December 5, 1977

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

At an earlier session of this committee I raised the procedural question as to whether subclause 5 is in order, bearing in mind the wording that we find in the income tax motion. You will recall, Sir, at that time I made the basic argument that there was a very wide discrepancy. Subclause 5 is worded as follows:

That it will apply to any proscribed program of the Government of Canada.

Whereas the actual income tax motion refers to a much more limited type of taxation, being limited solely to the Canadian home insulation program. Mr. Chairman, when we dealt with this on December 1-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. The hon. member is raising a very important point of order on which the Chair will have to make a decision. I hope the hon. members will either listen or, if they have other business to attend to, leave the committee.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On Monday when we were discussing this point of order I asked the Minister of Finance to explain to the committee why he felt that the wording we have in this bill is proper. I pointed out to the minister that the wording in the income tax motion seems to deal only with the question of taxation of the home insulation program-which presumably means the grant-whereas the wider wording in the bill would appear to cover any program

December 5, 1977

Income Tax Act

that the cabinet might proscribe. At that time the minister was very candid, and as reported at page 1478 of Hansard he stated:

We can introduce a program. It is not a question of having the right to tax. We can decide to extend or modify a program or decide to give more grants, for example. This bill will authorize the government to make it taxable, if it wishes.

Further on the Minister of Finance continued:

If we want to apply the same system of giving a grant and taxing it, we are getting this authority for that kind of program and it is related to a program of the same nature.

With all due respect I would suggest what the minister has indicated is their intention is exactly the reason why we must not find the provision in the bill in order. He has, in no uncertain terms, spelled out they anticipate the provision, if passed in its present form in the bill, will be much wider than was proposed in the income tax motion.

As we know, Standing Order 60(11) states:

The adoption of any Ways and Means motion shall be an order to bring in a bill or bills based on the provisions of any such motion.

1 will repeat that:

... to bring in a bill or bills based on the provisions of any such motion.

"Based on" I would suggest are the key words. Therefore, is there a substantial change between the wording in the income tax motion and the wording in subclause 5 to which I have referred? On that particular point, Mr. Chairman, I would refer you to a ruling by His Honour, the Speaker, on December 18, 1974, at page 224 of House of Commons Journals-a question of a similar nature-but I would say not nearly as serious as the one we have before us tonight. It was then reviewed by the Speaker and he made these observations:

The question is an extremely important one because it relates to the financial initiative of the Crown and to one of Parliament's most basic processes-Ways and Means.

Later he went on to state:

I wish to repeat and emphasize however that the terms of the Ways and Means motion are a carefully prepared expression of the financial initiative of the Crown and frequent departures from them can only invite deterioration of that most important power.

Furthermore, I have considerable sympathy for the argument that once the Ways and Means motions have been adopted by the House, changes of a nature any more substantial than the one before us now, ought to be made by the House.

Obviously, the most desirable practice is for the bill to adhere strictly to the provisions of the motion, and departures, if any, ought to be the subject of the strictest interpretation.

My argument is a very simple one. If you read the wording in the income tax motion which refers solely to a grant received under the Canadian home insulation program as being something to be included for the purposes of calculating taxation on a person's income, and then, if we read the wording in subclause 5 proposed by the Minister of Finance, I would say we have no alternative but to find that there is indeed a much wider interpretation being given in the bill than in the income tax motion.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Mr. Chairman, I think we can save some time of the committee. It is not necessary to continue arguing this point. I agree with the hon. member. I again checked this and I feel that he has a good point. Rather than having a complicated procedural problem referred to Your Honour, I want to state that I agree with the hon. member. The ways and means motion is more narrow than the bill and this should not be.

If the hon. member will co-operate with us, I will propose some amendments right now that will define that this power will only apply to the Canadian Home Insulation Program. The power will not be broad enough to be brought into all other grants. The hon. member made a good point, and I recognize it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Chairman, I would point out to the Minister of Finance that he has changed his attitude very quickly tonight.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lumley:

He said that the other day.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

The fact is we do have a provision before us and I feel, if the minister is sincere in stating that he is willing to alter it-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Crawford Douglas (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Communications)

Liberal

Mr. Douglas (Bruce-Grey):

He just said it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Chairman, could I get some order? If the minister is willing to narrow his proposed amendment down to precisely what was in the income tax motion, 1 suggest that we give him some time, stand the subclause, and that will mean we cannot vote on the whole clause tonight.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

I cannot make a judgment until I hear the proposal of the minister. If the hon. member has no objection, I will call on the minister at this time to let the committee know of his intention. When I have that proposal in front of me, I can make a judgment. I am ready to accept the suggestion of the hon. member to stand the clause if the hon. member wants to consider the proposal of the minister, either procedurally or otherwise. I am open to any suggestion, especially in view of the time we have now arrived at tonight.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Mr. Chairman, I have here three amendments I should like to table and which will enable us to answer the objection of the hon. member. Obviously, the description in the motion introducing the bill is different from that contained in the bill and so these three proposed amendments will straighten out the situation so that the power will apply only to the program for housing insulation in Canada.

[ English ]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

The proposal of the minister is made in the form of an amendment. Possibly I should read the amendment proposed by the minister applicable to this clause and, for the

December 5, 1977

information of hon. members, read the other amendments in reference to the other clauses, without trying to make a decision at this time. The hon. member will then have until the next sitting of the House to consider the amendments. That will give the hon. member an opportunity to raise another point of order if he wishes. It is moved by Mr. Chretien:

That subclause 6(5) of Bill C-l 1 be amended by striking out line 38 on page 7 thereof and substituting the following:

"Government of Canada relating to home insulation for the purposes"

The next consequential amendment reads:

That subclause 23(2) of Bill C-l 1 be amended by striking out line 6 on page 35 thereof and substituting the following:

"of the Government of Canada relating to home insulation by"

The other amendment intends to make the following change:

That subclause 115(1) of Bill C-ll be amended be striking out line 8 on page 210 thereof and substituting the following:

"the Government of Canada relating to home insulation for the pur-"

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Chairman, I have just received these amendments for the first time. Could we stand subclause (5) of clause 6? We could have further discussion on clause 6, other aspects of which we could now debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Does the committee agree that clause 6 be allowed to stand?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Chairman, it was my intention-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

If the hon. member is suggesting that we stand a subclause, that is impossible. The entire clause has to be in front of the committee. This does not prevent any member from raising any other relative question. However, the only way we can suspend consideration of the subclause is by suspending consideration of the whole clause and by going on to clause 7.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

There is another way. Call it ten o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Ten o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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December 5, 1977