Mr. Speaker, I was listening to my friends, the member for Wetaskiwin and the previous speaker, talk about the divestiture of harbours. The question was whether there was sufficient money and the accusation was that there was not enough room because 2% was used. He is not totally incorrect. The 2% does of course limit the amount of tax the government is taking from the people of Canada, but at the same time, it does permit the people of Canada to spend some more money, perhaps on things like bigger boats.
I want to inform my hon. friend that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans did attend at a harbour in my community to divest that harbour to the community of Port Hope, something the community of Port Hope wants. People in Port Hope want it because they want to develop the harbourfront. They want to make it more beautiful in order to attract tourists. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will be supplying some funds so that the harbour can be dredged. The harbour is already in a relatively good state of repair. This will facilitate economic development in that community. I think that was the whole reason for the divestiture of harbours.
Previous governments of Canada prior to the 1990s perhaps were well intentioned in acquiring harbours throughout the country. Port Hope's harbour is on Lake Ontario. It is a prime tourist area.
I think my friend is somewhat mistaken in the figure of 2%. There have been many other tax advantages and tax reductions given to Canadians, particularly to families. Of course, there is economic change going on in North America and indeed in most of the industrialized world. As we move to a knowledge based economy, some of the jobs that require a lot of labour, particularly in the manufacturing area, are moving out. Those jobs are moving to the Pacific Rim where people work for 50¢ an hour. In Canada people cannot live on that hourly rate. That is why the Government of Canada reduced those taxes.
The government has not prohibited the ability to divest those harbours to make our communities more beautiful. Actually, this divestiture just took place. I think drawing that equation to the reduction from 7% to 6% to 5%, although not entirely incorrect, is a minor aspect to this.
Does the hon. member not think that the divestiture of harbours is a good idea for communities and municipalities in order to increase the the tourism industry?