Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to share my time with my new colleague, the hon. member for Toronto Centre. I am also very pleased to tell you that the Liberals will be voting against this NDP motion.
The simple fact of the matter is that Liberals understand that wealth creation and social justice are both important, whereas the federal NDP, mired in the class wars of the 1960s, does not care about wealth creation and does not understand the first thing about it.
We on this side of the House understand that Canada, in a global economy, is in competition with many countries, not least of which is the United States, to attract capital and jobs to this country and to retain our domestic capital and companies.
We understand that living next door to the world's only superpower we have to create a special Canadian advantage, so that we can be able to level the playing field and compete with the United States.
Until recently, we did have a Canadian advantage. It was called a weak currency. It was cheaper to do business in Canada and business flowed into Canada taking advantage of our cheap currency. We do not have that any more.
Therefore, we need to create a new Canadian advantage to attract capital and jobs to this country and that new Canadian advantage, according to the Liberal Party, and we said this weeks before the government did, is to create a low corporate tax rate, a corporate tax rate substantially lower than the United States, something in the order of 10 percentage points.
That we believe will replace the weak currency as a new Canadian advantage and will serve this country well to improve productivity, competitiveness and attract jobs into this country.
I was a student in England in the late 1960s and the rhetoric of the NDP members is still back in the class war of the 1960s. Their rhetoric sounds just like the rhetoric of the Labour Party under Harold Wilson in the late 1960s.
The NDP members should understand that other social democratic parties around the world in Scandinavia and Britain, and I would include a lot of provincial NDP governments led by fine people like Gary Doer, Ed Schreyer, Allan Blakeney and my new colleague, have evolved too. As governments, they have to understand the realities of the world.
Just to show that NDP members are innumerate, the numbers cited by the member for Outremont, claiming that Canada had lower corporate taxes than Scandinavia or Britain, are totally wrong because we have to include the corporate tax rate for the whole country, not just the federal government.
Therefore, Canada's corporate tax rate in 2007 according to the IMF is 36% versus 25% in Denmark, 26% in Finland, 28% in Norway, 28% in Sweden, and 30% in the U.K. So, the member is out to lunch on the numbers which is typical of the federal NDP.
The true numbers indicate that the reconstructed social democratic movement of the world understands globalization, understands global realities, and those countries have adjusted. They understand that in order to create wealth, jobs and productivity we have to compete with lower corporate tax rates and those countries have done it.
The federal NDP members are in the class war mentality where any corporate tax cut is just seen as a sop to the rich. They do not understand, as their Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, British fellow social democrats learned long ago, that we have to create wealth before we can redistribute it, and that in order to compete in this world and get jobs it makes sense to have lower corporate tax rates.
There is a certain chicken and egg question here. Why are the federal NDP members almost alone in the world in being the Neanderthal version of the global social democratic movement? Are they Neanderthal because they have never formed government and therefore never had the opportunity to learn about realities, or have they never formed government because everyone knows they are Neanderthal?
I suspect it is a little bit of both. They are Neanderthal because they have never been government and they have never been government because they are Neanderthal. I suspect that will go on for some time, but I will leave it to academics to analyze this sociological chicken and egg question.
Before the Conservatives become too enthused with my speech, let me say that if the NDP is clueless on wealth creation, the present Conservative government, and I would not say the same about all Conservatives, is clueless about social justice.
Just as the NDP has never seen a social program it did not like, the Conservatives have never seen a tax cut that they did not think was the panacea for all Canadian problems.
Whereas the reality is that Liberals are in favour of corporate tax cuts. We came to that conclusion before the government did. We do not think that corporate tax cuts alone are sufficient to solve all the problems of the Canadian business world.
That is why we, unlike them, thought that the recent Ontario budget was a good budget because the provincial Liberals addressed business taxes by eliminating the capital tax, but they also understood the importance of investment in infrastructure, investment in training and retraining, and providing jobs for displaced workers and helping communities in distress. The provincial Liberals also understand, as we do, the importance of direct support for the manufacturing sector.
One litmus test to which the finance minister did not have an answer, but we now know that his answer was no, was whether he would match the $17 million offered by the Ontario government to keep the Windsor auto plant open. He said no because he has an ideological aversion to that sort of thing. He thinks that tax cuts alone are sufficient to do the job, when it is perfectly evident that tax cuts alone are not sufficient to do the job.
We on this side of the House are not only going to vote against this silly NDP motion, we are indeed proud to vote against this NDP motion. At the same time, this does not imply support for the extreme laissez-faire ideology put forward by the government.