June 3, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)



Might I have the attention of the House for only a minute or two? We shall not be able to finish with the Bill until after eight o'clock. There is just one point that I desire to make at the present time, and that is that my hon. friend (Mr. Lemieux) has not dealt with the main question contained in this Bill, that is, whether or not there should be any exemptions under the law. The question is whether or not the Civil Service Commission should have entire jurisdiction over all persons appointed in any branch of the service in any part of Canada. There is no use in our spending hours discussing the question of political patronage; that is not the question. I thoroughly agree, and I dare say that every member of the House agrees, as regards the question of promotions being made on merit and so on. But the main question is whether or not we should require the Civil Service Commission to deal with all questions of appointment in every branch of the Civil Service throughout the whole of Canada. Let us see what the commission itself said as regards that point at the very end of the evidence and not at the beginning.
This will take only a minute or two, because I propose at this time to make only two quotations. Mr. Foran and Dr. Roche came as two of the chief witnesses of the commission. This is what was said by Mr. Foran on May 16 when the inquiry was practically completed. As reported on page 360 of the evidence, he was asked [DOT] this question:
Would you say. In the light of all the evidence that we have had-you have heard most of it and I dare say you have read what you have not heard-that it would he advisable for the Civil Service Commission itself to take into consideration the whole situation in that regard-

We were talking of the question of exemptions.
-and come to a conclusion as to the classes of employees that might very well in the public interest be taken from the operation of the Civil Service Act?
His reply is this:
X am in a position to say this: That the commission have from time to time considered the advisability of preparing their exemption list, because in every Civil Service jurisdiction in the world there are exemption lists. We have never had time to devote to that work, which is important, and the necessity of it is impressed upon us from time to time by appointments which have come before us to which we did not consider it was practical to apply the Civil Service Act, and if it had not been as I pointed out this morning, that we had this reclassification problem on our hands, I have no doubt the exemptions lists would have been in existence some time ago.

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