April 8, 1957

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Porf Arthur):

That is a question of ethics on which I would need to get an expert opinion.

Topic:   INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   POLYMER CORPORATION
Sub-subtopic:   ACTIVITIES OF PRESIDENT AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PROCEDURE RESPECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKETING BILL


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of fhe Opposition):

I should like to address a

question to the Minister of Agriculture. Is it the intention to proceed today with the agricultural products marketing bill after the health insurance bill has been considered? Would the minister say whether or not representations have been received by him or other members of the cabinet in opposition to the bill? If so, from whom have they been received, and will the minister table the representations that have been made?

Hon. V/. E. Harris (Minisier of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, may I answer with respect to the procedural part of the question.

Representations have been received this morning, not in opposition to the bill but suggesting certain amendments which might carry out more effectually the purpose of the bill, and those suggestions are to be followed by more direct reference to what is desired. Just before we came into the house I gave the assurance that until we had received the particular representations the bill would not be called or, at any rate, not passed. I think telegrams are to be received which will tell us precisely what is required but these representations are not in objection to the bill. They are for the purpose of furthering the bill.

On the other point I have no answer to make because I have received no objections to the bill. As soon as I have received the representations I have mentioned, we shall consider them to see whether or not the bill ought to be delayed, or whether the proposed amendments coming forward could be put in the bill in the normal course at the committee stage.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE RESPECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKETING BILL
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

So the position is that the minister is not certain at the moment whether we will proceed with that legislation today following the health insurance bill. Will the minister also answer the other suggestion that any representations made adverse to the bill in its present form should be tabled? I think they should so that as the result of consideration of both sides of the question the best possible bill may be achieved.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE RESPECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKETING BILL
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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:

That would be for the Minister of Agriculture to decide. So far as I was concerned, all I was pointing out was that if the hospital insurance bill should carry before one o'clock we would have to proceed this afternoon with some other business until we received the representations I have mentioned and have considered them.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE RESPECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKETING BILL
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I do not recall that there are any specific representations against the bill, although I shall look into the matter. However, I think there was one telegram received, with a letter probably to follow, suggesting that if it was the intention to proceed someone might have objections to make, but I do not think any have been made. I will look into the matter to make sure.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE RESPECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKETING BILL
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HEALTH INSURANCE

AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND


The house resumed, from Thursday, April 4, consideration in committee of Bill No. 320, Health Insurance to authorize contributions by Canada in respect of programs administered by the provinces, providing hospital insurance and laboratory and other services in aid of diagnosis -Mr. Martin-Mr. Robinson (Simcoe East) in the chair. On clause 2-Definitions


LIB

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

I understand that we carried clause 1 and are now discussing clause 2.

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:

Mr. Chairman, when we were last discussing clause 2 there were a number of features in the clause which came under consideration. I should like to say a further word about one of the matters, and what I wish to say is by way of comment on a statement made by the minister.

We have contended that this legislation, which provides for a sharing of hospital costs between the federal and provincial levels of government, should include the hospitalization of patients in tuberculosis hospitals and hospitals for the mentally ill. One of the arguments used by the minister in opposing our contention that there should be this extension is contained in a sentence or two to be found on page 3122 of Hansard for April 4, 1957. At that point the Minister of National Health and Welfare said:

We are simply following the pattern that exists in the province of Saskatchewan where tubercular patients and mentally ill patients are not covered by the hospital insurance scheme which, as my hon. friend knows, is basically on premium; but tney are covered under a separate account for tubercular people and mentally ill people.

The minister went on to say that the same practice is observed in British Columbia, and so on. It seems to me that the minister is distorting the picture when he tries to take the position that the federal government is following the pattern established in a province such as Saskatchewan. It is true that in Saskatchewan there are two separate accounts. Those in tuberculosis hospitals and in hospitals for the mentally ill are paid for out of general account, whereas hospitalization in general hospitals is paid for out of a special account which is set up on an insurance basis including the payment of premiums.

The over-all fact is that in the province of Saskatchewan-and it is true in the province of British Columbia as well-any person who requires to go to hospital, whether it be a general hospital on the one hand or a tuberculosis or mental hospital on the other, has his hospitalization covered. We suggest that is the basic fact, namely that in the provinces to which the minister has referred all types of hospitalization for whatever disease are covered under provincial arrangements.

Health Insurance

The federal government is now proposing at long last to get into this field and to share in the cost of hospitalization. But the federal government proposes to share only in that portion of hospitalization which relates to hospitalization in general hospitals. In my view the minister cannot put forward the argument about the insurance principle because, so far as the federal payment is concerned, he has already asserted-in fact he has boasted of it-that the federal payment is to come out of general revenue. There is not to be imposed by the federal government any premium for the purpose of collecting the money that Ottawa will pay into this hospitalization scheme. The federal money comes out of general account in the same way that the payment for tuberculosis patients and the payment for mental patients in the provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia come out of the general funds of the provinces.

If the minister wants to use other arguments as to why the federal government does not wish to come into this scheme he is free to do so, but I suggest that it is not fair for him to say that the federal government is following the Saskatchewan pattern. The Saskatchewan pattern is for the state, as represented by the province, to provide hospitalization for patients in all hospitals whatever the nature of the disease. The pattern in this legislation is for the federal government to provide hospitalization only for those who are in general hospitals. It excludes those in tuberculosis hospitals and in hospitals for the mentally ill.

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

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

And in nursing homes.

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:

We wish to express our regret at that exclusion. It is appropriate to raise this matter at this time because _we are dealing with clause 2 of the bill which, by paragraph (e), excludes services in tuberculosis hospitals and hospitals for the mentally ill as well as one other category. We hope that even yet, before this legislation comes into effect the government will reconsider its position and recognize that if it is going to go into the hospital field it should stop drawing this line between physiological illnesses and those in the category of mental diseases; that it should stop drawing the line between various other illnesses and tuberculosis, and should cover hospitalization for all diseases.

I submit that there is no particular problem of administration so far as the federal government is concerned, because the whole of the federal government's contribution is to be paid out of the general revenues and comes out of the consolidated revenue fund. We

continue to make the point that tuberculosis hospitals and mental hospitals should be included in this legislation.

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

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall the clause carry?

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

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

I have not spoken on this bill before but I want to rise and support the remarks of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I think he put the argument very well indeed. I do not intend to take up a great deal of time. I see that the minister shakes his head but I do not agree with him in that respect.

I might say that I have had a great deal of experience in connection with hospital affairs, in fact, being a member of a hospital board since about 1912. I remember when our patient costs per day for the hospital of whose board I was chairman were $1.75, and that we considered that amount a bit excessive. Even at that time I remember people saying there was a need for a hospital insurance plan, which this is.

I am very glad that we are adopting this plan. However, I support the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre in his remarks concerning the omission of tubercular patients and mentally ill patients, who make up a large percentage of those who are sick in this country at this time. Along with a good many people across Canada who are interested in this question, and a good many responsible organizations, I believe that when we are dealing with hospital insurance we should so approach the problem as to make arrangements to care for all the sick and to meet the needs of all the population who require these services. In fact, in my opinion this is one of the major deficiencies of the bill. I hope in the future the minister will give some consideration to the criticism which has been voiced in the house, and which has been expressed by a good many responsible people in the country.

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

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall the clause carry?

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

William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blair:

Mr. Chairman, I mentioned this matter several times in this debate from the resolution stage onward. I refer to the question of the omission of mentally ill patients from this bill. I again wish to register our protest, because in my opinion this bill differentiates between one form of illness and another. The other day I said I thought it was a backward step even to recognize that type of thing.

I again point out the need for hospitalization for mental patients, the need for treatment, the growing percentage in Canada. Above all, I again point out that this legislation is differentiating between one form of illness and another. The mentally ill patient is no different, as I said the other day,

from the person who has pneumonia, cancer or anything else. He is a sick person. Mental illness is just as important as any other form of illness. I again register my protest this morning.

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

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

In order to give effect to the unanswerable argument put forward by the hon. member for Lanark I move:

That clause 2 of Bill 320 be amended by changing the word "but" to "and" and striking out the word "not" in line 8 on page 2.

Thus the words "but does not include" would be changed to read "and does include".

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

April 8, 1957