of skilled labour, which I believe, is the very basis of the future of this country.

For that reason, Mr. Chairman, I would like to commend the minister for introducing this amending bill at the present time, particularly with regard to that section of the bill which makes it possible for veterans to acquire training. Our men who are overseas away from their work, who in their formative years at the age of 19, 20, or 21 went into military service, have not had a proper opportunity to train themselves for the future. When they return four or five years later it is extremely helpful to them if they are able to enter a vocational school, if not a university, where they will become trained, equipped, and able to take their place in society. I consider that is a very helpful amendment to the present act.

Earlier in the session I placed a resolution on the order paper in which I asked the government to consider introducing legislation to allow as an exemption from income tax the fees which are to be paid to vocational training schools. I lay great emphasis on the fact, Mr. Speaker, that helping people to help themselves and making it possible for that 90 per cent of our population to become trained, self-respecting and self-supporting citizens, is one of the greatest duties we can possibly perform. If we shall encounter difficulties with the provinces on the constitutional aspect of this matter I am quite prepared to go along with the hon. member for Cape Breton South in suggesting that perhaps some federal system of vocational training schools should be created. Perhaps some conference can be held at which the federal authorities will be able to work out a method of closer co-operation with the provincial authorities so that the proper emphasis, the emphasis which the subject deserves, can be placed on creating adequate, competent, and satisfactory vocational training schools in Canada.


Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. R. R. Knight (Saskatoon):

Mr. Speaker,

I was very glad indeed to hear the remarks of the hon. member for Cartier, who has just taken his seat, and generally I am in agreement with what he said. We know, of course, the difficulty we encounter in this country when we talk about federal participation in education, or federal grants to the provinces for the purpose of education. I am not thinking of vocational training as being education in the ordinary sense of the word, but it seems to me that no matter what branch of education we discuss, whether vocational or otherwise, we have to bear in mind that the provinces are not training or educating citizens for the province of Ontario or Saskatchewan or Quebec, but for all of Canada. In the same manner in which transportation crosses the provincial boundary lines, so also does this matter of training and education cross these provincial boundary lines.

In this regard I have in mind particularly the maritimes, from which the hon. member for Cape Breton South comes, and I am thinking of the great contribution to education which has been made by individuals from those particular provinces, those educators who went into the west when we did not have schools and universities to the extent they had them in the east. Perhaps we are catching up or even surpassing them now. Most of these men spent a greater amount of time in these other provinces than in the province where they received their own training. When our boys who were trained in vocational schools went overseas

16, 1954 3045

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act they were not considered as citizens of the province of Saskatchewan or Manitoba or Quebec or Ontario, but as citizens of Canada and they fought and worked under the proud insignia of the maple leaf of Canada.

I am glad there has been a widening in the scope of this act, particularly with regard to clause 2 (e). I know this is not the time to examine the clauses of the bill separately, but I merely wish to emphasize my agreement with the widening of the act in that respect.

Over the past few years, I believe as the result of the war, I have discovered that we have been getting some sympathy from the dominion government in such matters as this when the object is military or perhaps scientific. I have in mind such things as scientific research. The government has been not generous but perhaps ungrudging in its support of the scientific activities of schools and universities when the country is in need of men who are thus trained, and when it is obvious such training must be supported. It is a good deal more difficult to get them to move on the question of academic scholarships; but that, of course, I should not deal with here.

The clause in which there has been a widening of scope, and to which I referred, concerns not military but civilian matters. I inquired of my hon. friend, and I did not have time to receive an answer, whether this improvement was to be applied to the vocational training of nurses. I believe there is a distinct need all across this country and in every province for nurses. There was a time, of course, during the depression when nurses huddled together perhaps in a boarding house, and sometimes three or four of them had to live together. They were lucky if one or two obtained a day's work during the entire week. Like our friend in Moliere's "Le medecin malgre lui":

Nous avons change tout cela maintenant.

But we have changed all that now and it is a good thing. Nurses are at least given a training, and they are receiving decent wages and live under decent conditions. It is now five o'clock and I see Mr. Speaker is slightly uncomfortable in his chair, so perhaps I had better call it five o'clock.


William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)


Mr. Deputy Speaker:

It being five o'clock the house will now proceed to consideration of private and public bills.




The house resumed, from Friday, March 12, consideration of the motion of Mr. Hunter for the second reading of Bill No. 325, to

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited authorize Niagara Gas Transmission Limited to construct, own and operate an extraprovincial pipe line.


Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, when this debate was adjourned on Friday last I had just come to the point of making certain suggestions to bring about the objective which I feel sure the great majority of the members of this house have in mind. That objective is to make it absolutely certain that the passing of this bill and the subsequent actions of those who are sponsoring the bill will not interfere with the construction of the much greater project, namely the natural gas pipe line from Alberta across Canada to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

I had pointed out that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) had one suggestion to offer. I think it was a good one, though I doubt whether it meets the need. He suggested that in the standing committee there should be written into the bill an amendment to the effect that it would not come into force until an agreement had been signed between Niagara Gas Transmission Limited and Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited and that agreement had been filed with and approved by the board of transport commissioners.

My first suggestion is that Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited build this pipe line from the centre of the Niagara river to the city of Toronto. They already have a charter which is broad enough to enable them to undertake that work. If they actually build the line and own it, there can then be no doubt that Consumers' Gas Company of Toronto would not be in a position to interfere with the larger project. If the pipe line were built by Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited there would then be no need to pass this private bill because Consumers' Gas Company would then not have to build a pipe line. I place that suggestion before the government and before those members who will be on the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, as one way of making dead sure that Consumers' Gas Company cannot interfere with the construction of the Trans-Canada line.

My second suggestion is that the government give consideration to taking power to control the import of natural gas into Canada, just as they now have the power to control its export. As hon. members know, there is in existence a statute known as the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act. It is chapter 93 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1952, and it provides for effective control by the Department of Trade and Commerce of the export of electrical power or energy and also of

petroleum, natural gas, water or other fluid, whether liquid or gaseous, capable of being exported through pipe lines or other like contrivances.

In that statute there is the clear-cut power to control exports. I think this new development is of such a nature that consideration should be given to taking similar power over imports. If that power were in existence there could then be no possibility of Consumers' Gas Company blocking the Trans-Canada project by piping in this gas from the United States.

The Americans have power to control both export and import. I have here their natural gas act. Section 3 reads as follows:

After six months from the date on which this act takes effect no person shall export any natural gas from the United States to a foreign country or import any natural gas from a foreign country without first having secured an order of the commission authorizing it to do so.

The reference, of course, is to the federal power commission of the United States. The section of the act continues:

The commission shall issue such order upon application, unless, after opportunity for hearing, it finds that the proposed exportation or importation will not be consistent with the public interest. The commission may by its order grant such application, in whole or in part, with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as the commission may find necessary or appropriate-

Then there is this further power which I would point out to hon. members:

-and may from time to time, after opportunity for hearing, and for good cause shown, make such supplemental order in the premises as it may find necessary or appropriate.

It is under that last portion of the section that the federal power commission of the United States can shut off the gas which is being exported to Canada if it can be shown that in their own country there are people who need that gas. I therefore suggest that the second way of making sure that the Trans-Canada project is not interfered with by the importation of United States gas would be by amending the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act.

So much for suggestions as to what could be done. I now wish to make a suggestion concerning the manner in which this bill is dealt with in parliament. There is coming from the other place another bill which amends the charter of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited. In view of the fact that both these companies are involved in this question, I think it would be wise to have those two bills considered at the same time by the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines. The members of that committee can see that the various witnesses are called, the two bills can be studied

together, and in that way we can go much further in making sure that the smaller project is not going to kill the larger one.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, there is one feature I should like to point out to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) because the Pipe Lines Act comes directly under his jurisdiction. This bill now before us is not one asking for incorporation. It is a bill merely giving to a company, which has already been incorporated under the Ontario companies act, power to construct pipe lines. All the other pipe-line bills that have been passed by parliament have been bills granting charters. They have been in complete form, so the members could amend the charter and the Companies Act of the dominion applied.

Here we have not that situation at all. These people went to the registrar of companies in Ontario and merely obtained registration there. Now they come to this

parliament and ask for a bill authorizing them to construct a pipe line. The whole intention of parliament in dealing with these pipe lines was that there would have to be a charter granted by a private bill. As I say, that procedure has been followed in every other case. The minister himself made it quite clear that that was his idea as to the procedure under the Pipe Lines Act, when he put through the amendment to the Pipe Lines Act in December last. I am now quoting from page 621 of Hansard. I had asked him a question and he had this to say:

As I understand this amendment, it is still necessary for extra-provincial or interprovincial pipe lines to seek authority from this parliament by way of a special charter in order to apply to the board of transport commissioners for its location.

That is exactly what has not been done in this case. As a matter of fact this company was incorporated on the 11th of September, 1950, over a year after the Pipe Lines Act had been passed. Therefore the Consumers' Gas people must have known of the requirements of the Pipe Lines Act, but rather than come here to get a charter they formed their company under the Ontario companies act and now they are merely coming here to seek passage of this very short bill which gives them power to go ahead and construct a pipe line. That means that if they can get away with that, anybody else can. It would mean that a company could be formed under the British Columbia companies act and take the power to construct pipe lines, and then it would only need to come to this house and get a skeleton bill passed such as we have before us today.

I am quite sure that such a procedure is against the intent and the spirit of the Pipe Lines Act. I think the minister should inform

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited us whether he approves of a course of this kind being followed rather than having a proper charter approved by the Senate and the House of Commons in the shape of a proper bill.

I have nothing further to add. I place my two suggestions before the house. They may not be a solution. On the other hand, I think either one of them would meet what we all desire, and perhaps the government will see fit to take action along at least one of the lines suggested.


Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)


Mr. Chevrier:

May I ask the hon. member a question? From the legal point of view what difference is there in his mind between the method of procedure by way of charter and the method of procedure in this bill?


March 16, 1954