And unemployment insurance, the Canada highway act, whereby we have granted millions; farm and fishery loans; the unemployment relief act, under which we have * expended hundreds of millions of dollars-all that falls by the same logic as does the act before the house to-day. The very comparison shpws that the contention is absurd.
What a mess my friends have got themselves into constitutionally in this argument! At present we are allowing income tax payers to deduct $108 per child from their taxes as a child allowance. Now the pith and substance of that legislation would not be altered were we to charge these people their full income tax and later return money to them by way of an allowance on behalf of the child. The pith and substance would be exactly the same. The constitution of Canada, Mr. Speaker, does not make a distinction between rich and poor, as apparently does the opposition in the House of Commons. If it is ultra vires to pay children's allowances to parents whose income is below $1,200 per year, then I say it is equally ultra vires to give allowances to parents whose income is over $1,200 per year. And if that is so, then the income tax act of this parliament is unconstitutional, and should be declared so by the courts.
I have not heard the hon. member for Lake Centre proposing that we refer all those acts
and all the legislation upon the statute books of Canada which is on a par with this act-I say, I have not heard him proposing that all this legislation be referred to the courts for a decision the tenor of which we know in advance. The courts of this country are busy institutions. We have no right to impose upon them tasks which are not bona fide or to ask them to resolve doubts that do not exist.
It has been suggested by the leader of the opposition-it is so indefinite that it is hard to put your finger on it-that family allowances be geared up in some way to individual needs. Apparently that is the suggestion of a bill which he would like to introduce were he in power, a bill to give children's allowances geared up to individual needs. I suppose he would send thousands of ladies with spectacles and long noses to inquire into the private family affairs of the people of this dominion.
Topic: QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic: FAMILY ALLOWANCES