Abraham Albert Heaps
I am not going into that
question just now. But 1 think it would be possible to have one legislature for the three
provinces down by the Atlantic, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, and that might be a step in the right direction whereby we might get more centralized government. I think one of the things we are suffering from in Canada at the present time is that we have either too much authority or too little authority. It is always a question of passing the buck, if I may use that term, between the provinces and the Dominion government, and I think it would not be a bad move at all if the British North America Act were so amended as to give the three provinces one legislature, with the consent of the provinces of course, and reduce the number of provincial legislatures from nine to five.
While I have a good deal of sympathy with the motion of the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church), I do not think I can support it, for the reasons I have outlined, because after all I do not recognize that this sphere of taxation is the exclusive preserve of the municipal authorities. I think it ought to be the preserve of the Dominion government, and then it migjht at some time be advisable for the Dominion government, being the central authority for the collection of the taxes, to remit a certain portion of the money collected for taxes to the provincial- authorities, and they might in turn, if they saw fit, hand back some of the money to the municipalities. I think the method in the state of Wisconsin is that the state collects the income tax and remits a portion to the county and also to the municipality.
At the present time in Canada there are as many as two and possibly three collections of income tax. There is too much duplication. If the matter were centralized in one authority, which should be the Dominion government, and the Dominion government were to hand back some of the money collected to the provinces, it would be a far better method of dealing with the resolution than that proposed by the hon. member for Toronto Northwest.