March 13, 1969

LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order. The hon. member for Lotbiniere on a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Fortin:

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to see that my remarks interested the hon. member for Trois-Rivieres (Mr. Mongrain) to that extent. Personally, I am also very pleased to hear his obliging remarks and I hope he will believe me when I say that no prejudice is intended to anyone.

However, I refuse to accept, Mr. Chairman-and this to my mind is a point of order-the fact that the hon. member for Trois-Rivieres says that I do not act according to what I say in the sense that at least ten members of the Ralliement Creditiste are not bilingual; if he went around his own party he would see that the proportion there of unilingual members is perhaps even greater. Nor

March 13, 1969

Government Organization

can I accept his assertion, Mr. Chairman, which I find more serious, that the situation has existed for a 100 years.

If, in a 100 years, people had not obtained justice, they would have risen and then bilingualism-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. The hon. member for Trois-Rivieres.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Mongrain

Liberal

Mr. Mongrain:

Mr. Chairman, I notice that the hon. member for Lotbiniere is thin-skinned today because I tried to tell him that in as friendly a fashion as possible, by teasing him. I should like to point out to him that it is possible that in this house some hon. members are not bilingual, but unlike those of whom I am now speaking, they are not clamouring for bilingualism, accusing those who are not bilingual of discrimination. That is the difference. Now, I continue my remarks.

Mr. Chairman, in the last 5, 6, 7, 8 or 10 years, the federal government has made a marked effort, especially in the last three or four years, to promote bilingualism. I feel that when bilingualism is being discussed and it is demanded that a clause be added to all the bills specifying that a certain percentage of bilingual employees is a must, that is where there is discrimination, and dishonesty, because of the circumstances.

The government has set up language schools.

It grants bonuses to bilingual public servants and has appointed superintendents whose responsibility it is to supervise the way this principle of bilingualism is followed in all departments.

I repeat that the implementation of that policy takes time. I assume the hon. member for Lotbiniere would not call for the dismissal by the government of all non-bilingual employees, for it would certainly be inhuman. The change will probably take place over a certain number of years.

I could moreover tell the hon. member for Lotbiniere why we do not find in the higher spheres of the public service the number of bilingual or French-speaking public servants we would like to have there.

He knows as well as I do-since he is a learned man-that for a 100 years, our institutions of secondary education trained their pupils for the priesthood, or to become notaries or lawyers and neglected to turn out economists, sociologists, engineers, in brief, experts, while during that same century, the

Anglo-Saxons in this country, either through immigration or otherwise, increased in their midst the number of such experts who simply monopolized the positions. And all of a sudden, we realized that they made up the great majority.

Cursing them or accusing them of discrimination will not solve the problem but we should rather qualify ourselves properly and apply for such coveted employment. The hon. member for Lotbiniere knows that Quebec needs specialized technicians and therefore wants to keep them at home.

Moreover, the Anglo-Saxons are perhaps not by nature too anxious to emigrate, but the fact remains that more and more of them are coming over every year as the hon. member for Lotbiniere knows.

He knows, for instance, that the general manager of the C.B.C. is a French Canadian. He knows that Air Canada has a Frenchspeaking president and that all the other employees are bilingual. He knows, also, that the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Forces as well as a number of deputy ministers are French-speaking.

The hon. member is concerned about the problem of the library at the Printing Bureau. Maybe bilingualism is not the only problem in this connection.

Since I am not permitted to elaborate any further on the subject, I shall let the minister do so in due time. However, to say this problem is merely a matter of bilingualism is tantamount to fanaticism, Mr. Chairman.

May I suggest to the hon. member for Lotbiniere-since we both agree on the principle that there are not enough French-speaking Canadians in key positions and since we want to settle the matter-that we should put an end to idle talk and to charges of discrimination where others are concerned. Let us simply do as I am doing in my own riding.

When, for instance, there happens to be a top position vacant in the public service, I let my riding know, I advertise it by radio, I mention it in my lectures and I contact personally those in my riding or area who seem to me qualified and ask them to apply and sit for the examinations. Quite often, I can take pride in the fact that people answer, apply and succeed.

The next few years will see more improvement in this field then we have witnessed in the past 100 years. I must admit there is some kind of discrimination, today. We find it

March 13, 1969

among a certain type of individuals. In my opinion, however, it is rather a cave of conflicting personalities. There is no such feeling at the government level which is responsible for these top positions. Of this, it has given signal proof for the past three or four years, to the point of getting blamed, in Anglo-Saxon circles, for opening too wide its doors to the French-Canadian side.

It was only fair for me, Mr. Chairman, to put the record straight in the house.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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NDP

John Leroy Skoberg

New Democratic Party

Mr. Skoberg:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to congratulate the minister on his very brief outline of the bill. If the bill were as simple as his explanation of it I am sure there would be no questions on either side of the house in regard to the implementation of its provisions so far as the proposed Department of Supply and Services is concerned.

In the short time I have I should like to refer very briefly to supply and services as they pertain to consulting services and the types of contracts that are let which, as the minister suggested, will be under his supervision. I noted from the minister's remarks that these new services were optional. The minister assumes responsibility for management consulting services for individual departments.

Sometimes questions arise not only in the minds of members of parliament but also among the vast majority of the public in regard to the letting of contracts for government services, including both Crown corporations and individual departments. I should like to point out that I have six questions on the order paper dating back to December 3. I should like to refer to one in particular as I believe reference to it will outline the situation generally. I asked the government the following question:

What are the government regulations with regards to the hiring of consultants, including advertising consultants, in order to assist government departments i.e., in the areas of planning, studies, feasibility reports, economic analysis, legal assistance, architectural advice, etc.?

The question then goes on to deal with other matters. If this question and the many others I have put on the order paper had been answered by now, many of the disappointments I have at the moment would have been removed. There appears to be some reason for not disclosing advice given by consultants generally, and I hope that when the minister replies he will relieve any fears I have about the hiring of such consultants.

Government Organization

[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)

Tenders for construction contracts are invited by public advertisement. Tenders are invited for purchase or service contracts by public advertisement, or a representative list or lists of suppliers is submitted. The intent of the pertinent regulations is not clear. It is bad practice for departments of government to choose consultants or other outside professional people who will be of service to that department from a preferred list. Also, there should be no preferred list of suppliers of any other services. I do not think that management consultant firms on the proposed list ought to be employed to the exclusion of other, similar firms. Many suppliers or firms of consultants will go to almost any lengths to be put on a preferred list. What bothers many in this house is that by employing firms on preferred lists the government may be indulging in political patronage, something we do not like to see. In fact, the preferred list could lead directly to political patronage.

Wherever possible I submit that Crown corporations should be included under this department as under the present regulations it is provided that these corporations may be included, but not necessarily. In advertising for tenders for any job the government should not be guided by any firms that may be on a preferred list. Suppliers of every service ought to be employed on their merits and not on the ground of political patronage. I hope the minister will clarify this matter later. Very often when a department retains a favoured consultant it is found that the consultant's report contains exactly what departmental officials wish to see. I suggest that in any democratic process this sort of thing is bad.

Some time ago the hon. member for Fundy-Royal asked in the house whether the government had considered implementing reforms similar to those applied in Sweden in this field. The recommendations and findings of consulting firms are not always made available to members of parliament, and this is bad. I agree that in special instances it is not in the public interest for such recommendations or findings to be divulged; yet I cannot help feeling that withholding such information is undemocratic. Speaking in the house on February 17 of this year the President of the Treasury Board said in part, as reported at page 5631 of Hansard:

There are a number of instances in which investigations are sought, in which proposals are asked for or information is sought, which it would not be in the public interest to disclose.

March 13, 1969

6584 COMMONS

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

Many reports affecting government departments and operations are being brought down by consulting firms and not being made available to members of this house. We should see those reports if we are to do an intelligent job in making suggestions to the government. I submit it is not our democratic way of government to refuse hon. members access to such information.

In this year's budget the government has allocated about $397 million, compared with $329 million last year, for professional and special services, which no doubt would include consultants' services. Clearly, we are to spend more on consultants this year. We are well aware that the consulting field in this country is dominated by United States personnel and management techniques. The Glassco commission suggested that when the government employs consulting firms it ought to make sure that, wherever possible, Canadian consulting firms are employed. I was pleased to hear the minister say that an advisory committee would look into the use of the services bureau. That is a step in the right direction, and there will be little opposition to that from this corner of the house.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. The time being five o'clock shall I rise, report progress and request leave to sit again later this day?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Progress reported.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
Sub-subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND FORESTRY AND OTHER NEW DEPARTMENTS
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION

SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED

LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 40, to inform the house that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: The hon. member for Kam-loops-Cariboo (Mr. Marchand)-Television- Kamloops, British Columbia-Request for alternate service; the hon. member for Van-couver-Kingsway (Mrs. Maclnnis)-Income Tax-Deduction for babysitting service; the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. McGrath)-Fisheries-Seals-Report alleging fraudulent film presentation of killing methods.

The time being five o'clock the house will now proceed to consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper, namely, private bills, notices of motions (papers), public bills.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
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PRIVATE BILLS

LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY


The house resumed, from Thursday, January 16, consideration in committee of Bill C-101, respecting London and Midland General Insurance Company-Mr. Lind-Mr. Faulkner in the chair.


LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

When the committee rose on Thursday, January 16, clause 1 of the bill was under consideration.

On clause 1-Change of name.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, someone asked me the other day what the disposition of the bill concerning London and Midland General Insurance Company would be. I suggested there was an easy solution to the problem that has confronted that company in the past and may confront it in years to come, a solution that is within the purview of the sponsor of the bill. I wish to know whether he has conveyed certain information to the Avco Company or to Mr. H. P. Paterno, president of London and Midland General Insurance Company. A number of hon. members oppose the change of name, being of the opinion that the company will be United States owned and that Canadians will not have the opportunity of controlling it should they so desire.

[DOT] (5:00 p.m.)

We have gone into the reason advanced for the change before, and I disagree entirely. As I have indicated on previous occasions, I disagree with the contention of the sponsor of the bill that the company has lost money and wants to change its name because it is similar to that of a British insurance company. I indicated that the business of this company is increasing under the name of London and Midland General Insurance Company. I believe the reason is that the Avco Delta Corporation of the United States and Great Britain wishes to set up a company under their own name. This is a legitimate situation. If this is the reason, this company and other companies should give consideration to the national aspirations of Canadians who wish to own their own corporations and financial institutions.

The sponsor of this bill, if he has not already done so, should suggest to the president of the London and Midland General Insurance Company that this bill will have

March 13, 1969

speedy passage if this company will agree to a clause other companies have agreed to. That clause would provide for Canadian investment in the company and, over a period of time, Canadian control.

The question has been asked on a number of occasions why it is necessary to have so many of these companies doing business in exactly the same categories in Canada. I have before me the report of the Superintendent of Insurance for Canada, volume 2, which relates to the annual statements of fire and casualty insurance companies in Canada-Canadian, British and foreign owned. There are probably 1,100 companies in the casualty field doing almost the same type of business, and I cannot see any advantage in increasing this number.

The Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of the United States has been doing business in Canada for some time. They decided that rather than have a branch operation they would start a new company in Canada under the auspices of the federal Superintendent of Insurance. They provided an opportunity for Canadians to purchase that company. They not only investigated the possibility of Canadians being able to own the company, but they wrote into the act of what is now known as the Transcoastal Insurance Company the provisions that within five years they would undertake to sell 25 per cent of their stock in Canada and at the end of ten years to sell 49 per cent of their stock. The aspirations of Canadian nationalism would be sufficient reason for Canadians to purchase stock in this company, increase the value and do business with the company. Privately the company indicated that they expected that in five years the value of the company would have increased to a level where they would be able to sell a half interest. They felt they would retain a very favourable business by being a shareholder along with Canadian shareholders. They were willing to bow to Canadian nationalism to that extent in order to have their company develop.

This is not new Mr. Chairman. Many countries are giving consideration to development of their own corporations and industries and have passed laws to make this mandatory. Japan in particular has been very interested in this field. I quote from a Canada-Japan Trade Council newsletter:

Figures compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development show the

Private Bills

inflow of direct foreign investment for six member states:

Canada (1962) $14.5 billionUnited States (1964) $ 8.4 billionUnited Kingdom (1962) $ 4.2 billionFrance (1964) $ 4.0 billionGermany (1964) $ 2.8 billionJapan (1965) $ 0.7 billion

Japan is interested in developing its own industry. Foreign capital can be invested only to a limited degree because they wish to own the businesses within that country. Japan is now doing business in Canada where we do not have such a limitation.

The Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, a very large company in the United States, was organized in 1848 and commenced business in Canada in 1868. They were asked the question, "Why should another new insurance company be chartered?" They replied:

To enable an existing insurance company, domiciled in the United States but doing business in Canada, to cease doing business in Canada; to return to or leave in Canada the servicing of the existing Canadian business of the United States insurer; to cause Canadian insurance business to be done by Canadians.

Servicing does not refer to the basic contractual relationship between an existing policyholder and the existing insurer. This contractual relationship will continue. However, since the U.S. insurer will be withdrawing from solicitation of new business in Canada, and hence would be forced to close its current offices, the answering of questions, payment of claims, changing of beneficiaries, and other services will be rendered by the personnel of the new company, in the offices of the new company. However, in most instances these personnel and offices will have been assumed by the new company from the old. Hence, existing policyholders will suffer no inconvenience and no change in contractual rights. On the other hand, the new company will have an immediate source of personnel, offices and service revenue with which to operate.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

I suppose that in the insurance field in the United States Union Mutual is larger than Avco Delta. I believe it does more business in the United States than Avco Delta. It is a large and fairly progressive company. I was interested to learn it is large enough to have offered the American government to operate an American medicare plan covering all the states in the union on a fee for service basis.

If it can make this kind of concession to Canadians, why should the company we are now considering continue to come before us and ask for this type of consideration? The directors of the other company have indicated they were very surprised at the reaction to the agreement to make this kind of concession to Canadians. Although the Senate passed the

March 13. 1969

Private Bills

bill, it was not passed without considerable debate and questions.

There is a simple proposition here, Mr. Chairman. You and I know that most senators are either directors of insurance companies or of banks or other financial institutions. Therefore it is almost questionable whether or not a senator should have the right to make a decision on these matters because of his involvement. However, it is interesting that all the questions were aimed at the 49 per cent ownership feature. They were not seeking to expand it but to take it out of the bill. In this we saw the fine hand of others in the insurance business who might not desire Canadian ownership of Canadian insurance companies, and hence the effort to delete this provision. But I am pleased to see that the bill as finally recommended by the Senate committee retained the provision for Canadian ownership. I would like the sponsor of the bill now before the house to indicate why he is not proposing an amendment to provide for such ownership.

I hope to have an opportunity of going before the committee that will be discussing Transcoastal because I am curious why they could not provide Canadians with 51 per cent ownership. I was very surprised to learn that the Superintendent of Insurance informed them that if they gave Canadians 51 per cent control of that company then they, with 49 per cent, would be able to vote only 10 per cent of their stock. This seems to be a very odd provision to put into the bill. I hope the hon. member who is sponsoring the bill will consider the question of the percentage of Canadian ownership.

If this company wants to do business in Canada it must be of the opinion that business in Canada is a good thing for it, that London and Midland Insurance Company will be able to do business economically in Canada, that it will be able to operate with some success as a subsidiary operation in Canada. However, the directors of this company must be poorly informed on the wishes and aspirations of the Canadian public if they are not aware of the fact that there are people in Canada who would like to see the opportunity provided for Canadians to buy into financial institutions doing business in Canada.

Union Mutual is not only going to provide an opportunity to Canadians to buy into it but it is going to make it lucrative enough for Canadians to do so. In fact, its directors have made it a condition of their charter that this will be accomplished in ten years or they will

give up their right to their charter. They did not oppose penalties being included in the legislation whereby sizeable fines would be imposed upon directors and executive officers of the company if they did not accomplish the stipulated degree of Canadian control within the ten year period.

It is interesting to note that members of the other place did not pursue the matter of penalties. I was also interested to note that the Superintendent of Insurance said that that company had gone far beyond the requirements of the form bill that is provided for insurance companies being chartered in Canada and therefore there was no need to have this type of penalty in the bill. I entirely agree with the Superintendent of Insurance. I am sure that company is honest, I am sure it is straightforward, I am sure it is going to make that attempt, and I am also sure the Canadian public will buy into that company and make it possible for the directors to live up to their obligations to parliament. However, I am not the least bit sure that all other companies that would agree to such a clause would do so and would be so apt to fulfil their duty. Therefore I see no reason why the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs should not again put in the penalties for Transcoastal and other companies like it.

The London and Midland bill has been before us for some time. The company does not mind the penalty that is being paid by not having had its name changed to Avco Delta. It would like to be accomplished, but if one reads what Avco owns in other areas one finds there is not much in a name. Avco owns the Moffat Stove Company. They have not changed the name to the Avco Delta Stove Company. It owns a large number of other companies and has not changed their names. If you are interested in credit cards you will probably think of credit card companies. You will probably think of Carte Blanche, not the Avco Delta Corporation. It owns a large number of small loan companies and several life insurance companies. It is doing business with a number of companies in Canada whose names have not been changed, but it is interesting to note that when it went into farm machinery and bought the New Idea Farm Equipment Company it added the name Avco to that company. Among the many companies it owns is London and Midland General Insurance Company.

If the directors of this company want this legislation passed the answer is simple. We

March 13, 1969

are quite willing to have them come into Canada and do business under their own company name, but they should be willing to make the concession to the Canadian people that they have a right to some control in this company if the market is right. For this reason I urge the sponsor of the bill to consider what has been done with respect to two other major companies in the insurance field in Canada, where clauses providing for Canadian ownership have been inserted in their charters.

[DOT] (5:20 p.m.)

The change in name from London and Midland General Insurance Company to Avco Insurance Company or L'Avco, Compagnie d'Assurance Generale might appear to be the crux of the subject, but I believe the change in name is really not the crux of the matter and is not the reason the bill is being opposed. I believe it is being opposed for the simple reason that we agree with many persons who believe one important aspect in respect of insurance companies and financial institutions is that they be Canadian controlled. For this reason we strongly urge the sponsor of the bill to consider this point before the bill comes before parliament again so that speedy action can be taken in respect of having the transfer arranged.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
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NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

Mr. Chairman, I am very disappointed that the sponsor of this bill did not rise to answer some of the questions asked by the previous speaker. When a minister or private member sponsors a bill in this house it seems to me they should be prepared to answer questions directed to them. Again we have an example of a private member of the Liberal party sponsoring a bill in this house. We are rather anxious to know whether it is his personal conviction that insurance companies, which are part of the financial picture of Canada, should come increasingly under the domination of outside interests. I believe the hon. gentleman should make it abundantly clear to hon. members and to the constituents he represents where he stands on the issue of foreign ownership. Is he in favour of handing over the financial institutions of Canada lock, stock and barrel to outside interests or does he intend to stand up in this house and take a firm stand?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

On a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman, I cannot see how the hon. member's remarks have anything to do with the changing of the name of this company. First of all, it has been a reputable and well 29180-417

Private Bills

thought of insurance company which has offered services to the public across Canada. It is only asking for a change in name. No corporate change is being requested. It is purely a name change. I do not believe there is a desire on the part of this insurance company to be anything but a good corporate citizen and to do business in Canada in the way it has for a long time.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
NDP

Randolph Harding

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harding:

I am delighted to hear the applause from the Liberal benches because it is good to know where they stand on these issues. The previous speaker asked whether the sponsor of this bill, the hon. member for Middlesex, went to the company and asked its officials if they would accept an amendment to this legislation. I should like to know the answer to that question. We have been asking such questions for a period of time.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. Lind:

I again rise on a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman. I do not know how it can be amended in any way to make it any simpler. I fail to understand the thinking of the hon. member. I believe he is confusing the issue. I think he is reading something into the bill which is not in it.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   LONDON AND MIDLAND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink

March 13, 1969