That is correct, in accordance with the different costs as they vary between geographic locations of the schools. In order not to mislead the committee I should say that the system of per capita grants is now under review.
No, Mr. Chairman. I have not been making any speeches. I have a few simple questions to ask the minister on this point. Am I correct in understanding that the entire cost of operating the schools for the
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration
purposes which the minister enumerated is intended to be covered by the amount of the per capita grants or are the schools expected to find other sources of revenue?
enumerated the costs are expected to be covered by the per capita grants. I think that in my rapid reading, in giving the previous answer, I omitted the item "salaries of teachers for church-owned schools". Thus, where there is a church-owned school, the salaries of teachers are provided under the per capita grant.
Mr. Chairman, in order to facilitate the passage of some of the estimates of my hon. friend, we on this side of the house, subject of course to the approval of other hon. gentlemen, would be willing to sit for a few minutes after ten o'clock.
If I am the only member desiring to raise the point under this item I am willing to carry on. What I have in mind to ask would take only a few minutes.
I should like to ask the minister whether in submitting estimates to the department of the amount required under this per capita grant system the schools submit to the department for approval the salaries they propose to pay to such people as cooks and operating staff in the schools. Does the department have a "say" with regard to what those wages should be, what hours of work should be worked and so on, or do these matters lie exclusively within the jurisdiction of the management of the schools?
I am informed we do not go into the matter in that way. The authorities tell us the actual salaries they pay, and we accept their word for it, subject to general overall discussions. We do not enter into detailed supervision of the administration. We are not the employers in that sense.
The reason I raise this question is that I have had some rather serious complaints laid before me in connection with the hours, wages and working conditions of some of the people employed in certain of the schools, and I wanted, first of all, to establish responsibility for these matters. Are
they questions which could be properly brought to the attention of the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration?
I mentioned a moment ago that the system of per capita grants is under review, and while I cannot enter into too much detail at the moment, because the matter is still being negotiated with the various religious authorities, I may say that it was with such things as this in mind that a new system was suggested. I do not want to say it was only because of that, but it was because we felt we should be given some idea of what the salaries were, and what the hours and terms of work were, in order, if you like, to justify the amount we were asked to pay, that we suggested to the authorities a division of the system of per capita grants and the placing of it on another basis altogether. That arrangement is under negotiation now with the religious authorities. It would be in fairly complete substitution for the system I have just outlined, and it would eliminate some of the difficulties the hon. member has mentioned.
I am very glad to hear the minister has this matter under review, because I believe there are certain conditions which require correction in the general area to which I have referred. Had the minister not indicated that this review was being undertaken I might have been tempted to argue that some different system should be introduced in order that the wages being paid in certain instances might be brought more closely into line with the prevailing rate principle which is in effect in certain other departments.
Mr. Chairman, in this particular item there are two rather substantial allocations for the construction or acquisition of buildings under day schools amounting to over $3 million; and under residential schools -construction or acquisition of buildings- to $1,985,000. I wonder whether we could have a breakdown of the projects undertaken under those two headings?