A la suite de la deuxième Grande Guerre, et de la déclaration des hostilités en Corée, de nombreux changements, tels que augmentation de la production, création de nouvelles industries, développement de l'effectif ouvrier, se sont produits au Canada et ont eu de nombreuses répercussions sur l'ensemble de l'économie canadienne et de la province de Québec en particulier. Cet aspect du développement industriel et de l'emploi est traité dans cet article. L'auteur aborde ces questions en relevant l'histoire de l'expansion des industries dans le Québec et ses conséquences sur la main-d'oeuvre et rapporte les efforts faits pour remédier aux problèmes. Il souligne tout spécialement la gravité du chômage saisonnier qui affecte sérieusement nos régions et fait part des efforts accomplis par le Ministère fédéral du Travail et ses divers comités pour diminuer ce mal et l'enrayer; il compte sur les employeurs de la Province à qui incombe cette responsabilité, pour offrir un effort concerté en vue de supprimer cet obstacle.
This article deals with some of the effects on Quebec's labour force of the dramatic changes that have been taking place in the rapidly growing economy of the Province of Quebec. World War II called forth a tremendous production effort on the part of Canada which led to the creation of new industries and in turn to the development of new skills in our labour force. Technology was developing and led to new industries and the need for adjustments in older ones resulting from the competition of new materials and processes. About the time that we were getting back onto an even keel following the effects of the war, the outbreak of hostilities in Korea generated new pressures for stepped-up production on the part of our industries and their labour forces. In general, the Canadian economy met this new challenge without too much clashing of gears. While prices went up, they did not reach dangerous heights to some extent. Our labour force in total was adequate to meet our production requirements.
CHANGES IN CANADIAN ECONOMY
Let us look at the impact of these changes on the Canadian economy as a whole and on the Province of Quebec in particular. Between 1939 and 1953, in Quebec, the production of manufactured goods has more than doubled and in the process more than 2Y2 times as much hydro-electric power has been consumed. Employment in manufacturing industries increased from approximately 200,000 to
DÉVELOPPEMENT INDUSTRIEL ET EMPLOI DANS LE QUÉBEC 269
375,000. These changes have not only increased the importance of Quebec's tradition industries but have also widened its industrial base by bringing many new industries into the Province. The story of the development of new industries in the Province of Quebec seems to have no end. New developments in manufacturing have been almost matched by the strides made in the exploration and development of Quebec's natural resources. A partial list of recent projects is an impressive one: Chibougamau copper, Gaspe copper, Barraute zinc, ilmenite from Lake Allard; new asbestos properties at Thetford Mines and the dramatic development of iron ore in the north.
EFFECTS ON LABOUR FORCE
Economic progress with its changing industrial pattern means not only new kinds of jobs but the decline of old jobs and the movement of workers to new areas. The growth of industrialization has meant the movement of people from the farms into the cities and towns. In the decade 1941 to 1951, 24 out of every 100 agricultural workers in Quebec moved to the factories of the cities.
We are making progress in understanding and solving some of those problems which peculiarly affect workers in our society by the means of security measures such as unemployment insurance, family allowances and old age pensions. My department has sought to promote a cooperative relationship between management and labour, not only through conciliation work when disputes threaten, but also through encouraging the establishment of labour-management production committees. The rehabilitation of the disabled is one problem to which we are now devoting and increasing amount of effort. Another interesting factor is that of providing for the changing skills required by our labour force through apprenticeship and vocational training.
One major problem which has always faced Canada and which is now hitting harder than ever is that of seasonal unemployment. It represents a terrific loss to Canada both in productive and human terms. Some business are affected primarily by climate. The second kind of seasonal unemployment is largely due to habit or custom and is therefore perhaps more subject to human control that the first. At the peak of winter unemployment, it has been estimated that over 100,000 of Quebec's workers were unemployed this last winter for seasonal reasons. Your seasonal industries have also been growing in importance with the possible exception of water transportation.
How can we deal with this? It is a question largely of finding ways and means of providing greater stability of employment in our seasonal industries. This will require the co-operation of employers, unions, consumers and governments. No single agency can master the difficulties alone. In the past several years we have given a good deal of study to this question in Ottawa. It has been discussed by the National Advisory Council on Manpower, and in the winter of 1952, the Council asked the National Employment Committee to devote its attention to it, with the help of my Department's Research Branch. For any who are interested I would commend a detailed report called "Seasonal Unemployment in Canada", published by my Department and reprinted in full in the April issue of the Labour Gazette. The Committee has recommended that Governments at all levels study the timing of their construction work with a view to mitigating the seasonal employ-men effects of it. I don't believe that we should accept the limitations of which weather and custom have imposed on us in creating seasonal unemployment. All who have shared the rewards of Canada's boundless advantages have a special responsibility in working together towards lessening this production handicap.
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GREGG, MILTON F., V.C., O.B.E., M.A., ministre fédéral du Travail, Ottawa.