February 3, 1967

PUBLIC SERVICE


Sixth, seventh and eighth reports of special joint committee on the public service of Canada-Mr. Richard. [Note: Text of the foregoing reports appears in today's Votes and Proceedings.]


ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to inform the house that the government has decided to establish a royal commission on the status of women. The chairman of the commission will be Mrs. John Bird. Other members of the commission will be announced when their appointments have been completed, which I hope will be over the week end.

The royal commission will be asked to inquire into and report on the status of women in Canada and to recommend what steps might be taken by the federal government to ensure their equality with men in all aspects of Canadian society. Its findings will, of course, have to take into account the division of legislative powers between the federal and provincial governments under the constitution.

The commissioners will be free to look into such matters as they feel are relevant, and in particular the following areas: Laws and

practices under federal jurisdiction concerning the political rights of women; the present and potential role of women in the Canadian labour force, including the special problems of married women in employment and measures that might be taken under federal jurisdiction to help in meeting them; measures that rftight be taken under federal jurisdiction to permit the better use of the skills and education of women, including the special retraining requirements of married women who wish to re-enter professional or skilled employment; federal labour laws and regulations in their application to women; laws,

practices and policies concerning the employment and promotion of women in the federal civil service, by federal crown corporations and by federal agencies; federal taxation pertaining to women; marriage and divorce; the position of women under the criminal law; and immigration and citizenship laws, policies and practices with respect to women.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the right hon. Prime Minister on this announcement. I am extremely sorry that the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mrs. Maclnnis) is unavoidably absent today; I am sure she would have liked to offer her congratulations, because this is a subject which she has been pursuing for some time.

I think the government's decision to appoint this commission is most commendable. I am very glad to see that the influence of the Secretary of State has prevailed upon her male colleagues to take this very progressive step. We have not had an opportunity to examine the commission's terms of reference, but judging from the remarks the Prime Minister made they seemed to be fairly comprehensive.

I hope the terms of reference will spell out in particular the problems of working women and working mothers; the whole problem of nursery schools; the problem of women who have to hire baby sitters and housekeepers, and the enactment of laws enabling them to charge this as an income tax deduction. There are a great many problems in our modern society which women have to face today which were not common 10 or 20 years ago. I hope the terms of reference will be wide enough to allow a full investigation into the problems which confront modern working women in order that they may have fair treatment, equal to that of men in our society.

May I say to the Prime Minister that the selection of the personnel of this commission is extremely important, and I hope the government will keep in mind not only the professional women and the business executives but also membership on that commission of women who understand the point of view of women in the labour force and the particular problems which confront them at this time.

February 3, 1967

Inquiries of the Ministry

I am sure nothing but good can come from the investigation the Prime Minister has announced. I hope it will result in some legislation being presented to the house which will help to give women a status equal to that of men in our society.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS
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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I find it a very pleasant task indeed to comment on the announcement the Prime Minister just made. I want to make my remarks very brief, but I do not wish to let the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam have the credit for being the only member on this side of the house interested in the rights of women.

I believe the announcement made by the Prime Minister will be welcomed not only by the women of Canada but by all Canadians, because I think it covers an area which has been neglected so far, namely the task of ensuring that the rights of mothers and of working women in this country are equitable in every respect.

I wish to say to the Prime Minister that I believe it is particularly necessary that this commission investigate both the federal and provincial laws to make sure they are applicable equally to men and women; and this applies also to the taxation laws which the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam has already mentioned. I will just add that I think it is a good thing this action has been taken, and I believe nothing but good can come out of it. I commend the Prime Minister for making this decision.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Secretary of State for External Affairs but in his absence I will direct it to the Prime Minister. Has the government of Canada as yet made any reply to the accusations of North Viet Nam concerning the sale of arms to the United States by this country?

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   NORTH VIET NAM-COMPLAINT RESPECTING CANADIAN SALE OF ARMS TO U.S.
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the North Vietnamese government has not sent any protest to the international commission because the matter referred to, the alleged export of arms, is not a matter that comes within the ambit of the Geneva agreement. What was received by our commissioner was a communication addressed

by the chief of the North Vietnamese liaison mission in charge of relations with the international commission, commenting upon and requesting clarification of Canadian policy as enunciated by me in this house on January 18 with respect to our relations with the United States on this matter. We are considering that communication, which was forwarded to us by the commissioner, and we hope to reply to it as soon as possible.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   NORTH VIET NAM-COMPLAINT RESPECTING CANADIAN SALE OF ARMS TO U.S.
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS


On the orders of the day:


NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

May I direct a question to the Minister of Industry. Yesterday he made reference to the fact that a meeting had been proposed by the United Auto Workers with the government regarding the Canada-United States auto agreement. In the absence of the Minister of Labour I want to ask him if there has been a protest from the United Automobile Workers because the meeting which is to take place among representatives of the union, the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Manpower has been set for February 8 from 12.30 to 1 p.m. I believe the union is somewhat concerned about the short space of time which is being allotted for the discussion of this matter. I want to ask the minister if he does not consider that a matter of such great significance, affecting thousands of auto workers, ought to be given a greater length of time for discussion?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (Minister of Industry; Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Hon. C. M. Drury (Minister of Industry):

Mr. Speaker, representations were made by the United Automobile Workers to the Minister of Labour suggesting that perhaps rather than having the meeting from 12.30 to 1 p.m., it might start earlier following the presentation of the Congress brief to cabinet. I have not been able to communicate with the Minister of Labour in this regard, but I have every expectation the matter will be satisfactorily resolved.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

May I ask the minister if he can assure the house that some attempt will be made either to have a much longer ^meeting or to set aside another day next week when this matter can be gone into thoroughly because of the effect it has on the workers concerned?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (Minister of Industry; Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Drury:

I think the government is as interested as anyone in making sure that

[Mr. Douglas.)

February 3, 1967 COMMONS

adequate time is provided for an appropriate hearing of representations.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Does the minister consider that to be half an hour?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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PC

Michael Starr (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Slarr (Ontario):

In view of

the headline in yesterday's Toronto Daily Star which reads "More Lay-offs Face General Motors Workers in Oshawa", will the minister not take this matter seriously and refer the auto pact to a standing committee of the house for consideration?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE AGREEMENT-MEETING WITH UNION RESULTING FROM LAY-OFFS
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February 3, 1967