Paul Edmund MCRAE

MCRAE, Paul Edmund, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Thunder Bay--Atikokan (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 20, 1924
Deceased Date
November 3, 1992
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_McRae
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5d169cac-f116-46fd-9ff6-73cffa8348d5&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
school principal

Parliamentary Career

October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Fort William (Ontario)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Fort William (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Postmaster General (October 10, 1975 - September 30, 1976)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (October 1, 1976 - September 30, 1977)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Thunder Bay--Atikokan (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Thunder Bay--Atikokan (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 136)


May 29, 1984

Mr. McRae:

If I have only two minutes, Mr. Speaker, I think that I can get along without the question. I have a very serious point that I want to ensure the House understands.

If I were an American today and was centre to centre-right in my leanings, which I am not, I would be very, very concerned about the policy that the Reagan Government is taking in the United States. I do not think that the United States stands taller than it did before. I think that it stands weaker. It stands weaker because it has created far, far more dangers: the deployment of the Pershing II, the flight trajectory, and the threat of four to six minutes. These kinds of things are the tensions which create a war. There are far more SS-20s than there were before. There is a very large build-up in the Sea of Japan, the Kuril Islands and the surrounding areas of Soviet Typhoon submarines. Each submarine has 80 warheads. That kind of build-up is there.

There is a breakdown in the NATO alliance which is very serious, certainly at the political level. There is great concern among people in NATO about whether the alliance will continue in the way it has. I am speaking from the point of view of an American who would be of the middle to middle-right persuasion. We have a Lebanese situation which is frightfully dangerous and ridiculous. As well, there is the Grenada scene and the situation in Central America.

The most important issue is not whether we declare ourselves a nuclear free zone and test the Cruise, it is what will happen in the United States in the next six months. Anything

we can do to help that situation, I am in favour of that. But, I will not count on us getting involved in something which will discredit Canada or create a situation in which we are turned down again. We cannot afford that situation. Although I agree with the Hon. Member, I am worried about other things which his Party does not seem to be worried about.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
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May 29, 1984

Mr. McRae:

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I might explain to the Hon. Member for Regina West (Mr. Benjamin) that I am trying to deal with the questions of where we must go and of what is fundamental. I support what Hon. Members of the New Democratic Party are trying to do. However, I think that the issue is not fundamental. We have spent four days discussing this particular issue when there are far more fundamental issues dealing with the arms control business at stake.

One thing that has bothered me for a long time is that I have never been able to accept the idea that I can come to the House, stand up and be pure and say that I want this and that without having one iota of consideration for how I will make the change that I want. If I believe in something, then I must fight to make a change. If I am standing back being pure, taking absolutely no notice of what is going on around me and not doing my best to change things, then I do not think that I am doing my job.

I feel that we are facing the most dangerous situation that one could imagine on this earth and I do not think that this motion will change it. I think that there are far more serious things we must address, and that is what I am trying to say. I am trying to break down the issue and I am trying to show that there are far more important things that we can do. If we do some of the things which we all want to do, we might very well wreck our chances of doing something more important.

Nuclear Disarmament

That is what I am trying to explain to the House. I think it is very relevant to the motion before us.

I would like to return to this serious issue. A two-track decision was made through negotiations on behalf of NATO countries and Warsaw Pact countries by the two super powers. The two super powers came to no solution and the Arms Control Association has indicated that one of the prime reasons for that was that the Government of the United States presented a series of ideas that sounded great to the uninitiated public and made the government look like it was really going after arms control and really making big concessions when to those who understand the issue and have spent years dealing with the issue, the ideas were totally meaningless. These kinds of ideas go on and on. These are the kinds of things that happen, and so we are faced with a situation that is far different from the one with which we thought we were faced, so those talks broke down.

The same thing happened with the START talks. The President of the United States promoted the idea that the U.S. and the Soviet Union should come to an agreement to get rid of most of their land-based ICBMs. That sounded like a reasonable proposition. He said: "We will get rid of ours, you get rid of yours". However, the President admitted to a group of Congressmen in October that he did not know that the Soviet missiles were four-to-one land based and the American missiles were four-to-one sea based. By asking the Soviets to back down on all of their land based missiles he perhaps, as he said to some Congressmen, sounded one sided. Those are the kinds of negotiations that were going on at the START talks. I condemn people in our Government for refusing to push hard to have the START talks and the INF talks together. There were all kinds of quid pro quos in there if one got away from the simple notion of dealing only with talks on intermediate missiles. These are the serious things which have been going on.

When the President of the United States initiates an idea about star wars and states that missiles can be prevented from entering the United States when he knows perfectly well that there is an anti-ballistic missile agreement which will be broken if the star wars program goes ahead, he and this very important group of tough Americans-not soft non-Soviets or anything of that nature-are undermining world peace in a very serious way.

These are the issues. It is not a Canadian problem. I do not think that we as Canadians are going to create a war. Peace is an international problem. I get very worried when I hear that if we as Canadians remain pure and stay within ourselves and do not worry about the rest of the world we are doing our share. That is what is happening in the peace movement. We are becoming less and less concerned about what is happening out there.

If I were looking for a nuclear free zone to create, it would be in central Europe. It is absolutely essential that we reach very shortly that situation so that we will not have Pershing II

May 29, 1984

Nuclear Disarmament

missiles, SS-20s, SS-21s and SS-22s sitting on the border across from each other, four to six minutes from the other side. That is where a nuclear free zone is so important. The very essence of the problem will be the accidental use of a Pershing missile; not so much the accidental use of the missile, but the assumption that it is being used because of a computer breakdown or a time shortage. These are the vital issues which we should be dealing with.

It would be nice to say-and I have fought as hard as anyone to have this happen-that we will not build these weapons in Canada. The fact is that the danger will come from outside and we will have to be a part of it. I have mentioned some of the things which the distinguished group of Canadians who are involved with the Arms Control Association have been worried about. If I were an American today, and I was-

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
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May 29, 1984

Mr. Paul E. McRae (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

Mr. Speaker, I find myself rising for the second time in three days to debate essentially the same motion. I respect the ruling of the Chair on this. I find the motion supportable and support the intent of the motion, but I worry about why we are debating a Bill three times which really will do nothing to prevent the holocaust which I think is going to occur if we do not bring the super powers together to stop the warring which is going on.

I do not think that our being pure is going to influence either of the super powers in the direction in which they must go. In response to a question asked of the very distinguished Rear Admiral Carroll at a gathering in Toronto in March, he said that the armaments, the computerization of arms, the speed and so on would make a nuclear war very probable in about six to eight years. We all know there is no possibility that human life could continue in any normal fashion after such a war. The social values which we all appreciate would cease to exist under these circumstances. It seems that a hardness has developed between the two super powers at this point which could very well continue, depending upon what happens in the American election. I have no qualms about talking about American internal politics because the Ambassador from that country has no qualms about talking about how we run our operation.

I believe that unless there is a change in the scene in the United States, this hardening will become much worse. I would be much happier if I heard Members of the NDP

talking about this very serious problem rather than seeing the answer as our being pure.

The problem possibly stems from the attitude of Hon. Members on the other side. Because they essentially have not held power or been close to power for the last 20 years, they find it hard to deal with reality. When we have to deal with our relationship with NATO, when we have to deal with the Government of the United States and the Government of the Soviet Union and when we have to try and move those Governments, the problem becomes very different.

Let me give you an idea of that. Let us suppose that tomorrow, a motion is put before the House to support the ten points common ground that were listed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). Suppose that motion contains some additional points calling for no first use and no testing of the Cruise. Those are things that I support. However, if we along with the other countries presented such a motion to the two super powers, something which I think should be done, then the same thing would happen as happened to the motion of the four-continent group, a motion into which I have been very proud to have had some input. Within 20 minutes, the U.S. Government would reject the entire thing. How would that do anything in terms of closing the gap between the two super powers?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
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May 28, 1984

Mr. Paul E. McRae (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

Mr. Speaker. I have no concern about speaking this Bill out. However, I would not feel that way if the motion called for changes which would make it possible for small farmers and part-time farmers to get a better break and make it possible for them to survive. However, that is not what the Bill proposes. The Bill proposes that Section 31 of the Income Tax Act be repealed. That leaves it wide open for anyone to purchase a farm or a piece of property in order to obtain a great tax write-off. They do not really have to be concerned about farming at all.

One thing that bothers me about this Bill is that it has been characteristic of the Tory Party in the debates in the last several months to always be worried about the person who is not paying taxes. They should be looked after nicely and we should treat them well! I can truthfully say that in the last three or four months, there has been a great deal of concern in my community by the people who are earning wages and whose taxes are being paid at source that they will be forced to pay more and more taxes if more and more ways are found in which other people do not have to pay taxes. Therefore, I think that the deletion of Section 31 is one way to create a situation in which some people could beat the game and other people would have to pay more.

Taxes are a zero sum game. If there are segments of our society which are not paying their fair share, then those whose income comes from wages and who pay their taxes at source will have to pay more. I think the people in my constituency of Thunder Bay-Atikokan and the community in between are getting a little annoyed about the idea that there is this great inequity in the taxation system. This Bill is one way to create that inequity.

What are we going to do? The Tories are talking about the terrible deficit and how they want to reduce that deficit. What do they do? They say: "Let us make it possible for anybody to buy a farm, do what he wants with it and write his losses off'. They do this without any compunction at all. They are not interested in farming. One of the consequences of this kind of measure-and there is evidence in the United States to suggest that this is true-is that it will increase the value of farmland, and it will put it in the hands of people who are only interested in using that land for a tax write-off. They are not interested in the kind of food production we need. This is the kind of thing which is happening.

I realize that there is a problem. However, Section 31 is there to solve that problem. If the Tories had submitted an

May 28, 1984

amendment or some suggestions as to how we might solve the problem of the person who has to work 35 hours to 40 hours a week to get his farm going and who wants to be a farmer, who needs help, and who really has some legitimate grievances, then I would suggest that an amendment be made to Section 31. They should deal with that particular problem-

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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May 28, 1984

Mr. McRae:

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand the last manoeuvre at all. I am trying to suggest that if there was an honest attempt on the part of the Opposition to seriously come to grips with the problem of the small farmer who is trying to get a start, who wants to spend the rest of his life on a farm, and who wants to pass it on to his son or daughter, that that kind of suggestion would receive support from this side. We are trying to do that very thing.

That is not what this particular motion proposes. It proposes to repeal Section 31 of the Income Tax Act. Repeal, as far as I am concerned, means to take it right out of the Act. That means that anyone could use the purchase of a farm as a loss against income. It means that someone else will have an opportunity to get away with beating the tax system and have an added tax expenditure. That particular person will not pay his fair share. My constituents who work at Great Lakes Paper or Canada Car, in the riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan and across this land, will have to pay more.

There was a Budget a couple of years ago-which may have had some flaws-which the Opposition Party ran into the ground. The whole point of that Budget was to bring more equity into the tax system to ensure that every Canadian would pay a fair share, and there would not be people with incomes of $200,000 or $300,000 a year paying no tax at all.

If the Party opposite comes into power-and I hope that they do not-in the next six months, we will have changes. That is what it has been about for the last six months: tearing the tax Department down. We will have changes which will mean that all kinds of Canadians will not be paying taxes. The working man, the guy who earns a wage, is the guy who will have to pay more.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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