February 2, 1937

LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

No mention was made of that work at the conference last fall, of which I have given a very much summarized report. I thank my right hon. friend, however, for the remarks he has just made, and will take note of them.

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

I may say that the various provincial governments refused to agree upon any amendments such as those proposed. British Columbia, as I have stated in the house, refused to agree because they wished to retain their present form of act, which was drafted in accordance with the English companies act. Nova Scotia took the same ground. The government of Quebec said that they were not prepared to accept incorporation by letters patent because they believed that, under a decision of the judicial committee of the privy council, a grant of incorporation by exercising the prerogative right of the crown, which was then vested in the lieutenant governor, gave the companies so incorporated powers far beyond those which could be created by legislation in the province of Quebec. Soi that there was no unanimous consent by the provinces, with the result that I went ahead and made my own draft and placed before this house an almost entirely new companies act which was accepted and passed by the house and the senate and became law.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO MANITOBA On the orders of the day:

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
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LIB-PRO

James Allison Glen

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. A. GLEN (Marquette):

Is the government in a position to make a statement regarding the request of the Manitoba government for financial assistance?

Home Improvement Loans-Mr. Dunning

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): I do not think any good purpose would be served by a statement at the moment, which could not go further than the statement made by the premier of Manitoba a few days ago.

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
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GOLD CLAUSE OBLIGATIONS

DECISION OF HOUSE OF LORDS RESPECTING PAYMENT OF BONDS IN CURRENCY OF COUNTRY OF PAYEE


On the orders of the day:


CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Will the Prime Minister inform us whether the government has received a complete copy of the recent decision of the House of Lords, which is briefly mentioned in the press, relating to the payment, in the currency of the country of the payee, of bonds expressed to be payable in gold, and if so, will he be so kind as to lay a copy upon the table of the house?

Topic:   GOLD CLAUSE OBLIGATIONS
Subtopic:   DECISION OF HOUSE OF LORDS RESPECTING PAYMENT OF BONDS IN CURRENCY OF COUNTRY OF PAYEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Is it a decision, or just an opinion?

Topic:   GOLD CLAUSE OBLIGATIONS
Subtopic:   DECISION OF HOUSE OF LORDS RESPECTING PAYMENT OF BONDS IN CURRENCY OF COUNTRY OF PAYEE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Perhaps my colleague the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) had better answer that question.

Topic:   GOLD CLAUSE OBLIGATIONS
Subtopic:   DECISION OF HOUSE OF LORDS RESPECTING PAYMENT OF BONDS IN CURRENCY OF COUNTRY OF PAYEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

We are expecting the text of the decision on the first boat coming from Great Britain.

Topic:   GOLD CLAUSE OBLIGATIONS
Subtopic:   DECISION OF HOUSE OF LORDS RESPECTING PAYMENT OF BONDS IN CURRENCY OF COUNTRY OF PAYEE
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SALES TAX ON FLOWERS


On the orders of the day:


CON

Gordon Graydon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

Would the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) care to indicate whether the government is giving consideration to the removal of the sales tax on cut flowers and other horticultural products?

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): I am sorry that it is quite impossible for the government to give any indication prior to the budget with respect to taxation proposals or the consideration of them.

Topic:   SALES TAX ON FLOWERS
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HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS

PROVISION TO ENCOURAGE REPAIR OF RURAL AND URBAN DWELLINGS


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance) moved the second reading of Bill No. 11, to increase employment by encouraging the repair of rural and urban homes. He said: I need add little on the motion for second reading to the information which I placed before the house when the financial resolution which preceded the introduction of 31111-30} the bill was under consideration. It will be much more convenient to take up the details in committee of the whole, and I hope the house will soon move to that stage in order that we may go into the .proposal in detail. In the meantime I desire to indicate that while of necessity the guarantees will be administered by the Department of Finance, the organization of the cooperative community effort which is necessary if the objective is to be attained will be, and in fact is, in the hands of the National Employment Commission, which reports to my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers). It is because this function is all-important in relation to the attainment of the objective that I devote a few minutes to it. In brief, the commission has undertaken to put steam behind the plan. This involves arranging publicity to make the Canadian public home-repair conscious and to explain the plan to all concerned. The publicity takes the form of distribution of booklets, which have already had quite a wide distribution; newspaper advertising, radio broadcasting, and public addresses. Much work along these lines has already been done, and the success evident during the first two months' operation is an indication that results are beginning to accrue. I should point out in this connection that the costs involved in the publicity campaign will be financed not by government moneys but by private funds raised from public-spirited citizens and business interests who expect to benefit from the expenditure involved. I believe the organization of provincial committees has now been almost completed by the employment commission. There will also be local advisory committees in every community to stimulate home improvement activity, to afford every encouragement and information, to prospective borrowers, and to interest local participating industries and business groups. A vital point which is being taken up vigorously by these local committees is the matter which was mentioned the other day during the discussion on. the financial resolution, that of the increase in assessment which normally would occur in a community when home improvement had been undertaken according to the plan. The dominion government stated, in announcing the plan originally, that it deemed it to be essential that local efforts should ensure that the home improvement plan should not be frustrated as a creator of employment by increased tax assessments. In all parts of Canada local committees are dealing with that phase of the matter, either with their municipalities, where the municipalities have power 468 COMMONS Home, Improvement Loans-Mr. Dunning to deal with it, or by making, in respect thereto appropriate representations to the provincial governments. The point I am making is that this is a genuine national community effort. It is not in any sense of a partisan political character, and in that respect I was particularly appreciative of the remarks of the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Esling) the other day. I think it may be said that all these local and provincial committees throughout the dominion are doing their best in a community effort regardless of whether they are Liberals, Conservatives, Labour men, members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation or Social Crediters. That is the spirit which the employment commission found had made such a success of a similar plan in the United States. I only desire to say at this stage that there is every evidence that the community effort now being put forth across Canada will, ere the spring months, produce a very considerable volume of much-needed employment and in a manner tending to make more comfortable the living conditions of our people.


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I wish to say a few words on the second reading of this bill as it affects the industrial workers of Canada. I ask the government: When the seed planted by this particular type of Purvis bill has reached its maturity, what will the harvest be? The harvest will be reaped by the taxpayers of Canada and the harvest will not be in the forms of crops which will fill their bams but in the form of taxes which will empty their pockets.

Under the rules of the house the time to discuss the principle of a bill is on its second reading. The rules provide that when a bill is read the second time the house approves the principle of it. The minister's cry-and it is the cry of all ministers-is, "Wait until you get into committee." That is the cry they always make; we must wait until we get into committee before we can get any information. Well, the industrial workers of Canada will wait until doomsday before they get any relief from this Bill No. 11, or from Mr. Purvis, the head of the duPont dynasty in Canada, who has been selected after many years of travel to take charge of this matter. He travelled around the world from 1912 to 1923; he went to South America, and during the war years he was in South America and the United States. Then in 1923 he came to this country, to the city of Montreal, and is now head of all these large industries. There are two of the largest of them in my riding. He supported the late government in by-elections and in the general

election, and what was the battle-cry which you could find on the bill boards in different parts of the country? It was this: "Return the government to power and the industrial worker will see the end of unemployment; he will see slums abolished; he will see a housing scheme put into operation," and protection for industrial workers, and so on and so on.

The principle of this bill is not new by any means; I have called the attention of the house myself to it fifteen or twenty times the past three years. The unemployment that exists in Canada to-day has not, however, been remedied to any extent by the Minister of Labour and the professors of universities who have been appointed to these commissions and have staffed them from beginning to end. As a matter of fact, as far as the Minister of Labour is concerned we might as well go home, because this is only a mock parliament to-day. The government have appointed' so many commissions that parliament has abrogated its powers under the British North America Act to a commission government behind the scenes. I have here the report of the committee of labour and education of the United States which investigated unemployment in 1908 and 1929 and which was presided over by the late Mr. Couzens, the great mayor of Detroit and governor of Michigan, as well as senator, who did so much for the relief of unemployment and in connection with housing in the United States. The bill which is now before us is based entirely on this report of President Roosevelt's new deal, recommending what is known as the home-owners' legislation. How has that legislation worked out in the United States? Look at the Evening Telegram of Toronto-last night's Telegram-and see for yourselves the condition of affairs in Milwaukee. You will see the result there.

This is not something new, as one hon. gentleman suggested last Friday; it was before the housing committee two years ago in 1935, and I moved a motion in connection with housing and the question of slums, especially as it relates to our industrial workers and a committee of the house sat three months and made a report. That committee went into the subject and now we have before us this particular bill. Now, you cannot on the second reading of a bill go into any discussion of individual clauses but can refer to them, and I do not intend to do so, but I wish to offer two or three observations with respect to the principle of the bill as I see it. In the first place, parliament's powers have been taken away and given to a Purvis academic commission, which has announced an expenditure of $50,000,000. I

Home Improvement Loans-Mr. Church

believe that appears in the bill as the limit, but that is not what we learn from other quarters. Last Friday there appeared a whole page picture in the Toronto evening papers of some fifteen gentlemen chosen as a commission to administer the bill-and this before parliament ever heard of the bill-from the publicity agent of Mr. Purvis. Mr. Purvis, whom the government seems to regard as omnipotent, has announced a policy which it is said will run into something like $200,000,000 according to the said papers. Along with this announcement there appeared, as I say, a picture of these twelve gentlemen good and true for Ontario, and it looked almost like a Liberal campaign fund. The other day I moved for an order of the house with respect to loans in the city of Toronto under this act and the reply given yesterday was that $103,000 to the end of 1936, was all that had been spent in Toronto.

Topic:   HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO ENCOURAGE REPAIR OF RURAL AND URBAN DWELLINGS
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

That is in two months.

Topic:   HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO ENCOURAGE REPAIR OF RURAL AND URBAN DWELLINGS
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

There have been 274 small loans a total of $103,000. The industrial workers comprise fifty-one per cent of the taxpayers and they have been driven out of their homes by high taxes, foreclosures, and the lack of protection of their equity, because it is no use asking the industrial worker to go to the bank and sign a note. I have been in banks every day and have never yet seen an industrial worker in one; he cannot afford to go to a bank. He has lost his equity and property. His property has been taken from him by foreclosure and nothing is done for him. There is protection under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act for the fisherman and for the farmer. If the farmer or fisherman loses his home he can take advantage of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act and get a loan, paying a low rate of interest. But how is the industrial worker treated? Last session the hon. member for St. Mary (Mr. Deslauriers) brought before the house a motion with regard to the industrial worker and the government promised a study of it all. The hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Spence) spoke on it; he comes from an industrial riding and knows a great deal about real estate conditions in Toronto. Under present conditions in this country nobody wants to hold or own real estate in the cities and towns. I venture to say lots of hon. members in this chamber would be glad to unload all the real estate they have on the federal government and on Mr. Purvis's commission, because the taxes take all the income and through no fault of the city are a rent in itself. The income tax was the field of the municipalities exclusively from the time of confederation until 1917, when the federal

government came along and took it. It was to be just a temporary measure. Then along came the provinces, and now it is a triplicate tax in some parts; Ontario has taken the income tax as a province. A million dollars has been deducted off relief in Toronto alone. The city used to get $2,600,000 from the income tax, but it has been taken away by act of the provincial parliament and they deduct that $860,000. That tax went far to enable municipalities to pay their way and maintain municipal services without government aid. Now where will that burden fall? The whole $2,600,000 will fall on real estate, in Toronto and in other cities such as Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, London, Winnipeg and the rest, a proportionate amount.

This bill is faulty for another reason. The Ontario .Assessment Act will not permit the exemption of the improvements covered by this bill. It is all very well to promise relief, but the assessment act provides for the assessment of buildings and improvements. The Mayor of Hamilton a great and able executive attacked this piece of legislation when it was announced with a great flourish of brass bands and waving of flags last September. He said he doubted its usefulness. He said he did not believe in it, that it was not practicable, that the remedy was worse than the disease it professed to cure. Mr. Hepburn attacked the proposal also, on account of the high interest rates and charges. It is very high for an industrial worker who is out of work to have to pay. He cannot even pay his taxes or insurance which are almost confiscatory in the cities and towns, and in consequence arrears of taxes are piling up through no fault of the municipalities. Does any hon. member know anyone who wants now to invest in or to own real estate, with its accompanying burden of federal and provincial taxes loaded on to municipal taxes illegally? I know hundreds of people who would be glad to part with their real estate. The assessment act cannot be evaded in this way at the call of Mr. Purvis.

The committee of 1935 on housing had this matter before it, and it was proposed-I think the present Postmaster General (Mr. Elliott) suggested it-that the Ontario legislature, which was to close within a week, should be_ urged to exempt from taxation these repair improvements, such as new plumbing, new verandah, new roof, new floor, and the modem conveniences which should be in every home. The city of Toronto took up the matter of home improvement and got separate legislation from the province to compel the owners of such property, which included the Synod of Toronto, to clean up their property and put- in plumbing and modem conveniences.

I COMMONS

Home Improvement Loans-Mr. Church

They were given power to make loans up to $50 or $100 a house to dean up conditions which needed improvement, similar to the principle of this bill. The province of Ontario has recently announced a new housing and slum clearance policy as set out in the legislature by the provincial minister of labour. As far as the building trades are concerned, in to-day's issue of the Globe and Mail it is stated that in Toronto alone the value of building permits for 1936 ^ was $8,114,000, while for Montreal it was $6,905,000. There is a laTge amount of building going on in the northern, eastern and western part of Toronto at the present time. All winter they have been building dwellings, many of them duplexes. How are they going to compete with this particular type of spoon-fed legislation? There are to-day altogether too many burdens and artificial barriers obstructing and placed on business, with the result that we have the taxation situation that now exists which is prohibitive and one of the main causes of unemployment. It is almost too late now to go into this proposition. I am not opposed to federal aid towards lowering interest rates and building, bank, and loan and insurance rates, but some of the legislation .passed by this parliament last session is the direct antithesis of this bill. I had an order of the house passed for a return about these small loan companies in 1936, and it showed that their interest rates were as high as 35 and 42 per cent per annum. Names and figures will be found on page 2453 of Hansard of May 4 of last year.

This legislation in my opinion is going to be a glorious fiasco. If you go into a branch bank in any residential district in Toronto and ask the manager for a loan of $50 or $100 he cannot make it without reference to the inspector at head office. He cannot permit an overdraft of $100 without the authority of the inspector. When the housing committee had before it this matter as affecting the industrial workers we were laughed at because we proposed protection for all the people all the time and not for some of the people some of the time, when I proposed to give the industrial and suburban worker the same protection as the farmer and fisherman. Something should be done for the small home owners and the farmers who to-day are without proper conveniences. But these people, like the industrial workers, cannot get a dollar from the banks on a note. And what protection has the industrial borrower? The time limit of the loan under Bill 11 has been extended from one to five years in view of the criticism that has been forthcoming. That was included in a recom-

(Mr. Church.]

mendation of the housing committee. There is a moratorium act in Ontario which does something to protect mortgages, and that is to be extended for another year. But when you sign a note at the bank there is no moratorium protection; they can get speedy judgment immediately on the note and take your property. Any real estate man knows that as soon as you do any improvement to your property up go the taxes and assessment under the Assessment Act, while you do not get much increase in rent. Everyone here knows the difficulty of making real estate carry itself these days.

The proposed plan has been largely advertised in Toronto but the harvest so far has been very small. Up to December 31, 1936, there have been 274 loans aggregating $103,330.27-note the 27 cents.

I may say in conclusion that the head of the commission is Mr. A. B. Purvis, President of Canadian Industries Limited, a man who is connected with the Bank of Montreal, the duPont dynasty, British American oil, the Bell Telephone Company and other concerns. He is the gentleman who is carrying on the work over his own signature, and those of the other members of the new board. Here we have a full tone picture-not a half-tone-in the newspaper. Here is a full-face view of this wonderful commission which, headed by its dynamic chairman, has taken over the administration of the work in the province of Ontario. I can say to that dynamic chairman that if parliament does not wake up and do something for the industrial workers, instead of spending days and weeks talking about international affairs, and if we do not devote more time to the betterment of the conditions of the industrial worker, then it will be that much worse for the people of Canada and the cause of order and good government.

When the price spreads and mass buying commission was sitting the conditions of white-collar workers were described. They have had the bailiffs in their homes, and under the present measure I can see very little help for them. In the United States not only the banks but the insurance companies, loan and mortgage companies came to the support of the industrial workers. Those insurance and loan companies made loans to a much greater extent than is being done in Canada. A short time ago, in 1935, I read of the good work the New York Life Insurance Company was doing at Gravesend beach, Brooklyn. Aside from the home owners' program of the Roosevelt administration, $25,000,000 is being supplied in Brooklyn to help build small homes for the working people there.

Home Improvement Loans-Mr. Church

During the depression they estimate there were at least 60,000 people in the city of Toronto who moved into apartment houses. They had to give up their homes because they could not meet the mortgages. Many of those mortgages were foreclosed and the unfortunate people in several cases put out on the street; their goods and chattels, right down to the kitchen stove, were taken from them. Some of the shark loan companies which are charging forty-two per cent interest are putting people out on the city streets to-day. When it was proposed in the house that the banks and insurance, loan and mortgage companies should change their ways, did they do so? No; they came here to parliament with a body of the highest paid lawyers in Canada in 1934 and 1935, to oppose lower rates.

I do not wish to throw any more cold water on the bill, but I have very little faith in it. Here we have a man on one side of the street struggling to make ends meet, without any spoon-fed aid from parliament, trying to put a verandah andi repairs on his house by doing some night work. The hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) lives in the Earls-court district of Toronto, composed largely of industrial workers. This is not a matter to laugh at; it is to the credit of the hon. member's constituency and himself. Once I represented it, and I can tell this house that that district was built up by hard working people who built their own log cabins, many of them 20 years ago, and their own houses after coming home at five o'clock from their work, and they are fine houses. I fail to see where the so-called increase in business under this bill is going to do very much for these people.

Hon. members talk about the Jameson raid in South Africa. Let me tell them that the Jameson raid was nothing when compared with the raid this parliament and provincial legislatures have made on the belated income taxes of the municipalities and took their income away. In the city of Toronto the municipality will sooner or later be forced to place S2,600,000 of income tax taken from them for the first time by force, on real estate. Who wants to own real estate under such conditions? It is said in Toronto that $876,000 income will be paid back. The provinces receive from this parliament seventy-five per cent of old age pensions. I say the federal parliament should collect its own income tax, and let the provinces shift for themselves and collect their own, and not act as an accessory. It was a retrograde movement when this parliament came along and attempted to take income taxation away from the municipalities. The government of that day, 1917, deprived the municipalities of taxation which they enjoyed from 1867 and which

relieved the position of people holding real estate.

I have pleaded the case of the industrial worker, and I shall go no farther. The responsibility rests on the government of the day, so long as they hold that position, to go forward with a plan similar to that which has been advocated all over Ontario, namely a plan to relieve the industrial worker from confiscation, from losing his equity in his home, and from having his goods and chattels thrown out on the city streets, and to save and protect the municipalities of the province from these raids, which are contrary to the British North America Act.

The time has come for the minister to be up and doing in connection with these large insurance, loan and mortgage companies which have so much money set aside. A few years ago they had plenty of money to gamble with the premiums of their policy-holders on all kinds of common stock the world over, and they gambled instead of investing and allowing the poor industrial worker to obtain an easy loan at an easy rate of interest on a home in Canada. I see no reason why this bill should not go to a committee. If we are to have any parliamentary government, then here is a bill which should go to a housing committee, and reassert the supremacy of parliament over the Purvis way.

There is now a notice of motion on the order paper which, if accepted, would provide for a committee such as I have indicated. I have discussed the matter of housing and reconstruction in my motions for two sessions, and I am pleased to see that the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) intends to carry the matter further. I hope his notice of motion will be discussed next Monday. The bill should be referred to a select committee before which industrial workers could be heard. Let the labour unions be heard and all parties thereto, and the municipalities. Let the trust companies and loan and insurance companies be brought here, and the banks. Let us hear from the shark loan companies. I shall name them: I will refer hon. members to page 2453 of Hansard for 1936 where they will find reference to the Central Finance Corporation. That company has just sent through the mail a leaflet stating what it does do for the industrial worker. How did those leaflets get into the mail? Then, there is the Personal Finance Corporation, and many other such companies.

If ever there was a bill which should go to a committee of the house, it is this one. We should know what the effect of the measure will be. We should know whether we would be justified in enacting it and how the rate of interest would work out; and we should

472 COMMONS

Home Improvement Loam-Mr. MacNicol

know the results of any housing efforts which have been so far made. Personally I believe they have not been a success. How would such a measure react in the way of taking taxation from the municipalities? We should investigate the relationship between real estate and Bill No. 11. We should look into the matter of taxes paid on real estate, and many other matters in this connection could be laid before parliament.

I have little faith in the assertion that good results would come from the bill. For about ten years I have considered the matter.

I have looked into the evidence taken by the housing committee set up in 1929 by the United States, the Couzens committee, and the committee which I moved for two years ago, and have considered the effect of this type of legislation on the economic situation. The result of my research is the belief that the whole question and position of the industrial worker, his home and the equity in his property should go to a committee of the house to hear all sides of Bill No. 11. The problem is a most important one. We must relieve the holders of real estate in the municipalities, because if much more is loaded on them, municipal institutions in Canada will be automatically abolished by the raids of the provinces; and may be abolished by the arbitrary action of the provinces. Municipal institutions are at the parting of the ways, and I venture to say that before long if we impose many more of these regulations upon them, and take away their revenues, we will see a day when municipal institutions will cease to exist and a lot of useless provincial governments will take their place.

Topic:   HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO ENCOURAGE REPAIR OF RURAL AND URBAN DWELLINGS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, before the bill is sent to a committee I should like to make a few observations. I listened carefully to the minister's statement, and some of his remarks made me feel that perhaps the bill will not be as valuable as I had hoped it would be. I felt that way particularly when the minister indicated how costs were to be paid.

On January 29, when the bill was given first reading, I brought to the attention of the minister the circumstances in connection with a resident in my constituency. The person in question is a working man well known to the hon. member who has just resumed his seat (Mr. Church). I felt that his case was of an example which the government had in mind. Apparently the government's intention was not only to assist the home owner, but to provide work.

I have in mind a particular workman. This man came from the old country as did many

[Mr. Church.!

other workmen who live in that particular part of my riding. The majority of these men brought with them the idea of old country thrift. Their first thought was to buy a piece of land and then erect a small cottage upon it. Thousands of these men came out here in 1907 and through the years they have demonstrated that they are good citizens. I believe a larger number of them own their homes to-day than do similar workmen in other parts of Canada. The particular man I have in mind bought a piece of land upon which he built a small cottage of two or three rooms. His house did not have a foundation; it was placed on posts which were encased with lumber. This small cottage has served him as a residence through the years, but he would now like to put in a foundation and add one room to the upper part of the cottage, necessitating a new roof. How can that man get money with which to do this work? He owns his house outright and has steady work with the city of Toronto. I cannot see how this man would be able to repay a loan of $750 in three years. He figures that this is the amount he will require to do the work he wants to do, and if he borrows it he will have to repay it at the rate of $250 a year.

While I believe that the intentions of the government are good, while I want to give them every credit, while I commend the minister for endeavouring to promote the repairing of homes and residences to provide work, I cannot see how the ordinary home owner will be able to take advantage of these loans. He cannot pay back a loan of, say, $750 at the rate of $250 a year. The particular man to whom I have referred makes something over $28 per week. He works only ten months in' the year and it would be utterly impossible for him out of such wages to pay back $250 per year. I should like some consideration given to this angle of the matter.

I had intended to ask the minister with reference to the costs when he was speaking, but I thought it would be better to let the bill go into committee.

Topic:   HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO ENCOURAGE REPAIR OF RURAL AND URBAN DWELLINGS
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February 2, 1937