Lewis Mackenzie BRAND

BRAND, Lewis Mackenzie, B.A., M.D.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
November 21, 1925
Deceased Date
February 15, 1994
physician, surgeon

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 54)

November 1, 1976

Mr. De Band:

Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, the hon. member for Nickel Belt, for lack of rational arguments to support his point of view, resorts to insults and foul language which, to my mind, is the most obvious proof that he has absolutely no argument to refute the position taken by the government.

What the hon. member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Rodriguez) does not tell us is that although he would impose an interest ceiling, he cannot say by what mysterious alchemy he will force savers to go to such or such a sector if the rates imposed are not in line with the risks they will face. The best way to prove it is to consider the evolution of loans granted by loan companies since 1968, in this margin up to $1,500, with a regulated interest rate. We thus realize today that merely 20 per cent of the loans are granted in this sector and that, in spite of that, loan companies are losing money. So that explains why this financing source is dried up and people representing high risks are now at the mercy of loan sharks.

Another item which is highly important in the bill, Mr. Speaker, and which was detrimental to borrowers, is the possibility, if we except the mortgage which is another matter, for them to prepay their loans, without paying any penalties beside the normal interest and also that the penalty for late payment will not be over 1 per cent. In my opinion, this is very important and all active lawyers know to what extent some lenders will go to force borrowers to borrow for rather long terms with no possibility of prepayments.

The bill also includes the illegal interest rate which is different from the unwarranted interest rate. The illegal interest rate means a rate highly superior to the current rate, so much that it becomes completely unwarranted and it will obviously be necessary to penalize and discourage unacceptable practices such as loan sharking, loans with excessive rates on tax refunds and on various government allowances. Police authorities maintain that loan sharking is now the second

November 1, 1976

Business of the House

revenue source of organized crime in Canada, after drug traffic. It yields at least $3 billion a year.

Till now, no federal or provincial legislation could fight efficiently against such practices as loans on income tax refunds, old age security or welfare cheques mainly because the penalties provided for in the legislation were ridiculous compared to profits realized.

Finally, with regard to the removal of interest rates ceiling on which 1 would like to insist, I want to point out that if the ceiling is set above the rate essential to the lender to operate in a certain sector of the market, the market rates will prevail and the rate ceiling will become useless. On the other hand, if the set rate is below the rate essential to the lender, he will withdraw his money from the regulated sector. In fact, the lenders will reduce the loss risks until the profits with element of risk in the regulated sector balance with those on the market generally.

In the United States, a good many states have set ceilings on interest rates. Experience has shown that when ceilings are higher than the set rates on the market, there is no real difference between rates asked for in regulated sectors and others. However, in the states with ceilings below the set rates on the market, the rates tend to get close to the ceilings.

Mr. Speaker, 1 call it ten o'clock, and 1 hope 1 will be allowed to go on with my remarks at the next sitting of the House.

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March 21, 1968

Mr. L. M. Brand (Saskatoon):

I have a question for the Minister of National Health and Welfare. I wonder if the minister has been made aware of a serious situation which could endanger the health and safety of the public, which has now come to light. Is the minister aware that counterfeiters of drug products have recently commenced large scale operations in Canada?

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March 18, 1968

Mr. L. M. Brand (Saskatoon):

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, February 12, the Prime Minister made a statement in the house regarding the 27053-4901


Proceedings on Adjournment Motion implementation of medicare. In part, and as reported at page 6599 of Hansard, he said: Today it remains the concern of the federal government to find the best way in which federal and provincial action can most effectively contribute, once the present legislation has come into effect, to achieve a practical medical care program available to as many Canadians as possible as soon as possible.

He went on to state that the act, with all its ramifications, will come into effect on July 1 of this year, and that at the outset only one or two provinces would participate since only one or two had satisfied the criteria set down by the government of Canada. The province of Saskatchewan will be one of those provinces, Mr. Speaker, and it certainly qualifies under the criteria because since 1962 the government of Saskatchewan has had in effect a comprehensive medical care program.

Coming into the scheme with only one other province, and perhaps another one or two, it cannot of course hope to meet the requirements of portability since the question comes to mind as to where and with whom can such a plan be portable. However, that seems to be beside the point, and I await with interest how the present government plans or intends to implement this particular part of the medicare criteria.

However, Mr. Speaker, as I read the Prime Minister's remarks it does seem clear that the Prime Minister wishes federal funds to be used to provide medical care for citizens of our individual qualifying provinces; but nowhere has the government stated unequivocally that the funds to be provided for medical care to the provinces will be grants conditional upon their use for the provision of payment of physicians' services or other essential portions of the medical care program.

As a consequence, Mr. Speaker, on March 12 I asked the Minister of National Health and Welfare whether the money designated for Saskatchewan under the medical care program becoming effective July 1 would be designated for use for medical care only. I asked this question for a very valid reason indeed. Under the medical care legislation passed in Saskatchewan in 1962, the government of Saskatchewan has the power to introduce deterrent fees or other fiscal measures designed to deter citizens from making use of the medical care plan, and thus save the government money.

March 18, 1968

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

Recently in Saskatchewan the government has stated that the costs of medicare are rising so rapidly that it would be necessary to introduce a deterrent fee of $1.50 per patient per office visit in order to save approximately $5 million which the government-and I quite believe this-claims it does not have. This money is necessary to meet the increase in costs of medical care in Saskatchewan. This deterrent fee will start on April 15. In addition, Mr. Speaker, $2.50 will be charged the average patient for every day that he is in hospital.

Since it seems obvious that such catastrophic deterrent fees will penalize those who are least able to pay, surely it is equally obvious that if this government will state unequivocally that the grants for medical care are conditional upon their use for medical care only in the province of Saskatchewan and other provinces, this will obviate the necessity for the introduction of this deterrent fee.

Since the amount coming to Saskatchewan in one year will be somewhere in the $12 million to $14 million range, this would mean that this year somewhere in the neighbourhood of $6 million would be available for the people of Saskatchewan and would save them from the imposition of deterrent fees. It would also save them from the burden of additional double taxation.

An answer at this time from the minister, or from his charming parliamentary secretary, would mean a great deal not only to the people of our province but to the people of every province. It would prevent an indiscriminate use of medical care funds for the purpose of balancing provincial budgets which have been overburdened by other expenditure on such things as highways, public buildings and the like. So I ask the minister through his parliamentary secretary to do the people of Saskatchewan a favour and assure them that the federal medical care funds will be used and designated for the purpose for which they were intended, namely the provision of medical care for the people not only of Saskatchewan but in every part of Canada.

[DOT] (10:10 p.m.)

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March 12, 1968

Mr. L. M. Brand (Saskatoon):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National

Health and Welfare which is in a sense supplementary to one asked a few minutes ago. Can he state whether money to be sent to Saskatchewan under the medicare program beginning July 1 will be designated for use for medicare only, in order in this way to help alleviate the catastrophic deterrent fees soon to be introduced in Saskatchewan in respect of the medical and hospital care plan?

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March 11, 1968

Mr. Brand:

Mr. Chairman, I intend to be mercifully brief. When the hon. member for

Rosthern was cataloguing the waste the Auditor General found in the C.B.C., to the extent of $320 thousand. I could not help thinking back a year when the Board of Broadcast Governors approved the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's request that television facilities should be built in the city of Saskatoon, my constituency. This facility had been promised for many years and suddenly the cabinet, faced with financial problems and all the other internal problems, squashed the idea very completely. I thought perhaps that now was as good a time as any to rise and briefly ask the government once again whether or not they would consider reinstating the construction of this facility. They seem willing to see $320 thousand wasted which incidentally was the amount of money voted in the estimates from which this facility in Saskatoon would have been supplied. Somehow or other, the money got lost.

I can assure you that the people of my constituency, who are contributing something over $7 per capita to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, would be more than interested in being able to assess the results of their investment in this crown corporation. Saskatoon is the only city of its size in Canada that does not have a second television facility, and I feel the time has come when this should be provided. In addition, provision should be made for a satellite transmitter to cover the other areas to the west. A year has gone by, and we have been very patient in my city. If the aspirants for leadership have any influence at all,-yes, even the good looking ones, and I note that three of them smiled when I said that-it would be very much to their advantage to press on their cabinet colleagues the need for allowing this facility before April 6. Certainly we believe we are entitled to it. Heaven knows we are paying for it. I feel we should have the opportunity to decide whether or not our money is being well spent.

The only C.B.C. programs we get from the station we have are the ones the C.B.C. dumps on that station. Some of them are good, I will admit, that, but some of them are utter trash, as has been pointed out before. I should like to tell the government that from now on, as long as the house is sitting, I intend to raise this matter at every possible opportunity until they see the error of their ways and allow Saskatoon the privilege of having a C.B.C. facility in that city.

March 11. 1968 COMMONS

[DOT] (9:40 p.m.)

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