March 18, 1938 (18th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. J. BARBER (Fraser Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers), which arises out of a problem facing the municipalities of the lower mainland of British Columbia. During the last three years a considerable number of families from the dried-out areas of Saskatchewan have been settling in that part of our province. Apparently they have sufficient to enable them to make small payments on property, but soon find themselves without any means of support and make application to the municipalities for relief.
According to statistics supplied to me by the Reeves' Association of Fraser Valley and which I have communicated to the minister, during the last three years fifteen municipalities have looked after 1,745 of these people, some municipalities looking after as many as 400. The problem is this: These families were on relief in Saskatchewan, paid I believe one hundred per cent by a federal depart-

War Veterans' Allowance Act
ment, and the government of British Columbia will not contribute toward relief until the applicant has been domiciled within the province for twelve months. The result is the burden falls 100 per cent on the municipalities; they must provide relief or pay transportation for these people back to their homes. Would it not be possible to continue the federal aid, through proper channels, until these families become settled and in a position to provide for themselves? There is no doubt that a large percentage of them will make good settlers if they are only given an opportunity.
Hon. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Minister of Labour): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was good enough to give me notice of this question. I shall be very glad to obtain the information and supply him with it as soon as possible.

Full View