December 13, 1957 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)


Georges Villeneuve


Mr. Villeneuve (Roberval):

Mr. Chairman, I wish to express my disappointment with clause 2 of this bill whereby the government proposes to increase the dependant's exemption by only $100 which, moreover, will apply only to the taxation year 1958.
In the light of the Conservatives' glowing campaign promises, we are inevitably led to the conclusion that their Niagara of promises is being doled out through a medicine dropper.
What the people of Canada were expecting was a complete review of exemptions, one which would have meant substantial exemptions for the ordinary wage earner, for instance a basic exemption of $1,250 for single people and $2,500 or $3,000 for married people, over and above the normal exemptions for dependants, whether or not family allowances are received.
The best way to help large families share in the wealth of this country is to raise the rate of family allowances, as was done by the Liberal government but which the present Conservative administration, so far, has failed to do in its unawareness that human values are still our greatest asset.

A student of dentistry, whose parents live in my constituency, was telling me recently how hard it is for him to get by financially because of the income tax. It's all he can do to earn a wage which does not even cover his tuition fees, food and board, and though he passes up well-deserved holidays so as to keep his job, he has to pay out $200.00 a year in income tax. His parents, in poor circumstances, are unable to help put him through dental school. It seems to me it is high time that generous exemptions be allowed to students who find it so hard to pay for their tuition and where parents pay for a son or daughter's college education, special exemptions like these should be allowed so that children of parents of modest means will not be debarred from higher learning because of financial difficulties.
I know of this through personal experience of financial instability during my own university years, and you may rest assured, Mr. Chairman, that this group of students in modest circumstances, caught between a legitimate ideal and the dictates of primo viver, have my fullest sympathy.
I am making this suggestion while the bill is being introduced, hoping that the legislators may soon give consideration to students who are bleeding themselves white to pursue an ideal which will soon benefit society as a whole. It is therefore a duty for society to make it as easy as possible for these young people to reach their goal. There is no better way of brightening the future than by lessening today's burden.

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