[Opening prayer by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions
Reading and Receiving Petitions
Presenting Reports by Standing and Select Committees
Notice of Motion
Introduction of Bills
Orders of the Day
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Before the Orders of the Day may I direct a question to the Honourable the Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs? May I ask him if he expects the report from the Greater Winnipeg Investigating Committee pretty soon?
HON. JOHN THOMPSON (Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs): Mr. Speaker, in reply to the Honourable Member I would say that we do expect it but I am not able to say just how soon. There has been no indication of any definite date as yet. I would say that we possibly will have it during the month of November.
MR. L. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.): Before the Orders of the Day I should like to direct a question to the Leader of the House. Will there be any more legislation tabled for this session?
HON. DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): In reply to the Honourable Gentleman, Mr. Speaker, I would say that we expect to bring in two more bills of a financial character, that is for supply, current and capital, but no other legislation that I am aware of at the moment.
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned Debate and Bill No. 2. The Honourable the Member for St. John.
MR. D. ORLIKOW (St. John's): Mr. Speaker, education is by virtue of the constitutional setup in Canada, the responsibility of the Province. This Province has not, in the past, accepted the major responsibility of financing education. In Manitoba we have, under the policies of the past government, spent less per capita on education than any other province except one in Canada. If these policies had not been such a failure we would not have had the Royal Commission Investigation and we would not now be debating this Bill. Education costs have been rising rapidly from a per capita cost of $10.76 in 1935, they rose to $44.80 in 1956, an increase of over three hundred percent. The bulk of this increase, Mr. Speaker, came from the taxpayer at the
local government level despite the fact that municipalities financed a greater part of their expenditures by taxes on real property. In accepting the financing of a much larger percentage of the cost of education this Government, in this Bill has moved to widen the base from which the cost of education will be financed. This is a step in the right direction, we in the C.C.F. greet it as such.
In this reorganization of the secondary school system as proposed by the Interim Report we are in Manitoba in fact beginning to follow in the footsteps of the other three western provinces which long ago adopted the larger unit of school administration. Having failed until so recently to face up to the problems, how to make our educational system work, the former government finally appointed a commission to investigate the situation. A common practice on the part of that government. The Commission's report is one which has received wide support in principle in all sections of the community although there are many groups which still have important reservations as to details. In our opinion this Government, indeed Mr. Speeker, I think any government, even one which had the Honourable Member for Rhineland as a member would have had to move to implement this report. The same way as the former government implemented the Bracken Commission Report.
This Bill follows to a large extent the Interim Report of the Royal Commission - particularly in respect to the organization of secondary education to the larger unit of administration. We in the C.C.F. have always believed that without larger units of administration plus, Mr. Speaker, and I want to emphasize this--plus the assumption on the part of the Provincial Government of a much larger share of the cost of education, a decent education could not be provided for the children attending Manitoba schools. Some of us in the C.C.F. have felt that the larger unit of administration ought to administer all education from kindergarten right through to high school. But we accept this proposal as put forth in the Bill as the first step towards such a system. In fact Mr. Speaker, in the light of past racial, religious and historical conditions this step by step approach is probably necessary.
We have some reservations about what may evolve as a result of this change. It may aggravate some of the divisions which already exist between elementary and secondary schools. We are pleased that the Minister has set a timetable and has set a target of early next year for implementing the new system. The C.C.F. agrees that every child in Manitoba whether he lives in the cities or in the rural areas is entitled to a high school education. We concur completely that the old system could not and did not achieve this end. We agree that the Provincial Government must provide a larger share of the educational costs, money spent by the Province should be distributed on the basis of need. It should be made clear, Mr. Speaker, to members of this House, the School Districts and the public at large that passage of this Bill will not solve all the problems in the field of education. The Minister has announced that the Province will pay 100% of teacher's salary but I think this should be
emphasized and the Minister made it quite clear - up to the amount set out in the regulation which has not yet been passed. Even if these are at the scale set out in the Interim Report, this will be far from 100% of the salaries which are already being paid in most urban areas today. The same is true of the other items which the Minister mentioned - the 75% of maintenance cost, the 50% of administration, 50% of supplies and 40 to 80% of building costs.
I have been in touch with some of the people who are in administrative positions in urban areas around Winnipeg, with some of the people on School Boards, I have been trying to find out from them what they think they will get under this Bill and they are, they make it very clear, under a good deal of difficulty in making the calculations because the regulations have not yet, and it is understandable why they haven't been tabled, but they have not yet been tabled and so they can only guess. I would suggest to them and to the public that they be a little bit cautious about spending this money and that any of the ideas about how much the mill rate for next year will or may be cut, are a good deal premature. So, Mr. Speaker, we in this group accept this Bill--at least, the principles of this Bill as a beginning in the task of re-building the educational system of Manitoba.
There are a number of questions which we and I am sure other interested organizations will want to ask and possibly we can do it in Committee. Some of these questions and I raise them so that possibly the Minister may have the answers when it comes to committee, are as follows: Where do the Junior High Schools which exist in many of the urban areas, fit in? Because in the Bill we talk only of Elementary and Secondary education. Is the salary schedule which is suggested in the interim report which takes, as I read it, 22 years to get from the minimum to the maximum, is it realistic? Can you get teachers to accept that kind of a step by step system? Are classrooms authorized classrooms or actual classrooms? This is a question which came up frequently in previous sessions. I mean by this, are Shops, Home Economics, Commercial classes included in the authorized class room? What is an authorized teacher for grant purposes? In the interim report it suggests one teacher for 30 students at the elementary level; one teacher for 23 at the secondary level; is this what will be the authorized teacher or is it something else - the old system of, I think, one for 25? These are some of the questions which we will want to have answered, Mr. Speaker.
I want to emphasize that even after passage and implementation of this report, this Province, indeed Canada as a whole, will have a long way to go before we can feel that we are doing enough in the field of education - that is education in the modern complex society in which we live. Mr. Speaker, I am no believer in the Russian system of society. I despise and I deplore much of what they have done but in the field of education, they have acted.
I would like to close by reading a few excerpts from a pamphlet written by Mr. James Duncan, the President of Massey-Harris Ferguson Limited who made a trip to Russia several years
ago. He says, "the science training which students receive in their ten years of school enables them to commence their university courses with a better foundation that is generally the case with us. Russia turned out nearly twice as many engineers last year as the United States did. The implications with regard to the Western World are thought provoking if not downright alarming," and the conclusion of the paragraph which I commend to the Minister, "those who have reached the upper ranks in the teaching profession rank high in the Russian hierarchy - not only does their income permit them to live in larger apartments, drive a car and have a summer home but they are treated with dignity and respect. They rank with the outstanding artists, composers or," get this Mr. Minister, "leaders of industry." Well, Mr. Speaker, we have a long way to go before we can reach this position in Canada. I would like to close, Mr. Speaker, by reminding the House of a few words which the Honourable Member for St. Matthews said, I think yesterday, when he said, "education is the foundation stone of our society." If we Canadians, regardless of party, of region, will really adopt this as our motto, we may in the lifetime of some of us establish an educational system of which we can all be proud.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. S. E. McLEAN (Minister of Education): Mr. Speaker, if no one else wishes to speak, I would like to speak in closing.
MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood): If no one else wants to speak, I would like to move the adjournment of the debate, Mr. Speaker. I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Ethelbert that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on the proposed motion, Bill No. 3, the Honourable Member from Minnedosa.
MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Speaker, the contents of the Bill which we have before us in Bill #3 for to provide for the setting up of an industrial loan corporation here in the Province of Manitoba is in many ways similar to the legislation that we have in Bill #8 for the setting up of a farm credit organization and it seems very natural indeed that when one of these Bills is being brought in that the other should have the same time because after all in the Province of Manitoba and I think more so as time goes on, agriculture and industry are becoming more reliant on one another and it certainly is important to agriculture in Manitoba, particularly to the future of diversified agriculture that we have strong and steady industrial expansion in this Province. I think it is interesting to note also, Mr. Chairman, that as time goes on, that we are beginning to lose some of the differences that for many years seemed to have appeared between agriculture and industry. There has been
for many years what has appeared a sharp difference between the farmer and the businessman, between farming and business but in these days, Mr. Speaker, farming is business and big business and it seems to me it has to be treated in much the same way and I think that from the standpoint of both industry and agriculture, we would do well for to study the problems of the other segment of our industry and be more conversant with them, and so I say it is natural that we should have when we have a farm credit bill coming in, that we should have an industrial credit one coming in as well and as on the farm credit so on this Bill, there has never been any disagreement in principle as far as this type of credit is concerned. The only disagreement that there has been as to what level of government should handle this responsibility. We have always maintained, I have on many occasions, that when it came to farm credit that the federal field were the ones that should handle it and I also maintain that as far as industrial credit is concerned, yes, we need the credit but it could be best done at the Federal level and particularly, Sir, in the last year or so when we have had a Government at Ottawa that went out on the hustings and promised they were going to do those things. We felt encouraged that they would be done and be done quickly and, of course, as times goes on, our doubts become more and more complete that it will not be done and apparently the people who know them better on the other side of the House, know that there will be no action taken down there so that they have to go along on their own, and so we have these Bills before us that were agreed in principle upon.
As we have mentioned in the House this afternoon, the matter of interest rate is important. I know from my own experience it is certainly important in agriculture and certainly it is important in industry, and I feel, Sir, that at the federal level, a loaning institution is in a much better position for to handle the financing of two types of credit that are necessary both for the farm and industry than we are at the provincial level. First, the need is for long-term credit, long-term credit, at a low interest rate and it is only natural, I think, Sir, that at the Federal level, where they have the Resources of the whole Dominion of Canada, they are in a better position to do these things and particularly for to stand the shocks of a time of recession.
Here, in the Province of Manitoba, we may be affected by a regional recession, a crop failure which could, if it continued for a short time as it did in--or for a matter of a few years, as it did before in the '30s, could deal a death blow to such institutions as we set up provincially. While at the Federal level the shock can be spread over the whole nation and the whole program be carried on with a great deal more stability. As I said before, Mr. Speaker, the Bill does do for industry what the farm credit one does for agriculture. I think, Sir, that in the drafting of this Bill here, the Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, he has been a little more posh in what he has put in the Bill to what the Minister of Agriculture has, being modest like the rest of we farmers, he has been quite modest in his approach. In this Bill for the industry, they have certainly
given very broad lending powers to the board. In the Bill for Agriculture, I think, Sir, as was so ably pointed out this afternoon that it made the Bill far too restricted and certainly we'll have more to say about that as time goes on. I think possibly the provisions in the Bill for industry are possibly far too broad and will have to be restricted before the Bill meets with our approval but the Minister of Agriculture has been quite modest - he just calls the head man in his corporation a manager, while in the other Bill the Minister of Industry and Commerce, he has put the word general manager on his throughout the Bill. I don't know whether he expects to pay him an extra $1,000.00 or so for that high honour he is going to bestow on him or not, but in general we are agreed with the principles of the Bill and with some amendments, I think possibly it can be of benefit to the people of the Province of Manitoba.
Certainly, as I said before we need diversified industry here in Manitoba and if industry can move out into the rural areas of Manitoba as it has been doing in the last few years to a large degree, it means a great deal for agriculture. It means local market for the products that we grow out in the rural area and that can mean a great deal to us. During the last two or three years, Mr. Speaker, I have had occasion to be fairly close to the development or the effort to develop rural industry out in my own constituency of Minnedosa and during the last few months, we have had a situation that developed in the town of Minnedosa that I think points up the need for a firm policy in this regard. We had quite a number of years--for three or four years, Mr. Speaker, been negotiating with a distillery company for to establish in the town of Minnedosa. Finally, last spring, plans were finalized for the establishment of that distillery in the town of Minnedosa and we thought that work would be commenced early in July. In fact, Sir, the town of Minnedosa had spent a good deal of money in encouraging the industry to come. The local Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial section, had certainly spent a great deal of time...the local men in town. Then, late in June, rumours began to circulate that this distillery was going to locate in the City of St. Boniface and shortly after that on what appears to be a decision of the Minister of Industry and Commerce, we heard that the distillery was going to be definitely located in the City of St. Boniface.
HON. GURNEY EVANS (Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce): Mr. Speaker, I feel that if the gentleman will permit, I would like to rise to a point of order. I don't think that my remarks at that time could be interpreted as a decision that that distillery should go anywhere.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Well, I am glad to hear that, Mr. Speaker, but the only information that I have is from the Winnipeg Free Press of Saturday, July 5th, 1958. It says Government dictates the site...
MR. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would merely assure the gentleman that I made no such decision.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Mr. Speaker, I just want to read the information that I had from the press report. The only information that I had...a good reliable source. Mr. Evans, after some comment here between my Honourable Colleague from St. Boniface, the mayor of St. Boniface and one or two others, the paper quotes, Mr. Evans would not say what stand his Department would take on the matter but he indicated that it had been one of the major planks of the Conservative Government to create a balanced development of industry across the Province. Well, that's very commendable and apparently the balance swung this time to St. Boniface. Mr. Evans...then he went on to find, Mr. Evans said he was certain we can find a proper economic spot for the distillery in Manitoba. He would not state whether this meant that the Company would be allowed to build in St. Boniface if it was refused a site in Minnedosa. The Minister said he would study both sides of the question before reaching a decision. Well, I took from that, Mr. Chairman, that he had finally reached a decision that the distillery would be established in St. Boniface. Now, I listened yesterday with a great deal of interest, Mr. Speaker, to the statement that the Minister gave in connection with this industrial loan fund and he certainly, I think, tried to convey that certainly the government was not going to have any control or attempt in any way to direct this new loaning corporation and certainly that is important, very important, Sir, that that should not happen. But a government or any legislation that a government passes is as good as the government itself and certainly I was pleased to hear yesterday from the Minister that that is the stand that will be taken by the Government as far as these industries are concerned.
I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I feel that here in the large urban area of the city of Winnipeg, that possibly it is necessary for to have to be a little more conscious of the needs of rural Manitoba. Certainly, Sir, I would not go as far as the illustrious Mayor of Portage did, when he called Winnipeg "Hog Town," because I am sure that it is not so at all but here the City of Winnipeg, a large city in this Province, they're in a wonderful position for to get the first crack at industries such as this and I am not critical of them for doing that but on the other hand the welfare of the City of Winnipeg, does depend, Sir, on the welfare of the whole Province of Manitoba and I know that the negotiations that went on as far as this distillery were concerned, it seemed to me that there was a determined effort to see to it that this distillery stayed in the Greater Winnipeg area and I think that while it wasn't a large industry at all, it didn't mean possibly too much to the City of Winnipeg, an industry of this kind out in the rural areas in towns such as Minnedosa, Neepawa, Hamiota and some of the other towns can mean a great deal, not only to the town itself but to the surrounding areas and so, Sir, we certainly hope while I personally feel that it would have been much better to have said to our friends at Ottawa, look, this is a job that you folks have already accepted the responsibility, you have promised that you would do this, you should get on with the job but now when we are agreed on the principle, the government of the day has decided that this is the
way it should be done, if we can make this Bill conform and be the type of legislation that we desire in Manitoba, we'll go along with it.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, I move and it has been seconded by the Honourable Member for Fisher that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill #8 and amendments thereto. The Honourable Member for Morris.
MR. H. P. SHEWMAN (Morris): Mr. Speaker, one is surprised, especially we older members that have been in this House for a good many years to see such amendment as this brought before the House. We have on this side of the House and some of the members to my right, on the other side of the House, have been working for the good and the interest of the farmers of Manitoba at large and to think that the member of the previous government would introduce a Resolution of this kind for the sake of one percent which might kill the Bill and ruin a good many of the farmers of Manitoba, is very hard for me to understand. I will come to that later, Mr. Speaker. We, on this side of the House and of years gone by have advocated means and ways, brought Resolutions into this House which--independent? Yes, and I will stay an independent until the time I could join the party that is going to do some good for the farmers of Manitoba.
Mr. Speaker, I didn't go off half-cocked on this jump of mine and we, on this side of the House, have brought Resolution after Resolution into this House to help the farmers of Manitoba. And through the nine years that I have sat in this house the Honourable Members which are now the opposition, and it is true the opposition through this fault, that they didn't take an active interest in the farmers of Manitoba, every resolution, I wouldn't say every resolution, I withdraw that statement...but a lot of the resolutions that we introduced into this House, on this side of the House, was watered down and amended till it wasn't worth the paper that they were written on. And they clapped their hands and cheered. No wonder the people on the 16th of June put them where they are, and I will predict that there won't be a corporal's guard after the next election in Manitoba of the Liberal party.
There has been a lot of indifference, I used to use the word calloused indifference and I meant it in those days. I won't use that tone, Mr. Speaker, but there has been a great indifference shown as far as the farmers of Manitoba are concerned by the Liberal party.
Now, the farmers' organizations in Manitoba in the years gone by have been asking for such a loan as this. They need immediate help and through the loan systems that exist in Canada and Manitoba today, there isn't this immediate help available
for them, and our party is doing just what the farmers of Manitoba wanted some party to do, the Liberal party was asleep at the switch again and that is why they are where they are today.
Now, I don't think that in my history, in my term in the House here, that the Liberal party in days gone by have given any serious thought to the plight of the farmers in Manitoba. If they had, they wouldn't be where they are today. Now, they have laughed about the one percent and I mention the fact that they were willing to defeat the government for the principal of one percent. Mr. Speaker, there is quite a story there. There are the Provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario and Quebec and others that have had a scheme similar to this and it is satisfactory. They can peruse the records for themselves and they will find out that it has worked quite satisfactory to the benefit of the farmers of those provinces.
Now these loan set-ups in the other provinces have been established and have been working for years. They know what they're doing but we in Manitoba today have made the promise that we are going to help the farmers and we're not quite sure, or reasonably sure, of what it will cost to the extent that we have to go out and borrow money and 6% is a figure that we arrived at to be reasonably sure that it is not going to cost the ratepayers of Manitoba any money. Now...nod your head...the Leader of the Opposition nods his head, nine years ago, eight years ago, seven years ago this was mentioned in this House when he could have borrowed money when he was sitting over here. At that time the Provincial Treasurer could have borrowed money to do the same thing that we are trying to do...and yet they say it is no good. We'll wait and let the people of Manitoba decide that.
There has been no definite policy as far as I am concerned from the opposition group as far as the farm policy is concerned. We could carry on for a good deal of time, Mr. Speaker, and enumerate these resolutions I have mentioned before as brought before this House but they have been watered down and amended until they did not mean anything.
The late Mr. Ross brought in a resolution to this House asking this government to take some immediate action to help the young farmers of Manitoba and to that resolution, to my knowledge, there was no immediate action taken on the part of the government of those days.
Then we have the resolution that was before the House for loans on farm-stored grain. Mr. Speaker, what happened to that? Another dismal failure on the part of the government of those days. No action. Now that is where the indifference comes as far as the previous government was concerned at helping the farmers of Manitoba.
Crop insurance - what happened to crop insurance? Yes, yes, yes, what happened to crop insurance? What happened to crop insurance? The honourable members on the other side of the House waited till the eve of election and then they said we'll tackle crop insurance on a provincial basis. That's what they said and the resolutions that were introduced into this House were watered down and walked over.
There was a recommendation in the Committee of 1956 that we have immediate action and that action be taken to Ottawa at once. It was mentioned in this House, I think by the Leader of the C.C.F. party just the other day here. What happened to that resolution? The honourable gentlemen over at the other side of the House waited until after the 8th day of June before they presented that resolution to us. That's the indifference that they have been showing the farmers of Manitoba.
Then when we introduced a resolution into the House asking for cash advances on grain--what happened to that? I'm going to reserve the right to let some of the honourable members answer some of these questions. What happened to that? Nothing at all.
What happened to the resolution that we had in this House asking for more aggress to help the farmers of Manitoba? What happened? Let them answer that. When I came into the House, there was twenty-seven and before the previous election last June, how many was there? ...Thirty-five, I think. That's the effort of the Liberal party that was defeated at the polls last June. That's their record, Mr. Speaker. The people of Manitoba know that. We don't have to expound an idea such as that. They know it and I...there's a lot of good members across there, and there was some good members. But I feel sorry for them. And I don't know of any House in Manitoba that have as well appearing group of members as they have. And we're going to miss their appearance only.
We have asked the previous government to go to Ottawa for the sake of the farmers of Manitoba and ask for just what we're asking for today...I fail to see where there was any action by that previous government. Now we have asked to do something on our own in a very small way, and that is just what this Bill is doing. They have this Bill, as I mentioned, in other provinces and was mentioned this afternoon, I bear correction of this, and was mentioned this afternoon - what are we going to do for security?
The great country south of us, they have a bill where it's backed by the government that a farmer that can't get a loan from a bank or a mortgage company, if his character is such, the government of the United States will back it. We're looking out to help the young fellow get started and the man that needs just a little push to get at the top of the hill. That's all that this Bill is asking for. And there has been a great deal of a difference all along the line as far as the previous government is concerned to come out with a concrete farm policy for the farmers of Manitoba.
And, Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for Dufferin.
MR. W. C. McDONALD (Dufferin): Mr. Speaker, we are here this evening discussing the principle of this Bill. What we have just listened to from the honourable member from Morris has very little to do with the discussion that we have in hand in connection with the principle of the Bill.
MR. SHEWMAN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, I mentioned the point where the principle of the Bill was the one percent that they're willing to defeat this Bill on.
MR. McDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I have studied this Bill, I can see that it is taken very closely from the Junior Farmers' Establishment Act 1952 as passed in the province of Ontario. That Bill that was passed there very closely corresponds to the Bill that we have before us. I do not know what the interest that is charged under that Act to the young farmers of Ontario is, it does not seem to be set out in the act. It must be set out by regulation. But I do notice one particular difference, which to me is very important, particularly after the statement that was given by the Minister yesterday. The Minister in a statement explaining this, the principal of the bill yesterday, indicated that the interest was going to be 6% and as is set out in the Bill that the cost of administration of this body that is being set up to administer the Act, is to be taken out of the profit that is made, that is from the interest that is paid. Now in the Junior Farmers' Establishment Act of 1952, the cost of administration of the Ontario Act was to be paid out of the consolidated fund. It was subsequently amended in 1956 and the expenses of the administrative body was to be passed by the Legislature. And I think, Mr. Speaker, that this is a very important principle in as much as the Minister yesterday advised us the cost of the administration would be paid out of the interest that was received. Now, I do feel that this is important. I don't think that there is any great difference in this House but what the Bill should be passed. It is simply a matter of, in the past, of which group should be handling this Legislation, the government of Canada or the province of Manitoba, and I think the honourable gentleman who has just taken his seat will recognize and he sat on that special select committee for Agriculture in 1957 - he recognizes that this was recognized in that special select committee and he was a member of it. As I understand those recommendations passed unanimously in the committee, and so it is not a matter that we have been stalling.
MR. SHEWMAN: Mr. Speaker, they were passed unanimously but they were to be forwarded to Ottawa immediately.
MR. McDONALD: And so it is not just a matter that we have been stalling in this and I simply stand up in my place this evening to bring before the House this very important difference to me in principle of what an extra 1% or possibly a decimal of 1% in interest will mean.
In Ontario, apparently they, and the honourable members on the other side of the House for the last two or three years have been telling us of the wonderful things that have been done in Ontario to help the young farmers, and I presume, I presume that that province has seen fit to charge them a rate of interest that is in keeping and commensurate with what they are trying to do, and they, down there, are paying the administrative costs out of the consolidated fund and it is passed by the legislature. Here we are adding interest and, as the Minister said yesterday, in the hope that these farmers would first of all go to the Canadian Farm Loan Board for the money.
MR. SPEAKER: ... Honourable Member for Brokenhead.
MR. E. R. SCHREYER (Brokenhead): Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment briefly on the motion as moved by the Honourable Member for Ste. Rose. In so doing, I would also like to explain the stand of my colleagues in this important matter.
Being a representative of a rural constituency, I listened to the words of the Honourable Member of Ste. Rose with a great deal of interest. What I have to say, I say not with any malice or ill feeling as such, the Honourable gentleman will of course, realize that. And I would like to say that his motion to decrease the interest rate from 6% to 5% per annum seems, of course, at first glance to be a very wise and prudent move, to look after the interests of the farming population of this Province. I say at first glance. At second glance, it seemed to be merely an attempt on the part of the Honourable gentleman to my right to display their political and procedural wisdom.
Mr. Speaker, in dealing with this motion, I do hope that there will be at least a small amount of latitude allowed because I think you will agree that you cannot always discuss important matters within too limited a framework. A motion of the kind proposed by the Honourable Member for Ste. Rose does first of all have a hampering effect on the work of this legislature. I wouldn't care to say so, it is merely presumed. The Honourable gentleman don't want that. If the motion passes this time, it could prevent some further much needed legislation from going on the Statute Book.
I am surprised that my Honourable friends to the extreme right should wish to quibble over a 1% interest, a rate of 1%, when after being in office for ten or is it thirty-five years, not only failed to take a step in the right direction, but were even afraid to twitch in the right direction.
Mr. Speaker, we are opposing this motion to amend the Bill for two reasons; First of all, we would like to see it go to Committee. We would like to see it go to Committee because we feel that there, at least we hope, that there we can receive the considered opinions of farm organization spokesmen and other interested parties. If this motion passes, of course, that is all impossible.
Secondly, we are opposing this motion because of the possiblility, remote as it is, because of the possibility that a Liberal government ensuing would not only fail to give farm credit legislation, it would not even consider it.
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues realize that this legislation is full of imperfections, at least, it contains imperfections of a minor nature but it is something that we must recognize as being an attempt, a noble attempt perhaps, to do something. I think we should be fair, I hope the Honourable Members to my extreme right will be fair enough to admit that farm credit is more a federal matter. The fact that this Provincial Government is implementing farm credit legislation is, I would like to point out, a confession of failure on the part of the federal government, because if the federal government were doing its job, then farm revenue incoming would be sufficient to satisfy creditors and the existing
credit facilities. Nevertheless, we have this Bill before us. We should try to do something with it. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say, on behalf of my group, that we will oppose the motion of the Honourable Member for Ste. Rose.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to take any part in the debate on this particular motion, but when the Honourable Member from Morris berated us for not having sent the recommendations of the special select committee to Ottawa following that report, I think that now is as good a time as any for us to deal with that very thing.
They have said that the reason we didn't send it and they heralded this all over the Province of Manitoba, the reason that we didn't send them was because we didn't want to embarrass the Government of the day. Well, Mr. Speaker, what nonsense! What nonsense! Because we spent a great deal of time in the committee studying those things. We drafted the resolutions, they were directed at the federal government and for many years, we have been on record asking for those things. And, we had made it quite plain to the government of that day what was needed. And, I can assure you Sir, that we are going to continue to make it plain to the government today the things that are needed, even if our friends across the way feel that there is no need now, that everything is fine down East. We were fearless as far as telling Ottawa what was needed in Western Canada, and we will continue to do that - pardon? Fearless - fearless is the word.
MR. ROBLIN: Fearless, I thought you said foolish.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: No, it's you folks that are looking foolish when it comes to the present Government at Ottawa. It's time you were beginning to prod them along and see that something was done. But something was done in that regard as far as credit was concerned.
MR. RIDLEY: On the 31st of March, something was done.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: I have a letter here...
MR. ROBLIN: He hasn't heard about it yet.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: A letter that was addressed to the Honourable Donald Fleming, Minister of Finance, in connection with farm credit in Manitoba, and that letter pointed out that we had passed recommendations at our special select committee whereby we recommended that the Canadian Farm Loan Board should be expanded, that supervision should be given and the Province of Manitoba was prepared to underwrite 50% of the loss. And, I want to read the letter that Mr. Fleming wrote back to the then Provincial Treasurer of the Province of Manitoba, and I am prepared to table the letter.
He wrote back as follows: "I have now had an opportunity to study the proposals advanced in your letter of June 26th. The following is a condensed history of the above legislation in so far as maximum loan limits to individual farmers are concerned."
And then he sets out in detail the number of amendments that have been made to the Act when the capital amounts available were raised from time to time. And then he goes on, "You will note that the latest amendment to the Act has been effective for just one year. It has the effect of increasing the individual loan limit. The resulting increased lending by the Canadian Farm Loans Board is now becoming apparent. I think you will agree that the 1956 amendment should be given a fair trial. If these new provisions", and this is the Minister of Finance for Canada speaking, the chap that was out on the husting saying they were going to revise credit - "If these new provisions in conjunction with other farm credit available prove inadequate," -- we've been telling him for years it was inadequate, and he was out on the hustings saying it was inadequate -- "to meet the credit needs of farmers, the government will be glad to give consideration to any reasonable plan for meeting the situation".
They've been giving consideration - we've told them again. Just a little over a year ago I was in Ottawa with all the Ministers, Provincial Ministers of Agriculture from across Canada, and we told the Minister once again it wasn't adequate. But nothing is done and our friends across the way apparently have found out there is going to be nothing done, so they are at it themselves.
MR. RIDLEY: Mr. Speaker, I had no intention of taking anything in this debate, but the Opposition are so inconsistent. I've listened to this - some of them get up and say they have no use for this Bill at all, it's of no help to the Province of Manitoba...
MR. MOLGAT: I never said that we had no use for that Bill at all.
MR. RIDLEY: ...that it should be referred to Ottawa that they should handle it all. Now along comes, and it's appended that if it was for 5% that they would be only too glad to accept it. Then they figure the Bill is alright if the interest is 5%, but it was no good if it isn't 6%...
MR. MOLGAT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, that isn't what I said. I said that there were many things to change in this Bill. When we're through with it, it will be a good Bill, we hope.
MR. RIDLEY: - Fine. But it looks so inconsistent to me to see the different arguments on it. Then, they mention "down East", well, of course, last February and March we heard "down East" too and along come the end of March and we never heard no more about "down East". So, I hope they get settled on this and decide one way or another.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Mr. Speaker, I am another one that had not expected to speak on this Bill, but I resent the implications that it is quibbling to discuss this matter of 1%. I'm a farmer, Mr. Speaker, and I think that 1% on $25,000.00 is a lot of money, especially with the cost-price squeeze that we are in.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: It's a lot of money on 500.
MR. PREFONTAINE: But if the interest rate is left at 6%, I'm afraid that we will have more risky loans, that the good risks will go to the Canadian Farm Loans and get their money but those who won't be able to get it there, will come to our board and possibly secure it and we will have the more risky loans. That is not going to be too good. We have an experience in this province of what has happened with farm loans. The Leader of the Conservative party, the Premier, made many speeches during the election campaign with respect to farm credit. He was reported in both newspapers, lengthy reports of his speeches with respect to farm loans. I recall reading some of these reports where he was eulogizing the system that they had in the Province of Quebec, the Credit Agricole de la Province de Quebec. Very nice, the interest loan there, the interest is 2% being subsidized to very little extent by the Province of Quebec. He did not mention at that time to his audiences that he would charge 6% when we established these farm credits. He didn't mention that, I didn't see it reported in the press. Maybe he did. I should not have said that he did not, but it wasn't reported in the press that he mentioned that when he brought in the Bill it would carry, the loans would carry an interest of 6%. I think it is an important and serious matter. I resent the implication that quibbling with something is unimportant, of no consequence, it is important. And, I believe that the people of Manitoba, the farmers of Manitoba think that 1% is quite important.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to get to the heart of this Bill, if I may to say at once the purpose of the amendment of the member for Ste. Rose is to kill the Bill.
MR. ROBLIN: Hear! Hear!
MR. MOLGAT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I stated...
MR. ROBLIN: There is no point of order. What's your point of order? State it.
MR. MOLGAT: I stated...I stated...
MR. ROBLIN: What's your point of order? Let him make his speech.
MR. MOLGAT: Would the Honourable the First Minister kindly control his temper?
MR. ROBLIN: There is no point of order.
MR. MOLGAT: Temper! Temper! Temper! Please!
A MEMBER: Make your speech!
MR. MOLGAT: I stated specifically before moving this motion that I had no intention whatever of killing this Bill; that I
was moving the motion on the understanding that this Bill would be passed at this Session of the legislature.
MR. ROBLIN: How can it be?
MR. MOLGAT: Change it.
MR. CAMPBELL: On a point of order, my Honourable friend who leads the house, knows how it can be. He's not so stupid with regard to the rules that he doesn't know that!
MR. ROBLIN: Your motives are very plain to see -- very plain. But you, like your friends opposite, are afraid to face the people, that's the difference between you and me.
MR. CAMPBELL: Let my Honourable friend consider it a vote of Want of Confidence and we will be glad to face it.
MR. SPEAKER: Order!
MR. ROBLIN: You've got want of confidence motions before you now and I dare you to vote for them.
MR. CAMPBELL: We'll be glad to vote for it.
MR. SPEAKER: Order!
MR. ROBLIN: I dare you!
MR. SPEAKER: Order!
MR. CAMPBELL: We will.
MR. ROBLIN: We'll take the challenge.
MR. CAMPBELL: O.K.
MR. ROBLIN: You've got the chance.
MR. SPEAKER: Order!
MR. ROBLIN: Put up or shut up!
A MEMBER: Take it easy boys! Take it easy boys!
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order!
A MEMBER: You're grown up now!
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Honourable, the Minister of Agriculture.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, if I might have the floor for a moment, I should like to prove, I think to the satisfaction of
the members here, at least, that this will kill the Bill. It's very simple. What does it say? That Bill No. 8 be not now read the second time. It's as simple as that. It kills the Bill.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, would my Honourable friend give the authorities that support that contention?
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, if it isn't read now, it is killed, of course. It's defeated.
MR. CAMPBELL: ...on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, this is a point of order. If my honourable friend will consult the authorities -- even our own -- even our own. He doesn't need to go any further than our own rule book. He will find that it is distinctly stated there that all that means is that it isn't now read -- it gives the Government the opportunity to amend the Bill and re-introduce it. It says "now"; all my Honourable friend need to do, or you Mr. Speaker, is read our own rule book.
MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Minister of Agriculture has the floor.
MR. WILLIS: Read the rules. Read the Act, it's in the book. ...you read it once too often. Resuming, Mr. Speaker, from where I was before, it is definitely my opinion that this will kill the Bill, because it says so.
Bill No. 8, now read a second time. Is that clear?
The Honourable Member for Ste. Rose has just said that when you get through with the Bill, it will be a good Bill. If his motion passes there will be no Bill. That'll be the end of that. I don't want to have to read it the third time but I've read it twice.
The Honourable Member for Ste. Rose has said, that as far as credit is concerned, the credit extended by the banks is useless. He has said the mortgage companies are inadequate. He has said that the Canadian Farm Loan Board is not satisfactory. He has said it's not satisfactory because of the valuation system which is different...the Bill before you. He has said it's not satisfactory because the type of security is not wide enough, although it's wide in this Bill. So he proposes to kill the Bill because of those things. What is the excuse for killing the Bill? The rate of interest. And all those who have spoken have said the rate of interest, and I do not know but having been here a long time, whether they understand and have read the Bill, but the Member for Brokenhead, who has been here but a short time, and who was born since I came here, understood the Bill.
Now what does the bill say? And some of you smiling gentlemen over there, please listen.
"Section 8: The Directors may, by regulation made by by-laws decrease or increase the rate of interest payable on loans."
It's as simple as that. In five minutes they could do it. They can change the rate of interest. The rate of interest is fixed at 6% because we are on an experimental basis. The Provicial Treasurer tells us that at the moment we are borrowing money at about 5%. So, we desired to have a slight margin so that we can operate on a business-like basis. We well recognize that the Party opposite was thrown out of power in the past by the way they operated the Manitoba Farm Loan. That went into bankruptcy. That is an example which as Conservatives, we do not wish to see again, and so, to start with, we fixed the rate at 6% and we say at any time, by barely a by-law, it can be changed to five, to four, to three or to any, any amount, as simply as that. ... Entirely correct, entirely correct. ... And you would wreck the Bill because in one place it says 6% although it says we can change the interest rate at will.
That's why the Amendment is strictly a phoney. That is why the Amendment is fraudulent, because in effect it says it's 6%, whereas as a matter of fact it's variable. It can be changed.
If I must explain again to the former Provincial Treasurer, the simple facts are, that this is an experiment, that we will get it down to the lowest possible level where we don't lose too much money - simply as that. We are anxious for the farmers to have a low rate of interest. We recognize that they haven't had
it in the past. And we recognize to, that as far as this Government is concerned, the Opposition, as long as they were in, could never be possible. What is the policy of this Government in general? I keep calling them the Government, I apologize, Mr. Speaker, because they were there so long we address them as the Government. God willing they won't be there for that length of time again. And while they had a long record there, I would suggest that ours will probably exceed theirs.
What has been the attitude of the Opposition when they were the Government? What has been their attitude in the last few days? When we came to the question of Old Age Pensions they said "No", that is a municipal responsibility. When we come to the question of agricultural credit, they say that is a Federal responsibility, always escaping responsibility and they did for a long time, but this year the voters taught them.
It has been suggested that we should have been in consultation with Ottawa. We were in consultation, and I suggest to you, with the best loan men in Canada. All chief men of the Veterans' Land Act consulted on two occasions. The chief men of the Canadian Farm Loan Board were consulted on two occasions also. And with their assistance we framed this Bill.
Now the Member for Brokenhead has quite correctly said that there are imperfections in this Bill. I for one, who sponsored this Bill, desire now myself, to make some amendments in regard to it, but, Mr. Speaker, if the motion which has been moved by the Member for Ste. Rose is passed there will be no amendments, and there will be no Bill. Therefore, if that's what they want, I am sure that they can get it.
Some have said the interest rate is too high. The answer is that it is variable. We will give the farmers the lowest possible rate under the circumstances. Some have said that we should have a higher valuation as far as the loan is concerned and the security. That it should be higher than 65% of the security. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that we got the best advice that is available in Canada, and that advice was, do not exceed 65% of the value. If we can do so we will be glad to do so.
They have also said, this is no good, because 35% will remain. In many cases, the young farmer will be able to get the 35% from his father, and his father will take the second mortgage which will make 100%, and he will have his money. And that's what is included in the planning itself.
So, Mr. Speaker, in regard to the motion which is before us, I again suggest that that motion will kill the Bill. I add in parenthesis, it is a Government Bill. It will prevent the farmers of Manitoba receiving credit, when that credit is available. And I suggest to the once great Liberal Party, that the farmers of this Province will know how to deal with those who attempt to kill this Bill.
MR. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, because I think it is important that when my honourable friend, who has spoken with so much spirit uses the expression "attempting to kill the Bill" that we should be clear about our rules, and I simply point out the point of
order, Mr. Speaker, so that you may have an opportunity of checking the reference.
In our own Rule Book, it is true that the rules themselves are very sketchily given here, because we go on the practices and customs of the House to quite an extent, and then where no rule is applicable we make the Ottawa Rules apply. But at the back of our own Rule Book, Mr. Speaker, we have the information that's given there in a readable form, non-technical form, taken from the other authorities such as, Beauchesne, Borneau & May, and others, and on page 68, Mr. Speaker, this appears with regard to second reading.
"When the Order of the Day is read for the second reading of the Bill, the Speaker will put the question as to whether it is the pleasure of the House that the Bill be now read a second time. The question may be debated 'and certainly they can'. And if the motion is negative technically, it does not destroy the Bill, but merely postpones the second reading. In practice the negativing of this question usually has the effect of killing the Bill, the question having been that the Bill is now read a second time and it is open for the Member in charge of the Bill to move for second reading on a subsequent day."
If however it is desired to get rid of the Bill altogether, there are two amendments by which this can be effected, either one of which may be put. And the first one Mr. Speaker, as you will recognize, is one we have used here consistently. That the thing we have done here is either to move the first one of these that's mentioned in this Rule Book or, which is called the "six-month hoist" or the other one of a straight voting against the Bill.
Certainly this does not kill the Bill. I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that it does not kill the Bill, I simply want to point that out in answer to what the Honourable Member has said.
MR. ROBLIN: On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, I find it rather odd that the honourable gentlemen place such an interpretation on it. It says here that if it is desired to get rid of the Bill altogether, that he go on and make his amendments, and that's certainly what they did, as they made amendments.
I would like to suggest though, that the emphasis should be placed on the word "postpone". Does that not represent the whole philosophy of my honourable friends in a nutshell? They've postponed this issue for nine years and they are not going to postpone it any more tonight.
MR. SPEAKER: I would like to say to the Honourable the First Minister, and the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, I think that we should deal with this question when we meet it, and not anticipate what is going to happen. I think in a practical way that the Bill is killed and the Honourable Minister of Agriculture or other members of the Executive Council are the only Members that can introduce money Bills into the House, and only they could introduce it again. Now technically that might not be quite correct, but in a practical way that's the way it works.
Are you ready for the question?
MR. S. ROBERTS (La Verendrye): Mr. Speaker, I would like to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Emerson, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared it carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable - Adjourned debate on Bill No. 12. The Honourable Member for Portage la Prairie.
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I listened with a great deal of pleasure and interest, Mr. Speaker, to the remarks of the Honourable the Minister of Labour, when he introduced this Bill and when he gave his explanation at second reading. And, while I think a lot of these things could have been done without the introduction of this Legislation, I think that probably the legislation sets out clearly a procedure which may be followed in order to carry out some of the projects which might be helpful in alleviating the unemployment during the winter months. I should like to go on and say, Mr. Speaker, that he covered quite a few, quite a number of things, which had been done by the department in anticipation, and in getting ready for works and other projects that would cut down the amount of unemployment. He referred to the action of the Telephone Commission, Power Commission and other Government bodies, and I would like to say to him, of course, and I think he suggested that the other day, or admitted, that these organizations had carried our programs which would build up the amount of winter work which could be done in previous years. So that it is not anything particularly new, but I wish to congratulate him on working very hard at the job and getting these organizations to build up this winter work and possibly increase it. As the years go on, we find new methods and new ways of doing some of the things in winter time, which we traditionally thought could only be carried on in summer. And this is a process of evolution which works towards the programs which may carry on and keep the bulk of the people and workmen employed during the whole of the year. It is a very commendable program and works toward alleviating the suffering of certain individuals when they cannot get employment during the winter months.
I notice, however, that there are some of the things which he mentioned, which have pretty good big round sounding figures, but I was wondering when he was quoting them what percentage of those figures might be allocated towards man-hours. For instance, the three million dollars of bridge work. And I wonder just how much of that three million dollars would be paid out for labour.
I think the idea of the Provinical-Municipal Committee to work with the Municipalities to build up projects which will be available to be carried out during the winter is a good one, and I think it should be continued. I think it will be very helpful to the Municipalities in carrying out some of the projects which they anticipate and will cut down the cost to some extent.
I wouldn't want the idea to get abroad, and I am sure the Honourable Minister of Labour would not either, that when the percentage of 50% being paid by the Federal Government is mentioned, I know that he made it quite clear the other day that that was 50% of the payrolls. I think that is quite proper and I don't think that the Federal Government should get into the picture of paying a part, or a great part, of the material which is used but I do think that it is a good idea to pay on the payrolls. And I wouldn't think it would be a good idea to have the thoughts formed that the Federal Government are going to pay 50% of the whole project. I think that the thing is that we want to try to build up the amount of labour which is employed, and to that end it is a proper approach.
Now coming particularly to the Bill itself, I have gone over it very carefully and there is one particular aspect of the Bill, one of the principles, which strikes me very forcibly and when I read through it the first time I thought back to last year and remembered the dressing-down which we on that side of the House got and the sermon that we had read to us. And, by the way, it was quite a little sermon too, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the matter of putting into the Bill such phrases as, those things could be regulated by Order-in-Council, could be regulated by the Minister, the Minister can make regulations, the Minister can appropriate money, and so on. All through this Bill it continues, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to read a few of them if I may:
The Minister...the Minister, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Manitoba may make and execute agreements. The Minister, with the Government of Canada, with the Municipalities, jointly with the Government of Canada and the Municipalities.
Mr. Speaker, is the Minister given that authority, that power by himself? I think he shouldn't have it. I think at least it should be when authorized by an Order-in-Council. I think it's quite proper that the Minister should be the proper person to sign these agreements. But, Mr. Speaker, they should be authorized by someone else. They should be authorized by at least a Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. We were admonished in this discourse last year, Mr. Speaker, that such things shouldn't be allowed at all, they should be controlled by the Government in power, not the Minister.
Mr. Speaker, we go on, we go on then to certain other things. The Minister, by written order, may establish and appoint suitable persons as members of the committee. We go on down for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent, the Minister may make such regulations and orders, Mr. Speaker. I think this is carried - this is covering a lot of territory. The Provincial Treasurer may give a guarantee described in sub-section (1) by a certificate in such form setting out the extent or the amount of the guarantee as he may deem appropriate, Mr. Speaker. We have the one before that in which the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council may guarantee the payment of the whole, or part of an indebtedness of the Municipality incurred in respect to the project.
Mr. Speaker, those are some of the things which I certainly
take objection to in the Bill and I think they should be corrected. I think they can be corrected. But they should be corrected so at least in place of the Minister, it should be, when approved by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council.
Then, Mr. Speaker, I come along to another principle of the Bill. That is the one - that is the principle here, Mr. Speaker, where the Municipal and Public Utility Board is by-passed. It sounds very simple, it sounds very nice and a very good thing to do but I'd like to read this particular sub-section so that the Honourable Members, Mr. Speaker, will know what I am referring to.
"Notwithstanding any other Act of the Legislature, the Municipality may pass by-laws for authorizing and making and execute" - and, and, little inconsistency here, little misprint I believe - "pass by-laws for authorizing, making and execution of agreements. (b) Make and execute agreements. (c) Pass by-laws for any of the purposes mentioned in subsection (1)" and this is the part that I particularly refer to, Mr. Speaker, "without the authorization or approval of the Municipal and Public Utility Board". Then it goes on to say that "the validity and legality of any such by-law shall not be questioned in any action, suit or proceedings, in any court for lack of that authorization or approval."
Mr. Speaker, I'm not so concerned about the latter part of that, but I do think that we've had the experience over the years, Mr. Speaker, of having the Municipal and Public Utility Board set up as a "watch dog" to guide and direct Municipalities when they begin to seem to be coming to the place where they are getting in too deep in debt. And in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, they should still sit there to give approval to those agreements and to those projects.
Mr. Speaker, I think that in conjunction with the next section, which is another principle of the Bill, where the vote of the rate-payers may be by-passed. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the section with regard to the by-passing of the rate-payers in this particular instance is okay. I have no objection to it, but surely, Mr. Speaker, surely we don't want to throw all the safeguards out the window, because here we have first, when the Local Council passes by a unanimous vote a resolution requesting that the vote of the rate-payers be by-passed, then the Minister, and I think again it should be the - by Order-in-Council - may give approval to it. I would think that that is quite alright but it seems to me that when you do that and couple with it the fact that it is not to be referred to the Municipal and Public Utility Board, we're beginning to get on pretty shaky ground, and it seems to me that those are some of the things which should be corrected.
And then we would go on over, Mr. Speaker, to another section where, there is another principle being overlooked. It is tied in with the sections that I have particularly referred to. In sub-section (5) it says "Debenture debt, under debentures issued by a Municipality, that is a party to an agreement to raise money to carry out the agreement, shall not be included in computing the amount of the debenture debt of that Municipality, for the purposes of subsection (1) of 528 of The Municipal Act". Now under...528 of The Municipal Act it provides, I believe, that in
no case does the debenture debt of all Municipal Corporations other than a rural Municipality, shall not exceed 25% of the taxable assessment, but with regard to a rural municipality it shall not exceed, I believe the figure is 20%. The percentagees are not particularly important at the present moment for the purpose of my discussion, but I believe those are the proper percentages. And, Mr. Speaker, I contend that it doesn't matter very much whether a Municipality gets too deep in debt because of work which is for unemployment purposes, or whether it is for some other particular utility to benefit that particular municipality. I think the safeguard should be there, and I think that the reference should be made to the Municipal and Public Utility Board. I am quite agreeable that the vote of the rate-payers could be by-passed under the conditions set out in the Act, I think that principle is okay, but I do think that the other safeguard should be there. Mr. Speaker, I would suggest this, that if there is any danger, or any possibility, of this total amount of debenture debt of a Municipal Corporation getting too big, getting beyond the percentages set out in The Municipal Act, I think that we might write in here a section which would give somebody, somebody, now I am not at the present moment prepared to suggest who that might be, it might be the Municipal and Public Utility Board, it might be the Lieutenant-Governor, it might be the Cabinet themselves, Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council might waive, might be given authority to waive the limit set out in that particular section of The Municipal Act. In particular instances, and I think it should be the duty of whoever is going to do that to carefully look into the affairs of that municipality and see if it is putting them dangerously into debt or whether it is not.
It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that these are some of the principles which are incorporated into the Bill which I would object to. I think they should be corrected so that the very fine record of retiring debt and living up to the debt responsibilities of the various municipalities which has been established in the Province, may be maintained. I say that I think that the Municipal and Public Utilities Board would serve a useful purpose in checking on these agreements and on these projects. I think that the...I think they should be there in order to safeguard the interests of the rate-payers, particularly when they are being by-passed, if they are by-passed, in the way that is set out in the Act. And it seems to me that they could be corrected and there could be provision made as I said to lift that limit by someone with the proper authority delegated in this Act, to lift that limit in particular instances where the circumstances would appear to justify.
Mr. Speaker, those are the things which, some of the things which I think about this particular Bill. I think that it is all to the good. I think it is very timely and will be very helpful to Municipal people and to the labouring force of Manitoba. But I do think that in rushing in to pass this kind of legislation, we shouldn't let those safeguards be thrown out the window. They should be kept there in order to look after the interests of the rate-payers and the credit of the Municipalities of the Province of Manitoba.
MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased indeed to note that at long last something is going to be done along these particular lines, to assure a more stable rate of employment throughout Canada, to assure a greater volume of purchasing power of the public, which will have some effect in stabalizing the economy of this country. This is long overdue and for this reason, I am pleased to see this action being taken, although not completely satisfied with the Bill as it is.
For quite a number of years, Mr. Speaker, I have introduced resolutions into this House, urging the Government to take some action with respect to winter unemployment. The situation deteriorated early in the 1950s. The Government of the day was becoming concerned, but, in 1952, the Korean War came along, and that saved the situation, to some extent, and prepared the way for the boom that followed. But since then, each year, the situation has got worse. The number of unemployed in the February and March of 1958 was four times as great as the number of unemployed in 1956. And I am going by the figures of the Unemployment Insurance Commission, because I think the figures of the Commission representing, as they do, the people who are actually drawing unemployment insurance, are more accurate than the estimates of the Department of Labour -- estimates which are based only on a few questions asked of people in various parts of the country. Now we have submitted this resolution year after year. The Governments of the other provinces, particularly the Prairie Provinces, have taken a part - they have played a part - they have taken action to try to stimulate winter employment. But as far as the Government of Manitoba was concerned, they did less than any of the other Prairie Provinces. As a matter of fact, they simply turned over, in what was then their comfortable bed, and went to sleep again.
Now then, it's rather strange that when we get to 1958, and we're stressing winter employment, as we are doing in this Bill, we are finding that it isn't as effective as it might have been two years ago. This action, on the part of the Provincial Government, on the part of the Federal Government, is now a bit late, and it is now a little too little. Because you cannot separate winter employment from the general employment situation throughout the country. Now, in those years where we had optimum employment in the summer months, when we had full employment in the summer months, then the improvements in employment in the winter season would be the creation of new employment. But when we have unemployment in the summer months as we've had this year, and the latest figures that we had for the Prairie Region, show that the percentage of the labour force unemployed in the Prairie Region was almost twice as high in 1958 as it was in 1957. When we find this relatively great volume of employment in the summer months, then there is a possibility that work in the winter months is merely transferring employment from the summer to the winter months and is not creating any new employment, and is not creating any new consumer purchasing power. And these are not my own words. These are the words of the Chairman of the National Employment Committee, Judge Lindall. He says, "It's safe to say now that over 50% of winter unemployment is caused by the
general employment situation, which, in turn, fluctuates with changes in the national economy." Seasonal unemployment cannot be separated from general unemployment, and statistics that were placed before the National Conference on Unemployment, which took place early in the summer, reveal that the mere transference of jobs from summer to winter is not the answer, and after all the work that has been done by these winter employment committees over the past years, the harsh fact remains that the difference between the maximum employment in the summertime and the minimum employment in the wintertime has widened the gap between the two -- has widened over the years rather than has now. However, this winter employment campaign should be carried on with the greatest vigour. But the steps that have been taken are all to the good. They will stimulate employment this winter as they stimulated employment last winter. So that we are, in general, giving approval to sending this Bill to the committee for further study, and, in the hope that those who are interested will come before the committee and present thier views on the nature of the Bill.
There are one of two things that I question. I doubt, for instance, whether Public Works, Public Works such as those that are suggested, could be selective enough to give employment only to those who can no longer draw Unemployment Insurance, or that it could be selective enough to employ those who would be going on to Public Relief. The employment must employ many other people other than those who are without Unemployment Insurance, or those who may be going on to Relief. And we would like to emphasize this; that the work which is to be done; the employment which is to be created, should be socially useful employment; that the works should increase the capital value of our community. We don't want to have a repetition of the 1930s where people were just put to work digging holes and filling them up again or put to work cutting wood with bucksaws just for the sake of seeing them expending some of their physical energy. That's not the kind of work we want now. And I think, too, that it would be wise, perhaps desirable, in the Bill, to state some of the specific principles under which the funds would be allotted to the municipalities that will undertake these works. I gather that there will be different kinds of agreements -- different -- perhaps even different proportions of funds made available to the municipalities that may be undertaking this winter work. And I disagree, to some extent, Mr. Speaker, with the former speaker, with respect to the Public Utility Board, because it might be desirable to push ahead with some of these projects without submitting the matter to the Public Utility Board, and I also agree with the principle, but under some circumstances, where the Municipal Council is in agreement, that these works be undertaken without first submitting them to a vote of the rate-payers.
But again I want to come back to the point that, actually, it's a much wider problem that we are facing at the present time than that of merely providing extra work in the winter time. We are face to face now with this wider problem of how we can, and by we I mean action on the Federal Government level, on the Provincial level, on the Municipal level, how can we provide for full employment throughout the whole of the year in every part of
Canada? Because that is the major problem at the present time. With our powers of productivity increased, as they have increased, then we must be increasing the powers of consumption, and we must take into consideration all the aspects of the problem that come into this question of having a community with full employment, the fullest degree of employment throughout the whole of the year. And I'm pleased too, for another reason, because this whole action, initiated, to some extent, by the Federal Government, now being undertaken by the Provincial Governments, in conjunction with the municipalities, to use the resources of the entire country in order to see that employment is maintained; that purchasing power is maintained; and that by these means, the national income be redistributed to a certain extent, contributing to the general stability of the economy of this country. And we are pleased to see this go to the Committee, where we hope that it will be given a more intensive study and that we'll have an opportunity of listening to those, on the outside, who will be affected by this piece of legislation.
And again I want to say that we are very pleased to see this action taken at this time. It's long overdue. It probably isn't sufficient, a little bit too late, and not quite enough, but still, it's a very small step in the right direction.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. TRAPP: Sir, seconded by the Honourable Member from Dufferin, that we adjourn this debate.
MR. SPEAKER: Moved by the Honourable Member for Elmwood, seconded by the Honourable Member for...
A MEMBER: Dufferin.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion, and after a voice vote declared it carried. ]
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, if there isn't any mistake, I believe that you stated that the adjournment was taken by the Honourable Member for Elmwood. I believe it's Lac du Bonnet.
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourn debate on the motion for an address to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and the amendments thereto. The Honourable Member for Inkster.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker...I think you'd better reserve your applause for tomorrow. I have a very bad cold and I yield to anyone else's wishes to speak. I'm not foregoing my address in reply to the Speech from the Throne, but I cannot speak tonight. I'm sorry.
MR. ROBLIN: We're quite agreeable with Mr. Speaker that perhaps this order should stand but I wonder if the House would permit anyone else who cares to speak on the debate to proceed.
MR. STINSON: Yes, Mr. Speaker, there is another member of our group who wishes to speak.
MR. ROBLIN: That's fine. There's just one point here about the -- that is -- the nature of the adjournment. As you know the number of adjournments on these debates is limited, and this has the effect of giving it a fourth adjournment in a sense.
MR. GRAY: I don't mind, Mr. Speaker, it looks like an amendment to the amendment is disposed of.
MR. STINSON: There's one more adjournment. There's two adjournments on it now.
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, will that be considered as the third adjournment if it goes over tonight? If that's so, I'm satisfied --
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, so far as our group is concerned, one of our members desires to speak now and another honourable member is prepared to adjourn it afterwards if no one else desires to.
MR. ROBLIN: That would be perfectly satisfactory. Thank you.
MR. P. WAGNER (Fisher): Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Speaker of this House. Your position, Sir, is the most important position in this Legislature. Each one of us, from the lowest back-bencher, to the Premier of the Province, has to bow to your ruling. And your position has the most responsibility and we all trust that your rulings will be just and impartial.
I also wish to congratulate all the members for their election to this Legislature, particularly the Premier and his Members of the Cabinet. And, naturally, I would like to congratulate our Leader, which is heading now a C.C.F. group, two and a half times bigger than the last one; the largest C.C.F. contingency in the History of Manitoba.
This is the first time in 36 years that Fisher constituency was represented by anyone other than the former member of this constituency. I trust that I shall be able to so conduct myself as one representing Fisher and as one sharing the responsibility of legislating for all the people in Manitoba, that I shall be able to win the approval of all the people in Fisher for as many years as did my predecessor.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to carry on firstly with my constituency, which I am very proud to represent. And what Fisher needs -- the constituency I represent is a depressed constituency. It is depressed financially and physically. The physical depression makes the whole area susceptible to flooding. Rainfall, which can be easily absorbed in other parts of Manitoba, will produce flood coniditons in Interlake areas. This tendency to flooding creates other problems. Drainage cannot be effective as long as it's done on a piece meal scale. What is needed is a plan, an active program for water control, which will be almost province-wide in its scope. Complementary to the control of water levels, is the great need for more roads, and much, much better roads. The farmer of today must travel and use the highways much more than any of his forebearers did, and good roads are no luxury. They are a genuine necessity. Our need, for both roads and drainage, which has been largely ignored in the past by thoughts, that in future, we'll see a real change in this respect. Lack of water control has had a bad effect not only on roads but on our farms -- Fisher is almost wholly an agricultural constituency. Anything that is harmful to farming is harmful to the people in the area. Only in exceptional favourable years can the farmers in Fisher provide anything like a decent livelihood for themselves and their families. Much research work is needed; on the soil, on the waters, and on the bush lands, in order to indicate the best methods of farming to be followed in order to produce good results. It very often happens that in spite of every effort by the farmer and the members of his family, he suffers from the result of failure - crop loss. When such things happen, there should be in existence, a form of crop insurance to which I am sure every farmer will be glad to contribute, which will assure a living income for the farmer and his family - no matter how unfavourable the farming conditions may be, or how great the percentage of loss. No censure can be too severe to impose on the Government of Manitoba, and the
Government of Canada, for their abject failure to work out an effective plan for crop insurance. A direct consequence of that failure has been the widespread hardships and sufferings of farmers and their families in Fisher constituency. The physical and financial depression is still with us and it calls much more strenuous efforts than were ever made in the past if the men and women in my constituency are to enjoy the living standards that are enjoyed by communities in other parts of the province.
Mr. Speaker, some of our people are dependent on commercial fishing in order to supplement their income. This is another area which has been criminally neglected for the last 55 years. Some of our lakes had a goodly stock of Pickerel and Whitefish - now contain little but rock fish which is useless for commercial production. The Government of Manitoba allows the whole industry to be dominated by a few commercial fish companies. These companies are interested only in the volume of revenue they get out of these lakes. They are not interested in the well-being of fishermen. They are not interested enough in the long term health of the industry to spend any time or money in research or conservation. Research is needed to determine whether or not present practice of throwing rock fish back into the water is having a bad effect on the marketable fish. Research is needed to determine whether or not there is an adequate supply of food in the water for the fish. Research is needed with respect to the best methods of growing a good crop of commercial fish and with respect to the best methods of catching them. Research is needed in transportation, handling and marketing of all this fish. All this has been neglected in the past. Several attempts have been made over the years to organize the fishermen and try to develop a co-operative organization. The government shut its eyes and made no effort to facilitate such organization, until a couple of years ago, when one fish representative was appointed. Generally, Mr. Speaker, the people in my constituency have suffered from governmental neglect, indifference and inertia. Thus far I have been speaking about the people in Fisher constituency.
I would like to speak for a few moments about matters which affect the province as a whole. At the last Session - the last Legislature - the government gave birth very reluctantly, to a plan of hospital insurance. It was long overdue. It was planned in a hurry because the government had hoped it would not have to face up to it. Due to the government's lack of enthusiasm for the project, it was so planned that practically the whole burden of cost would be borne by the subscribers to the plan, with only a very small proportion being carried by the Governmental Treasury. It was due to the lack of preparedness that the government was obliged to assume the cost of hospital care for the first six months. Now we are hearing all kinds of confessions about lack of accommodation and about people who were without income being billed for service; about people pressured into paying extra dollars to pay for so-called semi-private quarters. We are finding too that the cost per family are higher than they should be - much higher, in fact, than in Saskatchewan where the people are getting much better service at lower costs. Just the other day the Honourable Leader of the Opposition referred to the
Saskatchewan group, so the looks of the things I...my Province of Manitoba. It is not too soon to defend that this hospital plan be given a very searching examination. First, to assure that there will be adequate hospital accommodation for those who are in need of it; and secondly, to cut down the cost to the family to the lowest possible level. We find too that even with the hospital plan in operation people are being forced to endure illness because they cannot afford to pay the doctor, medical and drug bills. It is time we had an overall health insurance plan in operation such as they have in great many countries in the civilized world and which, incidentally, they have enjoyed for many years.
There is another area in which we are backward in Manitoba. We have in operation something which is, to all intents and purposes, a compulsory auto insurance plan. I say compulsory advisably because the penalties which are imposed if one doesn't carry the insurance are so great that every motorist is under compulsion to have the insurance. Here is the basis of the whole plan. It's compulsory insurance with private companies getting the benefit of it. It's high time, Mr. Speaker, that we have, not only a plan of auto insurance, but also general insurance with the government as the insurer. We find that we could provide better insurance at lower cost than any of the private companies. I notice that a few days ago our Premier made a speech in Brandon and he finally made the discovery that agriculture is a depressed industry. He outlined some plans for making agriculture a prosperous and attractive industry to attract young men. This would be done by assuring a supply of credit, to combat the problem of establishing those who want to go farming.
What farmers need is not credit. They do not want loans which they will have to starve themselves to repay. The farmers know what they require. So does our Prime Minister, Mr. Diefenbaker. A year ago he was promising parity prices and deficiency payments. What has happened to Mr. Diefenbaker's promises? What has happened to that vision with which he blinded the people a year ago? Mr. Speaker, he has refused to go along with the idea of parity for farmers and he has refused to entertain the proposal for deficiency payments which he promised so freely only a few months ago. A farmer can have thousands of dollars worth of credit but he'll never be able to repay the loan if he cannot get adequate recompense for the work he does and the food he produces. Neither Mr. Diefenbaker or our Premier is willing to provide the right answer to the problem of the farmer. Only the C.C.F. policy will work.
As long as the farmers feed the nation, they have a right to expect support from the whole nation. Whenever they are relatively depressed in possession - relatively depressed position, no matter what may be the market price of agricultural commodities the farmer should be assured of income sufficient to meet the needs of his family and to repay him adequately for the service he performs. As long as prices of agricultural products are depressed, the farmers should be subsidized by the nation as a whole, if necessary. Instead of parity, instead of deficiency
payments, Mr. Diefenbaker comes along with a dollar per cultivated acre. What a vision. What a betrayal of the Canadian farmer.
The farmers are not the only ones Mr. Diefenbaker has betrayed. He promised that no one worker would suffer from unemployment. Not only are more workers going to suffer than last year but more of them are going to suffer because their unemployment insurance has run out. This is going to place a greater burden of relief on the municipalities and provincial government, but due to the action of the Federal Government, the municipalities and provincial government are going to find financing more difficult.
Remember the total provided to aid the farmers who feed the nation was one dollar per cultivated acre - a maximum of $200.00 per farmer. How much has been given to the banks and other financial institutions in bonuses and higher interest payments as the result of reconversion of funds? Something like sixty million dollars a year. Because of the higher interest rates now guaranteed to the banks and financial concerns, interest rates in general are likely to stay high, making it more difficult for municipalities and provincial government to do the public work which might provide greater employment. The Conservative vision is now a distorted image. Soon this will fade away completely and the real alternative to vote Liberals and Conservatives, the C.C.F. will do the job...
SOME MEMBERS: Hear, hear!
MR. WAGNER: Mr. Speaker, neither the Prime Minister nor the Premier of Manitoba has the answer. The answer is with this group, with the C.C.F. In the last legislature, Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives had eleven members in the House - now they form the Government. By coincidence in this legislature the C.C.F. have eleven members in the House. That coincidence may continue, will continue, and the next legislature may well see a C.C.F. Government. That will be a happy day for the people of Manitoba.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. A. E. WRIGHT (Seven Oaks): Mr. Speaker, I'm prepared to move adjournment if no one else wishes to speak.
MR. SPEAKER: Any other member wish to speak?
MR. WRIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member for Fisher, that this debate be now adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion, called for a voice vote and declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The Adjourned Debate on the proposed resolution of Mr. Gray. The honourable member for St. Matthews.
MR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Mr. Speaker, as we have listened to the speeches on these resolutions and the presentation of the resolutions by the honourable member for Inkster,
I am quite sure that many of us had going through our minds this thought. That one of the great compensations that has emerged from the period of economic disorder through which we have been passing is the truth of the age long principle that none of us liveth to ourselves. There is no question of real moment that does not have some bearing upon human well being. Everywhere, in our House of Commons, in the Senate, in the Legislative Chambers, City Halls and in Council Boards we are wrestling with problems of physical and mental disease, unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation, old age provisions, mothers' allowances, child care, family welfare and the like. And all these discussions, Sir, are based upon the ideal of social justice and freedom as necessary for the security and stability of our civilization.
Here, Mr. Speaker, in Manitoba while we do not of course accept the whole burden of a social amelioration, we are ready to assume our fair and just share of responsibility. The speech of the honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare yesterday afternoon, left no doubt in our minds as to the intention of the Minister to do what the honourable member for Inkster suggested in his resolutions - namely to give consideration to the advisability of so and so in the three - in the triple resolution. The Minister of Health and Welfare made it abundantly clear that the Government has been doing that, is doing it, and intends to do it. At this stage of course there can be no...the Minister cannot discuss details. I suppose this will be incoroporated in legislation which will be brought down at the proper time.
An important phase of the speech, Mr. Speaker, was his reference to conferences which will be held in the near future, in the month of November. Conferences between the Government and social agencies and other objects - other organizations whose objective is the welfare of our citizens, especially those who are in need of special consideration and help. And if they - I would like here, Sir, to pay tribute to many people who are identifying themselves with social crusades and causes. The names of the organizations are too many to mention, but this work is being brought vividly before us at the present time during the Community Chest Campaign. It would be a sorry day for us, Sir, were all this work to -- of public spirited citizens, to be relegated to the background and supplanted and superceded by Government enterprises entirely. That would be a tragic retrogression but it marks a forward step, Sir, when there is co-operation between governments and voluntary agencies. Never before, Sir, in history has there been a keener interest taken in ministering to the needs of unfortunate and handicapped citizens, and in all this governments are playing a needing and ever increasing role and Manitoba, we are proud to say, is not found wanting. The government of this Province is aware of what is their responsibility in this regard. And the Minister of Health and Welfare has said very definitely that the Government is prepared to take prompt action in dealing with these problems. May I point out, Mr. Speaker, that social reform is not the monopoly of any one political party. And I would like to remind the House that the Conservative policy believes in certain measure of change for the
purpose of the conservation of those things that are for the general good. In other words, a program of social legislation is not incompatible with Conservative policy. The Minister of Health and Welfare said yesterday afternoon - "We are the party of action". Mr. Speaker, that will be a splendid slogan for us when election time comes around. We on your right represent the party of action. That man, that man, is the true Conservative that lops the mouldered branch away.
The Leader of the C.C.F. party referred to the hearty reception given by the Government side of the House to the resolution of the member from Inkster. He said that this was a red-letter day in the political career of the honourable member. And he also pointed out that it formed a striking contrast to the reception received by the member when in previous years he had submitted resolutions along similar lines. In fact, Sir, the leader of the C.C.F. group might have gone a little further and said that the member for Inkster has grown gray in his efforts to win the support of the House.
I know, of course, Mr. Speaker, that the Leader of the Opposition rose in an attitude of stormy protest against these opinions of the Leader of the C.C.F. At long last, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition appears in the role of the champion of the weak, and the aged and distressed. He said that he has been always in favour of something being done but the answer that he had to the question of where the money is coming from was "out of the pockets of the taxpayers". Serious business, Mr. Speaker, isn't it? Where does the money for roads come from? Out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Where does the money for education come? Out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Where does the money for agricultural development come from? Out of the pockets of the taxpayers. And Mr. Speaker, if you were to put it to a vote of the taxpayers, they would rather, much rather, see their money going to aid needy senior citizens than to other enterprises which sometimes receive the financial support of governments. Even as my honourable friend, the leader of the Opposition was speaking in support of the principles of the resolution, I thought I could hear the echo of some famous words - "Why didn't they do it when..."
So, Mr. Speaker, this Johnny Come Lately attitude of political expediency is not good enough. You can't fool all the people all the time. There comes the fateful day, as it came in June last, when they say so.
We have particular interest in the resolution before the House, because there is no aspect of social legislation more deserving of generous support than the care of those citizens who have come to the sunset time of life, without adequate material resources. Mr. Speaker, they deserve a better fate. In many instances they represent the pioneer stock of our country, and it can be said that so often "by blood and sweat and tears", they have played a valiant part, with hardship they have raised their families and put them through school and college that they might take a lucrative place in society. Played their parts then in the up-building of this country. And all this, Mr. Speaker, is a challenge to governments at all levels. Mr.
Speaker, it is not to our credit as a city or as a province that so many of our senior citizens have to live in cramped and crowded downtown tenements that are not very, very much better than the standards of slumdom.
And I do get a real satisfaction in going down our main thoroughfares to see a lot of those old dwellings being torn down - where people are herded together like prisoners - and being replaced by modern businesses.
And my honourable friend of Winnipeg Centre, this afternoon spoke of the scheme of developing the idea of low-rental dwellings where these couples can preserve their independence and enjoy the privileges of home at a time when they need it. That, Sir, deserves every support and every encouragement.
Something is said in the final resolution about the establishment of provincial nursing homes for the aged. I know it's not within the bounds of these resolutions - I know also that perhaps it's a municipal responsibility, but I would like to take the opportunity of pleading for a closer supervision of private nursing homes in our city, that the people who are destined to spend their last years there may be able to do it with a real degree of comfort and contentment. As I say that then that brings me to the point that in all this work, it's the responsibility of Governments -
in all social reform on the level of the municipality, the province, and the Federal authorities.
Mr. Speaker, of course it's costly business but it can't be decently approached on the basis of how cheaply it may be done, but rather how it can be done in the best interest of the people concerned. Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Member for Inkster for his enthusiastic and ardent support of Conservative principles and ideals. His heart and his mind, Mr. Speaker, are in the right place, that is, on your right, while his body reposes upon the left.
MR. STINSON: May I ask a question? Is that really parliamentary?
MR. MARTIN: That he should be on the left?
MR. STINSON: No, that he should be charged with having Conservative principles.
MR. MARTIN: Well, it's a compliment! And I would like him to rest assured, Mr. Speaker, that the Government will, with great diligence, pursue in studying these important questions that are presented in the resolutions before us.
MR. F. GROVES (St. Vital): Mr. Speaker. During the recent election campaign, our Party included in its platform, a pledge to provide assistance to old age persons in need. The Honourable Member from Inkster, no doubt, had this in mind when presenting this resolution to the House. There is no question about his sincerity; this is quite evident in his compassioned plea to this House last night. His group, however, no doubt had in mind putting the Government on the spot with this resolution. This, they failed to do. The Honourable Minister has indicated that the Government will support this resolution. The C.C.F. has no, has no monopoly on feelings for old age persons in need. All of us in this group appreciate that there is a problem here, and the Honourable Member, or the Honourable Minister rather, has indicated that much work has been done, that much work remains to be done and will be done, in time for action prior to the next meeting of this House.
Now the Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, has agreed in principle with the resolution. He has cautioned, however, that we must keep in mind that the monies for this social legislation must come from the tax, the pockets of the taxpayers, and this must be considered in drafting the legislation. I might say that I agree with him. However, I have much more confidence in the administration than he does, and I am sure that when this legislation is being drafted, that this will be taken into consideration. I have no doubt that all of these things will be considered, and, when this Legislation reaches the floor of this House, that there will be displayed, the same general support from all parties that the present Government measures are receiving.
Let us remember, however, that old age pensioners are not paupers; that all old age pensioners are not paupers; they are not
all in receipt of Municipal Relief. Many have done much to fend for themselves. We must recognize their need also. Many now own homes of their own, small as many of them are. Many who went throught the difficult times described by the Honourable Member for Inkster, even have a few dollars for their old age. Many of these old age pensioners, not in desperate straits are also old age pensioners in need. Let us not reduce them to poverty before we will help them. Let us not consider a society where it pays to be thriftless.
Old age pensioners in need, in my humble opinion, Mr. Speaker, are divided into three distinct classes, or categories. Firstly, those who through circumstances beyond their control reach the sunset of life destitute. Society has a duty to see that such persons spend the balance of their lives with a reasonable standard of living and free from the financial worries that beset those who need medical and dental, eyeglass and hearing aid care. Many of these same people contributed greatly during their productive lives to the building of our Province.
The second category, in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, are those who in their old age are destitute, because of unwillingness during their productive years to do anything to provide for their life. On humanitarian grounds alone, we can, pardon me, on humanitarian grounds we cannot allow these people to go without food and shelter, even though we find it difficult to sympathize with them.
And thirdly, those old age pensioners who have in their late years; who now own their own homes and find that their only source of income is the old age pension, and in some instances a small pension from their previous employer or sundry earnings from part-time work in keeping with their physical capabilities. These people are perhaps, more fortunate than the others; and yet, we must recognize them for what they have done for themselves. Old age pension legislation must not discriminate against this group.
In closing, I would like to urge the Government to take this into consideration when legislating for old age assistance. I urge this House, to consider this last grouping, which in my opinion, have not had the breaks to which they are entitled, when passing on this legislation. And, I urge my honourable friend in the C.C.F. group, to give some credit to those, who through these hard times, that they like to speak of so often, have, even on low wages been able to provide in some part for their own security.
MR. W. B. SCARTH (River Heights): Mr. Speaker. I was not about to make an address. I, if no one else wished to speak on this question, I would move, seconded by the Honourable Minister for Morris, move the adjournment of the debate.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: This brings us to the end of our Order Paper tonight. I move, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture that the House do now adjourn and stand adjourned until 2:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.
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