September 10, 1964 (26th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Hector McMillan


Mr. McMillan:

Mr. Chairman, I want to associate myself with the minister and others in congratulating the deputy minister. I might say that Welland had an earlier attraction for him as he came often in his earlier days, and won the hand of his better half, who is a very fine lady.
I want to say a few words tonight about the necessity for an increased grant to the health league of Canada. The health league of Canada has served the country for 45 years or more and as far as I know it was the only organization of that type in Canada. Other organizations have been formed since, but they have been segmentations of public spirited individuals who have joined together into associations, groups and the like, and devoted their work to a more specific aspect of health.
There are many things one could say about the health league of Canada. I think it is the only voluntary organization devoted mainly to the prevention of disease rather than to its cure. It is the only voluntary health organization in Canada with a charter which is concerned with an all-embracing interest in personal and community health. It is also the only organization in Canada with ex-
Supply-Health and Welfare perience in established policies and it is prepared to advance, either singly or in cooperation with other health agencies, the promotion of any new and improved health technique, thereby helping to improve the health of our people. I would suggest that the health league of Canada stands as a sentry in our society in respect of anything that may become a challenge to the best health treatment we can give. I can give one example of this fact. In my home town a few years ago the local anti-fluoridationists combined to have fluorine eliminated from our water supply. A vote was held and it was retained. The health league gave a great deal of assistance in this fight by supplying data, material and a great deal of other help. We preserved the practice of adding fluorine to our water, and this has certainly been beneficial to the condition of our children's teeth, and will continue to be so in the future.
Dr. Gordon Bates, head of the health league of Canada was the one man in the forefront promoting pasteurization of milk in Canada, as a result of which I am sure many lives have been saved. Dr. Bates was also in the forefront promoting the immunization of our citizens, although I know that many others were involved. The health league has done a great deal in promoting fluoridation of communal water supplies through the publication of its magazine and in other ways. I read an article about ten days ago in a Toronto newspaper which quoted a dentist as saying that the savings to the people in the city of Toronto alone as a result of fluoridation will in the future be as high as $1,200,000 per annum.
Mr. Chairman, grants from the federal government to the health league of Canada were at one time $25,000, although this has now been cut to $15,000. Since the period of that reduction the expenses of the health league have doubled as a result of increased postage charges on periodicals, which the league distributes, as well as the cost of raw materials and printing.
The voluntary health committee of the Senate and the House of Commons has received a great deal of co-operation from the health league of Canada as a result of the provision of speakers here at luncheon meetings, many of whom a great number of the members of this house have heard. I am sure we have all learned a great deal about the health league. The hon. member for Simcoe East was chairman of that health committee under the previous government, and I have

Supply-Health and Welfare filled that position during the last year or so. Our meetings have been held often and I am sure the members of that committee realize that with the increased need of assistance, the federal government grants to this health league are not sufficient. During successive years this committee has passed resolutions, which have been presented both to the previous minister of national health and welfare, and to the present minister, suggesting that this annual grant should be increased. I appeal to the present minister, who always has a keen sense in respect of the need to increase general health in our country, to give favourable consideration to the requests to increase this annual grant.

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