December 20, 1957 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)


William Howell Arthur Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas (Middlesex West):

I would like to answer the hon. gentleman's question. In general, yes, I agree with that principle. There is this to be said in connection with this definition. It implies that where an employee does not take his holidays, or ceases to be employed after the end of one or two years, and if between the end of this first year of employment and the end of his second year of employment he severs his connection he would receive 2 per cent of his annual wages by way of vacation pay. If he had completed two years of employment thereafter and severed his employment he would receive 4 per cent of his annual pay. To that extent it does not provide for a vacation but it provides for vacation pay.
I am not too familiar with the usages and customs as outlined in labour-management contracts, but I should like to make this point. Any time that wages are interfered with, any time that we pass such legislation as this, increasing costs-and that is what it amounts to-we affect the whole economy to a greater or a lesser extent. It has the effect of raising costs somewhere. Now, the public are interested, and have the right to be interested, when anything of this kind is done or any such action as is contemplated is taken. I think that by and large the public are in favour of this legislation. It is a matter of transferring some advantages from one group in our economy to another group. Still, I think the public are in favour of it.
I represent for the most part a rural constituency. Most of the people in our area are farmers and I should take the opportunity to get in a plug for the farming interests. There is legislation before the house which we were discussing just before we began this discussion which purports to improve the position of the farmer.

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