Mr. Speaker, last week in question period I asked when the Conservatives were going to bring some tax fairness to northern families by increasing the northern residents tax deduction, something that has not been done for 20 years.
The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development responded that instead of helping ordinary northerners with the high cost of living the government is focusing on development. If the minister wants to encourage northern development across the country, giving northern families some fairness would go a long way to doing that.
The north's high cost of living slows down development for a simple reason. Since everything costs more, business margins have to be larger. This means that small and medium size businesses cannot compete. Unfortunately, the minister feels that the only way to develop the north is to give his friends in large southern corporations all the help while doing nothing for ordinary people and businesses in the north.
Increasing the northern residents tax deduction would help northern working families with the high cost of living and spur on economic development in Canada's north. Let us close the northern prosperity gap.