May 5, 1964

INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT

RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouette (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, last Monday's newspapers carried an account of the conference held on Sunday in Montreal, before a Jewish organization which provides assistance to immigrants, by the economist within the cabinet. Allow me to quote one of those reports:

Mr. Rene Tremblay stated that far from taking jobs away from Canadians, qualified immigrants create employment for less specialized labour.

I am sure that the minister must have gone over what he said over the week end and even though we have nothing against selective immigration, that is precisely what led me to put the following question to the minister yesterday:

During the week end, the minister said that Canada and the province of Quebec would need several thousand immigrants to ensure Canada's economic development. Now, could the minister, whose competence as an economist is well-known in certain quarters-not everywhere, but in certain quarters only-tell us what measures he intends to take so that our 500,000 unemployed may find suitable employment that will permit Canada's economic development?

I know that the minister is going to tell me as he did in Montreal, that we need highly educated people and recognized technicians, that we can no longer look to Europe for those people, since Europe needs all its technicians, and that we must look to other parts of the world, such as Asia, India, China or Japan.

During the week end, I was in Thetford Mines, where about 600 or 650 Canadians will be dismissed from work within 60 days. Yet, they are people with 20 to 25 years' experience in mines and they do not know where to turn if they lose their job in Thetford Mines.

The same thing happened a few years ago in Elliot Lake where hundreds of Canadians lost their jobs. Remember that a

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion man with 20 or 25 years' experience in mines must certainly be a technician in his field, he must certainly know the work he is performing and must certainly be capable of doing something in that field. He is a technician or a mechanical worker or some other thing.

Now, why did the minister tell the Jewish association for aid to immigrants that there is an unquestionable need for immigrants in Canada, whereas, in the province of Quebec alone we have 240,000 jobless people and from 500,000 to 550,000 in the whole of Canada. And those are the officially unemployed, without counting the unofficial ones. Now, we are told that we should have more educated people. There probably will be educated instead of uneducated people without jobs.

I would like to draw the hon. minister's attention to a very important point.

At a time when he, an economist from Quebec in the federal cabinet, talks to us about that immigration that would spur the country's economic expansion, we read in yesterday's Montreal Star:

Automation effects studied.

That appeared yesterday in the Montreal Star. It can be said knowingly that automation will have the same effects here in Canada as in the United states, where it is claimed that 40,000 jobs disappear every week, whereas a tremendous number of young people come on the labour market. That is when Mr. Snyder, Jr., president of United Industries Incorporated, a large U.S. corporation, tells us that the government will have to take drastic and radical steps to meet the situation.

Now, the minister who is also an economist in the federal cabinet, tells us that immigration will not prevent the creation of jobs, when automation is throwing more and more people out onto the streets.

The minister might say that I am making a statement, but I am asking this question: How does he expect to solve the unemployment problem in Canada, by encouraging an immigration policy as he suggested in Montreal during the week end?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Rene Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, first, I must correct the statement of the hon. member for Villeneuve, who said that there are now more than 500,000 unemployed in Canada. He even quoted the figure of 550,000 jobless.

May I remind him that the last figures published by the Minister of Labour are

400,000 and not 500,000 or 550,000.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

Those are the unemployed who receive benefits.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

Then if we take the standard advocated by the hon. member for Lapointe, a real expert in the field of statistics, any figure can be used.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

In our statistics, we do not forget anybody.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

Besides, it would take more than three minutes to answer such a question. Nevertheless, I should like to point out that unemployment is a very serious problem in Canada and one which will never be solved by doing away with immigration. On the contrary, positive and progressive steps such as the ones taken by the present government will succeed in dealing with unemployment.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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?

An hon. Member:

Which steps?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

Those designed to boost the economy in certain under developed regions, to increase the building of homes, to promote the growth of new industries. All those steps will gradually increase employment and reduce unemployment.

Last month there were 93,000 fewer unemployed than the corresponding month last year-

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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?

An hon. Member:

Those are not the same statistics.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

-consequently, there has been an upsurge in the economy. It is by positive action, not by closing our doors to immigration, that we will solve the problem of unemployment.

I should like to point out to the hon. member for Villeneuve that there is no question of bringing in all kinds of immigrants. What we are considering is selective immigration, which means the entry of contractors, technicians and other workers who can easily be absorbed into our economy. It must be remembered that while there are thousands of unemployed in Canada, there is a shortage of labour in some areas of the country.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

Name them.

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Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

It is precisely by means of a selective immigration instead of restrictions being imposed to the economic activity that we shall be able to increase our prosperity.

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Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

We entirely disagree with that.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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LIB

René Tremblay (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Tremblay:

Therefore, I believe that an aggressive and dynamic immigration policy, provided it is sensible and selective, will be likely in the long run to bring about an increase in the economic activity and a more rational development of our natural resources.

That is what happened in the United States and in every country which enjoyed prosperity resulting from a large increase in population. Whether this increase is due to normal growth or to the excess of immigrants over emigrants, or to any other basic factor, it is admitted everywhere in the world that an increase in population means an increase in national revenue and prosperity of a country, and it is because we want our country to be more prosperous that we want to attract those immigrants over here.

5, 1964 2965

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

We want to develop our resources systematically where they exist and if immigrants can help us to do it, they and their children will benefit by the prosperity which we will all have created together.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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RA

Gilles Grégoire

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gregoire:

Pure sophism.

Motion agreed to and the house adjourned at 10.34 p.m.

Wednesday, May 6, 1964

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT
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May 5, 1964