April 13, 1962

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Canadian National Railways

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Has the Prime Minister leave of the house to table the documents referred to?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the house will welcome the statement made by the Prime Minister with reference to the betterment of pension conditions for employees of the Canadian National Railways.

The Prime Minister correctly said that in 1959 there were important financial changes made with reference to the Canadian National Railways pension plan, as there were in a previous period, the date of which escapes me at the moment, when the predecessor of the present government was in office.

The Prime Minister was also right in saying that these matters are disposed of first and foremost by the Canadian National Railways pension plan board. This group comprises people who deal with the actuarial soundness of the pension plan of the Canadian National Railways. Unless my memory fails me at the moment there are approximately 15 or 20 members representative of the various railway unions and of the various divisions of the operating branches of the Canadian National Railways.

The Prime Minister was also quite right in saying that the matter had been submitted to the sessional committee on air lines and other agencies owned and operated by the government, which committee had heard evidence on the matter. I am sure the house will remember also that representations had been made by the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Benidickson) to the committee and the house on many occasions with reference to the betterment of conditions concerning this pension plan.

While I have no right to introduce a contentious note, and have no intention of doing so, I would remind the house and the Prime Minister that these matters might well have been disposed of a long time ago. It could well have been done by the sessional committee or on recommendation from them. It might well have been done much earlier in the session by a bylaw passed by the Canadian National Railways, which is now tabled. This government has been in office now over 4J years and could have done it at a prior time.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinton):

What about the previous 22 years?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

However, that does not derogate from the fact that these recommendations as put forward to the Prime Minister by the Canadian National Railways pension board are excellent and commendable, and

the house and the country I am sure will accept them with satisfaction. However, I would add this comment. It is unfortunate that the government has not thought of coming to the assistance of the railway workers, some 25,000 of them, who have been put out of work by the policies of the present government.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The hon. member is departing from the subject matter of the announcement. I recognize the hon. member for Port Arthur.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. D. M. Fisher (Port Arthur):

Mr. Speaker, everybody seems to be a lion this morning for the poor railway worker. It seems to me, if I correctly caught the Prime Minister's phrasing that this announcement applies only to existing employees rather than to existing employees and existing pensioners. If that is the case there will be considerable disappointment. If he reviews the proceedings of our committee last year, he may remember that the main impetus for a review came from the people who were presently on pension. This organization is centred in Winnipeg. The hon. member for Winnipeg South (Mr. Chown) had arranged for them to speak at the committee hearing. They made their presentation to all of us. I know that, even as the Prime Minister suggests, there will be considerable disappointment, and this notwithstanding the fact that the present employees of the Canadian National Railways will be delighted from their point of view. If I am wrong in this assumption I hope the Prime Minister will correct me.

However, it seems to me there is almost an unexpected turn here in view of the opinion expressed last year by the president of the C.N.R. before our committee that it was most unlikely that the pension board or the management could see their way clear to improve the pensions. The question, of course, that will remain in our minds extends not only toward the existing pensioners but also toward the fact that the very same conditions that created a poor pension period for the workers on the Canadian National Railway also apply to the other giant railway.

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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PC

Cyril Frost Kennedy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. C. F. Kennedy (Colchesier-Hanls):

May

I direct a question to the Prime Minister which arises from the very welcome statement he made this morning regarding railway pensions. Would the Prime Minister be good enough to tell the house how reconsideration of this question came about, and whether or not there is any application to the Canadian Pacific?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I think perhaps the latter part of the question would be in order, but the invitation to the Prime Minister to elaborate on his statement would not seem to me to be the urgent type of matter that is dealt with on orders of the day.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES IN PENSION PLAN
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FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS ACT AMENDMENTS TO CONFORM TO TAX-SHARING ACT AND INCREASE PAYMENT

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution, which has been recommended to the house by His Excellency:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to provide an arrangement with respect to fiscal years commencing on or after April 1, 1962 similar to that provided in the Federal-Provincial Tax-Sharing Arrangements Act with respect to previous fiscal years; to provide also in the said amendment for an increase of one third in the amount of the payment, from one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per capita.

Topic:   FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FISCAL ARRANGEMENTS ACT AMENDMENTS TO CONFORM TO TAX-SHARING ACT AND INCREASE PAYMENT
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Motion agreed to.


EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

NUCLEAR TESTS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Marlin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Secretary of State for External Affairs if he can tell us whether, as reported in today's press, Canada has made formal representations to the government of the United States regarding its decision to resume nuclear tests. The minister mentioned discussions yesterday, but the press today reports that there were formal discussions, involving a two hour conference between our ambassador in Washington and the secretary of state of the United States. The story goes on to report that the representations Canada made were to the effect that these tests should not be resumed whether or not the United States was able to reach agreement with the Soviet union in the matter.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR TESTS
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED REPRESENTATIONS BY CANADA TO U.S.
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Secrelary of Stale for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I dealt with that matter yesterday in my answer to a question by the Leader of the Opposition. I saw the article to which the hon. member is referring but I think there was quite a bit of speculation in that article.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR TESTS
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED REPRESENTATIONS BY CANADA TO U.S.
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April 13, 1962