[OPENING PRAYER BY MR. SPEAKER. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions.
MR. W. B. SCARTH, Q.C. (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Manitoba Health Service praying for the passing of an act to incorporate Manitoba Health Service.
MR. SPEAKER: Reading and Receiving Petitions.
Presenting Reports by Standing and Select Committees.
Notice of Motion.
Introduction of Bills.
The Honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare.
HON. GEORGE JOHNSON, M.D. (Minister of Health and Public Welfare) (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Provincial Secretary, that leave be given to introduce a bill, No. 22, an Act to Amend the Blind Persons' Allowance Act, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a bill, No. 23, an Act to Amend the Disabled Persons' Allowance Act, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Logan.
MR. S. JUBA (Logan): Mr. Speaker, I beg the indulgence of the House to have this matter stand.
MR. SPEAKER: Stand. The Honourable Member for Logan.
MR. JUBA: I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for St. Boniface, that leave be given to introduce a bill, No. 70, an Act to Amend the Margarine Act, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
HON. STEWART E. McLEAN (Minister of Education) (Dauphin): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare, that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolution.
RESOLVED that it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend The School Districts Debenture Interest Guarantee Act by providing for a removal of the limitation on the amount of the interest on moneys borrowed the payment of which may be guaranteed under that Act.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: And I would ask the Honourable Member for St. Matthews to take the chair.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Is the Committee ready to receive the resolution?
MR. McLEAN: His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, having been informed of the subject matter of the proposed resolution, recommends it to the House.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Resolved that it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend The School Districts Debenture Interest Guarantee Act by providing for a removal of the limitation on the amount of the interest on moneys borrowed, the payment of which may be guaranteed under that Act.
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, in 1952 this Act was passed, which allowed the guarantee of interest on school debentures; the amount of the guarantee is limited to the amount of
interest which is earned by the School Land Fund during the preceding year. That limitation has actually been used up now and the purpose of this bill is to remove the limitation in order to permit the guarantee of school district debentures without tying it or limiting it with reference to the interest which is earned by the School Lands Fund.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask this question. What is the amount loaned or guaranteed under the previous arrangement?
MR. McLEAN: Well, I do not have that information here, Mr. Chairman. I'll be glad to get that provided.
MR. MILLER: And to which fund will there be the amount tied to any other particular fund? It's tied to the School Lands Trust Fund at the moment. And how does the government propose to proceed with allocations? Will another amount be allocated in addition to the School Lands Trust Fund? I'd like a little more explanation on that point.
MR. McLEAN: It is not proposed to limit it or tie it to any other fund, or any fund; simply to authorize the guaranteeing of school district debenture interest.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Can this resolution be adopted? Is it your pleasure the Committee rise and report?
[Mr. Speaker resumes the chair. ]
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole House has adopted certain resolutions and directed me to report the same.
DR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Winnipeg Centre, that the report of the Committee be received.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare, that leave be given to introduce a bill, No. 69, an Act to Amend the School Districts Debenture Interest Guarantee Act and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. MILLER: Mr. Speaker, before you proceed with the Orders of the Day, I would like to correct Hansard, page 176, of March 20th. A very interesting statement. Mr. Speaker, has been attributed to me. After the member for Rockwood moved his resolution and you proceeded to rule it out of order, the statement attributed to me, Mr. W. C. Miller of Rhineland -- "I might advise the House that it is my intention to not accept this resolution on the grounds of anticipation". May I say quite frankly, firstly, that I do not occupy that chair and I can't conceive of me making that speech or giving that ruling.
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the First Minister. When will the Select Committee to appoint the Standing Committee of the House make its report and the committee set up?
HON. DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): Mr. Speaker, a meeting was held, as my honourable friend knows, to arrive at some general basis of agreement for the personnel of these committees, and my understanding is that as soon as the Whips have reported from the three parties, and also when we have found the wishes of the Honourable Member for Logan, that we will proceed at once to name the committees. It's the only matter as far as I know that's holding it up. I don't think it should be difficult to get it settled soon.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Minister, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the Provincial Treasurer.
I would like the indulgence of the House just for a brief explanation, Mr. Speaker, if I may, of the question because it cannot be given direct and I can assure you, Sir, it is not my intention to make a speech. I requested on March 9th a return for the Order of the House No. 5, dealing with the questions of changes made by regulations in the amount of fees charged for services and fees and for publications. On receipt of the return of the Order on Friday afternoon, I noted that the order only dealt with one item, namely, an increase from three to four cents in the amount charged for work in the Manitoba Gazette. I referred the matter to the Provincial Treasurer, who assured me by return mail across the House that that was the only change. However, I draw to the attention that regulation No. 72 of 1958, to the Honourable the
Provincial Treasurer, wherein numerous changes were made of fees charged for services in the Manitoba Gazette. For instance, under The Change of Names Act, notice of application was changed from the sum of $3.50 to $4.75. Changes were made in the advertising of parcels of property under The Municipal Act for Tax Sale Notices from 35¢ to 45¢. There were listed a considerable number of changes. The original purpose, Mr. Speaker, of the request of the Order of Return, was having seen these changes in the Gazette, I wanted to know whether there were any others in addition to these that had been made, in order that we were fully aware of the changes in the regulations of these and changes made to individuals and public and private corporations. I think they go far beyond the simplicity of the Order of the Return, and I would like to ask the Honourable the Provincial Treasurer if the matter will be reconsidered and more complete return....
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I sincerely thank my honourable friend for bringing that fact to my notice, and I must confess that I did not have a recollection of that regulation myself. I had the matter canvassed in the usual way when the question came in and that was the answer that the staff provided me. However, I must certainly accept the responsibility if we have not given the honourable member a complete answer. If so, I certainly regret it and I assure him that we will do our best to re-examine the whole situation and, if he will be kind enough to allow me, I will be glad to give him whatever further information we can discover on this point.
MR. PAULLEY: That is satisfactory, Mr. Speaker.
MR. E. R. SCHREYER (Brokenhead): Mr. Speaker, before we proceed with the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the Minister of Public Utilities. Assuming that the bill presently before us to amend The Highway Traffic Act passes this House and is effected into law, when does the Minister expect the Safety Board to be ready to hear appeals?
HON. JOHN CARROLL (Minister of Public Utilities) (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, that board would be set up immediately and there would be no delay on our part.
DR. MARTIN: Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to draw the attention of the House to an event which should be of great interest to every member of this assembly and to every citizen of Manitoba. I refer to the stellar victory of the Valour Road Memorial Branch No. 101 of the Canadian Legion, on their winning of the Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship. It's a great thing, Mr. Speaker, to represent a constituency that produces champions. But I think the achievement is all the more notable because they came through the competition without a single defeat. When we say Valour Road, Mr. Speaker, it calls to mind a wonderful chapter of our history. It reminds us of the day when three men went forth from that street in response to the call of freedom and won the coveted Victoria Cross, so that it is indeed the street of valour. So it has been said that Britain's battles were first fought on the playing fields of Eton. There is no doubt about it, Mr. Speaker, that the spirit of good sportsmanship displayed upon the athletic field develops qualities of citizenship that stand people in good stead in the stern facts of life. And so, Sir, to the Valour Road rink, with the first, the lead Joe McKenzie, the second, Lloyd Goodman, the third, Joe ..., and the skip, Max Scales, I would reiterate the hearty congratulations extended to them by the Premier of this province when they arrived home on Saturday morning last.
MR. CARROLL: Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to lay on the table of the House the Annual Report of the Manitoba Telephone System -- the Annual Report, Progress Report, of the Manitoba Telephone System for the year 1958; the Motor Carrier Board Report; the Provincial Transport Board Report; the Taxicab Board Reports for the year 1958; and the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board Annual Report for the year ending March 31st, 1958.
MR. C. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (Minnedosa): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to address a question to the Minister of Agriculture. Can he indicate to the House when the Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture will be presented?
HON. ERRICK WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture and Immigration)(Turtle Mountain): The answer is tomorrow.
MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.
MR. R. TEILLET (St. Boniface): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question, and I believe this should be directed to the Minister of Mines and
Natural Resources, and if he does not have the answer -- I must apologize for not giving him notice, if he would take this as notice. Is it the intention of the government to limit the power plants of boats using Lake Falcon?
HON. GURNEY EVANS (Minister of Mines and Natural Resources) (Ft. Rouge): Am I to understand the honourable member, Mr. Speaker, to limit the power of engines that may be present in boats? At the present time there is no plan to that effect, but if the honourable member has some information that I should have indicating the necessity for that, I would be glad to have it.
MR. P. WAGNER (Fisher): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable Acting Public Works Minister. What amount is paid to farmers per acre of land which is purchased for extending the width of the highways, or in other words, how is the land purchased?
MR. WILLIS: The land is purchased by valuators from the Department who are experts in their field, and as an ordinary appraiser does, they fix the proper value to be paid for such land, from which, if they desire to do so, they may appeal.
MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.
MR. E. GUTTORMSON (St. George): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable Member for La Verendrye, that a humble 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 a new bridge on the Fairford River since July 1, 1957.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, the government will be very happy to give this information if we get the consent of the Federal Government, which is necessary in this case.
[Mr. Speaker called for a voice vote, and declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on the proposed motion, second reading of Bill No. 2. The Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville.
MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood-Iberville): Mr. Speaker, I adjourned this debate on behalf of my colleague, the Honourable Member from Flin Flon. However, he has been delayed and so if we could let it stand, I would like that, but however that's up to ...
MR. SPEAKER: Stand. Adjourned debate on proposed motion of the Honourable Minister of Utilities for second reading of Bill No. 15. The Honourable Member for Minnedosa.
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Mr. Speaker, the bill that we have before us, Bill No. 15, An Act to Amend The Highway Traffic Act, sets up two boards and then an additional fee under the Motor Carrier Board. I intend only to deal with the one board that is being proposed, and that is the Highway Safety Board. I think it is interesting to note, Mr. Chairman, that where in former days we had people that, when they accepted the responsibility of government, they were going to govern. And now since they've come into office, what a rash of boards and commissions we've had. And it does indicate, I think, Sir, that they are quite prepared to pass the buck along to someone else. But here we have in this legislation two more boards being set up and I have no complaints as far as the idea of setting the board up is concerned. Certainly, on the face of it, this looks like popular legislation, and by the reaction that we've had already in the newspapers and on the radio, that's the indication that the public have had. The first announcement I heard on the radio was "Manitoba drivers who have been suspended -- hope is held that they'll get their license back". So it's popular legislation, and Mr. Speaker, anything that's popular in these days, I am sure the government across the way are going to buy. The thing that we have to ask, Mr. Speaker, and very seriously -- Is this good legislation? And I suggest to you that while I am not going to vote against this going to committee, I suggest to the House that when it gets into committee we need to scrutinize this legislation very, very closely indeed.
Now the Minister had indicated the reason for setting up this particular board, that in certain cases under the present legislation hardship does ensue. And I know that in the legislation itself it says that the Safety Board shall not make an order under sub-section (1) unless it is satisfied that exceptional hardship will result if the suspension or the cancellation and consequent disqualification remains in effect, and that the remission of the suspension or the cancellation and the consequent disqualification is not contrary to the public interest. I realize
that, Sir, but yet when we sum it up, it does mean that whereas before -- particularly under Section 115, and it's the one I am most interested in -- the Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired -- it does mean that there could be relaxation in the section in The Highway Traffic Act as we have it. Certainly we are not amending that particular section, but we are setting up a board and that board, the interpretation that they put upon hardship could vary from one point to the other. We have the difference for here it's written right into the Act, as far as Section 115 is concerned -- what should happen in the case of impairment or intoxication -- it's written right into the Act. Here we have it that a board may decide in cases of hardship, and they are to determine what the hardship is and we know that, while as a rule governments don't interfere with boards and commissions, government policy could affect the decisions of this board. Government policy, Mr. Speaker, cannot affect the legislation as it is presently drafted -- only the legislature can change that legislation.
So, I suggest to you that there is an important principle involved here. And I am well acquainted, Mr. Speaker, with the arguments that the Minister put up the other night when he introduced the legislation. I am certainly acquainted with the argument that the Winnipeg Free Press has put up in this regard over the last few years. And I think it's interesting to note, Mr. Chairman, when it suits the convenience of my honourable friends across the way, they will even turn to the editorial pages of the Winnipeg Free Press. I am also well acquainted, Sir, with the arguments that are put up by my friends who are learned in the law in this regard, but I sometimes suggest to them that under The Highway Traffic Act, under The Liquor Control Act, that occasionally they can't see the forest for the trees, and this is one particular instance. Then, Sir, I am certainly well acquainted with some of the cases of hardship that the Minister has pointed out. Now he mentioned the case of the conviction that there has been and this man, because his livelihood depended upon his right to have a motor vehicle license, hardship had been caused. And it was possibly a first conviction. I don't know what the details are at all, but the thing as a citizen of the Province of Manitoba that I am concerned about, Sir, is that here was a man who was convicted in the normal process of law while driving while impaired or intoxicated and his license was suspended. Now I suggest to you, Sir, that if a man's livelihood depends upon that driver's license, then he should watch all the more closely and should guard it all the more closely. And there are many other things come into it. Certainly in odd cases there is a great deal of hardship involved; and I admit that. But does anyone suggest, Mr. Speaker, for one moment that when there's death because of alcohol on our highways, that there's not hardship involved? A great deal of hardship involved, Sir.
And then I know the other side of the story too, and I've had some of these cases. I remember one particular case, Mr. Speaker, where there had been a suspension under Section 123--suspended by the Registrar. The point system had finally caught up with a particular man in the City of Winnipeg -- a taxicab driver -- and he had been suspended -- and his time of suspension was nearly running out. There was no doubt hardship to that family and public pressure began to develop, and one of the interesting things is that in cases like this we're always able to get prominent people that will come to the aid of some individual, and I'm not critical of that, but the point that is interesting is this -- that the record of that particular taxi driver hadn't been good but, because of the circumstances, he was reinstated, and one week afterwards, Mr. Speaker, over in the City of St. Boniface, he went through a red light and a pedestrian was killed. He'd had one former offence for going through a red light, so there's two sides, and two very important sides to this question.
Now then, I would like to deal specifically with Section 115. And I think it is well to recall, Mr. Speaker, that in 1956 we amended Section 115 of The Highway Traffic Act, and what was the reason for that amendment? You will recall that at the same session The Liquor Control Commission Act got a real overhaul in this province. And the reason that we amended Section 115 at that time, Sir, was to conform with a recommendation of the Bracken Liquor Commission and I want to read what that recommendation was. The Bracken Liquor Commission had made a good deal of study on the problems of the drinking driver and alcohol and the problem on the highway. And, Mr. Speaker, whether we as the public of Manitoba want to the face up to it or not, it's one of the number one problems that we have yet today on our highways, is this fact that alcohol and gasoline do not mix. And so at the 1956 legislature we passed the following amendment -- we, on the basis of the recommendations of the Bracken Liquor Report,
we amended the Act. Now the recommendation was this -- that the provincial penalties for driver's license suspension and motor vehicle impoundment, consequent upon convictions for driving while impaired or while intoxicated, be reviewed to determine their adequacy; that the government continue to encourage the excellent educational work carried out by the Traffic Safety Division with its emphasis on the danger of drinking drivers and the necessity of presenting the present heavy highway death toll. And then there was one or two further recommendations. And as a result of that in 1956, I introduced the amendment, that now appears in The Highway Traffic Act, into the House and neither in the House, Mr. Speaker, nor in the Law Amendments Committee was one voice raised against that suggestion, and I will agree that the amendment at times can cause some hardship because there was some discretion before in the hands of the Magistrate. Suspension still was there but the Magistrate has no discretion and we took that discretion away. We also done away with the impoundment feature and the amendment stands as it is, and that legislation passed. It is the legislation that they have in the Province of Ontario and pretty well in many other jurisdictions. And now I suggest to you that that was the purpose behind that recommendation and I think we will have to take a minute or two and look at what's happened since to see whether we are justified in making any change at the present time. Only a matter of two or three years away.
Now we come to 1959 and we ask ourselves -- is this good legislation? Well, Sir, I think one of the concrete examples of it being good legislation is the fact that since 1956 we have had a 20% decrease in the number of second convictions. A 20% decrease in the number of convictions for second offenses. Now that indicates at once that while the policy is a tough policy that it does work a cure and I'm quite convinced from the short experience that I had, Sir, in that department that the taking away of a man's driving license for a period of time certainly has a salutary effect. No doubt that there is some hardship and it has to be more than a week or it has to be more than two weeks to really be effective. I think from my experience that it has to be a minimum of three months and certainly it has a salutary effect. I well recall, Mr. Speaker, a gentleman right out in my own part of the country, a farmer who had been suspended and lost his license for three months. Both his car and his truck were tied up and he wasn't long getting in touch with me. "Well," I said, "the act is written -- the law is there and there is nothing we can do about it." So that gentleman for three months -- the good lady of the house, his wife -- had to drive him wherever he went and I am sure that he had a lesson that he will never forget and I think his good wife enjoyed the experience because he happened to be a councillor, he happened to drive the school van, and he was also a very busy farmer, and every place he went for three months there was the good lady driving the car and he was sitting beside her looking like a dummy and it was a handicap but it worked the cure and the statistics over at the motor vehicle branch, Mr. Speaker, indicate that we have had a 20% reduction in convictions for second offence which indicate that we did make progress in that regard and that is important. Now then, there is nothing else happened that indicates to me that there should be any relaxing of the law and I am not saying that there will be, but I am sure that under the new board there could be. There is more liquor being drank today than there was in 1956, and the problem is certainly as great from that standpoint as it was in 1956, and then Mr. Speaker, what is the actual situation as far as convictions are concerned? Well, let's take a look at that. First let's take a look at convictions both for impaired and intoxication on a basis of 10,000 drivers here in the Province of Manitoba since 1954 and we have the first two years or three years before the amendment and six since. Well, Mr. Speaker, in 1954 we had 30.1 suspensions for 10,000 drivers. In 1955 we had 31 suspensions for 10,000 drivers. In 1956 we had 34. In 1957 we had 38. In 1958 we had 40. Is there any suggestion from those statistics that we should be relaxing in any way, shape or form our penalties and approach to this problem of The Highway Traffic Act of drinking while driving. Then we come to the other -- the total suspension for this problem of driving while intoxicated or driving while -- first we'll break it up into driving while intoxicated. In 1957, Mr. Speaker, there were 258 suspensions for driving while intoxicated and 1,143 for driving while impaired. Now let's look at one year later. 279 suspensions for driving while intoxicated -- not too great an increase there, but look at for driving while impaired, 1,687, as compared with 1,143. Now I suppose you can argue that there have been more charges laid under the impaired section
than under the intoxicated section. That may be true, but you can take nothing out of the figures in total, Mr. Speaker, but our trouble is increasing rather than decreasing when it comes to our problem of the drinking driver and I suggest to you in all seriousness, Mr. Speaker, that particularly under Section 115 that we want to take a close look at this. Popular? -- Yes, but is it good? Is it good for my family and is it good for your family as far as safety on the highway is concerned and I think if the general public of the Province of Manitoba really understood what is implied here, they won't be so sure that it is good for them either and I am not going to object to the bill going to the committee, Mr. Speaker, but I suggest when we reach the committee stage that we take a real look at this. That we have the staff in from the department, that we have an opportunity to bring in interested associations and groups so that they can give their views because there is an important principle involved here.
Now then we come to Section 134 and this is one that over the years has caused some criticism and I am not critical of that. And the purpose as I see it as a layman, Mr. Speaker, of 134, is to a degree at least to make operative the point system of control and suspension. It gives the Registrar the right to suspend and a good many people have criticized that. But, Mr. Speaker, the point system as we have it here in the Province of Manitoba is one of the key points in our highway safety programme here in this province and it has three phases. We have the driver testing, the driver training and rehabilitation, and finally if a driver cannot be rehabilitated he is put off the road. And at the present time, and I haven't checked the figures lately -- but for the last three of four years we have had somewhere between seven and eight thousand suspended drivers here in this province. They have been put off the road because they have become a threat to your life and to my life and the lives of our families and as these convictions grow a report is kept of them and then when they get to a certain place the registrar suspends them and that is the key point, at least one of the important and key points in our highway safety programme in Manitoba because amongst these suspended drivers -- these ones that we have put off the road for the time being -- are the ones that are causing a large percentage of our accidents here in this province. I know it's tough but, Mr. Speaker, it's absolutely, in my opinion, essential that we don't relax under that although under that particular section I would be, I think, Sir, more prepared to let a Board look at some of these cases. I can well realize the difficult position that this section puts the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in. He doesn't like that particular position, but in total, in 99 cases out of 100, he's got the facts right there in front of him. What the Registrar of Motor Vehicles needs, Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, is the knowledge and the support of public opinion behind him, and as far as the government is concerned, surely if the Legislature says to them -- "Do it this way" -- that they are prepared to stand up to public opinion in this regard. And so I say that possibly if we had a -- when the Law Amendments Committee meets on this section that it would be a good time once again to try to get emphasis on the real purpose behind some of these sections. And there is a very, very interesting story indeed, Mr. Speaker, that we don't get out to the public often enough. The story behind the suspension of these drivers. Many of them are rehabilitated and become safe drivers. Some of them, of course, not a large percentage, have to be put off the road and to the benefit of all of us. Certainly here in the Province of Manitoba as a people, we have benefitted. Our record in this province of lives saved is good and Mr. Speaker, even if we had to work some hardship on a few people -- if we can save some lives that's important. And then you also have the mercenary side of it as well. Look at what we saved the people of the Province of Manitoba as far as motor vehicle insurance is concerned. That in itself is a consideration. Now I don't want to take up anymore of the time of the committee on this but I do want to suggest, Mr. Speaker, that while this legislation looks simple, it appears popular, the government is interested right now in popular legislation -- I want to ask you in all seriousness, is it good legislation and with the actual facts as we have them, with our problem of alcohol and driving going up rather than improving -- I say we want to take a look at this one very, very close before we make any move on it.
MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): Will the honourable member permit a question? You have very justly attacked the government and I agree with you, but what is your alternative?
MR. SHUTTLEWORTH: Mr. Speaker, my alternative is to leave things as they are for the present.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. CARROLL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move, seconded by the Honourable the Provinical Secretary, that the debate be adjourned.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable the Minister of ...
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Lakeside): Mr. Speaker, I think before you put that motion, would be proper for you to advise the House, wouldn't it, that that would close the debate.
MR. SPEAKER: Yes, that would close the debate. Moved by the Honourable the Minister of Utilities, seconded by the Honourable the Provincial Secretary, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Second reading Bill No. 17. The Honourable Minister of Labour.
HON. JOHN THOMPSON (Minister of Labour)(Virden): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Attorney-General, that Bill No. 17, an Act to Amend The Labour Relations Act, be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I will just say a word or two in connection with this bill. The bulk of it is administrative in nature -- there are some administrative changes in The Labour Relations Act proposed here. The only significant change in the law in my opinion is that which provides under the terms of this bill that a union will now be -- if this bill passes -- will be entitled to prosecute in its own name. As you may well be aware, there was a recent Queen's Bench Court decision which said "Under existing law, a union if it found the terms of any agreement violated did not have the right to prosecute, but only an individual member of the union had that right". So this change is based on the well-known legal principle, that where there is a right there should be a remedy, and this gives not only a union but to an unicorporated employer's organization the right -- if they find any agreement under the terms of any agreement violated, gives them the right to prosecute in the name of the union or of the employer's organization.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, I notice that some of the amendments, the first one, deals with the applications for certification containing limitations when the applications will be made, and that an application can be made at any time if the board so consents under the conditions mentioned. Then the other amendment deals with revocation of certification and I would like to ask the Honourable Minister if the board have made any recommendation with respect to these particular amendments.
MR. SPEAKER: Are there any further questions? That was in the form of a question, was it not?
MR. SWAILES: Yes.
MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Speaker, as I understand, the Labour Board has recommended these changes which I proposed here.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 19 -- An Act respecting The Provision of Group Life Insurance for Public Servants of the Province. The Honourable the Provincial Secretary.
HON. MARCEL BOULIC (Provincial Secretary)(Cypress): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Health and Public Welfare, that Bill No. 19, an Act respecting the Provision of Group Life Insurance for Public Servants of the Province, be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Speaker, for many years the Manitoba Government Employees' Association have been requesting that the government give consideration to the establishment of group life insurance for the employees of the province. The government, upon taking office, immediately undertook a study of this problem. It is of the opinion that such a plan is necessary and desirable. A committee of senior civil servants comprising a representative from the Civil Service Commission -- a representative from the staff of the Treasury Board, the Superintendent of Insurance and the Executive Secretary of the Manitoba Government Employees' Association was convened to advise the Minister on the problems involved in bringing a group life insurance. In addition a professional consultant was retained and the plan has been
developed which is satisfactory both to the employees and to the government and with the passage of the legislation it is anticipated that tenders will be called immediately.
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Mr. Speaker, I wish to compliment the Provincial Secretary for having announced this policy and not having taken advantage of the occasion to attack the previous government. When this policy was announced in the newspapers maybe a month and a half or two ago, I remember reading in the news release from the Premier's office -- if I remember correctly, I am sorry I haven't got it with me -- that in reading in that this government was very much more generous and fair to its employees than the previous government. Advantage was taken to attack the previous government. To show you what kind of ... are generally taken by this government against the other one, I will quote form one release that I have here. With respect to the meetings with the Union of Manitoba Municipalities where the Premier said that details of the new municipal aid programme will not be released until the Throne Speech is delivered Thursday, but he said the government is very concerned about the financial problems of the municipalities. And then a short little paragraph. The previous government dealt with municipalities by asking itself what's the least we can do for them. Now, with respect to this announcement which appeared in the paper some two months ago, the same little dig was taken and I would like to state, Mr. Provincial Secretary, Mr. Speaker, that the previous government dealt fairly with the civil servants. I remember very well that it passed last year, legislation to legalize joint council meetings and it was praised by the civil servants of Manitoba and ... to the civil servants of all other provinces as the most advanced legislation in this regard in the provinces of Canada. The matter of group life insurance had been discussed with the Civil Service ... had been given to it by my colleague the Provincial Treasurer and by myself. We had given to the Civil Service what they had wanted specially at that time when we were just about ready to give group life insurance. We did not think that it meant ... legislation. You will say certainly that we were slow. Yes, we were possibly a little slow and you will be accused of being slow. We can't do everything at the same time always, but we were treating our civil servants well. Our relations with them were 100% and I think that it was unjustified ... that came out at that time and I would like to praise the Minister for not having taken the advantage that he had today to attack us. I am fully in accordance with the proposal before us and I am supporting it.
MR. L. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.)(Osborne): Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister. Have consultations been held with life insurance companies, and if such consultations have been held, with what companies?
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, before the Honourable the Minister replies to the question that has just been addressed to him, I would like to make a very brief comment or two on this bill as well. As the Honourable the Member for Carillon has said with regard to our government having had discussions with the Civil Service representatives is quite true and I must say that this is an area where certainly the results to be obtained would seem to justify consideration, both from the point of view of the civil servants themselves, and perhaps from the government, but our position wasn't only that we were slow, it was that the government that we had always felt it incumbent upon it to look very carefully at any new proposals that were going to cost the taxpayers of this province a considerable amount of money. We make no apology for that. We did look very carefully at such considerations and this one I note that in this bill there is a maximum of $150,000.00 being provided for. Well, even if it doesn't run to the maximum, in a good many years, that is a considerable sum and it seemed to us that with the kind of arrangement that we had with our civil servants under which we had engaged with them to go along with what we called prevailing rates that the salary schedule here continued to rise so quickly in these times that, while we were inclined toward this proposal, there was always the consideration that you have to be pretty careful about whether the salaries of the civil servants are becoming higher than the people whom they serve and from recent advertisements that I have seen that have appeared in the press it would look as though those salaries have already been increased or arrangements made to increase them considerably since the time that we were there and if those salaries are going to be increased in the way that they have been doing through recent years, then it is proper to consider whether the
taxpayers should be called upon to still further bonus the civil servants by contributing to the group life insurance.
On the other hand there is a consideration with regard to the civil servants themselves that from the investigation that we made of this subject that the rate which can be obtained in this way is so remarkably low, I know my honourable friend is anxious to get some quotations on the rate, but it is so remarkably low that it does seem proper to look for ways and means to put the civil servants in a position to benefit from that remarkably low group rate. That doesn't necessarily mean that the taxpayers of Manitoba would have to ... and I think this is a subject that when it gets to committee that we should go into quite carefully along the lines that have been indicated. In the meantime, without discussing the bill clause by clause, I would like to suggest that from the reading that I have given to this bill I notice that there is authorization for the government or an agency of the government to deduct from the salary of the civil servant. Now I understand from what the Minister has said, and I certainly take his word for this, that consultations have been held. That's quite O.K. I am sure they have and I'm sure that the rank and file that the civil servants are anxious to see such a plan proceed. But even so, I don't think you should by law authorize any agency of the government or the government itself, to deduct from the civil servants' salary unless there is some authorization form himself or herself for doing that. So that rather than, or in addition to the general proposal of the Civil Servants Association okaying a programme of this kind, I would think that there should be something further than that that would put the civil servants individually on record as approving of a plan of this kind and authorizing the deductions. Now, perhaps that is very difficult to do, but unless I have mis-read the bill, I do not see any place where the account of the civil servant has to be obtained in any form whatever. Now it is true that the Association can represent him in overall matters. But when it comes to the actual deductions from his or her salary, I doubt that that is enough.
Oh, Mr. Speaker, I did intend to mention one other matter that I observe that once again a great deal of the legislative authority here is left to the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Speaker, I'm very interested in the subject matter before us, and in general, have always supported that. There are a few questions I want to ask though. Is the amount of the insurance of the individual based on salary -- on his or her salary? And the amount of the insurance of the individual based on salary -- on his or her salary? And the Minister stated that he has had consultations with various insurance companies and definitely the Cabinet must have some information as to the government ratio of support in relation to the individual's contributions.
MR. D. ORLIKOW (St. John's): Sir, just a few words with reference to some of the remarks made by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition. One would gather to listen from his remarks that in this bill we are pioneering something new. I just would like to point out to the Honourable Leader of the Opposition that rather than pioneering, we are actually following what is becoming more and more accepted practice -- almost every large business, almost every large industry that I know of ...
MR. CAMPBELL: I don't know why the honourable member suggests that I thought that this was any pioneering. I don't know what remark of mine would indicate that.
MR. ORLIKOW: Well, you were suggesting -- maybe it was -- you were suggesting that when you looked at it you thought it was premature.
MR. CAMPBELL: No -- no, I made no such suggestion.
MR. ORLIKOW: Mr. Speaker, I want to point out all these -- I'm sorry if I got the wrong impression. I want to point out only that this is becoming a standard practice of almost every large business, almost every large industry, and other government agencies like the City of Winnipeg, have now adopted group insurance plans, which cover their employees through a joint contribution on the part of the employer, and the employee. I think this is a good step. I don't think that the provincial government employees are getting out of line. I'm sure they wouldn't agree that they're getting more than the prevailing rate, and I think in doing this, we're simply following a practice which is now becoming pretty common.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 24. An Act to Amend the Old Age Assistance Act. The Honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare.
DR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Provincial Secretary, that Bill No. 24, an Act to Amend The Old Age Assistance Act be now read a second time.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable the Minister of Health and Welfare, seconded by the Honourable the Provincial Secretary, that Bill No. 24, An Act to Amend The Old Age Assistance Act, be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?
DR. JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, this is merely repealing the sections in the present Act which make it mandatory in the first instance and application to the Board for Old Age Assistance that that application be made to the local authority; and in most cases, it is the municipality; and in the case of -- for instance -- the City of Winnipeg, it is a department or an authorized person; and in the case of unorganized territory or Indian Reserves, two persons appointed for the purpose by Order-in-Council. And then by virtue of these amendments, the application would be made just directly to the Board. That is for all Old Age Assistance applications. And we feel we have to go by the Act and we can't go too much by what local authorities say, and that is the purpose of this change in this proposal.
MR. GRAY: May I ask a question only? I may want to speak later on the bill. In the Minister's question is this -- will the Minister submit another bill based on his speech that he delivered here of the benefits which the Old Age Pensioners will get based on the resolution passed in the last Session.
DR. JOHNSON: That will be, I imagine, embodied in The Social Allowance Act, and not in this particular act. This is ...
MR. GRAY: Do you inted to submit another bill in this Session?
DR. JOHNSON: Oh, yes, this is just a small bill in The Old Age Assistance Act.
MR. PAULLEY: I'm sorry that I was out of the House when the first part of the Honourable the Minister's explanation of this Act and it may be that the points that I'm going to raise are -- should be raised on the other bill rather than this one. But having studied the bill, if it is the intention of this bill to alleviate the situation under which many of our elderly citizens and those unfortunately physically and mentally incapacitated, I think that it should have some comments made on it. Not this one?
DR. JOHNSON: ... Honourable Member for Radisson, this is an amendment which merely makes provision for the applicants for Old Age Assistance, applying directly to the Board, rather than through the local authorities. It's just repealing the present provisions in that Act.
MR. PAULLEY: This bill seems to cover a lot more points than that -- Bill 49. Oh! I'm sorry -- I'm on the wrong bill. O.K.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, we support the principle of this bill because we've argued in favour of this idea for many, many years. In fact, ever since I have been a member of this House, I have been a party to opposing the former government on this very matter of principle because the former government contended that the local municipality was the proper body to which applications of this kind should be made, and that it was not proper that the Board itself should perform that function. And so there's no doubt about the position that we take with respect to the principle of this bill. We really put this idea forward, long before the members of the government were even prepared to support it at all. And -- well, that's just a statement of fact -- and, well not all, -- no, no, they've only encroached on certain parts of it. We've got plenty yet, and everybody is ahead of my honourable friends over here -- that's for sure. And so, Sir, all that I wish to say is that we support the principle of this bill.
MR. A. J. REID (Kildonan): What requirements would an Old Age Pensioner have to have to apply for additional help -- because like now they have to appear before their welfare board, and the Honourable Minister said they would apply directly to this particular Board. Well, how would they be -- I mean -- how would they know how to apply or would they go through the welfare board just as they had previously to -- now all the municipalities hve social welfare boards -- will they all be notified and will they be given information on this, or ...
DR. JOHNSON: This merely makes provision that when they wish to apply for Old Age Assistance, they would make their application in the initial instance to the Pension Board, rather than to the local authority.
MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, like now we know they all get $55.00. Well, providing they still get that $55.00, well how would they go about getting this extra -- that's what I want to know? What's the requirements for getting this extra allowance?
DR. JOHNSON: I think we're on two different acts here. I can't explain it any further than I have, I'm sorry.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Ethelbert Plains, that the debate be adjourned.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville, seconded by the Honourable Member for Ethelbert Plains, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 29, An Act to Amend The Department of Agriculture and Immigration Act. The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that Bill No. 29, an Act to Amend the Department of Agriculture and Immigration Act, be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, this is merely the amendment which permits of bursaries being granted for the diploma courses in agriculture.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 30, An Act to Amend The Community Seed Cleaning Plant Loans Act. The Honourable Member for Agriculture.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Education, that Bill No. 30, An Act to Amend the Community Seed Cleaning Plant Loans Act be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, this just changes the amount which would be permitted to be loaned to a Seed Cleaning Plant from $20,000.00 to $30,000.00. There are no other provisions.
MR. SCHREYER: I take it that this legislation applies to all community seed cleaning plants, including those built by the co-operatives? I have also been informed that seed cleaning plant loans to the co-operatives have been made only if the co-operative concerned had a minimum membership of 300. Now, I'm not sure whether that is correct. I would like the Minister to comment on that, either now or at a later stage.
MR. MILLER: I wonder if the Minister, when he closes the debate, would be kind enough to indicate how many loans had been made under the $20,000.00, and how many applications for the increased amount have been made already, and where these loans had been made.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question? Those in favour please say "Aye"...
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, answering the two questions, I think it is correct that there must be 300 members. The only reason for that is that you have to have, in the opinion of the experts, that number of members before you can make a success of the plan.
There has been but one plant erected and that was at Rivers, and it cost approximately $60,000.00 to build it. That is why the loan now is increased from $20,000.00 to $30,000.00. There has only been, to date, one loan. There are three other seed plants now in process of organization, with applications before the government. Boissevain is one, yes, and I'm not sure of the other two. If you mentioned it I might -- well, that's the best part of the country, but they just need one down there.
MR. MILLER: ... that's the reason why I'm asking.
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 35 - An Act to Amend The Summary Convictions Act. The Honourable the Attorney-General.
HON. STERLING LYON (Attorney-General) (Ft. Garry): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Labour, that Bill No. 35, An Act to Amend The Summary Convictions Act, be now read a second time.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable the Attorney-General, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Labour, that Bill No. 35, An Act to Amend the Summary Convictions Act, be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question?
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is set out in the explanatory note attached to the side of it. There is very little I can add by way of explanation except to say that this was apparently just an oversight when the sections were being transferred on the implementation of the Criminal Code in 1955, Section 20 was not included in our Summary Convictions Act; by this amendment we are including Section 20 of the Criminal Code into the Summary Convictions Act.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 36 - An Act to Amend An Act to Amend the Election Act. The Honourable the Attorney-General.
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Labour, that Bill No. 36 - An Act to Amend An Act to Amend The Elections Act, be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, again I would suggest to the members of the House, that the explanatory note at the side of the bill covers the purport of this amendment. I think perhaps the best words to describe this is at the end of the explanatory note, it merely cuts out some "dead wood" in The Elections Act, which is no longer applicable to the situation as it stands. ... [Interjection] ... The "dead wood" I was referring to, Mr. Speaker, was in the Act, not on the other side of the House.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Attorney-General? As this Act has been introduced and passed by the late government, is it the intention of the present government to repeal it or kill the act? Come back to the other system of -- original system.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 37, An Act to Amend The Manitoba Evidence Act. The Honourable the Attorney-General.
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Labour, that Bill No. 37, an Act to Amend the Manitoba Evidence Act, be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. LYON: Mr. Speaker, again I would refer members of the House to the explanatory note at the side of the proposed amendment. These are largely procedural, having to do with certain amendments which have been made to The National Defence Act at Ottawa, and having to do with the Proof of Death of members of the Armed Services, in connection with probate matters.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote, declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 31 - An Act to Authorize the Reimbursement of Certain Municipalities for Amounts Paid for Bounties on Predatory Animals. The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that Bill No. 31, An Act to Authorize the Reimbursement of Certain Municipalities for Amounts Paid for Bounties on Predatory Animals be now read a second time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, four municipalities failed to request payment for bounty within the time limit--as a consequence this bill, for its payment to them, the total amount being less than $400.00.
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned 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 Legislature, and the amendment to the amendment thereto.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, in spite of lack of .. that covers your good self in the present Session, we still think a lot of you. We have known you before, not as a Conservative, but as a gentleman -- I'll correct my statement, I did not mean it this way -- what I meant is that at all times you are fair in the House, you even supported the other parties when you have seen something -- some good legislation -- and we wish you health, happiness, and as my Leader has said, I'm sorry that I cannot, as yet, say many happy returns of the day.
I also congratulate the mover, of the honour given to his constituency, and the seconder,
the Honourable Member from Wellington. I expected as the Honourable Member from Wellington being an artist -- a musician, and a cultured man, would be more up to his profession than to his political affiliations. I was rather a little bit surprised, coming from him. I would not have worried for anyone else, because he's an artist and a musician, when he said, "Free enterprise wide awake to its own advantages are alert to find opportunities anywhere to the length and breadth of that province." We have now, public ownership in this province, and quite successful. We have electricity -- full control of it and other legislation which is controlled entirely by the people of Manitoba. Why interject, all the time, private enterprise? At the same time supporting their own public ownership -- I cannot understand.
Another point is that he has spoiled the other leading members from either party, always when they don't like us. When we suggest something which is good, and they don't think it's in their interest to support it, they always call us Socialist -- Socialist -- Socialist -- or Socialism. When it suits them they become Socialists, when it don't suit them we are to blame. I'll speak about socialism in a few minutes later. But I think that I'm sorry to say that I'm a little bit disappointed in a man with such a high culture, high position, to become an ordinary member of a party and follow their viewpoints against another group who are entitled to sit in this House.
The Speech from the Throne and its amendments have already been fully discussed by all parties. The defence put up on the government's side will not change or take away my whole-hearted support of the sub-amendment as expressed very effectively by my leader, even at the risk of having an early election.
Some of the bills suggested, some of the speeches made, may be encouraging or may have given us some, but the fact remains that we are a group, a party of our own. We hope, we expect and you can laugh all you want, to lead the government, either next election, but definitely not later than after the next election. I realize the uncertainty of the new election, either immediately, individually, or as a party, nobody knows, and nobody can speak for anyone, who is going to be elected. Because this is in the hands of a "grand jury" who is holding their decision over to see what happens, and a lot of changes are being made in political fields of the Province of Manitoba. But our group cannot become partisan to either the Liberals or the Conservatives, both of whom represent one ideology, one-track mind, and that is either status quo or regress. All progressive legislation put in the statute books in this province in the last 25 years was advocated, demanded, and created public opinion by the C.C.F., and in the earlier days by the Independent Labour Party. You could check the statute books and you will see it, you don't have to -- I don't think you will find very many organized.... Yes, they were introduced by the government, sure, they were introduced by the Liberal Party before, and by the Conservative Party later on, but years and years before they were advocated by our Labour groups since 1919.
When we have suggested humane progressive ideas in the interest of the masses of this province, such as Old Age Pension, Mothers' Allowance, child welfare, education, better pay for teachers, and everything that the community demanded, it was shelved only at a later date. Only under pressure on the part of the electors did they adopt same. Only in the last few days we have been attacked as being socialists when we suggested some improvement, and when we have agreed with something good of the government, we were asked where was our socialism. It has become a popular sport when they have no other arguments to call us "Socialists", and that's the reason why we oppose, and oppose both parties.
I admit that I am a Democratic Socialist, but my socialism is taken from the Bible which is still read and admired and held holy by the great majority of the people in this world, translated in over 100 languages. I have expressed this opinion on many occasions in this House and I was challenged to prove it. Apparently, there were and still are some members of the Legislature who still read pocket books instead of the Bible, which could give them more comfort, wisdom and understanding, and perhaps make them better qualified members to sit in this holy shrine if democracy is to be maintained. The tragedies created in this world by dictators are still not forgotten, and they use the word "Socialist", but their socialism was not the socialism we believe in. Millions of graves throughout our world are the everlasting witnesses for dictatorship had made. That's the reason why we're 100% -- democracy comes to us first whether it's against our other benefits or not.
May I take the liberty of reciting some of the quotations I have in mind, and then judge for
yourselves whether socialism which means equality, consideration for the other fellow, help to the needy, friendliness to neighbour, is the main point. And last Session, I think it was before last, one of the honourable members here said, "prove it". Well, I'm going to prove it today. First of all I have the Bible here, and secondly I have two Reverend gentlemen in the House, and they could probably correct me. And I just want to quote a few quotations from the Bible and this is the principle, whether they are not socialist principles.
"And a stranger you shall not vex, and shall not oppress him; for strangers ye were in the land of Egypt." This is socialism. "You shall not afflict any widow; or fatherless child." That's socialism.
MR. F. GROVES (St. Vital): ... Exodus?
MR. GRAY: Yes, Exodus, Chapter 22. 20 was the first one, and 21 the second. Now I'm going to read 22 -- you can have the Bible here, if you wish. -- "If you lend money to my people, to the poor by you, you shall not be to me as a lender of money; you shall not lay upon him usury."
25 -- "If you take at all your neighbour's raiment to pledge, you shall restore it to him by the time the sun goes down."
Verse 6 - "You shall not wrest the judgment of the poor in his cause."
Verse 7 - "Keep yourself far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay you not; for I will not justify the wicked."
Verse 9 - "And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather up the gleanings of your harvest."
This is socialism. Give a chance for the poor to have a little bit at least.
Verse 10 - "And you shall not glean your vineyard, and the single grapes that drop in your vineyard shall you not gather up; for the poor and the stranger shall you leave them".
Socialism may not agree entirely with this but at least it gives thought.
Verse 8 - "Woe to those that cause house to join on house, bring field near to the field, till there is no more room, so that you may be left alone as the inhabitants in the midst of the land."
Mind you I'm not reading everything, I'm just picking out one or two.
Verse 9 - "In my ears, said the Lord, many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant."
Then there is a quotation from a prayer which is also Socialism -- "Unite all the inhabitants of our country, whatever their origin and creed, into a bond of true brotherhood to banish hatred and bigotry and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions which are our country's glory. May this land under Thy providence be an influence for good thoughout the world, uniting men in peace and freedom and helping to fulfill the vision of Thy projects. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall men learn war any more." -- And so on, but I have quite a few here which I could give to any honourable gentleman that perhaps thinks it is not so.
I'm mentioning this that we are Socialists, but I do not want to be classed the same socialist as Hitler, Mussolini or the others. We are Democratic Socialists because we want to see a better, and a nicer and a happier world. In other words there is no necessity for two persons going to the same doctor, having the same pain -- one from over-eating and one for want of nourishment. There is no reason for half of the world being hungry with out elevators bulging with bounty -- this is Socialism. There is no reason in this world of having dictators keep the people under the iron heel without proper food, education or medical attention, and keeping them in slavery and unfortunately there is quite a few in this world. The change of such a system is Socialism and if the Conservatives or the Liberals are in this House believes now in fair treatment to all as expressed by the speeches in the House then they are Socialists. The question is whether we can believe them. We have fifty years of history in labour political movement and the public always knew where we stood. Can the other parties claim it? I doubt it. The coming election will show it. We are not opposing anything here for the sake of defeating a
Government -- we are doing it because we want to have here a better alternative and I could frankly say that our alternative, which we have presented to the people for fifty years right in this city, I think that it's something that we could sell to the electors of this City of Winnipeg, and, as I say, I'm going to support the amendment and after that we'll see.
MR. S. ROBERTS (La Verendrye): Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to congratulate you for resuming your position, for the fine, good humoured manner in which you have hangled these eager politicians through the last couple of weeks and I wish that you continue your good humour and good health. My congratulations too, to the Honourable Members for Hamiota and Wellington for the fine manner in which they moved and seconded the Speech from the Throne - I do not, of course, agree entirely with what they said but the manner in which they said it.
[Mr. Roberts spoke in French - this potion will appear in a later edition of Hansard. ]
Now apparently, Mr. Speaker, this is the time and the place for speaking on agriculture and educational problems. I have a few words I would like to say, firstly on the agricultural problem.
First of all, the talks of the Honourable Member for Hamiota and later the Honourable Minister of Agriculture promises billed for agriculture. I wonder really, the setting up, the expanding of our extension services, increased money to fairs, while they are certainly worthwhile and while they are certainly in order and they are certainly things that we all approve of, if these constitute the fulfilling of all the brilliant promises to agriculture that we heard through the campaign. I really don't think so. I think that if you knock off the window dressing, if you bare the situation and look at the farmers today, at agriculture today in Manitoba, you'll find that the farmer really, basically is in no better off, in most cases worse off, because of Conservative Governments in Manitoba and federally.
I think it's impossible to show me a typical farm or a typical farmer in Manitoba who is better off because of the recent Federal administration or the recent Manitoba administration. You can look at his, the farmer's problem, one after another, his basic problems, his most urgent problems, his greatest necessities and find that in many case he is worse off, in no cases is he really better off. First of all, of course, is his prices - his grain prices, the prices he received for his grain - is he better off? Of course not! And the prices he received for his hogs, and the prices he received for his poultry, and the prices he received for his eggs - is he better off? Beef, certainly! Beef is perhaps one of the most urgent situations at the present time because the beef price, while it is good, is the one that's in greatest danger, and it is in greatest danger because of Tory practices - Tory philosophy, to cut trade, tariffs. If the American Government ever once decides to fire back at the clamps that we have put on the things that he's trying to ship into this country by reducing our beef trade with him, then watch our beef prices. And I think this is a pretty serious thing; I think beef is the most important thing that I have mentioned because we are getting good prices for beef, but just cut one more thing that the American people wish to ship into Canada, just put a tariff on one more thing and I'm afraid that you fill find that there'll be a retaliation and you will find that our beef prices will just slap.
How about the proposed agricultural credit? We've heard a lot about it, we've made plenty of speeches on it and we've heard many speeches on it but no one's got it yet and no one has been helped by it yet. How about the crop insurance plan that was broadcast form coast to coast in the Federal election and more recently all over Manitoba in the Provincial election - where is the signs of it? Well you can say, 'Sure, Mr. Diefenbaker gave the farmers of Manitoba a $200.00 gift, a one shot gift. $1.00 per acre up to $200.00. And this apparently is a fulfillment of all the promises of the governments, federal and provincial.
Their costs are going up - tariffs have been hitting more and more products, affecting the farmer. Such as what? I can give examples that have bothered things. Of course, the most urgent one was probably the increase in wool tariffs, placed on by the Federal Government, of shipments of wool from Britain to Canada. You say this doesn't matter, this is the greatest single product that Britain ships to Canada - 20% increase in wool tariff is a fantastic thing to Canadian exporters because Britain cannot buy our agricultural products unless they get dollars; they have to sell us products to get dollars. Let alone, of course, the fact that we have to pay more for our woollens.
How about the most recent move by the federal government - making use of its very wonderful bill, they call it the Anti-dumping law. Making use of Section 38A - Honourable George Nolan, Minister of National Revenue, clamped an extra tariff on the import of Chinese textiles and this can go on to many other products. The heading of the article here is - "No bargains in machinery or textiles from now on." Many examples such as that.
The net income of the farm is down - I think this is the important thing and it has been
suggested before - let's forget for a minute that our gross income has remained the same on the farms or virtually we are selling nearly as much products as we did gross. The fact is, costs have gone upon the farms, therefore our net income is down, and I think this is where the farmer is really feeling the squeeze. And then of course, to cap it all off, came the complete lack of support by this provincial Government for the farmers in their delegation to Ottawa asking for assistance. Why? Who knows why? Did Dief. call the tune on this one? Is this why the members of parliament won't speak up for us? My own member of Parliament, the man who represents me in Ottawa, Director of the Manitoba Farmer's Union, ex-Director of the M.F.U., who wouldn't dare come back to his constituency now and tell them why, why he did not stand up for them in Ottawa. And why has our Provincial Government not decided to support this delegation to Ottawa?
MR. M. E. McKELLAR (Souris-Lansdowne): Is the Honourable Member in favour of deficiency payments himself?
MR. ROBERTS: Well, certainly! I certainly wouldn't have sent a wishy-washy telegram down to Mr. Diefenbaker saying - "Will you please spare 5 minutes of your time to see these thousand men from Western Canada that want a little of your time." Oh, thank you for spending 5 minutes of your time - yes. Now the only project put out by the Provincial Government which I feel would be destined to help the farmer is the Agricultural Credit Bill. And why are the brakes on it? What is the stall, what is the hold-up? Snow? Read your Honourable Minister of Agriculture's speech when he introduced this Bill into the House last fall - saying that the lands and the buildings would be valued at their market value. He didn't say that they were going to have to go out and survey the land and value it at it's productive value like the Canadian Farm Loan Board does. This land was to be valued at its market value. You can value land at its market value, equally well with a little snow on the ground as you can at any other time of the year. In fact it was in November, when there was snow on the ground, that the First Minister and the Minister of Agriculture said 'this Bill will be operating in a very few short weeks.' It was February when they said it would be operating by the end of the month and it was March when they said there is too much snow on the ground and it hadn't snowed for over a month. What is this secret office that is whipping people through it so quickly? Where are all these four great--interviewers--that are interviewing farmers - I'd like to find them I think the Minister of Agriculture - the Honourable Minister of Agriculture - had his bifocals on that day. And where is the five man board that the Bill calls for, saying who is this five man Board that the Bill calls for, saying that this Board will administer the Agricultural Credit Bill. This is a whole year lost because this Bill has not been operating this winter. Because it is apparent now that it is not going to be operating for spring operations. I don't know exactly why this Bill is operating - I'm fishing for an answer. Is it because there is no money available to operate the Bill? Is it because they are waiting for Ottawa to make the move or is it because there is an election coming up? I wish we could be honest and find out what is up.
Now to move on to education because as I say I would like to say a few words on education, particularly the Hanover division. The Honourable Minister of Education has suggested, and the Honourable the First Minister both have suggested that if the member for constituencies such as mine, La Verendrye, had really tried, then Hanover division would have voted itself into a school division. I would like to point out first of all that if I was making any attempts to hold back the school division I wasn't very successful because although I represent a small portion of the Hanover division, I also represent a very large portion of the Seine River division and the Seine River division voted itself in by a majority of over 6 to 1. Now for the benefit of the House I would like to perhaps point out a little of the background of the Hanover school division area.
The Hanover Municipality is made up of a large group of fine, hard working, serious minded people. You cannot drive through the area without noting the excellent diversified farms and the way the farmers have united into fine co-operatives to fight their own battles. They have progressive industry in the area and they are good citizens. Now the people from Hanover take their education very seriously and they watched with a great deal of interest the progress of the Royal Commission on Education and later the bill as it went through this House. You could find at almost any time copies of both the interim report of the Royal Commission and the Bill that went through this House in almost any home. And their observations because they did study this bill, they set themselves up into study groups and they studied this Bill and they studied it,
I think, probably better than any other area in Manitoba. And their observations as they studied this Bill were four that I noticed. First of all that this Bill, obviously because of the report of the Royal Commission and it's avowed intention, first of all this Bill called for centralization of the schools. Secondly, the people of Hanover wondered to themselves - 'Are our roads ready for centralization of schools?' Thirdly, they noticed that this was costing more money, obviously the new school system will cost more money, and fourth, this was only an interim report and it worried them for fear that the final report of the Royal Commission on Education would contain other things which were of greater concern to them. And now these people asked me for my opinion. I encouraged them to attend every meeting possible. It was advertised by this time that the Premier of Manitoba was going to be speaking in Steinbach. He was also speaking in St. Anne's, which is on the border, just out of the Hanover division. There were other Ministers of the Crown speaking in the Hanover division. I encouraged them and other people did likewise to attend these meetings in large numbers to find out what this Bill did stand for and you will recall, Sir, Honourable First Minister, that you had large crowds at Steinbach and St. Anne. I suggest that here is where the trouble started. They said of the last Ed. Hansford, the other day, that he left his politics in this House - they'll never say anything like that of the Honourable the First Minister - for he went out to Steinbach and to St. Anne's and I suggest they aroused the suspicion of the people in the Hanover division. The Honourable, the First Minister gave a money pitch. He came out and talked about the increased grants, the possibility of reduced taxes. The fact that even though this Bill was costing the Province -- this school plan was costing the Province of Manitoba more money it would be paid for by the rate payers of the City of Winnipeg - the City where they didn't even have a vote on the school bill. I suggest that the Honourable the First Minister with his knack for public speaking could have made such beautiful speeches on the possibilities of better education, on the possibilities of equalized opportunities, on the possibilities that this school bill will provide an opportunity for every child to get the best possible education but he chose to speak on money instead.
In reply to questions - 'Would this bill call for centralization of the schools?' He said, "You can have as many schools as you like." In reply to the question, "Where will the schools be located?" He said "You can locate the schools wherever the trustees desire." He said "We will plough the roads, you don't need to worry about snow on the roads in Hanover." Do you wonder that the people were suspicious? I suggest, Mr. Speaker, the Honourable, the First Minister, had left the politics out of the speech, he could have encouraged the people of Hanover division to vote 'for' rather than 'against'. As it turned out we got more of Budget Speech those nights than we have had in this House to date.
He told of how his Government was giving more money to schools, how they were giving more help to this, to that. He even announced the subsidization of the Agricultural Credit Bill where a young farmer starting out will be able to get credit at a lower rate of interest. Now, I suggest, what has this got to do with the Education Bill? I'd like to compare this, Mr. Speaker, to the meetings held by the Honourable the Provincial Secretary in Niverville - the Provincial Secretary, I suggest, treated this meeting as a gentleman. He spoke of the benefits of the Education Bill and I suggest that the people of Niverville voted in favour of the School division. So if the people of Hanover had reason to be suspicious then, they have even greater reason to be suspicious now. For at the meetings at Steinbach and St. Anne, when the Honourable, the First Minister was asked, "will we be allowed to have another vote if we vote against it this time?" And he said "Certainly, as soon as you want it." And secondly the people of the Hanover School Division well remember the times when the First Minister himself, then leader of the Conservative Party, spoke to Hanover and other members of the Conservative Party, claiming they would give an unconditional 50% increase in school grants to all the people of Manitoba if they were elected to office.
I ask you first of all, 'where is the unconditional 50% increase to the people of Hanover now?' And secondly, 'where is the second vote that they were so recently promised?' - because they have been recently turned down even though they sent in a delegation asking for it.
Before I sit down, Mr. Speaker, I would like to call on the Honourable Minister of Education to give a second opportunity to the people of Hanover to vote for or against the Hanover Division, and if they still vote against the plan then I call on him to give the 50% increase in
school grants which he so unconditionally promised them.
MR. E. GUTTORMSON: Mr. Speaker, during the past winter, Lake Manitoba fishermen have experienced one of the worst seasons in memory. Although the price for number one fish was excellent and reached an all time high, most fishermen lost money and many quit the lake long before the season was over due to an extremely poor catch. Poor that is, as far as pickerel and sauger goes. Approximately 85% of the fish caught during the winter, particularly in the northern part of the lake, was mullet and other rough fish and unless something is done very soon, profitable fishing on Lake Manitoba will be a thing of the past. The ideal solution would be to devise a system to rid the lake of rough fish, however until biologists can determine a method of bringing the fish into its proper ratio again I would strongly urge this Government to take the necessary steps to make fishing, rough fishing profitable on Lake Manitoba.
Placing a subsidy on rough fish has frequently been urged and recommended and just as frequently it has been discouraged and opposed by Government officials as being unsatisfactory. However, I believe that if the Government would establish a fish rendering plant along the lake and manufacture fish meal, oil and other by-products the plight of the fisherman on Lake Manitoba would certainly be eased. I also believe that the possibility of establishing a canning plant should be considered. I have eaten canned mullet on occasion and I have found them extremely delicious. I believe the establishment of a rendering plant wouldn't be profitable in the strict sense of the word but if properly run I think such an operation could break even and by doing so they would provide hundreds of fishermen with a decent means of livelihood.
Fishermen advise me that if they get about 4¢ a lb. for mullets they could make a living fishing them. At the present time the fish companies are paying only 1¢ a lb. which is far from satisfactory. Not long ago I saw a bill for a typical week's work on the Lake - three men lifted 94 nets and got 66 lbs. of pickerel at 37¢ a lb. for $24.42; 146 lbs. of sauger at 32¢ for a total of $46.72; eight lbs. of perch at 17¢ per lb. for $1.36; nine lbs. of whitefish at 22¢ per lb. for $1.98; 198 lbs. of jackfish and these were dressed and sent headless and they received 5¢ per lb., otherwise they would get 1¢ for a total of $5.67 and for mullet they caught 1,384 lbs. and they received 1¢ per lb. for a total of $13.84. They also caught 110 lbs. of tullibee, received 3¢ per lb. for a total of $3.40. The total amount received for this week's operation is $97.29, an average of $32.43 per man. The nets used are worth approximately $1,500.00, some form of transportation is necessary, living accommodation and many other types of equipment are required in a fisherman's operation. Unless something is done, and done real soon, Lake Manitoba fishermen will not be able to make a living. Many will have to resort to welfare, fishermen do not want this sort of assistance, they are willing to work for it if they are given a chance.
I would strongly urge the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources to explore the possibility of establishing such a plant or plants along Lake Manitoba and see if a canning factory is also feasible.
Another problem increasing rapidly in its magnitude on the Lake is that of predatory fish such as the carp and the maria. The maria destroys they young fish and I believe that every year, according to the biologists, thousands and thousands of fish are being destroyed annually. The carp destroys the feeding grounds and disturbs the spawn. I would strongly urge that this Government continue to expand and expand the present rough fish removal programme in order to rid the lake of this menace.
MR. E. PREFONTAINE: [A speech was made in French which will be translated in a later edition of Hansard. Mr. Prefontaine continued in English. ] I would like to join with the others in offering my congratulations to the mover and seconder of the address and reply to the Speech to the Throne. They did a good job and I wish them well in their public life.
I would like to touch on education, on the vote that was taken recently to institute larger areas of school administration in this province. My name was brought forward in this debate by the Minister of Education and by the Honourable, the Premier of this province. I was attacked, if not attacked, blamed, for not having done my duty with respect to this vote. The Minister of Education stated that if I had made the same speech in the country that I made in this House, the vote would have been "yes" in Hanover division. Mr. Speaker, I would like to state that if I had made the same speech, the vote would not have been "yes" because the speech that I made last winter was not of a nature in itself to assist in promoting the larger area of school
administration, and you certainly know it very well. I did vote in favour of the bill last year. It was an all-inclusive bill; there were good things in the bill. It provided for the best method I know of, of equalizing the cost of school burden in Manitoba. And I said so. It provided more money for education, and that's good. And it provided for a new way of paying school teachers in this province, on the basis of their merits, and experience and qualifications, not merits -- pardon me, this was thrown out, but on the basis of their qualifications and experience. And that also I approved of. But I went on to say that there was an element of coercion in the vote that was proposed to be taken in Manitoba. I did not approve of that. I did not approve of the fact that those who voted against it would not receive their share of the increased apportionment for education. The Premier, the Minister of Education, stated that they would spend $6 million or $7 million more. I estimated that this would mean about $1,000 per authorized teacher and I did not think it was fair to take a vote in a democratic country and penalize those who did not vote one way. I took a neutral stand, Sir, at the time of the election on the school division. I was neither for nor against. I wasn't against, and I was not suggesting that anyone should vote against, because there were some good things that were being propounded and I just said what they were, and I'm sure that I did not want to be blamed for that.
I would like to inform the House, Mr. Speaker, that the vote in Carillon constituency was affirmative - more than two to one. Part of Carillon constituency is in the Seine River School Division - that part voted 148 for and 48 against. Another part of Carillon constituency is in Hanover School Division and that part, including the town of Steinbach which by the way voted 428, I believe, or four to one in favour -- for that.
I would like to inform the House, Mr. Speaker, that the vote in Carillon constituency was affirmative -- more than two to one. Part of Carillon constituency is in the Seine River School Division -- that part voted 148 for and 48 against. Another part of Carillon constituency is in Hanover School Division and that part, including the town of Steinbach which by the way voted 428, I believe, or four to one in favour -- for that part of Carillon constituency that is in Hanover School Division voted 710 for the division and 461 against the division - a large majority. The other part of Carillon constituency, the west end, is in the Red River School Division and the vote there was 825 for and 213 against. In St. Pierre, by the way, the vote was 284 for, and that's where I live, and that's where I said just a few words, and I might say that I was -- I told the people to vote as they pleased, but in that part, 825 for, 213 against, so that if you add all these three parts of Carillon constituency you come to a total of 1,683 voting for the divisions and 722 against. [Interjection] I didn't get that question. I would like to say that I did not come out publicly neither for nor against. I wasn't for the scheme because there was some politics being played it seemed to me. I certainly agree with my colleague, the Honourable Member for La Verendrye, that there was some politics being played.
MR. STINSON: You ought to know.
MR. PREFONTAINE: I ought to know and I'll prove it to you. I attended only one meeting -- the meeting held in St. Pierre by the Minister of Education.
MR. STINSON: You're an expert in that yourself.
MR. PREFONTAINE: I've got a politician such as you -- absolutely. And I know that there was politics being played in the school vote that was taken. The Minister of Education had two big blackboards with him in front of the people and there was a large group of people at that meeting. On those blackboards were the -- first column, the amount of money being paid by the provincial on the old system -- it didn't say the old government but under the old system anyway; another column was showing the increased grants under the new system, under the division plan; and then there was a subtraction made showing the difference between the two. It was good visual education and he was speaking in the division of the Red River at that time and it showed that if the people voted for the new plan, they would receive from the government $1,920 more per authorized teacher. There were, in the Red River Division, 91 authorized teachers -- the increase in grant would be $174,723, and if you divide that you will get $1,920 per authorized teacher more. The government, he said, would give that money without increasing taxes. He said it right in my presence. The people were impressed -- it was good politics. And I say, Mr. Speaker, that the Honourable the Minister at that time did not tell us, or very little, about what the plan was. He talked about money largely. Apparently
the Honourable the First Minister talked about money when he spoke in Steinbach. The plan is very clear and the report of the Royal Commission on Education, on page 40 -- I am quoting now -- "To meet the demand for more diversified education, it is necessary to secure a sufficient number of pupils in each attendance unit", and then on page 41 -- "The main arguments for the establishment of some form of larger administrative unit are" -- I'm quoting -- "First, adequate secondary school facilities can only be provided if the number of pupils in attendance is large enough to justify a diversified secondary school programme". The third good point advanced by the Royal Commission -- "Improved transportation has made it more practical to assemble in large attendance units a sufficient number of pupils to utilize more efficient and better instructional facilities". Point four recommended by the Royal Commission -- "Improved administrative practices such as central purchasing and the employment of a fulltime secretary become economically possible". Point five -- "Special services in such fields as supervision, visual education, music and libraries can be provided more economically than could be done for a single small unit". Point six -- "Competent teachers can more readily be obtained and retained". The Minister has never mentioned one of these points when he spoke at that meeting. It was simply the advantages were proclaimed and he made sure though, and he said, "I want to make sure that you are not misled by some people into thinking that you will have only one or two larger schools. You can have as many schools as you want, local schools.
MR. McLEAN: That's right.
MR. PREFONTAINE: That's what he said, right in my presence. That's what is scuttling the report of the Royal Commission. I am not scuttling anything -- I am just telling facts as they happened, Sir. And I say that there was some politics being played. On page 43, I am quoting from the Royal Commission's report, "The desirability of a division large enough to provide a satisfactory attendance unit for the secondary grades is particularly apparent". I could go on, there are many more like that. I would like to read the main recommendation, if I can find the page. Page 57 -- Recommendation eight, -- "That so far as possible there be in each division but one high school unless there be in the division a sufficient number of high school pupils to warrant two or more high schools, each of not less than 12 classrooms, each of not more than 12 classrooms.
MR. McLEAN: You know very well we couldn't accept that and you were told that in the Legislature.
MR. PREFONTAINE: And that was ignored by the Minister in his speech in St. Pierre right in my presence, and I defy him to stand up and say that I'm wrong, because I was there listening very closely. And I say that it seems to me that there was some politics being played. If all the meetings were conducted in the same way that this one was, with real facts of the case not presented but only the generosity of the government without increasing taxes, I say that was politics. And I've heard and I've read in the Carillon News, that the premier of this province used the same tactics and had the same blackboard in front of the people to show them the increased grant they would get, -- well, a similar blackboard, and apparently there were a lot of similar blackboards all over the province, and it was a magnificent opportunity to publicize the generosity of this government. I want to compliment the provincial secretary. I understand that he did not play politics. He spoke in Otterburn and in St. Malo. I didn't hear the same criticism at all of his speeches at these two meetings, and I would like to compliment him. Mr. Speaker, there was a vote on February 27th but there was quite a vote in favour of the divisions all over Manitoba. But I say that this is not such a victory for the government. They spent a lot of money publicizing this vote and after all this money has been spent how many votes did they get? Thirty-three percent of the whole people eligible to vote on the plan. What surprises me, Mr. (Well, that is boasting on your part, I am sure), what surprises me is the fact that there were so many votes against the plan. In the six divisions that I have before me on that east side of the river, and some on the west side, and the southeast corner, I have it for the Seine River, 103 teachers. The increase in grants would be $207,091 and increase of $2,010 per teacher if they support the plan. In Hanover, the increase per teacher, because its higher assessed district, it would be $1,419 per teacher; in the boundary division $1,232 per teacher; in the Red River $1,920; in Rhineland $1,417; in Stanley $1,785. And I predicted in this House, Mr. Speaker, when I spoke last fall, that I expected that it would be a
unanimous vote. I did not believe that there would be groups of people with enough intestinal fortitude to vote against such huge sums of money; to deprive themselves; to starve themselves with respect to education. I did not think, and I made a wager with one of my colleagues here, and I lost my money because I was sure that everyone would support the scheme. It has had a good majority but I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that many people voted for the money angle, for the money that they would get, rather than they voted for the scheme in itself because they weren't told in many places exactly what the scheme was. I don't say they would have opposed it but I have been told by some, at least, that they voted to get the money that they would receive if they voted in favour of the scheme. They voted in a way, under duress and under protest, and I will say to the government that if they expect that all those that voted yes, will vote yes again when the time comes for an election, I think they are badly mistaken.
And then we have an abnormal situation in this province at the present time. Some people of this province seem to be considered as second class citizens, and I warned the Minister when I spoke last year, that that would happen, because the two plans cannot work side by side. The two plans cannot work side by side for a long time. The government will have to do something about it and I challenge the government to do it quick, because it is unfair to have groups of people not getting their share of the taxes. And I heard the premier of this province on the T.V. saying that we did not bribe the people, I never used the word, but he used it. He said there have been inducement grants paid before in this province, and this is just an inducement grant. Some parts of it, maybe the $10,000 establishment grant might be an inducement grant. Some other parts, with respect to construction grants, might be inducement grants. But the total $7,000,000 I suggest is a new way to finance education in Manitoba. It is not inducement grant. It is available to the City of Winnipeg where there has been no change, where it is not inducing them to do anything better than they were doing, and even the $10,000, -- I wonder why it was paid to the six divisions that were established without a vote. In St. Pierre, the Honourable, the Minister of Education said this with respect to the $10,000, -- "We will give you $10,000 because you are establishing a new level of school administration; because you'll have to provide an office; you will have to do things that you haven't done before". But I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what about these six divisions? They had only to change the name from school district to school division, and nothing else to do to get that $10,000. Six of them is $60,000. To me that is quite a bit of money. And it seems to me that it was in a way playing politics. And the construction grants, -- I am afraid there might be an angle of politics in them. The Royal Commission suggested it; of course, it did. It did make clear that it would be applicable where it was not necessary to induce larger schools up to 12 because in the cities they were all 12 or more. They did not suggest it. They didn't mention, -- of course, -- they didn't say that it should not be available for Winnipeg and the cities. But I suggest that there should not have been necessarily a lot of money spent to induce schools of 12 classrooms in the City of Winnipeg. And then, Mr. Speaker, I say that something should be done with respect to these four divisions. These people are citizens of this province. And especially in view of the fact that the premier of this province said in Steinbach "We will, when we're elected" (that's before the election) "We will give 50% of an increase to education". Where is this 50% now with respect to these people? When will they get it? When will they feel that they won't have to tax themselves in Steinbach another ten mills because they'll have to pay higher salaries to keep their school teachers in Steinbach? Because the salaries of school teachers are going up by leaps and bounds, and that means a ten mill rate, according to the information of the chairman of the school board. And they want to compete with the rest of the province where the divisions are established and the salaries that they are getting. I say that this should be done and should be done quick. We should not tolerate in this province that there should be two types of citizens just because they exercise a legitimate right of voting the way they please. Mr. Speaker, I think I made my position clear. I did not oppose the vote at all, in any part of the country. Neither did I privately, because I did not want to be blamed for the loss of $1,920 in the part where I live, and I'm paying heavy taxes in that part of the country myself. Now I'm coming to the Throne Speech itself. Quite a speech was this Throne Speech. Quite a speech. I've been in this House for many years and never heard a speech of that type. It would possibly be a good speech in Saskatchewan; to me, it was just a socialist speech. The goodies in that speech made me wonder where this
government is going. I have analyzed this speech quite closely, Mr. Speaker. There are 67 paragraphs in that speech, -- 67. I've tried to divide them under certain headings. I had six headings. The first one was formal statements, -- four paragraphs; self praise, -- eight paragraphs; ... hopes, -- six paragraphs; new legislation without cost -- legislation that ... wouldn't cost much money, -- four paragraphs; new expenditures costing over $1 million, -- 20 paragraphs; new expenditures costing less than $1 million, ranging from maybe a few hundred to a million, -- 25 paragraphs. So we have 67 paragraphs. And I would like to explain to you how I came, with respect to the 20 paragraphs that would cost the taxpayers somehow, someday, a million dollars or more. I might be wrong; it's difficult to guess. The first one would be paragraph five; that's to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission on Flood Cost Benefits. Pretty difficult to estimate how much that would cost. I put it down here as ten million. Of course, the credit of the province would be stretched to much more than that, even if they should get three-quarters they would have to pay 25% and that would cost $3 1/2 million, of $85 million. And suppose they do the work in three years, ten million for this year -- that's what I put down, -- I might be totally wrong. Paragraph six -- that's the one where the government many millions of dollars for local communities, municipalities, many millions -- I put five million -- I should raise the ante. Well, you'll have to raise the money, but you won't be here to raise the money, I'm afraid.
MR. ROBLIN: Just wait till I get my chance.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Paragraph seven. This paragraph, it's a new plan to authorize the Provincial Treasurer to guarantee the payment of securities issued by various public bodies, well that might mean ten million, I don't know. I put in two million but I want to be conservative. Paragraph nine and the Speech from the Throne. You will be asked to provide increased sums for all phases of agricultural work and particularly for water control, drainage and land and water conservation. I put that down $3 million. Water control costs a lot of money. Paragraph 12. That's the paragraph that promises to supply ... water to the Pembina triangle and other similar areas. I put that down at $2 million. I have heard that this would be the part that the government might spend on that project. Paragraph 14. Crop insurance. Very embarrassed to put an amount. I'm quite sure that if the plan is going to be self-supporting to a certain extent, in case of a bad crop the first year, we should have at least $5 million and this is a very small amount. This brings you to the Agricultural Credit Act, -- paragraph 15. I put down five million, which is a very small amount, I believe. On new Provincial Trunk Highways, the increase in Provincial Trunk Highways, now I was mixed up with what was promised, voted last fall -- $33 million over and above what we had voted in the spring. I don't know what amount of new money or increased money over last year we'll have now -- I put that down at $15 million. Paragraph 18. Increased assistance will be given to municipalities for the construction and maintenance of their road and access roads, -- $1 million -- not a large amount. I'm sure they'd spend more than that. What's a million? You don't seem to worry very much about millions, but we on this side worry quite a bit and a lot of people in Manitoba do worry about millions. Paragraph 19. Additional money for bridges and the roads, -- $1 million. A lot of bridges are going to be built up apparently. Paragraph 23. Plans have been made for the building and reconditioning of many provincially-owned public buildings. I've got two million more than we had last year for this item and that's a small amount. Paragraph 25. Roads to resources from Simon House to Thompson. I've got an additional one million. I'm a piker, I'm sure. Paragraph 26. To expend the generating capacity of the Kelsey Power Station on the Nelson River. I've got ten million of capital this year. Paragraph 32. Manitoba Development Fund. I should not forget that. The Speech from the Throne did not forget anything, -- $5 million. Paragraph 34. Education. Seven million more dollars for education than before. Paragraph 35. Larger operating grants to be recommended in respect to the University of Manitoba. I've got down two million there. I don't know if I'm correct or not. We've heard of millions for this project. New formula of capital assistance to affiliated colleges, -- I've got two million for the whole paragraph anyway. Paragraph 37. Improvements in our penal establishments. I've got that down at one million. Paragraph 42 promises a new hospital for the rehabilitation of patients who can be returned to normal productive living, and I'm including in that a home for girls and I've got a million. I don't think I'm exaggerating. I think I'm low. Paragraph 48. It's a promise of higher levels of social security for the aged and infirmed, etc.,
etc. It will relieve the municipalities of many things. I've got a million dollars there and I think I'm very low and I'm turning to another paragraph. Paragraph 61. Increases in salaries to Civil Servants and I think that I'm not wrong when I put this at a million dollars because when I see that you are advertising for school inspectors at the salary that I have read I think that the whole Civil Service will be increased and that the total increase will amount to at least a million dollars.
So that's 20 paragraphs, -- 20 paragraphs amount to $80 million. That's new money and there are 25 other paragraphs promising expenditures of lesser amounts than $1 million. I've totalled these expenditures at five million; that's $85 million and I've got five million here for the Point Douglas development or some clearance of Point Douglas that was not mentioned in the Speech from the Throne. I don't know why, but apparently government is committed if city goes with it. Quite an expense there. The Disraeli Freeway, Pan American Games, -- I've got five million for that. It might come about. But this reaches a total of $90 million, more money to be spent than last year. That's quite a bit of money, quite a bit of money over and above our hundred million last year. Two hundred million for the Province of Manitoba I think is going too fast and too quick. And it is surprising to think of these amounts when we think of the stand that the present First Minister took when he was in the opposition. I have before me here, one of his speeches delivered in the Manitoba Legislature on April 9th, 1953. I would like to read from it a little. "Mr. Speaker, (that's when the government had announced its budget) what a piece of work is man! Here we have an administration which has fairly won for itself and quite deserved the reputation in the field of finance of being narrow, parsimonious and some might even say penny-pinching. Now in its old age, it is seized with a compelling urge to make its final appearance on the political stage as the last of the big time spenders. That's what we will see. Here we have, Sir, a budget of 54 million." Mr. Campbell, the last of the big time spenders apparently and now we encounter the expenditure of $200 million. Man, and what a piece of work is man? How a man can change when he gets on the other side of the House just before an election. And I might go on -- it's worth reading -- "Here we have, Sir, a budget of 54 million, three times what it was in 1939, though I most frankly admit that it is something of a habit these days, both in federal politics and provincial politics, that after a government has wended its way for three or four years along the path that it should feel impelled to do something for the boys, particularly if it would seem that an election might be near. And thus it is that we see governments reducing taxation, making additional grants, providing extra services and measures which might be good in themselves, appear to some of us at any rate to take on the appearance of the debase of coinage of political maneouvers".
Never was there an assurance of an election as we have at the present time. The present government has been manoeuvering since it was elected toward the coming election and I am quite sure that if the C.C.F. do not support us, I don't see why they should because they have a socialist government on that side, C.C.F. don't support us that we will go and have an election anyway without a budget. Now this is no farce. This is a serious matter for the people of Manitoba. The Winnipeg Tribune in its editorial of January 26th -- they were guessing at the size of the budget -- "In the coming fiscal year the Manitoba government will take the biggest plunge into deficit financing ever taken by the province. It now appears that revenue will fail to meet expenditures by about 35 million or more and the difference will have to be made up by borrowing." They were far off the mark I am quite sure but they can be excused. They hadn't read the Speech from the Throne at that time. I don't think they knew about the Point Douglas slum clearance neither. And then here is the -- after they have a few digs against the Campbell government for not spending enough, -- maybe the reason why they have spent so much this time. There are obvious limits to deficit financing by a province. Even the debt incurred for so-called capital account items such as road building must be paid sometime, either out of the gas and vehicle tax revenue directly, directly related to roads, or out of general taxes. That Premier Roblin is aware of these limits can be gathered from a recent speech in which he offered the opinion that Manitobans would be willing to pay higher taxes for better provincial services. But the Premier is also aware of political reality, judging from his repeated assurances that taxes will not be raised this year, which is likely to be an election year in Manitoba. Hurrah for the Tribune paper!
I say that judging from this budget I was not far wrong when I stated in this House two
years ago that the present Premier, who was at that time Leader of the Opposition, was a leftist, belonged to the left side but I was surprised when I read the Speech from the Throne because I was sure then that he had attracted with him all the Conservatives elected in Manitoba the last provincial election and I am quite sure that some of these Conservatives are not very comfortable, are not happy to support such a programme as presented in this Speech from the Throne. But maybe the word Conservative now doesn't mean what it used to. Sure it doesn't. It means socialist. Then we have two socialist parties in this House. Why should they not join together and form a government? That would be -- absolutely. I'm suggesting first very, very seriously that such a coalition should be arrived at right now. The idea is not mine -- not from the first. I got it from the Carillon News, the best weekly newspaper in the Province of Manitoba. It's entitled "Duff Gets His Chance". "The very thing people feared most in our provincial election" -- I haven't got the date; it was written right after the last provincial election -- "the very thing people feared most in our provincial election, that we might elect a minority government, became a reality last Monday when the Conservative group received a half-hearted mandate from the people." At the rate we have been holding elections during the past 13 months we should soon be able to vie with France for the dubious honour of holding the largest number of elections per year and not getting anywhere fast. There is a difference here however, in that we still may be spared the expense and trouble of another election next year. Conservative promises and aspirations have run so closely parallel with those of the C.C.F. that we see no reason by the two should not join forces and so create a strong enough government to form a majority. Both groups have promised during the campaign to provide more social services; both have visions of a new deal in education; both have promised to lessen the burden of taxes for the common man. The parallel goes even further in that neither group has ever disclosed just how all these things are going to be paid for, although Diefenbaker's deficit budget should give us a clue. Still, the interests of the two parties are so similar and since their manner of reasoning is equally alike, it should only be an application of common sense to unite in the bond of political expediency and form a majority government. That seems to be very sensible -- very sensible. I am sure that last November the C.C.F. party were not yet satisfied that the Conservatives were socialists but now since the Speech from the Throne has been presented to us, I am sure they know that it is a socialist party. They come along all the way with respective labour legislation, minimum wages, Workmen's Compensation Board, vacations-with-pay and the speech of the Honourable, the Minister of Health and Welfare, was very pleasing to the ears of the socialists in this province. They seem to think along, why don't they go along. And I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that it would be good for the government if they had some C.C.F.'ers in their ranks in the cabinet because the Premier of this province is killing his cabinet ministers. The Minister of Health and Welfare will not survive a long time, I am sure, working too hard. The programme that he has brought certainly is enough to keep a man busy. These two departments should be split. There should be a Minister of Health and I would suggest that the present one would be a good one and we should have a Minister of Welfare and I suggest that Mr. Stinson would be the right man -- that's where he belongs, and I'm not only joking. I'm saying seriously that he would be a good man.
MR. WILLIS: He didn't accept your offer.
MR. PREFONTAINE: Because we didn't want to accept it -- we are not socialists. He would rather play ball with you, I am sure. That's why we quit the rings, because we are not socialist, and I would like to carry on and make further recommendations to my friend that he is working the Minister of Agriculture and Acting Minister of Public Works too hard also. That's unreasonable and we should keep him as Minister of Agriculture. He comes out with 19 points, some of these appear very pointless to me, Mr. Speaker, -- 19 points -- and if he had Mr. Stinson, party leader of the C.C.F. in his same cabinet, around the same table, -- he is a good friend of agriculture, -- and there would be some further suggestions then. They could reach 30 points. They should keep him in agriculture but he should be relieved of his department of Public Works and I see no better man, Sir, than the Honourable ...
MR. STINSON: Is the honourable gentleman suggesting that I should have two portfolios?
MR. PREFONTAINE: No, no. You should advise him, but stay in Welfare, that's enough. I say that the Department of Public Works, that should be handed over to none other than the genial and urbane member for Virden, the Minister of Labour and Minister of Municipal Affairs.
He would be the perfect Minister of Public Works, I am sure, and that's where he should be headed for. And these two departments should go to two new men. We should have at least 12 Cabinet Ministers now that the government is spending four times as much as the coalition was spending with 12 Cabinet Ministers some years ago.
MR. SPEAKER: ... that he has a further three minutes on his time.
MR. PREFONTAINE: I'll hurry and make the best of it.
MR. ROBLIN: On a point of order that the House will be quite glad to let the honourable member continue until he has finished his remarks. He is much too entertaining to miss.
MR. PREFONTAINE: I would like to suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the present Minister of Labour and Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs should become Minister of Public Works, and I would like to suggest that the Honourable Member for Assiniboia should be made Minister of Labour. He would be the right man to implement the bills that are going to be passed with respect to labour, -- man of experience, -- man that would carry a lot of weight some day in favour of the government when the time comes to meet the reaction of Tories on this side, I suppose. Sometime he would bring labour in for the Conservative-Socialist party and he would be a good Minister of Labour and I would like to suggest that the Honourable Member for Radisson should be made Minister of Municipal Affairs. He has experience in municipal. He has been the shadowed Cabinet Minister for municipal affairs. He would be a good minister. And I would suggest that we would then have a very strong cabinet composed of experienced ability. And I would go a little further. I would say that with only three C.C.F.'ers, that wouldn't be enough in the Cabinet, because in a coalition there must be proper ratio or coat of Cabinet Ministers for the two parties. The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture knows that when he was leading his party into the coalition he insisted on proper quota or ratio. He could advise his leader to admit one more C.C.F.er into the Cabinet, and I would suggest that the Honourable Member for Inkster be made a minister without portfolio -- it would recompense him for the good work that he has done. He was nominated Man of the Year last year, and I think that it would be very fitting that he should get appointed to the Cabinet. He would bring [Interjection] well, that would be a good Cabinet and would provide a situation where there wouldn't have to be an election immediately. Some people seem to think that there have been enough elections. And, it would prevent -- it would prevent what these two parties want -- prevent leader of our party to come back to power right away -- because he'll do that. There are many people of this province who were a little leery of the present Prime Minister at the time of the last election about his promises, but they're really scared now when they see this Throne Speech and the budget that it well mean a little later on. A lot of people in this province think that the present leader of my party is the best Premier that this province has ever had and given the best administration. And, I was surprised the other day when a member from the other side stated that the present Prime Minister who -- Premier, who hasn't had more than nine months was the best First Minister this province has ever had. I think he has to implement a lot of promises before a lot of people in this province -- a majority at least -- think that he is. [Interjection] Yes, was it? I would like to suggest that the leader of my party has given a true progressive government to Manitoba in the last ten years. He has given us rural electrification; he has been praised in all papers in this province; he has given us redistribution; the most advanced legislation in any province; he has given us liquor laws that the other provinces are copying; power development pattern in this province that is equal -- that there is no equal in Canada to the power development pattern in this Province of Manitoba -- it was given by a progressive leader of this province. The Manitoba Hospital Insurance Act was given by this man. Unconditional grants to municipalities, Trans-Canada Highway and perimeter roads; Falcon Lake Development. I had a good laugh when I read in the paper that the famous opening which took place at Falcon Lake when my friend, the honourable -- wasn't I surprised to see these men parading in front of the crowds there, and telling what this was. When I first met after that, Mr. Campbell, I asked him "Had you been invited?" "Oh", he said, "No". When I met Mr. Greenlay, the ex-minister, and the man most responsible, I asked him "Had you been invited to this affair at Falcon Lake?" "No". I think that was quite a lack of courtesy. This is quite a thing, this development. It was progressive action by this government, and it was done. And I could quote also the joint council -- the legalizing of joint council meeting with the Civil Service, and many, many other things. And all the time we have had good sound financial administration in this province, and,
it's because the financial affairs have been so well administered that this government now is able to go on a spending spree, as it is doing. But, it won't go long on that spending spree -- if it doesn't watch out.
Mr. Speaker, I think I've said enough for the C.C.F. party to know that I will not favour their sub-amendment, because it required expenditures of huge new sums of money. I'm sure that if that group did not see that for want-of-confidence, they would be ready to go ahead, -- money is nothing to them, -- and ready to go more and more into debt to socialize and fraternalize the state in this Province of Manitoba. I remember the time when the leader -- the present Prime Minister, sitting on this side said, "I believe in the country -- in the society where man is master of his own destiny". But he is giving us a society where the state is the master of the destiny of every man, woman and child in this province.
My leader stated before last election, "We believe that man should be responsible for and master of his own destiny". The present Prime Minister thinks that the state should be responsible for the destiny of every man and woman and child of this province. So, I say that it would be just as well because the minds of the people are not definitely made up -- that the two socialist groups join together and form a government. But I warn them, and I say that the Premier, the First Minister, will have to deliver in the country, many speeches like he delivered last year before he is re-elected again. He'll want everybody to unite to keep this reactionary Campbell out of this House. Last year he was saying all over the province "Back one party, declares Roblin," -- speaking in Arborg, supported by Peter ..., joined to defeat this government. He will be appealing to the people and saying "Let us all join, we socialists, together in order to keep this Tory reactionary out of power".
MR. WRIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to speak but owing to the late hour, may I ask the indulgence of the House to ... speak this evening?
MR. ROBLIN: I'm sure we'll have no objection to that.
MR. SPEAKER: Well, it's 5:30 and I'll leave the chair until 8:00 this evening.
Page revised: 22 September 2009