Evidence of meeting #33 for Finance in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was thank.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Mark McQueen  Board Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Financial, Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
  • John Gamble  President, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies
  • Susie Grynol  Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies
  • Claude Lajeunesse  President and Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
  • Robert Simonds  President, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Geoff Smith  Director, Governement Relations, Canadian Electricity Association
  • Richard Rémillard  Executive Director, Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
  • Jayson Myers  President and Chief Executive Officer, National Office, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
  • Michel Arnold  Executive Director, Option consommateurs
  • Anu Bose  Head, Ottawa Office, Option consommateurs
  • Vaughan Dowie  Executive Head of Public Affairs, McGill University
  • Mark Cohon  Commissioner, Canadian Football League, 100th Anniversary Grey Cup Festival
  • Chris Rudge  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 100th Anniversary Grey Cup Festival
  • Michael Clemons  Representative, 100th Anniversary Grey Cup Festival
  • Barbara Cameron  Associate Professor, York University, Centre for Feminist Research
  • Kathleen Lahey  Faculty of Law, Queens University, Centre for Feminist Research
  • Jean-Michel Laurin  Vice-President, Global Business Policy, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
  • Sandra Crocker  Assistant Vice-Principal, Research and International Affairs, McGill University

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

What proportion of those $12 billion could go to your members in Quebec?

4:50 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Claude Lajeunesse

They will be competing against others like everyone else. I cannot tell you how it will be distributed. At the moment, I know that we say that about half the industry is in Quebec, but there are also competitors in British Columbia, in the Atlantic provinces, in Ontario and so on. The benefits could go to companies anywhere in the country.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Thank you.

Mr. McQueen, in your brief, you're asking that the research and development credit program be enhanced so that each dollar of qualifying expenses leads to $1.50 in credit. How did you calculate that?

4:50 p.m.

Board Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Financial, Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

Mark McQueen

We're going to do that--

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Is that not what is happening now?

4:50 p.m.

Board Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Financial, Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

Mark McQueen

No. If you are a company with 35 employees, and $800,000 is going into your R and D credit application that's audited by your own auditor and then sent to CRA, you might get 90¢ on the dollar of that application, so that's $720,000.

Our recommendation would be to send $1.50 back, rather than send back that discount. So $1.2 million would be the tax credit in that case, and it would go right back into hiring and growing the business.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Interesting.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Thank you, Mr. Pacetti.

Your turn, Mr. Généreux.

October 6th, 2010 / 4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thanks to all the witnesses for being here.

Mr. Lajeunesse, your first recommendation mentions three technology demonstration projects at $40 million each. Can you tell us a little more about those projects? Have they already been determined? If so, what sectors are we talking about?

4:50 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Claude Lajeunesse

The three projects have already been submitted to the government. One is on new, composite materials. It is absolutely essential to develop new materials so that aircraft can be made lighter and stronger, and can provide more safety for the passengers.

Another project deals with engine noise reduction. With the increase in air traffic and in the number of people who want to travel around the world, it may be necessary to increase the number of hours during which aircraft can use various airports. This is very important. In Europe, for example, noise conditions are very strict. So one of our projects is trying to improve the noise levels of aircraft.

The last project is quite interesting. It deals with hi-tech vision systems. These are applications that could be used in medicine, in climatology and so on.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

We know that research and development cost a great deal. An amount of $40 million dollars each for projects such as you mentioned is not necessarily very high. Do the organizations that are going to conduct those research projects have access to other resources, such as research and development tax credits? I am sure that we all agree that $40 million per project is not a huge sum.

4:50 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

Claude Lajeunesse

Mr. Chair, that is an excellent question. I should have mentioned that the sum is what we are asking the government for. The companies are investing at least the same amount. For example, with the Green Aviation Research and Development Network, the companies are putting in $12 million so that their investment is equal to the government's.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Simonds, I was a mayor for the last four years, up until last November, that is. Our municipality only had 5,000 people, and we also had difficulty recruiting volunteer firefighters. What led you to set the figure at 200 hours? It can vary considerably, when you consider small or medium municipalities. The municipality of which I was mayor was a medium-sized one, but, in my mind, it was small. We cannot compare ourselves to much larger cities. But it is often in the very small or medium-sized municipalities that you find the volunteers.

What led you to set the figure at 200 hours? What justified that choice for you?

4:55 p.m.

President, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs

Robert Simonds

As far as quantitatively trying to determine the optimum level, that came out of a recommendation from consultation with fire chiefs across the country. However, as previously indicated, in our dialogue with the finance department we indicated that we were absolutely open to having other thresholds so that we can recognize the invaluable contribution to those in smaller towns, villages, and so forth.

The commitment that the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs makes to government is that we will work with the finance department to find that optimum solution. So whether it's at 200 hours or a variable of that, we will be mindful of that in our dialogue with the finance department. At this juncture it's about getting unanimity of mindset that this is the right thing to do for the Canadian fire service and for the safety and security of Canadians. That's where we're focused today.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

As in any area of personal commitment where people are giving their time, some give more than others. Would there not be variations? You are not suggesting that, to get the same $3,000 amount, there should necessarily be a difference between people who contribute 800, 1,000 or 2,000 hours per year and those who contribute 200.