June 7, 1954

LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink

Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Applewhaite in the chair. On clause 1-Short title.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, I believe it was understood that if we got this far with this measure we would not go on with it tonight. Was that not the understanding?

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

I said that, Mr. Chairman, anticipating that the minister might not be present tonight because he had other public duties to attend to. But since he is present I think we ought to deal with the committee stage now.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink

Clause agreed to. Clause 2 agreed to. On clause 3-Agreements with the provinces.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Chairman, clause 3 of this bill is the one which has the meat in it. This is the clause that specifies the age at which allowances for disabled persons can be paid. It also has in it as much as we get by way of a definition of total and permanent disability. It also has in it the means test provisions, together with provisions that make it impossible to receive this allowance at the same time as one is receiving any one of certain other items, such as an allowance under the Blind Persons Act, assistance under the Old Age Assistance Act, an allowance under the War Veterans Allowance Act or a pension under the Old Age Security Act. In addition to that, this is the clause that specifies the maximum amount of the allowance as $40. It also specifies that the federal government will pay up to only 50 per cent of the $40 a month. In other words, I have spelled out my statement that this is the clause that has the meat of this legislation in it.

I wonder whether the minister is in a position now to comment on some of the points that were raised when we were at the second reading stage. Perhaps he could start with one that was raised by members in all parties on this side of the house, namely the question of the definition. The clause reads that the allowance can be paid to a recipient who is "totally and permanently disabled as prescribed by the regulations". In this clause there are other matters that I wish to say something about, namely, the amount of the allowance, the age at which it is payable and the division between the provinces and the federal government. Perhaps the minister might first comment on the remarks made by the hon. member for Lanark, the hon. member for Red Deer, myself and others on the way in which total and permanent disability is defined. I ask him, if he will, to relate his comments to the remarks made on this 83276-355J

Disabled Persons-Allowances question in the brief presented to the government by the Canadian Welfare Council to which I made reference last Tuesday.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Edward Turney Applewhaite (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Shall the clause

carry?

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Carried.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Not yet. I am amazed to find the minister so unwilling to speak.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

Daniel Roland Michener

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Michener:

On clause 3 I have a question which I should like to raise for the minister's consideration. Subsection 2 provides that payment shall be made only in respect of a recipient who-and I then drop down to paragraph (f) which reads as follows:

(f) is not a patient or resident in a hospital, nursing home, or private, charitable or public institution, except as prescribed in the regulations.

I do not know what stage the drafting of regulations has reached, but many instances readily come to my mind where a disabled person who receives a pension would be much better off and would be better cared for in a private charitable institution than elsewhere. I have some instances of that kind in mind from my own experience. I know that some of these institutions which keep elderly people who have the old age pension look after them very well on part of the pension and leave the pensioners with a certain part of it as spending money. It is a happy arrangement for elderly people and I think it would apply equally well to disabled people who would be looked after well in these private institutions by reason of the pension which they get under this act; whereas if the pension is not permitted to be paid when they are in such homes, it seems to me that one of the purposes of the act is defeated.

I appreciate the fact that one does not wish to duplicate the expenditure of public funds for disabled persons by having them maintained at public expense in a home and also by paying a pension. But if only a modest part of the funds of a home are public funds, it seems to me that it is a proper case for paying the pension. I trust that the minister has that point in mind and will deal with it in the regulations.

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink
PC

William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blair:

Further to the remarks made by the hon. member, may I say that this morning I had a letter which set out the case of a disabled war veteran-one who is 100 per cent disabled-who is contributing to the keep of a totally disabled wife in an institution. Something should be done under this act to deal with a matter of that kind. It does not seem fair that he should be contributing for that purpose part of his pension

Topic:   DISABLED PERSONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
Sub-subtopic:   AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
Permalink

S620 HOUSE OF


Disabled Persons-Allowances paid to him for war wounds and for other disability. He has what amounts to 100 per cent disability. When the bill was before the house we mentioned this question of the time between the age of 16 when the family allowance stops and when this bill entitles the recipient to receive the pension at 18. I maintain that those two years are important years in the training and care of the disabled person and that those two years could be lost to some degree in the training of a disabled person or with respect to his health. Those two years are just as important as are any other years and during them they are not receiving anything. The other point is this. If some information were given by the minister as to just what is meant by totally and permanently disabled people, it possibly would help us in this discussion. There is one other matter I wish to mention. I did not get a chance to say anything about it at the time, but there has been some discussion about who is responsible for this bill. I should like to pay tribute to one person who has worked consistently through the years. That person is Miss Eva Warden of Calgary who brought this delegation down to the house. I do not like to use the word "lobby" but she worked very hard in this matter. I believe in giving honour where honour is due; and I believe that Miss Warden should receive great credit for what she has done in promoting public opinion with respect to the bringing in of this bill.


SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

Mr. Chairman, last week I expressed the hope that the minister would be able to give us some information at least to indicate the extent of the agreement that has been reached between his department and the provinces in connection with this matter of the defining of the expression "totally and permanently disabled as prescribed by the regulations". Personally I am confident, without having been told, that some measure of agreement was reached. Undoubtedly this matter came up for serious consideration. In the second place, I should like to know whether, in the course of discussing the matter, it was agreed tentatively at least to go as far as the Alberta act does in its present statute, that is, as amended at the last session. That brings me to the specific subject of the case where a person may be partially disabled physically and partially disabled mentally, but not sufficiently mentally ill to warrant being placed in an institution. Nevertheless that person is permanently disabled. I should like to

know whether or not that type of case will be included in the definition.

Clause stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   S620 HOUSE OF
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Mr. Speaker, we shall continue in the morning with this debate followed by the legislation with respect to benefits for the armed forces, then the National Harbours Board Act, and then the Post Office Act. As the house knows, there is a pension bill in the veterans affairs committee that is being reported with a suggested amendment which, if His Excellency concurs, would be recommended to the house tomorrow by consent, I hope, and might be dealt with at the resolution stage so that the pension bill can be dealt with in committee of the whole with the amendment.

Then we have a bill, of which notice has been given, with respect to motor vehicle transportation. It would be our hope that hon. members opposite might find it convenient to deal with that some time later in the day after they have had an opportunity to see it. If these matters are all disposed of we shall take estimates, beginning with national revenue, then secretary of state, fisheries, and mines and technical surveys.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Mr. Speaker, the motor transport bill has not yet been distributed. The minister was kind enough to give me a copy but I understand it has not been distributed generally. Therefore it would be very difficult to go on with that tomorrow. It was my understanding also that the Post Office Act would be taken before the national harbours board bill.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

I know that some hon. members have committee work to attend to in the morning, and if it is not found possible to have them here at the time they have particular matters to discuss we can arrange that. However, we might leave the order I have indicated for the time being. We shall see that copies of the bill with respect to motor vehicle transportation are available the first thing in the morning, if they are not now available when hon. members leave the chamber. I am sure that the intelligent consideration which you will give to it in the meantime will lead you to be able to discuss it in the afternoon.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

June 7, 1954