Mr. Speaker, Canada has an important mining sector, which includes diamond and precious metal mining in a dynamic value-added jewellery sector.
In 2005, despite aggressive resistance from the Liberal government, my private member's bill to remove the excise tax on jewellery received royal assent. This tax was discriminatory and very counterproductive for Canadian jobs.
The Liberal government of the day chose to use a technicality to avoid eliminating the unfair tax. Instead, it offered a long-term phase-out. Today is significant because this is the first day that this tax would have been gone under the Liberal plan.
Contrast this with the actions of the Conservative government elected in January 2006. The tax was removed immediately, more than three years ago.
This is another example where, once again, the Conservatives took immediate action to help Canadians, while the Liberals dragged their feet. Shame.