Manitoba Hansard

Volume II No. 6A - 8:00 p.m., Thursday, March 19, 1959

Page Index


Table of Contents


8:00 o'clock, Thursday, March 19th, 1959

MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.

HON. G. JOHNSON, M.D. (Minister of Health and Public Welfare) (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, just before the Orders of the Day, I would like to table the report of the copies of the Provincial Sanitary Control Commission of the Alcoholism Foundation - the annual report of the Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation and the annual report of the Alcoholism Foundation of Manitoba ... copies.

MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville.

MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood-Iberville): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable member from Ethelbert - that an address be presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor praying for copies of all correspondence between the government of the Province of Manitoba and the government of Canada with respect to hospital insurance since 1955.

Mr. Speaker, whether it was my error or not, I meant January 1st, 1955. If I could make that understood with the motion?

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

HON. DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): Mr. Speaker, just the usual declaimer that it depends upon getting the consent which is not always given by the government at Ottawa.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Questions.

MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, I beg to submit the following questions - 1. What was the total cost of the Industrial Inquiry Commission set up to inquire and report upon certain problems affecting the printing industry in Winnipeg? 2. How many copies of the report have been made? 3. How many have been distributed? 4. Upon whose request was the Commission established?

And the second list - 1. How many persons are employed by the Manitoba Hospital Service? 2. What are the normal hours of work of these employees? 3. How much overtime per week has been exacted from these employees, from July 1st, 1958, to February 28, 1959? 4. What compensation is to be given for the overtime worked?

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

MR. ROBLIN: Before the question is put - in an effort to be helpful to my honourable friend, may I tell him that if he leaves this question No. 3 - in respect to the Manitoba Hospital Service - as it stands, "how much overtime work has been exacted from these employees from July 1st, 1958, to February 28, 1959," you'll get no returns, because any overtime work that was put in by these employees was done with very good grace indeed. If you wish to change that word to some other word such as 'worked', we will be very glad to answer it but if you leave this word 'exacted' in, I'm afraid you won't get the information you are looking for.

MR. SWAILES: With the permission of the House, Mr. Speaker, I would like to substitute the word 'performed'.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the honourable member have permission of the House?

MR. ROBLIN: Agreed.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Orders for Returns - the Honourable member for Springfield.

MR. W. LUCKO (Springfield): Mr. Speaker, I would like to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Selkirk - That an Order of the House do Issue for a Return showing: The name of the firm or firms, person or persons outside of the staff of the civil service, retained by the government of Manitoba to conduct the publicity campaign in connection with the promotion of the secondary school areas. What was the cost of the above in the following categories: Radio, Television, and newspapers.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable member for Minnedosa.

MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Carillon - That an Order of the House do issue for the Return standing


in my name.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable member for Minnedosa, seconded by the Honourable member for Carillon - That an Order of the House do issue for a Return showing: 1. The number of motor vehicles purchased by the government of Manitoba since July 1st, 1958, and March 1st, 1959. 2. The make and model of above. 3. The name of the dealer or agency from whom the vehicles were purchased.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Carillon - That an Order of the House do issue for a Return showing: 1. The total amount in the Reserve for War and Post-War Emergencies Fund, as at March 1st, 1959. 2. A list of the securities or investments making up the fund as it now stands.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Carillon - That an Order of the House do issue for a Return showing: A. The latest estimate from Ottawa, as to the amount expected to be received by Manitoba from the Federal Government under the tax sharing arrangements, for the fiscal year April 1st, 1958 to March 31st, 1959. B. 1. The total provincial revenue from all sources for the period from April 1st, 1958 to December 31st, 1958. 2. The same information for the same period in 1957. C. 1. The total provincial government expenditure by departments for the period from April 1st, 1958 to December - that should be 31st, Mr. Speaker, I see there's an error in the printing there - to December 31st, 1958. 2. The same information for the same period in 1957.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable member for Inkster.

MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Elmwood - That an Order of the House do issue for a Return showing: What is the volume of appliances sold by the Manitoba Power Commission during 1958.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable member for Fisher.

MR. P. WAGNER (Fisher): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable member for Brokenhead - That an Order of the House do issue for a Return showing: 1. The volume of work done in the constituency of Fisher for relief of winter unemployment. 2. The area where such work was done. 3. The number of persons for whom winter employment was provided in the Fisher constituency. 4. The amount paid as wages to those persons for whom winter employment was provided.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

MR. ROBLIN: The Minister of Labour who is out of the House for a moment, perhaps I would say that the government can accept this question with one or two reservations. First of all, I must warn the honourable member that it is going to be extremely difficult to get the full answer to this question, simply because a great deal of the information is just not in our possession. However, we will make some kind of a search to see what we can get for him.

I would also state that I hardly know whether it's good policy to accept an Order which refers to what is done in a particular constituency. Next thing you know, you'll be asking me what is done for certain people in a certain constituency or area, and you can easily see where such line of questioning would end. And while under the circumstances, it may be that no harm is done in providing this information on a constituency basis, I wouldn't like it to be thought that if we should continue to be entrusted with the responsibility of answering questions, that we will automatically accept one which refer to particular constituencies. I think on the whole that it is not a desirable practice.

MR. L. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F. Party) (Osborne): I was rather interested in the reply of the Honourable the First Minister because I can recall an occasion when the Honourable member for Morris, I think it was, asked for information of this kind with respect to constituencies, and the Honourable gentleman and his party, supported the request at that time. And I think that he should do his best for my Honourable friend from Fisher to supply this information. It may be difficult but, there are quite a number of civil servants in this building and I think that with the staff at the command of my Honourable friend that perhaps some


interesting information might be forthcoming.

MR. ROBLIN: We'll do our best to oblige.

MR. WAGNER: The trouble is there will be nothing done in Fisher.

MR. ROBLIN: It's up to the municipalities you know, they've got to take the initiative.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Second readings. The Honourable the Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce.

HON. G. EVANS (Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable, the Attorney-General that Bill No. 2 - An Act to facilitate the Economic Development of the Province be now read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

HON. EVANS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a word about the principle behind this bill, the necessity for it and the results that we hope will flow from passing an act of this nature. I think it is a truism to say that probably the wealth of a province or a state depends very likely on the natural resources that are founded in that state, and the skill and the diligence with which the people apply their labour to it. And Manitoba, as we know, is - and as we have had revealed to us quite recently in the Northern Report - is one of the last repositories in the North American continent certainly, and perhaps, one of the best repositories of these untapped natural resources yet remaining to be developed. It is our conviction that much will depend upon the ways the plans for developing those resources are conceived and the way that they are carried out. Much will depend with respect to the benefit that flows to the people of Manitoba.

We must endeavour to do at least three things it seems to me; to take the fullest possible advantage of the potential wealth; to see that we prevent their destruction or misuse; and to see that the public interest is protected to the greatest possible extent.

It must be a matter of very considerable thought in planning, it seems to me if the public, partly in the guise of the public treasury, is to receive its full share of the wealth that is produced from the natural resources of the province - whether in the north or elsewhere. And this is a matter which should be under constant study and review as the new opportunities which are opening before the province are considered and as their development begins.

The proposed authority which is set forth in Bill No. 2 - the Manitoba Development Authority - will co-ordinate the various aspects of government which have to do with the development of natural resources, and the nurturing of industry that depends on them, and for that matter, industry in other parts of the province and the secondary or processing industries which undoubtedly will follow the main development of these natural resources. So one of the chief objects of the present organization that is proposed is that of co-ordinating the functions of government and of semi-government bodies in handing and developing the various natural resources.

The body will have also - the authority will also have a main responsibility to consider and advise the government on the broad policies which are to be followed in natural resource development. And I think it is required and highly advisable that there should be, what in effect will be a sub-committee of cabinet, assisted by what will be in effect a sub-committee of deputy ministers and heads of utilities, to advise the cabinet, and a small staff to continue the work of the authority. And their knowledge and their skill and their experience will be applied in the first instance to advising the government on the policies that should be followed with respect to natural resource development.

A third and most important aspect will be the duty of bringing to the attention of the capitalists of the world or the sources of capital, and if they are not embodied in the same entity, also the people who manage and develop and undertake the development of natural resources to bring before these two kinds of people the resources and the opportunities that exist for their development in Manitoba. It will be, in certain aspects, the promotional function of natural resource development.

Then so far as is required, this authority will be charged with the duty of co-ordinating natural resource development policies with those of the Federal government or of other governments in Canada. A thing that is really inter-departmental in character and will be facilitated by an organization of this kind.

And fifth, and at times a very pressing problem and a very serious one, this authority will be charged with the duty of developing Manitoba's transportation facilities to the greatest


extent possible to alleviate the additional cost that falls on all of western Canada and on Manitoba from what is an unfair freight rate structure in some regards in Canada, and to enable the greatest amount of transportation facilities to be developed within the Province to create that kind of competition which is the only effective reducer of freight rates. Well, the authority itself will consist of two bodies as I indicated. One, the directorate which will consist of cabinet members - the particular offices being mentioned in the bill itself with the president of the executive council as the chairman of the board. It is expected also, and it is provided, that the Premier is also the cabinet member through which this authority will report to the legislature. That directorate, then, is assisted by a board consisting of the deputy ministers of the same departments and the heads of the utilities, the Manitoba Power Commission, the Telephone Commission, the Hydro-Electric Board and such other officers as may be added from time to time. It is expected that the composition perhaps even of the directorate, but certainly of the the board, will vary from time to time according to the problem to be considered. The development of another Thompson for example, might well require the Minister of Public Utilities to be present and his deputy. The development of some other natural resources which did not involve a townsite or an industrial townsite then might not require the presence of that particular cabinet member and deputy minister.

And so the composition of the board and the authority may vary slightly from time to time but basically it will remain as outlined in the bill.

The primary purpose of the board, of course, is to study and recommend policies to the board but it is expected and, in fact, it is necessary, that the measures decided upon will be carried out by the respective cabinet officer and department charged with that responsibility. Naturally, if decisions are made either in the cabinet or in this authority, the very work of carrying out will have to be implemented by the responsible department of government. And so this authority is really a sub-committee of cabinet assisted by a sub-committee of deputy ministers and senior officials to devise policy and to remain as a continuing body with a small staff to ensure continuity of administration of the policies that are decided on.

This of necessity at this stage, Mr. Speaker, is a generalized statement of the principle behind the Bill. I shall be glad, indeed, to try to answer any questions that honourable members have, and to discuss the matter in detail when we reach the committee stages.

MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, is my understanding correct? The intention of this Bill is for the government to develop natural resources other than we have now in the interest of the people of Manitoba and not hand over these natural resources, the gift of Providence, to private capital to exploit something which belongs to the province. I'm quite serious in this question because it's not clear to me.

Now with regard to transportation, because I cannot see what one has to do with the other, but it probably would be a good thing for the deputy ministers to take over the management on behalf of the government. But is this also a case where if the government would see fit to build a line somewhere to a new field of natural resources for the Province? Is this also included in this Bill? In other words, is this Bill to promote more revenue, develop more industries, develop more natural resources, exploit natural resources, in the interest of the people of the Province or invite capital -- capitalist or capital -- from all over the world to come here and do the work for you from which you will get peanuts....

MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say a word too. I presume the minister would like to deal with everybody at once. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that in this Bill we are giving a tremendous power to the cabinet and to the board and also the directorate. Unless I have missed the section in this Bill, it doesn't appear to me that in the provisions of the Bill there is any provision at all which makes it necessary for the board, or the president of the council, to make a report to the legislature.

In most legislation that I'm aware of, we deal with here in Manitoba, there is a clause which states that on certain days after the opening of the legislature at such and such a time or so soon after the opening of the legislature, there shall be tabled in the legislature a report - I don't see any reference at all in this legislation to that. And I surely hope that the present government or the next government will undertake such a tremendous task and to work with such a tremendous responsibility in the development of the natural resources without having to make a report by the legislation to the members of the legislature.


It also appears to me, Mr. Speaker, that in reading a few clauses that the authority given to the board is very, very wide. It appears to me in reading the Bill, that the authority through the directorate may enter into negotiations with corporations or municipalities or persons for achieving the objectives as are set out of this board.

We had a considerable debate in this House recently over the past few years in the development of Moak and Mystery Lakes by the International Nickel Company. And my friends opposite took a considerable part in that debate, and I think that there are many features of the agreement that were entered into, that in the opinion of at least some of the members of the legislature, should have been discussed by us before agreements were drawn up. It is true that eventually those agreements came here for ratification but I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the deed was done at that time, and while I have no objection to this matter going to a second reading, but I think that the members of the legislature should take a very, very close look at this. I'm sure that we all are anxious for the full development of the natural resources in Manitoba providing, as my honourable colleague from Inkster has just said, that in the development of those natural resources the well-being of the people of Manitoba are first taken care of. For after all, I don't need to say that the natural resources of the Province of Manitoba, do not only belong to us who have the privilege to live here today, but to generations yet unborn. And it appears to me, just in reading this legislation that we should give a very, very close look to it because there appears to me, at least, to be clauses in there that give too much authority for the disposal of our assets; too much authority to enter into agreements for the exploitation of those assets by other corporations and individuals and the likes of that.

Just a few comments I wish to make at this time on this Bill, Mr. Speaker. There may be others when the Bill is under review in the Committee.

MR. W. B. SCARTH (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, with a very limited intelligence and knowledge of certainly the C.C.F. in regard to mining development, it might be pointed out now that the International Nickel at Moak Lake has committed itself to $175 million expenditure for development of that property. It might be pointed out that the Hudson Bay Mining Company at Flin Flon has, perhaps, expended $150 million to-date in plants and improvements, and that Flin Flon is the most prosperous town in Manitoba, but the C.C.F. for some reason cannot understand why other people should go in and be given a chance to prosper when they are ready to spend their money in the development of our resources. Perhaps they would like the Province of Manitoba to take a stab of $175,000,000.00 in the dark, and get a staff of 50 or 75 geologists and mining engineers to look around and see if we couldn't find a mine. The situation is this: Are we going to have free enterprise in Manitoba, or are we not? As long as you've got the C.C.F. in here, nobody will spend one nickel in this province, and so, Sir, I suggest that we give those people who are willing to spend a little money in our province, a chance to go ahead and develop our country. That mineral, Sir, has been here for 1700 million years and if you had a C.C.F. administration, it would remain there for another 1700 million years untouched.

MR. STINSON: Will the honourable gentleman permit a question? Will my honourable friend permit a question? I am asking, Sir, if he will permit a question. Will you permit a question, Sir?

MR. SCARTH: Certainly.

MR. STINSON: Why is it, Sir, that under a C.C.F. Government in Saskatchewan there is so much more development in this kind, in this type of thing than in the Province of Manitoba?

MR. SCARTH: In what type of thing is there more development?

MR. STINSON: In oil and a great many other things.

MR. SCARTH: Because they've got more oil there, but do not talk hard rock to me because they've got very little hard rock development in Saskatchewan, as you, Sir, should know.

MR. STINSON: Their mineral resources are very great.

MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the honourable gentleman would permit a question of me?


MR. PAULLEY: Were the agreements that were entered into between the province and the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, and also the International Nickel ratified by this Legislature, or was it done by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council?


MR. SCARTH: Now, I cannot go back to 1927.

MR. PAULLEY: Just go back a couple of years ago.

MR. SCARTH: I was not in the House, but as long as the boys are willing to spend a $175,000,000.00 to develop minerals and pay us a mineral tax every year, I am happy.

MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the honourable member would permit a question from me? I wonder if the honourable member would not agree with me that the reason that some of these good things have happened in the Province of Saskatchewan, in addition to it being a very good province to start with is because the present C.C.F. government have got away from their Socialistic principles up there, and been a kind of a business government.

MR. GRAY: Why is it necessary for the last speaker to attack the C.C.F. when the only offence they committed is to ask the Minister a very simple question? It seems to me to be a very popular thing, in this House, just to throw a stone at anyone which he doesn't agree to. I have not said that the C.C.F. would do this, and that. I have not criticized the Bill, all I did was ask an intelligent question, and I expect from the Minister, an intelligent answer.

MR. ORLIKOW: I had not intended to speak until the honourable member mentioned Thompson. I have no objection to the International Nickel, or any other company coming into the Province of Manitoba to use the natural resources which we have. I think the honourable member will find out if we meet in this House later during the Session, that not everything which was done in that agreement, in permitting International Nickel to come into the province, was quite as it ought to be. At least I hope he will agree with me that the agreement which was reached, whereby International Nickel was permitted to work employees 12 hours a day, seven days a week, which has been done, and is being done till the present time; where Union organizers were prohibited, and are still prohibited from entering the town of Thompson in order to sign workers into unions. This is the set-up in the town of Thompson today, and if the honourable member wants to tell me that this kind of agreement is a good agreement, then Mr. Speaker, I want to disagree with him completely.

MR. WILLIAMS: This area happens to be my constituency. First of all, on some of these things that have been said, the Churchill constituency is almost half the area of this province. It has been under-developed for at least 20 to 25 years. There has been very little done up there. In the case of Thompson and the last speaker's remarks, the 12 hours a day, and seven days a week are requested by the men themselves. They will not come north for less than that. The North is looked upon as a place where they can make their fortune. Remember, that anywhere in this country we have to work for every dollar we get, and if we go there, we expect to make a little money and come back South. There are very few people who will stand the North for any length of time, unless they are able to make a dollar out of it. Those of us who live there, are not making any fortune, believe me. And in the last few remarks stated has got under my skin a little bit, I might say, because I'm not standing up for International Nickel, I'm not standing up for Hudson's Bay Mining and Smelting because in all cases this is open for debate to the House, but I will not sit in this House and listen to the men criticize, by unions, or anybody else, because the men themselves ask for this at all times.

MR. ORLIKOW: Mr. Speaker, could I ask a question of the honourable member? If they're so enthused about working 12 hours a day, why did the last agreement which they signed call for a 54 hour week, after which time and a half shall be paid?

MR. WILLIAMS: I can partially answer that question from my own experience in the country. I don't know whether you've been up there yourself, or not, but the unfortunate part of the north country is, there is very little diversion. The men have come up to make money - they have no picture shows, they have no girls to chase down the streets, they have no cars to drive, therefore their best benefit is to work. And if they can work for four or five months, they then can come into the city of Winnipeg and spend their money.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

MR. SCHREYER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable Minister. It's in general terms, I think, it's appropriate at this stage. Yes, it's on the Bill. It's pertaining to the Bill. I would like to ask the Honourable Minister if he foresees under the terms of this Bill, something similar in the way of development of natural resources; something similar to that which the government of British Columbia foresaw some two or three years ago. And I refer here particularly to the agreement which they made with the Axel,


Wenner, Gren interests. I ask that question only because the Honourable Minister referred to, or made some statement to the effect that this was to make overtures to certain international capitalists and so on.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

MR. HAWRYLUK: Could we possibly get the idea of the cost of this development authority board that will be set up?

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

A MEMBER: ... If the honourable member will be ...

MR. BEND: I believe that the honourable member would be closing the debate now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, I would be glad to have all questions.

MR. BEND: I would like to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Ethelbert that the debate be adjourned.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member from Iberville-Rockwood, and seconded by the Honourable Member for Ethelbert Plains that the debate be adjourned.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. ROBLIN: I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture that Bill #3, an Act to Amend the Insurance Corporations Tax Act, be now read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable the First Minister, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture that Bill #3, an Act to Amend the Insurance Corporations Tax Act be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?

MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, in explaining this Bill, may I just say that it is a relatively minor proposal to put right some wording in the present Act which doesn't correspond with the facts of the situation. And I think probably the best thing I can do is to read you, Sir, the explanatory note in the Bill itself, because it covers it in such succinct language. "The purpose of these amendments is to remove from the Act all reference to Underwriters' agents. These references were carried forward into the Act from those provisions of the Corporations Taxation Act, which placed a tax on insurance companies in respect of insurance premiums. However, these provisions are not required in connection with the Insurance Corporations Tax Act. In actual practice, Underwriters' agents do not pay the tax because the business that they write is included in the business of the insurer for whom they act, and the tax is paid by that insurer. Furthermore, the insurer flies all the necessary returns so that it would be redundant to ask the Underwriters' agent to file a return covering some of the same business. In practice, it has been found that the provisions with respect to Underwriters' agents are quite unnecessary."

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the Minister of Labour.

MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Attorney-General, that Bill #4, an Act to Amend the Department of Labour Act, be now read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Minister of Labour, seconded by the Honourable the Attorney-General that Bill #4, an Act to Amend the Department of Labour Act be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?

MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Speaker, in connection with the Bill before us, I might say that there are no radical changes in the law in this Bill. The first part of the Bill eneavours to correct a situation respecting the various acts which come under the administration of the Department of Labour. It eliminates some which were repealed, such as the Factories Act, the Hours and Conditions of Work Act, and the Minimum Wage Act, which were all consolidated in the Employment Standards Act, and it adds others to those which come under the administration of the Department of Labour, such as the Equal Pay Act, the Remembrance Day Act, and the Winter Employment Act.

Secondly, it endeavours to affirm the position respecting a quorum in the Labour Board. There is no material change there, except that a quorum does not take into consideration the alternate members, that is, the four members plus the Chairman, under the amendment will constitute a quorum. The one change in the Department of Labour Act, which is set forth in this Bill is that it permits an examiner in the name of the Labour Board to conduct hearings in


other parts of the province than Winnipeg. At the present time it is necessary for a complainant under the Employment Standards Act, respecting termination of employment or a complainant under the Vacations With Pay Act, to come into Winnipeg to be heard and to bring here, his or her witnesses. Under this amendment, we would empower an examiner to conduct a hearing in any part of Manitoba, so that this examiner may hear evidence in any particular part of Manitoba where the complainant resides, and produce witnesses there, and the examiner will submit the evidence, which he has thus gained, to the Labour Board, and they will be enabled to give a decision on the case. It's purely a matter of convenience to those who do not reside in Greater Winnipeg, and it carries out what already exists in the Labour Relations Act, respecting certification of unions and so on. In that act there is already a provision for unions, so we're adding it for those individual complainants under the Employment Standards Act, and the Vacations With Pay Act.

MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Minister of Public Utilities.

MR. CARROLL: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Provincial Secretary, that Bill #15, an Act to Amend the Highway Traffic Act, be now read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member of Public Utilities, seconded by the Honourable the Provincial Secretary, that Bill #15, an Act to Amend the Highway Traffic Act, #13, be now read a second time. Are you now ready for the question?

MR. CARROLL: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is to set up two boards and a schedule of fees for trucks. We plan to set up the Highway Safety Board, a board to which people can appeal who have had their driving privileges suspended, or their Motor Vehicle Registration suspended, under section 115, of the Highway Traffic Act, which is an automatic suspension for driving while impaired, or section 134, of the same Act, where suspensions may be made at the discretion of the Registrar. This Board may remit in whole or in part the suspension or cancellation of a licence or the Motor Vehicle Registration, if in their opinion, exceptional hardship will result from these licences not being reinstated. And secondly, if they are satisfied that the remission is in the public interest.

Now, the kind of case that we are thinking of, Sir, - we have one of an employee of some 33 years standing, who had only one conviction under the Highway Traffic Act, in 33 years, who was picked up under Section 115, and his licence was suspended for one year. This man was 2 years from retirement, but because he required his car - the use of his car - in his particular employment, he lost his job. And I feel that this is one case that might have been reviewed by this Appeal Board. Because I think the hardship on an individual who requires a vehicle in his business, is much greater than the hardship which applies to a person who uses his vehicle for the odd trip to the grocery store, or Sunday drives in the country. Now under Section 134, I have here an editorial comment in the Winnipeg Free Press, of December 12th, last year. I would like to read it to you - it is very short. A Motorist with a number of black marks on his record is liable to have his licence suspended. The decision is made administratively by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The black marks themselves arise automatically from the nature of any accident in which the driver is involved. They do not necessarily assess the degree of blame attributable to him. On that, the Commissioner must, if necessary, come to his own conclusion. No doubt they are conclusions arrive at with great care and are generally correct. But certainly they are not arrived at by testing of legal process, and yet they can cause a man to be deprived of his right to drive. Often a severe hardship, no matter how careful the Commissioner is his verdict is still, in the final analysis, an arbitrary decision. It is based on presumptions which are often unproven in a legal sense, and yet against it, there is ordinarily no effective appeal.

The purpose of an Appeal Board would not be to invalidate the good work, which is currently being done by the Motor Safety Branch in Manitoba. It would marry that work in principle of justice, that is to say, it would remove the margin of injustice that might exist when one body, in this case the Safety Branch, functions both as administrator and as final judge and jury. This is the kind of case that we feel could be handled by the Safety Board. The Safety Board, of course, would not be the final appeal, because if a man felt that he was aggrieved by this Board, he would still have recourse to the courts of law.


Now, the other board which we propose to set up is the Highway Safety and Traffic Board. And this board affects many departments, both at the municipal level and at the provincial level. It affects the Public Works Highways engineering and construction departments, the Motor Vehicle Branch, the enforcement both at the local town Police level, and the R.C.M.P. policing of the rural parts of Manitoba. It affects the traffic engineering department of the City of Winnipeg, and from a legal sense the provincial statutes and the regulations and municipal by-laws. It would be the function of this board to have authority over restricted speed limits; approval of municipal by-laws; imposing speed restrictions. It would also have the approval of traffic control devices, and approval of lighting, signalling and other equipment on motor vehicles. The final thing that is set up in this Bill is the schedule fee for trucks with weight classifications greater than those which are presently being provided in the Highway Traffic Act.

MR. GRAY: I want to ask one or two questions. Number one, how many boards are now dealing, including the one that you suggest, with the traffic control? Secondly, wouldn't it be better if some more power be given to the present board, the present board more power instead of compelling the board to follow the strict regulations passed by this Legislature? In other words, instead of keeping a man in suspense for many weeks before - from one board to another, from the other to the third - and they are not dealing with it in a quick way, they may have other cases - couldn't we give more power to the original board so that they could deal with all problems that you have in mind? So I think perhaps it would save considerable amounts of money, there would be less red tape, and the present board with its experience could easily take care of this. As at the present, I understand, they cannot deviate from the strict rules in the Motor Vehicle Act. My question is whether they couldn't have a short cut, rather than have another board, another two boards to deal with decisions of the first board?

MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted to ask a question or two in connection with this Bill. First of all may I say that I think it's a step in the right direction, in that somebody has someplace to appeal from the Motor Registrar in cases as suggested by the Minister. I think that there are also other cases that the Minister may take into consideration for future arguments to the Highway Traffic Act. I might, Mr. Speaker, with your permission, refer to the question of where a person engaged say, in garage work, is involved in an accident, not having financial responsibility, just on the motor vehicle that he uses, he is deprived of all of the licences of any piece of equipment that he owns under the present act. I am sure that that is a hardship in many cases. What I would like to ask of the Minister, can he give us any assurance of how speedily the Board will be enabled to hear the cases. I note in the legislation, Mr. Speaker, that there is a limitation of six months of an appeal. I am wondering, whether or not, in his closing remarks, the Minister could give us an idea of how often it is presumed this Board will meet, in order - and give full publicity to it - in order that the individual such as you mentioned, Mr. Minister, may be back on the job with their vehicle.

And also in respect to the question of the changes in the fees of schedule "B" of the Act. As we're aware at the present time, Table 3 of the Act takes in P.S.V. and Commercial Trucks, up to the total of 54,000 pounds and in respect to Table 5 takes in Trailers, Public Service Vehicles and Commercial Trucks up to a limit of 18,000 pounds. There are two questions I would like to ask in this connection. Is it the intention of the Minister to allow a gradage gross weight of these vehicles on the highway, than is at present time allowable under Section 47 of the Act? And, was the maximum under Table #3, and 5 before, of the gross weights, the maximums that were permitted under previous legislation or a combination of the trailer and the truck? I think this is a very important point, Mr. Speaker, because if we are going to have an over-all increase in the allowable gross weight on our highways, we'll certainly have to go further than even the Minister of Public Works is envisioning on our highways. I would like to have a comment from the Minister on these points.

MR. HAWRYLUK: I would like to commend the Minister on this Bill. I think it's something that the owners of cars in this province have waited for some time. I do recall a few years ago back when we met in the law amendments committee that we had several cases there which you gave an example of, and I had a case myself which I tried to do something about, in which a person was involved in a personal accident, and yet there was an infraction and he did - the job was to drive a truck - and he wasn't able to continue. I think that was a great injustice, and it's something that should have been done, and I certainly wish to commend the Minister


for this new Bill.

There is one other thing that I think has come to my mind, and I think there was something in the newspaper - does this Bill prevent the kind of doo-dads and gadgets that are usually hung from mirrors in a car, which have brought about a great deal of accidents? I was just wondering if something would be implemented in this Bill, because I think in this particular article in the Free Press, or Tribune stated that there were several cases where accidents had happened because of the hanging of these doo-dads in the car in the front of them while they were driving.

MR. GUTTORMSON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister. Will anyone have the right to appeal regardless of if they make their living driving or not? Subsequent question: if a motorist has one or more convictions under Section 222, or 223 of the Criminal Code, would he have the right to appeal?

MR. SPEAKER: Any further questions?

MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: I move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Carillon that the debate be adjourned.

MR. SPEAKER: Would you like to answer the questions before the adjournment? It has been moved by the Honourable Member for Minnedosa, seconded by the Honourable Member for Carillon that the debate be adjourned. The Honourable the Provincial Secretary.

MR. BOULIC: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Health and Public Welfare that Bill #11, an Act to Amend the Companies Act be now read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Provincial Secretary, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Health and Welfare that Bill #11, an Act to Amend the Companies Act be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?

MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, I am wondering whether or not the Minister will give us a brief explanation on this Bill.

MR. BOULIC: Mr. Speaker, I think my Honourable Friend from Radisson noted that I am heavy and kind of slow and he came to my rescue, and I thank him. This amendment is of a very routine nature, and the explanatory note, if I may read it, I think gives the full explanation. In this amendment the tentative wording adopted in the proposed uniform Companies Act has been adopted. The principle change is that of allowing meetings to be held outside Manitoba.

MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, if I may, to the Honourable, the Minister. I didn't look up the Act, it's my fault, but would this deal with the co-operatives or is this in the sections of the company's act outside of the co-operatives.

MR. BOULIC: That's for the companies that have head offices outside of the province of Manitoba.

MR. PAULLEY: No, co-operatives, are they included in this change in the legislation. Possibly the Attorney-General might know.

MR. BOULIC: The co-operatives are not included in this.

MR. PAULLEY: Thanks very much.

[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Adjourn debate on the proposed motion of the Honourable Member for Hamiota for an address to His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor in answer to his Speech at the opening of the Session and the amendments thereto. The Honourable, the Minister of Health and Welfare.


HON. GEORGE JOHNSON (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, I wish to join with the others in extending to yourself good wishes in your position and trust that you will continue and that your health will maintain itself. I would however after seeing what goes on in the House as a new member, recommend a holiday in the vacationland of Gimli next summer to regain some of your stamina.

Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to say a few things about the amendment to the amendment by the Honourable, the leader of the C.C.F. Party. The sub-amendment is, in my opinion, so far removed from the motion to adopt the Speech from the Throne, that I feel I must comment on it. While the amendment to the amendment calls for non-confidence in the government for failing to bring in a completely socialized health insurance scheme--an importation from Great Britain or New Zealand--it in no way offers any criticism, or suggestions for improvement in the numerous and important progressive proposals of the government in this field. Actually, Mr. Speaker, I find this sub-amendment so unreal and so divorced from the problems of Manitoba that I have wondered whether the mover was acquainted with the fact that this is Manitoba and we have fairly clear indication in the last couple of years that our people do not want theoretical expensive questionable experiments in pure socialism. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and the mover of the amendment to the amendment, that having been in this present position since July the first, the hot seat, we have some very real problems in Manitoba which the amendment in the amendment would, in my opinion, not only fail to overcome but which it would multiply. My contention, Mr. Speaker, is also this--that whereas the Honourable Leader of the Opposition gave this House a very clear idea that he believes we couldn't afford to take the steps to overcome these problems, I say we simply cannot afford not to try to overcome them. Mr. Speaker, in all humbleness I saw and felt these problems as a country practitioner--I have lived with them for nine months, and I don't think we should give any consideration whatsoever to the motion of the want-of-confidence until we have had an opportunity to look at the problems that the Speech from the Throne tries to overcome by its legislative programme.

The C.C.F. Leader feels that his is the only party with any humanitarian instinct and that by wholesale methods he can drag everyone into this socialistic orbit, and that this is going to cure the ills of mankind. A national health scheme in his opinion is a must. I think the voters of Canada and Manitoba have indicated fairly clearly that they are not anxious to socialize their medical men and nursing profession. The story in England is not as rosy as the Honourable Leader of the C.C.F. Party would have us believe, and as he partially indicated more and more people are going back to their private practitioner, and more and more is there greater voluntary participation in the affairs of hospitalization. But such a proposal as he makes is not hitting at our problem in Manitoba. We must at this stage concentrate more and more on our own provincial problem. The catapulting of the new hospital plan on to this government July 1st with its administrative difficulties plus a very rapid demand for more suitable chronic or high class extended treatment hospital beds has placed the government on the threshhold of what I describe as the most critical point in hospitalization in the history of this province. Suddenly we must create suitable alternative accomodation for those people not in need of acute hospital care, but in need of the alternative accomodation which in many instances best serves their needs. From convalescent hospitals, nursing homes to domiciliary facilities--by that we mean 'domiciliary' is where the patient can be up and around with a minimum of nursing care and come to meals.

Further implications of the plan place us in a position of immediately altering our social legislation in order to be flexible. For example, assuming provincial responsibility for cases of aged and infirm care from the municipalities. We have, in drafting our social legislation, provided for, in regulations which will be written, the opportunity to enter into certain medical, dental, optical schemes and so on, in order to bring the most diversified health programme to those in need. We are not shirking our responsibilities. Our object has been, and in these nine months, to do all we can, and we have virtually worked around the clock to do what is best for our province and our people. Any health scheme must be individualized. We can learn from other countries and from other provinces, and in applying the best in these other schemes to those needs in our province lies our greatest hope of success.

In outlining the programme of the Government the first item to which the Throne Speech


makes reference concerning the Health Department, is the Hospital Insurance Plan, which came into effect on July the first, the day on which we assumed office. At this time I wish, Mr. Speaker, to give great credit to the Commissioner and his staff, who in a very short period of four months registered the entire, almost the entire, population of the Province of Manitoba. In fact the Commissioner and his staff registered more people than the Dominion Bureau of Statistics could find for Manitoba. The attitude of our Government, Mr. Speaker, was that now that the plan was law we should do everything in our power to make the plan work. If the people of Manitoba claim hospital...

MR. BEND: Will the Minister permit a question? Do you want me to wait till you're through, or would you answer the question now?

MR. JOHNSON: I'd like to wait till I'm through if I could, I think there will be time enough.

If the people thought what we...that if the people of Manitoba claimed hospitalization as a social right, they should show responsibility toward the plan. And of course I'm very happy to tell you that the people of Manitoba have shown tremendous responsibility in this regard. The record and the response of the people in this collection period has been a tribute to them. Certainly we had difficulties. I must point to the tremendous co-operation received from municipal officials, employers, doctors, patients, in fact everyone involved in the plan. Indicative of this co-operation, 90 of the municipalities guaranteed the premiums of known indigents. However as we went through this period, of course, many administrative difficulties arose. Municipalities and local government district people came in and told us so and many suggestions were made by them for improvements in the premium collection system. To date, we have not prosecuted one person under the plan. We have tried to find or to go out and help those municipalities who guaranteed premiums on known indigents, and asked our help. We have sent field men out and in most instances these field men in visiting these citizens who had not paid their premiums found it was largely due to misunderstanding and over 3,000 of these interviews throughout the province have been held and the individual situations have in most instances been cleared up by, in 50 per cent of the cases, the person paying the premium almost immediately and, or, pay the premiums if they could afford to pay. Municipal officials assisted in clearing up these registrations. We got great assistance through the secretaries of many municipalities who were able to talk to some of the older people. There has been little difficulty with this group when we, as I say, are or were able to see them.

In these nine months the staff of the plan and the officials worked hard and long hours to try and bring the benefits of the plan to everyone in the province. If hardship existed and we found that people could not pay, we took their problems into consideration. We feel we have dealt fairly with everyone.

As a result of the municipal recommendations and suggestions, and of many others which came to our attention, we came to the conclusion that two main sets of ammendments would be necessary at this session. The first set, to do with the collection period which is almost upon us, and a second collection period to begin in the fall. The main contention of the municipal people who have done so much to help us, was that under the present act certain responsibilities, they felt, were assigned unfairly to them. It is our intention to relieve them of these responsibilities. Although this is not the time and the place, Mr. Speaker, to go into this, premium collections for those who are not employed will be billed directly by the plan for the second collection period from now or through other approved agencies. The bill will provide that municipalities will be absolved of all responsibility for unpaid hospital premiums, accounts, of insured persons incurred by legal residents. Under the new legislation all residents of the province will be considered as insured persons. As a result, the Federal contribution will be increased since it will then be based on our total population. It is imperative that the plan then assume responsibility for collection.

Although I previously made reference to the difficulties encountered in registering our elderly citizens, particularly those in receipt of old age security, I can inform the house that 18,000 applications from this group for premium exemption have been approved and the matter is well in hand.

We can't talk about problems of the Hospital Plan, Mr. Speaker, without mentioning


facilities and services. Our main concern has been the availability of adequate accommodation, so that the insured people can get the accommodation they require. In this regard two major extensions of accommodation were accomplished recently. Out-patient services were extended to cover minor surgical procedures and electro-shock therapy. This extension went into effect on February 1st. The second extension, on which I will elaborate later, was the opening of convalescent beds at Brandon and at Clearwater Sanatoria. I'd like to point out here that as the plan began the only accommodation provided by it was in the acute treatment hospital. Within two months of operation of the plan it was only too apparent that we not only had to relieve the acute bed shortage by ammendments, such as we have mentioned, but we also had to create alternative accommodation of all kinds for sick people who did not require active hospital treatment. The hospital administrators, I might say, recently told me that this extension of the out-patient services to cover minor surgical procedures is doing a real job in relieving many hospital beds.

We have also made arrangement re the children who have been left in hospital; children of unmarried mothers who have an arrangement to place them out of hospital at an early stage when they no longer require acute hospital care, and other smaller arrangements.

I would like to tell the House about plans, Mr. Speaker, of the Government for the construction of a new rehabilitation hospital. By mid-July with this conception of the plan, we received a tremendous amount of mail, we heard and saw many prominent people in the hospital field, and all of them warned of the danger and the forecasts of hospital bed shortage. We were told we must immediately build more acute hospital beds for place institutions and nursing homes under the plan. I can assure this House the pressure was terrific. My decision at this early stage was to call an ad hoc committee together composed of leaders of the medical profession in Manitoba, hospital administration, large institutions such as the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba, the City Health Department and the Rehabilitation Commission. Numerous meetings were held. This committee explored a multitude of ideas and early came to the conclusion that the need was not for more acute hospital beds but rather a convalescent type of hospital bed, of a non-active treatment nature. This committee early recognized the good work in the past years of the Sanitorium Board of Manitoba, who had representation on this committee; voluntary organization who, in co-operation with the Government had developed such an efficient administration in this province. In our discussions the Board advised us that this year they had 150 less people in their sanitoria receiving tuberculosis care, against the previous year. This committee asked representatives of the Sanitorium Board, two other members of the committee, to study the situation and policy of convalescent and chronic hospitals in other parts of Canada and the northern United States. This sub-committee of three, on their return, submitted a report to the full committee, who in turn made the following recommendations to us. They recommended (a) that a convalescent hospital of two to three hundred beds be built in the western part of the province and that a convalescent hospital of five to seven hundred beds be built in the Greater Winnipeg area. The above figures, I may inform the House, were based on the formula of two beds of this nature per one thousand population as a whole, and they estimated that it wouldn't be too long probably before Manitoba would require 1800 such beds. They also recommended that the nursing homes and institutional accommodation in Greater Winnipeg be classified, surveyed and examined. It was found that long term, or chronic cases, constitute five per cent of hospital admissions but account for 33 1/3 per cent of the hospital days. The committee recommended that a facility be constructed in the Greater Winnipeg area for an active programmes of getting this small percentage of long term cases out of acute hospital care if they didn't require that high cost acute hospital care. They recommended an extremely active rehabilitation hospital where they felt we could treat long term orthopedic cases, which is long term fracture cases, industrial accidents, severe back injuries where prolonged physiotherapy is required, so that they could be returned to normal living in the shortest possible time. They felt this facility should be close to a medical teaching centre and near the facilities of a large general hospital, to prevent of course the duplication of expensive facilities such as operating rooms and so on. They further recommended that such a hospital should be kept distinctly apart from a long term convalescent or chronic bed type of hospital and that a large out-patient department should be one of the main functions of the hospital. It also recommended that for the immediate future 150 beds, in patient beds in such a facility would suffice. One


of their reasons, I may inform the House, for suggesting the separation of the rehabilitation type of alternative care facility to that of the convalescent hospital is largely because on their visits, whenever they found the two together, one of the others, one suffered. They found this was most marked in some of the larger cities in the United States where administrators told them, whatever you do don't put chronic beds with an active programme, you get nowhere.

On receiving these recommendations we called together the medical advisory committee to the medical rehabilitation commission. This committee unanimously adopted the recommendation regarding the rehab' hospital, (rehabilitation) and added a recommendation for a school of physio and occupational therapy and that this possibly could be incorporated into the new rehabilitation hospital. We immediately called together the whole commission, the Manitoba Rehabilitation Commission, who unanimously endorsed the finding of, the recommendation, of the group for a rehab' hospital and for a school of physio and occupational therapy.

In discussions with representatives of the Sanitorium Board and with the full concurrence of the advisory committee, I explored the proposal that the Board, Sanitorium Board, with the help and co-operation of the Government should construct and operate this rehab' hospital or such a facility in the Greater Winnipeg area. The advisory committee felt that this rehab' hospital must be located, as I've said, in a medical teaching centre in order to make available the existing teaching facilities and to, in turn, to emphasis rehabilitation in medical education.

As a result of these recommendations, the urgency of the situation, the Government went ahead and is acquiring the necessary property and has already completed an agreement with the Sanitorium Board of Manitoba to construct and operate this facility. This will be an open hospital under the Manitoba Hospital Services Plan and preliminary drawings are being received and are under study. The discussions with the Federal people, they share in capital cost of construction, and I would again at this point like to thank, express the thanks of the Government to the fine body of men who so readily accepted responsibility for sharing in this new venture.

In our discussions with the Board, the Sanitorium Board of Manitoba, it soon became apparent that we could immediately provide extended care or convalescent beds in sufficient numbers in both Brandon and the Pas to satisfy the demand in these areas, the western part, northern areas of the province, and that we could get a high standard type of convalescent care given through them. Throughout last fall the Board opened up convalescent beds to add to these two institutions. The policy and principle of movement of patients to these institutions was thoroughly discussed with the medical profession in these areas and we secured their co-operation and generous support. By December clearance was completed with Ottawa to bring these beds under the plan. Today we have over 50 patients receiving high quality, first class convalescent care in these institutions at a rate, I may say, of $8.00 per day.

I want the House to realize that the development of these facilities in no way implies that we are forcing people into them if they do not need or want this care. Movement is made only after consultation between the medical consultant to the plan, the patient's doctor and the family. And by June of this year we will have 200 beds available in Brandon alone. We have renamed this institution at Brandon the Assiniboine Hospital and it will be known as purely--as an extended care or convalescent hospital.

And once again, of course, I certainly wish to thank the Sanitorium Board, and I feel it shows the soundness of co-operation between voluntary organization and Government in using existing facilities.

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the recommendation that we build additional beds for chronic or long term cases, convalescent hospitals in the Greater Winnipeg area was suggested. However, we felt that before making this decision it would be necessary to survey and classify the existing facilities in nursing homes and institutions totaling over 1200 beds in the Winnipeg community. At the present moment my department is engaged in a study of this nature. By July 1st we hope to have this study completed. In the meantime I can say that with the appointment of a special placement officer, under the plan, working with the medical consultant, and with the co-operation of the medical profession in establishing admission-discharge committees with each hospital, and the further co-operation of the social service departments of our large hospitals, we are realistically attempting to individualize in every single instance,


and I can honestly say that no person has been discharged from active hospital treatment who required that care. Our hope is that as a result of our studies those institutions who meet the requirements laid down by the standards division of the plan will be brought under the plan, and those institutions who can provide adequate domiciliary care will be licensed as such. It is the opinion of the commissioner and the medical consultant to the plan that adequate domiciliary facilities of a high standard are as pressing, if not a greater need at this time than convalescent beds. It is our intention as a Government to expand these domiciliary facilities through the Elderly Persons Housing Act, and as well to assist in the expansion of those home care resources and housekeeping services that are already developing in the Greater Winnipeg area. I might say that I am amazed at the large deveopment which exists here already in the field of homecare and housekeeping services that may be utilized with this type of person. And from my daily contact with these problems, I can assure the House of the wisdom of not making a decision to build a convalescent hospital until our studies are complete. It may well be, Mr. Speaker, that convalescent beds will have to be built, but here we run into one of the main considerations in not going ahead with the recommendation. The nursing shortage. The Throne Speech makes specific reference to the acute nursing shortage in Manitoba today. This is not just a local problem but continent wide. During the past years the licensed practical nurses' course of four months classroom course and eight months hospital practical training has been operated by the Government at the Manitoba Technical Institute. Last fall plans were made to increase the enrollment by taking three classes instead of two. Since then additional classrooms have been secured which will enable us to increase the yearly number of graduates from 50 to 140 in the next year. I might add that we have had numerous applications for enrollment in this course.

The Manitoba Medical Association and the Manitoba Hospitals Association and the Manitoba Association of Registered Nurses have an active committee studying the nursing shortage problem. We hope, with the co-operation of the Medical Association and the Association of Registered Nurses to explore every possibility for a solution to this pressing shortage. The government, with the establishment of the compulsory health insurance scheme, simply must take a leading role in developing the particular nursing facilities required. This is a must!

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell you the government's plans in the field of mental health. Over-crowding is--has been present in Brandon and Selkirk. Increased accommodation is necessary at the Portage School. The demand for admissions to our mental institutions is increasing faster than our building programme. It is urgent that additional accommodation be provided at Selkirk to serve the eastern portion of the Province and the Greater Winnipeg area. Brandon, at present, has over 1600 patients for a proper capacity of 1400. It is agreed that the Brandon Institution should become no larger. Selkirk, too, with over 1200 patients has a proper capacity of from 1000 to 1100 patients. Experience in the last ten years at this institution at Selkirk indicates that the number of permanent patients in the institution rises at the rate of twenty-five per year. We are proposing to build a 500 bed unit at Selkirk to relieve the over-crowding and to project accommodation over the next ten years. We are planning the completion at Portage la Prairie of the female infirmary containing 180 beds, and a new unit for male patients at this institution of 200 beds. There are two floors in the main Portage building which will have to be torn down as they have become obsolete, and have not been occupied since I visited there shortly after coming to office anyway. In this female infirmary there will be sufficient accommodation for the most pressing cases in the age group from three to six of both sexes. Now the recreation building at Selkirk provided for in last year's estimates will be constructed. Various alteration and construction projects will be completed at Brandon and Portage to replace some antiquated plumbing facilities at Brandon, and to provide a Trades Building at the Portage home. The foregoing construction alone will come to around $5,000,000 over the next two to three years.

But Mr. Speaker, we have hardly begun to touch the fringe of the problem of the rehabilitation of the mental patients. Much more could, and should be done by way of remotivation of patients to leave hospital and to assume responsibilities for living in the community rather than escaping into custodial care. Relatives must be helped to re-establish their sick members of the family. Social services will have to be expanded and better liaison established with community rehabilitation agencies and volunteer groups.


I would like to report on a trend that has been noted at the Selkirk Hospital. Seventy-four per cent of the first admissions last year were discharged from the Selkirk home. This is largely due to modern drug therapy with inter-active group of drugs. However, where in 1957 the excess of re-admissions over first admissions was seven per cent, this year the excess is 24 per cent. To overcome this trend we must do as I've just said--we must expand our rehabilitation programme. It is better and incidently cheaper, to help people in their own communities rather than to build beds for them.

Mr. Speaker, the Throne Speech, and I'm still speaking to the sub-amendment.... (CARRY ON! CARRY ON!) The Throne Speech makes reference to the Salk Polio Vaccine programme which our government introduced on July 23rd. All children up to Grade 12 had been given free polio shots. On discussing last summer--the polio programme--with officials of the department, the decision was made to extend free polio vaccine to young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. The Dominion Council of Health had just prior to that recommended that this age group receive polio protection because the incidence of paralytic polio was greatest in the age group 20 to 40 than in the up to five years of age. We estimated that there were 272,000 Manitobans in this age group. The decision was made to add Salk vaccine to the list of free biologics to include this group. This was merely an extension of the sound principle that preventative medicine is the best medicine. Our figures show that 150,000 adults received two innoculations, and 90,000 received one innoculation. Over 390,000 doses were distributed. They will, of course, get their third shots early this year.

Unfortunately, in 1958, 148 cases of polio occurred with ten deaths. There were 106 of these also had some residual paralysis. None of the ten had been fully innoculated, although two had received two doses. This year the government has also decided to extend the polio programme to give booster doses to all those children who have received their three doses in 1957. Although the optimum interval at which to give the booster does has not been finalized, it was the opinion of leading authorities in Manitoba and elsewhere, that being in an endemic area such as we are, that we should offer the programme this year, and I understand that we will be the first province to take this step, but I must say here to the House, that this was the strong recommendation to the Department from the leaders in this field. The federal authorities will share in the programme as they have before.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to touch on the other matter mentioned in the Throne Speech debate and that is Northern Health Services. Again, shortly after coming to office, the officials of the department brought to the attention of the government the great need for increased health services in our northern areas. Also, the Arthur D. Little Report makes reference to that need in the north. A conference was held with all those officials on September the 10th, and the committee pointed out to the government the unsatisfactory conditions existing at Churchill and the great need for an active public health education and sanitation programme in the camps in the north.

The northern health unit at Flin Flon serves Cranberry Portage, Flin Flon and The Pas, and it was felt that the Director and staff of this unit should be kept on to concentrate on that area for Flin Flon and to the south, and they operate independently of what should be called a Northern Health Service. It was felt imperative that some positive action be taken as soon as possible concerning the establishment of a Director of these northern health services to be based at The Pas to serve this area, and to study first hand the needs of the area for an integrated health programme in both preventative and curative fields, of course utilizing all the departmental and professional resources available. He would report and make recommendations upon matters indicating the various degrees of priority of need so that a sound long-term health programme may be organized and implemented. This northern health services should administer such statutory services to the area as may be needed. These include the services of the sanitation division, inspectors based at The Pas; the administration of the movement of urgent cases from remote areas to The Pas; and provide or arrange for the continuation of the provisions of typical health unit services at the Town of The Pas.

Informal discussions were held with the Medical Officer for Indian Health Services at The Pas who was acting at present as our--on a contract as a part-time Medical Officer of Health for the Northern areas, giving immunizations and incidental medical care to provincial residents encountered during the visits he makes to the Treaty Indians. He emphasized the


great need in the north for preventative health services, and that such a programme would justify many times over costs involved. Our medical director would work in close liaison with Indian Health Services and utilize all local physicians in his programme. Also at present, a flexible arrangement utilizing both Manitoba Government Air Service and private air lines for emergency transportation was advised. I would like to say here, and not being personally too familiar with the north, I relied on the officials from this department, but the medical men in charge of the Indian Health Services happened to be a very good old acquaintance of mine who has been in the north for years, and it was his feeling that rather than set up an air ambulance service, that we should utilize everything that's in the area for diversification, and he, if we were to send up a Director of Northern Health Services, felt that the federal and provincial directors could work and complement one another in this vast area to begin with.

We plan, therefore, to ask the House later to provide of course for a full-time Medical Director, two more Public Health Nurses, a Public Health Engineer, and a Health Educator and a clerical staff. We have secured accommodation in the new government building at The Pas, and we will incorporate the two Sanitary Inspectors who are already in the area. We would also, under this service, appoint Industrial Physicians of the area who are located at the different mining sites as Deputy Health Officers, reporting to the Director of Northern Health Services, concerning matters in their particular areas.

Now Mr. Speaker, how would a socialized comprehensive national health scheme meet our welfare problems, with which it is so inextricably involved? The Speech from the Throne has briefly outlined the government's plans in the welfare field. We intend to bring in a new act entitled The Social Allowances Act, to replace the present Social Assistance Act. In addition, we will bring forward a new Elderly Persons' Housing Act, and bills to amend The Child Welfare Act, The Health & Public Welfare Act, The Act for Old Age Assistance, Blind and Disabled Persons' Allowance.

The legislative programme for Welfare and the supply which will be requested to give effect to this legislation is, in my opinion, long overdue. I believe that it is one of the most forward looking programmes undertaken in this province or in any other province in Canada. I therefore intend to outline some of the main provisions in the legislation so that the honourable members of this House will have some idea of the progressive legislation which our government believes is urgently required. (HEAR! HEAR!) However, before dealing in some length with this programme, I want to outline for you the problems we found and encountered when we came to office last summer.

First of all, I would like to talk about pensioners and their needs. As honourable members will recall, this legislature in its first session November 4th, 1958, unanimously adopted a resolution requesting that our government to give consideration--and here I will quote the Resolution: "To give consideration to the advisability of supplementing the income of old age and blind pensioners and persons in receipt of Old Age Assistance whose total incomes are not in excess of $55.00 per month; and be it further resolved that in the opinion of this House, the government should give consideration to the advisability of providing medical, surgical, dental and optical care for all old age pensioners in need of such assistance; and be it further resolved that in the opinion of this House, the government should give consideration to the advisability of making provision for increased aid for housing projects for old age pensioners and the establishment of provincial nursing homes for the aged."

May I call your attention to the fact that 52 members present passed this unanimously. I also observed that the governments previous to June the 1st, 1958, succeeded in rendering this resolution innocuous annually, over a number of years. Why did they do this? They always so amended the resolution, that I think the buck was passed to the municipalities. When we assumed office we found that the pensioners were in need of allowances by way of cash. We found that pensioners did require the right to get medical and related services and we found that pensioners did require better housing and better nursing home accommodation. In effect, I can say that we found that the policy of the former government was wanting badly because municipalities were either unwilling or unable to assume responsibilities which they felt belonged to the Provincial Government. Yes, in summary, when we found pensioners in need...


MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, that just isn't so!

MR. JOHNSON: I'll carry on. ...felt belonged to the Provincial government. In summary, we found pensioners in need and our Social Allowances Act, and our amendments to the present act are intended to meet these needs. We found that investigation and social services to pensioners applying for assistance, as I say, were inadequate. Shortly after we formed the government, one of the members of this side of the House spoke to me about the provision in the Old Age Assistance Act, and the Blind Persons Allowance Pensions Act, that made it mandatory for an applicant to have his application reviewed by his municipality before it could be considered by the Provincial Pensions Board. This alone caused delay in considering the applications. The whole idea was, and is wrong. Here we have a provincial government paying the full pension and recovering part from Ottawa, but here we have a provincial administration where the municipality has no financial say whatsoever in the pension being unable to consider an application until the municipality had studied and commended on the matter. This is really overdoing the passing of the buck and we intend to overcome this type of delay by amendments to the pension legislation.

One final problem regarding pensioners--we found that the pensioner often had his application taken for his annual review of his pension standing done by an Ag. Rep. or by Sanitary Inspectors, or by Public Health Nurses. We found in fact, that here again the pension application review was delayed by the shopping around for service. Here is an example of wasteful use of skilled people. Surely an Agricultural Representative or a Sanitary Inspector has plenty to do in the field for which they are trained and employed, rather than to be asked to take on a job in a catch-as-you-can basis for our Pensions Branch. This scheme we've found is wasteful of the time of the other departments involved. I had complaints from other departments. It delays the pension applicant in need, and it adds to the administrative difficulty and red tape of our pension department. We are asking for sufficient supply to get the staff to do the job properly for the pension administration. You will see that the problems of the pensioners which we found as a new government were not slight or insignificant. Our legislative programme is designed to meet these problems and overcome these needs.

Mr. Speaker, I now want to talk about another large area of need and problems which we inherited from the previous administration with its, if you'll permit me, "Let George Do It" philosophy. There has been no real rhyme nor reason which we could discover to the division of administrative and financial responsibility as between the province and the municipalities in the welfare field. For example, the wives and children of deserted men, the wives and children where the man is in gaol have just as great needs, if in not some cases greater, than those unfortunate cases of disablement or death, cared for under our Mother's Allowance Policy. What these families need is maintenance, but often they can be greatly assisted to help themselves through the services of social workers. Again this field of family problems is closely related to child welfare activities and resources of the provincial departments. In the face of this, the previous government insisted that these cases were a municipal responsibility. We say the municipalities have not the resources to cope with these problems.

Mr. Speaker, here I would like to emphasize a major area of need where the previous government's policy of passing the buck to the municipalities created undue hardship to citizens; and left municipalities, the province, and private institutions with a practically insoluble problem. I refer to the field of the aged and infirm care, or for the care of the sick, disabled, senile and handicapped who require someone else, or some organization to look after them. Let me say that the problem in this field, the problems were again catapulted at the new government because the enactment of the Hospital Insurance scheme on July the 1st without previous adequate preparation. Here we inherited a situation where sick people could get completely free care as long as they remained in the hospitals. However, even though he was sick, he often didn't require active hospital treatment. Then the problem started--he needed a nursing home care, or straight home care, or he needed convalescent hospital care, or domiciliary care. If he was indigent, the municipality was responsible for paying for his care in such alternative accommodation. However, why should they try to find such care or actually make a placement which would cost them money if the person could get care in the hospital at no cost to the municipality.

I have on my desk many cases from my own municipality where they were unable--in this


instance--tried hard but they were unable, and in others they were unwilling, or both, to find nursing home or institutional care for sick people who no longer rquired active hospital treatment. As I have already mentioned, the emergency--as emergency measures to meet these problems, we appointed a special placement officer. We established a special advisory body of medical men, social workers and administrators to study and review the problems. With the co-operation of the Sanitorium Board we were able to open up, as I mentioned earlier, some in convalescent beds in Brandon and Clearwater, and we hope that this Rehab. Hospital will be the best on the continent.

We have authorized our Department to extend on a demonstration basis the polio care programme to a hundred cases of severely disabled orthopedic cases not in hospitals as a further adjunct in promoting a home care study.

We are conducting the surveys of nursing homes and institutions as I have mentioned. In the meantime, our Social Allowances Act provides that all long-care sick and disable citizens in need are the responsibility of the province rather than of the municipality and we are prepared to assume this responsibility from the municipalities as soon as the legislation is passed.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer to some problems in the child welfare field. Manitoba has had the reputation for years of having one of the best Child Welfare Acts and administrations on the continent. There have been developments under good legislation of citizens interest in, and the support of child welfare through Children's Aid Socities--deserve honourable mention. So does the treatment and rehabilitation emphasis placed upon child welfare by the children's institutions, the societies, and the department. However, there are still problems to be dealt with. Much time was wasted in saddling municipalities--the time wasted in saddling municipalities with Court Orders for neglected children through court battles over legal residence has no real justification in this field. We believe that after forty years of development in this field the time has come to acknowledge that when a provincial law protects children from neglect; when provincial funds are spent to see that these children are protected, and when provincial courts commit these children as wards of the Province; then it's also time to have the Province acknowledge on behalf of these children, provincial rather than municipal financial responsibility. (HEAR! HEAR!) Not only will this overcome the problem of the wasted time involved in legal residence, but it will relieve municipalities of gross costs of almost $700,000.

Here then, were some of the major problems we encountered in the field of services and assistance to the aged; housing for the aged; nursing home, institutional care and home care for the aged; families in need of welfare assistance; and child welfare. In the face of these problems, we were really faced with three alternatives. Let them drift along with a patch here and a patch there, close our eyes and pretend they didn't exist, or spend some time and effort in trying to overcome them, to understand them and tackle them in an overall and integrated way. As a government we decided that the basic social security of Manitobans had to be underlined and underpinned. We want to make sure that everyone in need has that need met and we want to see that our method of meeting needs is business-like, efficient, well organized and co-ordinated.

How then is the welfare programme which we will bring forward to this session--here then is the programme that we are going to bring forward at this coming session of the legislature. We will make provisions, Mr. Speaker, for cash allowance and related services to pensioners in need; it will transfer responsibility for placement and maintenance of the aged and infirm in institutions, from municipalities to the province; it will abolish Mothers' Allowance as such, but at the same time bring under one provincial administration all long-term assistance cases as a provincial responsibility; it will provide aid to Indians and Immigrants; it will, along with the amendments to the Child Welfare Act, transfer responsibility for maintenance of neglected children from the municipalities to the province. In its appeal provisions it will try to guarantee equal and fair treatment among all our citizens in need. This Act I am certain is one of the most forward and progressive welfare statutes to be considered by this Legislature since the first Mothers' Allowance Act was introduced in 1916.

The federal Minister, in commenting on our draft legislation and undertaking to share in it, referred to it as the most progressive legislation that he has seen. We will share--Ottawa will share in this social allowance programme in all those--in all these matters I've men-


tioned except for three things--child welfare, which is a provincial responsibility; the old Mothers' Allowance case-load, which was the case-load in this province of 1120 or 3300 people--this forumula is set across Canada--that formula group are still our provincial responsibility; and of course medical, optical and dentures and so on that you may give. In other words, Ottawa is going to share with us 50 per cent in all but these three items.

Mr. Speaker, the new elderly persons' housing act will be designed to stimulate non-profit organizations and municipalities to create low-rental housing and accommodation, and in a hurry. We are far behind in the field in Manitoba. Our policy is that it's far better, as soon as we can to provide, along with voluntary and municipal effort, low-rental housing for senior citizens rather than to be granting cash supplement for inadequate housing or in inadequate housing to these people.

Our amendments to the Child Welfare Act are for three main purposes: One, to take care of the emergency medical needs of neglected children; to transfer maintenance order costs from municipalities to the province; and to straighten out some of the legal and paper work entanglements in our adoption programme.

The amendments to the Old Age Assistance Act, the Blind Persons' Allowance Act and the Disability of Persons' Allowance Act will remove the requirement that applications be cleared by the municipalities.

The amendments to the Health and Public Welfare Act will include the new structure and organization of our present appeal body, the Public Welfare Advisory Committee.

One final word, Mr. Speaker, as to cost. These provisions will all cost money. We've secured the co-operation of the Federal government who will share in all these costs other than the ones I outlined. For every extra $100,000 we spend, we shall recover $50,000 from Ottawa. However, this while a necessary and basic consideration of cost is only part of the story. Some people claim we can't afford these costs. We contend this government with the people of Manitoba can't afford to continue neglecting these situations. No one today can estimate the economic and social waste of our previous refusal to have adequate welfare services. Old people without enough cash and poor housing and inadequate diet get sick and require hospital care up to $20.00 a day. Add $20.00 a day these days. The deserted mother who doesn't get help when she needs it, cannot help the situation that results in neglect or delinquency of her children. One case of polio in a hospital for six months costs as much as full polio innoculations for 3,000 people. Ten mental patients in hospital for a year costs as much as rehabilitation for 100 mentally ill persons in the community.

It is, therefore, not only on the basis of humaneness, decency and social obligation that we must propose these extensions of our programme but also on the basis that it's an investment in the economical way of helping people to help themselves.

Mr. Speaker, this programme that I have attempted to outline--Manitoba's programme--must be tailored to our own province. I humbly submit we have come a long way in nine months. I have some compassion for state hospital, [Interjection] they caught on. Apparently, Mr. Speaker, the previous government, my predecessor from Gimli in this seat, used to say that he had some compassion for State Hospitalization but he had reservations on the rest of the welfare programme. Frankly, I agree with the former encumbent from Gimli when I say I know where is no one in Manitoba today who needs to go without medical care. We couldn't and no government could buy the care the profession extends to the less fortunate in this province. Nor do they want us to. Medicine is an art and a science. You remove the art and you remove the soul--the humanitarian impulse cannot be purchased. The development of medicine over the years has gained its strength on this premise. I submit that into whatever schemes we go with the profession, it must be in a partnership in meeting needs, not a universal federal-provincial compulsory national health scheme. Our programme, as I am sure you can see, leaves little to be desired.

In concluding these remarks, Mr. Speaker, I can't help but comment on the reservations expressed by the Honourable, the Leader of the Opposition. But I feel here, is a basic difference in philosophy. I know that he is most sincere and many of his men in their view, and I hold him in the highest regard. However, in no way should he feel that municipalities are being slighted. My association with these men in my own community, my association with these


men across the province since coming to this office, has convinced me more and more that the municipalities must be relieved of the long term high cost social assistance case.

In discussing this with our First Minister last fall in how we could tackle this problem, he told me to go to Ottawa and speak to the National minister. In my discussions with the federal authorities, with representatives of the Canadian Welfare Council, and delegations that came in to see from the municipalities furthern convinced me that the province must now take the leadership in gathering together and expanding our health and welfare services. And humbly, as a country doctor, I found it almost impossible to interpret welfare legislation which I know now grew topsy-turvy over a period of 30 years. I, Sir, therefore feel very happy in my own heart that the federal authorities have seen fit to share with us in a major portion of this programme. And that at last, the fact is that our pensioners who have also been in the so-called cost-price squeeze I hear so much about, can see some assistance in sight. I am certain that the municipalities of this province will stand up and call us 'blessed' with the programme that we have before you here. This legislative programme is the means by which, Mr. Speaker, the honourable gentlemen opposite are trying to throw us out of office by showing non-confidence in the government.

But before I sit down, gentlemen, being very inexperienced in the House but having been asked a question concerning hospitalization the other day, I would ask your indulgence after having heard what I have said about the situation in Manitoba today of a statement covering the question raised by the Honourable member from Radisson concerning the headline which recently appeared in the press regarding bed shortages in hospitals. The commissioner to the hospital plan, at my request, asked the administrators of the metropolitan hospitals of Greater Winnipeg to meet with him to discuss the press and radio statements which I saw also the day before yesterday. In view of the fact that we have been in constant daily touch with these men, I found it hard to understand what this announcement was about. In an interview yesterday with these administrators as I indicated, they reassured the commissioner and the government that all emergency cases are receiving immediate protection which they will continue to receive. Every hospital in the Greater Winnipeg area has beds set aside to receive any emergency--real emergency. In connection with the waiting lists, we will always have waiting lists in the province--they always have had them in bigger hospital areas--in areas of bigger hospitals--you always will have them. We discussed these also previously with other provinces and they have the same waiting lists. I can assure the House that this government will do everything in its power to ensure that everyone who needs care will get it as soon as possible, and that emergencies will be looked after.

The administrators agree that they would all file their waiting lists with the plan as will the large convalescent hospitals in the Winnipeg area. And there are some empty beds in the Winnipeg General Hospital and these, it is hoped, will be opened in the not too distant future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask the question that I wanted to put to the Honourable Minister a little earlier, if I might, I noticed he said that when the government assumed office and found itself 'catapulted' into a health scheme, my question is this because he is quite familiar with all the problems since July 1st, and certainly being familiar with those, he would know some of the problems that were there prior to July 1st. On the basis of that information, would he have started a plan in Manitoba on July 1st of this year? On the basis of the information that you had, would you have had the hospital plan start on July 1st of this year? Or would you have had it postponed? I'm sorry, I meant July 1st, 1958, when the plan actually started. I noticed you used the term 'catapulted' into a hospitalization scheme. Now my question is quite simple. Would you have started it on July 1st last year, had you had the chance?

MR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, no! I would not have without first of all making a complete assessment and standardization of the alternative facilities available in the area. We should have had more time for that. Of course, these are things that it may be easier to see in retrospect. I might say, Mr. Speaker, that I realize how previous the Honourable member for Rockwood worked hard on this plan until I took office and in retrospect, as I say, it's probably easier to see what we might have done. Immediately the plan went into effect on July 1st, we had this problem of the long-term municipal case, that as long as it was in hospital, it


wasn't costing anybody anything, but where there was reluctance to move. We were in a vacuum. The city licences all the nursing homes in the city. We didn't know where these facilities were in nursing homes and other alternative types of care. Also the chronic cases in hospital as a back-log that you couldn't move--you know there was a static number in the hospital and we only had to take off the top. We found marked difficulties in that area, and that is why we called this ad hoc committee together to see what was the best way to tackle it. Should we go off and build more hospital beds, of should we utilize what resources we had in the community? We felt initially, until we could get more information, until we could see how the plan was going, we would have to just do our best, and we tried to individualize in every single instance. We bent over backwards, absolutely backwards, not to enforce the strict provisions of the Act because when it came in we started to notice the long term cases when the doctors said they no longer needed medical care, we just couldn't push them out on the street. We had to--so our medical consultant to the plan by going and meeting with admission discharge committees of most of the hospitals. We tried to work out, with a placement officer to help, the social service department of that hospital, we would attempt to move the people out into where there were the best facilities that we could. But there is a real need--the Medical Consultant to the plan feels that there are probably 200 people in the hospitals in Greater Winnipeg that we might get into domiciliary care, you know without acute bed care, and with the rehab hospital utilizing our better nursing home facilities, and so on we feel that we can do more than to go ahead and build a 700 bed convalescent hospital when we haven't any nurses to staff it.

MR. BEND: May I be permitted a supplementary question and then I'll be all through. But that points up the difficulty when you have an estimate introducing speech on the throne speech. Normally we would be able to ask all kinds of questions and this makes it rather difficult. I appreciate very much the Minister's frank answer of my first question and that obviously brings up a supplementary one.

Now since he in the light of his experience would not have started this plan last July the first I assume then that would have waited until his rehabilitation hospital would have been completed before he did start it. Is that correct? Is that it? In other words, what date would you have started it?

MR. JOHNSON: When I was ready...That's quite a while...

MR. BEND: We would have been still waiting.

MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, arising out of some of the closing remarks of the Honourable Minister I should like to ask a question for the purpose of clarification which may raise another particular question. Did I understand him to say that there were vacant beds in the Winnipeg General which would shortly be put into use and if so why have they not been in use during the past number of months if this shortage is so acute? I am reliably informed that practically the whole east wing of the Winnipeg General has been without patients for a number of months. Is that correct and if so why?

MR. JOHNSON: Because a brand new wing was built in the hospital, as you know, without adequate kitchen facilities and service facilities. They simply are not able to feed the patients due to inadequate facilities and there is in the estimates this year monies towards the Winnipeg General Hospital to complete this facility.

MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Mr. Speaker, may I ask a question to the Honourable Minister? You have told us, Mr. Minister, that you haven't started any prosecutions yet for failure to pay premiums under the Hospital Services Act. My question is, will you prosecute at all or will you start prosecuting only on the day following election day?

ONE OF THE MEMBERS: What a rotten question.

MR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to give some information on that if you wish. As of this morning, or last night, there were 20 filed with the Attorney-General's department, we use a solicitor through his department. Now 7500--the municipalities--90 municipalities guaranteed premiums in this last collection period and 7500 people on whose behalf the premiums were guaranteed have failed to pay the municipalities. We have assisted these municipalities also in visiting their delinquent residence to assist them in getting their monies. Also we have 7000 other family heads who have not paid premiums. One half of these are from the local government districts. We feel that those 7000 family heads represent about 18,000 people. But


this was a few weeks back and since then the commissioner tells me that the premiums are still coming in at the rate of 4000 a day. Every time our people go... [Interjection] ... $4,000.00 in premium collection money has been coming in in the last week or two. And we have, of this 7500 a few weeks back, 7000, --that's been reduced, we haven't got an up to date figure right at this moment, but 2500 interviews were carried out in these local government district groups and where they owed the premium directly to the plan and 40 per cent of these people paid their premiums as soon as the field man of the Manitoba Plan explained the whole problem to him. And we have today 20 who are in the A.G.'s hands.

MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate myself with all those who have congratulated you [Applause]. I usually expect that [Laughter] on your election to the high office of Speaker of this House, and I also want to congratulate you on the independence of judgment that you show in this office. I would also like to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. They did a good job under rather difficult circumstances. But I also want to congratulate those in the Press Gallery for the intent that they have aroused in this Session, for the tension that they have created. Of course some of their guesses have been very wide of the mark. They've guessed that the Government was going to be defeated immediately, they've guessed that it wasn't going to be defeated at all. In fact, Sir, there's more than one guess in the wind at the present time that this--the Session of this Legislature is going to come to an end some time early next week. Well, Mr. Speaker, we're going to keep you all guessing.

A MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. SWAILES: We are under no obligation whatever to support the motion of the Leader of the nominal Opposition. We moved an amendment to that motion because we were dissatisfied with it. We thought it wasn't good enough and so we're really not under any obligation to support that motion and if the Conservatives on this side wish to defeat the Conservatives on that side the best thing they can do is to support a motion which they have opposed through the whole of their history.

I may make a further speeches in the course of this debate on the Speech from the Throne. I may even get to make a speech on the main motion if our friends on this side don't like this particular amendment to the amendment, we have others that we can submit which they may like, in fact we have a bagful of motions which we can submit if they don't like this particular one. And it isn't beyond the bounds of possibility, particularly after hearing the last speaker, and I want to congratulate him from the bottom of my heart, on making one of the best CCF speeches that I've ever heard in this House. [Applause]

A MEMBER: You can say that again.

MR. SWAILES: But it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that we may want this Government to stay in office, not only thoughout this year, but to the end of its session in order to get the full advantage of all this wonderful legislation which is being proposed. Because it's actually when you do have a minority government and a government which is seeking to win the approval of the public that we get legislation of this kind suggested.

A MEMBER: Coalition...

MR. SWAILES: Now then, the last speaker in the introduction of his remarks gave us the same objections to a National Health Insurance Plan that we heard all over the year, for many years against hospital insurance. Now hospital insurance is a fact and it is discovered, it is realized that after it has been in operation for a few months there are a great many needs to be fulfilled. But it was necessary and it was desirable and it is doing a good job. And the Honourable Minister mentioned that the people have shown a great sense of responsibility with respect to this insurance plan. Now I well remember some of the speeches that were made in this House by the former Minister of Health, Mr. Schultz, when he decried any kind of hospital or health insurance plan, he said that if we had a hospital plan that workers would go ill every year in order to have a few weeks rest in hospital, that our women would have babies every year so that they could go into hospital [Laughter] and so on. Those were the dangers which he told us were entailed in the hospital plan, and the previous speaker mentioned the dangers of health insurance but he didn't indicate what those particular dangers were. And I want to come back to this particular part of it because it is in line with the amendment later on in my few short remarks.

A MEMBER: ...take your time...


MR. SWAILES: You know the leader of our group, when he opened his address, he said that the feet of the Conservatives on this side of the House were firmly implanted in the 19th century. Then we had the speaker of the Government side, the Minister of Agriculture, telling us that the feet of the C.C.F. were in the clouds. Well of course that brings us to the question as to just where are the feet of the Government transplanted? And judging from the Speech from the Throne, and judging from the speech we have just heard, the Conservatives on this side are trying to put one foot in the shoe of the Conservatives on this side and they're trying to put the other foot into the clouds, into the shoes of the C.C.F. so that they're going to try to beat the C.C.F. to a socialistic state. And you know, that with one foot in the 19th century and another foot in the clouds, that's a very uncomfortable position. [Laughter] You all know what happens at times when a novice tries to do the splits and if you listened carefully you'll hear the beginning of the big rip, the rip which is the prelude to the disappearance behind the curtain. Now, with one foot in the clouds our friends on this side of the House are telling us that they're going to raise the level of the Social Security. They're going to make extra payments and make better accommodation for old age pensioners as we have just heard. They're going to provide better housing for everyone. They're going to give the farmers a fair share of the national income. They're going to provide crop insurance, raise minimum wages and give everyone an equal opportunity to enjoy the best that we have in our society here in Manitoba. But unfortunately they have the other foot, the foot which is embedded in the private capitalism of the 19th century. That foot which is embedded in the philosphy of every man for himself and the devil take the hind most. And that other foot is a bit of a drag, because while we've had an outline of all the wonderful things that are being done with one foot, with the other foot, only last year, the people of Greater Winnipeg were kicked into the grip of a private monopoly, which is going to extract something like $2,000,000.00 a year out of the pockets of the people of Greater Winnipeg. That is a nineteenth Century foot that is in operation, and this is this government's foot because this government had the opportunity to declare and to make sure that the distribution of natural gas should go to a public utility and could save the people of Greater Winnipeg that amount of money each year. Again, with that old 19th Century foot, they're allowing a large mining corporation to have almost uncontrolled domination overly nearly a thousand square miles of our northern territory and thousands of the people of Manitoba. I think someone over this side, the Member for Churchill stated that in the development at Moak Lake, and Thompson, that the workers themselves asked for a 12 hour day and a seven day week. I doubt that very much indeed, Mr. Speaker, especially when there's no suggestion whatsoever of payment for any overtime. Then we come to another big corporation, the Hudson's Bay Mining & Smelting Company, someone said that they invested $150,000,000.00 in that but in ten years - in ten years' time - they were paying out dividends of $14 million a year. They are paying out more dividends than they were paying to all the people who were doing the work extracting that wealth from the bowels of the earth, and in those ten years they got $150 million back again with a bit over.

I would like to remind our friends on this side of the House of a statement that was recently made by Prime Minister Diefenbaker. He said you can't have it both ways, and I say this, it's going to be very, very difficult to keep one foot in the clouds and the other foot in the 19th century. You just simply can't have it both ways. You either have to have both feet in the clouds, or both in the 19th century. Now then, I'll admit that my feet are in the clouds, both of them. Now the Honourable Minister of Agriculture yesterday gave us an address and his speech was a rehash, an amplified rehash of the Speech from the Throne. Agricultural credit is going to be provided, the water levels are going to be controlled, soil is going to conserved, livestock is to be cultivated, more publications and statistics are to be provided, more research is going to be done at the Agricultural College, and more information is going to be given by radio and television. That's what the foot in the clouds is going to do. But, with the other - we are in the clouds, we are in the clouds - but there's just one thing that the Honourable Minister of Agriculture is forgetting, and that is there's still the foot in the 19th century of private enterprise, which is making his agricultural policy bankrupt. The policy of this government, the policy of the Federal government in respect to agriculture is a bankrupt policy, because farmers will never - will never - get a fair share of the National income as long as the giant industry is a private enterprise, they will control both prices and production. And as


long as the prices of farm implements, or for trucks and automobiles, fertilizers, food, bread, livestock and household appliances, as long as these are controlled, as long as the prices and production are controlled by these large industrial corporations, agriculture will, of necessity, remain a depressed industry. For the very simple reason that they are determining the prices that the farmer has to pay, and they are determining the prices that the farmer is going to get, and they are pocketing it from both sides.

Now, you simply cannot have a healthy agriculture as long as the other half of the economy is monopolistically controlled. It simply cannot work together.

MR. ALEXANDER: Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Honourable gentleman a question?

MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead.

MR. ALEXANDER: Have you ever had a health agricultural economy in this country in the past?

MR. SWAILES: I'll tell you this, Mr. Speaker, that the only times that agriculture has been really prosperous has been in times of warfare, or threatened warfare. Providing more credit for farmers will only send them deeper into debt, if the farmer cannot get an adequate return for his labour. And agricultural research will only make more profitable the plundering of the farmers that is already taking place. Now it was very noticeable that in the Speech from the Throne, and in the speeches that have been made up to now, that there has not been a single reference to the necessity for co-operative development. And co-operation development is one of the instruments which can be used most successfully by our farming population, to free them from the grip of these industrial monopolists. With proper governmental assistance, and with co-operative developments, it is possible for the farming community to get control, and maintain control over the packing industry, the industry which at the present time is threatening to make the family farms into factories. And if through co-operative organizations, through such organizations that the farmers would have a greater control over their own industry than they have ever had up to the present time, and co-operative development, Mr. Speaker, would give our commercial fishermen, much greater control over the industry, where they do all the work, and where they take all the risks. And co-operative control would free the fishing industry from the domination of those fish marketing companies. And incidentally co-operative development of the fishing industry would lead to more, quicker rehabilitation of the lakes, and of our fish crops. And co-operative development would free our housewives of working families from domination by the big chains of food stores which are at the present time, and in the last few years, have been exacting unprecedented profits from farmers and wage-earners form coast to coast. And it's very significant that neither in the Speech from the Throne, nor in any other speeches that are being made, has there been any mention whatever of this most important development.

Now, I just want to come back again, to this matter of health insurance, our own amendment, and again I want to remind you that all down the line on both sides of this House, both these conservative parties have opposed this idea of hospital insurance, and health insurance. And when all is said and done, this is merely trying the principle of insurance to a logical conclusion in the fields both of health and hospitalization. You all know of course, that illness is something which no family can budget for. No one can tell when illness is going to strike. No one can tell how severely illness is going to strike. And it doesn't take a long spell of illness, it doesn't take much more than one serious operation to make any ordinary family bankrupt to put it into debt - that it will take years to repay. I noticed that in the Speech from the Throne, and in the speech that was made by the former Speaker, there was a statement to the effect that in the past 40 years there had - the tenth time in 40 years, we've had a near epidemic of polio in Manitoba. And it's rather surprising that in the same year, in our next province, in the province of Saskatchewan, there wasn't a single polio case throughout the whole year. And it may be, I don't know just exactly why, but it may be due to the fact that they have developed their hospitals and health plans to a greater degree than it has been developed here that freedom from polio infection may have been the result. Again - I want to come back to the statement of the previous speaker when he mentioned all these dangers that were apparent in the national health insurance plan. And I think the experience of Britain, and the experience of the countries that have actually had these plans in operation for years, shows that those dangers are just as imaginary as the the dangers that were predicted ahead of the introduction of the hospital insurance


plan. The health of the people, particularly in Britain, has improved tremendously since that plan was introduced, and the overall cost - I'm speaking now from memory from the last report I had - came to about 11 pounds a head for the overall cost of the entire plan. And it has been a venture which has paid for itself over and over and over again to the people of that country, and it's one which will repay the people of this country too, if ever it is put into operation. And don't say there's no demand for it, because there is. The people who go into hospitals, while under the hospital insurance plan, find that they don't have to pay the hospital fees, and that is a relief. They do have to pay their medical bills, and in many cases those bills are extremely heavy. There's one feature of the present hospital plan that we strongly object to, and that is the price that it is costing the individual. It's $49.20 for the family, and $10.60 for the individual, and the man with $30.00 a week has to pay just as much as the man with $300.00. And we would like to see this plan implemented either with respect to hospitalization, or with respect to health insurance where the cost would be borne out of the general treasury and paid for by the people in accordance with their ability to pay, which is the fairest and the best method of covering the expense of such a plan of operation, and without doubt, as the previous speaker mentioned, the very fact that people would have these services available, would be able to use the medical services without fear of the heavy cost, would go a long way toward reducing the cost of illness in the future. We talk about the cost-benefit plan of flood control, where for every $4.00 we spend, we are saving $11. There is a cost-benefit feature to a plan of national health insurance too. And for every dollar that is spent in a plan of national health insurance, there would be several dollars saved. The health of the community would be improved, and the overall cost would be reduced. And now, I know, Mr. Speaker, that - in fact I feel thoroughly sure that the Conservatives on this side of the House are going to oppose our sub-amendment. But I'm sure that if the Conservatives on this side of the House give it honest thought, they'll see that the implementation of a national plan of health insurance - comprehensive health insurance - in conjunction with the federal government, is going to be of such great benefit to the people of Manitoba, that the people on this side of the House should vote for it.

MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Burrows, that the debate be adjourned.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member for Inkster - I didn't catch his seconder - seconded by the Honourable Member for Burrows that the debate be adjourned.

[Following a voice vote, the motion was declared carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Adjourn debate on the motion of the Honourable the First Minister, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, if it is the intention of the government to proceed at this time, because I might take some little time, and I'm quite willing to accommodate myself to the wishes of the government if they're thinking of going into a committee of supply; on the other hand I'm quite willing to let it stand...

MR. ROBLIN: That's a difficult question, Mr. Speaker. My personal inclination would be to proceed because otherwise it might be Monday before we get to this item again, as tomorrow is private member's day - we have a very full agenda - and the Throne Speech -

MR. STINSON: I would like to make a point of order there - tomorrow evening is government business.

MR. ROBLIN: Yes, well, and I would expect we would certainly come to government business, and I would expect to sit tomorrow night. I don't wish to be unreasonable about this, I know that the hour's late, it may be that my Honourable Friend has some lengthy statement to make, so that if he has a lengthy statement to make, then I -- say so -- then we'll move the adjournment, but if it's a short statement then perhaps he might like to make it.

MR. CAMPBELL: Well, my statement is not so lengthy. I could quite easily make it tonight if it helps the situation at all, but certainly if we go into committee of supply then I'm sure that will take some time.

MR. ROBLIN: Very well, then. If it's the wish of the House, Mr. Speaker, that we should not proceed further, I'm quite willing to move the adjournment, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture.

[Following a voice vote, the motion was declared carried. ]

MR. SPEAKER: The House do now adjourn, and stand adjourned until tomorrow afternoon at 2:30.

Manitoba Hansard

Page revised: 22 September 2009