House of Commons Hansard #186 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

Land Mines
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the land mines treaty enters into legal force today, a scant 15 months after it was opened for signature in Ottawa on December 1, 1997. It has already been signed by 134 states.

While attention focuses on the few holdout states, which include key permanent members of the security council, it may be argued that because of the wide representation, among its signatories, of all main political, ideological, cultural and regional groupings of the world community, the treaty has already entered into general customary international law and has become legally binding as such on signatory and non-signatory states alike. Dicta in recent jurisprudence of the World Court confirms such a legal thesis.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

March 1st, 1999 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, who pays some of the highest taxes in Canada? According to a new study by the C.D. Howe Institute, it is not millionaires or the super rich. It is ordinary Canadian families making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.

Young families are grossly and unfairly overtaxed. Nothing in last month's budget did anything to change that. Why does the government's tax policy penalize and discriminate against young families?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I know the Leader of the Opposition was quite busy with his united alternative conference last week, but if he had paid more attention to the budget when it was presented, he would realize that the general tax reforms, both in the last budget and in this budget, are focused particularly on middle and lower income families, among them millions of young families. Those are the people we are helping through this budget. Those are the people we will continue to help in years to come.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the tax position of two families after this budget.

Suppose there are two families, both earning $50,000 each and each with two children. We would think that they would both pay the same amount of tax. But if one family chooses to have one parent stay at home, that family under this government's tax policy ends up paying about $4,000 more per year in taxes.

Why does the government think that it is fair that one family should pay $4,000 more a year in taxes simply because one parent chose to stay home?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, for a family earning $50,000, two earners and two children, the combination of our last two budgets has reduced the total tax bite by fully 15%. On top of that we have introduced the child tax benefit, $850 million in one budget followed by another $300 million on the last budget for a total of $2 billion to low income working families.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary did not answer the question. Besides, the child tax credit gets clawed back after families make $26,000 a year.

The question is simply this: We have two families, identical income, two children, but one has a parent stay home and the other does not. The family with a parent who stays home to look after the children ends up paying $4,000 a year more in taxes than the other family.

Is it the policy of the government to discriminate against families that make that choice? Can the secretary answer the question?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be able to respond to the acting leader for the opposition.

We have recognized these disparities which occur. This is why we have taken 600,000 low income taxpayers right off the tax rolls in our last two budgets.

What the Leader of the Opposition fails to recognize in his question is that there are various tax credits which can be transferred among spouses when one—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, we all make little errors. Hon. members know they are the secretary of state and the Leader of the Opposition. The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, you will notice how the parliamentary secretary or whatever he is over there did—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us see if we can get the minister to answer the question this time.

There are two families, each making $50,000. One has a parent stay home and that family ends up paying $4,000 more a year in taxes.

I want to know from the minister why his government discriminates against parents who choose to stay at home and look after their children. Why is that the government's policy?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as I was attempting to answer in the last question on the very same issue, one has to recognize that under our tax act we have brought in a lot of liberalizing measures which allow credits to be transferred from a spouse who is working and earning income to one who is not. I will go through some of these. For example, we have the age credit, the pension credit, the medical expense tax credit, the disability tax credit, the charitable donations tax credit. The tuition and educational tax credit can also—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

And, Mr. Speaker, the most liberalizing act of all are the highest personal income taxes in the G-7, thanks to this government.

Let us see once again if the minister can answer the question. There are two families each making $50,000. One of them chooses to have a parent stay home and that family pays $4,000 more a year in taxes.

Why does this government discriminate against single income families?