“Except the Bronfmans”, as my friend in the NDP said, but it goes beyond that. It goes beyond that because what we see is a government that not only taxes every cent it can find, but then it sends the money to all its friends in what I hope is a vain attempt to lever itself back into power in the next election campaign. I hope Canadians throw out the Liberals for that insult.
It is time to put an end to that crazy way of doing politics. Let us leave that money in people's pockets. Let us show people the respect they deserve. Let us allow them to maintain the dignity that goes with being able to feed our own families. That is something people should ask for and expect as a bare minimum.
How would we do it? The Canadian Alliance says to go through the envelope of spending that currently exists. Get rid of the pork barrelling and patronage and put it into things that people care about, such as higher education and health care. Let us fix the military. Let us do something with the justice system. Let us get the bare essentials fixed.
Let us give people a big tax break. We are advocating a tax plan which would see the basic and merit exemptions pushed up to $10,000 each and a $3,000 per child deduction for every family in Canada with children 16 years of age and under. Right off the bat that would mean a family of four would have $26,000 of tax exempt income.
After that we would tax people at a rate of only 17%. Everyone would be taxed at 17%. That is it. People would say, “I finally get the sense that maybe I am now being taxed fairly. I am being allowed to keep the majority of my money”.
That would have a wonderful impact when it comes to attracting investment and talent back into Canada. By virtue of cutting the top rates from 29% and 26% down to 17%, the capital gains rate would fall down to around 20%. That would be the total rate, 20%, federal and provincial combined. This would be a wonderful incentive for people to invest.
It would mean that we would catapult ahead of the United States, Ireland, the U.K. and Japan. We would start to attract investment and put more people back to work.
Who suffers when we have an unemployment rate of almost 7%? Is it people who have skills? I do not think so. Is it people who have education, who come from a good background? No, it is people at the low end.
The Prime Minister wants to talk about values. Why does he not put in place an investment climate which would ensure that business would come to Canada to the point where so many companies would be looking to hire people that people without skills and education would be sought after? Why is Canada in a situation today where for every job there are three people chasing after it? Why not reverse that? Why not have three jobs chasing every person?
One of the remarkable things about what has happened in the U.S. is the economy is so hot there that many companies cannot find workers so they have set up in what are traditionally known as ghettos. They said to the people, “We know you do not have skills. We know you do not have an education. Some of you have been on welfare your whole lives. But we are coming to your community because we need workers. We will give you on the job training. We will give you skills. We will give you opportunity”. They get experience and contacts. And they get the dignity that goes with being able to look after themselves and to buy food for their families.
That is the great benefit of an economy which moves at its capacity. The government seems to think Canada's economy is wonderful if unemployment is barely under 7%. We have to do way better than that if we want to help all Canadians. The government is not doing it.
That is what solution 17 would do. It would get the economy moving rapidly and would allow everyone to have a chance to have a job, and the opportunities and dignity which go with it.
When the parliamentary secretary gave his speech on Bill C-32, he said that we must pass this right away so people could get enhanced GST credits before the summer. That is nice, but would it not be better to have opportunities and jobs that pay good wages instead?
That is what is happening in the U.S. I hate to keep referring to the U.S., but we used to be on par with it when it came to the standard of living. I do not understand why the government wants to play second fiddle to the U.S. Why does it think that is good?
We hear the proud nationalism coming from the other side, but the Liberals are content to allow the Americans to eat our lunch. Well I am not and the Canadian Alliance is not. We think that investment belongs in Canada. Those jobs belong in Canada. People need more than a GST credit cheque. They need jobs. They need the disposable income and the opportunities.
We are tired of the middling busy work approach from across the way. It is time for a fundamental change in Canada, a change which will allow us to shoot to the front of the pack instead of falling further and further behind, as we have done for the last 20 years. That is just not good enough. It is time to turn it around.
I will conclude by saying that if there is anybody in this place who is guilty of an agenda of greed, it is the Prime Minister and this government. They show absolutely no compunction about taking more and more money out of people's pockets and spending it on things that people do not care about or, in some cases, things that I think are unscrupulous, things that benefit the Liberals to their political ends. That is an agenda of greed. That is what has to come to an end.
I urge people across the country who are watching this to help us bring an end to that by throwing the government out. We have an election coming in the next year. Let us get rid of that government. Let us put in place a government that respects the hard work of the taxpayers and is willing to allow them to keep that money so that they can maintain their dignity and look after their own families.
Let us put in place a government that will stay out of the lives of taxpayers, that will quit interfering in their lives and allow them to raise their children as they see fit. That is what the Canadian Alliance wants. The only way to make it happen is to elect an Alliance government and get rid of the scoundrels across the way.