Mr. Speaker, a Tory federal government is poison for the city of Summerside, P.E.I.
In 1989 the last Mulroney government closed CFB Summerside, the only military base in the province of P.E.I.
Now this rapidly aging minority Tory government is closing the GST rebate program which is delivered out of the tax centre in Summerside, a tax centre that the province, the city and all Islanders fought to get as an offset in lieu of the military base.
This unnecessary cut will eliminate 60 permanent jobs, 30 term jobs and 50 casual jobs. It will be a heavy blow for the families and the economy of P.E.I.
In addition, members of the tourist industry from Victoria, B.C. to St. John's, Newfoundland are decrying the elimination of the program, saying it is a critical blow to the industry already suffering a severe downturn. This was a decision made with absolutely no consultation with the provinces or the industry.
The president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Randy Williams, said, “This is a more serious blow to the industry than 9/11 and could result in bankruptcies for tourism businesses in Canada”.