January 29, 1970

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

MANPOWER

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, I promised some months ago that I would make a statement on the experience with summer employment for students. Recently another question about this matter was asked in the House, and with this in mind I should like to report briefly on results last summer and to indicate some of the initiatives currently being followed by my department to assist students in finding jobs next summer.

Based on a survey carried out by my department last fall, some 323,000 students were able to find paying jobs last summer. I may say that the survey covered 39 postsecondary institutions-universities, colleges and technological institutes-across the

country.

Of the roughly 400,000 students from postsecondary institutions, some 348,000 were in the summer employment market and of these 93 per cent found summer work. An estimated 323,000 of the 348,000 students who sought paid summer employment found jobs. Of these, 14 per cent worked for more than four months, 60 per cent for two to four months, 18 per cent for one to two months, and 8 per cent for less than a month.

This is generally a good result and encourages us to maintain and expand the program launched to assist student employment in the past summer. Of those who were not looking for jobs, nearly half continued their studies; another 25 per cent travelled, took time off or did unpaid volunteer work.

Half of those who found employment expressed satisfaction with the duration of their jobs. One-third would have liked two months more work and 11 per cent stated they would have worked more than two months.

Of the students working, 72 per cent were employed in industry and 14 per cent with provincial governments across Canada, while 7 per cent were granted employment with the federal government and a further 7 per cent with municipalities.

[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)

The federal government hired some 11,365 students, an increase of 26.8 per cent over the previous year. Students working for the federal governments earned $11,129,417 in salaries and wages. Seventy-five per cent of those hired were returning to post-secondary institutions. Students of post-secondary institutions in federal employment earned an average of $1,083, while high school students earned an average of $654.

Finally, plans are under way in my department, in co-operation with private and public organizations and provincial government departments, to complete plans and programs for the coming summer months. A national committee for student summer employment is functioning and includes representatives of the Association of Canadian Universities and Colleges, the University Career Planning Association, the Economic Council of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Working through manpower centres both across the country and at the universities, as well as with federal and provincial departments of government, it is hoped that employment can be provided for the majority of students in order to obtain funds to finance their continued education.

In closing I would pay tribute to the energetic campaign being carried on by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce through its members, who have been working closely with my department to make the "Hire a Student" campaign a success next summer.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MANPOWER
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON SUMMER EMPLOYMENT FOR STUDENTS
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I received a copy of the minister's statement just as I took my seat. I should like to make a few comments on what the minister has said and about this problem.

There can be no question that a number of students had difficulty obtaining employment last summer, and presumably difficulty will be encountered again this summer. I suggest

COMMONS DEBATES January 29, 1970

Summer Employment for Students

this will result from the general employment conditions in the country and the policies of the government regarding employment, austerity programs and so on. These policies have increased unemployment substantially and have had an effect on students as well as others seeking work. On the basis of the present outlook we can expect quite a difficult summer in terms of students obtaining employment.

While the minister has said he has an advisory board and a program that is getting under way, I do not think anyone can stress too strongly the necessity for the minister and those with whom he is associated to understand fully the gravity of the situation and the implications for students who are not able to obtain work. Unfortunately we face a situation in which not only is employment becoming more difficult to obtain but also the number of students who need the extra money is increasing. Not only does the minister have to launch a considerably more vigor-' ous program than we have seen to date but the government of Canada in association with the provinces must take a very careful look to determine the over-all position of these students and the extent to which students are being forced to drop out or defer their education for financial reasons.

I am disappointed that rather than working with the provinces with a view to meeting this problem the government has indicated in the white paper on tax reform that it is going to subject bursaries to income tax. This can only serve to increase the difficulties. We all recognize that if a student cannot continue his studies at a particular time in life he or she may well suffer irreparable injury with the result, of course, that the nation also suffers.

While I welcome the minister's statement and his assurance that he is working on this very serious problem, quite frankly I see no indication that the government is prepared to grapple with student assistance by placing it in context with the over-all unemployment problem. I urge the minister and the Prime Minister to really take this matter seriously, particularly in view of the fact that their policies are designed to create unemployment and incidentally create additional difficulty for our students.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MANPOWER
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON SUMMER EMPLOYMENT FOR STUDENTS
Permalink
NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorklon-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, I too received the minister's statement a few minutes ago just as I entered the House. We in this party welcome the minister's statement of his intentions which I am

sure are good. However, I believe we are in complete agreement that the statement does not go far enough. It barely scratches the surface.

The minister pointed out that 93 per cent of students seeking work found employment last summer, but he went on to say that about half of them were not satisfied with the employment they obtained. We must remember that many students who obtained employment last summer were remunerated at a rate which did not enable them to return to university. Several students from my province of Saskatchewan have written or spoken to me or to some of my colleagues pointing out that they just could not find employment last summer in the province of Saskatchewan which is suffering from some economic hardship. Something must be done immediately because this situation has handicapped many students and made it difficult for them to attend university. This is particularly so in the case of women who find that their salaries are lower and who do not wish to borrow huge sums of money in order to attend university.

We must remember that educated people are our main resource. Therefore I believe top priority should be given to this whole problem. The answer is not simply the finding of jobs. University education should be made available to everyone. If there is universal accessibility to education we will also have to provide more jobs for our working people.

I welcome the minister's statement but it by no means goes far enough toward solving the problem.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MANPOWER
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON SUMMER EMPLOYMENT FOR STUDENTS
Permalink
RA

René Matte

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Rene Matte (Champlain):

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased with the results of the survey revealing that the great majority of students found employment last summer. We should certainly like to see every student succeed in getting a job next summer.

However, Mr. Speaker, perhaps it would be proper to point out that even if 82,700 students from Quebec, out of a total of 95,300, found employment, it remains that 12,600 did not. This is rather impressive. Would this: mean that almost 13,000 Quebec students were unable to return to the university or to a technical school, because they had not the necessary financial means? If so, it is extremely unfortunate.

January 29, 1970

It would not only be necessary to find summer employment for the students, but we should also guarantee them a pre-salary, in order that their intellectual development should not be dependent on summer employment.

[DOT] (2:20 p.m.)

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MANPOWER
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON SUMMER EMPLOYMENT FOR STUDENTS
Permalink

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

PENSIONS

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

I should like to ask the Minister of National Health and Welfare a question arising out of the answer he gave me yesterday indicating that the government of Canada would be prepared to share in the cost of supplemental old age assistance provided the province concerned put up 50 per cent of the cost. Are we to assume from this statement that it is now the position of the government of Canada that it will not accept the full responsibility for payment of assistance to the aged in spite of the fact that it has accepted full responsibility for quite a number of years?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
LIB

John Carr Munro (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. John C. Munro (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

The situation has

always been that if any province felt that the federal payments for old age security or for the guaranteed income supplement were inadequate, for various reasons within the province such as the cost of living and so on, the formula under the Canada Assistance Plan would provide that type of flexibility based on the criteria that additional funds would be given to the people who are receiving old age security, the guaranteed income supplement or other assistance payments from the province itself. That situation has existed now for at least four or five years ever since the inception of the Canada Assistance Plan.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. I assume the minister would agree that the present payments are inadequate. Is the government prepared to pay more old age assistance to old people in one part of the country as opposed to those in another part of the country provided only that the provincial governments are sufficiently well to do to be able to find the 50 per cent of the cost which the minister specifies?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
LIB

John Carr Munro (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Munro:

The situation in Canada has always been that in certain areas of the country benefit levels have been higher due to the cost of living. Where that situation exists and the province pays out more money we still provide our 50 per cent share in which case we are spending more money in that province or in that region.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. We are getting a new look at the just society. Is it the position of the government that payments for old age assistance are inflationary if the government of Canada bears 100 per cent of the cost but are not inflationary if the province pays 50 per cent of the cost?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. May I ask the Minister of National Health and Welfare whether the statements he made yesterday and today are a preview of the government's white paper on social security, or is the door still open for increasing the rate of the universal portion of the old age security payment?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
LIB

John Carr Munro (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Munro:

I would advise the hon. member that the door is still open and that what I have said yesterday and today is nothing new at all. This has been the situation for the last four or five years, as I said, and I am only surprised that the Leader of the Opposition is so totally unaware of the program in which he himself and his province participated.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. If the door is still open, is the government giving serious consideration to the universal principle rather than going back to an income test or a split federal and provincial responsibility?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
LIB

John Carr Munro (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Munro:

Mr. Speaker, the universal principle, income testing and the guaranteed annual income concept all have to be considered in any over-all review of social welfare policies, and they are being considered.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink
PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, my question is whether the agreements between the government of Canada and the provinces under the Canada Assistance Plan provide that the provinces may avail themselves of the privilege of low-

January 29, 1970

Inquiries of the Ministry ering their payments under the Canada Assistance Plan whenever there is an increment in old age security as provided for by the act because, as a matter of fact, this does apply in the province of Alberta?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PENSIONS
Sub-subtopic:   RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF ASSISTANCE TO THE AGED
Permalink

January 29, 1970