Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in debate on the bill. As my colleague opposite said, it is a technical bill. I do not think it is very controversial and it does useful things. In fact, it was produced under the Liberal government. Therefore, I do not think my party will have trouble supporting it.
However, I did notice a few of the comments of my colleague across the way and I would like to comment on some of them.
His comment about the allegation that the Conservatives cut income tax is a very good illustration of why politicians in our country are in such disrepute in public opinion. While he uses a technical argument about legalities, that our tax cut was not in legislation, the fact is it happened. Every Canadian who filled out his or her tax form paid that lower tax. The basic personal exemption actually went up under the Liberals. Yes, it was passed by a ways and means motion, but it happened, it was reflected on the tax forms and in the taxes paid by every Canadian. Then the Conservatives came along and raised the tax and put more Canadians on the tax rolls by reducing the basic personal exemption.
What I have just said is true. Every Canadian who has filled out his or her tax form knows it. The Conservatives raised income tax. Now they are saying they cut it, which is patently false, except if we use this legality subterfuge, which matters not a whit to Canadians who pay their income tax.
The point is the Conservatives raised income taxes and added people to the tax rolls in order to finance their GST cut. That is bad enough in itself, but when they do not have the basic honesty and decency to admit it, then I believe they have put all politicians into disrepute.