January 28, 1957

CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

Yes.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Surely these university

grants are not paid to the provinces. There is no parallel at all.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

No, they are not paid to the provinces; and that brings me to another statement of the Minister of Justice when he suggested, if you please, Mr. Speaker, that provincial universities- and this is true of all the western universities -which have been established by provincial legislatures are more autonomous bodies than are provincial governments. What an astonishing point of view. We can make grants to universities because they are autonomous-

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. My hon. friend has attributed to me a suggestion which I did not make. He is confusing it with an inference which he improperly drew.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

We all heard it.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

Those were the words the minister used.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Hansard will show the words I used.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

Yes; if you do not change them, Hansard will show that you referred to universities as autonomous bodies, and therefore that the grants to them could not be put on the same basis as grants to provincial governments.

Education

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Word for word.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

I suggest to you, sir, that not only is the minister advancing quite a ridiculous argument, but he is also overlooking a very important factor. That is that provincial universities, while every effort has been made to remove them from the control of provincial governments, are nevertheless subject to considerable pressure when a provincial government wishes to exercise it, because the provincial government has control of all the grants. These arguments do not seem to add up to any sort of reality.

I want to deal particularly with the main thesis of the minister's refutation of the resolution tonight, and that is that the educational wants of Canadian children are or can be adequately cared for by the present fiscal arrangements. I want to suggest to him that his thinking is far out of date, because there is not a province in Canada at the present time that has established an adequate primary and secondary educational system.

I suppose sometimes we tend to forget what a very large bite we undertook to chew when in Canada we decided to educate all children, and we may also tend to forget that it is a relatively new development. It was a new idea when about 100 years ago, I suppose, perhaps a little more in some parts, it was decided to provide elementary education for all children. At that time it was possibly a fairly easily achieved ambition, because no doubt the first thought was that it would be very elementary education that the vast majority would require or would wish or would have to have provided for them. In fact until comparatively recent times this was the case.

I recall that when I went to high school in British Columbia a much smaller proportion of the children who attended elementary school with me went on to high school than today go from high school to university. At that time the high school student was the rarity, and the cost of education per capita was in consequence very much less than it is today. But I think we have to go even further than that. I think we must consider for a moment just what are the purposes of our education. Sometimes I am rather dismayed at the implications of some statements which are made with regard to education; the idea that the purpose of education is to produce so many people skilled in this particular line and so many in another specialized field and so many in some profession or trade. I think we lose sight of the fact that education is something else again. Education should primarily be the

process of developing human beings, and in order to do that there is one thing we have to do which our educational system has never been able to do even from the start; that is to maintain and encourage the natural curiosity and inquisitiveness of the human being.

Every human being starts off life as a bundle of curiosity, and it is the way in which human beings develop and the way in which societies develop; but when you gather 40 or 50 pupils into a class and ask a teacher to take charge of them, all that teacher can do is to maintain sufficient order to wrest from those students an unwilling acceptance of certain information and facts. I have no doubt whatever that much of our trouble today with regard to juvenile delinquency has been primarily caused by the fact that our educational system stifles that necessary inquisitive, curious feature of human nature. In order to maintain it, the very first thing we need is about twice as many teachers as we have at the present time, and that is an extremely conservative estimate.

I would go further and quote something I said to a teachers' gathering in my constituency not long ago, when I told them- and you may think it was a very rash thing for a politician to say-that I hoped the time would come when half those in attendance at the gathering would be found unqualified for their jobs; but of course I was quite safe, because each one was quite convinced that I was referring to his neighbour and not to him. I then went on and suggested something further. I said I also hoped that I would see the status and the rewards of the teaching profession raised to the degree where there would be two applicants for every vacancy in the profession.

Unless we can approach something like that, then we are not going to really fulfil the fundamental purposes which were referred to tonight by the Minister of Justice, the purposes of the fathers of confederation, and so on. Today the world is a much more complex place than it was in their day. If ever there was a time when children required individual attention, when they required the encouragement of their speculative intellects, today is the time; because they have to combat an enormous barrage of influences and of propaganda which are definitely antisocial and anti-intellectual in nature.

We may think we can solve these problems by banning certain deleterious aspects of our society, like crime comics, but the only real protection for young people from some of the evil influences of modern society is the development in them of inquiring minds which will seek always to extend the boundaries of

Education

their knowledge. I suggest that in order to do this a very large proportion of the national income of this country must be devoted to providing the sort of scholastic environment which will produce those inquiring minds which will be made safe from the influences of some aspects of this modern world. To do that is beyond the capacity of even the richest province.

When the tax rental agreements were brought up in the legislature in Victoria I was very dubious about them. Curiously enough a Liberal member of the legislature and I were the only ones who were dubious. I was dubious because I doubted whether the great and good federal government would always see eye to eye with those of us who considered that there were vast improvements to be made in the society in which we lived. Tonight we have had proof that I was right. The spokesman for this government still does not admit that we have a crisis in education. Putting it in simple emotional terms, you may say that you cannot buy these things; but the bitter truth is that you have to buy them, and with hard dollars. We will have to offer inducements to the best brains in our society to undertake this most important job in our whole society, because the whole rest of our lives depends upon what those to whom we entrust our children are able to do with their trust.

The whole of our elaborate and complex society rests finally on the shoulders of the primary teacher. She is the first one who sets the child's mind in a certain direction. I would suggest that all the obstacles that have been raised tonight of insurmountable constitutional blocks will eventually be blown apart when finally it dawns on this government that it has to take action in this field, just as it took action in the field of family allowances, in the field of grants to universities, both of which I suggest are perhaps suspect to the constitutional purist. I have never been able to understand why grants in aid of technical education were not subject to the ban, but apparently they are not.

We know quite well that eventually, when they are met with the demands of public opinion, these blocks will be removed; but the tragic thing is that in the meantime a whole generation of Canadian citizens is suffering and much of the future of this country is being endangered, because if we go on this way we shall invite the worst possible fate that could overtake us. That is, that the next generation will be no wiser than we are.

(Translation):

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Guy Rouleau

Liberal

Mr. Guy Rouleau (Dollard):

Mr. Speaker, in the first place I should like to congratulate the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) on moving this resolution designed to give financial assistance to our educational institutions and teaching establishments. In so doing, he affords us all, as members of this house, an opportunity to show our interest in matters of education in this country. It is a valuable contribution to the future of Canadian youth and to Canada as a whole.

This debate also gave us the opportunity of hearing an excellent speech on the question of education by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) and of being informed of the position of the government of our country on this matter.

I also wish to thank the hon. member for Saskatoon for the kind words he had on my behalf because of the speech I made last week in a debate on a similar subject. In his remarks this afternoon, he expressed the wish that I give my opinion on the question he submitted to our consideration. Mr. Speaker, as a man in public life, I have never been afraid to express my opinion, neither here nor elsewhere, and it is with pleasure that I take this opportunity to express my views on the matter he submitted to us.

In the speech he just made, the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Cameron) told us that the Minister of Justice seemed unaware of the fact that there is a financial crisis in the field of education. I listened most carefully to the remarks of the Minister of Justice and I for one am convinced that he is conscious of the needs felt by all provinces in matters of education. I know that the Minister of Justice is mindful of provincial autonomy and that he leaves to each province the care of discharging its obligations.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member for Saskatoon when he says that our schools are faced with certain financial difficulties in each and every educational field, primary, secondary and university. Because of the increase in our population we have to build more schools and universities. We also recognize the necessity of providing higher pay for college and university professors as well as for high school and elementary school teachers. These people are putting heart and soul in the teaching of our children and I do think that everybody here will agree that they should be better paid.

Education

Still the problem which we have to face in the educational field also exists in other fields. I need only mention here the difficulties faced by municipalities in their administrative work, precisely because of their current rapid expansion. However, the financial difficulties which we are facing in the educational field are such as to deserve study by all those who are in charge of the various government activities in this country.

To my mind, Mr. Speaker, this is a critical problem since it has a bearing on the future of our children, of the younger generation of this country and of the nation as a whole.

In seeking to settle this financial problem, we must take into account the British North America Act in so far as it concerns the rights which have been reserved to the various provinces on confederation.

Last week during a debate initiated by the hon. member for York Centre, I had the opportunity of expressing my views on the attitude that we should adopt here in this house, with regard to education, in order to ensure that provincial autonomy in this connection be respected. In my conclusion I supported the granting of university scholarships which would in no way threaten the autonomy of the provinces, on the contrary.

To return to the discussion now under way, let us read over the resolution submitted by the hon. member for Saskatoon:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should take into consideration 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.

When I first read the resolution, I felt inclined to support it. However, after listening to the speech delivered this afternoon by the hon. member for Saskatoon, I think I should make considerable reservations, and perhaps even more than reservations. Mr. Speaker, I do not want to speak of the hon. member personally, but I fear this resolution coming from the C.C.F. benches creates a great danger. Indeed, during the four years I have spent in this house, I have noticed that certain members of his party seemed to forget, on several occasions, that we had in Canada a constitution giving rights to the provinces in certain fields, and more particularly in the field of education. When I read carefully the resolution moved by the hon. member, I see that it included the following sentence:

. . . without encroaching in any way on the

exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces . . .

However, while making his speech this afternoon, the hon. member had this to say: "The public of Canada would support, I am quite sure, this plea which I am making for the granting of federal money for education, so long as there was no interference with provincial responsibilities implied".

Earlier, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member had said: "I wonder if it would disturb the constitution too much if the federal government were to assume some of the capital cost of schools". He concludes by saying that he does not believe it would.

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that the educational system, both on the primary and secondary level, is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the various provincial legislatures. When the hon. member says that we should assume some of the capital cost of schools, we already see there an encroachment upon the autonomy of the provinces, and that is exactly what we do not want.

In that same speech, the hon. member said:

What is taught, how it is taught, and where it is taught or anything else of that kind lies within the jurisdiction of the province. All we want to do is to support the hands of those people within the provinces who are trying to educate these children. That is all we want to do and it is entirely a financial problem.

Well no, Mr. Speaker, it is not solely a financial matter; it is a problem affecting the organization of education in this country and more particularly in the provinces, a prerogative which has been guaranteed to us by the British North America Act which provides that education is exclusively a provincial matter.

In the province of Quebec, as in any other Canadian province, I am sure that the legislative body wishes to discharge its responsibilities in accordance with the rights and powers guaranteed by the constitution. That is what is provided by section 93. As I said last week, when we have to deal with education we must be very careful to respect that guarantee given to the provinces by the fathers of confederation.

It is for that reason, Mr. Speaker, that I cannot accept in its entirety the resolution moved by the hon. member for Saskatoon; I wonder if the hon. member realizes the difference between what we could call here education proper, which comes under provincial jurisdiction, and Canadian culture, a field where the government of our country

may have, in some cases, certain responsibilities. I agree with the hon. member when he says that our educational system is in great need of funds. Since the planning of education has been entrusted to the provinces the solution of this financial problem in the field of secondary and primary education is their sole responsibility. Therefore, as a representative of a federal constituency, I will not even discuss these problems in so far as they relate to primary and secondary education.

In the field of university education, the problem is just as serious. However, who provides the universities with the funds they require to educate our children? These funds come from credits voted by the different provincial legislatures, in certain cases from federal grants, and from certain amounts put at the disposal of our universities by private enterprise or by private individuals anxious to help our young Canadians.

Needs are growing, Mr. Speaker, precisely because more and more young people, throughout this country, are entering university. I am happy to note that fact. It proves that Canadian culture is constantly being raised to higher levels, and this is as it should be. I had occasion last week to express my views on the matter of primary and secondary education. As I said a while ago, it is different in the case of universities. In fact, there is in that field a cultural aspect regarding which the federal government could make a contribution without however laying down any condition. That is in complete agreement with the findings of the Massey report which recommended assistance to universities, which is urgently required.

For a long time the Prime Minister of our country has been concerned with the problems of universities. Recently, when he received an honorary degree from the University of Sherbrooke, he announced that he would recommend to parliament that grants to universities be increased from 50 cents to $1 for each university student in the country, thus bringing to $16 million annually the amount of statutory federal grants to universities.

In the speech he made on November 12 last at the national conference of Canadian universities, the right hon. Prime Minister said, and I am quoting from La Presse of Tuesday November 13, 1956:

I have already explained why the federal government had the right to offer such assistance. I feel that it is not only its right but its duty to do so.

In the same speech the Prime Minister added:

My colleagues and I feel that the annual federal grants to universities should be continued and

Education

increased and we are prepared to recommend to parliament, at the next regular session, that they be doubled.

That is what the parliament of Canada has done at the very beginning of this session. And if I refer to Hansard of last Friday, January the 15th, I see that the Prime Minister in the explanations he gave us on the subject of the assistance that the Canadian government wants to give to various universities in this country, takes into account the autonomy of the provinces. During the same debate I noticed that the leader of the official opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker), agreed with the Prime Minister. I suggest that all the members of the house recognize that we should help Canadian universities. However, I want to be sure that such assistance will be granted with due respect for the autonomy of the universities and provinces. In order to insure that this autonomy will not be affected, it is provided in the measure introduced by the government that the universities of the various provinces of the country will not be forced to accept the grants, but that they can refuse them if they believe that this would encroach upon the autonomy of the provinces.

The resolution of the government provides that the grants will be distributed by an independent organization.

The hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Cameron) said a moment ago that there was no difference between the measure introduced by the Prime Minister and the proposal of the hon. member for Saskatoon. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickers-gill) pointed out that there is all the difference in the world between these two proposals since under the resolution of the Prime Minister, the grants will be offered to the universities and not directly to the provinces.

Before concluding my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a special appeal to private enterprise in this country to provide an ever increasing help to our universities and our university students.

I also wish to congratulate the hon. members of this house for the interest they have shown in the problems of education and teaching in our country. In so doing, they prove that they are conscious of their responsibilities; I urge them to continue to work for the future of our country with due respect to the spirit and the letter of our Canadian constitution.

The hon. member for Saskatoon said this afternoon that he was glad to find that an ever increasing number of hon. members show their interest in education. However, I would not want the growing interest to

Education

which he referred to be taken as an excuse to encroach upon certain sections of the Canadian constitution.

However, I cannot give my full support to the resolution before the house, precisely on account of the explanations given by the hon. member. In my opinion, if the resolution were carried in its present form, it would be an encroachment upon the constitution and that cannot be allowed. Such an action would be an interference in a field exclusively reserved to provincial jurisdiction. I am still convinced that no hon. member would wish to encroach upon what we call provincial autonomy.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

André Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Andre Gauthier (Lake St. John):

Mr. Speaker, I have very little time left before ten o'clock but I do think I have time enough to make a few remarks. The hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight), I am convinced, has introduced his motion in a sincere effort to find a solution to the problem of education in general.

I do not have to demonstrate the need for supporting education. That is a generally recognized fact. All of us here to the best of our ability, are searching for a formula according to which our young fellow citizens may be allowed to benefit more from education.

Education is a personal responsibility of parents. That is a privilege which is rightfully theirs. Still, man is not able to develop, to realize his whole potentialities except as a member of society. That being the case, those in authority must exercise their complementary duties. In my province this is first of all the business of the local school board to which I am particularly happy to pay tribute.

Our federal system nevertheless recognizes the exclusive responsibilities of the provincial authorities to legislate in educational matters. I will remind hon. members that the fathers of confederation did not deem it wise to include these in the general powers granted to the provinces under section 92. They chose instead to draw up a separate section to deal with this matter, a fact which indicates the importance they attached to the subject. It was their wish that education be a provincial matter. Even with the best intentions in the world, I do not think that we should do anything which would, in any way, diminish the responsibilities of the province.

The mover of the motion has taken the precaution to include the following reservation:

Without encroaching in any way on the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces in this field.

That is undeniable recognition of the fact that the federal government has no jurisdiction in that field, and that should be sufficient to dispose of the resolution. Problems coming within the field of our jurisdiction are numerous and varied; some are very difficult to solve. We should spend our time and energy working for the common good of our constituents in the fields in which we have jurisdiction and which were assigned to us by the provisions of the British North America Act.

Federal legislators are duty bound to be very circumspect and careful in matters of education. The province of Quebec has most imperative and special reasons to be jealous of the field of education. It is the only means available to French-speaking Canadians of keeping the language and traditions inherited from their forefathers. If there is a crisis in the field of education, a fact recognized practically everywhere, let us leave to the provincial authorities the trouble of studying the problem and let us help them to solve it if they so request us. The proposals designed to put an end to the present financial crisis in the field of education referred to in the resolution must come from the provinces. They will I am sure set the required conditions and guarantees.

For all the reasons I just gave-it is already ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker

I must say that I will oppose this resolution of the hon. member for Saskatoon and I move the adjournment of the debate.

(Text):

On motion of Mr. Gauthier (Lake St. John) the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   EDUCATION
Subtopic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Sub-subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Postmaster General; Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

Tomorrow we shall go into supply and continue, and I hope complete, the study of the supplementary estimates. Then we shall take up the legislation as announced by my colleague the Minister of Finance on Friday, in the order in which he announced it.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

At ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS


The following answers, deposited with the Clerk of the house, are printed in the official report of debates pursuant to standing order 39:


INFLATION CURBS AND LOAN CONTROLS

IND

Mr. Thatcher

Independent

What action has the government or the Bank of Canada taken, in an effort to curb inflation, to control loans made by finance companies, small loan companies, insurance companies, credit unions, etc.?

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

The government and the Bank of Canada have made it clear in discussions with finance companies and the larger retailers that a continued expansion of credit is not desirable, but no specific controls have been imposed on loans made by finance companies, small loan companies, insurance companies, credit unions, etc.

Topic:   ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   INFLATION CURBS AND LOAN CONTROLS
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DELIVERY QUOTAS, WESTERN PROVINCES

January 28, 1957