Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):
Before you leave the chair, Mr. Speaker, I desire to have recourse to the ancient doctrine that redress of grievances should be considered before the grant of supply is made. I rise in fact to deal with a matter which is a grievance of a great many
Old Age Pensions
people both in the constituency that I represent and throughout the country. This is a matter on which I have tried in a number of ways to get some satisfactory action during the course of this session, but without any success thus far.
For example, on Friday, March 11, as recorded in Hansard at page 1384, I addressed a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). I called his attention to the fact that with the province of Manitoba adding a small supplement to the old age pension we had now reached the position where, in six out of the nine provinces of Canada, the federal government is paying less than 75 per cent of the total pension received by the pensioner. In his reply the Minister of National Health and Welfare objected to my mathematics and declared that the federal government is paying 75 per cent of the pension so far as the basic pension of $30 is concerned. That is true, but it evades the point I sought to make, namely, that in a number of provinces supplements are being paid, which means that that basic percentage has been upset. For example, in British Columbia, where a supplement of $10 is paid, it means that the total pension received by many pensioners is $40 a month. However, the maximum amount paid by this government is still only $22.50, or 75 per cent of the basic $30. That $22.50 is only 56 per cent of the total maximum pension available in British Columbia.
In Alberta there was a supplement of at least $7, which makes the total maximum pension $37.