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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 infrastructure.

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

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

That's great. Thank you.

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Mr. Paillé, the floor is yours.

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

I love the Grey Cup, but I will not talk to you about Alain Côté's goal. Let's talk about something else since there are people here.

I would like to speak to the representatives from the Centre for Feminist Research. In the documents you have submitted and that are, in my opinion, very punchy, you bring up non-regression principles. On pages 3 and 4, you have a list of examples of regressive measures to be eliminated. I think it is one of the better ways to show the members of the Standing Committee on Finance, who sometimes want to add things to recommendations, that they should correct errors from the past. In line with that, I would like you to revisit the Bloc Québécois' budget recommendations from last year. Whole sections were filled with those types of recommendations.

I would like to mention that your paragraph on page 4 seems to me to be very straightforward. You summarize things very well. I will read it, if I may:

We urge the Standing Committee to incorporate into its report expenditure proposals in support of the national anti-poverty strategy, the national housing strategy, and the national child care strategy proposed in these bills.

So these three key elements—child care, housing and poverty—are basically at the heart of your recommendations. I am not sure whether you could add something to that in one minute.

5:35 p.m.

Prof. Barbara Cameron

Your question is what importance do we attach to these...? These are bills that have had the support of the opposition parties in committee. We believe that since there are opposition members on this committee as a majority, that should be part of what goes into the making of the budget, which is to recognize that these flow from international commitments and they flow from the needs in Canada.

They have the support of the majority of members of the House, at least as reflected in the committee and in certain votes in the House. We believe they should be seen as priorities for financing by the standing committee.

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Thank you.

I would like to go back to the representatives from Option consommateurs. Your second recommendation reads as follows: “Ensure that future reviews of the viability of the CPP continue to be grounded in rigorous actuarial science”. Is there any doubt in your mind? Otherwise, why would you ask a question like that? Is there something in government policies that leads you to believe that it might no longer be rigorous?

5:35 p.m.

Executive Director, Option consommateurs

Michel Arnold

We actually recommend ensuring that studies are conducted in this manner because, naturally, since the situation is becoming more and more complex, there could be a tendency to have various interpretations. We believe that the current work is done well and must continue to be so. So our recommendation is in support of the current work.

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

I have one minute left.

Mr. Laurin, in the graph your colleague mentioned, we can notice some sort of discrepancy between cash flow and investments. I see there is a lag between the increase in cash flow and the investment, which did not reach the same level. In order to clarify your graph, if we look at the discrepancies in 1995 and 1985, are we to believe that the same thing is happening in 2010 despite everything?

October 6th, 2010 / 5:35 p.m.

Jean-Michel Laurin Vice-President, Global Business Policy, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Could you tell me which graph you are referring to?

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

It is the graph your colleague mentioned, the one on cash flow.

5:35 p.m.

Vice-President, Global Business Policy, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Jean-Michel Laurin

It is the one at the bottom. There is always a lag between when capital is available and when the company makes an investment. So that is one of the reasons why we ask that accelerated capital cost allowances be in place for a five-year period since there is always a delay between when we do the study and make the decision to invest and when the money is actually invested. Depending on the company, this lag period can range from a few months to a few years.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Thank you, Mr. Paillé—

5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Sir, I will take five seconds to say that, as MP for Hochelaga, I hope that the Grey Cup stays in Montreal.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Merci beaucoup.

Ensuite, Mr. Wallace, please.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to thank the folks from the Grey Cup for coming. One of the thrills of my lifetime was flipping the coin at the eastern semi-final. My Ticats lost, but other than that it was a great game. I appreciate your coming.

I'm going to move on to the manufacturing organization. I just want to make sure that I have this right, and that you're on the record, that one of your recommendations is to follow through on the commitments to reduce the federal corporate income tax rate to 15%, to combine to 25% by 2012. That is your organization's position, to follow through on those tax cuts?

Just say yes or no. I don't have a lot of time.

5:35 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Office, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Dr. Jayson Myers

Yes. It's a very important measure.

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Thank you very much.

I have a question about refundability of tax credits for investments required for regulatory compliance.

For those who don't know, refundability means that if you paid tax or not, you get your money back.

So that's (a). But (b), you say “investments required for regulatory compliance”, meaning legal requirements. For what type of investments are you looking for a refundability aspect?

5:35 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Office, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Dr. Jayson Myers

I think if you look at a particular sector or set of regulations, such as new regulations for food product safety, companies have to make investments in new monitoring systems, inspection systems, IT systems. Many of these don't necessarily have—

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

But aren't they tax deductions as an investment in their companies already?

5:40 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Office, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Dr. Jayson Myers

Not if they're investments in equipment, where it's not necessarily clear that there would be a tax deduction. There would be a—

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Expenses go against revenues, do they not, in a normal business transaction?

5:40 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Office, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Dr. Jayson Myers

Not if it's an investment in a new set of equipment or technology where you have to depreciate that over a period of time.

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Okay.

I'll share my time with my colleague.

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Three minutes.

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Okay.

My questions are for Mr. Rudge and Mr. Cohon.

The 100th Grey Cup championship will certainly be a great reason for our nation to celebrate. I agree that there's tremendous potential for this to be a truly national celebration. So my question to you is this: knowing that a Grey Cup game with the Saskatchewan Roughriders playing--

5:40 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!