February 9, 1955

SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

They were conditional only in that they were for educational purposes. In this resolution we are not suggesting that grants advanced to the provinces to enable them to bring about a condition of equality of educational opportunity should be unconditional. It would be specified that they were educational grants. To that extent they are conditional grants, if the minister wants to carry the argument that far.

Mr. Speaker, I was intensely interested in some of the statistics brought forward today by the hon. member for Saskatoon. I too have a copy of the publication put out by the Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities in which there is a report of an address which Dr. M. E. LaZerte, research director for the Canadian school trustees association, delivered ini the city of Windsor 50433-64

Education

at the conference of the Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities. Among other things he stated this:

In 1951-52 the cost of educating 2,481,018 enrolled pupils was $432,824,000-87 cents per day per pupil enrolled or about one dollar per day per pupil in average daily attendance-cost here covering operation and maintenance, debt retirement charges and capital expenditures paid from current revenue.

Further on in this report Dr. LaZerte pointed out:

Education at 87 cents per pupil per day may be expensive if there are 35, 40 or 45 pupils per classroom, if schools are not suitably equipped and if the staff consists in large part of grade X, XI or XII youngsters with whatever professional training may be acquired in one or two summer sessions.

On the other hand, education at 87 cents per pupil per day would be surprisingly cheap if at that cost classes were small enough to permit teachers to direct and supervise the learning of individual pupils, if buildings and equipment met satisfactory standards and school boards engaged only educated teachers, preferably university graduates, whose mastery of subject matter is so thorough that they can use it to illustrate, teach and clarify the great truths buried in text books and courses of study.

Further on in this report he says:

In over 8,000 classrooms there were so many pupils that highly efficient teaching and supervision were impossible.

In dealing with the amounts spent in the provinces on education, the hon. member referred to the great spread between the minimum and the maximum. Dr. LaZerte has this to say with respect to that matter; and incidentally may I say that I thought the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was going to put up a much stronger defence than he did of the amount per pupil being spent in his own province for educational purposes. Dr. LaZerte said:

In 1951-52 per pupil costs in British Columbia were over three times as high as in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island; costs in the five provinces from Ontario west were, on a per pupil basis, 52 per cent higher than in the five provinces in the east. The median of provincial costs per classroom was $4,245 but in Alberta and British Columbia the average cost per classroom was 70 per cent higher than this, while in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick it was 11 per cent lower; in Newfoundland and New Brunswick 62 per cent lower. Per capita costs varied from $16.84 in one province to $45.34 in another ... in one province society will spend 43 cents per pupil per day; in another province $1.46.

I doubt, Mr. Speaker, whether one would require more evidence than that to convince him of the inequality in educational opportunity if the problem is considered from the national point of view.

One may argue that the federal authorities have no responsibility in this field. However, for several extremely important reasons I think they have a responsibility. In the first place we have the general problem arising

Education

from the fact that immigration comes under the federal government; that is non-British immigration, at least. Only today I was reading that, on the basis of the number of immigrants who came to Canada in 1951 alone, by 1960 there will be 10,000 additional students to be educated in Canada; that is just based on that one year and that one source. In the twelve-year period from 1948 to 1960, in secondary schools alone the population will increase from 305,200 students to 611,475. That is, I would say, a very accurate estimate since it originates with the national bureau of statistics.

As I said earlier, two major problems result as a consequence of this heavy influx into schools which, already so heavily crowded, will be literally swamped within a period of ten years. The teacher shortage, which is already extremely serious, will most certainly become critical, provided that certain definite steps are not taken.

Let us go back to our municipalities and our provinces. We might ask ourselves this question. Is there a desire on the part of a municipality-a school district, if you like; and most of them, in the west anyway, acquire their finances from the municipality -to provide a highly equalized system of education to the children of these areas? My answer is definitely yes; but they have gone just about as far as they are able to go in imposing taxes on the real estate to be found within their specific areas. Have the provinces assumed their responsibilities? Of course that is always a point that can be argued, but it cannot be argued that the provinces have closed their eyes to the problem. For example, I know that in my own province where many, of course, think more money should be devoted to educational purposes, the amount being paid today exceeds the total of the Alberta budget of 1935. Between 22 and 23 per cent of all revenues are going for educational purposes. I am sure that if you examine the budgets of the other provinces of Canada you will find that an extremely substantial proportion of their revenues is being made available for educational purposes.

But in spite of all that the problem is still not being solved. I think there are certain things beyond the control of the provinces themselves. We feel that national policy has had a lot to do with the creation of the problem which they face. In the first place, an extremely high level of national taxation naturally makes it more difficult for municipalities and provinces to secure adequate revenues, taxing within their own specific fields of jurisdiction. I would say that the

difficulty which they encounter is in direct proportion to the weight of the federal tax burden.

Second, we must never forget that federal taxation policy has in several other ways contributed toward the very high cost of education. Books and school supplies are 10 per cent higher in cost, and have been over the years, as a consequence of the imposition upon them of the federal sales tax. What has it meant to the school districts and divisions which in a great many cases today operate a number of buses to bring the children to the schools? The federal government has for a lengthy period of time imposed the sales tax upon these motor vehicles. I was reading only recently that a protest was made at the convention of the Canadian federation of school trustees about the federal income tax regulations with respect to those who purchase school bonds and debentures. The cost to the school board is very much higher as a consequence of the position in which purchasers are placed under the federal Income Tax Act. One could go on and give a good many illustrations to indicate why federal policy has made it more difficult for school boards to meet their financial obligations, and why it is absolutely necessary for the federal authorities to make grants without interfering with the administration of education within the provinces.

There were quite a number of other things which I had hoped to deal with, but previous speakers have indicated their desire to let as many as possible take part in the debate. We shall co-operate with hon. members and refrain from utilizing the time which one would normally be entitled to so that other hon. members may have an opportunity of expressing themselves.

We favour the resolution. We have heard nothing today which would change the views we have held for a long time. We think direct grants to the provinces for this purpose are necessary, desirable and possible.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. member permit a question?

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

We feel that there need not be any interference in the administration of education within the provinces.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. member permit a question?

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SC
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Does the hon. member think the government of Alberta needs a financial grant for this purpose at this time, in view of its present budget?

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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

You are being silly.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Surely it does.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

I am always pleased to hear references to the province of Alberta, because I am sure the minister is one of those who have not contributed too much toward painting as bright a picture as should be painted of what has gone on in that province. What we are very anxious to have is equality of educational opportunity. If it is found upon examination that we have the highest desirable level of opportunity within the nation, then possibly more attention could be given to bringing others up to our level in that field.

I only offer that as a suggestion. I am not setting forth any formula at all, as the minister will understand. It is merely a matter of principle. We realize full well that a good deal of negotiation would have to be carried on in order to strike a formula, let us say, that might be satisfactory to all. But we must face up to the fact that we are not even approaching a condition of equality of educational opportunity. Certainly I think it is the desire of all hon. members to have that, even though we may disagree as to the method by which it can be accomplished. Various school trustee organizations across Canada have supported the proposition. Certainly the school teachers' organizations have supported it, and I believe that on a free vote in the house somebody would be absolutely amazed at how many hon. members would support the proposition.

(Translation):

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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Pierre Gauthier (Portneuf):

Mr. Speaker, an English-speaking member having said recently that he would like to hear more speeches in French in the house, it is partly in deference to his wish that I do so now, in dealing with the motion under review.

I shall try to avoid controversial matters, because I neither want nor wish to raise any controversy. I shall try to be as objective as possible while speaking quite frankly.

Whenever grants to the provinces are mentioned in order to increase educational facilities, we Quebec people inevitably ask ourselves to what kind of education those grants could or should be applied. We respect -as we always did and always will-the rights of the provinces in that field. There can therefore be no controversy about our idea of provincial autonomy in the field of education.

I just said what we have in mind when we hear about grants to the provinces to promote education within their borders. We have a right to ask ourselves whether such grants to the provinces will be used, in this or that province in particular, or in the provinces in general, for the purpose of teaching in those 50433-64i

Education

schools a respect for minorities, as we have done and are still doing consistently in the province of Quebec.

We are wondering, and rightfully so, whether grants will be used for the purpose for which they are earmarked, that is, teaching the young people in other provinces who do not speak our language or profess our religious creed to respect minorities within the limits of their provinces.

While I was travelling through the dark continent with some of my friends from the House of Commons, it was always a real pleasure for me-and I could hardly repress a blush of pride-whenever someone, on seeing my badge, would say to me: "You are from Canada? A great country! A prosperous country! The land of freedom par excellence!" I used to answer: "That is true, it is in every sense of the word a land of freedom." And, rather than make mental reservations, as far as some zones of bigotry here and there were concerned, in my country, I added, quite frankly: "Apart from those small zones, in Canada, we do enjoy a liberty which can be held up as an example to every country in the world."

I will mention no place names in particular since I have said that I do not wish to raise any controversy, in the course of these remarks. I will say, though, as has already been said here, that I wonder how it is that in certain provinces there still is a lack of respect for the rights of minorities? It would seem to me that the example set by Quebec, in the field of education, is sufficiently fine and enduring to be followed everywhere in this country.

When we hear talk of federal grants to the provinces to increase educational facilities, we might also ask ourselves whether these grants will help to propagate free thinking, for instance.

Will those schools, that will benefit from federal moneys voted by representatives of all provinces, teach that the word broadmindedness or tolerance means the abandonment of our privileges and, particularly, the abandonment of the natural right of parents to have their children educated in their own language and in the religious principles of their own creed?

We have the right to ask that question. In 1950, I read in the Ensign an article signed by Miss Helen L. Todd, stating that if Catholic parents would only agree to yield to the will of others-that "others" was implied -and if this Catholic minority would only take advantage of the invaluable benefit of undenominational schools, we could cultivate

Education

in the minds of our youth the understanding and the tolerance with which we could build up this youth.

In short, the veiled meaning of these words is that Catholics should attend undenominational schools, whatever directives they receive from their spiritual leaders.

I mentioned just now the natural right of parents to have their children educated according to their own religious principles. That natural right cannot be denied in any province of this country.

I understand that outside of the province of Quebec certain provinces allow them more or less freedom to build schools and to apply part of public funds and taxes to the maintenance of their schools, and that goes for denominational schools as well. I think I am right in saying that such is the case, for instance, in the province of Saskatchewan. However, Mr. Speaker, coming back once more to that thought which is uppermost in our minds whenever grants are mentioned, I wish, if I may digress for a moment, to say something about our neighbours to the south who are faced with the same educational problem and who are certainly short of teachers in their schools, as shown by their statistics.

Two years ago, the Toronto Star published the report of a survey made in the United States on the moral and religious side of the young people. The investigator found out that 20 per cent of the young people had a thorough education, whereas only 20 per cent had any religious principles.

The survey also showed that, far from being radical the young people seemed to be little inclined to give their opinion; they were mainly, to a certain extent-and in a broad sense-conservative with regard to the principles that might help them to decide on the questions asked in the survey. The report says that less than 20 per cent of those questioned, or 1,935 teenagers from 18 to 19 years old, answered that they took little guidance from religion when they had to choose their way of life or the political principles they would adopt, for instance, in respect of interracial relations. The survey does not indicate that those who believe in God would be more tolerant of other races.

I cannot share the sentiments expressed in the findings of this survey since I am convinced that any faith which recognizes universality and respect due to the human being undoubtedly does far more and cannot fail

to recognize that the colour of the skin of any man cannot alter the fact that he has been created in the image of his Creator and endowed with a body and a soul.

I do not know who carried out this survey, but, in any event, I cannot share those feelings.

I repeat that I have no desire to enter into a controversy, but I would like to say just a word on the struggle which has been going on in the province of Quebec as far as federal grants to the universities of that province are concerned. I want to quote three different opinions from newspapers of my province, in order to put them on the record.

Le Devoir, as reported in the August 21, 1952, issue of Le Soleil, of Quebec, has this to say:

If the province does not want colleges to accept federal aid, it must immediately revise its grant system and adapt it to the new situation. Colleges, like everybody else, need money: whether they be directed by lay or religious teachers the government will soon have to help them more than it does now.

I understand that the government of my province have given grants to universities, grants provided by taxes paid by the taxpayers of the province of Quebec. I have no doubt that it was due to the fine example given one year by the federal government, an example that was followed by the premier and the provincial government when they gave our universities exclusively provincial grants.

The Sherbrooke Tribune went even further than Le Devoir and had this to say about rural schools:

Rural schools, like the large educational institutions in the cities, will soon reopen their doors, but it so happens that in fairly numerous places there is a shortage of female teachers. Such a shortage would certainly not be felt if certain rural districts were not so reluctant to pay adequate salaries to young women who, by inclination and training, had been thinking of taking up teaching as a career.

Mr. Speaker, I have been a member of this house for the last twenty years, after having been eight years a member of the legislative assembly, and I am happy to say- and this will show that I am not playing politics-that since I left the provincial legislature, the salaries of our men and women teachers in the province of Quebec have gone up considerably. I hope that they will go even higher because I know that many members who are listening to me are aware of the value of our teachers for the educational needs of our children.

Le Nouvelliste of Three Rivers wrote, somewhat along the same line:

Many of those who would have remained in the (teaching) profession hasten to leave it when offered better paid jobs.

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that, as a result of salary increases, fewer teachers, in recent years, gave up the profession in favour of better paid jobs.

I could give other opinions showing that the situation also prevails in the province of Quebec, as far as our teachers are concerned. If we could pay higher salaries to those people who devote themselves to our children, they would not quit their jobs. Nevertheless, there has been a great improvement in our province and it is to the credit of the government, whatever its political trend.

A question rises in my mind when I look at the motion moved this afternoon, which reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should give consideration to the advisability of taking steps to relieve the financial crisis in education, without encroaching in any way on the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces in this field, by granting financial assistance to the various provinces for the expansion and equalization of educational opportunity across Canada.

I don't know whether I should vote in favour of this motion, because, as stated by several members who spoke before me, it is a difficult and indeed a thorny matter to embark upon such a debate to decide how far those provincial rights go, and how far the federal rights can go without prejudicing the former. Secondly, I have a right to ask myself: How many provinces have made official requests to the federal government for one or more grants to increase the educational budget in those respective provinces? I would also like to know if other provinces have made similar requests, and, if so, how many? If the provinces have made no such requests, it means that they are able to provide for their own educational needs. However, if some requests have been made by the provinces, my mind is stirred and I wonder if they have specified the purpose for which those grants must be used, because I am of the opinion that all Canadians should be taught to respect minorities within the limits of their respective provinces.

If I often come back to this question of minorities, it is because we, in the province of Quebec, are in a good position to talk about it. In fact, we respect minorities, and have been doing it for a long time now.

Education

We have no ulterior motive, we are not going backwards, we do not let "the madcap in the house", as imagination is called in literature, run around and find reasons, very often bitter, that could make us go in the opposite direction.

We forget everything and we respect the minorities in our province. The natural right of parents is respected by the government and by the people. We would like all provinces to follow this example.

If someone came to me one day and told me that the grants given by the federal government to each province would bring about the disappearance of these small areas of bigotry that still exist though in very reduced numbers and quality, and if I could be assured that outside the country and particularly inside the country there would be regard for the privileges and rights of all, at the risk of being thought of as a more or less hardened autonomist, I would vote for this motion.

Still, before doing so, I shall have to wait until years and experience have shown me that federal grants would wipe out those few small areas of bigoted thinking, which, unless they soon disappear, will be regarded as oddities.

I do not wish unduly to extol my own province, but when education is being discussed and we see what is going on, we have a right to tell the other provinces: "There is an example which is easy to imitate. All you need is a little good will and true broadmindedness. Go ahead, we will be the first to approve!"

(Text):

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. J. Brooks (Royal):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take only a few moments of the time of the house to discuss this very important matter. I do not intend to deal with it from the constitutional standpoint, because that has already been discussed this afternoon.

I should like to point out the great need that exists for assistance to the different provinces. May I congratulate the hon. member for Saskatoon upon having brought this matter to the attention of the house. I realize, as was pointed out by the minister this afternoon, that under the constitution of our country education is within the provincial field. I do not believe, however, that giving financial assistance to the provinces to assist

Education

directly in education would necessitate taking the control of education from them. Section 93 of the British North America Act says that-

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

I do not think for one moment that the federal government could or would interfere with laws made by the provinces concerning education. It is my belief, however, that this provision in the British North America Act is concerned chiefly with the curriculum and administration of the schools. We can still give financial aid and in no way interfere with the administration of the laws of the provinces.

Perhaps in 1867 education was not the burning problem it is today, because in those days the situation was entirely different. At that time perhaps only one out of four or five children went to school. As a master of fact I do not think the adults saw the need of educating all the children as we see it today. Somewhat later in the development of our country the teaching of the three R's was stressed, and that was considered the ideal in education.

Today, however, the boy or girl who does not have at least a high school education does not seem to fit into the general economy of the country. It has been pointed out this afternoon that the federal government has already assumed responsibilities in education, and I do not believe this has interfered in any way with the responsibilities of the provinces. It has also been said that the need for greater education exists right across Canada.

I wish to refer particularly to the need in my own province, and in the maritime provinces in general. I was not able to follow what was said by the hon. member for Port-neuf (Mr. Gauthier) who immediately preceded me in the debate and is a member from the province of Quebec. But Quebec is considered as one of the richer provinces, and I doubt very much whether one would find there the great need for assistance to education that would be found, for instance, in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

Or Nova Scotia.

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Yes, or Nova Scotia; in fact any of the maritime provinces. Quebec has a per capita debt of around $92-24; New Brunswick, $256-62, according to the last report I saw. I have not seen the most recent report. Nova Scotia's per capita debt is around $200. These figures show the difference in the burden which is carried by the different provinces.

The minister asked the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw), who made an excellent speech, whether or not Alberta would need the grant. The hon. member replied that Alberta would need the grant as would the other provinces, but perhaps not as much. The debt charges of Alberta as a percentage of revenue amount to 6.6 per cent. In my own province it is 23.8 per cent. Hon. members can see the great difference, and the need in these smaller provinces for more money in order to have what is known as equalization of educational opportunity.

As far as our maritime provinces are concerned, we have endeavoured within our limited means-and I think we have succeeded

to see that our children receive opportunities in education equal to those of the richer parts of this dominion. In the maritime provinces we have been educationconscious for a great many years, but this does not mean that we do not need more assistance at the present time. I feel that we are, to use a common expression, at the end of our tether as far as the maintenance of the standard of education that we desire in our schools is concerned.

I should like to read part of a letter I received in January of last year with reference to this matter from the chairman of the New Brunswick teachers' association. In speaking of the situation in New Brunswick he said:

During the last decade, the people of New Brunswick have made great progress in education. New buildings, a modernized curriculum, and a secondary training available to every child-all have placed our province in the forefront educationally. These necessary advances have added a great deal to the public debt, both provincially and at the local level; and the burden on property owners has now reached a point where, if federal assistance is not obtained, both our province and its municipalities will be faced with the grim necessity of curtailing their educational programs at a time when we are still lagging behind the wealthier areas of Canada and paying to educate a New Brunswick boy or girl less than half the amount some provinces are able to afford.

That explains in concise terms what the situation is in New Brunswick and what the great need is. The problem is there. I do not care what sort of specious argument any minister makes in this house, the great problem we have in Canada today is the education of our children. No argument by any minister is going to make me or the great majority of the people of Canada believe that there is not some responsibility placed upon the richer areas of this great country of ours. The crisis is very real.

Then there is the matter of teachers. One of the far-reaching results of this financial embarrassment is the fact that we cannot

get teachers for our schools. That point was emphasized by different speakers this afternoon. In New Brunswick it is a known fact that 60 per cent of the teachers in some areas are married women. The young men and young women are not going to our normal schools to take up the teaching profession because the salaries are not sufficient inducement for them to do so. Mention was made of the fact that hundreds of young boys and girls are taken out of school without any technical training at all and placed in charge of schools in the different provinces of Canada. That is a serious situation, and this government cannot wash its hands of all responsibility.

As I said before, the federal government has responsibilities. I do not use this as a strong argument, but during the war many boys came up for enlistment, and one of the great reasons they could not serve their country at that time was that their educational standard was so low that they were not qualified to do so. This country of ours employs many thousands of civil servants taken from all across Canada. The better education we can give the boys and girls who apply for positions as civil servants in Canada, the better that service will be.

I could go on and give many arguments which I believe would be pertinent to this question. The hon. member for Saskatoon mentioned scholarships this afternoon. I agree entirely with what he said about scholarships, and I would support any program which was initiated for further scholarships in this country; but I do not think that is the great problem. The great problem is assistance for elementary schools.

Mention was made of more help for universities. That also is one of the concurrent problems of education. Again I repeat, that is not the great problem in Canada today. The great problem is in the elementary schools. Someone mentioned the fact that 160 schools were closed in the county of Resti-gouche in New Brunswick. I did not know there were so many; but think of the hundreds of children who are not getting even an elementary education in a section like that, and that situation could be found also in many parts of this country. That figure of 160 schools seems to be pretty high. Perhaps it was 160 teachers; but if it is 160 or only 6, it is too many. So long as a situation like that persists, so long will there be a reflection upon the people of this country.

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LIB

Milton Fowler Gregg (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Gregg:

Would my hon. friend permit a comment? I would like to point out that that situation exists in only one county in New Brunswick.

Education

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I thank the minister for making that comment. I would not say it exists in only one county. I would say it exists only in one section. I take my own constituency of Royal. I am very proud of it. The minister knows it very well. In my own town of Sussex we take second place to none in this country as far as education is concerned. We have one of the finest schools to be found in any town of its size anywhere across Canada, and the same is true of other sections. We have more consolidated schools in my constituency than in any other constituency in the maritime provinces. We have rural high schools, and the situation is good as far as facilities for education are concerned. But when it comes to financing that is our problem. When it comes to supplying teachers for the schools, as someone said this afternoon, no matter what kind of school you have-you may have a million dollar school -if you have not well-qualified teachers in that school you will not get good education.

I do not think I should take any more of the time of the house this afternoon. This is a problem which is on the shoulders not only of the people of the provinces but of the whole dominion, because the people of the provinces are the people of the dominion. This is the sixth or seventh year that the hon. member has brought this question before the house. The people of my province believe that something should be done, and I hope this government will take the opportunity to do something which will be of great and lasting benefit to the people of this country.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zaplitny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the general desire of hon. members to have a decision today on this resolution I shall speak for only a brief time.

I would not like to let this opportunity go by without congratulating the hon. member for Saskatoon upon putting up what is in my opinion a splendid case for federal aid to education. It was my privilege to have a resolution somewhat the same in principle in my name before this house some nine years ago. At that time the debate was quite interesting, but it could not compare with what we have heard today. I feel that very definite progress has been made in favour of this proposition since it first came to the attention of the house.

At the outset I want to say that I do not view the proposal for federal aid to education primarily as an added expense, but rather as a shrewd investment. I doubt if we could make a better investment for the future of this country than to make sure that no stone

Education

is left unturned to provide the greatest opportunity for education to all children, regardless of where they may live.

Progress has been made in other directions. I can recall speaking to a similar resolution about eight years ago and making the suggestion that we would live to see the day when television would provide one of the means of education in our schools. At that time television was in its tiny infancy and there were some smiles around me as certain hon. members probably thought I was too visionary in expressing that opinion. I am gratified to learn, as, no doubt other hon. members have noted, that in many schools in this province television is being used as one of the mediums of visual education. This simply indicates that we cannot estimate the speed with which progress can be made provided we are prepared to help it along financially, as this resolution calls for.

I need not traverse the same ground which has been covered by several hon. members. I think it has been made sufficiently clear by the mover of this resolution and by several other hon. members that there is no intention, in fact no possibility, of interfering with the jurisdiction of the provinces in the field of education. There are splendid opportunities to assist the provinces in connection with education without in any way interfering with the curricula or the manner in which education is carried on.

To give only a few examples I would refer to the great need of greater facilities for education, better buildings and better equipment. There are many schools in every province in this country which should be rebuilt. All kinds of grants could be made to assist in providing facilities and physical equipment. Surely that would not interfere in any way with what was done in the schools.

In my opinion the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw) made a good case when he pointed out the great burden which must be carried by the municipal governments. In my own province a great number of representations have been made and are still being made by municipalities to the provincial government in an effort to get a greater share of the tax dollar in order to relieve the burden which now falls upon real property. I am sure that is not exceptional; it is probably the general rule across Canada. I think the municipalities have done about as much as it is physically and financially possible for them to do in order to make their contribution to better education. It is not too much to ask that this parliament and this government, which control the lion's share of taxes of the Canadian people, make its contribution to meet that great need.

I could not overlook some of the comments made by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. His argument was very strange to us. He started off by expressing smug complacency about the situation, and then out of hand he denied that there was anything like a financial crisis in education in Canada. He then went on to set out what he termed was the government's policy. After he had finished I must confess that his interpretation of government policy on this question was not any clearer to me than was his policy on immigration, and that is certainly far from being crystal clear.

To me his argument was a curious combination of complacency and deliberate pettifogging. In discussing the resolution before the house he dragged in all sorts of irrele-vancies, and then proceeded to show why this could not be done and that could not be done unless and until the government thought it should be done. There appeared to be no difficulty at all so far as the constitutional position was concerned if the government was inclined to do it, but if the government was not inclined to do it then of course he dragged in the British North America Act and all the other side arguments to prove why it should not be done.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

My hon. friend keeps saying "to do it". What is "it"? What is it that he says I said the government could do if it wanted?

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I thought that by this time the minister was aware of what we were discussing, but he still seems to be in a fog.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am in a complete fog about the hon. gentleman's point.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

The resolution refers to federal grants in aid to be made to the provinces for the purposes of assisting in education. The minister gave his version of why in his opinion it could not or should not be done.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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February 9, 1955