November 6, 1919 (13th Parliament, 3rd Session)


George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)


Yes, farm lands of every description. We have not made very severe demands on the farming community in Canada for means to carry on the war. We have not, hitherto, levied any very special tax on that community-in fact I think they have escaped almost scot free. We know that by reason of the great demand for farm products the farming community have realized many millions of dollars, so that if, for this purpose, we should make a levy upon the farm lands of the Dominion, no complaint could be raised by the farmers themselves nor even by the landowners.
Then I would suggest the imposition of a special tax on all automobiles in the Dominion. It may be said that we have already imposed a large tax on automobiles. Each province has levied a tax of a considerable amount; hut the Dominion should also levy a special tax to help to meet the soldiers' demands and it might be collected

through the provinces'in the same way as the city collected for the provinces the special war tax which the latter demanded. The revenue for this purpose might be collected by the provinces and handed over to the Dominion. We know that there are hundreds of thousands of automobiles throughout the Dominion, and that the province of -Ontario is deriving almost $2,000,000 a year from this source. If we applied a special automobile tax throughout the whole Dominion, it would produce a very considerable revenue.
Then I suggest a special tax on all luxuries and I would begin by taxing theatre chairs. There is already a tax on tickets of admission to theatres, and the Provincial Government has a special tax; but when we consider that in the large majority of theatres, such as vaudeville and picture shows, one chair is occupied perhaps several times in the course of the day, thus producing a revenue of $4 or $5 per diem, and how enormously these theatres are patronized throughout the Dominion, we realize what a large revenue can be derived therefrom.
I would also propose a special tax on all steamboats. I am told that this is a very remunerative line of business, from which a revenue of millions of dollars is derived. There are many hundreds of them in operation throughout the country and a special tax on steamboats would also yield a very large revenue.
A further suggestion I make-one which I proposed to the city of Toronto hut which they did not adopt-is to impose a tax upon all bachelors in the Dominion.

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