March 16, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. R. R. Knight (Saskatoon):

Mr. Speaker,
I was very glad indeed to hear the remarks of the hon. member for Cartier, who has just taken his seat, and generally I am in agreement with what he said. We know, of course, the difficulty we encounter in this country when we talk about federal participation in education, or federal grants to the provinces for the purpose of education. I am not thinking of vocational training as being education in the ordinary sense of the word, but it seems to me that no matter what branch of education we discuss, whether vocational or otherwise, we have to bear in mind that the provinces are not training or educating citizens for the province of Ontario or Saskatchewan or Quebec, but for all of Canada. In the same manner in which transportation crosses the provincial boundary lines, so also does this matter of training and education cross these provincial boundary lines.
In this regard I have in mind particularly the maritimes, from which the hon. member for Cape Breton South comes, and I am thinking of the great contribution to education which has been made by individuals from those particular provinces, those educators who went into the west when we did not have schools and universities to the extent they had them in the east. Perhaps we are catching up or even surpassing them now. Most of these men spent a greater amount of time in these other provinces than in the province where they received their own training. When our boys who were trained in vocational schools went overseas
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Vocational Training Co-ordination Act they were not considered as citizens of the province of Saskatchewan or Manitoba or Quebec or Ontario, but as citizens of Canada and they fought and worked under the proud insignia of the maple leaf of Canada.
I am glad there has been a widening in the scope of this act, particularly with regard to clause 2 (e). I know this is not the time to examine the clauses of the bill separately, but I merely wish to emphasize my agreement with the widening of the act in that respect.
Over the past few years, I believe as the result of the war, I have discovered that we have been getting some sympathy from the dominion government in such matters as this when the object is military or perhaps scientific. I have in mind such things as scientific research. The government has been not generous but perhaps ungrudging in its support of the scientific activities of schools and universities when the country is in need of men who are thus trained, and when it is obvious such training must be supported. It is a good deal more difficult to get them to move on the question of academic scholarships; but that, of course, I should not deal with here.
The clause in which there has been a widening of scope, and to which I referred, concerns not military but civilian matters. I inquired of my hon. friend, and I did not have time to receive an answer, whether this improvement was to be applied to the vocational training of nurses. I believe there is a distinct need all across this country and in every province for nurses. There was a time, of course, during the depression when nurses huddled together perhaps in a boarding house, and sometimes three or four of them had to live together. They were lucky if one or two obtained a day's work during the entire week. Like our friend in Moliere's "Le medecin malgre lui":
Nous avons change tout cela maintenant.
But we have changed all that now and it is a good thing. Nurses are at least given a training, and they are receiving decent wages and live under decent conditions. It is now five o'clock and I see Mr. Speaker is slightly uncomfortable in his chair, so perhaps I had better call it five o'clock.

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