What interest is the government now paying to the province of Ontario on the trust money held by the Dominion ? Is it still 5 per cent, or has it been reduced to 4 per cent, as it was proposed at one time by the Finance Minister ?
I think that is one of the points in dispute. My recollection is that we are only paying 4 per cent, but their intention is that it should stand on a par with provincial subsidies, and that the interest should be 5 per cent.
That was my impression. about one-sixth. * In that event, the entire loss would be about three-quarters of a million dollars. The minister, I understand. is not able to inform us what the total loss is. As it is a matter of interest. perhaps the minister could give us the information on that point. I have no desire to prolong the discussion. The member for Lennox (Mr. Wilson), however, would like to have further information. Perhaps the minister would be able to tell us tonight what the entire loss is. Would it be more or less than three-quarters of a million dollars?
That item is to wind up all these old accounts between the Dominion and the provinces that have been in the hands of arbitrators. The operations are necessarily very slow. Most of the matters referred to of this class have been dealt with, and those that remain are now being considered. I hope we will see the end of it, while some of us are still on earth. I have been urging both the counsel for the Dominion and the counsel for the provinces to push it to a conclusion.
There are some questions at present respecting interest, but most of the matters have been disposed of ; some however, are still outstanding. One in particular was referred to the Exchequer Court, the matter of interest on certain balances in favour of the provinces, whether we are bound to pay them a high rate
Mr. HENDERSON, if there is to be a judicial decision given, of course, we will all learn in due time if we remain here. I always had the impression that it was really a fixture by the British North America Act that we in Ontario received 5 per cent on these trust funds. The matter of subsidy, i do not think, has anything to do with it because' the question of subsidy is not based upon the matter ot interest. The whole question, as I unsis Aether we in Ontario shall receive o per cent from the Dominion
on this trust money, on account of the common school fund, the grammar school fund and the Upper Canada building fund. , his view in regard to the question has been raised. I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that it was fixed by the British North America Act that these funds were to remain in the hands of the Dominion and that the Dominion was to account to the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada at the rate of 5 per cent. It did seem to me a very strange proposition when the hon. Minister of Finance proposed to reduce the interest to 4 per cent notwithstanding the fact that interest had fallen all over the country. This is part of the revenue of Ontario. However, I presume, if it is in court, it will have to be determined by the Supreme Court, or by whatever court it is being reviewed. I understood from the hon. Minister of Finance last year,
I think, that after the 1st of July the' proposition was to pay 4 per cent?"
I was somewhat curious to ascertain whether 5 per cent was received up to the 1st of January and whether he proposes to pay 5 per cent on the 1st of July and let the courts decide. Then, of course, if the province of Ontario is entitled to 5 per cent, the Dominion would have to make it up.
In any case we will have to abide by the decision of the court. My impression is that we never recognized the right of the provinces to 5 per cent, but whatever the judgment of the court s we will have to submit to it.