1975 Legislative Session: 5th Session, 30th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes
The printed version remains the official version.
TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 1975
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Provincial unemployment figures.
Mr. Bennett — 529
Errors in ICBC vendor cheques.
Hon. Mr. Strachan answers — 530
Payment of ICBC agents' fees.
Hon. Mr. Strachan answers — 530
Errors in ICBC vendors' cheques.
Hon. Mr. Strachan answers — 530
Department of Education blacklist.
Mr. D.A. Anderson — 531
TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 1975
The House met at 2:03 p.m.
HON. P.F. YOUNG (Minister of Consumer Services): Mr. Speaker, we have with us today in the gallery a class of students in social studies from Eric Hamber Secondary School, with their teacher, Miss Marsh. Half of the class is present with us in the gallery at this time; the other half will be coming in at 2:30 to view half an hour of the Legislature. I would ask the Members to welcome the students from Eric Hamber.
HON. E.E. DAILLY (Minister of Education): Mr. Speaker, I would like the House to join me in welcoming a group of adult English language training students from Gilmore school. Thank you.
MR. R.H. McCLELLAND (Langley): I'd also like the House to welcome a group of students and their teachers from D.W. Poppy school in Langley.
I'd also like to welcome, Mr. Speaker, about 50 of my constituents, members of the British Columbia Social Credit Party, from Aldergrove, Clearbrook, Langley, Fort Langley and Cloverdale, and the president of our constituency organization, Mr. Fred Pepin.
MR. D.E. LEWIS (Shuswap): Mr. Speaker, I'd like the House to join me in welcoming two people from the Village of Chase, a very aggressive town: Mr. Tom Atkinson, alderman for Chase, and Mr. Henry Grube, a long-time trustee on the Kamloops School Board and representing the Village of Chase.
MR. G.F. GIBSON (North Vancouver-Capilano): Mr. Speaker, I'd like the House to join me in welcoming 20 members and their captains of the Rockland Girl Guide District of North Vancouver.
MR. D.E. SMITH (North Peace River): I would like the House to welcome a person from the North Peace River, a long way from home here in Victoria to see the House in action for the first time, Mr. Vic Randall, president of my constituency.
HON. N. LEVI (Minister of Human Resources): Mr. Speaker, sitting on the floor of the House over here are the members of the advisory committee on the handicapped to the department. I would just like to introduce them: Mr. Doug Mowat, sitting over here; Mr. Les Watson, Mr. Harold Hawkins — I don't know how he got here but he's here; Doug Wilson from the Canadian Paraplegic Association; Dr. Bill Buckler, from Vancouver General Hospital; Mrs. Letti Vicelli; Mr. Jonn Olldyn; the consultant to the department on the physically handicapped, Merle Smith; and way over there is Mrs. Grace Smith, Merle's mother.
I'd just like to say that the committee met this morning with the cabinet committee on human services and made a number of recommendations. They will be meeting with the press at 3:30. The theme of the committee recommendations is independence in self care, independence in the activities of daily living and, ultimately, financial independence for the physically disabled.
This committee is a volunteer committee with the exception of Miss Smith, and they have worked for the past 18 months to develop the recommendations that will be made available to the public today. I'd like you to welcome them.
PROVINCIAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES
MR. W.R. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Economic Development. Statistics Canada announced today its unemployment figures for February: 107,000 people were seeking work in B.C., seasonally adjusted to 93,000. I know the Minister is concerned, as we all are, and I would like him to advise the House whether his department has correlated or is correlating these unemployment statistics on a regional or area basis so that they can create employment initiatives in the hardest-hit areas. As Statistics Canada has pointed out, unemployment varies greatly in British Columbia.
HON. G.V. LAUK (Minister of Economic Development): Mr. Speaker, my department is generally aware of regional unemployment figures, although they're not as accurate as those of Statistics Canada — it's a little more difficult to relate them. We're also in close touch with the Minister of Labour (Hon. Mr. King) in that regard. Because some areas have a chronic unemployment problem, we are going to direct most of our efforts, with respect to DREE, to those areas.
MR. BENNETT: Can you identify those areas of extreme concern in which your department is working to create employment in the province?
HON. MR. LAUK: Generally, Mr. Speaker, we can do so. I don't have the actual figures with me right now.
MR. BENNETT: I would hope the Minister can provide those areas to the House at a later date. Could he also advise whether his department
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correlates those people who do not register as unemployed by Statistics Canada? I refer to that total of "employables" who may be on welfare, and those who do not qualify for unemployment insurance or welfare and may be unemployed. Is this part of the study and can the Minister bring it to the House?
HON. MR. LAUK: We have not done an in-depth type of study, but we have general information as to what percentages of employables on welfare are in particular regions, how long they have been so and what the historical context of that situation is. We do incorporate that in our planning — Peace River, Liard and other regions.
MR. BENNETT: Will the Minister place this information before the House at a later date?
HON. MR. LAUK: Yes. I am going to discuss it in detail during the debate on my estimates.
MR. GIBSON: As a supplementary question, I wonder, in view of the 107,000 persons unemployed as announced today, if the Minister could advise the House how many jobs will be created by the supplementary employment measures announced in the budget.
HON. MR. LAUK: Are you referring to the Minister of Labour's (Hon. Mr. King's) announcements?
MR. GIBSON: No, to the programmes announced by the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Barrett) in his budget.
HON. MR. LAUK: I'm not sure of the actual number, Mr. Member. That question may be directed to the Minister of Labour in due course.
ERRORS IN ICBC VENDOR CHEQUES
HON. R.M. STRACHAN (Minister of Transport and Communications): Mr. Speaker, I was asked a number of questions yesterday for which I have answers.
First of all, in answer to the question relating to Reid's Towing and Auto Wrecking, I said that the cheque had been paid in June, 1974. That was the date of the action, but I am informed that the actual cheque was dated August 31, 1974.
I want to add that ICBC paid 411,000 cheques of different kinds up until the end of February.
PAYMENT OF ICBC AGENTS' FEES
HON. MR. STRACHAN: The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Bennett) asked me about commissions to 1974-75 agents. I am informed that all agency commissions have been paid on transactions that were originally correctly prepared or have subsequently been amended and processed. In addition, an estimated commission has been paid on those transactions which have not yet been corrected.
When the remaining transactions have been corrected, it is possible that there will be a minimum commission still payable to the agents which will represent less than 2 per cent of the total amount of commissions earned by agents in the 1974-75 year. In other words, about 98 per cent, or a little better, have already been paid. If there are any in-depth questions on this, I am quite prepared to make public the amount paid to every agent in the province.
ERRORS IN ICBC VENDOR CHEQUES
HON. MR. STRACHAN: The next question was raised — for the third time — by the Hon. First Member for Victoria (Mr. Morrison) when he got up the other day. Out of it came headlines that said: "ICBC Computers on a Spree." That was the Vancouver Sun. The Province said: "ICBC Cheques Keep Rolling Out." I answered two of them yesterday.
He again raised this one of Joyce M. Antonson. He hugged this to his bosom, and my assistant had to go and ask him for the details.
HON. MR. STRACHAN: Why didn't you pick up the phone and phone my office? Our records indicate that Joyce M. Antonson made application for a refund of premium applicable to a Fleetcraft trailer previously owned by her. The owner's certificate cancellation request form signed by Joyce M. Antonson indicated that the unit was sold, and the request for cancellation is dated October 11, 1974.
The total annual premium amounted to $32, and as the policy had an inception date of July 19, 1974, the calculated refund as of October 11, 1974 amounted to $11. ICBC cheque No. 256986 in the amount of $11 was issued and forwarded to Joyce M. Antonson on November 22, 1974. The Member knows what he said outside — that there are many, many cheques like this and that she's driving around on a write-off. Here's a photostat of her application for the refund, because of that situation.
I think that clears up all three of them. That's the "many, many" you referred to. The final one is the question from the Member for North Okanagan (Mrs. Jordan) about claims to farmers' property by hit-and-run drivers. How many are there? If it's not reported, we don't know. But section 24 of the Automobile Insurance Act provides for payment for
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damage to property where either the driver or the owner of the offending vehicle cannot be identified.
No distinction is drawn between damaged automobiles and other types of property. Therefore, any type of property damage may be supported as a proper claim against the Act and the regulations. It follows, then, that claims for farm animals, buildings and fences would be paid providing the claimant is in a position to show reasonable proof that the damage had in fact been caused by a motor vehicle. The onus is upon the claimant to develop this proof.
MR. D.A. ANDERSON (Victoria): Mr. Speaker, there can be all sorts of clearing up afterwards. I would suggest to the Minister that the tabling of such lengthy replies would be in order.
HON. MR. STRACHAN: When oral questions are asked of me, I answer them.
MR. D.A. ANDERSON: That's right, but lengthy replies are out of order.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION BLACKLIST
MR. D.A. ANDERSON: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Education arising out of her amplification of her reply to my question yesterday in the Legislature — the amplification outside the House.
Could the Minister tell the House whether she has ever received from any teacher, or group of teachers, information or evidence suggesting the existence of any blacklist of teachers or other educators in B.C.?
HON. MRS. DAILLY: Yes, I have, and I acted upon it.
MR. D.A. ANDERSON: Could I ask a supplementary then? Was there an investigation carried out on the basis of this information and subsequently — as I assume she will say "yes" — could I ask her what action was taken as a result of the investigation?
HON. MRS. DAILLY: It's a difficult thing to go into detail on in the House. But I can just say to you that when it was brought to my attention that there appeared to be a form of a blacklist circulating in the province with reference to public school teachers, immediately had an investigation on it and strongly I ensured that such a blacklist would proceed under my administration.
Due to a power failure the House took recess at 2:21 p.m.
The House resumed at 2:50 p.m.
MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Members....
MR. D.M. PHILLIPS (South Peace River): Is on Hansard?
MR. SPEAKER: That's the point. In view of the present situation I think it's advisable not to try to continue until the electricians have time to correct the situation. I would call on the House leader to move the appropriate adjournment.
Hon. Mrs. Dailly moves adjournment of the House.
The House adjourned at 2:53 p.m.