January 29, 1963 (25th Parliament, 1st Session)


John Carr Munro


Mr. Munro:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to address a few remarks to the minister with respect to clause 3. We find this clause objectionable because there is no reference made to any action which the minister or the government must take with regard to consulting any of the principal organizations throughout the country which represent the various economic areas of Canadian life, presumably the very organizations the co-operation and assistance of which are going to be required if the aims of this board are to be realized. I think an outstanding example of the very thing which could happen here and which happened to a board somewhat similar in function to this one, namely the national productivity council, was the resignation of Mr. Claude Jodoin. It is not so much an example of the fact that he represents the Canadian Labour Congress but of the fact that he represents a large organization and presumably speaks for a large number of people in one specific area of our economic life. This could apply to the Canadian Manufacturers' Association or any other such organization where the government wishes to appoint a representative of that organization and puts men on a board, but owing to dissatisfaction with the manner of the appointment it did not get the co-operation of the association involved.
In pointing out the example of the appointment of Mr. Claude Jodoin, I would say that he resigned from the national productivity council on the basis that he was appointed without being consulted prior to his appointment. That is the first point. The second point is that he was not appointed as a representative of the large organization of which he was the head, namely the Canadian Labour Congress, and therefore felt that any contribution he could make to the national productivity council was severely limited, in that he could not speak for the Canadian Labour Congress, the very congress whose co-operation the national productivity council needed ever so badly, since the co-operation of labour and management was an essential to any proper carrying out of the duties of the national productivity council.
I cannot see how this legislation prevents a similar occurrence taking place with respect
to the national economic development board. Again, and I may say this matter has been gone into several times in this House of Commons, the duties of this board seem to overlap to a considerable extent those of the national productivity council. Perhaps it is the suspicion of many of us that the ultimate purpose is to have it take over the national productivity council. If that is so, it is all the more important that the manner of appointment is such as to ensure the utmost cooperation of management and labour, to say nothing of agriculture, or the purpose of the national economic board will never be realized.
In view of this consideration I think it is essential to make an amendment to this particular clause. At the same time this amendment, it will be noted, does not derogate from the government's ultimate responsibility and jurisdiction in making an appointment. What the amendment does is to ensure that the organizations whose assistance is essential for this body are consulted prior to the appointment and that to some degree the government can be assured that, once the appointment is made, the particular appointee will be able to commit to a considerable extent the principal organizations of the country of which he is a member to assist in the carrying out of this board's duties. To that end I should like to make the following amendment:
That the period in line 15 he replaced by a comma and the following words be added:
after consultation with the principal organizations representative of trade unions, farmers, and other groups as the governor in council may determine.

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