Obviously members opposite are now listening for the first time. I find it ironic that they continue to advocate tax relief and at the same time come forward on a specific measure which would complicate the tax system.
The same mechanics who are paying taxes which members opposite feel are too high would be robbed of any further broad based tax relief. As all Canadians realize, there is not a big black hole full of Canadian taxpayer dollars. We have to make choices and the choice of the government is to continue to provide broad based tax relief to ensure that we can stay in balance, to ensure that there is priority spending in health care and education, and to ensure that we continue to pay down the national debt.
Every Canadian now realizes that we pay some $40-odd billion in interest on the national debt. They are not about to sit by and tell us to give it to certain measures which might be the pet projects of members opposite and rob us of the tax relief we are looking for.
This is not something that I will support. I say to my constituents back home that we will continue to support broad based tax relief. We will continue to support a broad based program which meets the needs and priorities of Canadians.
I understand, appreciate and empathize with the positions of members opposite that a deduction with respect to mechanics' tools is something that governments need to take into account. It is not just mechanics' tools, as I mentioned. There are a number of other occupations where the relationship is not one of self-employed or contract but of employees that are required to make substantial investments.
We realize that it is a challenge, but when the trade-offs are put on the table I would submit most Canadians would agree that what is required is to continue to provide the greatest simplicity in the tax system, to continue to ensure that we pay down the debt, and to continue to ensure that we provide broad based tax relief, even if members opposite would disagree.