AN ADDRESS BY
MAJOR G. FAY DAVIES
CHAIRMAN, TORONTO RECONSTRUCTION COUNCIL
Chairman: The President, Mr. C. R. Conquergood
Thursday, November 30, 1944
MR. CONQUERGOOD: Gentlemen: I am of the opinion that one of the unexpected by-products of the war will be a much greater interest on the part of business men generally in the government of our country, whether it be Municipal, Provincial or Dominion.
A great many business leaders have made worthwhile contributions to many different Government war activities and controls. Our guest speaker today, Major G. Fay Davies, is a business man, the managing-director of the National Life Assurance Company. He is taking time off from his business to give leadership to other interests of his fellow citizens. The success which he has achieved is shown by the fact that he is president of the Dominion Command of the Canadian Corps Association.
Major Davies comes to us today in still another one of the activities in which he is showing leadership quite apart from his own business. This is as Chairman of the Toronto Reconstruction Council. The Council is a non-profit, fact-finding organization, specially charged with providing our civic administration with information and advice upon which sound policies of progress may be made.
I am pleased, therefore, to present to you a Toronto citizen, Major G. Fay Davies, who will address us on the topic "Post War Toronto".
MAJOR G. FAY DAVIES: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: Will there be a job for me after the war? How about my business when the war is over? Will I be able to find a place to live?
Will postwar rents go up or down?
Who will my customers be when I stop making war goods?
These and many other questions tell us what the citizens' of Toronto are, -and have been, thinking. In an attempt, perhaps, to answer these questions, the City of Toronto appointed the Toronto Reconstruction Council. This Council is made up of Toronto citizens--95 of them--representing 65 organizations and its purpose will be apparent when I quote the terms of reference: "To examine into and report on (a) the position, powers, duties and responsibilities which it is considered that the municipality should have in the postwar era; (b) the plans and policies which it is recommended should be adopted by the municipality so that in co-operation with the Federal and Provincial Government and with trade, industry and labour, provision may be made for employment and social security."
Our first job was to find a basis for our operations and, on August 27th, 1943, an organization or steering committee was appointed.
In the early stages, T. H. Bartley, general manager of the Toronto Industrial Commission, was our executive secretary and studied the problem of how best the organization might function. We studied a similar organization in Montreal which is called the Greater Montreal Economic Council. Mr. Bartley presented an outline based on his study of the Committee on Economic Development in the U.S.A. and based, as well, on his visit to neighboring cities, many of which were located in the U.S. The organization committee finally evolved the present organization set-up on November 5th, 1943, and by By-law passed on December 14, 1943, the Toronto Reconstruction Council took permanent form.
There are nine committees in our Council and the chairman of each of these committees along with the Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Council itself together make up the Executive Committee. Each Committee is charged with the study of a particular phase of our work.
One of our principal considerations was the size of the postwar employment problem. A study to determine this fact was our earliest task.
It became apparent that it would be necessary to ascertain the number of people who would be seeking employment in Canada's national picture if Toronto's postwar employment situation was to be accurately surveyed. In this study we received very helpful assistance from the Department of Labour in Ottawa and on May 4th, 1944, our first national employment estimate was produced. This was subsequently revised on July 24th, 1944, in the light of additional data. Several factors were taken into account in the production of this estimate. First, the estimated increase in total Canadian population from 1939 to 1948. Second, the number of total population which is age 14 and over and the percentage of this population which is or will be gainfully employed. Included also was the trend in the percentage in the total number of this employable group that is male or female. It was indicated that these trends have a steady inclination which does not vary materially on a long term basis irrespective of intervening events such as periods of war employment.
The total number of gainfully employed persons in the national picture was estimated to be four million six hundred and eighty thousand at a time assumed to be two or three years after the cessation of hostilities, or for our purposes, 1948. This total constitutes 50.4% of the total population of 14 years of age and over, compared with three million seven hundred and thirty thousand persons gainfully employed in 1939 with a percentage of 44.9. This estimate of gainfully employed persons has been broken down into non-agricultural and agricultural occupations and includes students, farm women and an estimate of unemployed together with an estimate of those in the armed forces. From a national viewpoint these figures are interesting because they point out a percentage increase of 27.8% in the total number of workers from 1939 to 1948. I think you will find it interesting to note that a study made by two members of the Division of Research and Statistics of the Federal Reserve System in the United States indicated that the comparable increase in workers in the United States during a similar period was 26.08%. In each instance an allowable percentage of unemployed was assumed.
At this point you may readily ask-Why the increase? This is due to a number of factors. First, the general increase in Canada's population. Second, the increase in the total population which is seeking employment. This trend is steadily increasing. Further, as a result of technological unemployment in agriculture, an increase of "pileup" in industrial employment has resulted. Other subsidiary factors have contributed, such as hidden unemployment on the farm during pre-war years which has now been shifted into industrial employment.
On October 1st, 1944, Dr. Leonard Marsh and Dr. Firestone prepared a pamphlet for Canada's Wartime Information Board which gave the number of jobs which would be required in postwar. Their estimate is 4,700,000. These figures do not check quite as closely as the 4,680,000 in our estimate might lead you to believe. There was some difference between the number assumed to be in the armed forces in each instance but, on the whole, our estimate checked very closely and it can be taken for granted that in postwar days there will be an increase over 1939 of approximately 25% in the number of people seeking employment and, of the whole of Canada's non-agricultural employed group, approximately 10% will be located in the Greater Toronto area. By the Greater Toronto area we mean the City of Toronto proper surrounded by the adjacent municipalities which are largely urban. Thus, if Canada is to have a postwar employment or unemployment problem, about 10% of that problem will exist in the Greater Toronto area. So much for the over-all picture.
It now seemed necessary to continue our studies within our local area, and we are indebted to the Dominion Department of Labour for help in this connection. Employees in industry in Toronto were broken down into twenty-six major industrial classifications and these in turn were classified three ways
(1) Those wholly engaged on war production.
(2) Those partly on war production.
(3) Those wholly in civilian production.
The numbers were 28,857, 38,047 and 267,782 in each classification with a total of 334,686. By adding up the wholly and partly convertible group, we see that we have a total of about 66,000 workers or about one in five who will likely be required to change their occupation after the cessation of hostilities. Now it seemed advisable to go a step further and to test worker opinion. For this purpose we enlisted the help of the Canadian Institute of Public opinion or Gallup Poll and we are indebted to them for their whole-hearted co-operation and support. Their survey of worker opinion appears to us to be an important document, which should be of great interest to every employer or prospective employer of postwar labour. For our purposes we wanted, to secure information with respect to four groups:
(1) Those who are planning to leave the Toronto area after the cessation of hostilities.
(2) Boys and girls under 20 now at work who are planning to return to school.
(3) Employees over 55 years of age who wish to retire.
(4) Married or single women who intend to withdraw from industry after the cessation of hostilities.
I might add that the last three classifications excluded those who intend to leave the area so there was no overlapping of percentages.
First, we found that 17% of the workers now in the Toronto area were not here when the war began. Of this group, about one-third intend to leave when the war is over. Only one in five of the boys under 20 intend to quit work and return to school. One in six of employed men over age 55 expect to retire. I may add that the age group over 55 was chosen since the data from which our statistics were gathered was primarily used for unemployment insurance purposes.
So far, our withdrawals from the employment stream are negligible, amounting to some 26,000 out of an employed total of 334,000.
Now we come to the married women. 48% of the employed married women expect or hope to withdraw from employment and devote themselves to housekeeping when the war is over. The percentage of single women was 5. This difference in percentage, we can assume, represents the difference between expectation and realization! The total number involved in this withdrawal group were approximately 53.000 out of a total of 334,000. In other words, approximately one out of six employed people expect to withdraw from employment when the war is over and approximately one out of five expects to change his or her job.
So much for these estimates.
We must not fail to realize that over 110,000 enlistments have occurred in the Toronto district and about 90,000 or more of these have occurred in the Greater Toronto area. It can safely be assumed from our estimates that 50,000 to 60,000 jobs will have to be found for these members of the armed forces when they return to civil life. This group equals almost exactly the number who expected to withdraw and thus stated simply, our postwar employment task is to find jobs for as many people in postwar as are now employed. Not necessarily the same jobs nor in the same place nor at the same pay but the same number of jobs at fair wages under decent working conditions. The task is a tremendous one. May I point out that our study was purely objective. We did not aim to arrive at any given conclusion and we did not know what our conclusion was going to be until it was produced. May I say also that we have made every attempt to check our figures with other available data, both official and unofficial, and we have not found any figures which would serve to disprove ours and, on the contrary, all comparable data, which we have found, has served to substantiate our belief that our conclusions are substantially correct.
Complete data with respect to these studies is contained in our Interim Report No. 4 which was submitted on June 1st, 1944, and a revised man-power estimate will be included in our December report of this year.
So much for the extent of the unemployment problems that we are trying to solve.
Now I think we might consider briefly the work of the various committees and we will commence with the Powers and Duties Committee, but before doing so I would like to indicate our method of arriving at our conclusions and reports. It became evident quite soon in our deliberations that the subject matter of our study was so comprehensive and, indeed, would require the detailed analysis of so many different types of talent and require so many kinds of special knowledge, together with the application of so many different types of expert assistance, that it would be impossible for all members of the Council to study all the subjects under review. Consequently, our work was divided and allotted to committees. In order that a well-rounded viewpoint would be obtained in our reports they were all reviewed in detail by the Executive Committee. Since very few members of our Council were not serving on one or other of our committees, this plan had the effect of placing the consideration of our problems 6n a practical working basis.
The Powers and Duties Committee drew its task from part (a) of our terms of reference; "the position, powers, duties and responsibilities which it is considered the municipality should have in the postwar era." This is a very sweeping responsibility to place in the bands of any committee. It perhaps was intended to be an invitation to submit a minor "Rowell-Sirois" report with respect to the City's general future. Our Powers and Duties Committee is headed by Mr. E. Macaulay Dillon, K.C., who represents the Toronto Council of Service Clubs. This committee spent a considerable amount of time discussing its field of operation and finally decided to avoid the challenge offered by its wider opportunity and confine its efforts to the narrower field of "position, powers, duties and responsibilities" which might lead the City to greater postwar employment. While I think Mr. Dillon's committee had a sound, legal right to start working on a broader interpretation of its scope under its terms of reference, perhaps from a practical point of view they were wise to confine themselves to the narrower field since, if our Council can do an acceptable job of advising the City with respect to postwar employment, we shall have done a great deal indeed and the larger field of future powers, duties and responsibilities in a general sense can be left for a later time.
The specific contribution of the Powers and Duties Committee is indicated in the tax reform points in our Seven-Point programme about which you will hear later.
The deliberations of this committee still continue and a further report will be made very soon.
And now a word with respect to our Research Committee. This is under the chairmanship of A. McD. McBain of the Toronto Clearing House Banks. The man power studies previously mentioned which had to do with postwar employment were carried on under the supervision and guidance of Mr. McBain. Throughout the summer months this committee, together with our staff, undertook a rather detailed study of the City's financial situation and, as a result, a report was made to the Executive Committee this fall. After several meetings and considerable discussion, recommendations went forward to the City Council with respect to civic financial matters in our Interim Report No. 5. This will be mentioned later.
I would like to report on the activities of our Employment in Postwar Projects Committee, one of the three employment committees. The chairman of this committee is C, J. Woolsey of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada. This committee held numerous meetings and in April of 1944 presented four recommendations for early implementation. These referred to the recommendation that the cost of preparing plans for postwar reconstruction by private enterprise should be charged before taxes as current expenses. It was recommended that the City Council make immediate representation to Federal authorities with respect to this matter. It was discovered also by the Employment in Postwar Projects Committee that many private plans were being held up pending the approval by the City Council of the planning principle. A recommendation went forward suggesting that this approval should be hastened in order that private enterprise should not be discouraged from making extensive postwar plans. The third recommendation of this Committee at that time referred to the passing of an appropriate zoning by-law. A further recommendation had to do with a licensing body in order that postwar construction might begin and proceed on a co-ordinated basis and that such construction, if necessary, could be spread out over a period of years. It became apparent that, due to shortage of labour and material, postwar construction might suffer from extensive bottlenecks and, if some sort of control and co-ordinated effort was not included in our planning, conflict of effort might result.
A further recommendation of this committee, which has gone forward and is included in Interim Report No. 5, is the necessity for bringing all plans for civic projects to a highly completed state of preparation in order that undue postwar delay may be avoided. No attempt was made by this committee to suggest new enterprises or to make recommendations with respect to the advisability of planning one project rather than another. It was felt that this was a primary responsibility of the elected representatives acting on the advice of the administrative heads of civic departments and it seemed that no useful purpose would be served by any attempt on our part to act in an advisory capacity in this connection.
And now a report on the activities of our Employment in Industry Committee. The purpose of this Committee was to study ways and means of encouraging and assisting private enterprise or publicly owned companies to establish individual postwar planning programmes and to advise the City Council of any action they might properly take with respect to the encouragement of such activities. This Committee held a number of meetings and considered carefully whether or not some surveys similar to the Kitchener-Waterloo survey might be undertaken and it invited numerous leading industrial leaders to confer on these matters. This committee was under the very able chairmanship of Mr. W. D. Jones, the Vice-Chairman of the Toronto Reconstruction Council who represented the Canadian Manufacturers Association on the Reconstruction Council and who devoted much of his efforts to these responsibilities.
There are several trade agencies already working on this problem. The Board of Trade, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Exporters Association, the Nat ional Industrial Federation and others. Each of these operate in a particular field. It was hoped that we would be able to effect some type of co-ordination between various cross-sections of industry. On the whole, I think we can say that our efforts were not too successful. In the first place, at the moment, little is known of many important factors, such as taxes, tariffs, exchange and foreign trade affecting industrial postwar planning and, consequently, it is difficult to plan or discuss industrial planning extensively on a broad basis. Moreover, many industrial concerns prefer to do their planning within their own organization and there is often little they can discuss on a general or trade association basis. One thing we did discover was that postwar planning had not reached a uniform degree of advancement with respect to various individual industries. In the course of our studies we found some industries that had done an excellent job and others had given the matter no consideration whatsoever.
Perhaps I can tell a story with respect to one company's accomplishments which, in my opinion, are excellent. This company ascertained the probable population of Canada in postwar days and it related this total population by rough estimate with pre-war national income figures and endeavoured to arrive at Canada's probable postwar national income. This answer naturally was approximate but it was an estimate. Having done so, they then related their total volume of business nationally in pre-war days as a percentage of pre-war national income and on the assumption that they would capture a proportionate volume of trade in postwar days they endeavoured to find what volume of business they might expect in the postwar period. Much to their surprise and gratification this rather rough formula indicated that they could expect a volume of business increased perhaps 40% over 1939. With this as an assumption, they began to lay plans with respect to kinds of goods they might expect to sell and this meant customer surveys and this in turn led to new designs and this in turn developed into studies of customer preference and this in turn produced analyses of new territorial divisions and sales plans and manufacturing techniques and, finally, the production of a postwar employment schedule. I need not tell you that this firm is embarked on a postwar programme which is certain to give a mental lift to anyone who reads it or studies it.
This is one side of the picture.
On the other side, we found firms that have given little or no thought to postwar planning and, in fact, had given no indication that they knew where, when or how to start. From my point of view, I think that industry must take the lead in postwar planning and I have great hope that the National Industrial Federation and other such bodies will have the greatest possible success in increasing the volume of planning within industry. In fact, I think we can say with safety, that if all industries, large and small, would bring their planning techniques and accomplishments up to the standard of the best planned companies a great deal of concern with respect to postwar employment would disappear.
A selling job needs to be done within industry with respect to the need for postwar planning and along with that belief I am not equally convinced that the Toronto Reconstruction Council is the proper agency to do it even within the City of Toronto. Our recommendation has gone forward to the City Council to the effect that the City should call together all these trade agencies and offer all of its facilities for a furtherance of their efforts but again I repeat, it seems to us that planning for industry must come from within industry itself. I think a selling job has to be done in industry so that it will plan for its own future. I might say at this point that I am committed to the gospel of private enterprise-but I believe that private enterprise must stop talking about what it is and concentrate on a method for achieving results.
Beyond a certain allowable percentage of unemployment, you cannot go without risking revolution of one sort or another. Moreover people are saying that if we can have full employment in wartime under government control, why shouldn't we have it in peacetime by the same means. For these two reasons I think private enterprise will be judged on what it is.
Our next committee was concerned with Employment in Commerce. It seemed advisable in the early stages of our work that we should investigate the possibility of the successful operation of such a committee within industry before we attempted to do a similar job within the commercial field. With this in view, we did our experimenting in industry with the results that I have already stated. In the meantime, Mr. M. T. Ellis of the Toronto Board of Trade acted as Chairman of this Commerce Committee and has attended our Executive Committee meetings quite regularly. His help and advice have been most appreciated. Specific recommendations arising out of the activities of this committee and proposals related thereto are contained in Interim Report No. 5. Our Liaison Committee under the Chairmanship of Controller W. J. Wadsworth was charged with the responsibility of endeavouring to co-ordinate the planning efforts of our municipality with those of the adjacent municipalities. A meeting was called of the elected representatives of adjacent municipalities and some progress was made, I believe, with respect to securing some cooperative effort. It will be apparent to you that each municipality will prefer to plan its efforts separately yet, in many respects, co-ordinated effort is essential. I am not too happy about the results of our attempt to secure co-ordination and it may be that in the future more tangible results will ensue. In the meantime, it appears that most municipalities are more concerned with current and specific problems than with long-term co-ordination. It may be that the Municipal Department of the Province, or perhaps the Provincial Department of Planning and Development, will have to take the lead in securing this type of co-ordinated effort. There is room for a great deal to be done but there are a great many hurdles to overcome before any real accomplishment can be reported.
The next Committee, whose work and activities will be reported, is the Community Welfare Committee. In the original work of the Toronto Reconstruction Council Miss Jean Hall of the Y.W.C.A. was the Chairman of this Committee but increased personal duties prevented her continuing and Mrs. Kaspar Fraser assumed this responsibility. This Committee has done a good job and its recommendations are well worth reading and studying. In their deliberations, stress was laid on preventive rather than on curative measures with respect to community welfare problems. Other committees at the City Hall were already studying our civic welfare departments.
What was needed apparently was a series of recommendations with respect to Toronto's future having to do with housing, community centres, recreational facilities and this type of general community activity. It appears to me that the next ten years will see more of this type of effort brought before the public eye than has been the case in the past. While I do not think that we can claim credit for having started the movement, yet I hope that the Toronto Reconstruction Council may consider its contribution to the advancement of community centre work one of its leading accomplishments. I would suggest that you write to the Toronto Reconstruction Council for a copy of last Sunday evening's radio script if you are interested in further information on this subject.
It is easily possible that increased community activity and effort may be a predominant factor in determining our social and political trends in postwar Canada.
The next committee we have to deal with is the Rehabilitation Committee. As you know, rehabilitation is primarily a. Federal responsibility. On the other hand, the Province has a part to play and, naturally, each municipality has a job to do as well as has each citizen in each municipality. The Rehabilitation Committee has had numerous meetings and has kept abreast of the development of the newest rehabilitation measures of all kinds. It has lent its weight, aided by the City Council, in securing improved benefits for discharged members of the armed forces. It has worked in closest co-operation with the Citizens' Rehabilitation Committee which is under the chairmanship of L. M. Wood. This latter committee is advisory to the Department of Veterans' Affairs. It has kept the City Council informed on all rehabilitation matters and, I believe, has aided members of the City Council and I hope will continue to aid them, to direct their efforts towards profitable and helpful cooperative effort.
The great need with respect to rehabilitation is coordination of effort. If everyone tries to do the same thing in a different way, effort will be lost and energy will be dissipated. But, if co-operation ensues and co-ordination occurs, maximum benefit will result from all effort expended. Several recommendations with respect to rehabilitation have been submitted to the City Council and I think that so far as rehabilitation is concerned and the part that the City can play, matters are well in hand. There is a point that should be mentioned. During the deliberations of the Rehabilitation Committee of the Toronto Reconstruction Council it occurred to us that there was a need for a Veterans' Small Businesses Act, a counterpart of the Veterans' Land Act. The purpose of such an Act would be to establish veterans in small businesses. Data and statistics which were obtained indicated that a large part of the total employment in any city was derived from the employees in small businesses and due to labour and material shortages, as well as the competition from highly paid war jobs, there had been a decrease in the number of small businesses in the City. A desirable feature of our postwar activities was a resumption of these small businesses together with a resultant increase in employment. Detailed plans for such a proposal were 'worked out and the greatest of co-operation was secured from the Canadian Credit Men's Trust Association and other bodies--interested in establishing credit for new businesses. These detailed plans have been sent to the Federal authorities and are receiving the closest of study and the best of consideration. We have every hope that some such Act will be forthcoming. Your Rehabilitation Committee can take credit for having worked out the details of this plan and will see, I am sure, that it is carried forward to completion. It is our opinion that a Veterans' 'Small Businesses Act, planned to start veterans in small business after the war, would not only be an excellent rehabilitation measure but would lend an underlying strength and stability to the economic life of the City.
During our study of vocational training we discovered that many young people now engaged in war work will be facing a severe period of re-adjustment in postwar days. We found, in fact, that employment can have a psychological as well as an economic cause. People are unemployed when they think they are; not necessarily nor solely when they have to be. Many workers think of a postwar job in terms of the same job in the same place at the same pay. The job of converting workers to new types of work is perhaps equally as great as the job of converting industry to new types of products. How and when this is done, and who should do it, is a great unanswered question. Perhaps an extensive national plan for retraining war workers should be considered.
The remaining committee is concerned with public relations. This committee operates under the chairmanship of George Johnston of the Advertising and Sales Club. Mr. Johnston is the head of a prominent public relations firm and is well qualified to lend his advice and assistance in this important phase of our work. In the early stages of our activities, research and the study of our problem seemed to be our biggest task. Today, the most important job on hand is to let people know what we are trying to do and to spread the gospel of postwar planning wherever it should be made known. At the moment we publish The Reconstruction News, a small, four page leaflet with news about the Toronto Reconstruction Council and about postwar planning activities.
If any of you would like to have a copy or would like to have your name on our mailing list, please telephone the Toronto Reconstruction Council, Waverley 4930, and it will gladly be sent to you.
In addition, we currently sponsor and operate a radio programme over Station CKEY each Sunday night at 8.30 at which time, both sides of civic questions are debated to create general public interest. I shall have more to say about our Public Relations work a little later.
In the meantime, a word about reports.
Three Interim Reports were published prior to June. One had reference to the treatment of Disabled Veterans and Ex-service Women. One had reference to the Committee on Postwar Projects, which I have already mentioned, and one was concerned with the proposal for the establishment and re-establishment of veterans in small businesses. It then appeared advisable that a more comprehensive Interim Report be published prior to the Summer holidays and on June 1st, following a meeting of our Council, Interim Report No. 4 was published. This gave the result of our efforts in the form of reports by Committees, together with data with respect to the other activities of the Council in the form of Appendices. This report contained 28 recommendations and it was hoped that these would be considered prior to the summer recess. However, our hopes did not materialize and on Tuesday, October 17th, the Board of Control met with the Executive Committee and reviewed this report in detail.
At about the same time, after several prior meetings, the Executive of the Toronto Reconstruction Council reached some rather important conclusions. These were that the City could make its maximum contribution with respect to postwar activities and with respect to employment in the postwar period by carrying through a simple programme of co-ordinated effort designed to get things started right now. In consequence of this conclusion, it was decided that an Interim Report No. 5 would be submitted at an early date in order that the Board of Control and the City Council might have time to study the recommendations and take action on them before the end of the year.
Interim Report No. 5 contains a Seven-point Programme which will lead to a maximum contribution by the City to providing postwar jobs. The first step in this programme is a financial plan. We believe that the cost of general maintenenance in the City should be estimated in the future for a defined time, perhaps five years. We believe that each Department of the Corporation should prepare such a schedule. We believe that reserves should be set up for deferred maintenance. We believe that the data in the form of estimates with respect to all contemplated postwar projects should be prepared in detail. We believe that a financial schedule having regard to the aforementioned factors should be prepared by a proper Civic Department head and that the effect of such expenditures on the City's finances should be carefully studied. We believe that these steps, when completed, will enable the City to determine what it can do and cannot do to finance postwar projects. We believe that any enabling legislation necessary by the aforementioned study should be sought immediately.
We believe that the question of tax reform should be attacked immediately. We believe that any amendments to assessment schedules which have been recommended and which have had general approval should be implemented as soon as possible. We believe that plans for residential building in suitable areas within the City limits should be contemplated and planned. We believe that a programme for broadening the tax base should be undertaken.
We believe that the planning principle should be made effective by giving the Planning Board suitable powers for the regulation of city planning and we believe that an appropriate zoning By-law should be made effective immediately.
We believe that all civic postwar projects, such as a new Court House or a new Police Administration Building or a Civic Centre, should be brought to an advanced blue-print stage and complete and detailed plans should be prepared now.
We believe that housing is a matter of immediate concern. We believe that the City Council should initiate appropriate civic action that will ensure construction of all necessary housing as provided under the terms of the National Housing Act, 1944. We believe, also, that the City Council should seek public subsidies where these are necessary to provide for those who are unable to pay an economic rent. We believe that a housing survey, both for a short term and a long term period, is essential.
We believe that the City Council should instruct competent civic authorities to prepare plans for the construction, improvement and enlargement of community centres, parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities and these should be included in the detailed projects mentioned and we believe that plans should be made to provide trained people to staff these community centres.
We believe that the City should undertake the encouragement of trade within the City so far as lies within its power. We think the City Council should undertake a programme designed to foster enlarged Federal trade agencies and we think the City Council should co-operate with the business-getting agencies already promoting postwar business to increase their scope and effectiveness. For example, the Toronto Industrial Commission, the Tourist and Convention Bureau and the Canadian National Exhibition are agencies which are, and will be, instrumental in securing increased trade in Toronto after the war. And, most important, we believe that we should have action now.
You will note that this is not a startling programme and, in fact, it is not unreasonable but we do hope to get this programme beyond the realm of contemplation into the realm of actuality. We want to get it past the news-release phase and into the blueprint stage. We do want to get action now.
In our studies we endeavoured to find a competent and sound quantitative housing survey which would uncover Toronto's housing needs next month, next year and in postwar. No such survey exists. It is urgently needed because without it fumbling and uncertainty are inevitable.
From our studies we concluded that our maximum contribution would be certain if we lived up to the duties outlined for us in our By-law and if we acted as a public relations agency to inform the public of the importance of doing these things. One of the objections that met us when we approached industry was the claim: "Well, what is the City doing about this problem?" We had no effective answer.
I think at this point it might be well to indicate the handicap under which a typical elected representative of the City. is required to operate. He is elected for one year and almost immediately after his election he approaches the budget-making period. At this time, he must take the estimated revenue provided for him by the Finance Commissioner and, after consideration of the estimates of expenditure, must finish with a tax rate which will be reasonably acceptable to the taxpayers. This means cutting, slashing and generally raising hob with all the promises that he may have made just prior to election day. After the budget is fixed and the tax rate has been struck, the elected representative emerges from this experience perhaps with a shaken conscience and a red face but at least with the satisfaction that the Ratepayers Associations won't think too badly of him.
This period has barely passed when he enters the summer recess. During this time the City Council does not meet and the Board of Control, of course, is very, very careful. Few matters of a contentious nature are decided during July and August.
September then rolls round and, with another election date in the not-too far distant future, the elected representative becomes more expansive in his viewpoint. He begins listening to the eager public who want things done. He now begins bending an attentive ear to plans for the future. Of course, at this stage of the proceedings, while he is in favour of doing things, he is very, very anxious and he wants it clearly understood, that action must be put off until next year and. of course, he hopes it can be taken for granted that anything new that costs money this year is out of the question. His stock statement is that this year's Council can't bind next year's Council. He means himself, of course. At this time, the elected representative with a short election campaign at his disposal, with a necessarily limited amount of money for publicity purposes, often imagines that he is desperately in need of some spectacular campaign issue.
The business of operating the City is incredibly complicated and complex. It is, in fact, big business and as such, any alderman or member of the Board of Control who wishes thoroughly to master his job must spend hours and hours of stud on the various aspects of the problems involved. Moreover, he finds that the vast majority of the public are often quite disinterested in the major problems he has been studying but, on the contrary, often show a totally unwarranted and lively interest in the minor and spectacular election incidents. Take, for example, the mayoralty campaign of 1943. As I remember it, there were three issues: "The cup of coffee episode", "The five cent fare" and "the sewage disposal plant". If there were others, I don't remember at this point what they were. The "cup of coffee" incident was an out-and-out triviality, the five-cent fare was an impossibility from the start and the sewage disposal plant was a job for the experts and, in any event, it had already been decided. While all these trivialities were being discussed publicly, there were real problems which needed to be considered. There was our postwar job problem, there was our housing problem and there was the problem of tax reform. There were, in fact, all of the problems we have outlined in our Seven-point programme. But were these made into election issues?
Frankly, a candidate for civic office is under a severe handicap at election time. While he may want to seek his election on a complete, well-rounded programme, he finds that he has neither the time nor the facilities at his disposal to enable him to do so. This state of affairs prompted the Toronto Reconstruction Council to begin a campaign to publicize our seven-point programme. It was decided that we would neither aid nor impede the election of any individual to any office. We would stress the importance of our programme in the hope that the wise and discerning candidate would find it to his advantage, first, if in office, to put our programme into effect before seeking re-election or to sponsor it as an election programme if he were not already in office.
Through the courtesy of Radio Station CKEY we were offered some radio time and our "Face "the Facts" programme which is heard every Sunday night at 8.30 on Station CKEY is the practical result.
Here you will hear various speakers and candidates discussing both sides of civic questions. We play no favorites--our sole purpose is to enable you to "Face the Facts." We are not professionals, we're just amateurs. We have never done this kind of thing before. Every participant is contributing his or her time as a civic duty. Neither now nor at any time will we suggest how you ought to vote. Our purpose, purely and simply, is to provide information, both sides, on civic issues and enable you to make up your mind. So far as is possible we shall let you hear the candidates in a neutral atmosphere.
We do think, however, that the important issues facing Toronto should be brought to the front and that trivialities should be pushed to one side. If Toronto is to do its job in postwar it must do its full part to provide jobs. This will require united effort on everyone's part. The full use of the democratic system will enable you, as a citizen, to put Toronto where it ought to be. With your help, Toronto can be ahead of the field and I'm sure that it will be.
My brief acquaintance with your elected representatives tells me that they are anxious to do what you, the citizens, want them to do. Study civic problems. Listen to our CKEY programme. Give your representatives a mandate that will enable your alderman, your controllers and your Mayor to build a future that will be a credit to Toronto.