Arthur LAING

LAING, The Hon. Arthur, P.C., B.S.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Vancouver South (British Columbia)
Birth Date
September 9, 1904
Deceased Date
February 13, 1975
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Laing
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=355fae5e-9d52-46cc-a5dd-2658a81a0ea7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, manager, public affairs executive

Parliamentary Career

June 27, 1949 - April 30, 1953
LIB
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
LIB
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
LIB
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (April 22, 1963 - September 30, 1966)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
LIB
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (April 22, 1963 - September 30, 1966)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (October 1, 1966 - April 19, 1968)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (April 20, 1968 - July 5, 1968)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (April 20, 1968 - July 5, 1968)
  • Minister of Public Works (July 6, 1968 - January 27, 1972)
  • Minister of Veterans Affairs (January 28, 1972 - November 26, 1972)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 502)


May 16, 1972

Hon. Arthur Laing (for the Minister of Justice) moved

that Bill C-2, to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to the Criminal Code 1967 Amendment Act, the Criminal Records Act, the National Defence Act, the Parole Act and the Visiting Forces Act, as reported (with amendments) from the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, be concurred in.

Topic:   CRIMINAL LAW AMENDMENT ACT. 1972 AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CRIMINAL RECORDS ACT, NATIONAL DEFENCE ACT, PAROLE ACT AND VISITING FORCES ACT
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May 16, 1972

Hon. Arthur Laing (Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank all hon. members who have participated in this debate. I think that the nature, the aims and the objectives of the Department of Veterans Affairs are such that we can keep this kind of debate on a more non-partisan basis than might be the case in the discussion of legislation concerning any other department.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is truly a service department dedicated to the service of human beings who have served this country. I have been with the department long enough to have a great deal of confidence in the department itself and in those in charge of it who discharge their duties honourably and as fairly as they can within the confines of the resources granted them by the government.

I want to pay tribute to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. Through the years it has conducted its business on a basis of anxiety to do the best it can without introducing political dispute. The kind of discussion that took place here tonight could have been participated in by members of parties on all sides of the House. Some of it went beyond the content of this bill, but that is understandable because the bill provided an avenue through which members of the House could express their wishes on behalf of the veterans.

I wish to deal with the remarks of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) who has made a rather deep study of pensions, not only in Veterans Affairs but in other departments of government. He stressed that he was anxious that the increase in the cost of living provision should be no substitute for consideration of the increase in the basic rates of pensions and of war veterans allowances. I made that very clear. I have said before, and I say it in the House now, that when we are distributing some $229 million per year in veterans

May 16, 1972

pensions, and some $79 million in war veterans allowances out of a total operating budget of about $15 billion, that does not frighten me and I do not think it frightens any member of parliament.

The hon. member also suggested that this might be a swan-song policy on the part of the department in the remaining short time that I shall be here. Mr. Speaker, I do not think the government will be magnanimous enough only to make it comfortable for me in the short time that I remain in the department. In any case, I think that the evil one does, just like the good, lives after one and I think that the influence of the legislation we are considering tonight will certainly be an abiding one on the government in the future.

The one concern I have at present is the backlog of cases. The hon. member suggested that there were 5,500 or 6,000. I have to bring him the bad news that as of tonight there are 7,700 cases. Because of the legislation that was introduced by my predecessor, avenues for appeal regarding pensions were opened to a great number of new people, and there has been a revival of a number of old applications made in the past. We are doing the best we can to hurry them along, to catch up with the backlog but at the same time not to disturb or depreciate the calibre of the decisions rendered.

Other hon. members have discussed the basic rates. The hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) took issue with the increase that we are allowing to take care of the cost of living index and said we were all wrong. The hon. member happens to be all wrong, and not us, because he was working from the assumption that the index was 100 per cent whereas the points are 130 and 135, and the increase in the cost of living last year was 4.7 per cent, an increase in points from 130 to 135, which works out to 3.6 per cent on the basis of 100.

I do not want to do any more arithmetic, Mr. Speaker, but we were given some arithmetic by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I do not want to suggest that socialist mathematics are accurate, and I do not want to provide any Liberal mathematics except to remind him that somewhere in the Bible that he knows so well where it says, "The liberal doeth liberal things."

I shall rest my case on some mathematics provided me by public servants. In the case that the hon. member cited I would tell him that on the new basis of a war veterans allowance, 100 per cent for a single person will be $180.36. I think that is not far from the computation he made. The ceiling rises from $161 to $165.36 and there is $15 exemption added to that.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PENSION ACT. WAR VETERANS ALLOWANCE ACT AND OTHER ACTS AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT OF PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES
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May 16, 1972

Mr. Laing:

I might also assure him that the orders in council to which I referred have now been executed. I think I need say no more at the present time, Mr. Speaker, except that I appreciate the consideration which hon. members on all sides of the House have given this bill. I hope it moves along as quickly as possible. It is restricted to a very small section of the assistance towards veterans and in no way whatsoever impairs the right of this House, of members of the House or of the veterans' organizations themselves to continue to press us for an increase in the

Pension Act and Other Acts

basic rates. As a matter of fact, we have received some representations on this already and my officers have done some work to give indicated costs to us of a variety of increases that might be made possible, of course always subject to the resources that the government has at the time. Again I thank hon. members who have participated in this debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PENSION ACT. WAR VETERANS ALLOWANCE ACT AND OTHER ACTS AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT OF PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES
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May 16, 1972

Mr. Laing:

Mr. Speaker, in replying to some questions-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PENSION ACT. WAR VETERANS ALLOWANCE ACT AND OTHER ACTS AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT OF PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES
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May 12, 1972

Hon. Arthur Laing (Acting Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. gentleman knows, there have been a series of studies of the ecological requirements. We have spent a great deal of money and a great deal of time as well as a great amount of human resources on such studies. We have come to the conclusion that at the present time these studies have proceeded to the point where we are prepared to extend an invitation to corporations or government agencies to build a pipeline in that area on the basis that we can thereafter establish the necessary requirements in respect of the ecological necessities based upon the studies we already have.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROPOSED MACKENZIE VALLEY PIPELINE-DECISION OF GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT CONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS
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