Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you for your comments, Mr. Longfield.
With all due respect, there are a couple of things we'd like to make sure that we're clear on. The finance committee is only undertaking this review for a total of two meetings with stakeholders, which is six hours in total, and none of the witnesses before them have an industry point of view, particularly when it comes to small businesses, so I think it's pertinent to our committee to make sure that those voices are heard.
As we've heard in my riding at length, there are a number of small businesses that have reached out and just said how devastating this will be. In particular, there's a mechanic in my riding who said that this tax change will mean that he will have to lay off five of his employees. Five of those employees now will have trouble making their mortgage payments, and perhaps will not have that second car that they're able to fill up with gas, and they will not be eating at the local restaurants. This really has that trickle-down effect, which I think is worth exploring here at our committee on the small business side, but also to be able to look at the significant impact the proposed changes would have on professional corporations.
Then to the other point that Mr. Longfield made that we're in the consultation period, granted, we're in the consultation period, but I believe it's for maybe three more days, so it's quickly coming to an end. A lot of the consultation period was during the summer, when people were busy on their holidays. I believe the announcement was made on July 17, so most people were away on holidays and kids were out of school. It was a busy time, so I think being able to extend some of that to our committee would be very worthwhile.
In addition to that, in my opinion, the finance minister has been very clear about where he plans to take this. It hasn't been very well received, and I'm sure my colleagues on the other side of the table, and also on this side of the table, have heard from a number of their constituents on this.
Even though we're in that consultation period, I believe that it's pertinent now for our committee to make sure that we start scheduling these meetings. There are five meetings and we can bring in as many of the small businesses and stakeholders as we can to make that a well thought-out.... We even encourage the other side to bring in witnesses as well. This isn't just a Conservative initiative. As you know, across the country we're hearing from everybody. We're hearing from people in Liberal-held ridings in Edmonton. They're contacting us, saying, “Please convince the finance minister and the government to at least extend this consultation period.” This would be a good-faith consultation.
This is my last point, Mr. Chair, before I cede my time.
I understand that we're going to be voting on this and I'd just like to request that we make it a recorded vote.