July 27, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)


Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)


Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am sure the house is greatly indebted to the hon. member for the consistent interest he has taken in this question of insurance protection for our servicemen. I can assure him that the government through its official committees, not only in the Department of Pensions and National Health but also in the services,

Veterans' Insurance
has given very careful and sustained attention to the very problems he has mentioned. There are great difficulties in the way. I might inform my hon. friend by way of comparison that if he would take the capitalized value of our scale of Canadian pensions and compare it with that of some other nations which have adopted the in-service insurance policy, he would find that there is an increase, on an average, of from $5,000 to $6,000 in the capitalized value of Canadian pensions.
The hon. member mentioned another point which to my mind is far more important-and when I say this I am speaking from a purely personal standpoint, and not for the government. In my view the protection of dependents is more important than in-service insurance. We have in Canada a most comprehensive system for the post-war period to protect returning soldiers, airmen and1 members of the navy from the hazards the hon. member has mentioned,
I believe the present measure in respect of returned soldiers' insurance is as far advanced as that to be found in any other country. We have raised the amount from $5,000 to $10,000, and under section 10 of the bill we have made brovisions which are more generous to the pensionable widow or beneficiary. This is most certainly a definite advance. My personal view is that possibly something more should be done in connection with the protection of premiums. I ami not criticizing my hon. friend in respect of the points he has raised. On the contrary I am agreeing with what he has said, and I must also commend him for the stand he has taken in the last three or four years. I can assure him that every possible attention has been paid to this matter.

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