April 4, 1957

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

Indians will be included under the provisions of the proposal embodied in the bill which says that the scheme must be universally available to all residents of the province.

With regard to my friend the hon. member for Calgary North I must compliment him because I have never heard him in such good form. His cynicism is such that he deserves our commendation at least tonight.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

You know that I am always in good form.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

My hon. friend is not always in good form and he is not always in good humour but tonight he is in very good humour and in excellent form even though he was off the point so badly.

The situation is briefly this. Under the Interpretation Act, as I said the other day when my hon. friend asked this question, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon are equivalent to provinces for the purpose of status in relation to the federal government or in terms of their own particular position. They pass ordinances and under the Interpretation Act these are likewise regarded as laws and consequently they are brought within the purport of the bill that is before us at this time.

There is a duly constituted government in the territories. That government is in the same position as any provincial government and when it considers this situation in the light of its responsibility it can, like any other provincial government, enter into negotiations with the federal government toward inclusion, having in mind the problems that especially apply toward inclusion of the individuals concerned under this hospital insurance scheme.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Chairman, may I ask the minister what actually has been done? He knows as well as I do that the head of the council of the Northwest Territories is the deputy minister of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources and the majority of the members of that council are members appointed by this government of which the minister himself is a member and the minority are elected members. In other words, what it comes down to is that if the government wants to include the Northwest Territories in this scheme all they have to do is to make that decision and because the appointed members on the council are in the majority they can proceed to sign the necessary agreements and so forth. Has anything been done?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

I know my hon. friend would be the last to suggest that the federal government should dictate to the government of the territories. The fact that the deputy minister of a particular department is an important member of the council does not alter the situation.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

But who are the other

appointed members?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

I know; but they are the government of the territory. They have their responsibility to that territory just as a provincial government has a responsibility under its own people. The situation is analogous to that which arose under the Old Age Assistance Act and other social welfare measures. After consideration of all the problems involved the territories have participated in the scheme and it is not for me, nor is it for the federal government, to say what the government of the territories shall do. All I can say is that the government of the territories has the power to consider this plan and it has the opportunity of entering into negotiation with the federal government and beyond that my hon. friend cannot expect me to go.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I can and I do expect the minister to go farther. The minister is adroitly side-stepping the question. My information is that the elected members of this council would like to see the white people in the territories brought in under the provision of this hospital scheme but they do not know what is their situation. As far as I recall it offhand, the population of the territories is something in the neighbourhood of 16,000. The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources can correct me if I am wrong but it runs in my mind that the total population of the Northwest Territories is in the neighbourhood of 16,000.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

It is 19,000.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The minister says it is 19,000. I understand there are between six and seven thousand Eskimos resident there.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

No, there are only 7,000 Eskimos altogether.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Who counted them?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Let the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources deny that the figure I cited is not correct. I think there are around 6,000 Eskimos resident there. I believe the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources said I was right.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

No, he said I was right.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Did he say the hon. member for Calgary North was wrong?

Health Insurance

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

He did not say it was wrong. Let us not quarrel over 100 or 200 one way or the other. There are approximately 6,000 Eskimos and there are approximately 6,000 Indians; there are also approximately 6,000 white people, or at any rate people who are not Indians or Eskimos under the act. Some of these people may be of mixed blood but as I say there are approximately 6,000 who are not either Indians or Eskimos under the various acts.

Now these 6,000 people who are neither legally Indians or Eskimos are concerned in regard to this legislation as to whether the provision which we find in section 3 of this act is going to apply to them. This section makes provision for the furnishing by hospitals of insured services upon uniform terms and conditions to residents of the province under the conditions specified in this act and the regulations. In other words, if the nonIndian and non-Eskimo population constituting about one-third of the total population were to be called upon to come into this scheme on the same basis as people of other provinces and would have placed upon them as a responsibility 50 per cent of the hospital costs for the 12,000 Indians and Eskimos, it would be a hopeless proposition. It just would not be a practical or workable proposition and that is the particular point upon which the non-Indian and non-Eskimo population in the Northwest Territories wish to have their situation clarified. They want to know where they stand and the minister has completely refused so far to make any statement with regard to this problem.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

What about the Yukon?

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Mervyn Arthur Hardie

Liberal

Mr. Hardie:

The member for Calgary North has mentioned the feelings of the white population in the Northwest Territories in regard to the passing of the bill. The minister has to remember that the revenue of the Northwest Territories paid into the territorial funds is not the same or as extensive as the revenues which are gathered in the provinces. I am sure that the minister and the government will take into consideration that fact, and when the large portion of the revenues are collected by the federal government I am sure that we will be given consideration in that regard. As far as the department and what they have been doing up to now is concerned in the way of nursing stations -I think the hon. member for Calgary North said something like one or two nursing stations-I would like to say that the government now has in the Northwest Territories nursing stations at Fort Good Hope, Fort Norman, Fort Providence and a number of other places.

Health Insurance

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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?

An hon. Member:

Coppermine.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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LIB

Mervyn Arthur Hardie

Liberal

Mr. Hardie:

Coppermine, that is right, Cambridge Bay and there are many others. They have assisted the Anglican and Roman Catholic Missions by granting moneys tor their hospitals. The results of this have been in the last four years that in Fort Smith we have a 100-bed hospital in which we have 35 beds in use and at Fort Resolution we have a 60-bed hospital with 15 beds in use. These are results of the work done by this government in co-operation with the missions in this country.

Topic:   HEALTH INSURANCE
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND
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April 4, 1957