Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to enter into debate on the very worthwhile bill being presented by my colleague from Hamilton-Wentworth.
People throughout the country are telling us that they do not want any more taxes. Taxes take various forms. They take the form of writing cheques on April 30 but they take other forms as well. Every time somebody receives a tax deduction for a charitable donation it is a form of taxation. It means that person did not have to pay tax on that transaction. He received an exemption for it. In a sense, between taxpayers there is a transfer of resources from one taxpayer to another.
People are asking us for greater visibility and accountability in government programs. One of my own initiatives, to be presented in a private member's bill later this year, is to basically try to focus on how much government programs cost and taking them one step further to how much they are costing each individual taxpayer in this country.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I stand in support of Bill C-224.
The financial community has long regarded accountability as being very important. Public corporations in this country publicly trading shares are required to report the remuneration of their top executives. The hon. member is asking for nothing unusual. It is only something that should have been put in legislation years ago.
One of my hon. colleagues from the Bloc mentioned that it is possibly too wide in scope and possibly applies to organizations that do not receive federal government funding. I do not really think that is the purpose. If there is a non-profit organization or a registered charity people want visibility whether governments have funded it one way or the other. Therefore, I do not think the scope is too broad. I think this could be something useful for all government agencies and for the public in general to have access to information.
Non-profit and charitable organizations do not have a profit motive or the necessary overburden for efficiency. In a free market economy, a capitalist system, obviously companies have to make a profit or they die, they go into bankruptcy and become insolvent. The whole concept of those organizations is how they are going to meet the payroll.
When I was in private practice running my own businesses every day I wondered how I was going to make the payroll. That was a big feature of my daily life. If I did not meet the payroll I would suddenly be out of business.
These organizations obviously have to meet the payroll but they also do not have the incentive to have to make a profit. This by itself creates inefficiency if there is not a constant focus on the results of the organization. Most non-profit and charitable organizations have a different focus. They are not trying to make a buck. They have a specific and worthwhile function they are trying to achieve. However, without having the restraints required of turning a profit or being efficient they will have a tendency over their history to build in inefficiencies. The greatest inefficiency is in the area of wages.
If we allow these organizations to simply set their own wage structure there will always be non-profit organizations demanding more money just by the nature of the way they are established. There is no requirement to be efficient.
I think the member has brought forward a very worthwhile bill that will give these organizations an advantage to make them more efficient because people will have the visibility of how much people were remunerated. The question is whether it is reasonable remuneration.
In conclusion, I certainly congratulate the member for Hamilton-Wentworth for his very valuable contribution today and I certainly support it. I would respectfully request that all the parties of the House support this very worthwhile legislation.