January 30, 1958

SC

Frank Claus Christian

Social Credit

Mr. Christian:

I last spoke on this matter on Saturday, January 25 and I wish at this time to make some further remarks. I would appreciate it very much if the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration would enunciate to the house the policy of the government in respect of the matter of immigration generally, and further if there have been any changes in that immigration policy.

I noticed that in 1956 some 51,319 people came to Canada from the British Isles, and in the period from January 1 to September 30 the figure was 29,330 from the same British Isles. There has been, of course, a substantial drop in the figure. Furthermore I am aware of the fact that during the year 1956 some

4,000 Hungarians came to Canada, and from the period January 1 to September 30, 1957 the number was 29,330 making a total as of September 30, 1957 of 33,330 Hungarians. My information is that on the basis of an estimate only from October or November, 1956 up to the present about 36,000 Hungarians have come to this country.

I would particularly like to know what is the policy of the present government with respect to Hungarian immigration to Canada. I am not personally taking a critical position as to what has happened in the past, because my understanding and information is that the immigration of these people was based purely on humanitarian principles. However, in view of the Immigration Act, and particularly in view of section 5 of that act, certain persons are prohibited from entering this country. One such class of persons would be those who suffer from physical or mental defects; other classes would include diseased persons and persons who are members of subversive organizations. I do think perhaps in regard to the Hungarian immigration situation the lessons we have learned should necessitate officials of the government taking great care in seeing exactly what types of immigrants do come into this country, and that the tests or requirements set out in the act are strictly followed.

I would now like to comment on the matter of Indian affairs. I have noted the good that is being done by the department in so far as housing is concerned, including the building of new homes and the repairing of old ones, the matter of scholarships as an inducement to Indian people to improve their educational standards, and also the improvements which are being made by the construction of new schools.

I would now like to refer the acting minister to one matter which is referred to on page 63 of the annual report of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. This report deals with the fiscal year ending March 31, 1957, and under "land leases" the following statement is made:

New leases completed during the year numbered 552 and of 716 leases which expired, 438 were renewed.

That year, I take it, would be the year 1956, and I would like some particulars with regard to these 716 leases which expired. I would like to know whether they were all taken up either by new leases or renewed leases. In any event, what is the situation? Do some of those same leases still remain expired?

Following up this matter of leases, I would also like to comment on my understanding with respect to the Indian Act. A certain section of that act deals with the provision for provincial governments and local authorities to obtain title to Indian land. I know of points throughout-British Columbia where leases are given on Indian lands for say 30 or 40 years, and many private individuals acquire such properties and spend considerable money in making capital improvements on them. I think of course that the Indian should be sovereign in so far as title to or ownership of his land is concerned.

However, there is a development taking place in the country today in that people are obtaining leases on Indian lands and, as I have stated, spending considerable money on the capital improvement of the properties. The situation today is becoming such that, close to the cities and municipalities, something should be done in order to give private individuals the opportunity of purchasing Indian lands. The time may be premature; enough time may not have elapsed to put the Indian on the same business basis as the white person, but I do think the time will come when something must be done along the lines I have suggested.

I do, however, make this qualification; that if anything is done in this regard the Indian people should be treated fairly, and should be paid a proper and reasonable price for their lands. I think, however, the whole policy with respect to the leasing of such lands should be gone into by this government. It may be that we might have to wait another 40 or 50 years, at which time the Indian people may no longer be wards of the government. In any event, with respect to the very valuable Indian lands close to cities and municipalities I would suggest to the government that consideration be given to the matter of whether or not title to such lands may pass to various individuals.

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

Another question I would like to ask the minister is with respect to Indian forest reserves. I would like to know the position in regard to this matter as far as the province of British Columbia is concerned, and I would particularly like to know whether anything is being done at the present time to see that Indian forest reserves are kept on a sustained yield forest management basis. That, I know, is the general policy today in British Columbia with respect to timber reserves, but specifically what is being done at this time to help the Indian people in so far as the matter of Indian forest reserves is concerned?

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

In following up the important question raised by my hon. friend the member for Vancouver East, I would like to make one suggestion. That is, that when any man offers his services in giving information against a prospective citizen, if that man so offering his services to our immigration officials or even to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is not willing to use his name then he is proving himself a coward, and his information should not be accepted.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

May I first make reference to the observations of the hon. member for Vancouver East. Over the years I too have had a number of cases where individuals who have made applications for admission to Canada have been barred on what are generally referred to as security grounds. In all cases, as far as I am aware, there has been a refusal to give any indication of the nature of the charge, and I believe the reason given for this policy is that if the information is given then it will be the responsibility of the department to give the source of the information. If this were to happen then it is expected that the source of information would dry up.

Quite franky I think that is a pretty weak argument. I know of eases where relatives of Canadian citizens have made applications for admission to Canada and have been refused on security grounds. The Canadian relatives have said to me, "This is a reflection upon us. We cannot find out what the reasons were although we have made every effort." I certainly have made efforts myself in many of these cases. These relatives have said that it is a reflection upon them. They cannot find out what the reasons are although they have made every effort, and ip many of these cases I have made efforts myself. I think of one case in particular involving a Greek national who has at least one brother in this country. He made an application and was refused on security grounds.

4042 HOUSE OF

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Yet I have had in my possession no fewer than a dozen of the finest personal testimonials you could lay your hands on, even one signed by an ambassador from the United States. The application was not only refused but the individual and his relatives were unable to get one single solitary clue as to the reason for rejection.

I think it might not be a bad idea for me to suggest to the minister and his officials that first of all they go back and review every one of these cases. Certainly I think the time has come when we should give consideration to a change in policy. I for one have always said that this is our country and we have a perfect right to say who shall come here. I think we should maintain that right. But certainly I think we should be fair to those who make application for admission, more particularly when at times because of humanitarian or other reasons we drop all barriers and permit people to come here in large numbers, even without adequate medical examination. I am not objecting to that at all. Someone has already referred to the Hungarian situation. It was substantially a humanitarian question and I supported what was done at that time. But I do believe we should change the procedure with respect to the matter I have been discussing.

I wish to refer to a second point, and I am not certain that it falls under the jurisdiction of the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Not very long ago I read a report in a newspaper and when I tried to find it later I could not locate it. That is not an uncommon thing. Sometimes you can search the pages of a newspaper a dozen times and all the time what you want is right in front of your eyes. The essence of the report was that a certain west European government, not a communist government, had declared that their nationals residing in Canada were subject to military service in their home country. Possibly there is not much one can say against that-

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An hon. Member:

Switzerland.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

-but the report went further and said that even though these former nationals were Canadian citizens they were still subject to military service within that country. In the case of those who are Canadian citizens, regardless of the country from which they came, I think it is the duty of the Canadian government to object vigorously when a man has become a citizen of this country and is still hounded by the government of his former country on the ground that he is subject to military service

in that country. The inference is that if he dares to go back to that country he will pay the penalty as a consequence of not having answered the call.

As I say, I am not too familiar with the situation in the case of those who have not become citizens of Canada but even if their status here is only that of landed immigrants I still think that the Canadian government should raise strenuous objection. Of course, if they come from communist countries I presume any objection would do no good. Nevertheless I think there should be objection in that as well as in all other cases. After all, we do owe some protection to those who have come to our country as landed immigrants and more particularly in the case of those who have acquired Canadian citizenship.

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CCF

Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. Barnett:

Mr. Chairman, several members have joined in the discussion of the point raised by the hon. member for Vancouver East and I should like to take a few moments to express my agreement with the remarks of those who have supported the point of view he put forward. I imagine that most hon. members who have talked to people whose applications for citizenship have been rejected have had the experience of realizing that the thing which seems to hurt most is the fact that they do not know why. That question is thrown at one again and again. "Why should this have happened to me?"

I have in mind the case of a married woman who came to Canada in the 1930's, whose husband is a Canadian citizen by naturalization, whose children are all Canadian citizens, whose grandchildren are Canadian citizens, and yet she has twice been denied the right to become a Canadian citizen after having assumed over quite a period of years that she was a Canadian citizen because her husband had become a naturalized Canadian. This is the question she has thrown at me on a number of occasions. "Why? If I knew why perhaps I would not feel so badly about it."

This woman has lived more than half her life in Canada and even on a second application has been denied the right to become a Canadian citizen. No explanation of any kind has been given to her. No explanation can even be secured on a confidential basis by her member of parliament when she approaches him about it.

I know that this matter has been raised a good many times on the floor of the house. I have listened to some of the answers given by previous occupants of the post now held by the minister. I am sure that the attempts made to explain the position were honestly

made but like the hon. member for Vancouver East I still must say that I am not satisfied that the position that has been taken is a necessary and desirable one, particularly with reference to those who are in the country legally as landed immigrants and who have made application for citizenship.

I can understand that there are reasons for avoiding automatic publication of the grounds of refusal, inasmuch as they might become public knowledge and be spread widely, but when a bona fide request is made by the person involved for some explanation as to the reasons for refusing his application I think that information should be available to him as a matter of right. I think the question of whether it is to be publicized could be left quite properly to the individual concerned to determine. I hope the present minister will be able to give us a more satisfactory explanation than we have had heretofore as to the whys and the wherefores of this admittedly difficult and delicate situation.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

I should like to say something about the experience in northern Ontario with immigration over a number of years. I do not think there is any objection to the immigration program that has been generally carried on in Canada. I think everybody agrees that immigration is necessary and will have to be increased as facilities to handle immigrants are made available. But I strongly object to certain methods that have been used in northern Ontario. Private industries have been permitted to go to other countries to seek workers. Specific promises have been made and these people have been improperly informed. People from various countries have been brought into northern Ontario, starting in the 1920's, but in recent years more have come. In the Kirkland Lake area we had the sad experience of the government granting leave of absence to the head of the unemployment insurance commission office so that he could go abroad on behalf of the mining industry. He was paid by them to go to certain countries in Europe to try to secure immigrants to work in the mines.

Now, the stories vary as to what these people were told. It is my opinion, after having talked with hundreds of these boys who came from other countries, that they were not given a true picture of the situation, and that this improper picture was not corrected by the immigration officials of this country. This official of the unemployment insurance commission travelled throughout Europe, and some of the promises that he made were fabulous. The common method of recruiting for the gold mining industry, which is a very low paid mining industry, is to cite the highest rates paid in any of the mines in

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Canada giving the impression that these rates are applicable to the mine for which these people are being recruited.

When these men came here, there was a great deal of resentment, so much resentment in fact that within three or five years only about 10 per cent of the number of original immigrants remained in the same employment. They were quite angry that Canadian authorities allowed such procedures to take place, and many of these men were not satisfactory in the jobs for which they were brought here. Certainly, we need immigration, but if immigrants are to be brought here to work in the mining industry they should be thoroughly screened. They have to be of top physical calibre; they have to be of a certain age; and they have to have special attention paid to the condition of their lungs. We realize that this must be done. However, we do not believe that it can be done effectively by private enterprise. We do not believe it has been good for the country to allow this type of procedure in seeking immigrants. I would strongly suggest that a different approach be made to this matter in order to make sure such things do not happen again.

It may be recalled that the Hollinger mine sent its representative to Europe to recruit workers, and he made many promises that could not be fulfilled. At a later date many of the immigrants who came in under that particular scheme even reneged on the repayment of the amount that had been advanced for their transportation. They, also, were very unhappy in this situation.

The other matter I should like to mention is connected with Chinese immigration. A brief was presented to the government, which I have read, concerning the immigration laws as they affect Chinese. It was presented by the Chinese benevolent association last October. I have in my area a gentleman of Chinese origin who has been in Canada much longer than I have. He came here long before I was born, settled in Kirkland Lake and was closely connected with the development of that town. In the early days one of the prospectors ran out of money, as most prospectors did and still do, and he was grubstaked by this particular gentleman. The man to whom I refer is well known in Kirkland Lake. He was one of those who helped to finance Sir Harry Oakes, and he now has a considerable amount of money. This gentleman, who is getting on in years, had one brother who at one time lived in Canada but subsequently went back to China. This man now wants to bring his brother's children to Canada. He has received letters from the high schools in the town, and they are willing to take these students into the high schools. These young

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration nephews are now in a location from which they could emigrate to Canada. He is willing to adopt tljem and is willing to set up far more than the department would require as a guarantee. He informed me the last time I spoke to him that he is willing to give them one of the largest hotels in Kirkland Lake. Incidentally, he has a sum of well over $1 million himself and will guarantee that these young people will never be a charge upon the Canadian people.

My friend says that he may even have voted Conservative-and that is probably true-for the first time. A reading of this brief to which I have referred clearly indicates this problem, therefore I should like to read a short section from it. It says:

Another problem which is the aftermath or effect of the harsh laws enacted in the past and which confronts us now is the plight of grandchildren of Chinese Canadians. We would seek relaxation of immigration regulations to permit these grandchildren to come, in cases where the parents of these children are deceased in China. We feel that on purely compassionate grounds the little ones should be brought into Canada and placed under the care of their grandparents, provided the grandparents are financially able to receive and care for them.

If left in China their future is rather obscure and we feel it is not the intention of your department to inflict any unnecessary suffering on a Chinese child whose parents are dead. We feel very strongly on this matter because of the untold suffering and hardships which are prevalent in the world in general and in China in particular.

Another problem confronting us is the question of admission of adopted children of Chinese Canadians.

The brief goes on to mention some of the religious beliefs of these people, and gives the reason for their anxiety to adopt children. I continue to quote:

We, therefore, plead for the granting of this request for the admission of adopted children of Chinese Canadians who have no sons of their own blood, either here or in China.

When the application was originally made in 1952 these children were living in an area of China from which it was difficult to get any information. They are now living in Hong Kong, and certainly the financial requirements of the department can be met. Our restrictions against Chinese immigration could be lifted to give consideration to people in this category because, in my experience, I have found the Chinese people to be very good citizens. I have never known a Chinese immigrant who has been a burden on any municipality in my part of the country. I think there is considerable that could be said in favour of certain categories of Chinese immigrants if one section of the act were changed. When the act mentions children we could extend the meaning to include adopted children, and I think in this particular case that could be arranged. I do

not believe that the adoption of this suggestion would lead to unlimited immigration and I think that special consideration should be given to some of these cases.

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PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wrailen:

I should like to bring a problem to the attention of this committee which has been causing quite a lot of trouble in our county and city as far back as 1875. I am not bringing this to the attention of the committee to be in any way critical of the present minister or his parliamentary assistant, because since coming to this house I have had nothing but the very best of co-operation from these two gentlemen. In fact, today the parliamentary assistant very kindly gave me and the warden of our county an interview. I have great hopes that he will get this knotty problem straightened out so that at least we will be reimbursed to some extent for the cost of the administration of justice in so far as the Six Nations Indian reserve near Brantford is concerned.

I also want to point out that this is in no way to the prejudice of the Six Nations Indians. As I understand it, the department of Indian affairs administer the funds of the Six Nations Indians and they have the money down there. It is going to be a case of agreement between the two municipalities and the department of Indian affairs to pay for the cost of the administration of justice on the reserve.

I should like to point out that under the terms of the territorial divisions act the county of Brant, which is the smallest county in the province of Ontario and also has the largest reserve in the dominion of Canada as far as population is concerned, consists of the city of Brantford, the town of Paris and the townships of Brantford, Burford, Oakland, Onondaga, South Dumfries and Tusca-rora except'

and this is where we have all the trouble-that the township of Tuscarora shall be withdrawn from the county of Brant for municipal purposes only. That means that as far as the township of Tuscarora is concerned, which has the Six Nations Indian reserve or the largest portion of it, they pay absolutely no tax in any way, shape or form to the county of Brant for the administration of justice, for magistrate's court costs to the city of Brantford or for looking after the prisoners who are brought in by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from the reserve to the county of Brant.

The population of the county of Brant is approximately 77,000 and the population of that portion of the reserve that is in Brant county is approximately 3,500. That means that having regard to county population it is approximately 1 in 25. But our jail figures

for one year are around 8,000 prison days in our county jail. Of that 8,000 days in one year, the reserve has approximately 1,000 days, so that you can see that we have 1 in 8 as far as jail population is concerned. But as far as population in the county is concerned, they are 1 in 25. So this situation presents a considerable problem in connection with the financial difficulty of paying for the jails and the magistrate's court in the city of Brantford in the county of Brant.

The cost of maintaining one prisoner, as far as food is concerned, in our county jail amounts to $1.10 per day. If we add the costs of the governor and the staff, that brings it up to $5.10. If we add the cost of renovation of the jail, something which we had to do within the last two years, and the upkeep of the whole building, it runs to $8.10 per day. Thus, you can readily see that the costs of these prisoners in the jail amount to some considerable sum at the end of each year. Up until the beginning of 1957, the province of Ontario paid the county a certain sum of money for people who were confined to jail under certain indictable offences but, as of January 1, 1957, they inaugurated a new system of subsidy in Ontario and each municipality is paid a dollar per capita for the administration of justice purposes. But the township of Tuscarora, not being a municipality within the county of Brant, does not receive this one dollar per day from the provincial government. Therefore we do not get any money from them for the administration of justice and jail service.

I should like to give one set of figures that I have here for a magistrate's court for one year. In the period from May 1, 1956 to May 31, 1957, the magistrate's court collected some $3,390 in fines from Indians from the reserve. I want to point out this fact. Since the Indian reserve is a considerable distance from the county jail, when these people are picked up and put in the county jail, they are usually there for a week end or two or three days because the Indians do not come in and bail out their friends as quickly as do white people who live in the city and do not leave their friends and relatives in jail overnight. Hence we have more people from the reserve who, when they are picked up, are confined to jail until their trial comes up. That means that we have more costs as far as jail is concerned than the amount received from Indians who pay fines in the magistrate's court.

In this period $3,390 was paid in fines and the biggest part of this money-and this is the irony of the whole deal-namely $2,200 went to the dominion government and $689 went back to the Six Nations Indians for the

Supply-Citizenship and, Immigration upkeep of roads under highway traffic expenses. We therefore pay the magistrate's court costs.

The city put up a new building and is paying for the magistrate there. Yet the fines that he is taking in in this court are going back to the dominion government and to the Six Nations Indians. Another big factor in this cost to the county is that every time a criminal case comes up, the city and the county,-and we have an agreement whereby we pay for the upkeep of the court,-must pay the complete costs of these criminal cases. I should like to quote one set of figures for the last case that we had that came up in the county court. Fortunately for us, this man who was on trial for murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and his trial was considerably reduced. But even then it cost the county and the city of Brantford some $1,590 for the trial of this man before he was sent to Kingston penitentiary. I maintain that it is utterly unfair that the city of Brantford and the county of Brant should pay for the costs of the county jail and the magistrate's court for Indians who live on the reserve and who do not pay one cent toward the upkeep of these facilities.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Chairman. I wonder how the hon. gentleman now can relate all these experiences having to do with the administration of justice in the province of Ontario to the estimates of a federal department.

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PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wratten:

We have tried to bring this matter before the dominion government.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am serious about my point of order, Mr. Chairman.

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PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wratten:

We have tried to bring this matter before the dominion government time and time again. I was not going to mention this but I will do so. We have tried to get our other members, who were Liberals, to bring the matter up and they did not or would not bring this matter up on the floor of the house.

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LIB
PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wratten:

It is not a provincial matter. These people are wards of the dominion government, and the money is kept down here by the dominion government. They administer the money. We have been to the provincial government in the past and they tell us to come to the dominion government and get our money from them because they are wards of the dominion government.

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LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Byrne:

What do you want to do? Do you want to move the reserve?

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

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PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wratten:

No. You would make a good one for the reserve, though.

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LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Byrne:

Make the quarters more comfortable and I will take the offer.

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PC

Jack Wratten

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wratten:

We have better ones than you down there. The point I am trying to make is this, Mr. Chairman. For a period since 1875 we have been trying to get an equitable distribution of these costs.

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LIB

January 30, 1958