Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 19, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
8 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Wtdmsd.y, Ftbruiry 1i, Provinces cool toward guaranteed income plan Ontario, Quebec and r.-.-i----.____.. _..... By MIKE LAVOIE OTTAWA (CP) Welfare Minister Marc Lalonde failed Tuesday to win immediate provincial support for new federal welfare reform proposals combining a guaranteed minimum income with work incentives for the poor. Welfare ministers from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba opposed the system because, they said, it would make dis- tinctions between the working poor and those on social assistance. Ontario, Quebec and Alberta said they could give no committment until the proposal has been subjected to extensive study. Nova Scotia and New- foundland ministers said heavy new spending on a guaranteed income could further upset the economies in their provinces. And Mr. Lalonde told reporters that crucial decisions on financing and timing of the proposals must still be pushed through the federal cabinet even if the provinces eventually give' their unanimous support. Mr. Lalonde presented the federal plan at the beginning of a two-day, closed federal- provincial conference on welfare policy, appealing for a general committment to the objective of a guaranteed in- come for single parents and the unemployable and a system of work incentives for the employable poor. He told reporters that the plan could cost anywhere from million to 12 billion a year depending upon the level of benefits agreed to by the provinces. Ottawa is fully committed to the principle of a two-tier welfare system combining the guaranteed income with work cabinet and parliamentary approval of new legislation will depend on the state of the federal budget and other government priorities over the next few years, Mr. Lalonde said. He denied reports that there was serious opposition to the proposal within cabinet. The provincial ministers were not as eager as Mr. Lalonde to go ahead with the guaranteed income suggestion in 1976 and establish the work incentives in 1977 or 1978 They also said there was lit- tle chance for any approval in principle of the plan by April, the second anniversary of the over-all federal-provincial welfare review that began 1973. Ontario Social Services Minister Rene Brunelle and his Quebec Claude Forget, said the closed session produced no general agreement on the complex question of providing income supplements to the working poor, the main element in the proposed incentive program. Ontario supports a limited guaranteed minimum income ,but wants "much more study' before making any decision on proposed income supplements, Mr. Brunelle said at the end of the opening session. Mr. Forget said the ministers agreed to continue studying the idea. Mr. Lalonde who issued a prepared statement outlining the proposal, said that, despite the objections, he remained "quite encouraged" that it will take effect in some form. JUST ASK! All you have to do is ask the experts at T-Bird for ad- vice and they will be glad to give it to you. We're here to help make that improvement job a little easier Please, Just Ask! BEAUTIFUL 3-PIECE BATHROOM WALL KIT Kit includes one 5'x5' back wall panel and two end wall panels. Also included are all the necessary mouldings to-finish the job. The high-baked finish resists scuffs, mars and stains. Reg. 95 AMTICO FLOOR TILE If there ever was a time to buy floor tile; now is the time. This tile comes in three colours and is a stone pat- tern. Each DECORATIVE CORK BOARD To be .used for everything from accenting a wall to use as a bulletin board. 4 Sheet Pack Reg. 10 14-2 NMD-7 COPPER HOUSE WIRE Just the thing for your home wiring needs. 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The speech also promised changes in the Elections Act, involving election financing and disclosure; new ex- propriation legislation; and assistance to the agriculture industry. On the government's banking proposal, the speech said the legisla- tion will set up a B.C. in- stitution "responsive to the needs of the people of B.C. "As opposed to the present eastern-based institutions, the new British Columbia finan- cial structure1 will ,provide services throughout the province, particularly in northern and rural areas, and specifically in matters such as mortgages for fam- ilies." Premier Dave Barrett said the speech was more specific than in other years but it gave very little detail about much of the proposed legislation, in most cases merely say- ing there would be changes to a certain statute. The speech said there would be changes in the Landlord and Tenant Act, as well as in the In- surance Corporation of B.C. legislation. The speech said the government is planning a program to improve employment opportun- ities for women in B.C. public service, to increase the number of women in management positions and to eliminate existing dis- criminatory legislative provisions applicable to women. An employment program in the slump- ing forest industry is' also planned. Mr. Owen said in the speech that the govern- ment will continue its policy of purchasing farm land "with ac- quired lands available to farmers on a lease- hold basis." Financial programs will be expanded to assist in the devel- opment of agricultural lands and to help with the credit needs of the agricultural industry and processing facilities. The speech also con- tained proposed legisla- tion through which B.C. residents will be able assist such countries as Bangladesh where peo- ple are suffering due to natural disasters. The speech also promised increased emphasis on the devel- opment of community- based services for the mentally retarded and expansion of homecare programs.