Mr. Speaker, this is probably one of the most significant petitions that I have delivered as a member in 16 years. It has to do with income trusts and it comes from the proponents of the Marshall savings plan to try to find some fairness and equity for pensioners.
These petitioners, from my riding of Mississauga South and from other surrounding areas, want to remind the House that the Prime Minister promised not to tax income trusts during the 2006 election, and then he broke that promise. He imposed a 31.5% punitive tax on those income trusts.
They also want to point out that in claiming that income trusts cause tax leakage, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance did not provide the proper calculations, in fact, there were redacted documents. Notwithstanding, other reputable groups like HLB Decision Economics, BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and PricewaterhouseCoopers had in fact verified that there was no such justification.
They also point out that the income trusts did not cause a tax leakage. This has now resulted in the takeover of some 51 income trusts by foreigners and other non-taxable entities, which was a direct consequence and has three times as much tax leakage as was falsely alleged in the first place.
The income trusts also create an unlevel playing field between 75% of Canadians without pensions and those who must pay this punitive tax, and also adds to the risk of foreign takeover and for further tax losses.
And finally, that the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament for the specific purpose of recalibrating his policies and the budget to be tabled to Parliament on March 4, 2010, that addresses the needs of Canadians and deals with Canada's deficit and pension crisis that arose from the recent financial turmoil.
Therefore, these petitioners call on the Government of Canada to acknowledge that the government's financial justification for imposing the tax was flawed, and to recalibrate and remedy the matter it should adopt the Marshall savings plan as part of its budget 2010 on the basis of the following signatures, which I referred to, some 3,414 Canadians.