February 18, 1965

RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouelte (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the President of the Privy Council? The Minister

Canada Labour Code

of Justice (Mr. Favreau) might advise him to use his earphone.

Since I have received many complaints- and I am not stating here a grievance-from visitors from the province of Quebec who, naturally, come here to visit the parliament buildings, to the effect that English speaking guides only are assigned to them when touring parliament, would it be possible to have bilingual guides in order that those visitors who do not understand English may, at least, hear in French whatever description is given when they are visiting the parliament buildings?

Topic:   PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR PROVISION OF BILINGUAL GUIDES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. G. J. Mcllrailh (President of fhe Privy Council):

I believe that matter comes under your jurisdiction, Mr. Speaker, but I am very familiar with the problem. My understanding is that in all cases where it is known a tourist would prefer one language or the other, an effort is made to provide guides who are proficient in that language. I believe this is done on all occasions. However, with the number of tourists going through the building, sometimes as high as 6,000 in one day, it may be possible that one person or another does have a guide who does not use the preferred language with the fluency or eloquence the tourist might desire. Every effort is made, however, to make sure tourists are addressed in the language they prefer.

Topic:   PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR PROVISION OF BILINGUAL GUIDES
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.


The house resumed, from Wednesday, February 17, consideration in committee of Bill No. C-126 respecting hours of work, minimum wages, etc.-Mr. MacEachen-Mr. Lamoureux in the chair.


LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

When the committee rose yesterday clause 5 was under consideration, clauses 1 and 3 having been allowed to stand.

On clause 5-Standard hours of work.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Kenneth Hamill (Ken) More

Progressive Conservative

Mr. More:

At the conclusion of yesterday's sitting we were considering clause 5 of this bill. We had the good fortune to obtain a statement from the minister in answer to the many questions that had been posed to him during the earlier part of the debate. We were all gratified that finally we did have this statement, because certainly the efforts of his colleague from Hamilton East to give us some answers left us very confused.

Canada Labour Code

The minister's statement did contain some clarifications. I believe that part of the trouble in which the minister finds himself in piloting this bill through the house results from his own actions. Last November 2, I believe it was, having been made aware of the impact and possible dislocating effect this bill would have on several national industries, I made representations to him that the bill should go to a special or standing committee where evidence could be presented and witnesses examined. The minister, rather cavalierly, I thought, rejected this plan. However, he must take responsibility for that action, and having taken that action he finds himself in some difficulty today.

Those of us who have dealt with the many representations made in connection with this bill have, I think, to ask questions in order to have the bill clarified. It was helpful when the minister distributed the amendments he proposed to make to the various sections. This has given us a chance to look at the whole package, and perhaps that will facilitate the passage of clause 5. Although I do not agree entirely with the minister, I should like to quote what he said as recorded on page 11452 of Hansard:

I am satisfied that the facts that have been put forward by the trucking industry are sound and that this industry would he among the most eligible for a deferment for that period. In that case we would immediately establish an inquiry under clause 35.

Later I posed a question to him and, after he chastised me a bit because I misunderstood him, he refused to go any further, saying that he had gone about as far as he could go. I do not believe this answer is acceptable. We know the problems of the trucking industry, one of which relates to the fact it is controlled by two jurisdictions, and another to the fact that they compete in a highly organized field where their competition is heavily subsidized by government. I believe, therefore, that the minister should give an assurance in slightly more definite terms than he has that the passage of this bill will not create havoc in the trucking industry.

I see the minister is temporarily busy, but I should like him to hear this argument. I think we are concerned, as representatives in parliament to whom representations have been made, that the implementation of this bill will not create havoc or disturb the trucking industry. I hold no brief for the maintenance of the status quo in the industry. I want that to be clearly understood.

I am in favour of the general principle. But I do not think the minister's answer has been as clear as it might be. He says he recognizes that the submissions of the industry are such as to qualify for an inquiry. But there will be a considerable time lapse between the setting up of an inquiry and the announcement of the findings when the question has finally been determined. This might lead to havoc in the industry.

I think the minister himself recognizes the great problems which this industry faces and in the circumstances I believe he could go further than he has gone so far, and say that the bill will not apply to the trucking industry until findings have been made by an inquiry which could be instituted immediately. This is all I was asking yesterday in the debate on this subject. It is not only management which has made representations; representations have been made to me by employees. I have taken the trouble to check them and they have been made voluntarily. They have a fear that in some cases their take home pay would be reduced by as much as 25 per cent as a result of these restrictions. Certainly, the minimum wage suggested is not a factor in this situation. These people are unionized; they have union agreements which provide for wages well in excess of the minimum suggested here. But in the absence of amendments, the hours of work and the restrictions set out here might result in a loss of take home pay amounting to 25 per cent.

I turn for a few moments to a statement made yesterday by the hon. member for Hamilton East. He spoke about an increased safety factor as being somewhat of a fringe benefit. But it seemed to me it amounted to a reflection on the whole industry when he cited one case in support of his contention. I would remind him there are a large number of other factors which result in death on the highway. Great efforts are made by the industry to provide for safety in trucking operations and to train their personnel accordingly. Nevertheless, since human beings are what they are, some truckers may break the regulations from time to time. This may have been the case in the instance which the hon. member for Hamilton East called to our attention. I do not think it is fair that reflections should be cast on the management and operation of an entire industry on the basis of a single case. In the main, as I understand it, employees are not unhappy with their contracts and with the way they work. They certainly

do not wish to have their take home pay reduced, as it may well be under these arrangements.

I do not wish to hold up progress at this point, but I would point out there is still doubt about the implications of the minister's policy. I had a telephone call only recently asking me what the hon. gentleman means. Does he mean that once this bill is proclaimed the industry is placed in a chaotic position until such time as there is a deferment of the provisions, or will a deferment be granted immediately? That is the point on which I should like clarification.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

I would reply by saying that, presumably, as soon as this bill passes, the trucking industry or any other industry would make a submission and it would be possible to defer the operation of part I immediately on the coming into effect of the bill on July 1 of this year. So, from the first day of the coming into effect of the bill it will be possible to delay the operation of part I. Then of course it is understood that in order to establish an arrangement beyond the period of deferment, 18 months, an inquiry would be set up to determine the facts which would assist in deciding what might subsequently be done. So there is no danger that any industry which is eligible for a deferment would be put into a chaotic condition because of the application of part I and its subsequent removal.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Kenneth Hamill (Ken) More

Progressive Conservative

Mr. More:

I thank the minister for his statement and I think the industry will welcome it.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton:

I rise to speak on this clause having made extensive inquiries in my area on this subject as far as it affects the operation of country elevators in western Canada. In addition, I have become aware of the problem as it affects truckers. I do not intend to speak at length on the trucking aspect of this question but I should like to bring to the minister's attention a matter which, although it cannot be dealt with under the particular clause before us, is nevertheless one of which he should be aware.

As the responsible minister he should take care to see that the labour force of Canada is protected in every field of its operations as modern society demands. In the trucking industry there are many difficulties to be faced. There is evidence that in the well organized, efficient and large operations in central Canada the employees do receive a high degree of consideration from their employers. But there are areas of western Canada in which the trucking industry is neither 20220-726

Canada Labour Code

as strong nor as large as it is elsewhere. We have seen the development there of a series of small companies, sometimes possessing their own equipment but more often renting it from outside. Because of the fierce competition which exists in an area such as the prairies, many of these small companies work on a marginal basis, and what often happens is this-when they "go broke" they simply do not pay the drivers or the rent of the tractors; they set themselves up as new companies and thus avoid their responsibility toward the labour force. The provinces have provided strong legislation to protect the working man-mechanics lien legislation and so on-but the drivers of these tractor trailors still do not have the protection to which they are entitled. If they do go to law, where is the law effective? Is it in the province where their truckloads originated, in the area where the driver is domiciled, or in the province in which the trucking company has its head office? I leave this question with the minister. I know it cannot be dealt with under this particular clause, but it is something which should be brought to his knowledge.

I propose to deal mainly in the course of these remarks with the elevator system in western Canada. We have developed in western Canada what is probably the most efficient method of handling grain in bulk that the world has seen. The fact that we are able to store and handle grain under conditions of strict regulation has given us great ability to compete in world markets, even though on occasions ministers do not take their full share in the task of protecting this type of operation. This has a bearing on the question which is before us today because the bill proposes to introduce a certain rigidity into the hours worked by elevator operators. Let me make this very clear: Every party in this house, and I would think every individual in Canada, supports the principle that the working people of this country must be protected as far as hours of work are concerned. But we must remember that in this delicately balanced industry concerned with the handling of grain in western Canada there are three parties involved, the management, the operators themselves, and the farmers. It seems to me that the present legislation as presented shows great ignorance of the manner in which this particular industry works.

I am going to try, in a positive and I hope constructive way, to put forward a proposal that I think will be acceptable to the minister

Canada Labour Code

and I ask for his concurrence in accepting this approach. First of all, Mr. Chairman, it is impossible, in the operation of a country elevator in western Canada, to average out on a two weeks period; there has to be an annual averaging. From the remarks of the minister the other day I think this is now possible, and therefore this is one point that is clear.

Second, there is a difference of interest as between management, the farmers and the elevator operators themselves. The farmers obviously want that elevator open when they have grain to deliver, and as a matter of fact one bit of legislation of the federal government, namely the Canada Grain Act, makes it mandatory for the elevator operator to keep his elevator open 24 hours a day if the grain is suitable for delivery. So here you have one bit of federal legislation making it mandatory for the elevator to stay open, and another bit of federal legislation saying he is limited to eight hours, even though there is an allowance for averaging. I would suggest that this sounds like an insuperable hurdle to get over at the present time, but it actually is not. I will come back to that in a minute.

Let us look for a moment at the interest of the management. Most of the elevators in western Canada are owned by the farmers themselves. We do have the private elevator companies under the association known as the northwest line elevators association, but generally speaking the interest of management is to keep their costs under tight control, not just because of the profit motive, which would be true in the case of private elevators and is one of their main interests in operating, but this even applies in the case of the coops which handle most of our grain. Even though they can take the excess profit and turn it back into dividends, the fact remains that they are not masters of their own destiny. Under federal legislation now in existence these elevator companies, whether privately owned or co-operatively owned, have to obey the regulations of the board of grain commissioners. The board of grain commissioners decide what price they shall receive for the handling of a bushel of grain; the board of grain commissioners decide what will be the price for storing grain. So here you have one government agency insisting, by law, with the full authority of the government of Canada, that these shall be the maximums; and if anything is done under another law, such as is now proposed, to push the costs above those ceilings, there is a clash of interest. Once again this may appear to be a hurdle

that is very difficult to get over, and once again I say that it is not as difficult as appears on the surface.

The third group are the elevator operators themselves. The elevator operator is a labourer. He works, and should have the protection of a limitation of hours on a weekly or annual basis like any other labouring man. But at the same time as he works in manual labour for his management or boss, which may be the local pool committee, a provincial pool or a private elevator company, he is also a manager himself, because almost every country elevator has some other business line. He is a small town businessman. He may handle fertilizer; he may handle coal; he may handle articles used on the farm. He is in competition with the groceryman; he is in competition with the hardwareman. In fact, he is one of the main small businessmen in our prairie towns. So when you try to draft legislation for a private businessman that limits his hours, you are getting into a field with regard to which it is completely impossible to legislate.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, what are we going to do? Are we going to look on this elevator operator as a labourer, deserving the protection that labouring men get all across the country with regard to limitation of hours, or are we going to consider him as a businessman? I understand that management have made some representations to the government. I understand that management have pointed out that under one of the sections of this bill you can exempt certain people. I think this section deals with the question of whether they are managers or superintendents, or who exercises management functions. This is under clause 3 (3). I understand, too, that one group of employees have made representations to the government. I refer to the employees of the Saskatchewan wheat pool association.

I would like to point out to the minister that here you have a contradiction which I have expressed in general terms in the remarks I have just made. Management want their industry exempt; the employees-and the only organized group is the Saskatchewan wheat pool employees-want the principle of this bill established. We have not heard from the employees of the other pool elevators or the private company elevators because they have no such thing as an association. Therefore, like many other hon. members of this house, I asked last fall whether the minister would consider letting us take this matter up before a committee, where we could draw

from representatives of management and employees, and in the presence of both could question them. In this way we could better decide what course of action should be followed in this bill and would resolve these apparent contradictions.

In my opening remarks, Mr. Chairman, I suggested that I would try to put forward something of a constructive nature. I think I have made it clear that the elevator men- and I have seen the majority of them in my own constituency-do want the protection of this legislation; they do want to feel they have a right to be out of that elevator at their own time, without being under the thumb of, (a) their customers or (b) their management, if they have worked an average of 40 hours. But as they are important parts of the integrated, complicated machinery of marketing grain, they understand that they cannot work under a rigid system. There are weeks in the year when there is not a single operation carried on in their elevators that has to do with the handling of grain-not a single thing, hour after hour. If they are under a rigid system, if they have to stay there eight hours a day when there is nothing to do, and if their supervisor calls them from Winnipeg, Regina or Calgary and they happen not to be there and not answer the phone, you force on them a ridiculous situation which they solved long ago themselves.

In most of our towns in the prairies the elevator men in each town have made quiet, little agreements, not called the national labour code but which could be called the local labour code. They agreed among themselves how they would handle this question of protection of working hours. There is no written document; it is just a gentlemen's agreement. I would like to think that in the great majority of western towns they have earned for themselves, by co-operation and gentlemen's agreements, the type of protection that this bill hopes to provide.

What they fear about this bill, if they are brought under it, are the usual types of rigidity that are associated with labour codes in other fields; that they will be the subject of an espionage system which they would not be able to live under; and if somebody has a light on in the elevator at nine o'clock at night, they could be reported for working overtime, although it may only be that the usual pinochle game is going on there. This is the type of thing they do not want. '

On the other hand, even though there is an agreement to work so many hours, supposing a farmer has been hauling a load of 20220-726J

Canada Labour Code

grain 20 miles and then has a breakdown five miles out of town, phones in and says that he will be an hour late, does the elevator man want to be called up on the carpet for breaking the regulated hours of labour? The elevator man does want a system which is workable.

Now, here are the terms which he would accept. First, he would like the right to establish an annual average. In his speech the day before yesterday the minister said that right has now been given. Second, he would like to be able to sit down with management and arrive at a code of hours which will keep him out of the hot seat with the farmers on the one side and management on the other. He knows that a 40 hour average week over the year will handle all the work he has to do in his elevator, so he would like to sit down with people who are knowledgeable, not only his management but also with the farmers, and work out hours which are acceptable to all three.

He also knows that if the act goes through management is frightened that they may have to hire extra men in some elevators when the hours of work during the day do not enable all the grain to be brought in, This happens in certain seasons in the year. The elevator man does not want that to happen, because under his instructions he is held responsible for everything which happens at the elevator, both financial and physical. If someone continues working for another four hours and something happens, he is the man who is held responsible, so naturally he does not want a second or extra man brought in.

Then with regard to overtime pay, if he is the one to decide how much overtime should be worked he knows that this creates constant friction with his boss. He knows, as I say, that he can handle all the work during a 40 hour average week, but he would like to sit down with his employer and work out the hours he should be at the elevator during the busy seasons, which are mostly in the spring and sometimes in the fall. He can handle the great bulk of the farmers' business without inconvenience to the farmers, yet he would still like the right as a private businessman, who derives his income from selling things both to the farmers and to the community, not to be held responsible under the act for the hours worked in his elevator.

His proposal would be: Let these hours which are arrived at by collective agreement between management and operator deal only with the opening of the elevator. Let us agree,

Canada Labour Code

he would say, that during the months from the middle of April to July 31 he stays open 10 hours a day during this busy season, right through till the end of the crop year on July 31. But in the slack seasons let him work only six hours a day. It might even be put down as low as three hours a day, or whatever time is arrived at by mutual consent. If the elevator management, the elevator men's association or individual employees agree that on the labouring component of the job the employee has not worked longer than an average of 40 hours a week, then he will be satisfied and he has the protection of the act. Even though most of the others in the community have already done this by mutual agreement, there are still areas in the prairies where anything goes, and this act should protect these people from that type of thing. So I think that this proposal can satisfy the interests of all.

On the question of deferment and adopting an inquiry procedure, I would suggest that if the northwest line elevator association could show they had reached agreement with their employees, either by the plebiscite technique or some other form of referendum, that they would adopt an arrangement like this, then that should be considered as protection enough for the people in that particular operation. Likewise with the Saskatchewan wheat pool and their provincial-wide association of employees. This can be done in the Alberta wheat pool and the united grain growers. The only place Where there might be difficulty is with the Manitoba wheat pool operations, where under their system in most cases each elevator is a single elevator, as distinguished from the provincial entity in the Alberta and Saskatchewan pools.

I think, Mr. Chairman, that that would be a proposal which all of us here could support. We would have done our duty in protecting these working men in their labouring functions. We would also not interfere with private business operations which can be conducted 24 hours a day if wanted. But we have put ourselves clearly on record that the hours of opening during the year for the reception of grain shall be an average of 40 a week during the year.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Less holidays.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton:

That is understood. At the moment I do not think it is possible to extract this understanding from the bill, in spite of the amendment the minister suggested in his speech on Tuesday. However, if he adopted this proposal I think he would satisfy management which knows it is under

the control of the board of grain commissioners with regard to rates. It would also satisfy the workers and the great majority of the farmers, because if they knew that this man's elevator would be open 10 hours a day in the busy season for measuring moisture in the grain, for reception of grain and for all the other operations, they would not object to the elevator opening for only four, five or six hours a day during the slack season.

That, Mr. Chairman, is the substance of the constructive proposal I wanted to make, and I do not think there is anything more I need add. I would emphasize once again that the hours of opening for the reception of grain are the key. If a private operator is in his elevator doing his books, or is playing a pinochle game, or is even loading grain in his own time, whatever he is doing some person will not be able to phone up an inspector or the police and complain. He should be removed from this sort of Gestapo type threat, and if he is he will co-operate. He wants this legislation; at the same time he knows he cannot cripple the management of which he is part.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

Alfred Dryden Hales

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hales:

Mr. Chairman, I should like briefly to commend the hon. member for Qu'Appelle for his very thought-provoking suggestions and recommendations which he has given the Minister of Labour with regard to this bill. I should like to go further and say that I feel quite sure his suggestions and recommendations would apply most favourably to mills in Ontario and eastern Canada. There is quite a difference between the operation of western mill operators and the operation of those in eastern Canada, and Ontario particularly. I think the minister owes it to this house to prove more conclusively than he has thus far that the small village mill operator, the privately owned business, should be forced to come within this proposed legislation. I think the hours of work are very well controlled by provincial labour regulations within the respective provinces. I realize that yesterday the minister cited the Canadian Wheat Board Act as his verification for bringing the Ontario and small mill operator, chopping mill operator, and so on, under this particular act. However, I still do not think the minister has given this committee sufficient reasons, or supported his case with existing legislation, for proving that these mills in Ontario should come under this present legislation. I know that there are other hon. members on this side of the house who feel similarly, so I

hope we will not move too fast on this legislation at the moment.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

William Howell Arthur Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas:

Mr. Chairman, on Tuesday evening as recorded at pages 11392 and 11393 of Hansard I raised a question in respect of the application of this legislation to the feed mills of Ontario and eastern Canada. I should like it clearly understood that because I spoke only of those feed mills, that is not an indication that I am not interested in the problems relating to the trucking, railway and fishing industries, as well as others. I am pinpointing my remarks to the application of this legislation to Ontario feed mills and elevators, and in this regard I referred to the sentiments of the Ontario feed dealers association and the Ontario elevators association.

Following the minister's reply last evening, in which he drew our attention to the fact that he bases his position on section 45 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, and proceeded to read that section into the record, I took the trouble of studying the Canadian Wheat Board Act, the Canada Grain Act and the British North America Act. Amendments to these three acts were placed on the statute books in 1950 in order to tighten regulations relating to the handling of grain by the Canadian wheat board. The foundation for this tightening procedure had to be laid on the basis of section 92 (10 (c) of the British North America Act which states:

Such works as, although wholly situate within the province, are before or after their execution declared by the parliament of Canada to be for the general advantage of Canada or for the advantage of two or more provinces.

The beginning of section 10 states:

Local works and undertakings other than such as are of the following classes:-

Paragraph (c) which I have just read falls within that description. I suggest that is the foundation paragraph.

The same principle has been followed in the Canada Grain Act which supports the Canadian Wheat Board Act. Section 45 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, which the minister quoted last evening, reads as follows:

For greater certainty, but not so as to restrict the generality of any declaration in the Canada Grain Act that any elevator is a work for the general advantage of Canada, it is hereby declared that all flour mills, feed mills, feed warehouses and seed cleaning mills, whether heretofore constructed or hereafter to be constructed, are and each of them is hereby declared to be works or a work for the general advantage of Canada, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each and every mill or warehouse mentioned or described in the schedule is a work for the general advantage of Canada.

Canada Labour Code

There is no question in that regard.

We must then consider the Canada Grain Act which lays the foundation for the Canadian Wheat Board Act. A number of sections in this act deal with elevators and define elevator in the following terms:

"elevator" means any premises into which western grain may be received, or out of which it may be discharged, directly from or into railway cars or vessels, and, notwithstanding anything contained in any other general or special act, includes any such premises owned or operated by Her Majesty, either directly or through any individual, public body or company;

That, of course, refers to terminal elevators.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. I hesitate to interrupt the hon. member in the middle of his very interesting argument, but I am wondering whether he intends to pursue this line of argument extensively. While this subject has been discussed during our consideration of clause 5, the member is now presenting a substantial argument in relation to the interpretation of specific subclauses of clause 3, and I would suggest that perhaps his argument should be deferred until we reach consideration of clause 3, which has been allowed to stand. Perhaps we could attempt now to settle the points in respect of clause 5 and consider those arguments referred to by the hon. member later when we revert to clause 3. There has been some leeway allowed hon. members in this regard, and that is why the Chair has permitted the hon. member to at least commence his argument; but if he intends to be very extensive he might reserve his remarks until we return to a consideration of the appropriate clause.

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Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

William Howell Arthur Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas:

I appreciate your comments and direction, Mr. Chairman, but I hope you will allow me to conclude my argument, and I assure you I will not be too lengthy.

It is my suggestion that I can show conclusive proof that the minister is not interpreting this section correctly. A reading of these three acts to which I have referred might indicate that the minister has an air-tight case, but that is not the situation.

I have taken the trouble to go back to Hansard for 1950 wherein is recorded the discussions about these proposed amendments. These discussions are recorded, at least in part, in Hansard of May 31, 1950 at page 3034. Those discussions quite clearly show what was intended by the then minister of trade and commerce, Right Hon. C. D. Howe. That intention I suggest is quite different from the intention of the Minister of

Canada Labour Code

Labour as indicated by his interpretation of this legislation.

At that time parliament was amending the three acts in order to give the Canadian wheat board greater control over the handling of grain. I should like to quote from page 3034 of Hansard for that date where the following was offered in substitution for the then section 133 of the act:

"Subject to this section, the operator of every licensed public or semi-public terminal elevator and, unless otherwise provided by the terms of his licence, the operator of every eastern elevator, shall, without discrimination and in the order in which the same arrives at such elevator and is offered, receive into such elevator all grain of any grade for which there is available storage of the kind required by the person by whom such grain is offered."

Mr. Chairman, I put that quotation on the record in order to lay the foundation of my argument so that it will be understood.

Returning again to that page of Hansard, the following question was asked by Mr. Charlton, the then member for Brant.

Does that include all grain elevators? Section 10 reads:

"All elevators in Canada heretofore or hereafter constructed are hereby declared to be works for the general advantage of Canada."

Does section 6 include all elevators? If it does, I think it is going a little too far.

This was Mr. Howe's answer:

According to the definitions of the act:

'Elevator' "means any premises into which western grain may be received, or out of which it may be discharged, directly from or into railway cars or vessels, and, notwithstanding anything contained in any other general or special act, includes any such premises owned or operated by His Majesty, either directly or through any individual, public body or company."

That is just a rereading of the paragraph I read a moment ago. Mr. Howe went on to say:

Therefore, if it is an elevator to receive and discharge western grain it comes under the act. If it is holding only local grain it does not come under the act.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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?

John Alpheus Charlton

Mr. Charlton:

It does not include an ordinary feed elevator in eastern Canada-

I want the minister to note this.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe:

No.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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?

John Alpheus Charlton

Mr. Charlton:

-buying western feed grain?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe:

No, it would not; it speaks of shipping western grain. It would not include a feed elevator that ships western feed.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.
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February 18, 1965