February 9, 1955

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Coldwell:

To the benefit of the Canadian people generally?

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Yes.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

Would it be an infringement of provincial autonomy if the federal government said that if the province reduced the amount spent on education the federal government would reduce its grant accordingly? Would that be an infringement of provincial autonomy?

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I really value the hon. gentleman's question. I think it is a very serious one. I feel it would be productive, perhaps, of more disunity than anything else I could possibly think of. The hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings raises a very serious point. I am going to answer him, but a bit indirectly at first. I am going to say this. I do not believe there is anyone in this house who does not feel that the situation which has existed for the last few years, whereby we collect the same taxes right across this country, and where one provincial government for reasons of its own did not take advantage of the tax rentals available in that situation, has not contributed to the unity in the country.

It seems to me that if we started to make these so-called unconditional grants-I took down the words used by the hon. member for Saskatoon and he said that nothing should interfere with the administration or curriculum; he favoured complete control by the province. He said it three or four times What I am saying is this. If you say that if the provincial government reduces its appropriation we will reduce the federal appropriation accordingly, and if that happens in two or three provinces and does not happen in others, if the federal grants are proportionately much higher in provinces like Nova Scotia and Manitoba-I am just taking them at random-than in provinces like New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, is that result going to contribute either to equality of opportunity or to unity in the country?

It does not seem to me it is going to contribute to anything but a feeling, first of all that we are interfering with provincial matters and, second, that we are favouring provinces whose governments do things we want them to do and discriminating against provinces whose governments do not behave

Education

in the way we think is appropriate. In other words, we would be attempting indirectly to dictate the provincial budgets for education. For that reason, sir, I simply cannot support this motion.

Now, if the hon. gentleman instead had made a perfectly simple, honest and straightforward motion-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Coldwell:

Well, he did; it is honest. I object. I do not think the minister has a right to describe it as not an honest motion. Surely that is not correct. I do not think the minister meant what he said.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I meant precisely what I said.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knight:

I ask that this statement to the effect that in moving this motion I have been in any way dishonest should be withdrawn.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

In the first place, I did not say the hon. gentleman was dishonest.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

By implication, yes.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

The motion, I said, was dishonest, and I repeat it was dishonest.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knight:

On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I listened carefully to the words which were used by the minister. He said that "if the hon. member had made an honest and straightforward resolution or motion"-I forget whether he used the word "resolution" or "motion"-and I do not think there was any implication against-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I do not think there was any implication against the hon. member who proposed the motion. If there was any implication against the hon. member who proposed the motion, then I must ask the minister to withdraw it. If there was no implication, then the remark need not be withdrawn.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Well, sir-

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Withdraw.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am quite willing to say, and I say without hesitation, that I do not think there was anything dishonest about the motives of the hon. member in putting this motion. But I do think, and I repeat-if the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) were here now he would agree with me, judging by what he said yesterday-that hon. members are becoming a little squeamish when they object to the suggestion that motions which they may make in good faith are, nonetheless, misleading.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Coldwell:

Well, that is different.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I certainly think this

motion is misleading. Indeed, I think this motion is a fraud.

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Is this the expert who is talking?

Topic:   EQUALIZING OF OPPORTUNITY
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE TO PROVINCES
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February 9, 1955