March 5, 1953

LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Will the hon. member allow a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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IND
LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Is the hon. member not aware that by bringing the level of exemptions to the figure just mentioned by him, our revenues for the current fiscal year would decrease by $425 million, apart from the annual reduction of $155 million already announced in the budget speech with regard to personal income tax?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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IND

Raoul Poulin

Independent

Mr. Poulin:

I can well imagine, Mr. Speaker, that it would mean a considerable loss to the federal treasury. But, if the government, despite the generosity of its intentions, had found the $3,000 maximum too high, could it not have granted an exemption of $2,500? Thus the loss would have been less considerable.

The Budget-Mr. Poulin

Besides, I indicated yesterday, I hope the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lesage) has not forgotten, the cuts that could have been made in order to grant relief to the Canadian taxpayer. I do not deem it necessary to go into that -.gain.

Besides, the hon. member for Montmagny-L'lslet, who is also parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Finance, surprises me very much. Just now I offered him my best congratulations and I thought I had succeeded in drugging or chloroforming him, but I see that he is livelier than ever. Maybe he is one of those patients who are not easily put to sleep by anaesthetics, or maybe he is still in the early phase of anaesthesia which is called excitement phase.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Joseph Irenée Rochefort

Liberal

Mr. Rochefort:

Provincial anaesthesia?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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IND

Raoul Poulin

Independent

Mr. Poulin:

I can see no difference between provincial and federal anaesthesia.

Let us say, without malice of course and without labouring the point, that the budget would be worse without those features. I say "without labouring the point", because I know that the government's sympathizers will be more than apt to do the labouring.

And now, Mr. Speaker, before I conclude these remarks I want to say a few words on a subject which I believe comes under the authority of the Minister of Finance, the printing of bilingual old age pension cheques to be distributed everywhere in Canada.

Bilingualism is officially recognized in our country.

We already have bilingual money, not only in the province of Quebec, but everywhere in Canada. Objections were made at first but who dares complain now?

We are using bilingual stamps everywhere in the country. Has this done any harm? These past few years, family allowance cheques, and more recently, old age pension cheques have been bilingual, in the province of Quebec only. Has there been a single citizen in Quebec, out of four million people, to protest? Nobody in the province of Quebec-I insist on that point-has been offended because English words appeared on the cheques which have been distributed in that province, even though the French element represents nearly 85 per cent of the population. Why should citizens in other provinces be offended at the sight of French on their own cheques? Would that prejudice

2640 HOUSE OF

The Budget-Mr. Poulin someone in any way, except perhaps a few employees who, through fanaticism and intransigence, are tarnishing the reputation of tolerance and broadmindedness of which the vast majority of the Canadian people, whatever be their racial origin, are justly proud.

Those responsible for such a state of affairs should remember that there are more than four million citizens of French origin in Canada, including one million outside Quebec, who are entitled to treatment equal to that given Canadians of English origin.

It seems evident that in our country, where two great races are intermingled and are called upon to live side by side, where there is neither victor nor vanquished, it is desirable that there be an atmosphere of mutual confidence and respect. In my humble opinion, such confidence and respect cannot [DOT]exist unless each of our two great races gives to the other all possible means of enjoying fully its rights and privileges.

This is an excellent occasion for the most numerous ethnical groups in this country, as well as for the government, to grant to one of those two races the enjoyment of a right- and not a privilege-which would entail no sacrifice whatsoever for the other group and not the least difficulty for the government.

Truly, I ask you, Mr. Speaker, why should it be more difficult for the government to issue bilingual cheques than for the Bank of Canada to issue bilingual notes? As a matter of fact, there is no such difficulty, because the cheques for the province of Quebec are already printed in both languages. All that is necessary to implement that recommendation is a little understanding and good will, of which, fortunately, increasing examples are to be found among the majority group in Canada.

And not only pension cheques, but all cheques issued by each and every department of the federal government should be bilingual.

This is, in my humble opinion, an opportunity for this government to correct a situation which is abnormal in a country like ours.

This might also give the Minister of Finance food for thought. I know he is intelligent, extremely gifted and well intentioned. He is from the province of Quebec and consequently, even though I hardly expect from him an immediate reaction, I am convinced that, deep down, he must admit the reasonableness of my request. In any event, he sets us an example since he is himself perfectly bilingual. It is said of him that he might possibly, some day, become the Liberal party leader. Such being the case, the prov-

ince of Quebec could not help but be grateful to him were he to make this gesture, inspired by the most genuine Canadian patriotism.

Consequently I have no doubt that it will be agreeable and possible for the government to lend an attentive ear to my humble suggestion, a suggestion which I have put to him at the request of several thousand citizens of the constituency of Beauce which I have the honour of representing here.

(Text):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Ellen L. Fairclough (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, there are several matters I should like to discuss in this budget debate, but before doing so I will make a few observations about comments already made by other hon. members who have spoken. I would refer first of all to some examples given on February 27 by the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Decore). As reported at page 2465 of Hansard he made reference to the married man with two dependents and earning $2,400 a year, and stated that this taxpayer is paying only $15.

In the first place that is wrong because the hon. member, had forgotten the 2 per cent social security tax, which brings this man's tax up to $17. However, I do not know that I would stress that as an objection to his observations. The particular exception I take is to the word "only". Particularly is this so when the treatment received by this man is compared with that received by another man in the same circumstances-married with two dependents-and with an income of $10,000, received entirely from investments. This man would pay nothing, not even the social security tax, because on the $10,000 he would have a tax of $1,582, and he would then add $60 as social security tax, bringing the whole tax up to $1,642. May I comment at this point that the 2 per cent tax would be $200, of course, if the whole amount were applicable. But because of the ceiling of $60 having been placed thereon, he would be charged only at that rate.

Even so, the 20 per cent rebate on dividends given to him not only completely wipes out this amount of indebtedness, but would allow him to make even more than $10,000 before he would have any tax whatever to pay.

In this connection I should like for a moment to refer to some observations made by the hon. member for Montmagny-L'Islet (Mr. Lesage) the other afternoon when, referring to this provision, he said:

-there must be very few taxpayers, if any, whose tax liability would be cancelled by the 20 per cent tax credit on dividends.

Well, as the hon. member says, there may be very ffew. But according to the figures of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) presented in his budget speech there is $20 million worth of tax relief given to people whose incomes are from dividends paid by tax-paying Canadian corporations.

It would seem to me therefore that if this relief can be given to these people, then it should have been possible to give at least some measure of relief to those in the lower income brackets by way of increased exemptions, or it should have been possible to do something in respect of medical expenses. I shall make further reference later to medical expenses but, at the moment, I should like to revert to what was said by the hon. member for Vegreville. He made further reference to a man with a wife and two children, having an income of $3,000, and estimates his tax at $205. I think perhaps he did not say that, because the actual amount is $105. I would suppose that is an error in printing. But, of course, to the $105 he would still have to add his social security tax of 2 per cent, or $14, bringing the amount up to $119.

True enough, the man who makes $3,000 would probably receive family allowance payments for children amounting anywhere from $120 to $192 a year, depending upon the age of the children.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

The average is $146.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

I said anywhere from

$120, at the lowest age up to $192, if both children happen to be over 13 years of age. In this connection the hon. member said:

In fact the so-called little man gets a bonus, if you want to put it that way, from the government of some $45 for that year.

Well, let me ask what the man receiving $10,000 a year gets. He gets exactly the same thing. He, too, has two children. The family allowances to him are exactly the same as those to his brother who receives only $3,000 a year.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Donald Buchanan Blue

Liberal

Mr. Blue:

Why should they not be?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

I did not say they should not be. I am merely pointing out that the situation is exactly the same. The man receiving $10,000 gets exactly the same family allowance as the man in the $3,000 bracket; and if his income is entirely from investments in Canadian corporations he pays no income tax whatever.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Donald Buchanan Blue

Liberal

Mr. Blue:

Very smart.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

What is frequently overlooked is the fact that, in benefiting by family allowances, the average taxpayer is

The Budget-Mrs. Fairclough precluded from taking his complete allowance of $400 for a dependent child, and is allowed only $150 for that child. In other words he forfeits $250 in exemption for each child in the age group up to 16 years, whether or not he receives family allowance for that child.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Oh, no; I am sorry-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Oh, sit down.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

Yes, that is perfectly true. I think what the hon. member was going to say was that in some cases, where children are not eligible for family allowances, this does not apply. That is perfectly true; but those cases are few and far between. In other words, a child must be out of the country, or just recently arrived in the country within the year. But, in most cases, the test is whether or not it is eligible for family allowance, not whether the parent receives it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Now the record is straight.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

When I began this speech I did not expect to have to give a lecture.

I should like to refer again to the example of the man with an income of $3,000, and two dependent children. As I said a moment ago, his tax would be $119. But let us suppose that he had the full $400 exemption for each child; in such event his tax would be only $34. In other words he has forfeited $85 in taxation for the privilege of receiving the family allowance.

True enough, there is some slight advantage to him. But I cannot go along with the hon. member for Vegreville in his suggestion that it is all cream and honey. I cannot find anything in the remarks of the hon. member applying to those in the lower income brackets which does not also apply to those in the higher income brackets. I contend it is all very well to say that these social services were intended for and designed to assist the so-called little fellow, but whoever it is that they were designed for, whoever it is that they were intended to assist, they also assist those in every income tax bracket whatever their classification may be. However, I will agree with the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Decore) when he talks about applied psychology because I am sure there are no greater experts in the field of applied psychology than this government, which has been leading the people of Canada around by the nose for far too many years. It is typical, I think, of the reasoning of the followers of the government that when their propaganda begins to go stale they try to decry that same propaganda and

The Budget-Mrs. Fairclough use such phrases, as used by the hon. member to whom I have referred, as "undesirable and also detrimental to our Canadian way of life".

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

They are undesirable,

though.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 5, 1953