Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your generous remarks but after five years of trying to advance the debate on tax reform in a comprehensive way sometimes I wonder what you have to do. It is not just props; I think you even have to go beyond props.
At any rate the point I wanted to make was about Canada having a single tax system. On both the personal and corporate sides the rate would be around 20 per cent. On the personal side there would be very generous deductions to make sure those people at the lower income spectrum were protected. If we had a progressive single tax system like that I believe capital would flow into this country in a way we could not imagine. Canada would be the home for capital from all over the world.
It is not unlike the grocery store: if there is a sudden glut of potatoes or of chicken the price goes down. It is not different with capital. If the capital were suddenly parked here in large amounts it would put downward pressure on interest rates. This would mean it would be much easier for us to service our deficit and debt. More important, it would provide capital at an inexpensive price for those one million small and medium size entrepreneurs, those men and women who need to be fired up to get the economy going.
I attended a townhall meeting with my colleague from Nepean last night at which we had a little session on small business and tax reform. One person in the crowd said: "I don't like this kind of a system. I would like a two-tier system. If you make up to $60,000 you pay 20 per cent but once you get over $60,000 you pay 40 per cent". I told him that I totally disagreed with that. I believe the harder we work the more we achieve, and the more we make the more we should have left in our pockets. We should and we have always rewarded productivity in Canada.
I do not believe for a second in a system where people who make millions of dollars get off with paying nothing. I believe in an airtight system and the single tax system is an airtight system. It does not matter whether one is making $100,000, $500,000 or a million, it is 20 per cent; it is airtight. It is airtight on the corporate side as well. If we had a system like that in Canada we would do much to stimulate economic activity.
There is something else we have to be concerned about. In the last three weeks our neighbours to the south have been talking about the issue nearly every day in Washington. There has been a change in the Congress of the United States. Most of the people who were elected three weeks ago in the United States are now starting to talk on almost a daily basis about a single tax system.
That concerns me. If the United States adopts a single tax system before we do we would have a problem. It may be difficult to move money to the islands, to move money to Switzerland or to move a business to another part of South America or some part of eastern Europe, but it will be very easy for Canadians to cross the 49th parallel.
I am standing here today in support of every one of the amendments in Bill C-59. They are targeted amendments. They are all related to generating economic activity. They are simplifying the tax system. I do not disagree with any part of the bill because it is taking us in a positive direction in a constructive way.
My challenge to all members of the House of Commons is that it is good but it is tinkering. It is time to go the whole nine yards, clean up the whole system and start from scratch. If we did that all Canadians would cheer the House. We would have rebuilt trust and respect. More important than all those things or equally as important, we would ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of the country. Our ability to cope and handle our deficit and our debt would be much more focused and much easier to address.
This will probably be one of the last days in this year that we have an opportunity to send out a message to all officials in the Department of Finance, to my colleague, the Minister of Finance, and to all my other colleagues.