desires of the Canadian people would be met and that good government would be provided. Alas, the numerous bits of legislation which have been actually forced through the present session of the 23rd parliament testify to the lack of sound planning on the part of the present administration. The argument that they have had only a short time in which to consider legislation is a very poor reason for very poor legislation, as there is no immediate deadline that must be met. The Canadian voters did not restrict the government only to six months in which to plan and introduce specific legislation in order to meet the needs of the Canadian people and the requirement to continue a sound economy in Canada.
The mere provision of just $150 million for housing and the small reduction in down payments are at best only a mediocre attempt to help the ailing housing industry, and certainly do not solve the housing problems of the Canadian family in the low income bracket. In September the government released $150 million from the federal treasury for the construction of small homes, particularly with the hope of reducing the number of unemployed in Canada. But we see that this $150 million did not improve substantially the amount of homes being built, nor did it improve the unemployment situation. We learned from the statisticians a few days ago that there are 100,000 more people unemployed today than there were in September of this year. The statisticians have also reported that 70 per cent of Canadians earn less than $3,400 a year.
According to the proposed changes in the legislation it will be possible for a man to obtain a loan of $12,200 on a $14,000 home only if his income is around $4,360. Even for a $9,000 loan the prospective home owner must earn at least $3,400 annually. If such low priced homes should be available, only 30 per cent of Canadians will be able to avail themselves of this privilege, leaving 70 per cent of Canadians out in the cold because they will not be able to benefit from the new legislation. The people who need low cost homes the most are being ignored by the government, even though the avowed intention of the national housing plan was to provide low cost homes for people in the low income brackets.
I do not mean to blame the affable Minister of Public Works entirely for failing to provide adequate help for the low wage earner, because on December 4, 1957, as found at page 1880 of Hansard, he made this confession:
Quite frankly, I should like to be able to help an income group even lower than those who will be helped by this legislation.
National Housing Act
This leads us to believe that many other factors, circumstances and perhaps persons in the present government have dissuaded the minister from presenting more generous and just legislation. Therefore the greatest blame once again falls upon the Conservative government as a whole for failing to assist adequately those in dire need. It would have been more just had the minister proposed more liberal changes by introducing greater reductions in down payments, a substantial reduction in the interest rate on loans and perhaps by reducing-[DOT]