March 6, 1957 (22nd Parliament, 5th Session)


Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

I know the subject matter to which the minister objected in so far as the last speaker's remarks were concerned is out of order. I wish it were not because I should like nothing better than to debate the issue of the amount of money that is taken from Ontario. In my judgment a large percentage of what Ontario claims by way of taxes is wealth that comes from the different provinces across this country. I should like to put on the record, item by item, the amount of money. Personally, I am firmly of the belief that a country like Canada, with its centralization, can only get equality in education or health or for municipalities, as well as the many other desirable social objectives for which most of us are aiming, by a redistribution of the wealth in the way it has been done under these provincial agreements. If the Ontario and Quebec members are not prepared to go along with that kind of thing, then the answer to our social and economic problems in this country is decentralization of industry or by paying taxes in the province from which you take the wealth.
Municipal Grants Act
A large percentage of the wealth produced in British Columbia and a lot of the revenues of the main offices of corporations in Ontario and Quebec comes largely from other provinces, but the taxes are paid through the central office. This is equally true of succession duties. Fortunes are amassed in the central part of Canada because of centralization. The taxes are collected there, and I think if you are going to attempt to redistribute these moneys as evenly as possible, the dominion-provincial agreement is the only way it can be done. Otherwise, you have to start revising your economy by decentralization of industry and paying taxes where the wealth is produced. At any rate, I know I am out of order in saying that but the hon. member provoked it. It is a subject about which I feel pretty strongly. Sometime we may get into a real discussion on the subject when it is in order and we may be able to sort out some of the fallacies that are thrown around from time to time in statements such as the one which provoked me to get up at this time.
The bill itself has only one objective and that is to try to provide more assistance for the municipalities in the matter of the taxation of crown property. It is an improvement over what we had but it certainly does not answer the problem of placing the municipality in a financial position to take care of its responsibility. However, that is another subject and I do not think it comes within the purview of this bill. This bill is an improvement over what we had. There are some questions I should like to ask later on the clauses but I only rose now to give you that outburst because it was provoked by my hon. friend.

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