The “welcome tax” has nothing to do with the ex-minister Jean Bienvenue
File Photo, Jean-François Desgagnés
Friday, December 15, 2017 15:07
Friday, December 15, 2017 16:18
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A historian of Québec comes to debunk a myth firmly entrenched in the province. According to him, the little-loved “welcome tax”, levied at the time of the purchase of a residence, does not concern in any way the former mp, minister and judge Jean Bienvenue.
The October issue of the quarterly Bulletin political history contains a well researched article by the historian to the national Assembly, Frédéric Lemieux. The expert presents four variants of the myth according to which Mr. Welcome would have “sponsored this act [establishing the tax] in the Room, made the enactment of this law, suggested his creation to his ministerial colleagues or simply recommended its adoption”. But it appears that none of these variants is not correct.
The act that brought the tax honnie has been adopted by the new government of René Lévesque on December 22, 1976. However, Mr. Welcome had lost his seat in parliament five weeks earlier, at the election of November 15. It would not have been able neither to sponsor nor to adopt the law.
“A charming word”
Other research shows that Mr. Welcome has neither suggested nor recommended the adoption of this text. Moreover, the expression “welcome tax” does not appear for the first time in a newspaper in 1982. It is used in the Room, for the first time, that in 1991, when the government Bourassa obliged the municipalities to levy the duty on transfers of real estate.
At the time, the member pq Francis Dufour “, ascribes the authorship of the phrase to the notaries who have made it a “charming word for the planting of municipalities” and “disgust” people”, wrote Frederic Lemieux.
In 1993, an article by Guy Pinard, from The Press, attributed falsely to the authorship of the fee to be John Welcome. This paper establishes the rationale for the founding of the myth of the welcome tax […] The article of Wine was enough to ensure a long life in the media to this legend,” says the historian Lemieux.
A “shortcut seductive”
Still today many publications use it, wrongly, the shift to talk about the tax “Welcome”. Even the website of the professional Association of notaries of Quebec claims that “it is Jean Bienvenue, who was then minister in the cabinet of Robert Bourassa, who sponsored this act [establishing the tax]”.
According to Frédéric Lemieux, “it is time that John Welcome to cease to pay the heinous tax. The amalgam with his surname is a shortcut seductive by its side is anecdotal, but without any foundation”.
Interviewed by The Newspaper, Peter Welcome, son of the former minister, was pleased to see that they were going to finally disassociate the family name from that of the tax. It would thereby put an end to the “old injustice”, he argued.