Fernand VIAU

VIAU, Fernand

Personal Data

St. Boniface (Manitoba)
Birth Date
May 24, 1909
Deceased Date
June 3, 2000

Parliamentary Career

June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  St. Boniface (Manitoba)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  St. Boniface (Manitoba)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  St. Boniface (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 15)

June 14, 1956

Mr. Viau:

When the time comes to make a speech, you are there!

Subtopic:   PIPE LINES
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June 14, 1956

Mr. Viau:

In the discussion of this first item of general administration of income tax yesterday the hon. member for Dauphin, in his opening remarks, referred to the net worth statement as it affects farmers in the province of Manitoba and expressed his grievances with the attitude taken at times by the officials of the Department of National Revenue in dealing with farmers and in continuing at times to make a net worth statement which is not in accordance with the net return, I would say, of the farms in the previous three or five years. His remarks in respect to the net worth statement were very brief. I listened attentively to what he had to say, and in his first remarks and in the latter part of his speech which I read carefully this morning I notice that of the five columns of his speech four columns refer to the question which was asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre on April

9, which I shall read. It was addressed to the Minister of National Revenue and is recorded at page 2729 of Hansard, as follows:

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Minister of National Revenue? Will the minister re-examine the income tax files of the breweries of Manitoba to ascertain whether any of them claimed income tax deductibility for the contributions they made, as revealed in Winnipeg last week, to the Liberal, Conservative and Social Credit parties of Manitoba?

Then, of course, the hon. member for Dauphin continued his remarks on this question and he referred to the report which was discussed at Winnipeg at that time, which was issued by the royal commission established by the provincial government of Manitoba with respect to the liquor situation in that province. I shall quote the remarks made by the hon. member for Dauphin, as reported at page 5010 of Hansard:

In that statement you will find that the representative of the breweries stated that not only did the breweries of Manitoba make cash contributions to the political parties within the province of Manitoba but they made them also to the federal political parties.

I may say here that by using the plural "political parties" he does not include the C.C.F. party. I continue:

That immediately, of course, involves the consideration of this parliament.

In the last paragraph on the same page we find the following:

In case the minister or the committee is in doubt about what happened in Manitoba, may I refer them to some of the newspaper headlines. For example, the Winnipeg Free Press of April 4, 1956, carried this headline, "Breweries Bare Gifts to Three Parties; All But C.C.F. Shared $28,075 since 1945".

The remarks continue with respect to these gifts made only to the major political parties of the province of Manitoba. The members of the C.C.F. party stand up in this parliament and in the province of Manitoba with halos over their heads and rejoice that they receive no contributions from any corporation, either in Manitoba or throughout Canada. That is not a clear picture of the situation. We all know that political organizations have certain work to do and they have expenses to meet, and it is well known that contributions are received to help defray those expenses.

Our friends of the C.C.F. party are trying to set up a different picture. They say they receive no cash for their political organizations throughout western Canada. As I say, they go around with halos over their heads telling us that they receive no contributions from any corporation. But that is not the clear picture at all. The reason I rise today is to set out the situation that exists in Manitoba,

Supply-National Revenue especially in my own city of St. Boniface. I want to indicate the way in which the C.C.F. raise their political funds. They are now operating one of the largest gambling joints in the province of Manitoba right in my own city of St. Boniface.

A few years ago the C.C.F. party applied to the provincial secretary of Manitoba for a charter to operate what was called the commonwealth recreation society. This was being formed in order to round up all their friends. I call them their friends because the attitude they have taken in the past on public platforms in Manitoba is that they are the only friends of those Canadian citizens who are receiving social benefits, of the farmers and of labour.

We all know that members of the C.C.F. must contribute a certain percentage of their indemnity to the party funds, and no doubt in addition they receive contributions from individuals. But once this charter was obtained the picture was different. I should like to place on the record the names of the directors of that organization. I think I am fair in doing this because these names are taken from a public document.

One director is W. C. Leitkie, who is well known to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. He has been an organizer for the C.C.F. and is an employee of Canadian National Telegraphs. Another is A. R. Paulley, member of the legislative assembly for Kildonan-Transcona. Another is Dave Mulligan, alderman for ward 1 in the city of Winnipeg. The last is none other than the Rev. Lloyd Stinson, the provincial leader of the C.C.F. party.

This recreation society was formed for the purpose of holding social evenings with their friends, but they operate bingo games. These were first started in the city of Winnipeg but the law officers advised the members of the C.C.F. that bingo or any form of gambling would not be allowed in Winnipeg. So they crossed over the Red river to St. Boniface and rented large quarters from an individual where they could operate this commonwealth recreation society. I might say that last year the individual from whom they rented these quarters was fined $16,000 for having made fraudulent income tax returns.

If the C.C.F. intended to operate this for fraternal purposes or as a social gathering they would probably have a bingo game once a week or twice a month. We all know that organizations in certain parts of Canada, particularly in Ottawa, service clubs and the like, operate bingo games possibly once a month. Valuable prizes are given, sometimes


Supply-National Revenue amounting to about $10,000, but the Kinsmen or the Kiwanis clubs which operate these bingo games in Ottawa obtain large returns which they use for their social work.

The C.C.F. party did not operate their games in Manitoba once a week or twice a week; they operate thirteen nights a month. Last week the fire chief of St. Boniface made a complaint to the city council and asked that the necessary measures be taken-this was not within the power of the fire chief to do himself-to prevent these quarters being crowded with from 400 to 450 people thirteen nights a month. The fire chief claimed this created a fire hazard.

An entrance fee of 75 cents is charged, and if you multiply 400 by 13 by 75 you will see that the C.C.F. party in Manitoba is obtaining a large return from this recreation society. This money is not being spent for social or fraternal work, it is used primarily for political work in the province. I might use some of the words used yesterday by the hon. member for Dauphin when he referred to the contributions made by the breweries to the main political parties in the province of Manitoba and asked if these contributions were considered as being deductible for income tax purposes.

I believe I have stated clearly the situation that exists in the province. As I say, these people go around the prairies with halos over their heads saying that they receive no contributions from corporations, yet they tax their friends so much a night when they attend thirteen times a month at this recreation society. The total received would be far more than the $30,000 received from 1945 to 1955 from the breweries in that province.

I bring this matter to the attention of the committee because of the remarks yesterday by the hon. member for Dauphin. I do hope that the Minister of National Revenue-I am using part of the question asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre-will re-examine the income tax returns of the commonwealth recreation society of the province of Manitoba situated in St. Boniface to ascertain whether any claim has been made to a deduction for income tax purpose of these contributions received in the form of gambling.

Subtopic:   PIPE LINES
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June 5, 1956

Mr. Viau:

We want gas in Winnipeg.

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March 5, 1956

Mr. Fernand Viau (St. Boniface):

Mr. Speaker, the resolution introduced in the house this afternoon by the hon. member for Brandon deserves another reading for the information of the hon. members. It is as follows:

That, In the opinion of this house, the government should consider the advisability of taking advantage of every possible opportunity to promote the decentralization of industry, particularly with reference to defence industry, thereby,

(1) helping to reverse the trend towards concentration of population in large metropolitan areas with the accompanying social evils;

(2) encouraging a more equitable distribution of population and development right across Canada, and

(3) assuring the strategic dispersal of vital war industries in the interests of national defence.

The principle of that resolution or motion presented by the hon. member is perhaps very commendable, but we are indeed surprised that the opposition should put forward such a resolution since it amounts to inviting the government to implement a regimentation policy which has long been denounced by the Liberal party. We would understand a motion like this being introduced by a socialist group, such as the C.C.F. party but coming as it does from a Progressive Conservative member, it surprises the house.

Of course only an authorized spokesman of the Progressive Conservative party can present such a motion in its name. This new stand in favour of regimentation can only be explained by the fact that his party has never, for more than a quarter of a century, put forward a clear-cut policy as far as the

economic and social welfare of the Canadian population is concerned.

A few weeks ago, we witnessed a tragedy on the T.V. screen when the young representative from Three Rivers (Mr. Balcer), proud of his membership in the Progressive Conservative party and in his capacity as chairman of the national association of his party, was utterly unable to state the Progressive Conservative policy in answer to questions put to him by newspapermen on behalf of the Canadian population.

It is therefore not surprising that the house was astonished this afternoon to hear a member speak in favour of a policy of regimentation because but a few months ago, in fact last July, the official spokesmen of the Progressive Conservative party emphatically opposed certain powers that parliament proposed to grant to the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce and of Defence Production (Mr. Howe).

Industrial decentralization consists in using regimentation to uproot certain industries established in the industrial provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and forcing them to establish themselves in other provinces, following a survey of the industrial situation throughout Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Tonight I would like to state the views of western Canada, and more particularly those of Manitoba. I believe that the policy so well shaped by the Liberal government of Canada has, everywhere and at all times favoured industrial decentralization because, after all, even in Manitoba, during the war, we witnessed the departure of a large number of our young people and heads of families who enlisted to defend their country. Others went to work in industries established in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario; in spite of all that, many Canadian citizens came to settle in the western provinces and particularly in Manitoba.

Since the great victory of the allies in 1945, numerous industries have established themselves in Manitoba, where an imposing number were already operating. For instance, in my own city of St. Boniface we have the largest stockyards and packing plants of the British Empire, while in greater Winnipeg there are large textile, clothing, sugar beet, cement and other industries. Since 1945 more than 500 new industries have been established, a fact which has enabled the people of western Canada to receive each month a large amount in the form of salaries. The establishment of these industries has obviously contributed to the economic advancement of the Canadian nation.

Salaries in western Canada packing plants are in excess of $14 million. I wonder if the hon. member for Brandon would not be the first to protest, if the government were forced, as a result of this motion having been carried, to require, for instance, the packing plant in Brandon to remove to Portage la Prairie, shall we say, so that the people of that community could be allowed to enjoy the economic benefits accruing from such a plan. Yet, that would just about be the policy which would follow upon the passage of that motion.

I do not think we should adopt that motion since the Liberal government, after all, ever since it came into power back in 1935, has taken all possible steps necessary towards improving the economic and social well-being of the Canadian people.

As regards decentralization, may I point out that industry has always been encouraged along that line by legislation introduced in this house and now placed on our statute books.

The report of the industrial development bank indicates that it has on numerous occasions extended financial assistance to those Canadian citizens who wished to establish industries in western Canada. We might add too that the National Housing Act has made possible the building of a great number of houses in western Canada. All that has brought constant benefits to the Canadian people. These are but two instances of beneficial legislation enacted by the Liberal government. Such legislation is abundant. With the support the Canadian people has always given the Liberal government, I am sure that we will be able to keep on improving the economic standards of our country, which makes the envy of all the other nations of the world.

I am opposed to such a motion because it would mean the enforcement of an act of regimentation which, as I stated a moment ago, is inconsistent with the policy of the Liberal party. Moreover, through the increase in population in western Canada, and the establishment of industries in always increasing numbers and through the help of the minister of industry and commerce of Manitoba,-who has done everything in his power and has even appointed a foreign representative to find ways and means of bringing new industries to western Canada, all that with the support of the federal government- western Canada will soon enjoy constant prosperity in the industrial sphere. I would rather

Decentralization of Industry support a policy of steady economic progress, such as we have always enjoyed since the Liberal government came to power in 1935.

The beneficial steps taken not only by the provincial ministers of western Canada but especially by the federal Liberal government were meant to ensure the progress of the agricultural industry which has steadily improved not only under the right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) but in particular under the direction of the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce. I am sure that but a small minority among Canadians, during the depression, would have been ready to burn them in effigy and that, with the present economic and social development going on throughout the country, the Canadian people are willing to erect a monument to these ministers. All this is due to their knowledge of our problems and of course to their desire of forever upholding the great principles of the Liberal party.

Mr. Speaker, these are the few remarks I wished to make tonight. I am sure that what we want is to maintain our policy which has been so firmly established for a long time and to reject any legislation conducive to regimentation.


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April 29, 1955

Mr. Viau:

Oh, no.


Winnipeg and St. Boniface Harbour

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