January 31, 1958

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

As I said yesterday, we are endeavouring to work out, in co-operation with the local school boards, wherever possible and acceptable to the Indians, arrangements to send Indian children to the schools operated by the school boards and contributed to on a joint basis by the department and by the local school operators. That program is going forward in the maritimes and is receiving there just as good a reception as in any part of the country.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

Before the minister leaves this point, may I say this: according to the latest

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration statistical report, the number of Indian children attending public schools in British Columbia, as a matter of fact, this applies to both public and private schools outside of the reserves-was in 1955 almost equal to similar schools throughout Canada. I am wondering how that compares today with what I have for 1955.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Perhaps before I answer that question I could deal with one raised earlier by the hon. member with respect to the amount paid by us to the school boards in British Columbia for the Indian children attending their schools. In British Columbia we pay $150 per year per pupil. As of March 1, 1957, there were 2,081 Indian pupils in British Columbia. In addition to the tuition on the basis of $150 per pupil, we also paid for transportation expenses in some cases and for text books, and so on.

It might also interest the committee to know that the total expenditure for the year 1956-57 on account of tuition and maintenance of Indian school children in non-Indian

and joint schools, by provinces, was as

follows: No. of Indian

Province Amount PupilsNew Brunswick ... $ 29,395 77Nova Scotia 182Prince Edward Island . ... 5,165 11Quebec 444Ontario 1,489Manitoba 269Saskatchewan ... 72,027 308Alberta 544British Columbia ... 317,189 2,081Yukon 137

The total expenditure under this heading was $1,060,422.

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CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron:

Before the minister leaves this point, I would like to know if he could answer a question which I raised this afternoon. In certain cases has any consideration been given to making a contribution towards the capital costs in school districts where there is a large Indian population?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

That has been done frequently, particularly in connection with the provision of school facilities where we enter into provincial arrangements with school boards for the instruction of school children. We make an estimate of the number of Indian students to be accommodated and then we make an estimate of the number of white students to be accommodated and we contribute proportionately to the capital cost of construction and then arrive at a further figure, per student, for maintenance and tuition of students attending that school. This is becoming increasingly common and is a satisfactory pattern which we have been able to establish with the local school districts.

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PC

Ernest James Broome

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Broome:

Are these payments made to the school board or to the department of education? I am asking now in connection with British Columbia.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

They are made to the school boards.

In those cases the standard will be maintained and regulated by the provincial department and even where we are able to build our own day schools on reserves we are able to arrange with the provincial department of education for their school inspectors to inspect our schools at regular intervals.

On the question of welfare and housing, several hon. members have raised this point. It was first raised during this session by the hon. member for Dauphin. We have had some studies made with regard to Manitoba and some general studies with regard to the country generally. I am able to give the committee the following information. In the period from April 1, 1957, to December 31, 1957, 160 housing units were approved for construction and occupancy by Indians in Manitoba. The majority of these have been completed and are occupied by the Indians concerned. Those remaining will be finished in the near future. Plans are under way for the completion of an additional 40 units during this winter. This will mean that in the period ending March 31, 1958, some 200 new housing units will have been completed for occupancy by Indians.

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L L
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

In regard particularly to the Dauphin area, with the 12 houses already provided this year and 12 more being undertaken, it is expected that 24 new units will be completed and occupied by Indians by March 31, 1958. The allocation of moneys for the Manitoba region for welfare and housing, including the breaking of lands and the drilling of wells, and so forth, has been $180,275 for 1957-58. Of this amount approximately $95,000 has been spent or committed as the welfare contribution toward the 160 housing units approved for construction. Another $10,000 is applicable to land clearing and for the digging of wells, and so forth. The remaining $35,000 will be utilized to construct an additional 40 housing units, making a total of 200 for the fiscal year. The low unit cost of these houses is due to the fact that the Indians themselves will provide the labour and material in the form of log blocks and the department will finance the cost of windows, doors, floors and roofs only. We have undertaken winter construction wherever possible.

The question of winter construction was raised yesterday also by the hon. member for

Dauphin and in this connection I must say I thought he had a very good point. The hon. member suggested that wherever possible in his area, and I feel wherever possible across the country, in order to provide winter employment for Indians and for contractors who would be asked to supply the materials for the building of houses, we should get on with the housebuilding program during the winter. We had a survey made which has produced the following results. The projects provided for in the 1957-58 annual estimates for which contracts have been awarded in the past few months and which will be carried out during the present winter, thus providing winter employment are as shown hereunder by provinces:

Province

Cost

British Columbia

Alberta

Saskatchewan ..

Manitoba

Ontario

New Brunswick Nova Scotia ...

Total 1,172,513

The above table shows that the total of construction in the 1957-58 estimates is $1,172,513.

I will now give a breakdown by provinces for projects covered by the 1957-58 estimates of which construction operations are 70 per cent complete and the uncompleted value of which is 30 per cent. This is shown in a table I will read in a few moments. These operations, which are 30 per cent of the value of the total, will be undertaken during the present winter and thereby will provide additional winter employment. The table showing the breakdown by provinces is as follows:

Province Cost

British Columbia $ 87,305

Alberta 35,791

Saskatchewan 22,025

Manitoba 233,679

Ontario 13,986

Quebec 5,796

Total 398,582

As can be seen from the table, the total of the above table, together with the total of the previous table, gives a full figure of $1,571,095 for construction projects this year.

Now, regarding the welfare housing program for the remainder of the. current fiscal year, it is estimated that an expenditure of $129,650 over and above the amount authorized in the 1957-58 estimates could be effectively used. A request has already been submitted for the transfer of $74,000 from one vote in the estimates to another and the difference to be covered by an item of $55,650 contained in the further supplementary estimates tabled the other day. I think, therefore,

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration it will be seen that with these construction projects for housing and one or two road construction projects, of which details could be given if desired, we are arranging for a substantial amount of construction for the purpose of providing employment in the winter months and also for the purpose of providing welfare housing and other construction projects on reserves to improve the lot of Indians.

With regard to the question of the efforts being made to provide positions for Indians in the ordinary society and the industries and employment field in Canada today, I must point out the following. I am afraid that yesterday I gave the committee some wrong information. I believe I said that we had three placement officers and were providing for five in the next fiscal year. I find that we have four placement officers this year and are providing for seven in the 1958-59 estimates. We are also undertaking and have undertaken for some years the institution of leadership courses.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the minister permit me to interrupt at this point because perhaps it will save a good deal of time. I asked about the position occupied until June by Mr. Jack. Could I have an assurance that the work he was doing will be continued on at least as large a scale as it was, and that he will be replaced by a thoroughly competent person?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

The position is advertised now and the applications are in but the successful candidate has not yet been determined. I mentioned the position yesterday and outlined some of the duties which will be performed by this officer which are, I believe, in slight amplification of the duties which were performed so excellently by Mr. Jack when he held that position.

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L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

Mr. Jack did splendid work at Red Lake.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I trust that the minister will appreciate my interest in this question. It is a hobby of mine.

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?

An hon. Member:

It is your only hobby.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

It is a hobby for which the hon. member should be given credit. With respect to the question of assisting the Indians to help themselves, we have had for many years social leadership courses organized within our own department in all provinces. These courses, although on a pilot project basis so far, have been most successful. In the fiscal year 1956-57, 132 Indians were trained in these leadership courses at a cost of $5,537.75.

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

I also made mention yesterday of the forestry survey which we plan in British Columbia and for which we are now negotiating with various forestry engineers with the intention of having a survey made of the total forest resources of Indian lands and determining the best scheme to develop those resources and make them contribute to the welfare of the Indians on a sustained yield basis. It will be our hope, of course, that as time goes on the Indians themselves will be brought into this plan, and, as we are able to train them to do so, take over an increasing amount in the management and operation of the plans that are devised. As this project gathers momentum and as we learn from experience in this field of endeavour it will be our hope to extend it to the other provinces where the amount of timber resources seems to warrant such an expansion. There are other ways in which we are able to provide opportunities for the Indians to take part in training programs and equip themselves to participate in agriculture, industry, and other forms of activity.

There is a revolving fund loan scheme and loans have been made out of this fund in the past for such purposes as sawmills.

I have here a breakdown of the purposes for which these loans have been approved, and perhaps I might be allowed to place this table in Hansard because it is fairly lengthy. It shows there was a total of 752 loans under the following general headings: agriculture, forestry, fishing, motor vehicles, handicraft, guiding, trapping and miscellaneous. Loans to a total amount of $963,664.32 have been approved since the revolving fund loan scheme was established. With the permission of the committee I should like to place this table in Hansard.

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IND

Henri Courtemanche (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Independent Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Is that agreed?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Purposes for which revolving fund loans were approved.

Agriculture No. Amount (dollars) Total (dollars)Machinery and equipment 243 421,300.92 670,646.23Livestock 187 112,378.50 Breaking & clearing land 1 300.00 Farm expenses 67 92,487.51 Livestock and machinery 25 44,179.30 Forestry Sawmills and equipment 13 27,100.00 70,009.91Power saws 21 7,059.91 Woods operations 12 35,850.00 Fishing Boats, engines, nets, gear, etc 60 47,164.86 47,164.86Motor Vehicles Trucks-school buses 23 40,961.86 40,961.86Handicraft 14 34,100.00 34,100.00Guiding Canoes, outboard motors .. 23 5,107.60 5,107.60Trapping 1 600.00 600.00

Agriculture No. Amount Total

(dollars) (dollars)

Miscellaneous

Community water systems, lighting systems and stores, carpenter, plumbing, machine shop and shoemakers tools, freezer units, gas service station equipment, golf driving range, purchase of baskets for resale, box factory,

housing 57 95,073.86 95,073.86

752 963,664.32 963,664.32

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

Would the minister allow an interjection? I know of a mill north of Port Arthur, way up north of Lake Nipigon, where the Indian agent got the machinery going and where they are turning out good work.

I should like, also, to thank the officials of the Indian department for extending the time spent by teachers at our two schools in Fort William. The parents have asked me to express gratitude to the officials.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I am glad to note what the hon. gentleman says and I am sure the officials beside me will pass on to the teachers and to the local officials concerned the appreciation which he has expressed.

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January 31, 1958