House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of Supply
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to)

Income Trusts
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present another petition on the income trust broken promise, submitted to me by Mr. Robert Longmore, of Calgary, Alberta, who remembers the Prime Minister boasting about his apparent commitment to accountability when he said that the greatest fraud is a promise not kept.

The petitioners remind the Prime Minister that he promised never to tax income trusts, but he broke that promise by imposing a 31.5% punitive tax which, in less than two days, wiped out over $25 billion of the hard-earned savings of two million Canadians, particularly seniors.

The petitioners therefore call upon the Conservative minority government to admit that the decision to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions, secondly, to apologize to those who were unfairly harmed by this broken promise and, finally, to repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.

Safe Haven for Newborns
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by almost 50 constituents of mine from towns in Alberta, including Carbon, Drumheller, Nacmine, Morrin, Rosebud, Rosedale Station, Stettler and Rocky Mountain House. The petitioners call on Parliament to pass a motion that would enable communities to provide a safe haven whereby mothers can legally, safely and humanely abandon their babies without fear of reprisals. I would like to thank Heather Jones in particular for pursuing this matter. She has done a lot of good work in taking action on this issue.

These safe havens would protect babies who, for whatever reason, cannot stay with their mothers. These mothers are often afraid and may not make the best choices, but they feel they have no other options. I am very proud to stand up for these compassionate petitioners who pray that even if we are talking about only a few children we would put these measures in place.

Climate Change
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present two petitions here this morning.

The first petition deals with climate change.

A number of citizens, as a result of viewing Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, request that the Government of Canada legislate programs consistent with meteorological reality and act immediately to reduce the climate change crisis by diminishing fossil fuel dependency while sponsoring initiatives and incentives to promote less harmful technologies.

Nuclear Weapons
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from those people who say that we have something like 27,000 nuclear weapons still in existence today, 3,000 of those weapons are on a 15 minute launch warning status and threatening to destroy the world, and 50 of today's modern nuclear weapons could kill more than 200 million people. They petition our Parliament to establish a department of peace that would reinvigorate Canada's role as a global peace builder and that would have the abolition of nuclear weapons as a top priority.

CRTC
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today. The first calls upon the government to stop the spread of hate propaganda and raises serious concerns about nine Chinese state-run television services being available in Canada.

Taxation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon the government to create a tax benefit for households without a motor vehicle.

I am pleased to table these petitions on behalf of my constituents.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

October 25th, 2007 / 10:10 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, while reducing personal taxes and significantly reducing corporate taxes to make the economy more competitive, and reducing debt, the government must also drive greater Canadian productivity by making investments in things such as:

physical infrastructure, new technologies, research and development, better access to post-secondary education, making it easier for immigrants to use their skills and increasing the number of skilled workers in Canada; and the government must avoid making mistakes such as breaking its promise not to tax income trusts, eliminating interest deductibility and proposing to end prudence from the federal budgeting process.

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would remind hon. members that when a motion is being read, members are not to make any noise or disturbance in the House. There is a standing order to that effect.

On debate, the hon. member for Markham--Unionville.

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to this motion. I would like to share my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Kings—Hants.

What I would like to do in my time is tell members about what I believe to be the core of Liberal economic policy as expressed in the motion and compare that with the economic approach of the Conservatives and the NDP.

In a nutshell, I would state that the Liberal position on economic policy is to build a richer Canada in the medium term.

Why a richer Canada? In part, because our citizens and their families want a better quality of life. And in order to create social justice, we must also create wealth. Thus, wealth must be created in the medium term.

Why in the medium term? Because, even though the economy may be doing quite well today, for reasons totally unrelated to that government, things will not necessarily always be that way and we need to focus on the medium term in a hugely competitive world that does not owe Canada a living.

Our position is to develop a series of policies to create a richer Canada in the medium term. There are basically two elements in that strategy. On the one hand, competitive and appropriate levels of taxation and, on the other hand, investments in order to bring about this richer Canada.

On the tax side, our position is that we need broad based reductions in personal and corporate income taxes, but balanced by the need for government investment to promote that growth and balanced as well by our commitment to a greener and fairer Canada. Our leader has stressed, in particular, the importance of deeper corporate tax cuts as a primary means of achieving the investment, the rising living standards and the jobs, jobs, jobs that we all want for ourselves and our children.

In particular, now that our currency is at par, now that we do not have the crutch of a weak currency to attract investment into this country, we need to create a new Canadian advantage. The new Canadian advantage in the Liberal vision, somewhat reminiscent of the Irish experience, is to tell investors that if they invest in Canada they will pay a whole lot less corporate tax than if they invest south of the border.

The second part of the Liberal approach is not only competitive taxes but investments in research and development, access to post-secondary education, infrastructure, commercialization and skills development. Those are the two planks of the Liberal vision of how to create a richer Canada in the medium term.

I will turn to the Conservatives. Whereas our focus is on a richer Canada in the medium term, they see everything through a short term electoral lens, influenced as well by a good dose of ideology. I will give a few examples to illustrate this point.

Whereas we believe in broad based tax cuts, the Conservatives, for electoral reasons, believe in narrowly defined, boutique social engineering tax credits. They, for example, would give credits and benefits to young hockey players but would deprive young violin players of those benefits. It is our view that the decision between hockey and violin playing should rest in the family and should not be determined by the government. That is why we would give tax relief to all and not just to a select few for electoral purposes. It is they, not we, who are the social engineers in this country.

The second example is that the Conservatives, for obvious electoral purposes, decided to cut the GST and to raise income tax to do that. Just today in the Globe and Mail, 20 out of 20 economists surveyed said that this was the worst thing to do, and we concur in that, but the Conservatives did it purely because they felt they would get electoral gain. I question that too. I think most Canadians would rather have a tax cut, giving them a better paycheque, than a penny off the price of coffee at Tim Horton's.

My last example is investment. We believe in investment as an important component of our growth strategy. The Conservatives do not. We believe in supporting research and innovation in universities. They slashed that in their almost two years in power. Why did they slash it? I guess they thought there were not many votes in it. However, we think it is the right thing to do for the country.

On post-secondary education, we would put $6,000 per post-secondary student into the pockets of the students. What did the Conservatives do? A paltry, demeaning, insulting, maximum $80 tax credit for textbooks. That illustrates the differences. We are driven by the medium term creation of wealth in this country and they are driven by short term electoral considerations.

Now I will turn to the NDP. The fundamental point about the NDP is that those members do not understand economics. They never understood economics and they never will understand economics. In effect, the NDP is mired in a time warp in the 1960s. The NDP today is like the British Labour Party in the 1960s. The NDP has never had the courage or the leadership to find its own Tony Blair to lead it out of the 1960s into at least the 1970s or perhaps it could get to the 1980s, the 1990s or the new millennium, but it has not. It is mired in the 1960s. It has no vision of wealth creation and no clue how to go about it should that be its desire, which is why that party will remain a marginal protest party.

I will concede that the NDP members, like us, favour a greener, fairer Canada, but where they fall down is that they do not have a clue about how to create a richer Canada and, arguably, they do not even want one. Canadians require a governing party that can manage the economy competently, and the NDP is back in the 1960s on that topic.

I will give the House one example. At the latest NDP convention, a motion was put forward by the leader's riding association that Canada should get out of NAFTA and out of the WTO. Those members also want Canada to get out of Norad, by the way. The NDP's official policy since 1997 has been that Canada should get out of NAFTA. That was delusional, clueless, irresponsible policy and it is still characterized in the neanderthal economic thinking of the New Democratic Party.

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Globophobic, socialist Luddites.