Mr. Speaker, the member for Winnipeg Centre certainly knows how to describe an issue and get to the nub of it very quickly. He talked about tax fugitives going to tax havens. I could not have said it any other way if I had tried.
He makes a very important point. His riding is very similar to mine. Mr. Speaker, your riding is very similar. We deal daily with people who are struggling to make ends meet, who do not want to be a drain on their communities, who want to do it for themselves, but need some supports and encouragement through difficult times. The government is cutting the ground right out from under them, leaving them in very difficult situations that could cause very serious harm to their families and themselves.
The issue for us today, especially in the context of Winnipeg, is that big banks have left communities almost entirely. At the same time, they have been able to find money to put into tax havens. I just noticed that a couple of years ago the Auditor General pointed out that multinational companies operating in Canada had avoided hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes over the past decade through the use of tax havens.
The article goes on to say that a more recent university study charged that Canadian banks alone saved $10 billion in taxes over the past decade through the use of tax havens. This is at a time when the profits of banks have reached absolute record levels. Banks have never seen such profitability.
At this time of profitability, they are putting money into tax havens to avoid paying taxes, money that belongs here and could be spent on services, and they are destroying the ability of many communities to provide financial services to their own members because they abandon any community that is not adding astronomically to their profits. That has to end. The way to do it is by the government finally closing these tax havens.