June 25, 1956

PRIVILEGE

MR. ZAPLITNY-REPORTS OP WHEAT BOARD AND GRAIN COMMISSION

CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zaplitny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker,

I rise on a question of privilege. On May 10 last I addressed a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) as follows:

When does the minister expect to have the reports of the board of grain commissioners and the wheat board before the committee on agriculture and colonization?

In response to my question the Minister of Trade and Commerce replied as follows:

The reports of the board of grain commissioners and the wheat board are filed with this house and have been referred to the committee on agriculture and colonization.

I find that on Friday last the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) asked a similar question of the minister and received a similar reply. On conferring with the chairman of that committee I find these reports have not been referred to that committee. In view of that I suggest that either the Minister of Trade and Commerce or the chairman of the committee owes an explanation to this house.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. ZAPLITNY-REPORTS OP WHEAT BOARD AND GRAIN COMMISSION
Permalink
LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (for the Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I intend to move when we reach motions that these reports be referred to the standing committee on agriculture and colonization.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. ZAPLITNY-REPORTS OP WHEAT BOARD AND GRAIN COMMISSION
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AGRICULTURE

REFERENCE OP WHEAT BOARD AND GRAIN COMMISSION REPORTS TO STANDING COMMITTEE

LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (for the Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I move that the following reports which have already been tabled in the house be referred to the standing committee on agriculture and colonization. They are the report on the Canadian wheat board for the crop year ending July 31, 1955, the report for 1955 on the board of grain commissioners for Canada and a supplementary report of the Canadian wheat board on the 1954-55 pool account-wheat.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE OP WHEAT BOARD AND GRAIN COMMISSION REPORTS TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


TAXATION

MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution, which has been recommended to the house by His Excellency:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to provide that the Minister of Finance may pay to a province, out of the consolidated revenue fund, in respect of any fiscal year in the period commencing on the 1st day of April, 1957, and ending on the 31st day of March, 1962

(a) a tax equalization payment with respect to individual and corporation income taxes and succession duties:

(b) a provincial revenue stabilization payment with respect to such taxes; and

(c) a tax rental payment in accordance with a tax rental agreement that may be entered into by any province as an alternative to levying such taxes on its own behalf;

and also to authorize tax collection agreements with the governments of the provinces.

Topic:   TAXATION
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES
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Motion agreed to.


HOUSING

ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George H. Hees (Broadview):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works. Could he explain to the house the reasons for the purported 20 per cent reduction in housing starts for the first 23 weeks of this year, as reported by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, from 28,258 in the first 23 weeks of last year to 22,618 in the corresponding period of this year?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Public Works):

Since the hon. member has asked that question, perhaps I should make a brief statement about housing, particularly having in mind the telegrams I have received recently which have alleged particularly two points about the house building program: first, that it is being seriously retarded because of the unavailability of mortgage money; and, second, that as a result large scale unemployment will develop. I think I can demonstrate to hon. members that both these statements reflect undue pessimism.

In centres of 5,000 population and over, as I indicated to hon. members on June 13, housing starts for the first five months of the

5328 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry year 1956 exceeded starts during the first five months of the year 1955. Up to the end of May this year, 30,687 units had been started, as against 29,669 last year. Completions at 35,322 exceeded those of the same period last year, which numbered 33,064.

As of the end of May this year there were in these centres 48,206 housing units under construction. Last year at the same time the number was 47,445. Hon. members will recall that in the year 1955 more houses were started and more were completed than in any previous year in our history.

I refer to centres of 5,000 population and over because it is in these centres that the dominion bureau of statistics and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation make complete enumerations.

As for the suggestion that significant unemployment will follow any likely downturn in housing, I would refer to the recent survey by the Department of Labour of labour conditions in Canada. At the present time there are more people employed than ever before, and fewer people without jobs. These statements have reference to the over-all labour force. The situation is that the construction industry is experiencing a shortage of manpower, and we are only now coming into the period when the demand for labour is at its peak. Thus anyone who might be laid off from house building would be apt without difficulty to find employment in other parts of the construction industry, where activity is at a record level.

While I believe that the complaints give an erroneous impression, I realize that difficulties are being experienced by some builders in obtaining mortgage funds. My colleague, the Minister of Finance, is in a good position to tell hon. members that the economy as a whole is moving at such a vigorous pace that there is keen competition for material, labour and financing. Some builders in the house building industry are feeling this competition, and particularly is this true in respect of those who have just recently come into the field. In no industry is it possible for everybody to obtain all the credit desired at all times. Government guaranteed loans under the N.H.A. are not available as of right to everybody who asks for them. It is a matter of the banks and lending institutions awarding credit on the same selective basis as applies for other industrial and commercial activities.

In the first quarter of 1956 expenditures on non-residential construction were 27 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 1955. Expenditures on new residential construction were up 7 per cent in the same period. These figures are tangible evidence of the increasing pressure of demand on the (Mr. Winters.]

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Claude Ellis (Regina City):

Might I ask the minister whether he has received a communication from the city council of Regina regarding the falling off of construction in that city due to government policy?

I may say to the minister that the mayor and council of the city of Regina do not share the minister's confidence or optimism in this particular case.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

I am not sure that I have seen a communication from the city council.

I have received communications from Regina and I think included in them there was a telegram from the premier of Saskatchewan which, if I remember correctly, was directed to the Prime Minister. It is largely the same telegram that has been sent from some other areas in Canada and it does not alter in any respect the statement I have just made.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Ellis:

Would the minister give the reason why there is a falling off in construction in those areas of the country to which he has just referred, including the city of Regina? Would he give an explanation?

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   ALLEGED REDUCTION IN HOUSING STARTS THIS YEAR
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June 25, 1956