That would be an unwarranted conclusion. But no facts have been put forward to suggest that the system proposed for the country elevators cannot be applied
Canada Labour Code
with equal success to the feed mills in eastern Canada. Why is it presumed that the principles of this bill cannot be applied suitably to the eastern feed mills in the same way as the Annual Vacations Act? There was no request to exempt them on that occasion, and if we were to exempt them completely from the present measure they would be in a completely unregulated field, one which provincial jurisdiction would have no authority to enter.
As the hon. member knows, there are a number of provisions in this bill designed to meet difficulties if any should exist in connection with feed mills under the arrangements proposed. There is the averaging system, the overtime, the provision for securing a deferment and so on. There is yet another point. If the hon. member would look at the section dealing with minimum wages he would find it is possible to defer the application of the $1.25 rate for 18 months-not beyond that time-and only in respect of enterprises of a local character. This is the only exception to the minimum wage proposal, and it can apply to local feed mills. If it can be demonstrated that the introduction of the minimum wage at once would work a hardship on the industry or upon the employees, this course can be followed. But I do not think it is unreasonable to expect all feed mills in every part of Canada 18 months from the application of this bill to pay $1.25 an hour. I think this would be good for the rural people. It would have the effect of raising standards in the rural communities of Canada. I do not agree that it would be bad for the farmers, because one of the problems we have in securing farm labour today is the provision of proper working conditions so as to attract men to employment on farms. This is a step which will give a lead in that direction and I do not think it would be sound to remove the feed mills from its application.
Subtopic: MEASURE RESPECTING HOURS OF WORK, MINIMUM WAGES, ETC.