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Conservative MP for Souris—Moose Mountain (Saskatchewan)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 74.00% of the vote.
Statements in the House
International Trade November 27th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters. That is creating jobs and opportunities. Opening markets for Canadian exporters is a key aspect of our government's economic action plan. Unlike the NDP, which is opposed to trade, and the Liberals, who have no plan for the economy, Conservatives understand the importance of opening new markets for Canadian exporters.
Could the Minister of International Trade please update the House on the next steps in Canada's pro-trade plan?
Government Priorities November 8th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, Canadians were told yesterday, in a shocking admission, that the leader of the Liberal Party believes that dictatorships, countries without freedom, human rights, or basic rule of law, are nations to uphold and celebrate. These inflammatory comments further demonstrate that the leader of the Liberal Party lacks the judgment to lead.
Would the Minister of State for Multiculturalism please update the House on the values our Conservative government upholds at home and abroad?
Remembrance Day November 8th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a well-known long-time resident of Estevan, Ken Raine, a kind and trusted elder who has contributed much to his church and community throughout his lifetime. I rise also to recognize and thank him for his participation in the Second World War.
Ken joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was posted to 434 Squadron, No. 6 Bomber Command, as leading air craftsman. He was then posted to the Northern Ireland Coastal Command.
To Ken, his family, and all veterans on this Remembrance Day, I say thanks for doing your part in the service of our country and in the service of mankind. On the 11th day of the 11th month, we will once again offer our gratitude and our commitment to never forget your service. Thank you, Ken.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, youth unemployment is of course an important factor and one that we take very seriously. If the member would do his research, he would find that Canada has one of the lowest unemployment rates compared to other countries in the world. Given that, we have said that we want to address that particularly and directly. We have taken initiatives to design programs to ensure that those who are underprivileged and those who are in positions where they do not have the education they need, or the job skills. We have invested funds to be sure that they are able to be part of the economy. We specifically targeted aboriginal youth.
We have created over one million net new jobs, nearly 90% full-time, nearly 85% in the private sector, since the global recession in July of 2009. We have the strongest job creating record in the G7. I would ask the member to do some analysis and have a look at where we are today compared to other countries. Compared to the previous Liberal government, we are doing very well. However, as always, more can be done.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, certainly there is not a weakening of health and safety provisions. I do not know where the member gets that from. I was involved in human resources and labour. We certainly have invested millions of dollars with respect to health and safety of employees. It is certainly an important factor and something we take very seriously.
Not only that, but with respect to health transfers to the provinces, we have increased those transfers each and every year to record levels, far in excess of what the previous Liberal government did. In fact, what it did was reduce the amount of money transferred to try to balance its budget on the backs of ordinary hard-working Canadians. We have said we will not do that. We will invest in those areas that are important. We will ensure that we reduce taxes and stimulate the economy so there is a good generation of income so we can look after things such as the member mentioned.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, today Canada has the strongest job growth among the G7 countries in the world.
Our unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years. It is significantly lower than that of the United States, a phenomenon that has not been seen in nearly three decades. In my riding, unemployment rates are well below 5%, 4%. There is virtually no unemployment.
Meanwhile, we have created over one million net new jobs, nearly 90% of which are full time, and our government continues to make new opportunities for Canadians to find employment.
While other countries continue to struggle with debt that is spiralling out of control, Canada is in the best fiscal position in the G7. Canada still remains on track to return to balanced budgets in 2015-16. The deficit has been reduced significantly, and we are well on track to bringing it to balance.
Both the independent International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are projecting that Canada's growth will be among the strongest in the G7 in the years ahead. Real GDP is significantly above pre-recession levels, the best performance in the G7.
All Canadians want this to continue. They want us to continue to make progress with respect to the economy, thus increasing jobs and prosperity for them and their children.
However, our government has been very clear that we will not raise taxes on Canadians to balance the budget. I know the earlier speaker said that we cannot cut our way to prosperity, but we certainly cannot tax our way to prosperity. That is a fundamental difference between this particular government and the opposition.
Our government has an economic plan that makes sense. As we have repeatedly said, Canada's economy is not immune to the economic challenges beyond our borders. We have been and will continue to be impacted by the ongoing turbulence in the United States and Europe, some of our most important trading partners.
We are moving forward and focusing on the economy, all the while keeping taxes low, which means more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians. That in turn helps keep our economy strong.
A recent study by KPMG concluded that Canada's total business tax costs—the corporate income tax, capital taxes, sales tax, property taxes, and wage-based taxes—are more than 40% lower than those in the United States. This is what makes us competitive and makes our economy prosper. It continues to grow, and it grows jobs.
In short, our government has created an environment that encourages new investment, growth, and job creation. It is an environment that ensures that Canada has the strongest fiscal position and the lowest business tax costs in the G7.
Let me share some of the highlights of our tax relief initiatives.
Our government has implemented broad-based tax reductions that support investment and growth and is delivering more than $60 billion of tax relief to job-creating businesses over 2008-09 and the following five fiscal years.
We have reduced the federal general corporate income tax rate to 15% in 2012 from 21% in 2007 in order to spur investment and productivity. Can members imagine? It went from 21% to 15%.
The federal capital tax was eliminated in 2006, and the corporate surtax was eliminated in 2008 for all corporations. This translates into jobs and an expanded economy.
Even more, we reduced the small business tax rate to 11% in 2008 from 12% in 2007, and subsequently the amount of income eligible for this lower rate was increased to $500,000 in 2009.
Canada's system of international taxation was strengthened in order to better support cross-border trade and investment and to improve fairness.
All these actions are part of a policy framework that increases the productive capacity of our economy as well as Canadian living standards. Lower general corporate income tax rates and other tax changes have increased the expected rate of return on investment and reduced the cost of capital, giving businesses strong incentives to invest and hire in Canada. This will in turn increase Canada's productive capacity and raise living standards.
This bill is great news for Canadians. Unlike the NDP, which insists on higher taxes, economic action plan 2013 is focused on positive initiatives to support job creation and economic growth while returning to balanced budgets, thus ensuring Canada's economic advantage remains strong today and into the future.
However, the job does not end there. Today, Bill C-4 will implement key measures from economic action plan 2013, as well as certain previously announced tax measures, to help create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.
Our government's low-tax plan is helping to guide the Canadian economy along the path of sustainable economic growth. Bill C-4 builds on our successes and maintains our government's focus on the economy. While we believe in the benefits of lower taxes, our government fully understands that sustaining an effective tax system also rests on the foundation of tax fairness. Today I will discuss some of the key measures we are implementing to do everything possible to ensure that Canadians have a fair tax system.
That is why economic action plan 2013 is committed to closing tax loopholes that allow a select few businesses and individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax. While Canadians work hard and pay their taxes, there are some who choose not to, and we must stop that practice. We must take initiatives to close those loopholes and ensure that the system is fair.
Chartered Accountants of Canada had this to say about economic action plan 2013:
The budget looks to close tax loopholes, address aggressive tax planning, clarify tax rules, reduce international tax avoidance and tax evasion and improve tax fairness. It also provides the Canada Revenue Agency with new tools to enforce the tax rules.
They continued with the strong backing of our initiatives and said:
We support efforts to maintain the integrity of the tax base....
This is high praise. I am proud of these measures, and I will elaborate on some of them.
Broadening and protecting the tax base supports our government's efforts to return to balanced budgets, responds to provincial governments' concerns about protecting provincial revenues on our shared-tax basis, and helps Canadians have confidence that the tax system is fair.
Ensuring that everyone pays his or her fair share also helps to keep taxes low for Canadian families and businesses, thereby improving incentives to work, save, and invest in Canada.
Since 2006, and including measures proposed in economic action plan 2013, the government has introduced over 75 measures to improve the integrity of the tax system.
Today's legislation takes additional steps in support of this objective, extending the normal assessment period by three years for a taxpayer who has failed to report income from a specified foreign property on his or her annual income tax return and has failed to properly file the foreign income verification statement known as T1135.
It introduces stiff administrative monetary penalties and criminal offences to deter the use, possession, sale, and development of electronic suppression of sales software designed to falsify records for the purpose of tax evasion.
Our systems, with the Internet, computers, and software, have made it possible for people to try to avoid tax. It is almost hard to believe that we would need such specific legislation, but let me read some portions of it.
What we now know as an electronic cash register, or a “device that keep a register or supporting documents through the means of an electronic device or computer system designed to record transaction data or any other electronic point-of-sale system” should be in place. However, here is a definition of electronic suppression of sales devices:
(a) a software program that falsifies the records of electronic cash registers, including transaction data and transaction reports; or (b) a hidden programing option, whether preinstalled or installed at a later time, embedded in the operating system of an electronic cash register or hardwired into the electronic cash register that (i) may be used to create a virtual second till, or (ii) may eliminate or manipulate transaction records, which may or may not be preserved in digital formats, in order to represent...
or misrepresent the actual point-of-transaction sale.
This legislation prohibits anyone who knowingly, or under circumstances attributable to neglect, carelessness, or wilful default, to participate, or consent or acquiesce in the use of an electronic suppression of sales device or similar device on pain of penalty. It also talks about possession of those devices and those who make them. There are stiff penalties to ensure these types of devices are not used. That is just one example of closing tax loopholes to ensure revenues are not lost.
The Environment October 24th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, after years of inaction under the previous Liberal government and Liberals jet-setting around the world while carbon emissions increased by over 130 megatonnes, Canadians are happy to see a Conservative government get real results. Our record investments, both internationally and domestically, have made us a world leader, and we are proud of that.
Can the Minister of the Environment update this House on the latest trend report and the results it shows this government is getting?
Committees of the House June 13th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities entitled “Exploring Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, this agreement will be implemented and it will save a lot of dollars. However, I will address the question the member asked, which is not related to this bill.
Last year alone, over $40 billion in tax debt was recovered and $100 million collected in fines from 1,182 people who were convicted of tax violations. As well, in closing tax loopholes, the New Democratic Party opposed that legislation.
We are setting a culture that is taking place at several levels. Tax enforcement ensures that people are obligated to not only indicate what their income is so they can be taxed, but also that they pay their taxes when they are obligated to pay them. It is a culture of saying that not only should we get rid of tax avoidance, not only should we get rid of aggressive tax planning that tends to avoidance, but when we owe taxes, we also ought to pay them. It is a culture that says it is important to follow the rules and to pay when people ought to pay tax and not try to avoid that by putting money in an offshore account. I should have asked the other member about—
Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the question is coming from with respect to this legislation. However, there is an opportunity for the member to debate this legislation, and it is important because it deals with the rules of the road for investment.
Notwithstanding what the member and other members have said, there has been specific funding allocated to ensure that appropriate investigation takes place and that CRA has the finances to increase the size of the national audit program, in fact, by 40%. There is a $30-million investment to target international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. That is what we are talking about and this legislation would provide for that. The government has taken some very concrete steps.
With respect to the member's question, which is not related to this legislation, when a particular piece of legislation does come before the House, he will have the opportunity to ask questions on that and he will get an answer. However, what he is talking about here has absolutely nothing to do with the legislation at hand and it does not matter how much he would—