Douglas Keith ANGUISH

ANGUISH, Douglas Keith

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
The Battlefords--Meadow Lake (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
July 8, 1950
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Anguish
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1ef00ac7-4fd7-425a-beea-af105d686e30&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
consultant, political assistant

Parliamentary Career

February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  The Battlefords--Meadow Lake (Saskatchewan)
  • Deputy Whip of the N.D.P. (February 10, 1982 - March 15, 1982)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 127)


May 31, 1984

Mr. Doug Anguish (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport. In his absence perhaps his Parliamentary Secretary could answer. I think the Minister is to be commended for the announcement made a couple of days ago concerning the Prairie Branch Line Rehabilitation Program, particularly as it affects Saskatchewan and the allocation in my own particular riding. People are waiting to see if the Government will carry

through with this program. There are, however, some questions that are as yet unanswered.

I am wondering if the Parliamentary Secretary could inform the House if the miscellaneous $51 million incentive fund is meant to assist communities that are left off the five-year rehabilitation program because they were low on some arbitrarily drawn priority list, or if the fund is meant to assist in branch line abandonments by funnelling this money off to something like trucking subsidies to replace the branch lines that are in danger of being put out of the permanent network.

[ Translation]

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS
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May 31, 1984

Mr. Doug Anguish (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is directed to the President of the Treasury Board. The announcement of the funding for the Prairie Branch Line Rehabilitation Program said it was to be given out during a five-year program, as pointed out by the Parliamentary Secretary. The largest expenditure is to be in the first year. I wonder if the Minister could tell us if the money that is to be spent over a five-year period is tied with an ironclad guarantee, or if it is subject to Treasury Board approval each year and therefore subject to the new priorities of a new Government that may come into power within the coming months?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF MONEY
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May 31, 1984

Mr. Doug Anguish (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake):

Mr. Speaker, I see I have only about seven minutes left, but I want to put some comments on the record in the debate today. I agree with much of what the Official Opposition has said regarding the taxation system. I disagree with other aspects which they have touched on from time to time. The most important point I want to bring out is that both the Liberals and the Conservatives have overlooked a large part of the problems in the system, and I would like to touch on that briefly.

Since I have been a Member of Parliament I have had many farmers and small business people come to me about their feelings of being dealt with unfairly by the system, by auditors and collectors from Revenue Canada. In some cases they have had very just complaints. The most common complaint seems to be about the aggressiveness with which Revenue Canada sometimes pursues audits and collections. At the same time, I think people feel a great deal of unfairness, especially those involved in small business and farming operations. An auditor from Revenue Canada can tell an individual that his business or farm is not a viable operation and therefore he cannot deduct the year's losses or the legitimate expenses which he

May 31, 1984

Supply

feels he is eligible to deduct. The Department is going to have to consider that case very seriously. I have some confidence that the pressure of the Opposition will cause the Government to recognize that there is a problem and that it will be rectified in the future. It had certainly better be or we will not have many farmers left in many areas of western Canada other than long-time established farmers or those who have very large and wealthy farming operations, which is not the norm.

The other problem is that in pressing economic times many people, especially young farmers, find themselves leaving the farm to earn income, when they are not involved in the farming operation itself, to put bread on the table and enable themselves to live at a standard of decency that is above the poverty line. The issue of off-farm incomes and the arbitrary assessments by Revenue Canada people that a business or farming venture is not viable must be reckoned with.

In the literally dozens of cases which have come to me in the past four and a half years I have found most of the public employees within Revenue Canada to be quite helpful. There are some who are not, just as in any other organization or government Department. The taxation office in Saskatoon has been helpful, as has the regional office in Winnipeg. I usually deal at these levels with problems which constituents have brought to my attention.

I will turn to what I think both the Liberals and the Conservatives have overlooked. Our taxation system has become a nightmare of complexity and unfairness. As the Hon. Member for Crowfoot (Mr. Malone) pointed out, very few people anymore fill out their own income tax forms. That is just one example of the complexity of the system. The unfairness is what many of the politicians and parliamentarians are overlooking. The Canadian tax system is based on a simple premise that one pays taxes on income earned. The more money you make, the more taxes you should pay. In 1981, 8,000 people earned more than $60,000 and paid no taxes. That is what the Hon. Member for Kamloops-Shuswap (Mr. Riis) refers to as the golden loophole award for the people in those brackets. In 1981, 239 Canadians earned an average of $635,000 and paid no income tax. There were another 1,200 Canadians who earned $100,000 and paid no income tax.

Some of the largest and most profitable corporations in Canada have been able to defer taxes. In 1980, $25 billion, which was more than the deficit, was deferred in taxes. They say they do not owe this money. During the committee meetings on Bill C-155 when the Crow rate was abolished, CP said that it did not owe those taxes. It said those were deferred taxes. I think that is a good indication that it never intends to pay them.

I only have about one minute left. Since the mid 1970s the tax breaks to corporations have more than quadrupled. They now total more than $25 billion and are equal to roughly $1,000 in lost revenue for every adult Canadian. These tax breaks mean lower tax rates and higher profits for corporations. The result has been higher rather than lower unemployment. I see your clock is about one minute different from the clock on the wall.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 31, 1984

Mr. Doug Anguish (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake):

Mr. Speaker, at committee the people from Transport Canada were saying that the money for trucking subsidies would in fact come from part of the money that was to go to the Prairie Branch Line Rehabilitation Program. The Parliamentary Secretary has said that some $528 million is going into the rehabilitation program. As well, there is the issue of the $51 million incentive fund. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary could tell me if this $51 million is part of the $528 million, or if it is possible that the $51 million is a special allocation above and beyond the $528 million and is really meant for trucking subsidies.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PURPOSE OF INCENTIVE FUND
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May 25, 1984

Mr. Anguish:

Nevertheless we are happy to see the Bill in the House now. We want to see an immediate payment go out to the western Canadian grain farmers. There are some amendments we feel should be made to this Bill. I hope they will receive the support of the Official Opposition as well as the support of the Government. First, we would like to see payments retroactive to 1983. Second, we would like to see an interim pay-out for the 1983 crop year. I think the Minister said in his introduction this morning that the Government had in mind an amendment for the 1983-84 year. I hope that comes to pass. Third, we would like to see some recognition of the regional discrepancies within the Western Grain Stabilization plan. We have been calling for recognition of crop discrepancies as well as regional discrepancies. Finally, there should be some recognition of the net incomes of farmers in the pay-out under the Western Grain Stabilization Program. We feel, as we felt back in 1976 when the plan was introduced, that there should be a tie-in with the cost of production. There should be recognition of the fact that the cost of production is a major factor in any stabilization program. Also we are recommending that there be immediate pay-out guarantees.

Hopefully we will get the Bill through the House today and into committee, and hopefully there will be some debate in good faith on the amendments to which we would like to obtain the agreement of the Government and the Official Opposition. If we cannot accomplish that, so be it. I think we have put forth the true feelings of grain farmers in western Canada. If the other Parties will not go for it, at least we in the NDP know that we have made adequate representations on behalf of western grain farmers.

May 25, 1984

Western Grain Stabilization Act

In the Bill the time period over which averages are taken has been reduced from five years to three years. This is something for which Hon. Members, such as the Hon. Member for Humboldt-Lake Centre (Mr. Althouse) and the Hon. Member for Prince Albert (Mr. Hovdebo), have pushed many times during debates in the House of Commons. They have pushed for changes to the Western Grain Stabilization Act.

Some three months ago the New Democratic Party released a policy paper on agriculture which contained what we consider to be alternate proposals for grain income stabilization. We agree with the Canada Grains Council that a plan amalgamated with crop insurance should be tailored to individual needs, sensitive to individual income fluctuations and to regional discrepancies. That is the best way to proceed. We still feel that is the best way after much discussion within our own caucus and with farming people across the country. Unfortunately the Government does not agree. I hope it will give consideration to some of the amendments we will put forth in committee and that we have speedy passage of this Bill.

In terms of an income insurance plan, we would like it to be actuarially sound, voluntary and attractive. It should be attractive so that all farmers, whether big or small, involved in co-operative or partnership farming, or whatever, become involved and see it as a benefit. If we opened up the Western Grain Stabilization Program and allowed people to leave it, I am sure there would be a mass exodus, unless some of the changes we have recommended in the House of Commons today and in previous debates are implemented. Although I recognize that the changes of the Government are an improvement, they are certainly not tailored to the needs of western Canadian grain farmers. There would be an exodus of people from that plan unless it is tailored to meet their needs.

Another feature of the program could be participation by producers, the federal and provincial Governments. The income insurance plan would be as integrated as possible with the existing crop insurance program to avoid duplication in the recordkeeping and administrative services necessary to carry out an adequate program of this magnitude, especially in terms of its impact upon the western economy and upon the Canadian economy in general.

The federal contribution would be in the form of reduced premiums that people would have to pay for the program. The provincial contribution would be primarily to expand the crop insurance administrative capability to meet the requirements of an income insurance plan. It would generate a greater volume of work for those who administer the plan at the present time. I would like to see the federal Government talking with the provincial governments about crop insurance programs to see if they would be willing to take on a greater responsibility to meet the needs of farmers within their respective provinces.

Finally, we recommend that farmers be able to insure for both volumes shipped and market price. A variety of insured price levels would be offered with appropriate premium levels to reflect the wide variation in production costs.

Those are a few examples of what we in the New Democratic Party think should be in place as an alternative to the Western Grain Stabilization Program. In fact, we would be very happy if Hon. Members of the Government and of the Official Opposition would at least debate and consider in committee the value of our suggestions, and our policy on agriculture as it pertains to the Western Grain Stabilization Act. If these suggestions were accepted, we would have a program much better tailored to the needs of western Canadian grain farmers than what we have had in the past.

In closing, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this debate today. I hope government Members will take note of our suggestions, given as constructive criticism to improve the program and meet the needs of a sector of the economy about which we are very concerned. Hopefully Bill C-33 will move out of the House and into committee at the end of the debate today. Then we can look at some of the changes and, hopefully, give it speedy passage, so that farmers who need money to continue their operations will receive it as soon as is viably possible.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
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