March 11, 1965

LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

The standing

orders, of course, of this chamber give to each member in committee a limited time of 30 minutes for a speech. If this part of the debate is going to continue in this way, I shall have to ask hon. members to confine themselves as closely as possible to the material contained in clause 91.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

The hon. member for Perth intervened and of course I have the floor again. I have not much more to say than I have already said. If the minister did not hear me, I think the parliamentary secretary did because he was listening very intently. I wish the minister would give him permission to answer. However, I will repeat what I said word for word if that is necessary. I do not want to do that. I do not believe it is necessary because the Minister of National Health and Welfare is an intelligent person. I think she understands the problem. I want to ask her this question: Is there machinery set up or are there regulations set up that will assist in the integration of all types of plans under the Canada pension plan?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

I would be happy to

answer that question. It would be a real affront to parliament if my department prepared regulations under a piece of legislation that had yet to be passed by the house.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

This is a nice bit of verbiage, but I do not buy it. I have been around here six years.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. Orlikow:

Six too long.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

The constituents of Acadia will tell me whether it was six years too long, but since coming here I have tried to do my duty. I am trying to find out whether any provision has been made for the integration of existing pension plans with the Canada pension plan. The minister said it would be an affront to parliament to suggest that regulations have been drawn up for a piece of legislation not yet passed by parliament. How naive does she think we are? The regulations may not be printed, but we know that the government expects to pass any bill it introduces. It is as simple as that.

Canada Pension Plan

It has a majority in the house, and that is why it is the government.

I am not asking the minister to itemize specific regulations. All I ask is, have the regulations been drawn up? Are there any special provisions that will assist the integration of existing plans? She may say there are no regulations drawn up, but in doing so she is saying we are a bunch of naive boys, that we have not been in parliament very long and do not know how its wheels grind. Let her assume that, but she must answer the second part of my question. Is the government considering regulations which will make special provision for existing plans, of which there are 5,000 odd across Canada?

To put it in a nutshell, I am not satisfied to have the department, the government and parliament send out information. This is not enough. What I want to know is whether the government is considering regulations which will make provision for the integration of existing pension plans. If the answer is in the negative, then we will know the government has turned a cold shoulder to these people.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

If my hon. friend really wants the answer in a nutshell, the answers to questions one, two, three and four are no.

Topic:   PENSIONS
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

Well, I am not satisfied because that is the answer I was afraid of getting. I will ask the parliamentary secretary, a person I have admired for a number of years. He is a young fellow like myself. He is seriously concerned with the problems confronting Canadians.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

Does my hon. friend realize how much he is jeopardizing the career of my parliamentary secretary?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

In no way do I want to jeopardize the career of the parliamentary secretary. I know his career has no limits. I say advisedly he may have a promising future and I do not want to jeopardize it in any way at all. The minister has said no; let that be heard across the country. My concern, whether as a government supporter or member of the opposition, has been that of a legislator concerned with all problems confronting Canadians.

People paying into existing plans have asked me, "How will our plans integrate with this?" I could not really reply. I said I hoped they would, and they said they hoped they would. There are many such people. I have mentioned teachers and municipal workers. There are also the labour unions

[Mr. Homer (Acadia) .1

and many more Canadians, with the possible exception of day labourers and farmers, paying into private pension plans, and in some cases farmers are too.

It is not good enough for me to tell them, "We have sent out information. Didn't you get it?" Out of 100 people 99 will say they never saw that information, they were told their plans could not be integrated and therefore are faced with an added burden on their shoulders. I am trying to get to the core of the problem. I asked the minister a simple question: Is she considering special regulations which will provide for the integration of existing plans?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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?

An hon. Member:

Repetition.

Topic:   PENSIONS
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

That does not bother me at all. I have learned that in order to be heard one must repeat things. The minister's "no" means the government is not making special provision for private pension plans: If they can integrate, fine and dandy; if they cannot, then let them go jump into the lake.

People will be paying into two plans or else will forfeit the rights they have already established in a private plan. This is not something to be brushed lightly aside. The Department of National Revenue should be considering this matter.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Mr. Chairman, if the hon. member would like answers to some of the questions he has been raising, perhaps I could read him a little bit from the script of a T.V. program in which appeared Premier Robarts of Ontario and Mr. Coward of the Ontario pension commission. In this program very similar questions were asked. Premier Robarts said on that T.V. program:

Well then the second question that I know-

Topic:   PENSIONS
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?

Malcolm MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, the Minister of National Revenue has stood in his place to answer the hon. member for Acadia, who wants answers to the questions he has asked. He has already got the answers from the Minister of National Health and Welfare when she said, "No, no, no, no". Now the Minister of National Revenue rises in his place to speak about Premier Robarts, which has nothing whatsoever to do with what is before the committee at the present time.

Topic:   PENSIONS
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. I would have to listen to what is going to be said by the Minister of National Revenue before I could decide whether it is in order.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member has been raising some questions here, and

these are questions that have been raised by a great many people in the country. The problem of integration is one of them. Premier Robarts, in this television program, felt that this was one of the questions many people had written to him about, and all I was going to do was read into the record what Premier Robarts and Mr. Coward, his pension adviser, said in this regard:

Premier Robarts: Well then the second question that I know is of great interest to many, many people is simply this: What happens to my pension plan to which I have been contributing for years when the Canada pension plan comes into operation? What happens to the money that I have paid into a company pension plan?

This was one of the questions raised by my hon. friend.

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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

Precisely.

Topic:   PENSIONS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

The answer from Mr. Coward was this:

The first thing to make clear is that the money will not be confiscated or taken over by the government in any way. Your pension plan will remain and the money that's already been paid into the trust fund, or to the insurance company or the government annuities branch or wherever it may be, will remain to provide the benefits that you have earned for your service up to the date that the Canada pension plan comes in. It is true of course that some pension plans will want to make changes applicable to the future benefits in order to dovetail with the Canada pension plan, but you can be assured that the benefits that already stand to your credit will not be forfeited or taken away.

Premier Robarts then asked the following question:

Well I think that it follows from this answer then, and you may give me your opinion or comments on this, that it would be wise for anyone who presently is in a pension plan to maintain that plan, because it really will be imposed on top of the basic plan which is the Canada pension plan.

Topic:   PENSIONS
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?

Charles Benjamin Howard

Mr. Coward:

Oh yes, it would be very imprudent to pull out of a pension plan just because we will have a new government plan. Most people will want more than the government plans will provide. The government plan provides a basic floor and pensions in addition through pension plans and through private saving will be very necessary; and I would strongly recommend that you should consider very carefully before you consider discontinuing a plan or pulling out your money.

There has been a good deal said in the House of Commons on the problem of integration of the Canada pension plan with other pension plans, over a long period of time. I can remember back as far as November 4, when the resolution was introduced into the house and I made comments in this regard. It is not within the legislative power of the federal government to tell individual firms in this country how they and their employees

Canada Pension Plan

will work in integrating their pension plans with the Canada pension plan. It may be that where no pension plan exists, or where the pension benefits are small, the Canada pension plan will be simply decked on top of the existing benefits in the pension plans that exist.

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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PC

Jay Waldo Monteith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Monteith:

Is this term similar to

"dialogue"? Is it a new government term?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF CONTRIBUTORY PROGRAM
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March 11, 1965