Mr. Speaker, all the arguments in favour of the bill, notably by the mover himself, have already been made and I will be brief in reasserting a number of those to explain why my party gives its support, as it did at the committee stage, for the bill.
As has been pointed out, this tax was first introduced in 1918 and, as my colleague from the Bloc has just said, it remains an anomaly. With the tax system now it is the only luxury tax left in the country. As a result of this tax, diamonds mined in Canada cost more here in our country than anywhere else in the world, which is ridiculous. We have become recently the world's third largest supplier in value of rough gem quality diamonds.
In the Northwest Territories a boom is going on. Currently some 47 different mining exploration projects are going on in that part of the country alone. It is an important basic industry for us.
Our jewellery industry employs some 40,000 people in over 5,000 businesses, many of which are small businesses and a number of which are cottage industries in small communities that are disadvantaged by this tax.
In short, we support the bill because removing the tax simply makes sense for Canadians, Canadians who mine diamonds, small businesses that sell jewellery and Canadian consumers wherever they may live.