March 31, 1965

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE


Sixth report of standing committee on privileges and elections-Mr. Moreau. Thirteenth report of standing committee on banking and commerce-Mr. Gendron.


NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. A. J. MacEachen (Minister of Labour):

I should like to inform the house that arrangements have now been completed for the transfer of the national employment service from the unemployment insurance commission to the Department of Labour as of April 1.

The decision to effect this transfer was taken by the government following a recommendation of the Gill committee which inquired into the operations carried on under the Unemployment Insurance Act. The broad lines of the division of the existing staff of the unemployment insurance commission have been determined partly on the basis of those positions which were concerned mainly or exclusively with insurance matters on the one hand and with employment matters on the other, and partly on a fair and reasonable distribution of the remaining positions which are concerned with joint services affecting both insurance and unemployment activities.

On the basis of this distribution some 4,156 positions are being transferred as of April 1 to the Department of Labour, and 5,859 positions will remain with the unemployment insurance commission. Assurance has been given to all those who are remaining in the unemployment insurance commission as well as those joining the Department of Labour that the transfer will not adversely affect them. It has been agreed with the civil service commission that competitions for positions in either the unemployment insurance commission or in the Department of Labour will be open to the personnel of both during the next live years.

20220-822J

It will be appreciated that the transfer has been by no means an easy one to bring about, and I want to express my appreciation for the co-operation of all concerned.

In addition to reaching decisions about a reasonable distribution of staff, decisions have had to be made with respect to a fair allocation of equipment and other facilities and space. It will not be possible nor practical to implement all these decisions with respect to office accommodation and equipment on April 1. It will take some time before all of them can be implemented, but in the meantime the basic objectives have been determined.

Another important matter that has been examined carefully is the continuing close liaison needed between the operations of the national employment service and the unemployment insurance commission. A number of transitional steps have been taken to assist in the transfer and to ensure continuity of service to the public in both employment service and insurance operations. The director of the national employment service in the unemployment insurance commission will become the national director of the national employment service in the Department of Labour. The regional offices of the national employment service, each one of which will have its own regional director, will report directly to the national director.

Additional positions will be required to strengthen the staff of the national employment service at head office and, where they are immediately needed, elsewhere. We expect to be in a position to place our requirements before the treasury board in the very near future. The classification of employment officer positions is also under active review with the civil service commission.

We intend to have a thorough study made, with the help of independent advisers, of the reorganization of the national employment service to ensure that it will become the key operational agency in the manpower field. This independent and objective analysis will also include an assessment of the other manpower activities in the Department of Labour, and of the most effective ways and means of achieving a fully co-ordinated, over-all manpower program in Canada. These steps will be taken immediately.

National Employment Service

I have stressed the need for an aggressive and positive manpower policy ever since I became Minister of Labour. I have also welcomed the strong emphasis which the economic council of Canada has placed on manpower as a major part of economic policy, and I fully agree with the stress they have placed on the need for close co-ordination of all programs and policies in this field.

We have made significant progress in developing an over-all Canadian manpower policy, and have already achieved a substantial amount of co-ordination. The transfer of the national employment service to the Department of Labour on April 1 will mean that most essential elements of manpower policy at the federal level will be under the Minister of Labour.

This transfer and the other steps I have announced today will make a further contribution toward realization of an active and fully co-ordinated manpower policy, a major element in our country's total economic and social development.

Topic:   NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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PC

Michael Starr

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Starr (Ontario):

Mr. Speaker, my remarks on the announcement just made by the Minister of Labour will be brief.

One of the recommendations the Gill commission made to the government was that the national employment service of the unemployment insurance commission be transferred to the Department of Labour. When considering the minister's announcement in respect of this recommendation we must at the same time wonder why the government has not taken action on the other recommendations which the Gill commission made to the government. The one the subject of this announcement is only one of a great many that should be considered. As a matter of fact the government have not even told the house or the people of the country what they intend to do about the balance of these recommendations, and it is very important to the people of the country that the government make an announcement soon as to their intentions with respect to them.

I think the government should advise us as to what role the national employment service will play in the Department of Labour. As the minister has pointed out, this will be a very important part of the work of the Department of Labour so far as manpower policy is concerned. In view of this fact, what position will the head of the national employment service hold in the administrative set-up of the Department of Labour? I think he should be at least an assistant deputy minister in the department

[Mr. MacEachen.)

so this division of the department will have some prestige and will be recognized as a very essential and potent aspect of the department.

With regard to the matter of liaison between the unemployment insurance commission and the national employment service, I think that should be carried out because the two have a great deal to do with one another, however, the national employment service should be foremost rather than the unemployment insurance commission. This is something I stressed when I was minister of labour, and at that time I think we were coming out of the shell and giving more emphasis to the employment service rather than to the unemployment insurance commission.

The minister always brings up in the house the work that has been done, particularly in the Department of Labour, with regard to the manpower policy of the government. Yet nothing has been clearly stated as to the achievements. Even today the Minister of Labour said there has been co-ordination across the country as a result of the establishment of the manpower committee, but he leaves us in the dark as to the results of this co-ordination. I hope that in the very near future the Minister of Labour will be more frank with us and tell us specifically what co-ordination has been brought about with respect to manpower policy by the manpower committee that has been set up in his department.

Topic:   NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, I suppose the first thing one might say about the minister's statement is that it is much better than we expected on the basis of similar statements he has been making in reply to questions in recent months. The economic council has been very critical of the government's manpower policies, in that to meet the requirements of our rapidly changing economy the employment service must have the means to promote the mobility of Canada's labour force. In its recent presentation to the government the Canadian Labour Congress suggested that the national employment service should really become Canada's national manpower service. It also suggested that if the manpower service is going to do the job it has to have the ability to collect labour market information on a nation-wide and continuous basis, accompanied by professional analysis and detailed forecasting of labour market trends.

Despite this kind of thinking and proposals of this nature, the minister has continued until today to suggest that while he intended to announce that the national employment service would come under the jurisdiction of his department, the Department of Labour would continue as it has up to now and that the manpower consultative service would continue as in the past. The result would be to continue the kind of fragmented set-up we have had and which every other agency, except the minister and his department, had predicted would lead to disaster.

So it was good to hear the minister say the department is going to have a very careful look at the co-ordination and co-operation of these various services. I wish the minister could have had this done before he made his announcement today, and I think he could have if he had acted much more forthrightly.

There is one more thing that in my opinion needs to be kept in mind. If the national employment service is going to do the job we expect it to do, it will have to have the kind of staff it has not had up to now.

I saw an announcement recently that they had provision for only one economist in their complement, and that position is vacant at the present time. Certainly if they are going to do the job which is required they are going to have to have the technical and professional staff which will give them the information required in order to direct people to jobs and find jobs for people. I hope the minister's statement today will be followed by some real action in the next few months.

Topic:   NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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SC

Marcel Lessard

Social Credit

Mr. Marcel Lessard (Lake St. John):

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the long statement of the Minister of Labour, which we did not have the opportunity to consider beforehand, of course, I should like to make a few brief comments, rather critical but objective, however, in this connection.

It seems that this decision stems from the Gill and Glassco reports. Both reports had recommended changes in the administration of the Department of Labour and in the field of unemployment insurance and employment.

It is certainly an excellent decision made by the minister to separate definitely the employment section from the unemployment insurance, as such, and to integrate it into the Department of Labour.

What concrete results can we expect? Naturally, that is a bit difficult to determine at this time.

National Employment Service

Considering the recommendations in the report submitted by the economic council of Canada before Christmas, and faced with the possible recession forecast for next year, I think it is a good thing that the government take steps to train the workers for the new jobs that could be made available to them.

However, there is one point especially to which I should like to draw the minister's attention, as regards this particular training program for workers. The program was controlled by the unemployment insurance commission, which was responsible for paying certain allowances to workers so they might register at technical schools and be trained to take other jobs in other economic fields.

The minister will be able to entrust that new branch of his department which will look after employment with the specific task of setting up an adequate program which would be flexible enough to apply to all areas.

For my part, I have received representations from the authorities of my region to the effect that the formula tried out last year for the retraining of workers did not meet the requirements of our area.

I appreciate the difficulty of finding a formula applicable everywhere. However, I feel that is the objective the minister and his department should strive to reach because that is one of the best solutions to the problem of retraining workers. In this era of automation we must all anticipate that workers will have to be retrained in order to be able to take jobs in other fields of endeavour or other trades.

There is also another aspect which should be changed, and that is the formula under which the number of unemployed is arrived at. Every month the minister informs the house of the number of unemployed according to the figures published by the bureau of statistics. I have always wondered why he did not use the reports submitted to him by all local unemployment insurance offices to determine the actual number of unemployed. Instead, a sampling formula is used which I think does not reflect the facts as they are. I think the minister should have more confidence in the monthly reports submitted to him by the managers of some 260 unemployment insurance offices throughout Canada.

That is all I wanted to say and I hope that the minister will consider the possibility of using those reports to establish exactly the number of unemployed in the various areas of the country.

National Employment Service

Topic:   NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink
RA

Raymond Langlois

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Raymond Langlois (Meganiic):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great attentiveness to the declaration of the Minister of Labour and, as the hon. member for Lake St. John said, it is a pretty long statement that covers a lot of territory.

I would have liked to see it in written form so that hon. members could give better consideration to it by way of criticism or approval. As the minister stated, and as was reiterated by the hon. member for Ontario, this declaration is based on one of the recommendations in the Gill report. Many questions have been asked of the minister about an opportunity to study the Gill report thoroughly. As I say, this deals with one of the recommendations in that report, but what about the rest of the recommendations? When will they be put into effect? There may be some good in this, in fact there must be, but we have to watch the catches in each corner.

Yesterday I asked the minister a question about this business of closing down small offices and transferring their functions to central offices. Where a number of these employment offices have been closed down across the country it has caused greater expense to the unemployed. Their closing might provide better organization for the bureaucratic system we have, but there will be less benefits at the bottom, at least to a certain extent.

I am wondering if this is not just a hitch between the federal government and the provincial governments, because the latter are opening unemployment offices. With the transfer of manpower and labour force responsibilities to the Department of Labour, leaving unemployment to be dealt with by a separate office, I ask what co-ordination is there between the provinces and the federal Department of Labour? Is this giving them permission to provide a little more local patronage? That is why I want to see to the bottom of this thing.

I know that in the province of Quebec a lot of these little establishments are popping up. As the federal government closes down its offices, provincial establishments are popping up and I would like to get some explanation for that. I shall not stress the matter at the moment as I shall have more time to deal with it during discussion of the supply motion, and possibly some explanations can be given when we enter the throne speech debate. In the meantime this is still a question into which we must look.

[Mr. Lessard (Lake St. John) .1

On the other hand, if by this transfer of manpower to the Department of Labour, and if through some of the programs which have been put into effect during the past year or two the country or the unemployed are helped, then I would ask the minister to guard against one thing, namely not to be too bureaucratic about it but rather to be a little bit practical and humanitarian. At present there is a tendency to switch the unemployed and their families from one end of the country to another, like cattle going to the stock market. It might be a good thing to re-establish an unemployed person in an area where he can get work, but we should not be inhuman about it. I know the minister will himself be human, but there are some bureaucrats who cannot be called that. The policy involved will have to be clear, with recommendations and regulations carefully laid down so that bureaucrats will not get strange ideas, wishing to make extra work for themselves, and thus put their feet in a trap. I would ask the minister to ensure that the law with respect to this declaration is made clear, so this new policy will not in effect mean one door in and four doors out, and so that when it goes into effect it will benefit the people concerned.

Topic:   NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER FROM UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
Permalink

QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


ARDA PROJECTS, NOVA SCOTIA

PC

Mr. Coales

Progressive Conservative

1. How many projects have been approved by ARDA within the province of Nova Scotia, and of the total, how many were approved in 1964?

2. What has been the total outlay for the projects in question; what has been the federal contribution, and the provincial contribution toward these projects?

3. What is the total number of projects now before ARDA awaiting approval within the province of Nova Scotia?

4. How many projects have been initiated in Nova Scotia under ARDA that do not involve provincial financial participation?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ARDA PROJECTS, NOVA SCOTIA
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LIB

Maurice Sauvé (Minister of Forestry)

Liberal

Hon. Maurice Sauve (Minister of Forestry):

1. Fifty three projects of which 31 were approved in 1964.

2. The total shareable cost covering the 53 approved projects amounts to $1,270,000 of which the federal contribution is $700,000. The provincial government contribution would therefore be $570,000.

3. Three projects.

4. Ten projects at the request of Nova Scotia in the research region in the province.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ARDA PROJECTS, NOVA SCOTIA
Permalink

WORK IN HUDSON BAY BY MINES AND TECHNICAL SURVEYS

PC

Mr. Simpson

Progressive Conservative

1. Is research work or are surveys planned for this summer in Hudson bay for the following branches of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys (a) dominion observatories branch

(b) geological division (c) stellar physics branch (d) other branches of the department?

2. If so (a) how extensive will this research work or surveys be (b) how long will they last

(c) what personnel will be involved in each project?

3. Could such research be made more effective by the establishment of a permanent research base at Churchill utilizing vacated government installations?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   WORK IN HUDSON BAY BY MINES AND TECHNICAL SURVEYS
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L L

William Moore Benidickson (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Liberal Labour

Hon. W. M. Benidickson (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):

1. Oceanographic, hydrographic, submarine geological and geophysical investigations are being planned for this summer in Hudson bay on a joint project involving marine sciences branch; geological survey branch; observatories branch.

2. (a) Surveys will cover the whole bay in reconnaissance, (b) The whole project will take three months, July, August and September. (c) The new oceanographic vessel Hudson and one charter vessel will carry the majority of personnel from each of the above branches. Parties occupying shore stations for Decca navigation and seismological observations will be set out by aircraft. Approximately 105 personnel consisting of permanent staff, seasonal student employees and private company contract personnel will be involved on the whole project. It would be nearly impossible to break the whole operation down into sub-projects by personnel.

3. Since this is largely a shipborne operation, the government installations at Churchill would be of little use. Accommodation is being requested for the crew of one aircraft for the months of July and August.

This is a one summer operation and at the end of the season all personnel will return to their own laboratories to work out the results. In order to work out their results they need the electronic computers, drafting and consulting facilities of their own laboratories.

It would, therefore, in no way be practicable to carry out the work by establishing a permanent research base at Churchill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   WORK IN HUDSON BAY BY MINES AND TECHNICAL SURVEYS
Permalink

NEW DESTROYERS FOR NAVY

PC

Mr. MacEwan

Progressive Conservative

1. What is the approximate date, or dates, in 1966 when construction will commence on four new destroyers for the Royal Canadian Navy?

2. Will these destroyers be equipped with the American mark 46 torpedo?

Questions

3. What are the characteristics of this torpedo which are an improvement over torpedoes now in use?

4. Will the mark 46 torpedo be carried by the maritime R.C.A.F. Argus planes and the naval Sea King helicopters?

Hon. Paul Hellyer (Minister of National

Defence): 1. It is anticipated a contract for the first new helicopter/destroyer will be placed in December 1966 with construction commencing early in 1967.

2. and 4. Consideration is being given to procurement of the U.S.N. mark 46 torpedo for these helicopter/destroyers, the Argus aircraft and Sea King helicopters.

3. The U.S.N. mark 46 torpedo can operate deeper and faster than current torpedoes and is effective against all types of modern submarine targets.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NEW DESTROYERS FOR NAVY
Permalink

STUDENT LOANS IN WESTERN PROVINCES

March 31, 1965