September 19, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


William Pugsley



This relates to the
ughthouse and coast service. I want to call the attention of the minister to the ,act that early in the session a question was put to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, as to whether it was proposed to' give Lhe lighthouse keepers an increase in salary. There have been a great many increases given by Parliament upon the invitation of the Government during this session, most of which were pretty strenuously opposed on this side of the House. In answer to that question, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries said that he could not hold out any hope of an increase. It is within my knowledge that there are a great many lighthouse keepers who are getting a salary, some of them, of only $300 a year. The average salary is from $300 to $400, I am informed. These men are leading a lonely life in a lighthouse upon a
rock, and in the winter especially their life is surrounded with great hardships; and to expect men to continue to perform those arduous duties and undergo the hardships they are compelled to undergo for the small salary of $300 is to my mind not at all creditable to a country like Canada. I regret very much that the minister was not able to give some assurance that the representations which have been made to him would be favourably entertained, and I would ask the minister now whether ho could see his way clear to bringing down before the close of this session .an item, providing for an
increase of even $100 a year for these men. They are affected by the high cost of living just as other people are, and the salaries which they receive may truly be called starvation salaries. They cannot live upon them. In some cases lighthouse keepers can make some money out of fishing, but those cases are the exceptions. The great majority have nothing but their salaries, which are entirely inadequate for them to live upon and to bring up their families.

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