December 3, 1979

PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

He says some of his communities don't even have streets. As 1 say, the bill removes that restriction and it gives the minister an option for the first time of paying a local improvement grant in a lump sum exclusive of interest, or in annual instalments of blended interest and principal. I hope hon. members are grasping the minutiae I am trying to detail here, Mr. Speaker, because the municipal councils will be interested in all this.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Eugene Whelan

Liberal

Mr. Whelan:

It was more interesting when the hon. member for Stormont-Dundas (Mr. Lumley) presented it to cabinet committee a few months ago.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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?

An hon. Member:

What?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

It is shocking to be interrupted by an old veteran of the House like that.

The bill also removes a long-standing restriction in respect of water taxes. Most municipalities finance water as a service charge but there are some, mainly in the province of Quebec, which finance it in part by a property tax.

The bill does not provide for the payment of grants in lieu of business occupancy taxes on departmental property. I know this is an issue with many municipalities; they claim we should pay grants in lieu of business occupancy taxes, but we just cannot see that proposition. The payment of business tax grants has been considered-there is some validity to the argument. However, we take the position that government departments are not engaged in business. That, surely, is evident from the record of the last 16 years. In fact, the government was not engaged in business either. It was engaged in harassing business.

There are some parts of the government which are engaged in business but they are a relatively small number of Crown corporations, the Crown corporations which are trying to make a profit or a reasonable return on investment capital. So the argument used by the municipalities would apply to them, and does make some sense. The bill does address this matter and it identifies the bodies which will be expected to make payments

December 3, 1979

Municipal Grants

in respect of business occupancy tax. We feel that certain Crown corporations which are comparable to business in the private sector should pay business tax grants, but not the ordinary departments-they are not engaged in business, they are engaged in providing a service to the public. It is to be hoped they are.

Another argument against paying business occupancy tax grants on departmental property is that the money which would be required is simply not available. If we were back in those halcyon years when revenues were burgeoning, when hon. gentlemen opposite were spending like mad, when they were looking around to see where next they could throw some public money, if we were in a situation of that kind and we did not know what to do with it all or where to spend it all, we could spire some out in business occupancy tax credits. That is not the case today. We have had that for the last ten or 15 years. The cupboard is getting pretty bare, and we simply have not got the money that would be needed if we agreed to pay business occupancy grants in lieu of taxes.

We also feel that it would be preferable to bring into the grants system some properties now totally excluded rather than leave those out while increasing the grants on properties that are already qualifying. 1 want to point out, by the way, that none of the provinces now pay a grant in lieu of business occupancy taxes in respect of the departmental property of those provinces, so it ill behooves them to look at us and say that we should do the same. There is one province, la belle Province de Quebec, that has recently introduced legislation which is going to result in that step being taken in the province of Quebec. I am not sure whether that legislation is now passed, but there is a considerable change taking place in Quebec with respect to real property municipal taxation, and the province of Quebec intends to do this, but it is the only province.

So, 1 come now to the subject of grants by Crown corporations and agencies. They are excluded from direct coverage under this particular municipal grants act, but it has been government policy since 1950 that they should pay their own grants. And, since 1967, they have been directed to pay on a basis at least as generous as that set out in the Municipal Grants Act for departmental property. So, it has been a matter of policy that they pay grants in lieu of taxes.

In general that system has worked well. However, there have been cases where it has not, and there have been no effective means of co-ordinating the practices of the bodies concerned. There has been confusion on the part of municipalities and provinces as to our general policy, and in some few instances there have been bitter complaints. So, to try to remedy this situation the bill contains three provisions. First, it provides for the governor in council to make regulations which will constitute guidelines to be followed by Crown corporations making grants in lieu of taxes.

Second, it specifies that such guidelines are to provide that grants be determined on a basis that is at least equivalent to that which is applicable to departmental property.

Third, it lists schedules 111 and IV, if hon. members will check those schedules, the specific bodies which are affected by these guidelines. The bodies listed in schedules III and IV are required to pay grants in respect of real property taxes and frontage or area taxes. The bodies listed in schedule IV, in addition, are required to make payments in respect of business occupancy taxes as well. Bodies are listed in schedule IV if they are generally independent of our own treasury, the federal treasury.

I think it might help members of the House who are interested if I just outlined what the government's guidelines will be if the House passes this bill. The first principle will be this: Crown corporations are not to enter into special arrangements with local governments or provinces in respect of real property taxes, frontage or area taxes or business occupancy taxes.

Second, the grants that they make are to be paid to taxing authorities responsible for collecting taxes in the areas where their property is situated, and they are not to by-pass these authorities.

Third, the grants are to be paid in respect of any property of a kind that would be subject to grant if it were property of a federal department. However, this will not apply in respect of Crown corporation property leased to a third party.

Fourth, the rate of tax to be used in calculating a grant on Crown corporation property is to be the rate that would be applicable to such property if it were taxable property. Deductions from the resulting grants are not to be made except in very limited cases where they could be made in respect of departmental property as set out in clauses 6 and 7 of the bill.

The fifth principle is this: Grants are to be settled and paid with reasonable promptness in respect of each taxation year for each taxing authority, having regard to when the taxes are due for the owners of private property. Where final settlements cannot be made within such a time frame, interim payments are to be made which will be substantial in relation to the total grant that the body estimates will be made for the taxation year.

Sixth, grants are to be paid free of any conditions.

Seventh, where a dispute arises between two Crown corporations as to which of them is responsible for the payment of a grant in lieu of taxes for a given property, the matter will be referred promptly to the Department of Justice for a ruling, and the opinion of that body shall be accepted.

These are the principles that will be contained in these regulations if the bill is passed.

These guidelines should help to clarify the present situation with reference to grants by Crown corporations and agencies. They will be set out with precise wording in regulations, but they will not become binding until the bodies concerned or any other intereted parties, including municipalities, have had an

December 3, 1979

opportunity to comment on them. For this reason we do not intend to have these guidelines become applicable until the first day of taxation years commencing on or after January 1, 1981, not 1980.

Provision will be made for adding corporations to or deleting them from schedules 111 and IV. This will be done at a later stage, likely in connection with a separate bill. Bill C-27, dealing with the Crown Corporations Act. I believe that has now had first reading in the House. Bill C-27 concerns the control, direction, and accountability of all Crown corporations.

I should also refer before closing to the role of the provinces in this federal program. Municipal governments are the creations of the provinces. I notice that my script says "the creatures of the provinces". I remember when 1 was elected to St. John's city council that this term was used by somebody in the Newfoundland government. We were the "creature" of the provincial government. 1 took strong objection. So, harking back to that, over the years, back, in 1965-14 years ago; it is gone in a flash. As you get older, you realize we are only transient here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

Some more than others.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister of Finance)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

The poll has had very deleterious effects on me.

However, local governments are creations of the provinces. The taxes which they can levy, as well as the form of those taxes and the body that is responsible to administer and collect them, are all determined by the provincs. With a few exceptions, notably those that apply to appeal procedures and the definition of property subject to grant, we try to follow the property tax institutions of each province.

For that reason grants have always been paid to those bodies which had been designated by the provinces as tax collecting bodies. As a consequence we pay grants to school boards. We pay them to upper tier and regional municipalities only where they are the tax collecting authorities as designated and appointed and decided by the provinces. In my view it would be inappropriate for us to depart from that practice, or for us to designate on our own the bodies to which our grants should be paid. That is a matter to be decided by the provinces which create the municipal and local government structures in this country.

I have to point out in that respect that in some cases the provinces themselves, or the territories, collect the property taxes. This is happening in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. In those cases we pay federal grants to the provinces and the territories in the same way as we do to the municipal governments since 1967. That has been authorized by a special wording added to the municipal grants vote of Parliament and not through the act itself. If we pass this bill, then such payments will be brought within the act for the First time.

Finally, in ending I want to note a number of minor new things which the act does. It permits the payment of grants for

Municipal Grants

the first time to Indian band councils where they levy a property tax. It provides exclusions for lands for which a Crown grant was never issued and for which there is no designated use, and also for general purpose public highways owned by the federal government. It gives the minister power to reduce a grant by the amount of any cancellation, reduction or refund of taxes that would be applicable to federal property if it were taxable property. There is no concern why we should not get the same kind of reduction.

While the bill authorizes grants on community pastures for the first time, it has an exclusion in clause 11 for such time as a special existing program of payments in lieu of taxes on community pastures continues in effect.

The fifth point is that the bill makes it clear that no grant is to be paid in respect of taxable property acquired by the Government of Canada for any part of the taxation year during which it is acquired. The latter is because in fact the former owner of such property is taxable for the whole of the taxation year during which the acquisition takes place, and there is no reason why the tax should be paid twice.

This brings me to the end of my comments about the purpose and intent of Bill C-3. We can all see from my remarks-and I know they are hard to follow if one does not have the text before him-that this is a complex and important measure. It will tidy up and modernize a statute where changes are long overdue; it is now 22 years since it was changed. It will bring substantial benefits to local governments in all parts of Canada and will strengthen the principle that the Government of Canada is paying its way for the services it receives from municipal government.

Before anyone in the official opposition jumps up to point it out, I am quite happy to say that the terms of the bill are pretty well the same as the bill which was introduced in the House of Commons approximately nine or ten months ago by the then minister of finance, who has since passed on to happier things in the opposition. Therefore I would anticipate tremendous support from the official opposition for this piece of legislation. 1 would not be surprised if even the New Democratic Party supports this legislation. Normally they do not like to see money spent or any increased amounts of money spent when it comes to the average home owner across Canada who hopes to get a break in the new year through another piece of legislation that I would not mention because I do not want to get on a controversial tack here. But I hope even members of the New Democratic Party will support this legislation and we get it through the House tonight. As a matter of fact, we have one hour and ten minutes. What a tremendous demonstration this would be to the municipalities of Canada of how members opposite were concerned about them, if this whistled through all stages tonight with no hesitation, on to third reading, and became law tomorrow. I move second reading of the bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

December 3, 1979

Municipal Grants

[ Translation]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Ottawa-Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, the first time I had the opportunity to speak in this most impressive chamber was in 1963. I had chosen, as the topic of my maiden speech, the price of manufacturing milk. In so doing, I was of course proving the great interest I had in local matters dear to my electors of Drummond-Arthabaska, my riding at the time, and today the riding of Drummond. I must admit that I am seeking to express somewhat the same feeling today in speaking of grants in lieu of taxes paid to municipalities in which there are federal buildings, a topic of prime interest, naturally, to the electors of Ottawa-Carleton, my new riding.

Mr. Speaker, I do not profess to be an expert in the matter like my colleague from Langelier, former mayor of Quebec City, who unfortunately is unable to be here tonight and who would very much like to participate in the debate. This may be reason enough to extend it till tomorrow because the hon. member for Langelier (Mr. Lamontagne) has important things to say about the principles involved in this debate. As for me, 1 certainly intend to become more versed in the matter than I was, or at least sufficiently to meet the needs of my present duties.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) has already given the basic elements of this bill. They are pretty clear, notwithstanding the fancy job he did on his speech, with additions which were more of a confusing nature than of an enlightening one. But we thank him for that nevertheless, because it made the last hour easier to go through. The words, thoughts and ideas, as he said himself, are those found in the proposal made by the hon. member for Saint-Maurice (Mr. Chretien) in Bill C-46 in January of 1979. So, we can easily call it a bipartisan, and, I hope, a tripartisan bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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PC

Walter David Baker (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton):

Quadripartisan.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

As has been clearly indicated, obviously 1 have a special interest, as others have, because of what is involved in this bill for Ottawa and surrounding municipalities. I am informed on what the city of Ottawa will be getting out of this new law. Presently the grants in lieu of taxes for the city of Ottawa are in the area of $30 million. This figure will go up by $3.3 million in 1980, by $4.4 million in 1981, by $5.5 million in 1982, and $6.6 million in 1983.

The township of Gloucester is interested in it too. At the moment it receives $1,165 million, and $475,000 for the Crown corporations. I assume that that figure will be adjusted as the others will be.

1 am very keen to know what the village of Rockcliffe will be getting out of the new formula by way of compensation for embassies located on its territory. As the minister said, in the case of Ottawa, the Parliament Buildings, the National Archives, the National Library, the National Arts Centre and the National Museum will be included for the first time in the formula. As he said, also the bill covers Crown corporations, at least those found in schedules I, III and IV. This includes only

56 of them. I am quite keen to know what will happen to the others. Presumably we will have detailed statistics on what will happen to the Crown corporations not listed at the end of this bill.

[ Translation]

The following question is immediately raised: does Bill C-3 solve all problems and satisfy the aspirations of the municipalities involved? The views of the municipalities have been stated by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities in a letter to Mr. Chretien and a brief to the Canadian government, both delivered on June 20, 1977. It would be useful to make a comparison between supply and demand, between the demands of the municipalities and what is offered by the government, to record in Hansard and comment very quickly a few excerpts from the second document. It is a paper which I read carefully and, as I said, I would simply wish to put on record in Hansard a few quotations so that those who read the interesting debates of this House can compare the demands of the municipalities with what they get under Bill C-3.

1 therefore quote from the brief dated June 20, 1977 and entitled "Urgent Amendments to be made to the Municipal Grants Act". The quotation reads as follows:

Through the federal program of grants in lieu of taxes, considerable revenues accrued to the municipalities of Canada. However, the program had several basic flaws. In our opinion, the federal government should pay taxes the same way as any other ratepayer of a municipality or provide corresponding grants.

That is the principle the former mayor of Quebec City, now the hon. member for Langelier would like to comment upon tomorrow. In that paper, the municipalities indicated five issues still outstanding in June, 1977, at the time they were expressing their opinions. The first issue was the difference between the assessed value and the agreed value. I quote from the brief:

In a number of cases, the assessed value of a given property (determined by the municipality) does not coincide with the agreed value (determined by the federal government). We strongly recommend-

It is still the Federation of Municipalities that is speaking.

-to correct the situation by accepting the assessed value that the municipality concerned will have determined.

Bill C-3, as the Minister of Finance indicated very clearly tonight, does not recognize that principle. Clause 2 of the bill defines theeffective rate

-as that which "in the opinion of the minister, would be applicable to any federal property if that property were taxable property". The minister said that this difference between the assessed value and the agreed value does not create too many problems. My information is slightly different.

As a matter of fact, I have been told that in 10 per cent of the cases the agreed value is higher than the assessed value, that it is lower in 50 per cent and that it is the same in 40 per cent of the cases, which still means that there is a difference between both values in 50 per cent of the cases. The govern-

December 3, 1979

merit's refusal to accept the point of view of the federation is probably based on the lack of consistency in the assessment process from one town to another. But we should like to know, and we shall see in committee, whether the problem is serious and whether there is a way of reducing-we should always try to improve the law-the total liberty now left to federal authorities which are responsible for the negotiation of the evaluation base. Perhaps the mechanism itself through which the evaluation is determined should be improved.

We should also wonder, and the minister did so, how the provinces act in such circumstances. 1 read that some provinces accept the municipal evaluation. So we should try to determine why they do so. If some accept the municipal evaluation, there is perhaps some reason for this. I also read while preparing my speech that some commentators suggested there should be some common effort between the federal government and the provinces to have precisely a common federal-provincial approach in that area. This is perhaps a subject to be put on the agenda of a federal-provincial conference.

The second area of conflict which the Federation of Municipalities mentioned is the number of tax exempt properties at the present time. There is no possible ground for discussion on this subject. There has been a great deal of improvement in the number of federal buildings which are now, which henceforth will come under this system of grants in lieu of taxes. But are they cases of unacceptable tax exemptions? The Ottawa municipal authorities seem satisfied but other municipalities may not be so and they should be encouraged to write to us if that is the case.

The third issue of conflict is the business occupancy tax and again 1 quote the text from the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

The federal government has not taken into account the business occupancy tax in the calculation of the grants. The Canadian Federation of Municipalities suggests that the business occupancy tax is an integral part of the property tax system.

The commission paper then lists the reasons which in the past had justified or seemed to justify the refusal on the part of the central government to compensate for the non payment of the business tax. These two reasons are, first "the lack of uniformity in Canada concerning this tax system", and second the fact that "federal government activities do not generate taxable income".

And on that point the federation was almost violent, not accepting, and again I quote:

-the technical arguments used by the government-

-which, they said-

-to a large extent do not apply to the calculation of the grant and do not hold before the significance of that tax as a source of revenue for municipalities.

1 have a bit of difficulty here because the text of the Federation of Municipalities uses the expression commercial

Municipal Grants

tax. It may just be a matter of semantics but I have been told that for the past three years the commercial property tax has been accepted with the residual property tax as the basis of evaluation in the current legislation on grants to municipalities. In other words, and the minister said so earlier, any property tax, residual or commercial, is considered to determine the basis for federal grants.

What is not accepted-the Minister of Finance has also mentioned this, maintaining the central government's position in this regard-what is not accepted is the business tax, the business occupancy tax which is defined in clause 8(2) of Bill C-3 as a tax for business activities and not as a property tax as such. This business tax is still excluded in the bill, except, as the minister indicated, for Crown corporations listed in schedule IV, corporations which are openly and truly commercial.

So, Mr. Speaker, this is one of the most important points on which the Federation of Municipalities, speaking on behalf of municipalities which are recipients of these grants, disagree with the government. Incidentally, it is important to note that if the business tax or the business occupancy tax were retained as a basis for federal grants it would add, I do not have any precise figures since estimates vary, but it would add $30 million, $40 million, some even say $100 million to the amount the municipalities now claim from Ottawa. I wanted to stress this point, Mr. Speaker, so that it would be well understood, including by myself, that there is a very large gap on this point between the Federation of Municipalities and the central government.

The fourth contentious issue is that of deduction for services. The minister stated tonight that almost all deductions were now set aside. As he himself said, this includes schools, police, and garbage collection where the government uses its own services or does not use those of the municipality. Those deductions are covered in clauses 6 and 7 of the bill. I have consulted those concerned and was told that this did not represent a major problem here in Ottawa. Again, if our information is not correct I hope that the people concerned will write to us or will phone us. There may be instances where this creates real problems.

Finally, the fifth contentious issue that the federation brought up in June, 1977, concerns Crown corporations; it deplored the fact that there was no "consistency in the way Crown corporations pay their municipal taxes". According to what the minister said tonight, and to the bill before us. Crown corporations listed in schedules 1, III and IV are now subject to this legislation. Therefore, in this instance, as in two or three others, the federation won its case. But there are other Crown corporations, not enumerated in schedules I, III and IV, and about which we would like more information.

Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to conclude the second part of my comments by saying that Bill C-3 solves a lot of problems but does not solve them all. The most pressing problem that

December 3, 1979

Municipal Grants

remains is that of the status of the business tax, the business occupancy tax, the formula for evaluating the effective rate which is the basis of the grant. The minister has said again tonight that the federal government will act as it has in the past.

[English ]

The federal government in these matters continues not to recognize business occupancy taxes in its new granting formula with some exceptions; for commercial Crown corporations. Why is that? One reason is that municipal business occupancy taxes vary from one province to another, ranging from Prince Edward Island, which not long ago abolished them completely, to Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, which 1 understand have made them mandatory. I understand Manitoba permits municipalities, but does not require them to levy an extra business tax. In addition, as a general rule throughout Canada, distilleries and breweries pay much higher rates of taxes. Pipelines, telephone companies and mines usually have their business tax rates prescribed by statute.

To repeat, there is very little consistency in business taxes from one municipality to another or from one industry to another, and that is the real problem. The Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities have spoken, as I have said before, for the inclusion of these business taxes in the grants formula, for many years. Should they be accepted, they would add about 25 per cent to the cost on a national basis. Municipalities have argued that by making grants purely at residential and commercial real property rates, the federal government is paying less than its fair share. This is an argument of which the public at large and members of Parliament must be very much aware.

Prince Edward Island has found an interesting way around this difficulty. It abolished business taxes and created a single rate for all property, the effect of which was to increase federal grants in lieu of taxes in that province. Theoretically, all provinces could follow the example of Prince Edward Island and create one uniform tax rate which would be higher than the current residential and commercial rates combined. In practice, however, it would be very difficult for them to do so, as they would be accused of giving money to businesses, especially breweries and distilleries. So, politically, they have not been able to do this, in spite of the fact that such a move would increase grants in lieu of taxes.

1 would like to emphasize that there is created here an anomaly which in principle should be corrected if at all possible. The problem has potential constitutional dimensions. 1 would put the questions to the Minister of Finance in this way: the first possibility is, should the federal government respect provincial autonomy and jurisdiction in municipal affairs and accept the distinction most provinces make between commercial and business occupancy tax and let them penalize themselves or their municipalities if they so wish? The second question is, should Ottawa respect provincial autonomy and jurisdiction and accept the province's right to distinguish

commercial and business occupancy taxes and not penalize those provinces which do so? In my view these are the alternatives. I am quite sure that the problem will not be solved tomorrow. It should be the objective of the government however, to solve the problem by means of the second suggestion which is more accommodating to provincial autonomy and to the federal system as a whole.

The Minister of Finance has indicated that this is not only a theoretical or constitutional problem, but one of cost to the federal purse. Consequently, I suggest that the federal government consider the possibility in the future of paying a certain percentage of the business occupancy tax to those municipalities which levied that tax separately from the commercial property tax or, in other words, to those provinces which do not roll the taxes together. I am interested in questioning the minister on this topic when this bill gets into committee. I think that the principle 1 proposed is better than the present law. We should always strive for improvement, and my proposal would meet the needs of the future if not the possibilities of the moment.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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NDP

Simon Leendert de Jong

New Democratic Party

Mr. Simon de Jong (Regina East):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to indicate my support for this bill. It is a marvellous bill and I congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) for bringing it before the House. I am sure that members on all sides will support the bill. So far, the government has not proposed many such bills, and it has been rather difficult for us. I know that the minister has been threatening the members opposite with an election if we do not rush in and support his proposed bills and suggestions, but indeed tonight we have something before us which we all can applaud. It has definitely been a long time coming.

Many municipalities, and particularly the ones around Ottawa, have definitely experienced numerous injustices in the past. I was not here for the occasion, but I understand that at one time the city of Ottawa threatened to cut off the water supply to the Parliament Buildings because of the injustices perpetrated by the previous government. Indeed, the previous government introduced this bill in 1976. They took a great deal of time before they actually introduced the bill, and then they eventually went through the motions of getting it through the House. I think, though, that we came to expect that from the previous administration. They moved slowly on a number of matters. That is why the people of Canada decided in May to see what a bunch of new fellows could do.

On this particular measure I congratulate the government not only for introducing the bill, but for giving it priority. 1 am sure that we will be able to pass the bill tonight. It is not a controversial measure and I think that all hon. members will support it. I see no reason why we cannot pass this legislation tonight.

The Minister of Finance will be happy, and he will be able to sleep tonight with a smile rather than a frown on his face. If the Minister of Finance is happy for an evening, the country will benefit, I am sure. I urge the House to send the Minister

December 3, 1979

of Finance home tonight with a smile so that he will have pleasant dreams and not nightmares.

The one thing that I wonder about is why some of the measures will be phased in. 1 recognize that in most cases the municipalities will be able to collect grants in lieu of taxes next year, but on some occasions it will be over a four year period.

Having accepted the fact that grants should be given in lieu of taxes, why should it take four years to actualize that truth? That is one of the major defects in the bill. Perhaps the minister could reconsider the matter and perhaps next year, if he is still here, he could speed up the process, so that this four year phase-in period could be reduced.

I do not wish to say any more on the bill. The previous speaker in a non-partisan way has raised some valid points. I am sure that the Minister of Finance will accept those points and will consider all suggestions wich have been made. There are problems which defy easy solution and which require a sense of good will and determination before they can be worked through and solved. Other than that, I have nothing more to say. We will support the bill.

[ Translation]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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SC

Armand Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Armand Caouette (Abitibi):

Mr. Speaker, like the hon. member who spoke before me, we also do not intend to keep this bill on second reading too long in this House but we want to give the government the possibility of doing something as it has once again taken a step favourable to municipalities which have been indeed complaining for years about the lack of revenue because of Parliament or government buildings.

We know that the city of Ottawa in particular had serious problems and nearly every year groups were formed to urge the government to give their fair share to the municipalities or cities which were asking the federal government to be a good citizen like all others and pay its property contribution. We also know, Mr. Speaker, that under the British North America Act and other regulations, a municipal or provincial government cannot force the federal government to pay property taxes.

Clause 13 of Bill C-3 says, and I quote:

1 3. No right to a grant is conferred by this act.

Such a conception, Mr. Speaker, could be justified in 1867 when the federal government and its administration amounted to a very small number of buildings, including the Parliament Building, the residences of the Governor General, the Lieutenant Governor, the Prime Minister and a few others. Today, the situation has changed and the federal government is the biggest administration in this country. Its buildings cover thousands of square feet and when one looks at the number of buildings the federal government has in our Canadian cities, those grants that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) is proposing tonight, in Bill C-3, are indeed welcome.

Municipal Grants

I would not want, as the hon. member who spoke before me suggested, to take too much of the time of the House to move amendments to Bill C-3 if necessary. 1 would like to conclude by urging the minister to introduce other bills which could help our municipalities which for the past years have had to go heavily into debt.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues, I hope this bill will go through third reading quite rapidly so those municipalities can have the grants the minister described so well tonight.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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PC

Kenneth C. Binks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ken Binks (Ottawa West):

In speaking to Bill C-3, Mr. Speaker, the municipal grants act, 1979, I want to commend the minister for making the changes contained in this bill and making it one of the first pieces of legislation to be offered in the new Parliament.

1 was interested to hear the hon. member for Ottawa-Carle-ton (Mr. Pepin) ask how it will meet all the problems. Mr. Speaker, there is no bill that meets all the problems, but in my opinion Bill C-3 should be considered in the same sense as Bill C-20. Bill C-3 is as important in its own way as is Bill C-20, because it gives relief to municipalities while Bill C-20 gives relief to individuals in this country.

This bill is long overdue. The first municipal act was passed in this country in the Baldwin-Lafontaine ministry in 1837, and the last time municipal grants in lieu of taxes was discussed in this House was in 1957, when the question of taxation of the Crown by municipalities was fully discussed by ministers, and laid to rest.

This bill recognizes the urgent needs of more than 2,000 municipalities across Canada. The previous government diddled with this problem and the bill was reluctantly offered to the previous Parliament but did not pass second reading.

The hon. member for Regina East (Mr. de Jong) has asked why the legislation is to be phased in, and why it will not become effective within one year. It is for the same reason that Bill C-20 has to be phased in. that is, because of the present economic situation in Canada.

Municipalities across Canada, and the 2,000 municipalities that will benefit from this bili, the bedrock of democracy in Canada, suffered grievously because of the previous government's lack of initiative. By providing an additional $25,500,000 in annual federal grants in lieu of municipal taxes, this legislation will expand grant coverage to include almost all categories of real property owned by the government. It will provide, for the first time, full grants in lieu of real property taxes on defence bases in rural areas, national parks, historic sites, museums, libraries, art galleries, concert halls, reclaimed lands, and water conservation projects.

Most of the existing deductions from grants for municipal services provided by the government will be removed. Grants will be calculated using higher mill rates in some cases, such as for penitentiaries in provinces where real property taxes are levied at multiple rates. Grants will also be paid in respect of

December 3, 1979

Municipal Grants

certain types of property tax which are presently excluded from the grant system.

The municipal grants act will, for the first time, give some direction to Crown corporations regarding the grants they pay. This, Mr. Speaker, will alleviate the tax burden of potential private sector shoppers to an area such as Ottawa. Because the increased federal grants will be executed on a four-year phase-in period, this will allow municipalities to plan, in a responsible way, the yield they will receive to improve their service to residents and employees.

As the member for Ottawa West I particularly welcome the positive effects this legislation will have on the city of Ottawa. There has been much criticism expressed towards the former mayor and councillors for threatening to cut off the water supply and local services to Parliament and other government buildings, but I can see how they were frustrated. I want to pay tribute to the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Baker) for his influence in seeing that this legislation was offered early in this session.

I can appreciate the frustration of civic politicians in attempting to govern and plan for even minimum requirements in Ottawa. Ottawa will receive more than $6.5 million when this bill is completely phased in. More important, the uncertainty of not knowing in what directions the civic government should plan, will be removed.

Ottawa, the nation's capital, has found itself in distressing circumstances by reason of what the previous government did since 1968 to downgrade the importance of Ottawa as the capital of this country. The decentralization program-the most ill-conceived plan in this decade-in moving thousands of public servants from the Ottawa area, has left scars that will long remain. While it is proper to think of the national capital area as one geographic entity, it was scandalous to move thousands upon thousands of public servants across the river to Hull without even making provision to educate their children, without making adequate provisions for proper sewerage. There is no excuse in the world to send public servants to the four corners of Canada without proper planning in advance.

We need a strong federal presence right here in Ottawa, right here in the national capital, and this legislation will help to achieve that goal.

Canada is one of the most decentralized countries in the world. 1 am happy that this new government has stopped the madness of evacuation of the national capital. In my view, Mr. Speaker, this bill will help the national capital region. It is long overdue. But it is not all. I want to commend the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Stevens) for his assistance in setting up a task force to consider future economic goals for the national capital area. One of the greatest unexploited resources in the national capital area has been the tourist industry. Construction of the Rideau Centre should go forward at once. Her Majesty, or an immediate member of her family should be in residence in Rideau Hall for at least one month every year. The recent heresy of making Ottawa and

Hull together in name by hyphen should be stopped. The capital of Canada is Ottawa; it is not Ottawa hyphen Hull, i There is no excuse for attempting to change the name of the capital, chosen in 1857 by Queen Victoria, from Ottawa to Ottawa hyphen Hull.

In introducing this important legislation, sir, the government has taken the first step in what I hope will be a number of provisions to restore vitality in the national capital. Ottawa needs a truly international airport and not the Mickey Mouse excuse we are required to put up with here in this city. 1 am speaking of the future of Ottawa and the hope that it will become an entity with a diversified economy not subservient to the federal government.

This legislation, Bill C-3, will help to create a new climate in Ottawa, and the number of groups at work today in this city can help remould the future of Ottawa. In addition to reaping the benefits of additional grants proposed by this legislation, Ottawa wants to attract candidates in the private sector area who can share in the tax burden of the community.

Bill C-3 is the avenue for growth potential, the underpinning of economic health of our capital and across the country. This government, Mr. Speaker, realizes we are big government, but this government states we will act as a private citizen for private citizens.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Joseph Gaston Isabelle

Liberal

Mr. Gaston Isabelle (Hull):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to express my views on Bill C-3, a very significant piece of legislation for the municipality of Ottawa in particular, and 1 am most happy for that municipality that has been trying for a number of years to obtain an increase of grants in lieu of taxes in order to cover its yearly costs. However, this bill has been put forward at this point, because the previous government had already introduced remedial legislation on the subject of grants in lieu of taxes.

There is no reason for overcommendation. Although the bill is excellent, it should go much further. But 1 shall make no attempt at pulling it down or disparaging it. I feel it is overdue because the Canadian Federation of Municipalities and all neighbouring municipalities within the national capital area were requesting it. Maybe more should be done, because this is the first time that grants in lieu of taxes will be paid for military bases, museums and so forth. But let that be as it may.

It must also be realized that we have come a very long way in Canada in every area. Provinces have created new entities in addition to municipalities, such as regions, regional communities. We have one in Ottawa. There is one in the Quebec area of the national capital. I would not like to start an argument, but the hon. member for Ottawa West (Mr. Binks) suggested Ottawa was the capital of Canada. I think that no one will deny this fact except that, if you know the history of the area, you will realize that since 1893 all governments have always

December 3, 1979

attempted to include Hull, Ottawa and the area in some kind of region called the national capital area.

If 1 remember our history, in 1906, the then minister of finance, Mr. Fielding, held some kind of a referendum but only on Ottawa side, to ask if the people of the national capital would like a federal district like that of Washington. This proposal was rejected by only 600 or 800 votes. Had the Hull area been included according to the wishes of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, we would probably have a federal district like that of Washington. The situation might have changed tremendously, but when we say in this House that Ottawa is the capital of Canada 1 think that we are guilty of chauvinism. I believe that we live beyond that chauvinism, in what we call the national capital area. So, let us have the honesty to recognize the existence of the national capital area. The description of the municipalities included in that area is given in a measure passed by the government of the right hon. John G. Diefen-baker in 1958, I think. So we should pull down those psychological barriers and attempt to find the answer for our municipalities. It must be recognized that the national capita! area is a very special region more than any other in Canada, Mr. Speaker. This is the seat of the central government. It expanded on the other side of the river, in Hull. It even extends beyond the municipality of Ottawa.

I think that instead of discussing small, insignificant, useless and silly arguments, the members of the national capital area might join their efforts to promote the improvement and the economic and social development of the national capital area. The city of Hull, Mr. Speaker, is unique. For years, when Mackenzie King had recognized that Hull was part of the national capital area, the federal government did not do much for the city. It is only since 1968 that the federal government has decided to make a big move which displeased some but which was a way of catching up.

I believe that the people in the national capital area must be happy to see that the Canadian capital has an adjunct in the city of Hull. The sums which have normally been given to us parsimoniously by governments since the beginning of this century have been minimal amounts used for beautifying the area, but that did not stop everyone from coming to the Gatineau region for recreation. Gatineau park, one of the most beautiful in Canada, was developed, as well as the fantastic Fairy Lake Parkway, and quite recently magnificent buildings have gone up in Hull, which give a face lift to the whole panorama of the national capital area. On the other hand, this has caused problems to such a point that a brief submitted in 1971 by Hull municipal authorities to the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Canadian Constitution says the following:

It plainly shows that for many years, always for beautification purposes of unquestionable value, the city of Hull has been progressively deprived ... of part of its territory ... of hundreds of taxable buildings and properties ... of part of its industries, in summary of an important part of its main source of revenue.

Municipal Grants

with no compensation formula in the least proportionate to the magnitude of this deprivation.

We do not mean that as a criticism, because 99 per cent of Hull area residents are very happy about the presence of the federal government and my predecessors and elected officials at every governmental level have supported projects to allow the federal government to expand around the Parliament Buildings.

In summary-

-I am still quoting from the brief-

-while the functions of the city of Hull have multiplied at the same rate as those of all other major municipalities, its commitments, which for a large part can be attributed directly to its proximity to the national capital, have increased substantially at the same lime as a major part of its tax base has disappeared gradually under the steamroller of beautification which has transformed taxable property into non-taxable green spaces.

Mr. Speaker, again last year, the mayor of Hull met with the then minister of finance, Mr. Chretien, to ask him simply why property value could not be calculated according to the method used by the Outaouais Regional Community which can make a real property assessment of all municipalities of the national capital region on the Quebec side of the river.

I think that method would have meant $850,000 more for Hull, which would have been a great help because it had to incur more expenses than any other municipality to provide services for the new buildings that were erected on its territory. On numerous occasions it was asked that the assessment be based on the regional community method or, as preceding speakers mentioned, that the business tax be used to a certain extent. But for reasons that would be too long to discuss, I think that for all practical purposes the federal government should find means to help municipalities on both the Ontario and the Quebec side, particularly those located in the national capital region since it differs from all others. I repeat that we are in the national capital region. To take exception to adding the name of Hull to that of Ottawa to form the name Ottawa-Hull is to show a partisan mind and is unworthy of all great statemen and any ordinary politician who has any common sense. So I think that those who think we are lost somewhere in the Quebec territory are wrong; we are on the border of Quebec, we live in the shadow of Parliament and we hold full Canadian citizenship, besides being residents of the national capital region of which I am immensely proud, Mr. Speaker.

Since we are talking about the national capital region, I would say that governments have a tendency to turn more and more towards regionalism, that is, that they realize regions are not all alike and that each one can succeed in every possible way in developing economically, in achieving a higher standard of living than another provided it is given adequate means to do so. Therefore, 1 think we must respect regionalism and that we must see to it that the national capital region is respected like all others. Let us give it the means to develop fully.

December 3, 1979

Municipal Grants

1 am very glad that this bill has been introduced in the House. I have nothing to say against it. On the contrary, 1 wish to congratulate the government for bringing it forward and 1 hope it will continue to introduce bills as positive as this one, Bill C-3, but I insist that we should find methods whereby we can make a positive contribution to the Ottawa-Hull region. When I say Hull, I refer as much to Ottawa; being from Hull and having lived in Ottawa for a long time I think that I am no more a resident of Hull than one of Ottawa; I am a resident of the national capital region.

So I hope that the government continues to bring those changes that have been required for a long time by the city of Ottawa, by the city of Hull and by the Ottawa-Carleton regional community, by the Communaute regionale de l'Ou-taouais, by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, by all the other bodies, the chambers of commerce and so on which have attempted by submitting briefs to urge the government to assist municipalities.

Before finishing, Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to say that I am happy to live in the national capital region, that I am pround of the city I represent, that I am happy to associate with my Ottawa colleagues and I hope they are glad to have me as their colleague representing Hull.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

John Leslie Evans

Liberal

Mr. John Evans (Ottawa Centre):

Mr. Speaker, 1 welcome this opportunity to add to the comments of my colleagues on this bill which affects municipalities across Canada, particularly Ottawa. 1 am also happy to see this government follow the lead of the former government in recognizing the need for additional moneys to the municipalities. However, 1 do not believe that the present bill goes nearly far enough in overcoming certain inequities in the current grants structure, as 1 will indicate shortly.

In my maiden speech to this House, 1 urged the government to move quickly on this matter of grants in lieu of taxes. I stressed the importance of it to the municipalities in the national capital region as well as to municipalities across Canada where there is a federal presence. The city of Ottawa has by far the lion's share of federal properties. As a result it has lost the most in the past and stands to gain the most with this legislation before us.

Bill C-3 will serve to eliminate some of this burden and should help prevent additional tax hikes to the people of Ottawa by the municipal authorities, but it will not eradicate all of the inequities. Allow me to explain, Mr. Speaker. While Bill C-3 provides for the inclusion in the grants formula of most federal property previously excluded, it fails to deal with the loss of revenue to cities which results from the federal government's inability or unwillingness to pay business occupancy taxes. Therefore, while the new grants formula will overcome the inequality of the past resulting from underpayment of property taxes, it fails to address the inequities associated with non-payment of these business taxes.

Although I certainly agree that the federal government should not be as a business, I do believe that the federal government should provide compensation to municipalities which reflects their loss resulting from the fact that the government, and not a private business, occupies land within the municipality. Bill C-3 will not achieve this result, and it is a major omission. 1 estimate that the revenue loss to the city of Ottawa resulting from this omission is approximately $15 million per year. Now I should not lay the full blame at the door of the federal government. While it is true that the federal government is precluded from paying business taxes, this has been overcome in other parts of the country where the province simply allows the municipalities to incorporate the business tax within the commercial property tax category. Prince Edward Island has done this. Unfortunately, Ontario has not, and since Ontario shows no signs of moving, there is but one alternative. That alternative is for the federal government to provide a special grant in lieu of business taxes. 1 hope that the government will seriously consider this option and I intend to push for its adoption in the near future.

Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to touch on another issue if 1 may. While I welcome this bill, there is a bit of irony to be seen in its reintroduction at this time. The government has stated time and lime again its intent to cut the public service by at least 60,000 jobs over the next three years. This will cause irreparable damage to my constituents, to the city of Ottawa, and to the business community. This will happen irrespective of the passage of Bill C-3. The effects of this cut-back policy will greatly weaken the city's financial base. The present high taxes in Ottawa will have to be increased in all likelihood as a result of this government's commitment with regard to the public service. Therefore, while the government promises relief with one hand, it takes it away with the other.

It would appear, Mr. Speaker, that this government is playing a very dangerous game and the city of Ottawa is caught in the middle. It's a first class juggling act. First they promise cuts to the public service and then they try to make amends by giving the city money. This will not make amends to those public servants affected by the cuts. It will not make amends to those businessmen who depend on the buying power of public servants who will soon join the ranks of the unemployed. It will not improve the morale of a city which is coming to realize that it is facing a grim future. While I repeat I welcome the increased grants to Ottawa, it should be well understood that this in no way compensates for the other drastic measures being inflicted upon this city and upon my constituents.

Mr. Speaker, there is an additional case against this government which once again demonstrates its insensitivity to the problems of Ottawa. Within two weeks, the Eastern Ontario Rural and Economic Development Subsidiary Agreement will be signed between the federal government and the province of Ontario. This program has a budget of $50 million over the next five years out of which $10 million is designated for small business assistance. However, this government, contrary to the expressed wishes of the province of Ontario, has decided that

December 3, 1979

small businesses in Ottawa-Carleton will be ineligible to participate. Apparently, Mr. Speaker, the federal government feels that small business in Ottawa-Carleton is thriving and is not in need of the extra help. Yet small businesses in other areas of eastern Ontario will be eligible for grants up to $100,000. This is strange talk for a government which has publicly acknowledged that Ottawa will require special assistance to help cushion the impact of its public service policies on the business community. By eliminating the opportunity for small businesses in Ottawa-Carleton to share in this program, it is eliminating an opportunity to promote the diversification which the government admits will be required over the next decade. Mr. Speaker, this is but one more example of the inconsistent approach to policy development which is becoming the hallmark of this government.

I call on this government to remove the prohibition on Ottawa-Carleton firms now found in the proposed Eastern Ontario Rural and Economic Development Subsidiary Agreement. I am not calling for special status for Ottawa, only that Ottawa firms be allowed to compete on the basis of merit for assistance funds which will be made available. Certainly, a government which purports to value efficiency and free enterprise cannot argue with the granting of assistance to the firms shown to be most worthy on the basis of merit.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, this government is refusing to recognize the legitimate claim of the municipalities with regard to grants in lieu of business taxes in Bill C-3. Further, they are casting a blind eye on small business in Ottawa by denying such businesses access to assistance which is available to small business elsewhere in Eastern Ontario. This is indeed a sorry state of affairs for Ottawa, and while I wish to state once again that I will support the passage of Bill C-3, 1 strongly and sincerely urge the government to move to overcome the inequities I have described with regard to grants in lieu of business taxes, to remove the prohibition on the participation of Ottawa firms in the Eastern Ontario Rural and Economic Subsidiary Agreement in order to help this city in its attempts at economic diversification, and finally, Mr. Speaker, to reconsider its arbitrary and ill-conceived plan to decimate this country's public service.

Eton. J.-J. Blais (Nipissing): Mr. Speaker, 1 thank the hon. member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Evans) very kindly for having given me a few minutes to take part in this debate which is indeed very stimulating. 1 merely want to stress one of the aspects of this bill which has not been touched upon. I would not want it to be overlooked since, to my mind, it deserves to hold public attention. I am thinking here of the transformation of our military bases system. As you know, Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of representing the riding of Nipissing which has, within its boundaries, one of the most important military bases in Canada, importance which will grow as we have just heard that capital investments in the base will be doubled in

Municipal Grants

order to transform it into the communications centre for the whole air control system in Canada.

Now, if I understand correctly, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) indicated very clearly that there will be changes of great benefit to those municipalities that apply for them. All 1 want to do is to stress that it is imperative for the municipalities to apply for those benefits because, as clause 3 of the bill indicates clearly, those funds will be available to the municipalities that recognize their advantages and consequently apply for them.

So, for the people of North Bay in my riding it is essential that this bill which is, of course, imbued with Liberal principles-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Jean-Jacques Blais

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

-be passed through this House with all due dispatch in view of the major advantages it provides for communities which are involved with small business.

1 am very pleased this legislation has been introduced because there needs to be greater integration between municipalities which serve military bases and the bases themselves. North Bay has always enjoyed the tremendous advantage of having the warmest relationship with its military base, CFB North Bay. The whole process whereby negotiations are now to be undertaken between the city and the Department of National Defence in order to identify the increases to which North Bay will be entitled is going to enhance that very warm and remunerative relationship between the two areas.

1 look forward to the passage of this legislation and to assisting the Minister of National Defence (Mr. McKinnon), along with any members on that side of the House who may think they do not have sufficient experience, to reach the best possible arrangement between the military and the municipal authorities. 1 would hasten to advise the municipalities of North Bay of the worth-while advantages of the legislation which is coming forward.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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?

An hon. Member:

Let us have the bill, then!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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PC

Walter David Baker (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Nepean-Carleton):

Send them a copy of your speech!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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LIB

Maurice James Harquail

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Harquail (Restigouche):

Mr. Speaker, 1 cannot forgo the opportunity to speak on this important bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MUNICIPAL GRANTS ACT, 1979 MEASURE RESPECTING GRANTS TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. PROVINCES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
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December 3, 1979