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House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Liberal Party ConferenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader's spenders conference has wrapped up and what are the big innovative ideas that came out of the weekend?

On Friday, there was a proposal to hike the GST back to 7%. On Saturday, there was a clear call to bring back a job-killing carbon tax on everything. On Sunday, what was the Liberal leader's next big idea? He called for job-killing business tax hikes to pay for big and grandiose Liberal spending programs.

The fact is that after being away for 34 years, the Liberal leader has come back to Canada with a reckless plan to raise as many taxes as he can, including the GST. These Liberal tax hikes will kill jobs, put the brakes on our economic recovery, and set Canadian families back.

The Liberal leader's tax hike plans once again prove that he is not in it for Canadians, he is only in it for himself.

TaxationOral Questions

March 29th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this weekend we heard from thousands of Canadians and public policy leaders right across the country about the challenges that face us: an aging population, rising health care costs, slower economic growth, and a pension crisis that is already here.

Given these facts, we need to make some targeted investments to help our families, give our kids the skills they need, and pay down the deficit.

Given all these challenges, why is the Prime Minister rushing ahead with corporate tax cuts this country cannot afford?

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party certainly had a taxing weekend. The Liberal Party has been very clear right from the get-go and it was very clear this weekend.

The Liberals want to raise taxes on everything. They want to raise the GST. They want to raise payroll taxes with their 45-day work year. Now they have come out and want to raise taxes on job creators and raise taxes on investment. That will not help job creation in Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only a Conservative would call pushing the pause button on corporate tax breaks a tax hike. It is just not so.

Already, Canada's corporate tax rate is exceedingly competitive. We are 25% more competitive than the United States already, thanks to good public policy by the member for Wascana. Corporate Canada needs much more than tax breaks to get competitive. It needs a skilled labour force and we need to make investments there now.

I repeat the question. Why is the government pushing ahead with corporate tax rate cuts this country cannot afford?

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer that question very directly.

Our leader has stressed, in particular, the importance of deeper corporate tax cuts as a primary means of achieving the investment, the rising living standards and the jobs, jobs, jobs that we all want for ourselves and our children.

Do you know who said that, Mr. Speaker? It was the official spokesman on tax matters for the Liberal Party, the member for Markham—Unionville.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker—

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, what are this party and this government offering as an alternative to the years of budget cuts and freezes, years without hope for Canadians? Instead, we could be investing in education and innovation. We could help our families, educate our children and bring down the deficit.

In light of this alternative, why is the Prime Minister pushing ahead with corporate tax rate cuts we can no longer afford?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, between the Liberal vision and the Conservative vision our vision is for more jobs, more hope and more opportunity. It is for more investment in the Canadian economy.

Let me go further. Maybe the Liberal leader should have allowed his caucus to speak at the convention this weekend because if he had the member for Markham—Unionville would have likely said that the new Canadian advantage in the Liberal vision is to tell investors that if they invest in Canada, they will pay a whole lot less in corporate taxes. That is from the official spokesman for the Liberal Party of Canada. Let him speak.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the government told us that we would be debating the budget bill today, but that is not the case. The government seems to be struggling to keep up with the minister's latest comments about the GST.

How many more flip-flops does the Minister of Finance intend to spring on taxpayers and capital markets?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no change in the tax policy on GST with respect to financial services.

There were a couple of court cases late last year that obscured the definition and we clarified it in a couple of clarifying memos. The intention, as with the previous government, is to maintain the same definition of financial services.

Having said that, I want to thank the member for Markham—Unionville and his party for agreeing that we need to get to a $17 billion deficit within two years. I thank them for adopting our government's policy with respect to that.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, talk about a pot calling a kettle black.

Only a Conservative could criticize a plan to delay corporate tax cuts until they are affordable while at the same time slamming small business with job-killing EI premium hikes.

Under the minister's own plan, a small business with 10 workers will pay $9,000 more for the privilege of keeping its employees.

Will the minister finally admit that his job-killing payroll tax hike will kill 200,000 Canadian jobs?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me try to understand the oxymoronically named thinkers conference.

They are going to increase business taxes on small and medium size businesses. The official opposition members are going to do that. They are going to raise the GST and they are going to impose a carbon tax on everybody, at a time that we are trying to come out of the great recession.

It is just shocking, the insensitivity of the Liberal Party, the tax and spend party, to the needs of Canadians, especially small business people in Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for more than a year, the Conservative government has continually been asking taxpayers to tighten their belts. Now we learn that in the last budget the government opened a loophole to allow more corporations to take advantage of tax havens and avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

How can the government dare to ask taxpayers to make sacrifices while allowing some corporations to get away with paying no taxes on the sale of shares?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, what the Bloc leader fails to say is that in the 2010 budget, we closed nearly 10 tax loopholes to ensure tax fairness for all Canadians.

We are working actively with our international partners to put an end to all tax havens, in particular by improving our agreements to share tax information with other countries and by devoting more of Revenue Canada’s resources to tax audits. So the Bloc really should support the budget.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I just told him they are opening a new tax loophole and he has nothing to say in response.

I will give him another example. He told us the government is dealing with tax havens. At the same time, he wants to negotiate a free trade deal with Panama, which appears on the list of tax havens published by the OECD. How can they ask their fellow citizens to tighten their belts and at the same time sign a deal with a country that is on the OECD list of tax havens? I would like an answer this time.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, he has his answer, namely, ten tax loopholes were closed. Instead of opposing the budget, he should stand and vote in favour of it.

The 2010 budget also makes changes that will enable Canadian companies to attract foreign capital. This will help us improve our productivity and face the international competition. Such measures are obviously of no interest, though, to the Bloc Québécois.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it is time to grab money from the working class, the government does not waste any time. However, when it is time to make the rich pay, it drags its feet.

The Bloc Québécois has proposed and is still asking that the government put an end to tax evasion and tax havens, that it take away the gifts made to oil companies, and that it impose a surtax on those whose annual taxable income exceeds $150,000.

Just why does the government not ask these privileged people to do their share in the fight against the deficit?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the situation is clear to me: 10 tax loopholes were eliminated by our government. I am saying it the way it should be said. I hope that this time they will understand. Ten tax loopholes were eliminated by our government.

The members across the way should stop opposing the budget. They should rise and support it. Then, they will see concrete results.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the fourth answer to the same question.

The Quebec government is going to table its budget this week, but the federal government refuses to pay it its due. There are $8 billion that are dormant here in Ottawa, including $800 million for post-secondary education, $2.2 billion for harmonizing the sales tax, and $1 billion for capping equalization payments.

What is the Government of Canada waiting for to pay its debt to the Quebec government?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we had one of the worst recessions since the 1930s. We were the last ones to enter into that recession and we will come out of it stronger. We never offloaded the deficit onto the provinces and municipalities.

We maintained our social and health transfers. Moreover, before that, we corrected the fiscal imbalance. As we can see, the economic action plan is working. Last Friday, I was in Stanstead with the Prime Minister, where we paid tribute to Pat Burns. An arena is being built there to help young people and to promote amateur sport.

This is action, not just empty rhetoric.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, after bringing in the biggest corporate tax cuts in Canadian history, the Liberals have finally realized their mistake. They are now supporting the New Democratic Party call for a freeze on the corporate tax cuts on the big banks and oil companies. Sure, it is another Liberal flip-flop, but what Canadians really want to know is when the current government will understand that this is a reckless form of spending that is driving us further into debt and is increasing the deficit.

When will the government join the emerging consensus that these reckless corporate tax cuts are not the way to go and it must stop them?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my friend the leader of the New Democratic Party has made quite the conversion. It was not 15 months ago that he signed a coalition agreement to support each and every one of these tax cuts. He was prepared to serve in a government that saw jobs, hope and opportunity as the primary goals, and to do everything we can to ensure more investment in Canada, that we have a Canadian advantage that will allow jobs to come back to this great country. We believe that taxing investment, we believe that excessively taxing those who create jobs hurts the economy and leads to a lower standard of living. That is why we are moving forward with an aggressive job creation agenda.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, half the world now agrees with the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Even the minions of the leaders on Bay Street are saying that these across-the-board corporate tax cuts are not the way to go, that they are not efficient, they are not effective, they do not create jobs, they do not create investment. All they do is leave our finances in a more difficult position. The Governor of the Bank of Canada has come out with the same position.

When will the Conservatives take off their ideological blinders and recognize that these corporate tax cuts are reckless and they should be stopped?