July 22, 1960

CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

I wonder whether I could ask your indulgence, Mr. Chairman, and the minister's in order that 1 may raise a matter on this vote. I apologize for not being here during discussion of item one but as a member of the steering committee I had certain responsibilities. However, 1 received a letter dated February 7 and under the circumstances I cannot see any way at all before the minister's estimates are through except under matters which concern soldier settlements and so on. Therefore, if I have your permission, Mr. Chairman, I should like to read this letter because it concerns the settlement not of a veteran but of the wife of a veteran. I hope also that I may be allowed say "Mrs. X" and "Mrs. Y", although if required to do so, I will give a copy of the letter to the minister. This is a letter I received from Vancouver under date of February 7. It states as follows:

I am writing to you directly on behalf of two Sidney friends of mine .. . and indirectly on behalf of perhaps scores of other Canadian women who lost their husbands while on active service with the Canadian army.

When Mrs. X's husband died in Korea, she was left enough money to pay off accrued debts, and to make a $700 down payment on a very modest house. She has been making payments for the past six years, and has two years to go before she is finished. Because of the small amount she had for a down payment, the only place she could get was one directly under the path of planes landing and taking off from Patricia bay airport.

6780 HOUSE OF

Supply-Veterans Affairs

It seems unjust that, while perfectly fit men, upon their discharge, can get housing assistance, these women, both of whom have families, are forced to provide their own. Their pensions, while better than those received by many persons, are not large enough to allow them to live properly without outside work or assistance of some kind.

Neither woman asks for the gift of a house, but only for the right to the same borrowing privileges as received by male veterans. They also feel that they should be entitled to the same health services for themselves and for their famines.

He concludes in this way, Mr. Chairman:

If you think these requests have merit, and if you are able to do anything about them, your efforts will be very much appreciated.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, through you may I ask the minister this question? Can anything be done for the widows of men who died overseas? This letter refers, of course, to two widows whose husbands died in Korea and to the fact that they have the responsibility and that they have not the same privilege on down payments in the purchase of a house as has, in the language of the letter, a fit male person who returned. I promised that I would draw this matter to the minister's attention and ask for his consideration and his comments. Is there anything he can say with regard to this specific problem?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I should be pleased if the hon. member would send me a copy of the letter, and I will look into the matter. I understand that the party in question is a pensioner, a widow who is receiving a pension and the hon. member is saying that she should come under the Veterans' Land Act, one of the provisions for the construction of a home. Unfortunately, she does not come under the Veterans' Land Act.

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CCF
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

She does not come under this plan.

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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

That is the principle which has been brought to my attention. I admit I did not know of this matter previously. I did not understand that the widow of a veteran with responsibilities of a family could not receive the same accommodation with respect to payments on a home. The point is this. Is consideration being given to a situation of this type or will it be given consideration?

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PC
CCF
PC
CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

I should like to make a few brief observations on this item because it is of considerable importance and concern to a good number of veterans whom I have the honour to represent. The minister's officials

know that for years veterans in the Koote-nays have been urging reduction of the small holding acreage to half an acre because of the terrain and the difficulty in obtaining enough land for small holdings. The requirement is now 1.6 acres, the cost to be not less than $500 an acre or to be valued at that. I brought this matter before the house for a number of years and before the committee on veterans affairs repeatedly. I did so during the last meeting of the committee. The matter is of such great importance that it was discussed at the last dominion convention of the Canadian Legion and the convention adopted a resolution urging the government to reduce the acreage of small holdings to half an acre. It not only affects veterans in Kootenay West but must affect veterans in other parts of Canada too because it received unanimous support.

I was very pleased during the consideration of this item when the standing committee was meeting to find out that the director of the Veterans' Land Act administration was visiting British Columbia and he said that if possible he would go to the Kootenays. I immediately alerted the 11 branches of the Canadian Legion to be prepared and all of them had a reception committee ready to take the director around their district. I have been informed since that although he did attend certain meetings in Trail and Rossland with Mr. Ozard of Vancouver, the superintendent, and the local representative of the administration in Nelson, unfortunately he only had about 12 hours and was not able to drive around the district to see the opportunities for settlement for farming and small holdings, which many members of the branches I represent had hoped for and who anticipated his visit with great interest.

I was very surprised to receive a letter about the matter of the reduction of the acreage to half an acre. Apparently some of the members discussed this with the director and one of the officials expressed the opinion that the reduction of the acreage to half an acre as a qualifying area was quite unlikely and that the extension of the qualifying period of September 30, 1962 was also unlikely.

However, I understand now that Mr. Ozard is looking into this further question and also that the secretary of the west Kootenay and central farmers institute will meet the director and travel with him around the district to look at the land opportunities. This is one question I am very concerned about and I intend to attend a zone meeting in the fall at which all branches of the Legion will be represented and discussed. We have felt throughout the years, with some justification,

that the officials representing this branch with headquarters in Kelowna have not realized the opportunities for settlement in the west Kootenay district.

I am supported in my contention by a large number of veterans in the district who have discussed this matter with me. I do not expect the district director to have a lot of time to spend in each case, although arrangements were made to drive him around a couple of hundred miles to various veteran farmers. Those he was unable to visit were somewhat disappointed; but as I say one can understand the director has insufficient time to spend, but possibly the superintendent has, and I hope that Mr. Ozard, the district superintendent of British Columbia, will visit our district and make a careful examination of the opportunities there.

I should like to draw the attention of the minister to some correspondence I have received in connection with settlement in my district. I received a letter from Trail which in part is as follows:

From conversations entered into and between the three men, it appears that the Vancouver district and the Okanagan district have been well served by the department. However, they appear to be reluctant to initiate anything in the west Kootenays excepting a piece of property currently under consideration at Kinnaird. Mr. Morgan-

He is the district representative at Nelson.

-visited the Castlegar-Robson branch meeting on June 7. Basically the proposition was this: the department was interested in developing a block of land, not at the request of the Legion, consisting of 25 lots at 1.6 acres each. Costing $1,600 per lot with approximately an additional $400 for water service per lot, this plus the repayment of the re-establishment credits and the percentages required under the act could run as high as $3,600 on an average.

That was for 1.6 acres upon which it was proposed to settle a veteran under the small holdings section of the act.

Objection was taken to this on the ground that the cost of $3,600 for a veteran who was raising a family was a lot of money to pay for a homesite; second, it was in a corporate district with a water frontage tax and this would result in high taxes for the development; third, the buildings over and above the house were liable for taxes in a corporate district; and lastly, only a half inch line for water from outside to supply the house was allowed and I feel that a half inch water line is hardly sufficient to supply the house and would be insufficient to develop 1.6 acres of cultivatable land, as required under present regulations.

I have not any personal knowledge of this development because it is a great proposal, but when I return I will look into the proposal. But I do say that this is another

Private Bills

illustration of the necessity for the reduction of the acreage to half an acre. Apparently, if my information is correct, these veterans are being asked to pay $3,600 for 1.6 acres. Mind you, there is some very valuable land in that area at the present time, but when you add the cost of building a home it does become an expensive business. There are a number of veterans in the area who were their own contractors and have lovely homes. I just indicate that to underline the need for the reduction to half an acre.

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PC

Charles Edward Rea (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. It being five o'clock it is my duty pursuant to section 3 of standing order 15 to leave the chair in order to permit the house to proceed to the consideration of private and public bills.

Progress reported.

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DEFENCE EXPENDITURES

SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE EXPENDITURES

PC

George Ernest Halpenny

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. E. Halpenny (London):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could have consent of the house to revert to the presenting of reports by standing and special committees?

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
Subtopic:   SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Has the hon. member leave to revert to routine proceedings to present a report of a standing or special committee?

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
Subtopic:   SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
Subtopic:   SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
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PC

George Ernest Halpenny

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Halpenny:

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the second report of the special committee on defence expenditures.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
Subtopic:   SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE EXPENDITURES
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PRIVATE BILLS

PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

It being five o'clock the house will now proceed to the consideration of private and public bills, the former having precedence, pursuant to section 3 of standing order 15.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. J. McCleave (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, I think there is an agreement which has been reached between all parties that the orders standing on the order paper under this section numbered from 2 to 5 for second reading be given second reading, and the house revert to the business just interrupted.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is the house agreed that items Nos. 2 to 5, second reading of divorce bills Nos. SD-488 to SD-499 inclusive, be taken in priority to the other orders standing for consideration at this time?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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July 22, 1960