May 28, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Minister of Railways) :

The hon. gentleman intimated last night during the discussion that he intended to ask this question, and just this minute the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Maclnnis)

has sent across to me a letter which deals with the matter. The letter does not name any of the equipment companies which, so far as I know, would be interested in this work. It does name a small company, the Equipment Manufacturing Plant of Saint John, New Brunswick, which would not be affected, directly at any rate. However, in the meantime, in 'order to have the facta clear and to be able to assure the house that we shall be in a position effectually to carry out what I promised last evening to do, namely, to endeavour to see that fair wages and hours are involved in any of this work, I took the matter up with the president of one of the large equipment companies

I tried to get in touch with a second one but did not succeed-and I also discussed it this morning with Mr. Hungerford of the Canadian National Railways, who was before the special committee. I am authoritatively informed that in any contract let by the Canadian National Railways in connection with equipment the following clause is inserted, and has been throughout the years:
The workmen and labourers employed by the contractor in or about the works shall be paid such rates of wages as may be currently payable to workmen and labourers engaged in similar occupation in the districts in which the said works are being constructed.
Which covers the point. While I am informed that there has not been in the past at any rate- any such clause in Canadian Pacific contracts, the same labourers and workmen do the work and the same working conditions and rates of pay apply. However may I just close my statement by saying that the government will insist, so far as any of these contracts are concerned, on having a fair wage clause inserted. As the Minister of Justice has pointed out to me, at any rate the matter would come under the bill he has just introduced. Irrespective of that, the government undertakes to see that this clause is incorporated.

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