MR. CHAIRMAN: ... discussing this Inter-Provincial Conference ...
MR. MILLER: ... of council, Item 2, Federal-Provincial Conference ... on with that. I would like to direct a question to you, Sir -- under which item, Executive Council or Treasury, can we discuss the operations of the Treasury Board?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I think the first item under Treasury Board would be most suitable, under Treasury would be more suitable.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, when we rose at dinner time we had had one or two remarks from both sides of the House with regard to the Federal-Provincial Conference and the proposals that have been made and the recommendations that have been made in this regard and the Honourable the First Minister had suggested that we should have had something with regard to the stabilization in the presentation in which we made at that conference. Now Mr. Chairman, there were no proposals made to the delegates to that conference and therefore the matter didn't get down to details such as that of raising the floor along with the standard tax rates because we never got around to getting anything from the federal government with regard to the standard tax rate. But one thing I would like to point out, Mr. Chairman, while we are discussing this is that one year ago in this House, Mr. Chairman, the Honourable the Leader of the government, the Honourable the First Minister, and his party voted against a resolution which made this recommendation to the Federal Government. They voted in a body, Mr. Chairman, in opposition to a resolution which recommended that the floors should be raised in accordance with the increase in the standard tax rate granted to the Province.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 5, Libraries and Historical Research.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't say a few words on this item and I might say, Mr. Chairman, that they are words of tribute because library and library expansion has taken place in Manitoba, due almost entirely to the activities of that very excellent person, the Provincial Librarian and Director of Library Services, Miss Marjorie Morley. I want to thank her for her utter devotion to duty in this field. I hope that she will continue to have the same co-operation from the Minister in charge as she had from the former Minister. Under her direction we have established six regional libraries, no mean achievement. And I want to commend her and her staff for the excellent job she has done and bespeak for her the whole-hearted co-operation of whichever Minister is in charge.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, in supporting the last speaker I do not want to be construed that we have very much love for the Liberal party. I think that the management of the library, by all the staff, and particularly by Miss Morley, the willingness to help the members to find the information they need and are always willing to serve at a moment's notice -- I want to pay the compliment. In the meantime, I would like to direct a question to the Minister -- while the library receives all the publications and the journals I have seen very few new books in the library, books -- say books on Russia; books on South Africa; books on Israel; books that now are the topic of the day. I was just wondering whether in these estimates, there is included an amount of increasing the library with books outside of the regular journals and the magazines which they receive for the purpose of giving all the information necessary for the members and the public? My question is to the Minister, is whether in these estimates or in the original estimates for the coming year was included an item on books -- I think they are very much lacking, the books that are there now, the books there almost are outdated and very few are coming in. My question is whether the Minister has examined the situation and whether in the original -- in this item, or in the estimates for the coming fiscal year there was an amount included for that purpose?
MR. WRIGHT: Mr. Chairman, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the First Minister, if I may. In Item No. 5, does this item include any grants towards the maintenance of historical sites?
MR. ROBLIN: No doubt to the grants for last year, there are, I believe, some grants for historical sites in there. I think my colleague may have the detail. I certainly haven't.
MR. McLEAN: Item 5 passed. The House will bear in mind of course that we are dealing with last year's estimates. There were in those estimates items for the purchase of books and so far as I'm aware the moneys have been expended for that purpose. That is the money approved for that purpose have been spent for that. Now I'm unable to say as to the detail of
the books that were purchased. That matter is left in the hands of the Librarian, Miss Morley, as the committee will understand. There will be, of course, similar provision in the forthcoming estimates when they are considered by the House and again I would assume that the actual purchase of the books will be looked after by the Librarian. To the extent that I may have any responsibility for the matter we shall be very glad to keep in mind the suggestion which the Honourable Member for Inkster has made with respect to certain books that should be included.
Now in answering the question of the Honourable the Member for Seven Oaks, there were provisions for grants for Historical sites, the grants have all been paid and I presume used for the purpose of preservation and establishment of Historical sites and all of the grants were made provision for last year have been alloted and paid out.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I'm quite astonished at the confession of my Honourable Friend the Member for Inkster when he asks this question because I'm sure that he has read the library report and the library report makes it very clear that they continue to purchase books. I'm sure that as a member of this House as well, that he gets the periodical circular that is issued telling the new books that have come to the Library. Like him, I don't see the books as often as I should or get the time to read as many of them as I would like to but, well, when I say that my honourable friend doesn't see them, he said that he hadn't seen where any new books were in and I can assure him that a great many new ones are purchased and, I believe all Members of the House get the circular that tells about the new books that have come to hand and they give a great list under various headings. It's quite interesting to see the number that are given, even under such subjects as 'Agriculture', and certainly the international situation that he speaks of is not neglected at all. So I would simply counsel my honourable friend to read the Library Report.
MR. MILLER: I wonder, Mr. Chairman, in the reference that the Minister made to next year's estimates, whether he'd care to outline the plans in connection with the expansion of the Regional Libraries?
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, as I understand it we are dealing with the estimates for the current year and not dealing with the estimates for the coming year.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman and I wouldn't have dared to refer to them had not the Minister done so in the first place.
MR. HAWRYLUK: Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss not to make some mention of a publication that comes from the Manitoba Historical Society called The Manitoba Pageant - it's something that has been most useful in the various schools in Manitoba that has given a great deal of enlightenment to the boys and girls of the Historical Development of the Red River Valley and I wish to say that that is an excellent publication and the teachers certainly look forward to getting it five times a year.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 5. Libraries and Historical Research. Passed? Item 8. Civil Defence $15,200.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, there is a great deal of interest being shown in this very important matter these times and I understand that a different programme is suggested by the Federal authorities -- has already been suggested and perhaps to some extent has been put into effect. I wonder if the Honourable the Minister would be prepared to make some statement on what has happened up to date along with any projections that he would wish to make into the future; but particularly what has happened up to this time.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I don't think there is much more that I can tell the committee than what has really already appeared in the press. And that is that the federal government has made a survey or, I believe is still in the process of making a survey on the question of Civil Defence. They sent out their Chief Civil Defence Officer, Lieutenant-General Graham, who has spent a little while with us and with Mr. Andrew Currie, the Civil Defence Officer here, and reviewed our general plan in the light of their review of the matter. We have not had any further information from them as yet as to what new proposals that they anticipate, although we do expect there will be some pretty radical changes made. But it's purely on the basis of what I read in the newspapers that I say that, all the discussion that took place with the visiting official from Ottawa was a general review of current practices.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, is the Honourable the First Minister the Minister of Civil Defence?
MR. ROBLIN: No, Sir, I'm not. I have been up until quite recently and because I have been up until quite recently I was the man who had the privilege of talking to the people from Ottawa. It has since been transferred and I believe now it -- well, let me put if this way -- it is proposed to transfer, and I believe it is to be transferred to the portfolio of my honourable friend here.
MR. CAMPBELL: I was wondering whichever one of the Ministers is responsible, if they have had in the Government of Manitoba here, any better success in finding out what Lieutenant-General Graham said about Civil Defence than the Opposition has had in the House of Commons in Ottawa. Have they been able to convince the Government at Ottawa that there should be a disclosure made as to what General Graham found about Civil Defence?
MR. ROBLIN: No, Sir, I must confess that I know no more than my honourable friend does on that particular point. But there is one local development which I regret I did not think of when I first spoke. And that is, after we came into office we decided that it seemed rather strange that of all the major organizations in the province that we could lay our fingers on, the Provincial Government itself was one which seemed to have no Civil Defence plans. By that I mean that we found that there was no plan for removing essential ... of administration here to some place of relative safety in the event of a warning. So there was this danger of the entire Civil Service being put out of commission should we have a direct attack on this city, which Heaven forfend. So we set up an inter-departmental committee to get busy and to sort this thing out with a view to finding out what were the absolutely essential activities of government which we ourselves carried on here that should be provided for at some remote headquarters to which we might have refuge in time of trouble.
Now that work, Sir, was started a couple of months ago. We have had progress reports from those in charge of it, but no final decisions have been reached. However, had we been sustained in office it would have been our intention to take action along that line.
MR. STINSON: This is a serious subject and one should not be flippant about it, but I had thought the former government had some sort of headquarters arranged at Flee Island and perhaps, Mr. Chairman, the present administration might wish to retire to the Island of Jamaica.
But all joking aside, I wonder if there is much purpose in discussing Civil Defence. I always have a feeling of futility when this comes up during the course of the estimates, because it seems that there just is no defence except disarmament and peace in the world, and any plans that have been put forward before have seemed to be pretty inadequate, almost completely inadequate and when one considers the situation with regard to aircraft and the Avro Arrow debacle at Ottawa and when it is suggested by people who know about these things that the Bomarc Missiles will be out of date by the time we get them set up. It does make one feel that perhaps this item might be struck out altogether. Although I would suggest that we perhaps should make use of the Red Cross and of any agency that can help in the rescue of life and in the preservation of life. If there is any possibility that something can be accomplished then, of course, we should do the very best that we can to do it. But it strikes me that it's a pretty difficult item to get through and every year that we have our debate on Civil Defence, I think everyone in the Chamber has a feeling of frustration because it's something that we can't take hold of with any degree of confidence.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, it certainly is not necessary for me to defend the present government policy with regard to Civil Defence and certainly I have no intention of fighting the election all over again or the discussions that we used to have on Civil Defence in this House but on the other hand I certainly would not want, and I'm sure that the government forces would not want either, to have it said that we sat here and allowed a statement such as the Honourable the Leader of the C.C.F. Party has just made to go unchallenged. That an item such as this might just as well be struck out because it seems that so little can be done about Civil Defence. Admittedly, it's a tremendously difficult problem to fix. It's one of those things that where frustration as my honourable friend speaks of is apt to enter, because there is a tendency for people to think that in a small way that so little can be done when they see the huge preparations that are being made by other countries and perhaps local communities are inclined to feel rather small compared to an effort like that. But Mr. Speaker, the history of the old land, the United Kingdom and other places in Europe in the recent World War II, indicated most clearly that it would be a disastrous mistake, absolutely disastrous mistake to let Civil Defence efforts lapse.
Because it was repeatedly shown that the ability of the civil population to stand up against the terrors of the way, and they'd be worse in the next one, that the ability of the civil population to stand up against that type of thing is to a considerable extent sustained by the morale of a well-organized Civil Defence. Now call it what you like, call it what you like but the fact is that there is a great work to be done. And it's true that it's difficult for us to do anything spectacular about it, but it would be a tragic mistake to let the impression get abroad that it's not important.
Now, when we recognize that we've had, and I believe there services are still available to this government, people such as General Elliott Rodgers and Brigadier John Bright and Brigadier Vic Malone and several others, public-spirited citizens and extremely well-informed citizens, giving their time and a great deal of effort completely voluntarily, completely voluntarily, on this type of work. If they haven't, if they haven't been able, with the assistance that they've got from the former government and I'm sure from this one, if they haven't been able to do something that appears to be spectacular and is anything but frustrating then that only points up the difficulty of this kind of a programme, and it is difficult. But on the other hand, just because it's difficult is no reason at all why we should say that it is unnecessary. And I want to say to the government that as long as they're in office, as long as they are in office, for the little while they are going to remain there, that I would give every support I can to them in the way of doing their best to do a better job than we did because quite frankly we found it difficult, too. But we were supported by a great many public spirited people, very capable people that tried to do something worthwhile.
And as to establishing an alternative headquarters for the government out in Flee Island district, as a matter of fact we did consider, not Flee Island itself, because naturally an important centre like that might be considered a target area, but one of it's suburbs, one of it's suburbs was considered. Very definitely. And plans were being made but as my honourable friends know it's a pretty big undertaking and I don't know exactly what has been done in that regard since. But this I would want to emphasize, let nobody say, let nobody feel, that this is unimportant. It's absolutely tremendously important. It's one of the most important things that we have to do today. It's true what my honourable friend says, that the right thing is peace. It's true that we hope we'll never need this, but at the same time if we ever need it we're going to need it desperately. And let's keep the fact before the public that it is needed, and this is an area where you've got to have volunteer effort in full heaped and rounded measure. I have no criticism of the plan that is suggested by the federal government. I think there is a lot of merit to getting people who have the training and the background and the element of discipline to rely on, and things like that, to get them to perhaps spearhead the organization. But at the same time Civil Defence, or Civil Emergency, perhaps that's a better term for it, it doesn't consist only of organization for when war comes. That would be the greatest thing of all, of course, and we hope it will never come. But a properly organized Civil Defence or Civil Emergency force would be able to operate under many conditions that we might face sometimes. So all I want to say, for Goodness Sake don't get this idea that it isn't worthwhile. It's desperately worthwhile. And if nothing ever happens that we need it, that's all to the good. That's exactly what we'd want to see. But on the other hand if something does happen then a force ready to take instant charge is a great support to the population as a whole, and that depends on volunteer efforts and we've got to keep that in front of the people as well.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to endorse everything that the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition has said about Civil Defence. I think there are some of us here who have had from personal experience some idea of what Civil Defence means to the general population in the event of the kind of emergency that we dread. While it is true that it is far from a perfect form of defence, nevertheless the mere fact that there is a trained and diciplined body of people ready to take a hand in emergencies that arise is something of benefit that can hardly be imagined, because the conditions of dislocation that happen in events like that, the disconnection of all the usual lines of authority and of interest are so complete or can be so complete as to place a great premium on the kind of work that our volunteers do.
Unlike the honourable gentleman who just spoke, I haven't had any Civil Defence experience in this country, though I have had elsewhere in other circumstances, but members of my family have and I know from their experience which is recent and current, of what a work is being done.
Although I join fully in the sentiments of the Honourable Leader of the C.C.F. part with respect to the terrible futility of war and maybe of some of our efforts to ward it off, nevertheless none of those things justify any relaxation in our civil defence efforts. In fact I am looking forward to an intensification of it when the new plans are being put out. Because the word that comes to us through the newspapers, at any rate, is that the military forces are going to take greater responsibility in this or that there's going to be a greater liason, let's put it that way, between civil defence and the military, all of which I think is to the good. I know there are many questions to be settled, the question of whether civil authority is to take charge or military authority. I certainly hope it will be the former, I think the military people would wish the same thing. There are many problems I know, that would almost defy solution, but it doesn't mean that we can't keep on trying and that's what we must do.
I remember, perhaps an old cartoon by Bairnsfather from the first world war. A couple of old soaks in the trenches, one is young and the other was old and the young one wasn't very comfortable under the weight of the bombardment and he's getting pretty restless, and Old Bill said to Young Bill if he knows "of a better 'ole, go to it". Well in many ways we're in that situation in Civil Defence. If we can find something better to do we're going to do it. In the meanwhile we'll carry on as best we can with what we know.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: I think, Mr. Chairman, when we're discussing this, and it's certainly a very important issue to the lives of every one of us, and an opportunity such as this is a chance to give some recognition to those individuals who spend a great deal of time voluntarily on this kind of work. And the little bit that I had to do in the field of communications indicated to me how valuable a committee set up say in the field of communications, telephone, radio and that sort of thing could be to us. And certainly there we have a field of endeavour that goes on quietly week by week and the general public know very little about it at all. But you will recall that in the Civil Defence set-up here in the Province of Manitoba we have the Manitoba Telephone System, we have the T.V. and radio stations, and the ham operators of this province and the taxi cab companies and anyone who operates this kind of message sending or receiving equipment. Co-ordinated together they have regular meetings and a co-ordinating committee that are prepared to step into the breach should a catastrophe occur. And the fact that they do have regular meetings -- true, it gets very little publicity in the press, -- but is the indication of the kind of thing that is certainly vitally needed as far as civil defence is concerned. And we can do a great deal of work at the national and international level as far as civil defence is concerned, but to a large degree, as my leader pointed out that when the chips are down, it's going to depend a great deal on the voluntary efforts of many, many organizations throughout our own province. And I for one, we certainly all hope that that day never comes. But to have such co-ordinating committees working on separate projects as we have them in these days, I think they deserve a good deal of credit and in spite of the frustration, I think it is a good omen in general that we are civil defence concious in this province, and while it does not get much publicity, there's a good deal of work does go on.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I concur that so far as floods and fires and emergencies of that kind are concerned that we certainly should do our best to have our people organized to take care of such events. And I'm also in agreement with the Honourable the First Minister in the remark that he made about the part that military forces should play. I think that in connection with the army that there should be more emphasis on civil defence in the training of the army so that there would be trained professional personnel in this field as well as voluntary help. But I'm inclined to think that Honourable the Leader of the Opposition not only likes to fight the last election but he's fighting the last war as well. And when the Honourable member for Minnedosa talks about when the chips are down, well those chips are going to be hydrogen bombs, and they're pretty big chips. And one of them dropped in the right location, perhaps the wrong location, would prove complete disaster. And so that is why, Sir, I spoke in that mood of frustration, because I think that we realize that we're up against something that is almost supernatural-superhuman, but certainly I agree that we should do our best, that we should keep trying. I'm hoping that the ideas that the First Minister has expressed about the army actually taking more responsibility will become a reality because I have a feeling that with trained personnel in a professional way, that there could be, perhaps, something done in a more concrete way.
MR. A. E. WRIGHT (Seven Oaks): Mr. Chairman, it's very encouraging for me to see that this work of mercy must go on because the other night when I rose to speak to my resolution in asking the government to give consideration to the advisability of a government-owned ambulance service, there were six members on both sides of the House jumped to their feet to try to defend the proposition that we didn't need it.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Civil Defence - total votes ... in department $56,576.00.
MR. ROBLIN: Just a point of Order here, Mr. Chairman. We are going through these item by item but the final resolution will be one total figure for the total of the items concerned. Now I've been checking the documents for current practice on this and find that is what we do so that you can't estimate a quarter of these things precisely -- you vote for one vote and it makes in transferable, but we're going through it item by item in order that there might be this discussion on the situation to date.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Mr. Chairman, in the matter of procedure under Item One - some items were held, and is it the desire of the Committee to go on straight down and leave them to the end or will the answers be forthcoming now?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, the answers will be forthcoming, I think, just about as soon as they can be prepared but I would think that we might go right through here making a note of any items which remain unexplained, and then at the end we'll do our best to provide the explanation that members want. But we do not wish to avoid giving the explanation if it is possible for us to do so.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, what the First Minister is saying is that the votes, what we might call concurrence, Mr. Roblin will be for one item, will be the various items here $129,000 for No. 1.
MR. ROBLIN: No, Sir, the resolution technically that is before the Committee is that there shall be a sum of some $16,000,000 or whatever -- $16,723,405 be voted as Interim Supply. That's the resolution before the Committee but in order to facilitate the desire of the members to enquire about these points, we are going through them one at a time but there will be one final resolution at the end that wraps it all up.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, only one item on which concurrence will be moved.
MR. CHAIRMAN: 1 - Treasury Administration ...
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Chairman, I think there's one particular item that I've seen no mention of here and I think there was some reference to it this afternoon by the Honourable the First Minister, that I should like to enquire a little more as to what has become of the $33,000,000 that was voted at the fall session for capital. Well, Mr.Chairman, perhaps that may not be too important by itself - I think it is important. But if we go back and look at, for instance, an item in the 'Tribune' of March 4th in which they said the province is free of debt -- the province is free of debt; Mr. Chairman, I think if you would take a little bit of a look at the $24,000,000 of capital that was voted at the last regular session of this House; the $33,000,000 that was voted last fall, we have quite a sizeable item there. Then again, the proposal of the present administration was that there would be another $36,000,00 voted for capital supply at this session.
Now, Mr. Chairman, if you would take the trouble to add that up, it comes to a nice round figure of $93,000,000 of dead weight debt which was proposed to have loaded on this province in the course of two years. Now it might be interesting to look back to last year's Budget Speech and if you will look on page 42 of it, you will find that this shoves the province of Manitoba back in the space of two years, back to where they were in 1940 with regard to dead weight debt, Mr. Chairman. It seems to me that is something which is worthy of note. I think the matter of how this $33,000,000 has been disposed of; how much of it has been borrowed and how much of it has been expended; how much is still unexpended is important. And I think it's important to the province of Manitoba to know that in the space of two years, they have been shoved back to the position with regard to dead weight debt which they occupied in 1940. Now, Mr. Chairman, I think if you would just take another few minutes and look at that picture of $93,000,000 of dead weight debt that that will mean that in the next year the administration, whoever they may be in power here, will have to raise something in the order of $3,000,000 for interest alone on this debt. And, Mr.Chairman, that isn't any small item. That's an item which will require considerable amount of additional taxes to be levied in order to carry the interest alone, and
that is not speaking about the retirement of the debt. And, Mr. Chairman, this constitutes no borrowing whatsoever, no provision for utilities, no provision for floods. Mr. Chairman, I think that's important to the people of Manitoba to show the trend of the present administration. And, Mr. Speaker, I don't want to go into too much of this stuff and too long but I do want to draw the attention of the House to the treatment which has been accorded some of the estimates in which, for instance, the Department of Education, the figure which was used of last year has been changed completely with regard to the amount of current expenditure which was voted at the last session. It has been changed in the present printed estimate and the capital amount has been excluded, and it would lead the people and anyone studying that, picking up those estimates, the new estimates, it would lead them to believe that the only amount that was voted for current expenditure last year was the $16,000,000, which appears there now. That is incorrect, Mr. Chairman, because there was in addition to that the capital supply which was included out of current revenue. And, Mr. Speaker, I think this is an example of the tricky bookkeeping that has been going on and which has set up what is supposed to be a balanced budget as presented to us. Mr. Chairman, we have an estimated surplus which is being carried over into the budget for the next year. I wonder how that estimate is arrived at and Mr. Chairman, the common practice has been that that surplus, any surplus of any year has been transferred to the cumulative surplus and not carried forward. Mr. Chairman, this seems to me that you might just as well say that $3 million 6 which is in there is being taken out of reserves and it was this, Mr. Chairman, I wanted to refer to because we have had so many assurances that there is going to be no increase in borrowing, there is going to be no increase in taxation - there has been some already, according to the press and of course if you look at the revenue, Mr. Chairman, the statement has also been made that nothing would be taken out of the reserves and I take it that that was the statement - and if so, what about this 3 million 6 which is an estimated surplus of the '58-'59 year and which is being just shoved over and being taken blithely into credit for 1959-1960? And I understand, Mr. Chairman, that there was an item there which is being transferred out of reserves which as similar to the way we did with regard to pull up and recover the deficiency of the contributions from the federal government. Mr. Diefenbaker has let us down but we have to dig into the reserve and try and pull up and get the revenues of the province on a proper basis regardless of what he does. Mr. Chairman, I don't think I want to go into very many more of these things. I have a number of other items that I should liked to have mentioned, but I don't know whether this is just the proper place or not but I did want to touch on these two or three.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I won't make any comment upon those points the honourable member opposite made in connection with the budget for the coming fiscal year for reasons which he is well aware of. I simply will make one general statement on the debt picture, as he outlined it to us, was $93,000,000 in debt. I would point out that that assumes that the borrowing that would be made this year would be improved and that it will actually be borrowing, which is an assumption which my honourable friend is not entitled to make. However, that is in the future and we are not discussing it. But I point out this to him, that if it were true about the $93,000,000, that two thirds of that debt is a debt which received his full consent either when he was the Provincial Treasurer or in the Special Session of last fall where it received, I think, unanimous consent of this House. So I say nothing about the future, but I merely say that regarding the authorizations over the last two years which amounted to some $60,000,000 that my honourable friend had his share in making those possible.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, that is quite correct, that we did vote that, the amount of $33,000,000, last fall and the other $24,000,000 was voted last year, a year ago, but Mr. Chairman, that certainly doesn't add up to the $93,000,000. And there is another big item here of $36,000,000 and if we want to discuss that particular phase of it, Mr. Chairman, if you will take a look at the estimates of this year, this coming year, which by the way are dragged into it by that reference, then, Mr. Speaker, you will see that even in the estimates, there is not an estimate for a full year on some of the items. And, Mr. Chairman, the point that I want to bring out is this, that by squeezing all the capital out of the estimates and by transferring the surplus of this year over into the budget for the next year, Mr. Chairman, they have just barely been able to acheive what the Honourable, the First Minister calls a balanced budget. It isn't a balanced budget, Mr. Chairman, even at that he has a deficit. And Mr. Chairman, the thing
that I want to point out is that those programmes will grow, and as they grow where is he going to get the other revenue to match the current expenditure which he is suggesting? He hasn't got enough of it here now even with transferring that $3,000,000 out of the surplus. So, Mr. Chairman, the point I want to make out is this, that there is every indication here and I can prophecy assuredly that if these programmes are carried forward that Manitoba is in for a might big tax increase.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 1 - Administration. Item 2 - Taxation Branch.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman, I think the First Minister indicated that under item No. 1, we can discuss the operations of that streamlining agency of government, the activities of the inner junta. And, Mr. Chairman, I know that the First Minister will be only too glad to advise the Committee as to the powers of the Treasury Board, their activities, their experts, because they have been, (we're free to discuss that because they have been hired), and the remarkable job they did in streamlining the estimates for the coming year. I looked at the estimates of the Department of Education, I take it I can discuss the format even if not the content, and I defy anybody to make head or tall on what was contained therein unless possibly one person, and he would have to be very, very well briefed by his department officials. And I readily understand why the government is reluctant to discuss the estimates for the coming year and why they rejected the whole-hearted co-operation which was promised them this afternoon in order to avoid discussion, because quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, I was looking forward to the time when the present Minister of Education would rise in his seat and make his opening address on the estimates. And, Mr. Chairman, I was going to promise him the same co-operation that members opposite gave me when I sat over there. And believe me, it was going to be pretty good. Now I would appreciate a full explanation of the activities, the set-up, the powers and so forth of the so-called Treasury Board and personnel too.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to oblige my honourable friend because I know he takes such a real interest in this particular part of our activities. I know the honourable member for Portage la Prairie is also very concerned with the Treasury Board, and I am glad to give them what information I can.
The first thing that I want to say is that it is based on the Treasury Act, as the honourable members will know, and while the name and some of the functions of the Board are outlined there, that I must admit is a very rough picture indeed of what the present Treasury Board has as its responsibilities. First of all, let me say that it is composed of the Honourable, the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, the Honourable, the Minister of Education, the Honourable the Provincial Secretary and myself. And of course, when we meet and discuss the affairs of any other department, then the Minister who is in charge of that department is also invited to attend so that he may have his full part in the discussion. Now the Treasury Board is assisted by a staff. The staff at the present time consists of seven people who were not on the Provincial payroll before this started and their total salaries on an annual basis amount to $45,000. I should like to say, Mr. Chairman, that the Treasury Board is in effect the financial committee of cabinet. It can in no wise override cabinet, and in fact all the decisions, or recommendations as the case may be, of Treasury Board are reviewed by cabinet, and if the cabinet objects to anything that is being done or requires further explanations, well then they must have them, because the cabinet undoubtedly is in control of the situation. Though there seems to be an impression abroad among some of my honourable friends that the Treasury Board operates as a law to itself and it is not under cabinet control, I would like to set that fear at rest because it is and every single recommendation and decision that is recorded in Treasury Board goes to cabinet where it receives their consideration. Now what has this body done besides confuse my honourable friend the member for Rhineland when he comes to read the estimates? I didn't really think he was that easily confused because he is a pretty astute gentleman. Well, I think it has done some very worthwhile things. It's main aim in life, (well, wait till you listen a while and maybe you will approve of some of these - it isn't impossible that you might approve), it's main purpose in life, Mr. Chairman, is to try and economize on the operations of the government, to try and co-ordinate the various branches that might be working on the same general line of attack in matters of that sort. Can I give the committee any examples of what it has done? Yes, I think I can. If you will remember, we have a document in this House that is generally referred to as the Throne Speech and that is printed and circulated to all the members.
Last year when my honourable friends were in office, it cost $240.00 to print the Throne Speech. Due to the co-operation between the Queen's Printer and the Treasury Board, it cost this administration $43.00 to print the Throne Speech, now that is one-sixth of the former expense. Now let it be said, Mr. Chairman ...
MR. MILLER: To save $200, you spent $45,000.
MR. ROBLIN: Well, I am going to show you a little better return on your investment. The honourable member for Iberville, I always can get his laugh, he's got the most raucous life in the House, so I know that this point really appealed to him. So I want to tell the Committee, Sir, what kind of a return they are getting on their investment. This one example that I mentioned is of course a very small one. Proportionately, it is important, one saving reduced from one to one-sixth, but by itself, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. However, following the same line of review of the operation of the Queen's Printer, we expect to save at least $50,000 this year in the Queen Printer's department alone in printing and stationery and office supplies in the service of the Government of Manitoba. Now that has been the result of Treasury Board looking into these matters and in co-operation with the department. Let me stress this, Treasury Board cannot go into any department by itself; it waits until the minister in charge invites it to come in and then it comes in and co-operates with the people there in trying to help them do their job in the best possible way. I must say that we've been delighted with the way that the members of the civil service have used the Treasury Board as an instrument in that way.
Let me go on. Microfilming is another thing that my honourable friend from Rhineland will know something about because I think he looked after that at one time or had something to do with it. The Treasury Board was able to cut our microfilming bill in this past year by $48,000. By looking into the way, looking into what had been previously arranged to be done, and changing it and altering and making some re-adjustment in the way that that was happening, and they report to me that $48,000 is being saved.
Another thing that the Treasury Board is doing is they have investigated the whole system of handling the motor vehicles that are driven by members of the civil service. And they have investigated and come to some conclusions about different ways about handling the motor vehicle operation of the government of Manitoba, and they have informed me that there will be a saving of at least $100,000 to be made because of that.
Another thing that they have undertaken is, and this sounds rather silly, is to count the heads in the province of Manitoba. We have our census, you say, that counts the heads, but unfortunately we have come to the conclusion that they don't count them all. And our studies indicate that there are some 10,000 people who have not been included in previous census that ought to be. If we can get them recognized as residents of the province at $40.00 a head, that's $400,000 that will be achieved in that way as a result of the deliberations of this Board.
Now there are a number of other things, Sir, that I could mention but the secretary of the Treasury Board furnished me with information a few days ago that the savings that had been achieved to date and the expenditures that had been prevented, which is another - outside of the coin that my honourable friends across the way will appreciate just as much as I do, that the savings to date are reaching up to the million dollar figure. Now that is the record of this Board during the few months that it has been in operation. Now let me make it quite clear that they don't work miracles; they just take on problem after another and examine it to see if any better way can be found of doing it. Often times as soon as they broach the matter with the department they concern, the department says "Oh, we've been thinking for some time we could do this better" and they sit down and work out some way of doing it. But we expect that by the work of the Board to date that they have achieved savings for the public treasury in the province of Manitoba that are reaching up to the million dollar figure. Now that is the story of the Treasury Board that we have now and that is a report on their activities to date.
MR. BEND: I believe I heard the First Minister say that this Board was going to be able to find 10,000 people, was it, in Manitoba that so far hadn't been on census or any other record; was that correct, and it meant $40.00 a head? How does the finding of 10,000 people, if it is so, mean $40 a head, in what way?
MR. ROBLIN: It fits into the tax rental arrangements.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, isn't there such a thing as a natural growth in Manitoba,
and isn't it a fact that over the period of the term of the tax rental agreement that the province will be given credit on a running average of the increase of population as between the two times of the taking of the Dominion census? And Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that some of that can be readily included in these 40,000 people. Now my information is that it wasn't Treasury Board that discovered this number of people anyway, it wasn't Treasury Board, it was the fact that there was a registration for the hospitalization plan and Mr. Chairman, regardless if there had ever been a Treasury Board in operation at all or not, that same thing would have occurred. And, Mr. Chairman, it's not just established that that figure if correct, that there are that many additional people because, I know from experience, that the number of people who register for hospitalization are quite often duplicated; they are registered both in employment and they are registered through the municipal office. And quite often you find a considerable number of these that are a duplications. I realize that the Honourable, the First Minster is going to say, well, that is what this Treasury Board is going to try and sift out, but I think it doesn't require a very elaborate Treasury Board, one or two men could do that work just as well as the group that is in operation with regard to the Treasury Board. And Mr. Chairman, another item that the Honourable First Minister has mentioned is the microfilming. Mr. Chairman, an awful lot of the backlog of microfilming has been completed and was just being completed about a year ago. There was one or two departments, and I recollect that before we left office that discussion had been under way with regard to consolidating that, and we didn't need Treasury Board for it. Mr. Chairman, discussions were under way and as a matter of fact one particular machine had been turned over in order to clean up a little bit of the other backlog in another department. And Mr. Chairman, that isn't anything new, it isn't anything wonderful for - how many men at what cost each, to sit down and figure out. Mr. Chairman, we will go along with all the other items and this is one of the things, Mr. Chairman, that we have heard so much about in the last few years - planning, planning and efficiency. Where has it showed up! Where has it showed up! Mr. Chairman, do you think that it takes a Treasury Board of that capacity to make up a budget such as we have had presented here, a bunch of estimates that is just a conglomeration of transferring and juggling around of accounts. Now Mr. Chairman, to me the fact that you have a Treasury Board of this capacity, and I recognize that they are of considerable capacity, but for goodness sake, that work was being done before to a large extent, and here we have this whole new organization set up and that's what we've got running through this whole administration. We've heard of it all through the Fall Session and all through this Session up to date - oh, we're going to appoint a board for this, we're going to appoint a commission for that. They'll have a staff for this and they'll have a staff for that. Where's the efficiency? The only thing that has developed out of that Treasury Board in the efficiency and the planning that the honourable members opposite here have spoken of so often is a whole bunch of new boards, new commissions, more staff, more civil service - and where are we going with it? Where are we going with it, Mr. Chairman? More expense, more expense, and I'll tell you where we're going - more taxes.
MR. PREFONTAINE: ... Mr. Chairman, the First Minister was chiding me the other day on the grounds that my mathematics were very poor. He chose to try and prove that by quoting a certain debate that took place in this House some years ago about equalized assessment. The Honourable First Minister knows very well that there was nothing there about mathematics, that the mathematics were 100%, that it was only a question of using one level of assessment or another. And he knows very well that these were not my figures at all. If certain figures were presented at that time they were figures presented by a semi-judicial body. Now he chided me on my mathematics but here we have him telling us that he hopes to find 10,000 people in Manitoba. To me it is just like looking for a needle in a haystack. He didn't tell us that he would find the, and then to balance against his hope of finding 10,000 people, he already credits $400,000 new money found by this famous Treasury Board. Seems to me that his mathematics are not very sound, just based on hopes. If there was something substantial to prove to us that he would find these people; he didn't say so. He hopes to find 10,000 people and he is crediting right away $400,000 on that side the famous job of this Treasury Board. If the other items are not any more solid than this one, it doesn't amount to much money.
MR. JOBIN: Mr. Chairman, following what the Honourable Member from Carillon has said, I tried to add up, I found $100.00 from Throne Speech printing, and I would join with the Honourable members in this C.C.F. in suggesting that perhaps we shouldn't brag about $100.00 -- let's get the union label on the Throne Speech debate. $48,000.00 for microfilm, $100,000.00 in Civil Service -- the Honourable Member for Carillon has challenged, where are you saving your $400,000.00 in heads? I challenge, where are you saving your $100,000.00 in motor vehicles -- $50,000.00 -- I forget what it was, and $400,000.00 for counting heads -- I add that up to $600,000.00. You say a million saving -- where is the other $400,000.00 saving? The only reason now I rise is because someone is going to print perhaps in the record, in the paper, this million dollar saving from the Treasury Board, and I think that it's right that we should challenge that particular statement.
Firstly, I believe in efficiency, and I congratulate you if you're trying to be efficient. But, I also say, what's the matter with your ministers -- your former ministers, and you haven't yet accused the former ministers of particular inefficient moves or anything else. What's the matter with your own ministers in finding some of these inefficient acts? So, I conclude by saying it's not enough to say that you've saved a million dollars, we have to have more proof than that.
Now, I think, if I may be excused from classing them in that way that perhaps some of the members, and I'm not referring to the ministers, because I love them all, but perhaps some of the members of the Treasury Board are long-haired head hunters. If we're going to get $400,000.00 out of them, it's the only assumption I can give.
I'm reminded, too -- excuse me, Mr. Chairman, for going into the new estimates, but I'm reminded of this great efficiency team that's going to cost us $50,000.00 -- I'm reminded, and perhaps I won't have an opportunity of asking this question, but what happened to that great efficiency team that's going to cost this Province pretty close to $100,000.00 that when the Honourable, the First Minister was absent on his belated honeymoon -- and I congratulate him on taking one, because some of the politicians, including my Leader, didn't know enough to take a holiday once in a while, but what happened to that high-brow outfit that was going to cost this Province somewhat near $100,000.00, the first Minister on returning, when the honeymoon was over, like it is now -- but he just clamped down and said "No dice, boys." And so I would say that [Interjection] -- the only other observation that I have to make, Mr. Chairman, is this, that I think the First Minister is going to need those ten thousand heads that his head hunters have found, in the next election.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I want to invite the Honourable Member for Flin Flon to join my party. He voted the other day for health insurance -- our sub-amendment, and now he has joined with us in suggesting to the government they should have the union label on the printing that is placed by the government. I wouldn't want to suggest that the Honourable Member has any ulterior motive, there are a lot of labour people in Flin Flon of course, but it's against the rules to attribute any ulterior motives, I may say -- [Interjection] -- Just the desire to speak -- Now Sir, we are not going to join with the Honourable Members of the Liberal party in every single criticism that they make of the Honourable gentlemen opposite. I am inclined to think that the Treasury Board idea is a good one. And, I'm -- I don't know just how it's operating -- I don't know the personnel -- it would appear to be a high-priced personnel, and I'm sure that they are doing more than just checking on printing accounts, and if we had an opportunity to have a thorough discussion of estimates, which is not possible because of the attitude of the Honourable, the First Minister, in defeating himself in this House this afternoon. So that, [Interjection] -- No, I think I can prove that my Honourable friend defeated himself -- and my point is that surely this Treasury Board with this kind of personnel, must be doing something in the field of planning in connection with the Department of Industry and Commerce, or is that going to be done by the Economic Development Board? It may be that this government if going even further than we would in setting up Boards, Sir, but certainly I think that the idea of a Treasury Board in itself is now a wrong idea.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to know, if I may, what's happened to the other studies that we heard about at the last fall session. I like the expression that the Honourable,
the First Minister, used about me at that time -- I haven't the Hansard before me, and I don't suppose I can quote it verbatim, but it is one that I gave him credit for because when I criticized some of the surveys and studies and assessments that were being made, the Honourable, the First Minister said -- referring to me, that anything so involved, my Honourable friend, the Leader of the Opposition is quite allergic to anything so involved as a study -- or something of that kind -- words to that effect. Well, that was fair game, as far as I was concerned, and I am allergic to these great numbers of Bureaucrats, because of the fact that I have found through many years of experience that they cost the taxpayers an amount of money out of all proportion to their value. And, bureaucracy -- bureaucracy is one of the dangers that the people of Canada face today -- one of the serious dangers that we face, both in the Federal government and this one. Now, I know that the people -- the Civil Service Association of Canada -- I don't know if that's the correct term, but the ones who are well acquainted with Civil Service procedures and Civil service administration and numbers per thousand of population, in the various governments in all -- I know that they have said, up to this past year I believe, that Manitoba had the smallest number of Civil Servants per thousand of population, I think, of any Province in Canada. Well, one reason for that my honourable friends would say that the former government was too cautious and too careful and too penurious. But, I have always maintained that unless it could be shown that the public service was in any way suffering because of lack of such Civil Service, that it was a very desirable trend to try and hold down the numbers, because, not only do the Civil Servants -- not only a case of their salaries themselves -- there's $35,000.00 for these five people, [Interjection] $45,000.00, was it? $45,000.00 -- was it that much? Well that's a pretty good salary, but not only is it the amount that they get themselves, but it's the things that they dream up to load on the backs of the taxpayers. And, I'm not charging it against these particular individuals -- it's a thing that goes through departments and ministers are not immune to it -- and deputy ministers -- there's a tendency in all of us toward empire building. And, you can't get a better demonstration of that, than what has happened since this present government took office. Because, if I am inclined to be allergic to anything as involved as a survey or a study, then I think it's only fair to say that a good many of the members of this front row, and particularly my honourable friend, the First Minister, himself -- and particularly the gentleman who sits to his immediate left, those two are our really great friends on surveys and studies and research and methods and planning. They outdo -- they outdo my honourable friends over here completely when it comes to that. Yes they do! The same as they outdo them in the question of spending money in general. And can we give a better example of it than this -- that the figures that we should be considering -- as comparative between the former government, and this one -- not the hundred and five million dollars of our last year's budget, as compared to the hundred and twenty, that my honourable friends show in the present year's budget, but having conveniently forgotten all about that other thirty-three million dollars -- the figures we should be comparing are one hundred and five million to a hundred and fifty-three million dollars. And, that's the measure -- that's the measure of this kind of planning and studies and research and all these things that my Honourable friends believe in. Well, I am allergic -- I am allergic to that sort of thing, because the bill that's going to come back home to the taxpayers, no matter what government is here, and we might just as well know it now -- might just as well understand now, that no matter what government is returned that they simply cannot on the resources of this Province -- they simply can't get along without a huge increase in taxes very, very soon.
And, my Honourable friend was careful enough to say that he didn't see any taxes coming this year -- this year -- this year that we're in -- that was right enough, but he's managed to escape that by some juggling around of the accounts -- and it's a juggling that I don't think is to the credit of this administration, something that we shall certainly do our level best to lay before the public and ask them what they think of it. But, no amount of financial juggling can get away from the fact that next year, they're facing a tremendous increase in expenditures again, because the way these services grow.
However, what I got up to ask about was what about these other studies -- as I remember, my Honourable friend, the First Minister, I believe it was on the closing day of the fall session, told us of something like thirty-three studies that these folks were engaged in, and the Treasury Board, and I would like to know what has happened -- he's only mentioned a few of them. I
remember saying at that time that this government certainly ought to get high marks for studiousness, and I can give them high marks for that -- I can give them high marks for another thing, they've certainly been out-boosting their own stock in front of the public -- they've spent so much time, Mr. Chairman -- the members of the front row have spent so much time out-selling themselves to the public of Manitoba, rather than their policies, that they haven't had the time to do the work of administration in their offices, and they had to leave it to these high-priced folks who they've imported from other Province. And that's a dangerous practice, Mr. Chairman -- a very dangerous practice.
However, let's hear about the other surveys and studies and assessments and plans and programmes, because here we have a group of people that they assisted the government in -- they've been brought in to show them where they can get economy in government, and they've been so successful already, that they've boosted the expenditures from a hundred and five million up to a hundred and fifty-three. Let's hear what they've got in store for us next.
MR. ROBLIN: Well, I must say my honourable friend is in very good form tonight -- it's always a pleasure to listen to him, particularly when he's talking about money and debt, because, I don't think I've ever heard my honourable friend speak or expatiate or lay before us his views on this matter, and my honourable friend, the Member for Portage la Prairie, is in the same connection, without telling us how terrible it all was.
I can recall how strenuously he used to resist the suggestions that were offered from that side of the House in days gone by, that we should spend money for some of the things that this government is proposing to spend money on. I remember all the doleful Jeremiahs we heard in the last few months about how we were now leading the Province of Manitoba down the road to financial destruction, and when that doesn't seem to be turning out quote as quickly as they expected in this particular budget, why then they simply raise their sights a little and say "Well, nevery mind, it'll be here with us next year, or the year after, or the year after that." Well, if my honourable friends are around in those years -- which I have some doubt, but if they are we'll be delighted to debate those matters with them. And, had we been permitted to make our budget presentation today, we'd have made some comments about the current situation. [Interjection] The question of studies, I don't intend to elaborate on much further, because most of the matters that I mentioned took -- have taken form in the proposals which we have in the estimates for the coming year, and we have -- certainly it is our view, that we should not discuss them in this committee here tonight, we're going to deal with matters up to date.
I'd like to say there is one thing, however -- one sentiment which I certainly share with the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, and that is I think I have just as healthy a feat as he has of what's called Parkinson's law, that is that Civil Servants keep on -- I almost was going to say breeding, but that isn't the right word -- multiplying or increasing as Civil Servants, and that we have the danger ever present with us of an unmanageable bureaucracy being built up. Now, that is one of the things that government has to watch for, and I'm quite willing to accept the advice of my honourable friend that we should exercise the greatest care to see that this doesn't overtake us. I don't know how many here have read that amusing book by Professor Parkinson upon the -- on the unexplicable growth of the Civil Service and how empire builders and job holders immediately create subordinates under them that call for an increased establishment, and how it got to the stage when the fewer numbers of actual Naval men that were in the British navy -- the more civilians there were to look after them in the Navy Department. And, that is a tendency which we all recognize in government.
Now, I'd be the last one to say that we were immune or perfect in this connection. There is that matter that has always to be watched. I can say to the Committee that our position of having the fewest number of Civil Servants per capita of any province in Canada, which I think is in some respects a good thing, depending upon exactly what all these people are doing, is a claim that can be made today. And, I would like to say this, that one of the things that impressed me very much, though I thought I knew it before, but I'm even more certain of it now, that I've had some experience of working with the Civil Servants in this Province, that we are, by and large, getting a full day's work and a fine contribution out of the people that are in our Civil Service, and I think that there is a remarkably small amount of lead-swinging, to put it that way, among our Civil Servants, and by far the most of them, are doing a conscientious job which is worth what they are paid for, in some many cases, worth much more than they're paid
for, and of which we can all be reasonably proud and satisfied. So, I want to say that, but I do admit to my Honourable friend, that this question of empire building has to be watched.
Well, I want to get a little credit out of this though, and I think I should tell him something about this Treasury Board, that perhaps he may not know, and that is that before we decided to go ahead with ours, we got out from Ottawa, and I must say this gentleman can't claim to be a protege of the new government in Ottawa, we got out from Ottawa the head of their Treasury Board. In Ottawa they have had a Treasury Board which has grown up in the last twenty-two years of the Liberal administration there into a very effective piece of public machinery, and I confess frankly that we based our Treasury Board on what has been pioneered for us by the Treasury Board at Ottawa, and almost all our procedures and things we do are based on their experience in a much larger and more unwieldly government than ours, in this thing. And, I'll also admit that we didn't allow political prejudice to limit us from talking only to Liberals or the result of Liberal administration in Ottawa. We also asked the Treasury Board in Saskatchewan if they would come and talk to us, which they did. And, we had quite a conference with both the Saskatchewan and the Dominion Treasury Board officials that were nurtured and developed under two administrations which had nothing in connection with ours from a political point of view, and we took the best that we could from what they told us. And, what we have done, of course, among other things, that I have mentioned is that the Treasury Board now has responsibility for major decisions which formerly was handled by the Space Committee that we had before, that it handles all matters of establishment, which formerly I believe were handled by an Establishment Committee, and a number of other ad hoc committees which from time to time had been set up by the previous administration. So, while I must admit that we have increased the staff by seven people, we have at the same time endeavoured to get the most value out of that by trusting them with certain duties that formerly were scattered around a little bit in other departments and other places, and in spite of the fact that my honourable friends don't seem to like the Treasury Board and don't seem to have any real confidence that they are doing a good job in saving money for the people of Manitoba, I still maintain that in my opinion, I think that they are, and I think the experiment is proving very well worth while.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Chairman, I was rather interested in some of the statements made by the First Minister, and I want to say at the outset that like the Leader of our group, I think the government has taken a wise move in setting up a Treasury Board, but they are taking a wise move in setting up some of the other Boards that they have set up. And, as far as giving employment to additional people in the Service of the government, that is all to the good too, and from the experience we've had the employees of the government are doing a good job. But, it is rather interesting, in the light of the remarks made by the First Minister, and looking through the estimates and checking through these estimates, that there is an increase in staff proposed of something like seven hundred people -- judging by the estimates we have given us, and that is rather a large increase in view of the fact that I think the staff was previously around thirty-four hundred and an increase of seven hundred on that is a pretty hefty increase.
MR. ROBLIN: This is a partial explanation of that, Mr. Chairman. It is true there are some increases, but not to that extent. The difference is that in some departments, in former times, they were established at certain people, but were only filled to another level -- you've got two different levels there -- establishment versus actual employment. Now, the figures we have here represent the new established figures as compared to the old employment figures. Now, a good example of that is to be found in the Department of Public Works, because there I think -- just going from memory, but the figures are roughly in line to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, but the old establishment for engineers and engineers assistants for the Department of Public Works was something like a hundred and seventy, actually all they had on strength were about one hundred and five, so there is a discrepencey of sixty-five. However, in these new figures here this shows the new establishment that we wish to fill, which includes the old establishment which was unfilled plus any additions that we may have put in. So, while there are some additions, and I freely admit that, it is not of the nature that has been suggested by that figure.
MR. MILLER: Have you the figure, the actual figure?
MR. ROBLIN: ... I'll get it.
MR. GREENLAY: It's very interesting...interesting remarks that the Honourable, the First Minister has made with regard to preparation on the estimates, and the figures that appeared on our estimates in past years.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I happen to have had a pretty close association with the drafting of those estimates and I want to tell him that the figures that appeared in the estimates were not the established positions, Mr. Chairman, they were not the established positions -- they were the positions which were filled or which it was proposed to fill immediately. Now then, Mr. Chariman, that's quite different -- quite different than the establishment of the Department, and those things were screened down very carefully when the estimates were being prepared so that the estimates were only in here -- we didn't pad the estimates up so that we had figures in -- we had estimates in to cover a half a dozen or a dozen or two or three in any department who were not -- where the positions were not going to be filled, and the figures that were in the estimates were accurate, so therefore, Mr. Chairman.
MR. ROBLIN: I'll not dispute it.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, the Honourable, the First Minister has now always said that the reason that they're increased is because they're now putting in the actual ones that are filled. [Interjection] The actual ones that are established? Well, then, Mr. Chairman, does that mean then that we have these estimates filled up with estimates for -- with money being appropriated for a bunch of positions that are not being filled? It's either one of the other, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to know which one it is.
MR. ROBLIN: Well, Mr. Chairman, the position that we would be in if we were discussing the estimates which was brought in, Mr. honourable friend, is that we intend to fill the positions that we provide money for.
Mr. honourable friend who has just spoken seems to have gotten my statement twisted around, I'm merely trying to explain the gap. But, one can understand that in the Department of Public Works with a very large increase in expenditure over the previous year that you just simply can't in a business like way, for example, carry on with the same staff, because in the last estimates, and these are one of the things we objected to, was that there weren't enough engineers -- that is one of the things we were complaining about. And, when we came to examine it, we found that in many cases, there were sufficient establishment for engineers, but that they weren't filled. Now, that's one of the things that we are complaining about, and one of the things that if we had our way we would like to rectify. We would like to fill those established positions and maybe a few more that we are establishing ourselves, because otherwise we don't think the job will be done properly.
But, I'm going to try to find out what the exact increase is over the establishment this year and last year, so that I can set the matter perfectly straight.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Mr. Chairman, I think that the Prime Minister, the First Minister, made a pretty neat job of changing the subject matter from one of criticism to one of praise for the Civil Service of this Province, on which he spent quite a bit of time; the praise is well due in favour of the Civil Service of this Province, but I think it should be considered that the Civil Service of this Province has been employed firstly by the previous government, and that the praise should go to their former employers -- the Campbell government. And I would like to join with the First Minister in saying that the Province of Manitoba has had the lowest number of Civil Servants proportion to population than province in Canada, and possibly the best Civil Service of any province of Canada. (Hear! Hear!)
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, in going back to the points that we were discussing, the point that I wanted to make was that the figures that we had in our estimates were correct. And, I assume, Mr. Chairman, that the figures that are in the estimates that were laid before us by this government are correct, but the fact still remains, Mr. Chairman, if those figures are correct, the Civil Service is up by seven hundred people, according to the new estimates -- they're up by seven hundred people if those figures are correct, which the honourable, the First Minister is assuring us that they are, and I want to assure them that the figures that we had before in the estimates were correct -- they're up seven hundred people. If some of the positions were not filled before, it's greater than seven hundred.
Now Mr. Chairman, those are the points which I think are important.
MR. PREFONTAINE: ...haven't had an answer to my question as to how the hope of finding ten thousand people can be transferred into the column of actual saving of four hundred thousand people.
A MEMBER: Four hundred thousand dollars.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Four hundred thousand dollars; you hope to find ten thousand more people in Manitoba, and you say that you -- because of that you have already saved four hundred thousand dollars. I can't see it.
MR. ROBLIN: ...get that much more.
MR. PREFONTAINE: ...you hope, you don't know if you'll find them.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, I think that the Honourable, the First Minister is pretty optimistic indeed if he plans that the figures that he has found now, that he can persuade Ottawa to come through with $40.00 per capita per year for them -- when the build-in adjustment over the five year period was put in there to take care of those increases. And, I think that he will have considerable difficulty in persuading Ottawa to accept figures which have been compiled and based on the registration to which they are referred.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Administration, Item 2 -- Taxation Branch -- $22,401.00; Item 3 -- Fidelity Holdup, Burgalary & Safety Insurance Premiums -- $2,562.00; Item 4 -- Insurance Branch -- $14,471.00; Item 5 -- Miscellaneous, Interest on Trust, Refunds, Payment re: Soldier's Taxation Relief and Town Planning -- $31,750.00.
MR. PAULLEY: On this Item, we're considering one-third or a quarter of the estimates for the current year. One of the Items is the Soldier's Taxation Item. I presume that it would be within the authority of the government to move around these expenditures. The point that I have in mind is, as I understand it, under this particular item, it is an item is paid to the municipality in respect of soldiers' taxation relief. Previously, last year it was a sum of $15,000.00, if I recall correctly. Would there be sufficient in view of the fact that municipal budgets mostly likely would be before the ratepayers prior to this expiration of this quarter. Would there be sufficient in there to take care of that?
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, we think so. I would like to point out that soldiers' taxation relief is payable only in respect of 100% disability pensioners. I might tell the committee that we have had representations made to us that we ought to revert to a previous policy which was cancelled some time ago to give a proportionate relief to people who had less than 100% disability. I know that the honourable gentlemen opposite aren't going to like this, but I am going to have to tell them that that's one of the things that the Treasury Board are trying to get some facts together on it to tell us what is involved by way of a liability in that respect, and whether we can consider any further changes in our present legislation, but it's a matter that we have been requested to look into and so we are doing it.
A MEMBER: This is to pay the municipalities?
MR. ROBLIN: Yes.
MR. GREENLAY: In connection with soldiers' taxation relief. The question hs been asked of me: "If an individual is able to earn a certain amount of money -- he is capable of employment and earning a certain amount of money, is he still entitled to the allowance of soldiers' taxation relief in the amount of the $50.00, because this individual is in receipt of full disability pension? Are they entitled to claim the full amount of that soldiers' taxation relief, if they are employed and earning, say a considerable amount of money?"
MR. ROBLIN: I really feel I ought to ask the honourable gentleman that question because he's been dealing with it longer than I, but I give him my opinion, subject to verifications, that the relief is linked to the disability pension and if it is 100% disability pension, no consideration is taken of the fact that this 100% disability pensioner might have some other form of income. Now, I'm not crystal clear that that is the right answer, but I believe it to be the right answer, and we can check it for my honourable friend. That's one of the things that you get involved with when you are dealing with these pensioners because while they may get 100% disability from the Pensions Bureau in Ottawa, that may not prevent them from earning a little money of their own, and when one considers that the pensions are not very high anyway, and they are really not granted unless there is some substantial reason, one can understand that. I think that is the correct answer; I will have it checked.
MR. GREENLAY: Well, Mr. Chairman, I certainly would hope that that is the answer.
I think it is the proper answer. But frankly, I don't know the answer to this question, and I was seeking information on behalf of certain individuals, and I would certainly be pleased to have some authoritative information on it so that I can pass it on to them.
Now, under this same item, Mr. Chairman, there is another item, that of town planning. Now, I wonder if we could have some information as to how this programme has developed and how many towns are being planned and how the matter of recovery of a portion of this cost is going with the municipalities and general information with regard to the operation of this particular service. I'm very interested in this, because I had quite a bit to do with having it set up, and I think it's an excellent thing for the towns in the province and I would hope to see it expanded and built up to where it would be a complete service to those towns that need it.
MR. STINSON: Before the First Minister replies, perhaps I could add a question, and that is in connection with an aspect of town planning in the City of Winnipeg. The First Minister has been interested in the Point Douglas area, and has been making certain proposals to the Winnipeg City Council, and they have been making some counter proposals, and I'm wondering what the present situation is with respect to this matter. And I might put one or two rather pointed questions to my honourable friend. Does he want to have the city hall in Point Douglas? Does he object to having the city hall on the location that was supported by a majority of the electorate of the City of Winnipeg?
MR. ROBLIN: The question of town planning is very interesting and a little bit involved in regard to its operation in the province. I think members that have sat in the House previously will understand that the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission of Greater Winnipeg is the major town planning body. There is some town planning done in the departments of the Government here but that is mostly in connection with approval of what has already been laid on by the Metropolitan Board. Now, the Metropolitan Board levies, I think it is 20¢ a head, according to the Statute, per head of population in the Greater Winnipeg area, to finance for their own sort of domestic customers. In addition to that, they take on any town planning requests put to them by the municipalities in the province, who also pay for their services on a per capita basis, too, I believe.
Now, the result of that is that we get, in effect, provincial town planning. Now, there has been some debate in the past about the advisability of continuing this particular method, and we, when we were in opposition, used to tend to the view that it might be better if we had our own provincial planning service rather than rely on the metropolitan one which really didn't come under our direct jurisdiction. However, as the honourable members know, there is this Metropolitan Commission that is about to report. Perhaps we'll have the report tomorrow. I know the Minister of Labour thinks we will, and consequently, any thinking that we might have in connection with this whole problem has been left until the time when that report is before us and we can judge what they have to say, because I think it will be generally agreed that town planning will be one of the major points that they are bound to report on. They just can't help it. So our thoughts are that we will withhold any changes we might propose until that is done. So consequently, at the present time, things are carrying on exactly as they were when my honourable friends were in charge.
Now, regarding the location of the Winnipeg City Hall. I have no views on that. What has happened is that I have proposed to the City of Winnipeg, with the consent of my colleagues, that a survey should be undertaken by a committee who have been named, on behalf of the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, and the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, who agree to share the results of -- the costs of that survey on a 20-25-25 basis. And, among other things, they have been asked to say whether they think that it is a reasonable proposition to put a city hall in the particular area they are studying. We have no views on the matter, because we are waiting to hear what these experts have to say.
Now, I would point out to the House that the limit of our undertaking, the limit of the undertaking of the City of Winnipeg, and the limit of the undertaking of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation is to make the survey, and none of those bodies -- The Central Mortgage and Housing and the City -- I think both would wish me to say this: None of those bodies are bound by what that survey says. When the results are before us, we will then have to make up our minds what to do, and I think it would be unproductive to try and forecast what they are going to say, because we are inviting them in as experts to get on with this job, and we might
as well wait and hear what their views are.
MR. GREENLAY: I might say another word or two with regard to the town planning. I think the Honourable the First Minister was essentially correct in his outlining of the present methods and what was being done, but I think that with regard to the Metropolitan Planning Commission as such, I think that that covers roughly the same area as what will be covered by the metropolitan investigation and report, and I think that that could well -- some action on that could well be deferred until that report is here and there may be something constructive with regard to that.
Now, Mr. Chairman, the other point, of course, is that the Metropolitan Planning Commission, and the director and the officials of the Metropolitan Planning Commission have taken over the supervision, or assumed the supervision of town planning throughout the rest of the Province of Manitoba, and that was done deliberately because it seemed to us that rather than to set up two organizations to carry on planning, one in the metropolitan area and another one which would be outside of that area and in the rest of the Province, wouldn't be to the best advantage, and we felt that so long as you has the same officials and the same governing body in charge of the planning both within the metropolitan area and across the rest of the province, that we would get a considerable amount of uniformity and that they would be able to see where any planning in an area outside of the metropolitan area would not conflict with that within the area -- the metropolitan area -- and I think that before that plan, that system of operation could be modified, frankly I would envision that some day the whole thing would be amalgamated and there would be the one planning organization that would take care of the whole of the province, probably on the same basis, without any difference as between the metropolitan area and the rest of the province. It seems to me that's the sensible approach to it and you do get one body, under whatever control might be found advisable at that time, and under what auspices might be found advisable at that time. It seems to me that we should try and get one body who would be in charge of the town planning throughout the whole of the province, and I think that it works very well. I think that the rest of the province would get the same good services which we get in the City of Winnipeg and in the metropolitan area, and I would commend the working along that line to the present administration.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 6.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I thought perhaps the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F. Party was going to follow up this question with regard to the city hall. It's a very interesting subject, and I noticed that the Honourable, the First Minister said: "We have no views on the matter." Well, Mr. Chairman, if the Honourable, the First Minister and his colleagues had no views on the matter, why did they propose this matter to the city council? Isn't it true that the suggestion arose from the government here to the Winnipeg City Council, and if they had no views, why would they raise the matter with the city council?
MR. ROBLIN: Well, Sir, I think it depends on your interpretation of language here. I thought that why my honourable friend over there was asking me for was whether we had a firm policy. In other words, if we wanted the city hall here, and not otherwise. In that sense, we have no views, because we have already indicated that we think there is a good reason to study the possibility of putting it in another place. But we want to make this clear, that whether it goes there or not is going to be the decision of the City of Winnipeg, no the decision of this government, because my honourable friend made an undertaking to the City that they could use that property to build a city hall if they want to. Now we have certainly -- although there are no agreements that we can find, except his undertaking, I don't see why there should be; that's sufficient -- and as far as we are concerned, if after all the study and investigation has been done, the City of Winnipeg decides it wants to build its city hall right there, we are certainly going to respect the pledge that has been made to them, and that's the sense in which I am talking.
MR. CAMPBELL: My only point, Mr. Chairman, is that this considerably complicates the situation that the city council already faced in this matter. As the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F. Party pointed out, this was submitted to a vote of the people of Winnipeg, there was a majority expressed their view, and it seems to me that it was rather gratuitous for the government to get in and complicate the matter at that stage, particularly when so many people appear to hold the view that that would not be a desirable site down there. Now when my hon-
ourable friend says that we, our government, made a commitment with the City of Winnipeg, that's correct, and we certainly entered into it in good faith. It was under discussion for a long time. Quite a few people honestly held the view, some people who were in the government held the view, that this was not the best site for the city hall. We had a lot of discussions with representatives of the city council and representatives have met with a committee of cabinet on more than one occasion. And one of the things that I think in all this discussion has been lost sight of too greatly is the fact that the City of Winnipeg already owned what I always refer to as the key part of this sight over here. This was not a case of the province of Manitoba giving away all that land, because the city of Winnipeg already owned the most important part of all, mainly the southwest corner over here, the one immediately in front of All Saints Church. And the city was already the owner of that. The city also owns another little piece further along Osborne street. But holding those two pieces of land already, the part that we agreed to give away was a comparatively small amount because we stipulated that the west side of this building, that is the full side, the full view of this building, must be left open at all times, so that when the projection of the west walls of this building was made along the Mall here and an undertaking by the city that they would not encroach upon that; it meant that of the portion that was left, that the city had almost as much land as we had of the remainder, so that this was not a case of the government giving away that whole site over there. The most important part of all of it already belonged to the city. Then the other matter that always seemed important to us was that the city, if, as, and when it builds there, will naturally want to have their building, their city hall in as nice a setting as possible. And so it is altogether likely that some gardens, a park-like place, will be left to the east side of it anyway, which will in my opinion enhance the atmosphere around this area. And those things have been frequently lost sight of in the discussions that have taken place. And it seems to me that after all the attention that has been paid to this question, and we know the difficulties of the city council in arising at a firm decision in these matters, having gone through all of that with a lot of differing opinions, not conflicting opinions because everybody there was trying, I'm sure, to do what was in the best interests of the city, for this is a long-term proposition that they are taking about. It is an important thing to the City of Winnipeg. Having gone through all that, got a high degree of unanimity on the part of the city council itself and then having submitted it to a vote of the ratepayers, it seemed to me, if I may use so bold a term, a gratuitous interference on the part of the government to step in at that juncture and complicate the matter by suggesting another site. And particularly in the way that it seems to me, from reading the papers on the matter, that there was quite an insistance on the part of the government that the City of Winnipeg should accept their suggestion of a commission to make this investigation. I would like to ask the First Minister, is it true that one of the town planning commissions has estimated the cost of acquiring that area as something in the neighborhood of $14,000,000?
MR. ROBLIN: How many millions?
MR. CAMPBELL: Fourteen.
MR. ROBLIN: I am not aware, I have no report from that commission.
MR. STINSON: I think that if we can get some slum clearance in certain areas of the City of Winnipeg it would be a wonderful thing, but I don't think that the government should make a condition that the city hall has to be there in order to carry through the slum clearance idea. Now I'm not clear as to what the position of the government is here. Perhaps the First Minister did make this clear the last time he spoke on it just a few minutes ago, but the electorate has already made a decision and I wonder just how many times it has to be made before we do have a location, a definite location for the city hall. But if it is going to complicate slum clearance, then perhaps the people might be willing to keep in reservation any ideas they have about the location of the city hall. But I don't think it would be fair to insist upon the city hall being there as part of the package deal. Now it did appear from the newspapers that the government did have a firm policy at the outset and they were saying this is it, or else. Then after some negotiation they backed down from that firm position and this present survey was instituted. But certainly we do want to work for slum clearance. I think we certainly want to be on record with respect to that and if it is possible to secure federal money to carry out slum clearance projects, then certainly as far as we are concerned in this party, we are 100% for that and we have argued for that for the past several years. But surely it isn't necessary to tie into city
hall with this slum clearance project.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 6, Civil Service Superannuation Act -- $147,500.00.
MR. MOLGAT: Before leaving the Item 5, I wonder if the First Minister could tell us exactly what the formula for sharing the costs on this slum clearance is between the federal government, the provincial government and the municipalities. Is there a set formula and if so, what is it?
MR. ROBLIN: No, Sir, there is no set formula. The only formula that has been set is for the study that has taken place.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 6.
MR. MOLGAT: Now, if this is proceeded with with the City of Winnipeg, are we correct to assume that the same offer would be available to other localities in the province on the same basis?
MR. ROBLIN: I am sure that we will treat all the localities the same. As a matter of fact, I had an enquiry from the City of Portage La Prairie, asking if we would give them the same terms for a survey in their own municipality and I wrote back to the mayor saying that if he would give us the terms of reference of what he wanted to do, we would look into it. But if it is more or less on all fours with what has been done in Winnipeg, certainly it will be open to anyone else.
MR. STINSON: The First Minister hasn't answered my question about whether or not the city hall must be included as part of the package deal.
MR. ROBLIN: The only thing on which we took a firm line, Mr. Chairman, in spite of what may have appeared in the newspapers, was in connection with the survey made and we wanted the questionable location of the city hall to be included in it. But I want to make it clear that the people who will decide where the city hall is going to be is not the government of Manitoba, it is going to be the citizens of Winnipeg speaking through their council or whatever other is a suitable way.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 6 -- Civil Service Superannuation Act.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, before this administration left office, there was quite a re-organization and quite an investigation under way with regard to a great number of people who had put in time and worked with the government for a considerable number of years but who did not come under the Civil Service Superannuation Act. At the last Session we did bring in amendments which permitted many of these people to be brought within the scope of the act and made provisions that adjustments could be made to give them credit for time which they had not been allowed under the set-up of the act before that time. I was wondering if any report can be made with regard to whether all of these cases have been investigated and whether a decision has been made as to how they would be dealt with.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I can give some account as to what has taken place on that. The honourable member is correct in stating that we amended the Civil Service Act last February or March to make it possible for people who weren't under pension then to apply and ask to be placed under the pension plan. As a result of that a number of letters were sent out -- now I just hope that I have this exactly right -- but I believe that letters were sent out by the Civil Service Superannuation Board to anyone that they knew of in this connection and I believe that some further publicity was given to it as well. As a result we received quite a number of applications from former civil servants who thought they now should have a pension and included people like those who had served in the Farmers Credit Arrangement Act or whatever that formerly was not under the civil service. It included people of a number of different Boards and Commissions that had operated in the past which at that time that the Civil Service Act was brought into force were not counted as civil servants. And there were certain other categories of people as well that I can't recall from memory, but they were people who had worked for the government for many years, perhaps as a temporary civil servant, but who actually had worked permanently although they were described as temporary. There were a great many of those; and all those cases were carefully reviewed by the Superannuation Board and they have submitted quite a substantial list of proposals to the Treasury Board who were instructed by the legislation, I believe, to look into it -- and we have looked into it. As a result, there have been increases in pension, or people have been allowed under the pension system, in quite a considerable number, I suppose the number must be 75 or thereabouts at the present time.
There are some cases which are still under review and that we haven't yet considered simply because they haven't gone through the machinery and there are new ones coming in from time to time. I think I can say however that with very few exceptions, perhaps half a dozen, probably not that many, we have agreed with every recommendation of the Superannuation Board and have made it possible for these people to be brought under the pension plan. Now, I must admit that in some cases the pensions are not very big but nevertheless they were based on the standard actuarial calculations which apply to anybody who is under the pension plan. So I think we can report a substantial degree in this particular matter. It isn't finished yet, we've a good number of cases to conclude and if the committee wants, I will try and get them some statistics on this, which I confess I haven't got with me now but I can say that reasonable progess has been made in making sure that those people do get the consideration that this new act entitles them to have.
MR. CAMPBELL: Would the Honourable, the First Minister be able to tell us the numbers that have been finally dealt with and the numbers remaining?
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, I can do that. Do you want to know how much pension they got too? What the award was?
MR. CAMPBELL: ...It would be appreciated.
MR. ROBLIN: All right, I will give you the full particulars.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, as I understood the First Minister, some of these cases have been dealt with, some not yet. I assume that the ones that haven't been dealt with at present, if it's established that they are entitled to the superannuation, it would be made retroactive to when the first began to draw that had been accepted. Is that true?
MR. ROBLIN: That is correct. In each one of these cases the award is retroactive to the beginning of the last fiscal year we are in now, the beginning of last April.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 6 -- passed. Item 7 -- Grants under the Unconditional Grants Act for Municipalities, Local Government Districts and other Local Areas -- $626,708.00 -- Passed.
MR. PAULLEY: If I'm right, this item doesn't mean too much except that it's a sum of money, because, it is right that this amount is normally paid at the end of each year?
MR. ROBLIN: Well it depends, I think the first year that it was given, it was paid in December or November, and that last year it was paid at the end of May or beginning of June -- so that apparently it is a movable feast.
MR. PAULLEY: Irrespective of when it was paid the year before and last year, there certainly wouldn't be sufficient monies in here to make any payment at all, would there?
MR. ROBLIN: No.
MR. RIDLEY: In fact, Mr. Chairman, there were some municipalities had their pictures taken with this cheque being presented. Why I don't know. That was Chief Alex Sinclair.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, I think there is an explanation as to why the date of payment was changed and it's not the one that a lot of the honourable members think it might be. If you will recall that, in the first year we didn't have the census figures on which to pay the amounts until late on in the fall. Therefore, they were not finalized and therefore it was impossible to make the payments on the basis of the census returns until late in the year. We had a lot of criticism, we had a lot of grumbling because these amounts of money had not been paid out earlier in the year, because the municipalities said "Well, we want to get the money in the spring so that we can do something through the summer with it. And, for goodness sake, get it moved ahead." And, Mr. Chairman, having had the census figures from the year before, it was quite easy to put this into effect and make these payments immediately after the beginning of the fiscal year. And this is the reason that they were moved ahead, at the request of the municipalities, so that they would have the money available to do work through the summer season.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Chairman, will these grants to municipalities include any of the social services, which they want to carry on?
MR. ROBLIN: No, Mr. Chairman, these are the straight, unconditional grants of $3.00 a head.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 8 -- Passed. Department of Provincial Secretary, Item 1 - Administration.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, I would like to draw the attention of the House to
the fact that, with respect to administration, they are asking for one quarter of what was spent last year, and I would like to remind the members that this little department there, composed of five persons, give many services to people of Manitoba. Now we hear that fees have to be increased on services rendered because departments were losing money, but I would like to suggest that this particular department, giving the services that it were giving, was making good money. In fact, the fees estimated to be the revenue this year, amount to $120,000.00, the total expenditure, including the Minister's salary last year was $35,000.00. So there was a good profit in rendering these services. This year the fees are increased under the Change of Name Act and the Companies Act apparently, and it is expected that the revenues will creep up to $165,000.00. So I say that in this case the increase in fees is not made necessary because the government was losing money in providing the services at the previous fees but that it will mean an increased revenue, it means to my way of looking at it, an increased tax on the users of these services that are being given by the department of the Provincial Secretary. And unless my figures are totally wrong, they can't very well be wrong -- I got them from the estimates presented to us, and I checked when I was the Provincial Secretary myself -- and was always assured that there was a nice profit on the services we were rendering at the cost we were charging, the fees we were charging at that time.
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, the Honourable Member for Carillon is mentioning the estimates for the coming fiscal year, which we are not, I understand, debating. We are debating on the figure of $44,779.00, which is exactly a quarter of what was estimated last year, except for 25 cents. I think if you divide $179,115.00, by four, you would get $44,778.75, and we are asking for $44,779.00, just one quarter of last year's.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Will the Minister answer my question? Was he losing money at the rates charged previous to the recent increase, in providing the services according to the two acts that I mentioned?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, there hasn't been any increase yet, Mr. Chairman.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, there seems to be some doubt about this point and I know that there's been a kind of priavte argument going on between the Honourable, the First Minister and my colleague from Radisson about the return that was placed on the table here. And I don't want to stir up any unnecessary trouble here...
MR. CAMPBELL: ...oh, no!
MR. STINSON: ...it's not the seventeenth of Ireland so we don't want to have a brawl over this, but it strikes me from what I heard that it's going to cost more to go fishing or to get married in this province in the future, and this might be a very serious matter to the people of this province. And I know that we're not supposed to be debating the estimates for the coming year, but I've been a bit curious about this private war that has been going on between these two honourable gentlemen.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I could maybe say something about that. The question has to do with rates to be paid to the Queen's Printer for publications in The Manitoba Gazette, and the return that I offered to the House was that there was a regulation that went through some time ago that had the effect of raising rates from three cents to four cents. Now, my honourable friend, the member for Radisson, quite correctly pointed out that there were a great many other items -- well, not a great many -- but half a dozen items in the Order-in-Council, which appeared at first glance not to be covered by the reply. So, naturally, I took my reply back to the people that very kindly prepared it for me, and had them look over it, and they said "In effect, the reply is correct because there has been an increase of from three to four cents per word in this particular matter." Where the difficulty arises is that in some of these notices there seems to be a lump sum charge rather than a per word charge. However, I have asked the department on several occasions to make sure that they had given the House the correct information and they continued to assure me that they had. Well, then, I went to my honourable friend and showed him the information that I had and asked him what he thought of it. He said he didn't think much of it, and that he wasn't really satisfied with what had been given to me as an answer. So I am still trying to negotiate it with the people who drafted the regulation to find out if we can give him any better answer, and what he is doing for me, I understand that he is putting down on paper, because we couldn't come to a meeting of minds on this verbally, he is putting down on paper where he thinks he is still missing an answer. And we are going to do
our very best to get him the exact detail that he feels is missing. We think, however, that we have in essence answered him correctly, and if we haven't and if he will give me his objections, I will do my best to straighten the matter out. Better still, I think I'll take him up to the department concerned and let them have a go. And if we're given inadequate or insufficient information, well, we will do our best to remedy it. But that's the situation on that little contretemps.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I would like to assure the Committee that in this dispute there are no swords drawn, and while in essence the return may be correct, in fact I don't think that it is. But however, that's just a private little argument between the Honourable, the First Minister and myself, and I don't know whether the First Minister would agree that we should keep it that way, at least for the time being, and without a mediator.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I rise to say that, with all due respect to my two honourable friends, and I know they're very capable of carrying on either a war or a debate or anything else, but I think we should not have them keep it as a private little argument because while we don't rehearse these questions back and forth between my honourable friends in the C.C.F. party and ourselves, yet in the interest of getting the business of the House done, we attempt to not ask the same questions that they do and they try, I suppose, to not duplicate ours. So, when any question is asked here, I think it is not the right way to give the answer privately to the member who has asked it, because all of us are interested in it, and we are particularly interested in this one, because of the fact that to a lot of us who don't know the proper definitions of some of these things, when the Honourable, the First Minister, has said that there will be no increases in taxes this year, or as the Press have reported him, no increases in taxes period. And then when we see that fees and permits and licenses and things of that kind are raised, then all of us want to know what the correct answer is on that. And I don't want my honourable friend to receive these answers all by himself and not let the rest of us know about it, because being the genial gentleman that he is, he might be quite well satisfied, but some of the rest of us still want to know. And I still maintain that whether you call it a tax or a permit, or a license or a fee doesn't matter very much, if it costs the taxpayer some more money, to me that's taxes. And we want to know all the taxes that have been or are being imposed, so I suggest to my honourable friend they don't keep it a private war, but let us have the facts in front of the whole Committee.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I think that I should rise on that. I was trying to be what the Leader of the Opposition ascribed to me as being a reasonably jovial individual when I was speaking as I was a minute ago. I want to assure this House, this Committee, and also the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, that the basic reason that I asked the question through an Order for Return was exactly the point that he is raising. It wasn't something concocted out of the air at all, but I had noticed in the issues of the Manitoba Gazette changes in the regulations dealing with public notices, and I asked the question simply to ascertain whether this was the only one or whether there were others that may not have come to my attention with the weekly issue of the Gazette. On receiving the return in the House from the Honourable, the First Minister, before going on Orders of the Day, I raised the question again. The Honourable, the First Minister, answered me and he made a request of me to jot down others in order that he may facilitate the full return if after the consultation. Now, I would say to my honourable friend, the Leader of the Opposition, that if he or his group were so vitally concerned with this, that on me raising the question, and I'm certainly not attempting to come to the defence of the First Minister, but on raising the question the second time in the House, if they had been on their toes then they would have pursued the matter before instead of at the point it is raised now.
MR. CAMPBELL: We're prepared to, Mr. Chairman. My whole complaint is that my honourable friend here, admittedly a genial and jovial chap, that he lets the First Minister put him off with some private information that he doesn't communicate to the rest of us. We want to know.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I dispute that most heartedly.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, may I get a word in here because I'm the man that has the responsibility of trying to provide the right answer. It was never my intention, Mr. Chairman, that there should be any private answer to my honourable friend. All I was doing was
responding to the question of the Leader of the C.C.F. party, who seemed to be interested in the course of our negotiations, to try and get to the root of what his real question was. That's all we're trying to do. And as soon as that's available, naturally the return will be made to the whole House, and in no other way.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, I'm surprised at the Honourable Member for Radisson saying that we're not on our toes. We expected that he would follow through to the bitter end the way he usually follows such questions through. Well, so it was only our respect to his ability to get these answers that we figured he could handle it himself. But we're certainly interested in getting the final answer if we can. However, Mr. Chairman, following the questions that the Honourable Member for Carillon mentioned, I don't think he has received an answer to his question from the Minister concerned, and I'm interested in the same matter, so I will ask it as well. We're not supposed to talk about this document that we have, this is forbidden ground. However, we do know that it has been said in the press that certain fees are going to be raised, certain fees that come under the Honourable Minister's department. Now, then, is it true then that the fees that have been charged in the past year, which I'm sure we're discussing, were sufficient to cover the cost and show some profit? Is that true?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, in answer to that question, I must admit that there is some fees that were barely paying the paper it was written on. While I'm on my feet maybe it would be proper to answer the question about Hansard we had earlier.
MR. BEND: Yes, Mr. Chairman, but I'm not satisfied with this one line of questioning. If you want to bring in the other, all right, but I'll have to go back to this one because I'm not quite satisfied with this yet. Could we finish this one first?
MR. BOULIC: Well, Mr. Chairman, I think I've answered it satisfactorily. Some of the fees charged weren't sufficient. Now about Hansard.
MR. PREFONTAINE: ...some precision on this? Are you referring to the fees charged for incorporation of charitable institutions that we reduced last year from $90.00 to $15.00 to help charitable institutions, or are you referring to other fees?
MR. BOULIC: There is, Mr. Chairman, quite a number of different fees charged. The field is fairly large. I will take that as a notice of question and I will answer that one tomorrow. Oh, this session, yet. It'll last quite a while yet. Now about Hansard, Mr. Chairman. I seem to notice that the only member that seems to have trouble reading it is the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville. I'm sorry to notice, and quite concerned, about his health.
MR. MILLER: The First Minister has considerable difficulty, by his own words, reading it.
MR. BOULIC: Well, he never brought it to my attention. I think everybody admits that it is a handier Hansard than last year, easier to tuck away; it's very readable, but I'm quite concerned about what seems to be the failing eyesight of my honourable friend from Rockwood. He seems to be doing the same thing when he reads a newspaper clipping; he seems to get it far and closer, and he seems to have the same trouble, so I do think it's the eyesight.
MR. GRAY: It would be more economical to buy him a pair of new glasses.
MR. BOULIC: It could be, after I give the answer to the question of costs here.
A MEMBER: He could get in under the new policy.
MR. BOULIC: I think he is too young yet to qualify for what's coming up. The average cost per sitting last fall was $478.54. The average cost this session is $336.01. The cost for 12 sittings last fall was $5,742.42; 12 sittings at the present rate would be $4,032.12. This would be a saving of $1,710.00 on 12 sittings, or roughly 30 percent. If the current session had gone for an average length of 50 sittings, the cost of the current style of Hansard would have been approximately $16,800.00 as against an estimated cost under the first size of Hansard of $31,000.00. I was very conservative, I think, this afternoon when I mentioned a saving of $10,000.00.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, am I given to understand from the Minister's answer that the saving is entirely due to the small print, that this small print brings in this entire saving?
MR. BOULIC: Well, Mr. Chairman, nearly entirely. Maybe the quality of the paper, of course, naturally the size of the paper; in fact the transcription costs were slightly higher for the current session. Now, while I'm here again, Mr. Chairman, I could possibly answer the
questions of the Honourable Leader of the Opposition. There were 102 copies, paid subscriptions by mail. The courtesy list by mail, 105. The free delivery in government offices, 23. Legislative list, 70, and the average sales over the counter, 11. For a total of 311. That was last session. Do you want the figures for this current session? You would like to have them. Paid subscription by mail, 145 copies. Courtesy list, 105. Free delivery to government offices, 41. Legislative Assembly list, 62. And counter sales are averaging 14. For a total of 367. The courtesy list comprises different libraries, the newspapers -- I think it's around 60 weekly newspapers.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, I still haven't got this thing. Now we started out and it was $16,800.00 on the old type of print, $31,000.00 with the new. Then when I asked the Minister, now is this raise entirely due to the print? Well, nearly or almost so. But now I understand transcription costs were higher and then there was a different grade of paper. Now, what I would like to know, is not taking into these costs at all, how much more does it cost to have a Hansard we can't read, how much less does it cost to have a Hansard we can't read, than the one we had last year that we could read?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, I'm sorry but I have to come back to my honourable friend for Rockwood-Iberville, to his failing eyesight. Everybody else is reading it and not stretching it away and closer. We have no other complaints, not one, and I'm afraid I must stick to the figure of $16,800.00 because I would say nearly, because the smallness of the print -- the size of the paper has to do with it, so naturally if you cut down on the size of the paper, you are also cutting down on the size of the print. That $16,800.00 is...
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, as well as the size of the paper he mentioned something about the quality of the paper. Now, has the quality of the paper been changed in any way? We'll come at it that way. Has the quality of the paper been changed?
MR. BOULIC: I'm not too sure about it. I think it is possibly a little lighter weight, I don't know.
MR. BEND: Well, in other words, Mr. Chairman, this figure does not represent (that's all I'm trying to establish) this raise of $31,000.00 isn't due entirely to the smaller print. There is a change in the paper and there is a higher cost of...trans...whatever you mentioned. Now, those two things will be in here and all I want to get is the pure figure, that's all I'm after and I can't get it.
MR. BOULIC: Well, Mr. Chairman, you couldn't print a longer line on a page of this width.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, I agree a hundred percent.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to ask the Minister if it was necessary to purchase any new equipment in order to produce Hansard in its present form. And in addition to that, is it being produced here entirely, in this building, under the supervision of the Queen's Printer?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, in answer to my honourable friend, the leader of the C.C.F., it is printed here; the Xerox machine was bought last year - there have been electric typewriters bought that I don't think we had last fall.
MR. STINSON: This appears to be a different type of type. Last fall we had a Hansard that appeared to be more of a mimeographed or multigraphed job, and this looks more like actual printing. And it may be some new process that I am not aware of at all, there are so many developments in this field that I am not up to date on them.
MR. JOBIN: Mr. Chairman, this would be a great subject for the Treasury Board to investigate, this great gain of $15,000. Just to ask a question still further, my knowledge is limited of printing, I admit, but as the Honourable Leader of the C.C.F. has said, the last Hansard I think was a mimeographed copy; that means that the typist had to type on to a plate that was run off downstairs. This, I think, is an offset print job but the thing is that the photograph has to be taken off a typewritten sheet, and that photograph put on to a plate. And I don't think there's that much difference in the saving in the cost of the plates. So, I too wonder where the $15,000.00 comes in; plates are plates, and they still, I think, cost the same, whether it is mimeographed or offset plates.
MR. McDONALD: Mr. Chairman, what is the policy of the government in furnishing these Hansards to the members of the House? Are there any other additional copies besides the one furnished to the members?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, could the member for Dufferin repeat the question please?
MR. McDONALD: What is the policy of the government in furnishing copies of Hansard to members of the House?
MR. BOULIC: Their copy and ten cents a piece for extra copies. As long as there are some they are available.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, I am not going to pursue...However, Mr. Chairman, I do agree with the statement that the Honourable Minister made in answer to my question when he said it was impossible to get any more words in one line. I agree with that. This is the smallest print you could possibly get. However, does 10 cents a copy cover the cost of the printing of that particular copy? That's my question.
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, on that question I would say yes, and I would add this, that the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville, with his failing eyesight is lucky that I am not writing that Hansard by hand because he would never read it.
MR. BEND: That I agree. I've seen your handwriting. Mr. Chairman, I want to get back to the other topic that I mentioned, about some of these fees. And I would like to deal specifically with Change of Name. Now, then, I know that the Honourable Minister mentioned that in some cases the fee didn't any more than cover the cost of the paper, and that is quite understandable. It might quite well come under that of a public service and wouldn't be expected to show any profit, but in a change of name, my information is that this is to be increased. Is that correct? And the second part is this, was the fees charges previously covering the cost involved?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, my honourable friend is now attempting to widen the field of discussion into the financial proposals which we hoped to bring down in the budget this afternoon and he should know that we don't intend to deal with those matters, because we can't deal with them piecemeal. We were not allowed to deal with them in full. So we want to make it clear that my honourable friend needn't bother asking questions respecting the coming budget.
MR. BEND: You cut your own throat.
MR. ROBLIN: All right, never mind. We'll let the public decide whose throat to cut.
MR. MILLER: We sure will.
MR. ROBLIN: Very good. And in the meanwhile, in the meanwhile, none of these increases have taken place and they're not subject to this discussion.
MR. BEND: Except that, my understanding was that certain of these fees had been raised as was asked by the Honourable Member for Radisson and this has nothing to do with the budget
next year. My understanding is that this has been raised by regulation. Is that not so?
MR. ROBLIN: But my honourable friend is mistaken here. The only fee that has been raised by regulation or otherwise is the one in connection with the Queen's Printer that was referred to in the return given to my honourable friend. Now we've had a thorough search made of the regulations...
A MEMBER: I didn't recall any...
MR. ROBLIN: We've had a thorough search made and that is the information that I have. And I want to say that there have been certain speculations in the press about fees, and I notice that after having read over the estimates certain speculations were made as to what portion if any was represented by increased fees. And I must say that the deductions drawn were not accurate and furthermore that these other fees of which my friend speaks, have not been raised.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I hate to raise at this point, but I am afraid that I must correct the Honourable the First Minister, because I have before me two copies of the Manitoba Gazette which disproves the statement of the Honourable the First Minister.
This, Sir, is the Manitoba Gazette of December the 27th and contains Manitoba Regulation 72-58, "Tariff of Changes under the Public Printing Act filed December 12th, 1958." It deals with the changes in the change of name publications under the Companies Act, under the Liquor Control Act, the Municipal Act, the Partnership Act, the Real Property Act, the Special Survey Act, Notice of Approval of Plan, each insertion, the Trustee Act, Notice to Creditors, single copies of the Manitoba Gazette. These were all changed by this regulation, and section number four, Mr. Chairman, of the Regulation says this, "this regulation, except section 3, comes into force on the first day of January, 1959 and section 3 which dealt with the annual subscription to the Manitoba Gazette, which was likewise increased, comes into force on the first day of January 1960". So I suggest to my honourable friend the Minister, the First Minister, when he says that these changes have not been made, that he read Regulation 72 of 1958.
MR. ROBLIN: Now that's what the argument was about between my honourable friend and I, because he interprets those evidently to mean some changes in the various act or service that's been referred to, when actually those changes merely represent the changes for printing that kind of a notice in the Manitoba Gazette. And what happened was very simple. We added up the costs of running the Manitoba Gazette and we found out how much we were getting in, and found that we were in an unsatisfactory position, so that the charges made for having items inserted in the Manitoba Gazette were increased. Now that is what those things refer to and that illustrates the difference of opinion between my honourable friend and myself as to whether or not we have correctly answered his return. But I want to make it clear that that regulation has to do with printing costs in the Manitoba Gazette. And really, because they refer to different kinds of printing services, like changing of name or registration for a company, have really nothing to do with change of name in itself or registration of a company in itself; what they have to do with is printing those things in the Manitoba Gazette, and that's where the increased cost comes in and that's where the difference of view arises as to whether or not we have given the correct explanation.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I hate to disagree with the Honourable the First Minister, but if I recall his words correctly, just a minute ago he said that these changes were not brought into effect and were going to be considered as additional revenue in the next year's estimates. But one of the answers on the return was that it was anticipated by this method there would be first of all, if I recall the return correctly, it said there was only an increase from three to four cents per word for extra words and that this would bring in an anticipated increase of some $4,000.00. But my main purpose in asking for the return, while I have seen this and while the Honourable the First Minister might think that this is just trivial, and it only pertains to the publication of it, I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that it is a concern of the individual who through our various statutes desires to change their name; to them it's something real. And I would suggest that the regulation itself has been changed and it is reflective on the cost to the individual who desires to have their name changed, or the individual who under the Trustee Act must give the notice to the creditors and the likes of that and it's not quite as simple.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, now that it's been established that I was absolutely in order when I was speaking about this change in name, because what the Honourable the First Minister
was going to go on to say is, "well any other proposals with respect to it, they are in the future estimates." I would just say this to the Honourable First Minister and the Honourable Minister, that in the case of change of name there are many cases arise where that is the only way that a person can have, sometimes a relatively simple thing rectified, as an error in Birth Certificate years before, in which they come to reconcile a Birth Certificate with what their real name is. A mistake has been made years before and in order to rectify it sometimes the only course open is change of name. I think the Honourable Minister of Health will bear me out on this. Therefore it is a sufficient fee at the present time, an already the costs are greater because the costs of printing are greater and I assume by the anxiety with which the First Minister was keeping me out of talking about proposed changes, that very likely there is going to be -- should you folks over there have the say later on -- of maybe tampering with that, and certainly you won't be lowering it. And I simply utter a word of caution, that before the process in change of name is made any more expensive that needs to be very carefully investigated.
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, I think the Member for Rockwood wants to be a naughty boy. He mentions the Budget-to-be again.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, is it naughty around here not to agree with the boys over there all the time? Is it naughty to maybe say that you're not perfect? Well if that's the case, I'm guilty.
MR. STINSON: What does it cost to change one's name?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, in answer to the question of the Honourable the Leader of the C.C.F., rates could vary and I haven't got the exact figures. I'll supply them to you tomorrow.
MR. STINSON: Well, I wonder if the Minister would bring this information. It happens to have been raised here and I know a man who recently told me that he couldn't afford to have his name changed and he was thinking about it. And I just don't know how much it costs. I might say that I'm not contemplating changing my name to that of Campbell or Roblin.
MR. CAMPBELL: I hope not!
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 1.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to ask the Honourable the Minister, with regard to the circulation of Hansard. I understand that it is 10 cents per copy to those who are not on the courtesy list or members, 10 cents per copy; is there a flat rate for a whole session?
MR. BOULIC: Three dollars a year, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CAMPBELL: That would be that even if we continued for fifty sittings, to use his example, even if we continued for fifty sittings then the cost still is three dollars per year.
MR. BOULIC: That is correct.
MR. CAMPBELL: Three dollars per sitting or by single copy, 10 cents per copy.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, there seems to be, if not on paper, in the air, an increase in the fees in the Department of Provincial Secretary in the offing and the question that I would like to ask is what has brought this about? Because I think if you would take a little bit of a look at the Provincial Secretary's estimates of last year and the amount of money that was recovered from that department, you will see that there is quite a substantial little bit of a profit with regard to the overall operation of that department. Now what has brought about the need for increase in fees when this condition exists? Is the department to earn a profit on its operations or is it to be a service for the people of Manitoba? If it is a profit, and I think one of the papers, even the Tribune suggests that if there is to be a profit that should be considered in the light of taxes, and I would only ask the question that you look at the estimates for the year ending March 31st, 1959, the amount for the Provincial Secretary's Department, including the Manitoba Gazette, is about $70,000 and the estimate of revenue for that same time is about $144,000. I wonder how these figures reconcile. Do you need to increase the fees in order to cover the cost of the service? If not, is it another gimick to get a little more money into the treasury?
I have a real fellow feeling for the Treasurer and I would admit that that's a good kind of an approach to get some more money into it but I don't think it should be done on the basis of cost for service.
MR. ROBLIN: If you had let us give the Budget Speech, you would have had the information.
A MEMBER: Hear, hear!
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Chairman, now when we get back into talking about the Budget, I have very carefully refrained from getting over into the estimates of this next year. All right, I have very carefully refrained on this particular question, and if you'd like to go back another year you can go back to the year ending March 31st, 1958. And, Mr. Chairman, the same situation prevailed in that particular year. Now I don't care, you keep backing up if you like, but I kept from getting over into this year on this particular discussion, and the question I would like to know is, what has brought on the need for increased fees -- even on the printing, even on the printing? What has brought it on? Because there is a substantial surplus in the operations of the Department and if that's the case, why increase the cost of the individual person who has to go through these proceedings?
MR. HRYHORCZUK: Mr. Chairman, I'd like some clarification on the cost of that Hansard. If I heard the Honourable Minister correctly, he said that 10 cents an issue covered the cost of printing the Hansard. If that is correct, we have, say we have usually one issue a day, but let's say two issues a day; you've got 366 subscribers at 20 cents, that comes to around $73.00 a day as the cost of printing the Hansard. Can he tell me how his cost has risen to $16,000, because in order to have the Hansard cost you $16,000 we'd have to sit here at least 200 days.
MR. WRIGHT: I'd like to ask a question. Do Municipal Secretary Treasurers receive a free copy of Hansard? This came to my attention, Mr. Chairman, during the recent concern over getting through this Private Members Bill in regard to consolidation of the four school districts. They were much concerned and I was wondering whether or not they were on the free list. I think that if anyone should be, it should be, it should be the Secretary-Treasurers of school boards and Councils on the free list.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Next item.
MR. GREENLAY: Am I not going to get an answer to the question I asked?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, that question, the Honourable Member for Portage was asking again questions on the Budget-to-be of increased fees in the estimates which is for the government to be.
MR. GREENLAY: Well, what is the necessity for considering any increase in fees?
MR. ROBLIN: We're not considering any.
MR. GREENLAY: O.K. Mr. Chairman, if the Honourable member chooses to sit there, if the whole Government chooses to sit there and not answer the question, O.K. They apparently don't know the answer.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item No. 1. Item Number 2. Queen's Printer Office $1,875. Passed. Item Number...
MR. MILLER: The Honourable, the Minister, is a member of that Treasury Board and the Honourable the First Minister has said that they have effected a great saving in printing and other things. I'd like to know who printed the report of the Department of Education which was tabled just recently? I also want to know what it costs to get me a special copy.
I look at page 149 and then I turn this way and I reach 150, 151, 153 and 154 and 157. [Laughter] Now I have compared; it appears that the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition gets a good copy. Now why was I singled out? [Laughter] What devilment is afoot?
MR. CAMPBELL: I can't read backwards.
MR. MILLER: Now if this is a sample of the work that's being done by the Planning Board of the Cabinet, the Treasury Board, for heaven sakes don't carry it on. Mr. Chairman, who printed it?
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item Number five, Civil Service Commission.
MR. MILLER: No, Mr. Chairman, I want an answer. I want to know who printed this. I take it that it bears the imprint of the Queen's Printer for Manitoba but I take it that this was farmed out, [Interjection] "Printed by R. S. Evans, Queen's Printer for Manitoba". And what this copy costs?
MR. ROBLIN: Well I don't know whether I can tell you who printed your copy, my honourable friend --
MR. MILLER: I suspect that I am in the same favoured position as is the Honourable the First Minister in connection with Hansard.
MR. ROBLIN: Very likely, you deserve it.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item Number five.
MR. GUTTORMSON: Will the Minister give me an idea, approximate time limit, when the deductions will be on the stubs, I mean a month, two months or three months from now?
Does it come under this item?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, I think the Honourable Member for St. George refers to stubs on cheques.
Well, there is a survey going on in the Comptroller General's Office. As soon as they decide on equipment they will use, they will issue stubs with the cheques. We have no idea or deadline.
MR. GUTTORMSON: You mean it mightn't be this year at all, then.
MR. ROBLIN: Perhaps I can give my honourable friend a little information on this, because when we first asked for an estimate of the cost on this matter we received a report from the Comptroller General it would cost $6,000 to provide this information on the cheques of the Civil Servants of the Province and at the same time we knew that it has been the practice to give that information to every Civil Servant whenever he changed his status and, I think, at least once a year, if that is correct, so that we had a regular custom of providing the information at reasonable intervals and at the same time if anyone wished to ask for a breakdown, that has to be provided to him because I believe that is now the law anyway. And if you ask for a breakdown it is provided to you. So when we saw the price tag on $6,000 attached to this particular service we decided we'd look at it again to see if there was any way that we could reduce it because we did wish to give the information if it was at all possible. We had discussed it in the House previously and although my predecessors on this side as far as I recall didn't seem too enthusiastic about it, it had been suggested and I for one had thought it was a good thing to do. So the situation is that we looked into it, we found out it would cost $6,000 and we decided that before we definitely set our hands to the particular method suggested then we should look around and see if we couldn't do it for something a little less. Now that is the way the matter stands at the present time and it shouldn't be a matter of any great lengthy investigation or anything of that sort. We should be able to get it quite soon, but that's the reason why it hasn't been done so far.
MR. BEND: Mr. Chairman, I tried to get up when you were at Manitoba Gazette. That's what I want to speak on right now and I come back to this change of name. Now it has definitely been established that it costs more for change of name right now, never mind the future estimates at all, it costs more for change of name right now. And there being circumstances and cases such as I give a brief example of previously, I would like to know why it was deemed advisable to make this service, which already costs considerable, an even more costly one.
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, I think in answer to your question, or at least part of your question, and in answer to the question of the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F., the change of name one person, that's the change of given name $5.00, change of surname $10.00, married man and wife $15.00, $2.00 for each infant child and in addition, notice of intention varies according to rates in the newspaper, plus notice published in the departments newspaper $10.00, or $5.00 for the newspaper and $5.00 for the Gazette.
MR. BEND: That would make a total cost of how much, Mr. Chairman?
MR. BOULIC: I haven't added it up.
MR. BEND: Well, I don't know if all the fees are in there or not but I think you will find that it runs up to around to $75.00 if a person wants to start in, and all the fees they have to pay, in addition to the fees that are set out here.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Chairman, there's one criticism I have in regard to the practice of a Change of Name Act that I want to refer to. I understand a few years ago a Scotchman by the name of Angus MacPherson wanted to change his name to that of Patrick O'Reilly, and it so happened that the Chief Justice Ewan MacPherson was then acting as Lieutenant-Governor and he had to sign the certificate and on the certificate he wrote these words in general, he said "I am entirely against this change of name. I believe it is highly undesirable but due to the fact that the application is in order, I must approve". So as far as the practice is concerned, I don't think these Scotchmen should be allowed to interfere with other Scotchmen who want to improve their position by changing their name.
MR. BEND: Growing out of that little discussion, I would say that anyone who wanted to change his name in the way that the honourable minister has just outlined, he should be able to do that for nothing.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item five.
MR. MILLER: I wonder if the minister could give us the information as to the number of people taken on between July 1st and now and any salary changes?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, could I ask the honourable member for Rhineland to take that as a notice of question?
MR. MILLER: I take it you haven't the information with you at the present time.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 5.
MR. MILLER: I think we'd better let that stand, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CAMPBELL: We'll be getting that tomorrow because this is one thing that a lot of us are interested in. I would like to give notice of a similar question and perhaps it could be included in the first one. I would like to know how many categories of civil servants or individuals, or both, have had salary increases in addition to their annual increases, in other words where -- I notice for instance advertisements appearing in the papers for school inspectors. It strikes me that those are higher than the category that I remember. I assume that the category has been raised and I would like to know if that is correct, that that category has been raised and how many others have, and how many inividuals. Then in addition, the question that has been asked about the numbers of increases in the civil service. And while we're at it, I notice that in the new estimates, and I have no hesitation in referring to those because I think they are before the public now - in the new estimates, it's not the practice to show the deputy minister's salary as it used to be in our estimates. I would like to know what the present salary of the deputy minister's is.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I can answer that question right now, there has been no change.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, it is germane, I think, to the questions asked by the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition; I've been awaiting an order for return which I presume that I will not receive now dealing with employment of individuals is the service of the government who are not under the civil service commissioners axt and I wonder when the minister is looking up the answers to the questions posed by the Leader of the Opposition, if that question of mine might be answered. There were a number on that order for return but I think this one of the increase, of employees not covered by the Civil Service Act may be germane.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Chairman, before the House adjourns would the minister tell us now whether we will be proceeding with private members items on their order papers?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, if the House wishes, we must proceed with private members because that's the order of business and unless it has the unanimous consent we must do that. I will propose, however, tomorrow that we should return to the committee and continue our discussion of the estimates that are under review at the present time, and if that's agreeable and seeing it's eleven o'clock, would it be agreeable to have the committee rise?
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, that is quite agreeable to us and I understand that the Honourable, the Leader of the C.C.F. party has already given that undertaking. On behalf of his group, I think it is only right that we should continue with these. As far as we're concerned, we'll agree completely, and even to the extent of trying to hold down our questions before the Orders of the Day.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, if the Honourable First Minister talks to the only one who is not covered by a whip in the House in order that that is not agreeable or have him on some municipal business, we we won't have anything but unanimous agreement.
MR. ROBLIN: I can not answer for the Honourable gentleman, Sir. If the committee is ready I will move that the committee rise.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Agreed?
[Mr. Speaker resumes the chair. ]
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply desires to report progress and asks leave to sit again.
MR. MARTIN: Mr. Speaker, I desire to move, seconded by the Honourable member for
Winnipeg Centre, that the reports of the committee be received.
[Mr. Speaker presented the question and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I have another motion here that I would like to present but it bears on a point of order and I wonder if I may just explain the point before I put the motion so that I can collect the opinions of the House? According to the rules, we are not entitled to appoint a deputy speaker and chairman of committees officially until the Throne debate has been reached and voted upon. And consequently this year, we have not appointed officially a deputy speaker and chairman of committees. However, it is open to us now if we have unanimous consent to move such a resolution in order that we may recognize the gentleman who has undertaken to perform those duties. Now I don't wish to move this motion unless I find that I have the concurrence of the Leaders of the Opposition parties because that I think is clearly necessary and I would just like to ask them to tell me what they suggest.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I think, perhaps, that it would be best as far as I am personally concerned to do as some of the ministers do at times and take this as notice - I would think that it would depend a good bit on what procedure we adopt for the remainder of the Session. As far as the remainder of the Session is concerned, the Leader of the House will make up his own mind, of course, but I would suggest that in addition to the Interim Supply which we are all prepared to vote, even though we appear to be checking some points regarding it pretty carefully, that in addition to that that all non-contentious legislation at least should be put through, for I understand that there are some private members bills - at least should be considered, whether it is put through or not is up to the House, but it should at least be considered. And perhaps the way to not break the rules which some have been criticizing us for doing this year, perhaps would be to have a final vote on the Speech From the Throne. However, I think it's best for us to think this one over, and we would be prepared to co-operate in every way and I can say that we have no wish in the world to hold up everything that is proposed to be done for the honourable gentleman who has so capably been acting as chairman of the Committee of the Whole.
MR. STINSON: I think I may say on behalf of our group that we have no objection to the proposal that the Honourable the First Minister has in mind. As to the question of procedure, that's another matter, as to whether other legislation should be proceeded with or not. I don't think that should be related to this particular question. And so far as the proposal is concerned with respect to the Honourable member of St. Matthews, who has acted as chairman, I think that we would have no objection to it.
MR. ROBLIN: ... After what has been said by the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition, I will not propose the motion.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, that the House do now adjourn.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared that the House do now adjourn and stand adjourned until 2:30 tomorrow afternoon. ]
Page revised: 22 September 2009