March 20, 1970

NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

He

was here for 22 or 23 years, but members here today who serve as long as he did will draw a pension of $12,000 or $13,000. I say to my hon. friend from Pembina (Mr. Bigg)-

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGrath:

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

-that I agree with the point he made about the higher pension that people now retiring from the RCMP receive compared to the pension he receives. He need not be concerned that some of us have not worried about pensions for the RCMP and retired armed forces personnel; we have for a long time.

In this very debate I have been arguing the case of the war veterans allowance recipients who, when they get an increase in their civil service pension under this bill, will have it taken away by the means test in the War Veterans Allowance Act. I have waited each time for a voice to be raised from some other party in support of my contention. In committee the only other voice raised was by one who said it could not be done there, except for the minister who said the government had decided not to do anything about it. Who is it who has contended that we should not again penalize the veteran on the war veterans allowance? It is this member standing here right now, the member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Chief Government Whip's assistant)

Liberal

Mr. Francis:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. The point was made

March 20, 1970

Statute Law Amendment Act, 1970 very clearly in committee that there are a number of anomalies under the War Veterans Allowance Act that can only be corrected under that act. This is not the act to correct them.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, this is no point of privilege. The hon. member is as dead wrong on this as he has been on it all along.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

How is it you are always right?

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Bill C-194 does not amend just one statute, it amends 15 or 20. It is an omnibus bill and it amends every statute that the government found it necessary to amend to carry out its purpose. If the government was willing to carry out as its purpose that war veterans would not lose the increase they will get in their retired civil service pension, this is the place to do it. If it is not done here, it will not be done.

I can see the day coming when members of this House will ask questions and complain because war veterans on the allowance are not getting the benefit of the increase in the civil service pension, yet they are saying nothing now. I say, Mr. Speaker, the operation we are going through is full of this kind of thing, where we are doing one thing for pensioners in the civil service generally but doing a special thing for ourselves.

The hon. member for Ottawa West is concerned about the 88 per cent of the people who have contributed under the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act since 1952 but who do not qualify for a pension. Of course, that includes all those who were elected only once or twice and it may even include some who have died and, of course, they do not get it. People coming to the civil service and working only four or five years do not get a pension either, and people who go into industry but do not work the minimum amount of time do not get a pension. Does the hon. member want us to come to the situation that when a person is selected once or twice he is on pay for the rest of his life? If that is what he wants, let him say so. Let us start by calling it a guaranteed annual income. If we do it for ourselves, let us do it for everyone, but let us call it a guaranteed annual income.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Chief Government Whip's assistant)

Liberal

Mr. Francis:

Mr. Speaker, there again the hon. member knows what I said. I am supporting the measure before this House which

says six years; I am not supporting anything else nor am I alleging anything else. For the hon. member to suggest that I am somehow implying that everyone who is elected to Parliament can get a guaranteed income for life is the kind of distortion that is not worthy of the hon. member.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is supporting a scheme under which anybody who gets elected twice, because six years is about that, qualifies for a pension. Oh, yes, and on that basis he will qualify. He was elected once, then defeated, then elected again and if this bill goes through he qualifies. If he is here for only six years, he qualifies for $3,780 a year for life.

I may have this protestant ethic or viewpoint that was referred to by one of my colleagues; I may look like a person who likes to lie on a bed of nails. I can live frugally, and all the rest of it. Maybe I come from that kind of constituency that is made up mainly of working class people who don't know pensions of that kind. I think that $3,780 a year after six years of service at whatever age you might be-30, if you please, becomes possible-for the rest of time is a pretty generous deal that we are providing for ourselves with this legislation.

I am sorry I got off into that, because that is not the issue. Whether it is mildly generous, moderately generous or too generous, the issue, as was so well stated earlier today by the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lewis), is that we have a bill here in which we are doing one thing for everybody but we have imported into it not only that one thing for ourselves but this special deal. Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is fair and I do not think we should be doing it.

I have more notes, Mr. Speaker, but time is going on and I think during the course of the day we have made our position clear. I said earlier today that some of us know what consistency will call for in respect of this matter. I think we should be concerned as a Parliament as to whether or not we have the right, in face of the austerity and restraint we are preaching, to do this special thing for ourselves which we are not doing for others. I think we should not, and that is why I have presented motion No. 9, to delete all that portion of clause 21 except the portion that would require us to pay one-half of one per cent into the fund for supplementary benefits.

March 20, 1970

This would put us, so far as this bill is concerned, in the same position as everybody else.

If things have to be done to change the Public Service Superannuation Act to put the widows of public servants in the same position with respect to pensions as applies to the pensions we are providing for our own widows, let us make those changes. Let us not do something special for ourselves, which I think is a case of smuggling into this bill something that does not belong there at all.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

Thomas Speakman Barnett

New Democratic Party

Mr. Thomas S. Barnett (Comox-Albeini):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make one or two remarks about the amendment in the name of the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Macdonald). What I want to say is really in the form of a question, but I do not see the President of the Privy Council here at the moment though perhaps there is somebody else who will be able to explain it. When he introduced the amendment the question was asked whether "widow" also meant "widower". I should like to pose the question: Why should the pension cease on remarriage in the case of a widow? If a pension is an entitlement, why should it not continue? As far as I can check out that part of the section, if widow means widower it means in effect that if a widower remarries his pension ceases.

It seems to me that concept is rather outmoded. Why should the question of whether you are going to lose a pension enter into the question of marriage? It seems to me this is a carryover of a rather archaic concept. A woman is necessarily an economic dependent of her husband. In this case it means that in reverse a man may become the economic dependent of his wife. I am wondering whether this particular aspect has been considered by the government and just what is the purpose of the President of the Privy Council in proposing this particular provision detail in amendment No. 10.

[DOT] (4:40 p.m.)

I agree with the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). If the part he referred to is to remain in the bill, I would agree with the other part of the amendment proposed by the President of the Privy Council. I am puzzled by the second part of the amendment particularly, since "widow" includes "widower". Could anybody on the government side comment on this matter?

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

Charles L. Caccia (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Mr. Speaker, this type of question can best be pursued in committee. Per-

Statute Law Amendment Act, 1970 haps the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Reid) could reply.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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L L

John Mercer Reid

Liberal Labour

Mr. John M. Reid (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, this question was extensively debated before the Standing Committee on Health, Welfare and Social Affairs. The matter referred to was raised at page 913 in Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence No. 9, by the hon. member for Lanark and Renfrew (Mr. McBride). At page 915 of that report the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Macdonald) said in part:

Extensive consideration was not given to this point. I think the experience is that most of the other pension plans the government of Canada is responsible for, including the Canada Pension Plan, have a provision resembling this one. In effect, the supplementary changes were only to generally change the financial terms to increase the benefits. So this was not given a fundamental review at the time.

Earlier, at page 913, Mr. H. D. Clark, director, Pensions and Social Insurance Division of the Treasury Board, said:

I might just mention, Mr. Chairman, that the Public Service Superannuation Act also provides for termination of the widow's benefit on remarriage and there were in the fiscal year 1968-69, 108 of these cases under the Public Service Superannuation Act. So in the over-all scheme of things there are a fair number affected each year.

At that time there was a general discussion in committee as to the general advisibility of asking the committee to take the matter up in a general way at a later date, but the chairman ruled that was beyond the bounds of the bill. There was an indication the matter would be dealt with when the white paper on social security was brought down.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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NDP

Thomas Speakman Barnett

New Democratic Party

Mr. Barnett:

Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to thank the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Reid) for explaining the matter. I will go along with the idea of instituting this proposal under the Public Service Superannuation Act.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

Murray Arndell McBride

Liberal

Mr. Murray McBride (Lanark and Renfrew):

Mr. Speaker, we should not misunderstand what the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Reid) has said, and therefore it is important to discuss the matter at the earliest opportunity in committee. The matter, of course, was touched on by my hon. friend for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Barnett). We should consider what happens to the widows and children of hon. members who have died. Pension benefits are usually cut off when a widow remarries, the idea being that the children will be supported by their stepfather.

March 20. 1970

Statute Law Amendment Act, 1970

My comment is serious although it may appear facetious. Rules like that in pension regulations means that a woman sometimes may be encouraged to live, shall we say, common law, in sin or in a similar condition with another man. Let us take a hypothetical case. A woman may be faced with a choice of entering into blissful or otherwise holy matrimony and giving up a sizeable pension, or steering clear of matrimony and keeping the pension: it seems that monetary and romantic considerations both are involved in the point.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The question is on motion No. 9. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the said motion?

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

All those in favour will please say yea.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Yea.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

All those opposed will please say nay.

Topic:   STATEMENT BY U.S. OFFICIAL ON SECURITY OF SUPPLY IN WESTERN CANADA
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   STATUTE LAW (SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS) AMENDMENT ACT, 1970 MEASURE TO SUPPLEMENT PENSIONS
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March 20, 1970