June 27, 1972 (28th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take up too much time on this motion, but I was prompted to rise by the use by the minister of the words "common sense" a couple of times in respect of this legislation. Anyone who can look at this legislation and say it has been created by the use of common sense has much to answer for because here we are speaking of an amendment to the bill which seeks to do something that has been done before. The minister says it would involve the necessity of policing the mothers of Canada. This is not a new proposal which is being suggested. It was contained in the old act. I cannot remember a single situation of a mother being harassed because she did not use the family allowance cheque in the proper manner. We all know there are probably cases in which a check should be made or in which some organization should be involved in the directing of the spending of the money so that the children involved will receive the benefit. I say that here is an arrangement for the protec-
June 27, 1972

tion of the children of Canada which would not in any way belittle the mothers.
All we need do is pick up the newspapers any day to become aware of cases of children not receiving the benefits. This provision is included to protect the children of Canada. I do not think the hon. member who placed this amendment on the order paper had any idea of belittling the mothers of Canada. He feels that from time to time cases may arise where children will need the protection of this amendment.
This minister is not one who is prone to accept amendments from anybody. We have had experience with him for a long time starting with the Canada Pension Plan when he was a parliamentary assistant. There are other ministers who are much more amenable than he is in respect of amendments. I remember when the legislation in respect of the Canadian Transport Commission was being put through the House. The minister piloting that legislation accepted amendment after amendment. Of course that bill never should have been passed. It was similar to this bill. Here we have an amendment the substance of which has been on the law books of Canada for 20 years. I do not know of any case in which it has been abused. It is there as an assurance in cases where there may be abuse created by the parents, that the children will receive the benefit of the legislation. I think the minister would do well to accept this amendment.

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