Mr. Chairman, by way of general comment on this clause I might say I do not think any hon. member of the house could disagree with the purpose of this particular amendment to the Income Tax Act. That purpose appears to be the encouraging by every possible means of exploration of the mineral resources of this country, this particular measure of encouragement being extended to those companies now engaged in the processing of mineral ores in Canada.
I gather from the comments of the industry in regard to this amendment that its probable immediate value will be to further encourage such projects as the aerial survey which is now getting under way in the Ungava area of northern Quebec and Labrador, and also to encourage certain of the mining or processing companies who have engaged in exploration work and expect to expand this activity in Ontario, northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
Inasmuch as this amendment extends to those companies now processing mineral ores in Canada the same right to charge off against their taxable income the actual costs incurred in the exploration for minerals, in addition to other forms of liquid or gaseous minerals such as oil and natural gas, I and my colleagues in this party certainly agree wholeheartedly with the extension to our processing companies of the concession which has been applied to oil refining companies and certain other mineral processing companies over recent years.
However, I would like to say again, as I have in previous years, that I do not think the concessions provided under the Income Tax Act and the regulations pertaining thereto which are designed to encourage the exploration and development of mineral and other resources in Canada by Canadian companies go far enough.
In discussing this clause I cannot deal in detail with the particular so-called concessions, except to say that the recent report of the Gordon commission did go a long way toward endorsing certain of the recommendations which have been made in this house by representatives of my party over the last few years, designed to encourage more Canadian investment in Canada's resource development.
Income Tax Act
This particular development does take one big step forward along that road. I only hope that before the Minister of Finance brings in another budget, if he has the right to bring in another budget in his present capacity a year from now, he or the next minister of finance will adopt more of the suggestions made in this house by members of my party, and will also adopt the recommendations made by the Gordon commission in order to give far greater encouragement to a faster development of Canadian natural resources by Canadian companies and Canadian individuals.
Topic: INCOME TAX ACT