March 7, 1960

LABOUR CONDITIONS

ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word concerning the representations made last week by a delegation from Elliot Lake, and the course the government intends to take in regard thereto.

The government is most desirous of continuing to work with the government of Ontario to find a solution to the problem. The Minister of Labour has advised the government of Ontario that the federal government desires to co-operate and participate in the cost of any useful training program for those of the miners who will be laid off in consequence of the decision of the United States not to undertake to take any more uranium than is provided for in the agreements which were entered into several years ago.

As the house knows, Elliot Lake was last week declared a labour surplus area, and the efforts of the national employment service to find alternative job openings have intensified. Furthermore, a fact-finding group will immediately be sent by the government to Elliot Lake, consisting of representatives of the national employment service, the unemployment insurance commission and the industrial development branch of the Department of Trade and Commerce. These officials will assemble information on the range and variety of labour supply, the resources of the area and alternative development possibilities. They will consider the problem of alternative employment, the retraining of workers, industrial development prospects, and will consult with Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation concerning the problems of home owners.

On their return to Ottawa they will report their findings. The group which will be leaving this evening for the area in question consists of the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Labour; Mr. A. F. Mac Arthur, commissioner of the unemployment insurance commission; Mr. W. M. Hall and Mr. G. A. Cooper, industrial development branch, Department of Trade and Commerce. After the report has been considered the Minister of 79951-0-113

Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Labour will then visit Elliot Lake, but that will not take place before the expiration of a week or so.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

I am sure all the inhabitants of the area in question will welcome this evidence of concern on the part of the government over the difficulties that are facing them. I am sure they would have welcomed even more a visit by the Prime Minister, especially after the very warm welcome he gave their delegation last week. We can only hope that this visit, followed as it will be by a visit of the ministers, will result in positive action which will help this community out of the difficulties it is now facing.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

If I may be allowed, because of the personal reference to myself, I should like to say this. Naturally these women representatives of Elliot Lake were received in a spirit of deep regard and sympathy. They presented their case reasonably and fairly. They asked me whether I would myself visit the area. I pointed out to them the fact that my immediate reaction was that were I to do so it might have the result of raising unjustified hopes on the part of the residents and workers. Having reconsidered my remarks at that time I am reinforced in that viewpoint, and feel that the most effective action would be along the line indicated by me a moment ago.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

We in this party welcome the statement by the Prime Minister as to an investigation and report that is to be made. We in this party tried to make it clear that investigation and study should have been made before this thing ever happened. According to the statement by the Prime Minister they are now sending in an investigation committee.

I do not know how many times we have asked this government to consider what was going to happen before it took place. I refer particularly to Elliot Lake because it was known at the time-not under the Prime Minister's aegis but under that of the Liberal government-that only a certain period was set forth under direct contract. What has happened since then? Because of the mistake- and I use that word advisedly-of the previous government a town has been built up, one of the most magnificent in the record of our country, because of a certain requirement.

Proposed Legislation

I am not blaming the Prime Minister for what has happened. As a matter of fact I am going to say that more than anybody else I am blaming the previous government for what has happened.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I think the hon. member is departing a bit from the customary type of comment at this stage. This is not a debate. He is free to comment on the statement that has been made.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

That is what I am trying to do, Mr. Speaker, namely, to comment on the statement by the Prime Minister as to what the present government is planning to do now because of the situation at Elliot Lake. I am convinced that this procedure is in order. We have there the finest example as to the meaning of planning which only this party has asked this government to do; I refer to real planning.

May I ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of what is now being done in planning five or seven years too late, he will consider and have passed by his government legislation giving recognition to the need for planning all across Canada in what is developing under his system of private enterprise? Will he look into that matter now?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   ELLIOT LAKE, ONT. STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON GOVERNMENT ACTION
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CANADA ELECTIONS ACT

AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT PUBLICATION OF STRAW POLL RESULTS

CCF

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

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

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming) moved

for leave to introduce Bill No. C-52, to amend the Canada Elections Act (publication of straw polls result).

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT PUBLICATION OF STRAW POLL RESULTS
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BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT

TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT

PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Hon. E. D. Fulton (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, may I have leave to revert to motions for the purpose of tabling correspondence?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Has the Minister of Justice leave to revert to motions?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Speaker, on March 3, 1960 the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pickersgill) requested the production of supplementary correspondence between the attorney general of the province of Quebec and myself regarding amendments to the British North America Act with respect to the retirement age of judges.

[Mr. Winch.1

I have received this morning the agreement of Quebec to the production of this correspondence, which includes copies of resolutions passed by the Quebec legislative assembly and legislative council. May I request the authorization of the house to have this correspondence printed as an appendix to the Votes and Proceedings of the house for today, as was done with the previous correspondence?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the wish of the house to permit the printing of this correspondence as an appendix to Votes and Proceedings of today?

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Bonavisia-Twillin-gate):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say again that I think it would be preferable to have it in Hansard; but if this is all the government is willing to ask for, then I accept.

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Mr. Speaker, may I ask if the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton) has received any objections at all to the bill of rights, and if so-

Topic:   BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH QUEBEC RESPECTING AMENDMENT
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March 7, 1960