January 18, 1957

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Si. Laurent (Quebec East):

That matter was considered, and I will say at once to the committee that the reason we felt there should be an endowment provided in the same bill is that we want to get the right kind of people to act on this council. We wanted them to have the assurance that it was something serious, and that they were

Canada Council

going to have at the very outset an endowment fund that would lead them to believe they were going to have the funds required to carry out this important task in the interests of the Canadian people.

With respect to the third portion, the university grants fund, the bill will provide that they can make these grants for capital purposes in furtherance of the general objectives of the council, and it will be a matter for the consideration of the house as to where and how the universities will be able to carry on the basic work with respect to this intellectual development, to use the term suggested by the hon. member for Greenwood. If, as I believe, there will have to be an expansion of the capital equipment in the form of buildings and other capital equipment to enable the universities to do their part in this intellectual development, then it seems that the council might be the appropriate body to make the allocation of such funds as would be available from the vote of parliament.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Chairman, I am rather surprised at the Prime Minister suggesting that the only way he can get sufficiently satisfactory members of the council is to give them an endowment of $50 million, the income from which they could then administer.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

I did not

say that was the only way, but I thought that would be a desirable way to convince them that it was a serious and very useful undertaking in the interests of the people that they were being asked to perform.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I will accept the Prime Minister's modification of his earlier statement that he thought that was the only way in which he could convince them.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

The hon. gentleman misunderstood me if he understood me to say that I thought that was the only way. The record will show whether or not I am right in my recollection of what I said.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Will the hon. gentleman say "one way in which to convince them"? Whatever the hon. gentleman said, it seemed to me inherent that somehow or other a large capital fund was necessary in order to persuade the gentlemen he had in mind to serve as trustees or members of this council. That is a proposition with which I am in entire disagreement because I should think, in fact I am quite convinced of it, that if the objectives of the Canada Council as envisaged by the government are worthy ones, Canadians will be found to serve on that council whether the claim of the council

Canada Council

for $50 million of capital is by way of annual grant by parliament or some modification as between the two methods. If the objectives are worthy, people can be found to serve upon the council.

But inherent in the proposal in this resolution are a number of issues which have not been dealt with and which I think must be dealt with before this committee is called upon to express its opinion for or against the resolution. With the idea that it is expedient to encourage the arts, humanities and social sciences I am quite certain no one in this house will be in disagreement. But as to the methods by which that encouragement should be provided I think there is room for a measure of disagreement, and particularly as to the methods by which the government proposes to further that encouragement, as embodied in the resolution now before the house.

There are two operative parts of the resolution, namely the one to provide an endowment of $50 million for the encouragement of the arts, humanities and sciences, and the other to provide a capital sum of $50 million for contribution to the capital costs of universities. It is with the second branch of the proposal that I should like to deal first. I do not suppose that anyone in this house would disagree-in fact I am quite certain of it-with the statement that our universities in Canada are faced with increasing difficulty with respect to providing the capital plant and equipment with which to carry on their job of higher education. To that extent no one can be opposed to measures which will contribute to the solution of that problem for our universities. But by the same token no one can deny the fact that this is but one aspect of the whole educational problem in Canada.

I would imagine the Prime Minister would agree with me when I say that one of the reasons this measure is presented to the house at this time is that it is generally agreed that over the next 11 years-I think that is the figure by common agreement- the population of Canadian universities is expected to increase by some 100 per cent. That situation is going to present an enormous problem to our universities in terms of physical plant and equipment just to accommodate, house and provide the facilities for teaching that increased university population, not only with respect to the arts, letters and sciences, but with respect to the engineering faculties particularly, including the provision of laboratories and so on. To that extent it is undeniable that some such measure as this to provide funds for the universities to meet the demands made upon them is essential.

We surely cannot lose sight of the fact that this is but one aspect of the general educational problem today. If, Mr. Chairman, as is the case, the population of our universities is going to increase to such an extent as to make this demand, that increase is but the result of the fact that our primary school population is going to increase by a number far and away beyond that increase in university population. I should think it would probably increase by something like 400 per cent to 500 per cent. We therefore must face the fact that this measure to provide $50 million for the provision of capital plant and equipment for universities does not go anywhere in dealing with the far more fundamental problem of how we are going to enable the provinces and municipalities to meet the increased costs which are going to be presented to them by the increase in the school population.

One is therefore left with this question. Why does this government single out one aspect, and one aspect only, of the educational problem in Canada today, namely the university problem, for a partial measure of remedy, and to that extent increase the problem of the provinces and the municipalities in dealing with their responsibility of providing the plant and facilities for primary education? If it is right that the federal government should make grants to university education, why is it not right that the federal government should offer some measure of assistance to the provinces and the municipalities in providing for their much greater and more pressing demand, namely the provision of plant and facilities in the field of primary education?

On that subject the right hon. gentleman is entirely silent. I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that he is silent because he realizes that you cannot divorce one aspect of the field of education from the other. This whole situation is inescapably and irretrievably bound up in the question of fiscal relations between the dominion and the province. Because this government refuses to face that larger problem the Prime Minister is silent as to the question which I have just voiced.

It now being five o'clock, Mr. Chairman, this might be an opportune time to adjourn this discussion.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall I rise and report progress and request leave to sit later this day or next sitting, as the case may be?

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed,

Progress reported.

Topic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES

CCF

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

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre) moved

the second reading of Bill No. 2, to provide for annual vacations with pay for employees.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it would seem that today parliament is facing the fact that there is more to life than its material aspects. Some hon. members might feel that we are making a sharp turn in switching from a discussion of cultural matters to a bill having to do with an aspect of industrial relations. However, I suggest that the matters are not unrelated. We have been dealing with the fact that it is desirable that a portion of the wealth we produce might be dedicated to the arts, humanities and social sciences. We now turn to legislation which seeks to lay down the principle that those who toil are entitled to time off for rest and recreation.

Bill No. 2, which is now before this House of Commons, is a bill which seeks to provide all workers who come under federal labour jurisdiction with a minimum of two weeks' vacation with pay after one year's employment. There are other details covered in the bill which I shall come to in the course of my remarks, but that is the general principle contained in this bill: two weeks' annual vacation with pay to all employees under federal labour jurisdiction after one year of employment.

I might point out, Mr. Speaker, that this bill, Bill No. 2, is very similar to Bill No. 211 of last year, even as Bill No. 3, the next one on the order paper having to do with statutory holidays with pay, is similar to Bill No. 441 of last year. Indeed, the only difference between Bill No. 2, which is now before us, and Bill No. 211 of last year is a change in the title and the consequent change with regard to one word that appears throughout the bill.

Last year I gave to Bill No. 211 the title, "Canada Annual Holidays With Pay Act". I propose to change that title now so it will read, "Canada Annual Vacations With Pay Act". The reason for that change, Mr. Speaker, is to avoid any confusion between annual vacations with pay and statutory holidays with pay. These terms appear in collective agreements and in various items of legislation across the country, and in some instances confusion does arise when the word "holiday" is used both with respect to the annual week or two that a person gets off and with respect to statutory holidays such as New Years' day, Good Friday, Christ-

Industrial Relations

mas, and so on. Therefore I suggest that we could avoid this confusion by using the term "annual vacations" to cover the provisions set out in this bill and by using the term "statutory holidays" to cover the holidays with pay referred to in Bill No. 3.

Since I have changed the wording of the title, using "vacations" instead of "holidays", I have made a corresponding change wherever the word "holidays" appeared in Bill No. 211 of last year. The only other change, of course, is the change of the effective date. Bill No. 211 did not get passed last year, so one has to change the date in this bill to make it come into effect this year. I make these comments in case anyone has compared this bill with the bill of last year. There are no changes of substance; indeed, there are no changes other than the ones to which I have referred.

I believe hon. members generally will agree with the proposition I made last year when I submitted this bill to the house, that it is becoming pretty generally recognized that the working people of this country are entitled to a decent annual vacation, and that they are entitled to have that vacation with their regular remuneration so they can enjoy it.

It is not many years since large numbers of our workers went through the whole of their lives without enjoying vacations with pay, but it is a matter of gratitude that we have moved from that situation considerably. Now, in collective agreements and by virtue of the legislation in a number of the provinces, a very large number of our people do get annual vacations with pay. However, there are still many who do not get such vacations, and there are many who do not get an annual vacation of the length which is specified in this bill, namely at least two weeks every year. Since it has been established in the minds of our people that it is a good thing, that it is right for our people to have annual vacations with pay, we feel very strongly that this should be made a matter of legislation in so far as this parliament has legislative authority.

I would point out, Mr. Speaker, that for many years the trade union movement has been struggling to win this point, namely the right of workers to annual vacations with pay. The trade union movement carries on that struggle, as it has done for many years, on two fronts. On the one hand it seeks collective agreements which include proper and adequate vacation provisions, but in addition it is seeking for vacations with pay as a matter of legislation. The trade union movement has for years sought legislation on this point.

The trade unions of this country, along with those of us in this house who press for

Industrial Relations

this kind of legislation, recognize that labour matters in Canada come under two jurisdictions. There are over five million workers in Canada, the greater number of whom are covered by provincial labour jurisdiction. Only about 400,000-but it is a substantial number-are under federal labour jurisdiction. It is with respect to these 400,000 under federal labour jurisdiction that this legislation deals. However, Mr. Speaker, in addition to providing coverage for those who come under federal labour jurisdiction, legislation of this kind does lay down a principle, does give a lead to the provinces that we hope will hasten the day when it will be a matter of universal practice that all our Canadian people are provided with adequate vacations with adequate pay so they might enjoy the advantages of such vacations.

I made reference to the fact that there is some legislation in this field in a number of the provinces. I gave a general summary of the provincial picture last year. So far as I can ascertain there has been no change in legislation since that time, though in the case of one province legislation which had been passed at that time has since come into effect. The result is that at the present time there are six provinces in Canada in which there is general legislation regarding vacations with pay. By "general legislation" I mean legislation that covers most of the workers in the province. In addition to these six, there is one other province that has some kind of legislation in this field. That one other province provides vacations with pay for two groups of workers, namely those in mining and construction.

Perhaps it would be well once again to summarize briefly the position of these seven provinces. The six that have general legislation are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Two of these provinces, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, provide what this bill seeks, namely two weeks' vacation after one year of employment. The other four, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, provide for only one week's vacation after one year's employment.

Last year when I spoke on this matter my friend the hon. member for Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) regretted that I had not paid the appropriate tribute to the province of Ontario for having been the first province, as indeed it was, to introduce vacations with pay legislation. I am glad to pay Ontario that tribute which I neglected to include in my remarks last year; but I am afraid I must at the same time point out that although Ontario was the first to put such legislation on the statute books it has not improved it

in any way since that time, and it still provides for only one week's vacation after one year's employment; whereas two other provinces in Canada, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, have gone further and provided for two weeks' vacation with pay after one year's service. I hope Ontario, which had the honour of putting the first legislation of this kind on the statute books, will soon bring that legislation up to date.

I should add that two of the provinces that provide for only one week after one year, namely Alberta and Manitoba, do provide for two weeks' vacation with pay later on. In the case of Alberta two weeks' vacation with pay comes after two years' employment, and in the case of Manitoba it comes after three years' employment. To complete the picture the seventh province, the one that has limited coverage in this field, is the province of New Brunswick, where there is provision for one week's vacation with pay after one year to those engaged in the mining and construction industries.

That summary of the picture in the provinces indicates that in seven out of ten provinces-and this brings to mind a formula which the Minister of National Health and Welfare will recognize-some provision for vacation with pay is made, and those seven certainly represent not only a substantial majority of the provinces but a substantial majority of the population of Canada. In that regard I might point out that the provinces have moved pretty far in the direction of making it a matter of law that workers are to have adequate vacations with pay, but I would also point out that this bill which I presented last year and which I present again this year matches the best of the provisions in any of the provincial legislation, in that it provides for two weeks' vacation with pay after one year.

I point out, Mr. Speaker, that in this respect my bill is exactly in line with the proposals made for a number of years by the labour movement in this country, proposals carried forward by the new Canadian Labour Congress when it was organized as a result of the merger last year. That request for federal legislation providing for two weeks' vacation with pay after one year's employment is one of the requests the Canadian Labour Congress makes to the government and the parliament of this country.

This bill has in it a provision which makes it clear that it supersedes any collective agreement or arrangement of any kind that provides for less than two weeks' vacation with pay after one year. It also has a provision that it does not interfere with any arrangement that is better than that provided in this bill.

Once again I would point out that although I have tried to do the responsible thing and present a bill which has worked out full details, including arrangements for the administration of a provision such as this, I hope hon. members of the house will recognize that on second reading we are debating the principle of this measure, and that we will not divide over some of the details of the administration. If the bill receives approval on second reading, which I hope it will, it will be my purpose to move its reference to the committee on industrial relations, where details of administration and arrangements for carrying out the principle might be considered and even altered or amended; but I would hope that on second reading the house would be prepared in this year 1957 to go along with the basic principle that the working people in this country are entitled after one year's employment to two weeks' vacation with pay.

One of the arguments that is sometimes put up against legislation of this kind is that it should be left to collective bargaining. Mr. Speaker, that is an argument that can be found on the pages of Hansard across the years. Whenever the government is dragging its feet; whenever the government is moving slowly in the labour field with respect to any particular matter, it says, "Leave this to collective bargaining". But the day comes when the government recognizes that the things that have been won by collective bargaining have to be established and held by legislative pegs. The day comes when the government recognizes that the unorganized deserve protection as well, and in that day the government actually supports measures which in years or decades gone by it said should be left to collective bargaining.

The labour movement is clear on this matter; it knows you have to fight for these things on both fronts. So the labour movement of this country does its best to win these things at the collective bargaining table, and the labour movement also seeks to protect these things by getting legislation both at the provincial level and here at the federal level. I hope this year, now that the Canadian Labour Congress is nearly a year old and is well established as a part of the life of this country, and now that hon. members have had more time to think over the principle involved in this legislation, in view of the fact that it was presented last year, it will receive the support of the house as a whole.

One of the arguments put up last year by the Minister of Labour in discussing this bill was to the effect that a very large percentage of workers who come under federal labour jurisdiction already have two weeks' vacation 82715-28

Industrial Relations

with pay, and therefore this legislation would not affect very many people. In support of that proposition the minister gave us certain tables which were placed on the pages of Hansard, but of course tables and figures always bear looking into. As a matter of fact the tables the minister gave in support of the contention he made in my view actually support our contention that legislation in this field is needed in order to extend the benefit of two weeks' vacation with pay to a large number of employees under federal labour jurisdiction who do not now have this protection.

While it is true, according to the tables, that a very large percentage of the employees who come under federal labour jurisdiction do receive annual holidays with pay, in most cases they have to wait for a longer time than is set out in this bill. Actually only 46.7 per cent of the employees who come under federal labour jurisdiction now enjoy two weeks' holidays with pay after one year's employment. That means that this bill if it is adopted will extend this privilege of two weeks' vacation with pay after one year to something over 50 per cent of those covered by federal labour jurisdiction.

Even that figure of 46.7 per cent is somewhat misleading, because it is an over-all figure, and in the categories included in arriving at that percentage are three groups who might be referred to as preferred groups, namely those employed in air transport, in banks and in certain government enterprises. According to the tables presented by the minister last year these three groups all have two weeks' vacation with pay after one year to the extent of 100 per cent. Therefore if you remove those three preferred categories and look at the rest of the employees covered in the table given by the minister last year you will find with respect to the rest that only 35 per cent now enjoy two weeks' vacation with pay after one year's employment.

Therefore the bill is something more than an academic exercise, something more than the simple laying down of the principle of vacations with pay, important though that may be. It is a bill which would actually extend the privilege of two weeks' vacation with pay after one year of employment to a large number of employees.

Because this bill represents the best that now obtains in many provinces of this country; because it implements the request made to the government and to parliament by the Canadian Labour Congress, and because I believe it is in keeping with the thinking of the Canadian people today that with our wealth and our capacity for production our workers should have time off for

Industrial Relations

rest and recreation, I urge that this house support Bill No. 2, calling as it does for a minimum of two weeks' annual vacation with pay after one year's employment for all workers under federal labour jurisdiction.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, in anticipation of this particular bill coming up at this time it was pointed out that the Minister of Labour was absent on public business, and has been so absent for the past few days. I do not think it is necessary for me to repeat what he said at this particular juncture of the discussion of the bill a year ago, as I think the hon. member who has introduced the bill has fairly well given most of the facts in connection with the matter under discussion. I would not want to try to reinterpret the figures he mentioned, though I think he rather minimized the number of persons who do have benefits similar to those proposed in the bill.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

He used the minister's own figures.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Excuse me if I may go on. While it is quite true that approximately 47 per cent of the workers of Canada are presently enjoying benefits such as would be conferred by the bill as presented, the fact of the matter is that another 46 per cent do enjoy similar benefits after a longer period of service with the company for which they are working, up to I think three years' employment instead of one.

As I say, I do not wish to engage in any dispute about the facts. However, I would not think the house would like to go forward with the discussion without the Minister of Labour being in position to say something. I am quite aware of the fact that he deliberately put a great many tables on the record last year in order to aid discussion of the principle of the bill. In concluding his remarks at that time he gave certain reasons why he could not approve of the bill. I would like to suggest to the house that we proceed to another item of business, having in mind the fact that almost eight months or perhaps ten months have gone by since that discussion and it may well be that the Minister of Labour would like to add something to the remarks he made at that time.

It is not intended to suggest that he told me that he intended to do so, but I have reason to believe that he keeps these things in mind at all times and, as I say, might very well wish to add to the discussion of the bill. Therefore, unless there is any objection, I would hope we could allow this matter to stand for the moment by a motion to adjourn the debate.

On motion of Mr. Harris the debate was-adjourned.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES
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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

PROVISION OP STATUTORY HOLIDAYS WITH PAY" FOR EMPLOYEES

CCF

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

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre) moved

the second reading of Bill No. 3, to provide for pay for statutory holidays for employees and for pay for work performed on statutory holidays.

He said: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 3 is a companion bill to the one we were discussing just a moment ago, and even as I offered no objection to the course suggested by the Minister of Finance with respect to Bill No. 2, I would have no objection if he asked the house to do the same with respect to this bill if discussion is not concluded before this hour expires. I was aware, of course, of the absence of the Minister of Labour on public business, but it did seem to me that it would be a good idea to have the propositions contained in both these bills laid before the house early in the session so thought might be given to them, in the hope that the bills might be approved before this session ends.

I have already made some remarks in connection with the previous bill which relate to this one. Even as the other bill provided that all workers under federal labour jurisdiction should have at least two weeks' annual vacation with pay, so this bill provides that all workers in Canada who come under federal jurisdiction should have at least eight statutory holidays with pay a year.

The eight statutory holidays set out in the bill are those one would expect to be there, as they are holidays which are common to all the provinces of Canada. As set out in one of the clauses of the bill they are: New Year's day, Good Friday, Victoria day, July 1, Labour day, Thanksgiving day, Remembrance day and Christmas day. The bill provides that all employees under federal labour jurisdiction shall be given these eight days off work with their full or regular pay for that day. It provides also that if any employee is required to work on any of these eight days he is to receive his regular pay for that day, which he would get if he were not working, plus double time for working on that day.

This bill, like Bill No. 2, has in it a elapse which makes it clear that it supersedes any provision in any agreement or arrangement that is less favourable to the employee than the provisions of the bill, but that it does not affect any provision or arrangement which is better than what is set out in this bill.

There are various other details in the bill, but I hardly think I need to go into them now except to point out that in this bill, as in the other one, I have tried to present to the House of Commons not just a resolution or an expression of principle but the fact that this kind of arrangement can be worked out in precise detail. The bill is fully drawn, and by accepting it parliament will make this principle of statutory holidays with pay along with annual vacations with pay the law of this country.

The provision of annual vacations with pay and the provision of statutory holidays with pay are both reasonably new. There are still in our midst many people who have known in years gone by what it was not to get statutory holidays with pay. Today there are many who do not get those holidays with pay, or if they do the benefits are much less than we feel they should be.

Again I would point out that what is sought in this bill is in line with the request made to the federal government and to this parliament by the Canadian Labour Congress, and I hope serious consideration will be given to what this bill seeks.

Actually for some time the idea of statutory holidays with pay has been established for those who are known as salaried employees, those who are paid by the month, and we feel that this principle should be extended to all workers in this country. With respect to this phase of labour policy I may point out that the provinces are not as advanced as they are in the matter of annual vacations with pay. As a matter of fact there are very few provinces which make adequate provision, or even very specific provision, for statutory holidays with pay. In most instances it is simply a matter of some incidental provision tucked away in a minimum wage act or legislation of that kind.

Nevertheless, if one does ferret out sections of various provincial statutes that bear on these matters one discovers that there is some statutory holiday provision on the statute books of six provinces, namely British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In some of these provinces the legislation merely states that certain days shall be recognized as statutory or public holidays. I regret to say that in the provinces which go only that far no provision is made for the payment of overtime rates to employees who may have to work on those days, nor is there any provision that they should receive pay if they do not work.

There are some provinces which go beyond this first step of declaring that certain days

82715-28J

Industrial Relations

shall be holidays, and which provide what the rate of pay shall be for an employee who is required to work on a public or statutory holiday. That rate of pay varies from straight time to time and a half in the provinces which legislate on that point. There is only one province which takes the third step of providing that, on these holidays, in addition to the prescribed rate of pay for those who must work, those who are not required to work on these statutory holidays should also get paid their regular wages. The one province which goes all the way in this matter is the province of Saskatchewan, where eight statutory holidays are set out; and in that province workers must receive their pay in respect of these holidays even if they are not required to work. If they do work they are to receive, according to the legislation of that province, a rate of pay at a premium of time and a half in addition to their regular pay for that day.

However, surveying the picture again and using statistics which one obtains from the efficient statisticians in the Department of Labour, I discovered that those people who do get paid for statutory holidays, not so much by reason of legislation as by reason of collective ageeements, do fare much better in terms of rates of pay than would seem to be indicated by such legislation as we now have. One set of tables which I obtained from the Department of Labour indicates that of those people who get paid for statutory holidays-and in these instances one is thinking of all employees across Canada, not just of employees under federal jurisdiction-32.9 per cent receive premium rates of double time. In addition to that, 39.1 per cent receive premium rates of more than double time. That seems to me to add up to about 72 per cent of those who receive pay for working on statutory holidays whose premium rate amounts to double time or better.

I do not want these figures to be misleading. I cannot seem to find any figures which indicate the percentage of our workers who get paid in respect of statutory holidays. All I can find is this set of figures which indicates that of those who do get paid a very large percentage are paid a premium rate of double time or better. In most instances that is because of provisions in collective agreements, but at any rate the principle that there should be statutory holidays with pay is becoming fairly well recognized and in addition, I suggest, the principle is becoming recognized that those who are required to work on a statutory holiday should get a substantial premium rate. Hence my bill proposes that the

Industrial Relations

premium rate should be double time in addition to regular pay for that day.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am free to admit that in recommending this piece of legislation I must use a slightly different argument from the one I used in respect of my earlier proposal. In the case of annual vacations with pay I suggested that the provinces have moved along a bit-seven of them have some kind of legislation on that subject-and that it was time the federal government got into the picture and established federal legislation in that field. In this instance the provinces have not moved very far yet. The trade union movement has made progress in seeking to get this question of statutory holidays incorporated into collective agreements, and I think here is an instance where the federal government could give a lead to the provinces.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I return to the remarks I made when I began at five o'clock. This is a very interesting day in the House of Commons. We have been thinking all day in terms of life as being more than meat. We have been thinking of the fact that men live not by bread alone. We have been facing the fact that a proportion of our wealth should be used to encourage the creative capacities of our people. We have been thinking in terms of a portion of our wealth being used to encourage the arts, humanities and social sciences for the benefit of mankind. I suggest it is not inappropriate that on the same day we have been discussing these matters there should be before the House of Commons these two bills which seek to establish the principle that those who engage in toil and undergo the drudgery of manual work in this country are entitled to time off, entitled to recreation, and entitled to receive pay in respect of the time they are off work whether on annual vacation or statutory holidays.

I have no objection to the Minister of Finance proposing that our handling of this bill should follow the same course he suggested with regard to the other, but I hope that as a result of the study of these two bills by the Minister of Labour and the House of Commons, both pieces of legislation will appear on the statute books before this session ends so that our workers under federal jurisdiction will have as their right eight statutory holidays each year, with appropriate pay in respect of those holidays, and likewise two weeks' vacation with pay each year.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OP STATUTORY HOLIDAYS WITH PAY" FOR EMPLOYEES
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Clarence Gillis (Cape Breton South):

Mr. Speaker, needless to say I support the arguments of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I do believe it would be unfair at this time either to talk the bills out or to force a decision on them in the absence

of the Minister of Labour. I believe they are too important, and after the minister gets a chance to look at them it might not be a bad idea for the industrial relations committee to be set up to examine them and get the opinions of organized labour on the desirability of such legislation. I think the matter is too important to rush it in any way, and we should take our time and make a careful examination. I believe the Minister of Finance would be well advised to take the same course with this bill as he did with the last one.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OP STATUTORY HOLIDAYS WITH PAY" FOR EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to both hon. gentlemen for the suggestion that the matter might go over. I am fortified in asking that this might be done by reading what the Minister of Labour said at the conclusion of his remarks on a similar bill a year ago. I think I can quote his remarks without offending him in any way. He said as found at page 6264 of Hansard of July 20, 1956:

... I can tell my hon. friend that my department will continue to study that matter.

That is, the principle of the bill.

The possible need for legislation such as the bill presents will be looked into. I welcome the fact that the hon. member has brought the matter before the house at the present time-

Then he went on to say why at that time he could not support the bill. I take this to mean that the Minister of Labour intended to make and has since made a study of not only the principle but the details of the bill which was similar to the one now before us.

I should like, however, to comment on just a few points made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I think he has been very modest and moderate in what he has said, but it should not be thought that there are not statutory holidays with pay at the present time. Nor should the impression be taken from what he said that this government-and I must say he did not press this point-has not been most careful about labour legislation in Canada.

I am not going to speak of our past record in the labour field but he knows, as every other hon. member does, that our record has been such that we have commanded support from labour people over a great many years, much more than in the case of any other party. However, the bill does present, as the former one did, a conclusion to a certain class of collective bargaining, if you will, so that if passed it would move into a certain area of advantage all those persons who for one reason or another do not now enjoy this benefit, whether by choice, whether by

inability to negotiate for it or perhaps for reasons of preference for other benefits on their own part. I am not sure what it might be.

I am quite satisfied from reading what the Minister of Labour said that he had at that time and I know has since given careful consideration to the principle involved in the bill. I know in this case, which I did not in the former, that he does intend to make some remarks on this subject at a fairly early time. Therefore under these conditions I gratefully accept the suggestion made and move the adjournment of the debate.

On motion of Mr. Harris the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OP STATUTORY HOLIDAYS WITH PAY" FOR EMPLOYEES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The business under public bills having been exhausted, the house will resume the business which was interrupted at five o'clock.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OP STATUTORY HOLIDAYS WITH PAY" FOR EMPLOYEES
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January 18, 1957