Eric William KIERANS

KIERANS, The Hon. Eric William, P.C., O.C., B.A., LL.D.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Duvernay (Quebec)
Birth Date
February 2, 1914
Deceased Date
May 10, 2004
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Kierans
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b12fe3d4-0116-4a37-9593-42ddcdaf8346&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
economist, professor

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Duvernay (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (July 6, 1968 - April 28, 1971)
  • Minister of Communications (April 1, 1969 - April 28, 1971)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 197)


December 16, 1971

Mr. Kierans:

They all depend on resources, Mr. Speaker-all of them. If Canada stays with cheap taxes-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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December 16, 1971

Mr. Kierans:

I would be only a few more minutes, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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December 16, 1971

Mr. Kierans:

If Canada stays with cheap taxes-and by cheap taxes I mean the oil and gas industry in pipeline and oil wells which pay taxes of less than 6 per cent of the

profits they earn; by cheap taxes I mean the mining industry in their metal mining operations which pay taxes on 13 per cent of the profits they actually make-and with this kind of policy, then the foreign ministers of finance who want these resources are going to like our tax policies very much. They can also use them to beat down developing nations in the world whose only possibility of ever taking off into industrial growth would be to obtain an adequate return when they come to sell their own resources so that they can industrialize even in the most modest way.

These ministers of finance know that the more we insist on selling our resources as we do in this way, we show our preference for taxing these kinds of exports at such phenomenally low rates and manufactured exports at much higher rates; as long as we are willing to do this they are willing to buy, and they know that every hundred million or billion dollars worth of our resources that they buy, that money coming into this country makes it that much more difficult for the Canadian manufacturing industry to compete, because our dollar goes up and Canadian manufacturing finds it more difficult to compete in the export markets that they may have, or to defend themselves against import competition at home.

When virtually every other nation in the developing, industrialized world follows a policy of conserving and reducing the drain on its industrial resources, by outrageous tax concessions accorded to no other sector of our economy we encourage the exploitation and sale of our resources. The official position of the Department of Finance has been and I quote:

There is no inherent reason why Canada cannot be a major exporter of raw materials and of manufactured goods at the same time.

This is demonstrably false, Mr. Speaker. You cannot have both. When each of our major trading partners-and we know since August 15 the emphasis they place on balancing their trade account-is searching for a balance in their merchandise trade with us, they will be striving to pay for the import of our raw materials with their manufactured goods.

An additional $1 billion export of energy to the United States, for example, would give us in this country $68 million in wages and salaries. But that balancing inflow on which Mr. Connally and Mr. Nixon are insisting in manufactured goods could mean that we are importing anywhere from $200 million to $350 million in their wages and salaries, depending on the industry. If it is the furniture industry, we would be exchanging $68 million for $330 million. If it is the textile industry, 26 per cent or $260 million on an average of their output is composed of wages and salaries. If it is agriculture, wheat or products like that-and I am at no time speaking of pulp and paper or wheat and fish and hydroelectric power, which are renewable resources; I am speaking of non-renewable resources and agricultural products-the average is 26 per cent. If it is pulp and paper, the average is again 26 per cent. So we are exchanging 6.8 per cent or $68 million out of $1 billion, for $260 million. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. It is some exchange! There may be a balance of trade in dollar terms, but there is no balance of trade in jobs or wages and salaries.

December 16, 1971

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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December 16, 1971

Mr. Kierans:

Mr. Speaker, a nation's natural resources are not past-production; they are the wealth of its soil and waterways. As such, they cannot be viewed in the same light as current production, as goods and services that we produce each year. Those goods can legitimately be disposed of at will by the people who produce them currently in any given year. Resources are a trust. They have been received from the past. They are to be husbanded by the present generation and they are to be passed on to future generations. A generation that deliberately squanders a nation's natural wealth-I emphasize "deliberately squanders"-to enhance its own standard of living will have much to answer for.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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September 9, 1971

Mr. Kierans:

All of this will run down the value of the dollar, and this brings me to my main point, the point which I consider to be the important one. Canadians have always taken a false pride in a dollar which was set somewhere near the value of the United States dollar. I can think of no greater false pride than that. Dollar values are the relative value of two currencies measuring the productive capacities of two economies. Without casting any aspersion on management or workers in our manufacturing industry, they can in no way produce to the same extent as the Americans can. American industries and labour start off with a market of 220 million people while ours start off with a market of 22 million people. They start off with vast pools of capital and ours with much less because savings in this country came only after the income tax was introduced, not before as in the days of the Harrimans, the Rockefellers and the Carne-gies. There is no way in which we can compete with them; the differential may be something as large as 15 per cent in productive terms, not because we are 15 per cent less efficient, less productive, less enthusiastic, but simply because the cost of running a country which is bigger than theirs is much more when it is divided among 22 million people than when it is divided among 220 million people.

What I feel we need in this country is the realization that we ourselves are facing the very crisis to which Mr. Nixon was addressing himself. Its resolution will demand a meeting of minds-not just meetings between governments-at all levels, between federal and provincial authorities as well as between labour and business. The long run effects of U.S. measures will inevitably be more protectionism and we ourselves must develop an economic policy which is peculiarly Canadian. Such a policy will only be effective if all the elements in Canadian society co-operate. It must obviously be expansionary and it is evident that if we expand the economy, if the value of the Canadian dollar declines, this will run counter to the objective of the United States in imposing all these new measures. We must insist that employment is our national objective and while we are not as good at wrapping ourselves in a flag as President Nixon was when he criticized the obscure gnomes in Zurich and the speculators who were attacking the American dollar, while we cannot really appeal as other countries do to that kind of patriotism, because by nature we are suited to it, we can still have national objectives to which all of us subscribe. Let other people define this as nationalism if they wish; I find that most people who accuse nations of following the nationalistic policy are themselves just as nationalistic only they call it patriotism.

September 9, 1971

Employment Support Bill

This raises a great many problems. If this is really the feeling of Canada then I believe the Canadian government is bound to make it clear. It would be unfair to our colleagues in the International Monetary Fund or in the Group of Ten if they were allowed to believe by our silence that Canada has no policy of its own, that Canada would accept some new arrangement devised by bureaucrats in the I.M.F. I tell you they will have no support in this House from the hon. member for Duvernay if they ever come before this House with a proposal for parity at whatever level that might be assigned to us by others in Washington or in the I.M.F. no matter how many guns are held to our heads. We shall not accept any arrang-ments which are being set up on the lines "We shall not take your manufactured goods in the United States but we shall take all the raw resources which are given to us." We shall not accept such a role, the role which is assigned to us of being hewers of wood and drawers of water. We shah tell them that though we want freer trade as much as any other nation in the world, though we want a free flow of capital and people across the world, we want no new order imposed upon us under threats of protectionism or quotas or surtaxes.

We have our own national objectives. They amount almost to a single one, the resolution of the problem of unemployment in Canada. That is our objective and while we recognize and respect the right of other nations to have their objectives we demand only that they recognize ours.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT BILL
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