June 30, 1972

MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.


Hon. Allan ]. MacEachen (President of the Privy Council): Mr. Speaker, at eleven o'clock I asked that the adjournment motion stand in the expectation that the situation in Montreal might have clarified in the meantime so that the motion could be put and carried at this point. However, I am advised by the Minister of Labour (Mr. O'Connell) that the situation has not cleared up sufficiently that it would be desirable from the point of view of the government to put and carry the adjournment motion at this point.


PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

In other words, "See you on Monday".

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

No, Tuesday.

Canada Labour Code

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to ask whether we come back on Monday or on Tuesday. We on this side are as confused as perhaps they are on the other side. On which day do we return?

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, if I may respond to the question raised, under Standing Orders the House would normally meet on Monday at 2 p.m.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

Why don't you call an election and quit playing games with the people of Canada?

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave) has the floor.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

I understand there might be disposition by the House to agree that we meet on Tuesday and that this could be ordered now.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, I have considered that point. In view of the arrangements many members have made, and the fact that members of the staff could normally expect a holiday, I would be agreeable to our meeting on Tuesday if that is the general wish of the House.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. As hon. members know, according to Standing Orders we would be required to be here on Monday, but we can dispense with the provisions of the Standing Orders by unanimous consent of the House. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

It appears there is unanimous consent that the House will reconvene on Tuesday next.

May we have order, please. Hon. members should realize that the House is still sitting. If hon. members, and particularly a number of ministers, wish to have conferences I suggest those should be carried on outside the House.

It being after four o'clock, the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper, namely, public bills, notices of motions and private bills.

Topic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT DEFERRED-HOUSE TO MEET NEXT ON JULY 4 AT 2 P.M.
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PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS

CANADA LABOUR CODE

NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre) moved

that Bill C-21, to amend the Canada Labour Code (provision for ten general holidays with pay), be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I dare to hope that the action the House has just taken in agreeing to take a holiday on Monday puts this House in a favourable mood toward my Bill C-21 which has now been called for second reading. In fact it is a bill which proposes that two additional

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June 30, 1972

Canada Labour Code

holidays be added to the list of general holidays in the Canada Labour Code. Perhaps I might be permitted to point out that the Canada Labour Code does not cover the holidays we observe in the House of Commons; rather, we are governed by our own Standing Orders. We have just demonstrated that by unanimous consent we can alter our own rules and in this instance it is good that we have done so.

Bill C-21, as I have already indicated, relates to the Canada Labour Code, the legislation we have amended today by the passing of Bill C-183. My bill proposes an amendment to another part of the Canada Labour Code and I hope it will find favour with the faithful members who have remained for this final hour.

The Canada Labour Code as it now stands provides for eight general holidays-that is the legal term in the legislation, although most people call them statutory holidays- and I suggest that two more should be added. May I make it clear that this bill is a successor to a bill that I have put in a good many times in which I used to ask for one additional general holiday each year. The one that I asked for was the first Monday in August.

That bill, when it was reached in former sessions, was always attended by an interesting debate but I thought that the debate the last time this bill came up for second reading was particularly interesting. There was some criticism of the fact that I had not put a name to the holiday which I proposed for the first Monday in August. One of my friends to the right said he thought it would be awkward to suggest that this was the "first Monday in August holiday" every time we wanted to refer to it. At any rate, the criticism was that an appropriate name should be found for the holiday that we would provide for the first Monday in August.

Obviously, I have avoided using the term "civic holiday" because that might suggest to someone that a constitutional argument could be raised since we are dealing with the federal labour code. The other criticism that I met with last year came, I suppose, from skiing enthusiasts and such types who felt that if we were going to have a ninth general holiday it should be in February rather than in the middle of the summer. The point was made that there was a fairly long gap between the Christmas and New Year period and Easter, and that it was in that part of the year that an additional holiday should be provided.

Well, I am one to listen to criticism of my proposals and of my bills, and it seemed to me that the obvious answer to the suggestion that the holiday should be in February rather than in August, particularly in view of the fact that some members thought it should be in August, was to bring in a bill providing for additional holidays in both of these months. This bill, in that it provides for an additional holiday in August and an additional holiday in February, is genuinely and honestly the result of discussion that has taken place on the floor of this House of Commons.

Regarding the point about naming these holidays, about which there was criticism last year, I am trying to meet that by suggesting in the bill that either in the committee or by a proclamation made afterwards appropriate names could be put to these two holidays. It seemed to me that

that was wiser than for me to try to name them. The choice that I prefer is that the names might be decided by the committee to which this bill would be referred after second reading, but in any case I hope that I have met the criticisms of last year and that the House will look upon this bill with favour.

As I say, it is a very simple bill which proposes that the Canada Labour Code provide for a total of ten holidays. The two additional ones that I am suggesting are a holiday in February and a holiday in August, so we meet the wishes of both the skiers and the swimmers, and that the names of these holidays be decided by the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration to which this bill would be referred.

I would point out that the general provisions in the labour code regarding holidays, regarding pay for those days, regarding the possibility of substituting some other day if that is desired in some part of the country, and all other such provisions remain as they are. The bill does nothing extraneous; simply proposes these two additional holidays, one in February and one in August, the names of both of them to be determined either by the committee or by a proclamation to be issued by the governor in council.

I might also point out that this bill would govern only those who come under federal labour jurisdiction. It would not govern us in the House of Commons-but we look after ourselves very well; we demonstrated it just now when we decided on a holiday for Monday even though it is not in our rules. As for those who come under provincial jurisdiction, it is a historical fact in this country that when a lead is taken in one jurisdiction, whether it is federal or provincial, in the course of time the other jurisdiction tends to follow. My hope would be that if we put ten general holidays into the Canada Labour Code, in due course that would be the number of holidays in the various provincial labour codes as well.

I think this is a sensible and desirable bill. I do not take all the credit for its being sensible; I give credit to the House because, as I said, when the House discussed last year my bill for a ninth general holiday the upshot of that discussion was that there should be a ninth and a tenth holiday, one in August and one in February, and appropriate names should be affixed to those two holidays. So I give back to the House the bill that it proposed last time we discussed this measure, and I hope the House will see fit to give it second reading and send it to the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration in the hope that it might meet during the holidays and advance this bill a further stage.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   CANADA LABOUR CODE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TEN GENERAL HOLIDAYS WITH PAY
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PC

Heath Nelson Macquarrie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, I want to address myself specifically to the announcement just made by the President of the Privy Council (Mr. MacEachen). I am sorry he is not here because in my judgment he is the outstanding parliamentarian on the government side-and that is not because he is Gaelic as I try to be. I will speak with more brevity than the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) but probably with less profundity.

I commend the President of the Privy Council for noting and appreciating that Dominion Day is the most

June 30, 1972

important day for Canadians who want to celebrate that particular historic event which made a new country on this great North American continent. I commend the hon. member, who is a professor and a man of knowledge in history, for noting this. Personally, I would like to have Dominion Day celebrated on July 1, regardless of the day of the week on which it comes, and I condemn wholeheartedly, completely and with all the strength of my being the Secretary of State (Mr. Pelletier) who issued invitations to all and sundry for an event on a day which was called the "national day of Canada". According to the statutes, according to the law and according to the rules, July 1 is Dominion Day.

I commend the President of the Privy Council for his sensitivity. I think I speak for all my associates who love our country, who cherish its history, who prize and love those traditions which made this a great country, and for all my colleagues in the official opposition when I say that we do not want to be here on Dominion Day but the moment immediately thereafter we will be here to do the nation's business, despite how ill-organized may be the government's order of business.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   CANADA LABOUR CODE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TEN GENERAL HOLIDAYS WITH PAY
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LIB

Raymond J. Perrault (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Ray Perrault (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Manpower and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, I think the intervention by the hon. member for Hillsborough (Mr. Macquarrie) was hardly beneficial to the matter of considering the bill before the House and discussing its merits or shortcomings. And, of course, the official opposition had to seize on the opportunity to attempt to drum up the spurious idea that somehow the government is working against the best interests of national unity and national institutions. It was not the kind of attitude we expected on a day such as this.

The purpose of this bill, Mr. Speaker, is to increase the number of paid general holidays provided for in the Canada Labour Code from eight to ten by adding a day in each of the months of February and August, to be fixed by proclamation. At the present time, another day could be substituted for any of the holidays listed in the statute.

This is not the first time the hon. member has advanced a similar proposal; indeed, similar bills have been introduced on five previous occasions. What is the present situation? The Canada Labour Code in part III, labour standards, provides for eight general holidays with pay. It should be observed that this standard which came into effect on July 1, 1965-just about seven years ago to the day-was far in advance of the standards obtained by collective agreement in federal industries. The government then, as it has done in so many different areas affecting the working people of Canada, gave real leadership.

It is equally true that this agreement required a substantial adjustment by the employers under federal jurisdiction. As desirable as the proposal for ten holidays may appear to be, it is still far in advance of the general norm, although it is true that since 1965 there has been an increase in the number of employees receiving in excess of eight days' holiday. No federal government can be unmindful of the norms which prevail in the various regions of Canada. We have a responsibility to consider

Canada Labour Code

provincial implications and this responsibility extends as well, for example, to such areas as minimum wage legislation where there is substantial variation in minimum wages from east to west across the country.

According to the survey of working conditions conducted by the Canada Department of Labour on October 1, 1970, 71 per cent of all non-office workers in Canadian industries as a whole were receiving nine holidays or more in 1970. For office workers the corresponding figure was 84 per cent. The figures for ten days or more, however, were only 37 per cent of non-office employees and 51 per cent of office employees in 1970. Comparative figures for 1965 were, 44 per cent of non-office workers and 63 per cent of office workers receiving nine holidays or more, while those receiving ten holidays or more numbered 10 per cent of non-office workers and 40 per cent of office workers.

When we compare the proposal before us with existing provincial legislation, we see that only three provinces, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta, have legislation similar in principle to the federal holiday provisions. Three other provinces, Manitoba Ontario and Nova Scotia, have laid down requirements regarding pay for work done on public holidays. Saskatchewan and British Columbia provide for eight public holidays and Alberta provides for five. Both Manitoba and Ontario require payment of overtime pay for work done on seven public holidays. The Nova Scotia provisions, which are contained in minimum wage orders, require payment of overtime for work done on public holidays but do not stipulate the number of public holidays covered.

In the United States, the matter of paid general holidays has been left to collective bargaining. In the area of paid general holidays, the government of Canada, in establishing a minimum of eight paid days, may still be said to be in the forefront in this country, and indeed on this continent so far as legislation is concerned.

Part III of the Canada Labour Code dealing with labour standards is aimed at providing an acceptable minimum standard, and not at setting the pace for collective bargaining. Hon. members are aware that there has been no unwillingness on the part of the government to advance the boundaries of reform. When we talk in terms of providing better working conditions for Canadians wherever they live, we should remind ourselves that the minimum wage was increased by this government only a short while ago and may well be increased in the near future.

Maternity leave has been enacted for the women of Canada. There have been strengthened provisions for equal pay for equal work. Measures to provide protection against the adverse effects of technological change have been introduced, and today were passed by this House. We can look at the new unemployment insurance legislation which provides for sickness benefits, maternity benefits, and so on. There are few governments in the world which have advanced so much useful social reform in such a short period of time.

The government has concerned itself with progress and with the rights of the individual. When we look at the legislation as it exists with respect to the public holidays, we see that an employee in an industry to which the federal code applies is entitled to holidays with pay on

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Canada Labour Code

each of the following general holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Dominion Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day. The code also provides that under certain conditions an alternative holiday may be substituted for any of the eight holidays specified.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   CANADA LABOUR CODE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TEN GENERAL HOLIDAYS WITH PAY
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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):

May I ask the

parliamentary secretary a question?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   CANADA LABOUR CODE
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TEN GENERAL HOLIDAYS WITH PAY
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June 30, 1972