Madam Speaker, I thank members from all parties for agreeing to give me the floor.
In conclusion, I wish to inform this House and those who are listening to us that this bill transcends party lines. It is not about diverging political options or diverging views on Quebec-Canada relations, not at all.
In the course of their parliamentary activities in their ridings, all 301 members of this House have opportunities to visit car dealerships and to meet with mechanics in their riding offices. We are already aware of this issue of deducting the cost of providing tools for their employment.
As the Prime Minister said, we are perhaps 12 or 15 months away from the next election. All members of parliament who decide to run again will have to visit automobile dealers and will be questioned on this issue.
I am therefore appealing to their common sense. Judging by the three hours of debate, Canadian Alliance, Bloc Quebecois of course, NDP and Progressive Conservative members are all in favour of the bill.
I appeal to the Liberal majority. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance—perhaps he was expressing a personal opinion—did not seem too inclined to vote in favour of the bill. But I appeal to the Liberal members. This will not be a vote along party lines, but what is called a free vote. I am certain that they will follow their conscience and vote in favour of the bill.
In closing, I remind the House that, in 1997, the Standing Committee on Finance, composed of a majority of Liberal members, made the following recommendation:
The committee recommends that the Government consider measures to provide targeted tax relief for large expenses incurred as a condition of employment, such as mechanic's tools.
I remind my Liberal colleague from Vaughan—King—Aurora, who was the committee chair, that he voted for the recommendation. My Liberal colleague from Gatineau, my colleagues from Sarnia—Lambton, Provencher, Niagara Falls, Kitchener Centre, Mississauga South and Stoney Creek, who were on the Standing Committee on Finance representing the Liberal majority, that they voted in favour of the recommendation.
I think that automobile technicians expect us as parliamentarians to recognize finally the importance of their profession to society and to give it its true worth.
It is simply a matter of establishing some balance in relation to other job categories that can deduct the cost of their tools. It is also a matter of encouraging our young people who might be tempted to join this profession, if we gave them a tax break. It is also a matter of young men and women seeing that the government is listening to their concerns and promoting the development of this profession.