December 10, 1979 (31st Parliament, 1st Session)


Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

Mr. Chairman, I have some sympathy with the principle advocated by the hon. member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry. Given the right circumstances, it might be a measure worth adopting. However, I want to point out to him its fatal defect. This is a tax measure, and as such I think it is quite improper to have a situation arise where a tax measure could be set aside by the other place.
The result of what the hon. member proposes might be the following. It is what is known as a positive resolution, and as such the bill would not continue in existence beyond the time stated unless the order in council was approved by both Houses. 1 point out to the hon. member that a situation might occur where this House, representing the people, might vote for the continuation of the measure, while the other place, not representing the public, and representing also-let us face the political fact-a considerable majority of the official opposition party, could vote against the measure and we would find that the other place would then be setting tax policy. I think even my friend, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, who has a deep measure of affection for the other place which he manages to conceal quite effectively from time to time, would probably agree with me on this.
If this were in the form of a negative resolution so that the measure continued unless it was set aside by a motion of both Houses, then the hon. member would, I think, be in a much more reasonable position. No doubt the Department of Finance will find ways and means by which this would cause all sorts of problems for the department and the administration. I have always found that department to be most ingenious in performing the right degree of mental and financial acrobatics-at least it did so under the previous government. I think it is much more sensible now. So 1 am not concerned with that. I believe it is not a bad idea to review the situation once in a while, but 1 cannot support this amendment which might put the Senate in a position of setting aside a motion of this kind, which would be quite against the constitutional practices of this Parliament.

Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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