If the importer paid the regular customs duty on importation, and a dispute arose between the Yukon Council and the individual and they would not allow him to bring the liquor in, what position would you be in with your dual law?
But the customs duty is settled and the government impost has been satisfied, but some difficulty arises with the Yukon Council and they refuse to let him bring it in, notwithstanding he has paid for the right to bring it in.
Under the law, before seeking to import liquor, one must obtain a permit from the officer nominated for the purpose of issuing permits in the territory. To obtain that permit, he must specify the quantity and character of the liquor to be imported, and pay the fees shown on the permit. Until he obtains the permit he cannot import liquor.
It seems an irregular system and one that cannot last very long. We ought to have only one power which can impose and collect taxes. I think it would be much better to face the question as to how this problem should be met. If the Dominion government wishes the Yukon territory to have more revenues, and if the territory is agreeable, let the Dominion government impose a tax and collect it, and let the proceeds go into the conSoli-dated_ revenue fund. Then, make an appropriation for the expenses of the Yukon government. That would be the more regular way, and you would avoid this imperi-um and imperio, this system of having the local power meet the trader and commercial man superior, in this one respect even to the Dominion authorities. It is a rather bad principle to perpetuate anyway. I know how it grew up, but it seems to me that as soon as possible a better method ought to ibe adopted.
I quite agree that it is an extraordinary procedure. But I do not wish the House to understand that this proposition is the result of the proceeding which has been in force for four or five years. But I quite agree that it is extraordinary, and the matter will be carefully considered for the future, so that we may get away from these anomalies.
An interesting question arises, Suppose the province of Prince Edward Island asks the Dominion government to do a friendly turn to itself. Prince Edward Island is practically under prohibition, and it might ask the Dominion government to go just one step further in the delegation of power; because if the Dominion government can delegate to the Yukon Council power to impose a 50-cent or a dollar tax, the question is whether a province could not put on what is absolutely a prohibitive tax. If that be so, then a province which, like Prince Edward, favours the prohibition of the liquor traffic, yet cannot go so far as to destroy its manufacture, might call upon the Dominion government to use that same power and impose such a tax as would amount to practical prohibition on any liquor going into that province.
My hon. friend has just observed that this is a great abuse Mr. OLIVER.
of the practice, which ought not to be continued.
M r FOSTER. I do not see any inconsistency in that, because I am proposing to have this power done away with. But I have tried to point out a difficulty that might arise from some province asking an extension of that same power.
My hon. friend does not seem to appreciate the fact that this power is not delegated to a council, but it is exercised by ourselves; we have the control in our own hands. I do not think we could delegate such power to a province. The council of the Yukon is not free from our authority, it is our own creation; we can bring it into existence and we can end its existence at any time. But we could not do that with a province.
The Northwest Territorial government when organized stands in the same relationship. The Minister of the Interior says that we do delegate authority to collect. They appoint their own collector. We do not know whether our collector will collect or not. He may engage our collector to do the collection.
The officials of the House have as usual collected the various items of the appropriations that have passed through their several stages, and have prepared resolutions representing the total amount of the appropriations, with a view to their being placed in the Supply Bill. I beg to move the following resolution:
Resolved, that towards making good the Supply granted to His Majesty on account of certain expenses of the public service for the financial year ending 31st March, 1909, the sum of $210,000 be granted out of the consolidated revenue fund of Canada.