Max SALTSMAN

SALTSMAN, Max

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Waterloo--Cambridge (Ontario)
Birth Date
May 29, 1921
Deceased Date
November 28, 1985
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Saltsman
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6ab1d342-3030-459c-9751-639f09fada02&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
business manager, businessman, professor (assistant)

Parliamentary Career

November 9, 1964 - September 8, 1965
NDP
  Waterloo South (Ontario)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
NDP
  Waterloo South (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
NDP
  Waterloo (Ontario)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
NDP
  Waterloo (Ontario)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
NDP
  Waterloo--Cambridge (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 419 of 420)


March 15, 1965

Mr. Sallsman:

I recognize the merit of the statement made by the minister and I do not for one minute say nothing has been done; but I do say that not enough has been done, and not enough has been done in a courageous way. Has this country ever gone broke or suffered economically by giving money to old people? There has never been an instance in Canada when pensions were raised that the increase was not followed by a period of relative prosperity. No one has tied down increases in old age pensions to recessions in Canada. I would like to raise one more question, and then I will leave the restless troops to their voting.

We talk about national unity in this country. We use very grand phrases and everybody is in favour of national unity; yet over and over again we see areas in which the federal government is not prepared to move boldly and decisively and give leadership to the nation. The government has this opportunity now. It has the opportunity to recognize the gulf and the gaps that exist in income in Canada. It has an opportunity to do something about this at the national level,

and if the federal government will not act the provincial governments will have no alternative but to take over authority and responsibility.

The farmers in Canada are getting a less and less share of the national wealth as the years go by. Yes, we have done many things. We have tried many things to help the farmers in Canada, but this is one of the few areas in national policy where a pension at a certain age can go to every Canadian, whether he be a farmer or industrial worker. This is one area in which we can close the gap in earnings between the farmer and the industrial worker. We have the opportunity to do it and I think we should do it.

I would like to point out that the province of Quebec is getting 87 per cent of the average national income it might, whereas the province of Ontario is getting 117 per cent. If we talk about national unity, if we talk about one nation, if we talk about bringing people together, what better way of closing the economic gap than having the government provide these pensions? These pensions go to farmers, industrial workers, French Canadians, ethnic Canadians and English Canadians. They can go a long way to solving some of the problems we have today.

If we have a problem today in confederation, if there are arguments between the provinces and the federal government, I think to some extent we have brought these on ourselves. It is time we were aggressive and took the proper kind of steps to indicate to the provinces that we are willing to assist in overcoming these problems.

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March 15, 1965

Mr. Sallsman:

Mr. Chairman, I shall try to address my remarks as pertinently as I can to the subject. I have a further number of questions I would like to direct to the Minister of National Revenue, and I feel this question of costs is very pertinent to the whole matter. That is the great argument involved. I do not think anyone would argue for one minute that there is a single person in this chamber who would be against increasing old age pensions. The core of the entire argument is the question of whether the nation can afford such a cost, and it is on that question I would like to speak.

I would like to ask the minister whether he has made a study to see what increases in revenues would accrue through the increased activity of such a sum of money being pumped into the economy? I would like to ask him whether he has made a study to see what stimulative effect this would have on taxes? I would like to ask him has he made a study to see to what extent unemployment would be reduced by such an infusion of consumer spending?

When he was speaking the other day the minister said there was a question of priorities. He pointed out that we have many problems in Canada-that we have problems in education that have to be met; that we have problems in the development of other forms of social capital; that we have problems of medical services that have to be met-and the minister felt these problems and priorities had to be taken into consideration. However,

Canada Pension Plan

I feel this is a priority of such a nature that it must be met first, and not only will the meeting of this priority take care of a social problem but it will also help the whole economy.

When the minister talks about priorities does he feel the $35 million loss suffered by the Post Office Department on second class mail is more important than paying old age pensions? I wonder whether the Minister of Industry feels that the $50 million he is giving to the automotive companies of Canada is far more important than money given to the old age pensioners of Canada. I understand he is doing this in the interests of employment, but I think more employment would accrue to the nation through old people getting money to spend.

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March 15, 1965

Mr. Salisman:

Mr. Chairman, this clause as amended provides a pension of $75 a month. We in this party feel that it should be $100 a month and I should like to speak on this question. Let me take this opportunity, first of all, to express my general endorsation of the income related provisions of this plan. As it has been said in the house, I think this plan is of far reaching and historic importance. However, I think it is only half a program, and that it is necessary to complete the program by the provision of $100 a month at age 65.

Since this is my first opportunity of addressing the Minister of National Health and Welfare, I should like to take a moment before going into the other matters publicly to express my appreciation of her and her department for the excellent attention which have been given to the problems in my riding. I am sure that my constituents are very grateful for the efficient manner in which she has dealt with these problems.

Now, having said that-

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March 15, 1965

Mr. Salisman:

It does not take long to learn here. In the speech of the minister the other day she said that as the plan now stood it was both fair and practical. I submit that this plan, unless it provides $100 a month at age 65, for a large segment of the population of Canada will be neither fair nor practical. It will not be fair to the present generation of our elderly people. They could very well become the forgotten generation, while we are concerned with making plans for the distant future.

This is a generation which probably has worked harder than any other generation in the history of Canada will ever have to work. This is a generation which has survived two wars. I am trying not to get emotional about this, there is no point in that; I am merely pointing out that this is a generation which has gone through probably the worst economic conditions of recent times. This is a generation which was taxed to provide most of the social capital we now have in Canada. This is a generation that financed our present prosperity, that paid for our roads, hospitals and schools. It contributed to the financing of municipal services.

As someone who has recently come from a municipal council, I can state-and I am sure all hon. members here are aware of this- that there are many people who, after having saved for an entire lifetime to own a home of

Canada Pension Plan

their own, are now finding it almost impossible to meet the cost of maintaining that home. These people come to their local council and ask them to find some way of reducing the taxation on their homes so that they might continue to own something they have worked a lifetime to build. We all know that councils cannot do this sort of thing; they cannot reduce taxation for one person and not for another. Not only that, but they need this type of taxation in order to provide the services which are absolutely necessary today.

When I served on a council I was quite aware of this problem and I am still aware of it. The problem can be met only at this level; and this is why I am appealing to the government to endorse the suggestion that the pension be increased to $100 a month because this is the only way we can help the older people of the country. I think we have an obligation in this regard.

Another matter I want to raise is that I do not think this bill is being fair to the consciences of the young people of Canada. We hear a great deal about mortgaging our future, but I do not think it is the young people who are mortgaging their futures. It is the old people who have mortgaged their future for the sake of the young. I think that the young owe this generation something, and if we must have higher taxes, then let us have higher taxes to meet this cost. We have a deep and abiding obligation to the older people of this nation.

I also do not feel that the provisions of the bill are fair to the economy. In this regard I hope the Minister of National Revenue will excuse me if I seem presumptuous-I have that presumption which comes only to the younger members-but I should like to make a suggestion about how he might be able to find the magnificent amount of $820 million about which he talks so blithely. I think that unless we are prepared to find some way of putting money into the consumer sector of the economy when we are withdrawing almost a billion dollars a year from the Canada pension fund for capital investment, we might find ourselves in very serious difficulty. The economy is going to need consumer dollars. We are not going to get these consumer dollars by withdrawing almost a billion dollars a year for capital investment, worthwhile as capital and social investment may be. I feel it is equally necessary for the government to

Canada Pension Plan

recognize that consumption must be maintained. Unless we are prepared to assure the consumer more income and social justice, there will be nothing practical or fair about the Canada pension plan.

I have no doubt that there are other ways of doing it. There have been rumours that taxes will be cut. I say here today that if the government cuts taxes, if the government feels the economy of this nation is strong enough to cut taxes but does not give an increase in the old age pension, then the government will have a lot to answer for to the Canadian people. The refusal of the government to implement old age security at age 65 will indicate something else. It will indicate that the government has no confidence in its ability to achieve the growth rates outlined as necessary in the report of the economic council of Canada. The report indicates a number of things. It indicates that our national output must be up 45 per cent by 1970; that as many new jobs must be created in the next seven years as were created in the last 14 years; that unemployment must be down again to 3 per cent. We need a growth rate of 5.5 per cent of the gross national product every year until 1970. Employment will have to rise at an annual average rate of 3.1 per cent and productivity will have to be increased.

If the government meets these objectives, which I feel it must meet, there can be no excuse for saying that we cannot afford to pay $100 at age 65. I think it must meet these objectives. It must show its confidence that it will meet these objectives by giving $100 per month at age 65 to our people now. I do not believe there is anything that will establish that degree of confidence in this nation as will such a measure at this time. I feel these goals must be met, without question, if Canada is to reach its potential. A government, committed to such a growth pattern should not tell the people of Canada that $100 per month is not within the capabilities of this nation. The increased tax revenues resulting from this increased growth could easily handle this obligation to benefit our labouring people.

If this growth takes place, income taxes under the present rate provisions may be expected to more than double by 1970. This will be the greatest source of revenue of all and will make it possible, in my opinion, to finance the sort of thing about which we are talking. This infusion of additional money into the economy should go a long way toward stimulating the economy to the objective in 1970.

The Minister of National Revenue, when he talks about $820 million, uses a figure that boggles the imagination. However, when he uses that figure he does not indicate whether or not there are compensating savings if the old age pension is instituted at these rates.

I had intended to put a number of questions on the order paper, but since this debate has been proceeding so quickly I think I might ask these questions of the minister now. I should like to know how much money will be saved when the minister takes into consideration the moneys that are now being paid to people over 65, or who are 70 and who are in receipt of a pension from the disabled persons allowance. I should like to know whether or not administrative costs could be saved by having a universal old age pension. I believe the minister has answered this question, but I should like to know what will be saved in terms of old age assistance, now that I understand the additional taxes from the 3-3-4 formula will be sufficient to raise $278 million by 1970. In view of these increased revenues, no change in taxation will be needed in order to bring the pensionable age down to 65. I should like to know how much money would be saved if a worth-while pension were given at age 65? How much money would be saved from the unemployment insurance fund?

There are people collecting money from the unemployment insurance fund, who are registered with that fund, and who are not unemployed but who are unemployable. They are being financed out of the fund. The Gill commission report has indicated that the fund should be protected. When we are talking about money, I think we should recognize that the government is bearing the entire cost of the administration of that fund. It is subsidizing it to the tune of $60 million a year, and it is using the fund as a social insurance agency. This is an unemployment insurance fund, and the government should accept the recommendations of the Gill commission. It should put the fund on an insurance basis and should release some of that money for old age assistance, where it properly belongs.

There are other programs in which the government is presently involved with the provinces and with the municipalities. There is a hodge-podge of social service programs in this country.

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February 23, 1965

Mr. Max Salisman (Waterloo South):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Finance. When speaking yesterday Mr. William Davis called for increased federal aid to universities, saying this matter was a national problem. He also indicated that tax cuts at this stage, as the minister has indicated might be the case, would not be desirable in view of the present situation regarding education. Can the minister comment on this statement, and has he any plans to increase aid to universities?

Topic:   REQUEST FOR INCREASED GRANTS TO UNIVERSITIES
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