—or a combination.
They opposed both measures in the bill as well as the amendments that would have delayed those measures in the bill. How incoherent could that be? Normally if we oppose a piece of legislation, then logically we would also support measures to delay that legislation. The New Democrats voted in favour of the Conservatives' time allocation motion at committee, but this week they have been rising on points of order to complain to the Speaker about the very time allocation motion they supported at the finance committee: go figure.
For the life of me I cannot understand why the NDP would ever join with the Conservatives in overruling the member for Edmonton—Leduc, a friend of mine, a great fellow and someone whose judgment is extremely good at committee. It is just a travesty.
In terms of Liberal amendments, Canadians have told us loud and clear that they oppose the Conservative omnibus budget bills. They want us to, as much as we can and within the rules, every legislative and parliamentary tool we have to fight this abuse of Parliament.
The Liberals listened. We introduced just over 3,000 amendments to Bill C-45 at the finance committee. These amendments would: stop the hidden Conservative tax grab on small businesses by expanding the hiring credit in Bill C-45; stop or delay the drastic cuts to SR and ED tax credits that support job creation in Canada and are key to Canada's international competitiveness; improve the definition of “aboriginal fisheries” to ensure that it includes the right to earn a moderate livelihood, as set out in the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision R. v. Marshall; delay the foreign affiliate dumping provisions that risk Canada's global reputation in finance and mining; and add almost 1,000 lakes to the list of protected waterways under the new Navigations Protections Act in Bill C-45.
I want to speak to the dangerous precedent we saw at finance committee. The time allocation motion that the Conservatives and the NDP both supported to limit debate on Bill C-45 at committee prevented me from properly moving my amendments there. When the Conservatives realized that their time allocation motion would have allowed us to move most of these amendments in the House during report stage, they did the unthinkable. Instead of amending the time allocation motion, they overruled the committee chair, the member for Edmonton—Leduc, and used their majority to interpret the time allocation motion as meaning the opposite of what the motion actually stated. Bizarrely, the Conservatives were joined by the NDP in overturning the chair and throwing out the rules. It is a dangerous precedent that was set at finance committee. Essentially, the Conservatives can now use their majority to challenge any chair in any committee, say that the rules are black instead of white and have their way without any debate whatsoever.
As a result of this dangerous precedent at the finance committee, all the motions I put on notice were retroactively deemed to have been moved without my consent. We protested this dangerous precedent by insisting on recording votes for most of the motions. However, the NDP again helped speed up the passage of Bill C-45 at committee by giving up one of their votes at committee and agreeing with the Conservatives to a schedule to pass Bill C-45 as quickly and easily as possible.
It is really quite shocking how complicit the NDP members have been in helping the Conservatives pass this budget bill. They say that they oppose both the measures in the omnibus budget bill and the abuse of Parliament implicit in the omnibus budget bill. However, at the end of the day, when it comes down to brass tacks they have been supporting the Conservatives legislatively, ensuring passage of this bill as quickly as possible.
There are some very good reasons to oppose the bill. There are many serious flaws. The so-called hiring credit for SMEs is so badly designed that it will actually punish certain small businesses that hire new workers or give existing workers a wage increase. It includes a hidden 7¢ EI premium hike for small businesses that qualify this year and up to a 14¢ EI premium hike for small businesses that qualified last year but do not qualify this year.
We have tried to fix these design flaws with amendments that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business actually supports. However, the Conservatives refuse to do the right thing, which was to listen and fix the bill.
In terms of the foreign affiliate dumping issue and provisions, we have heard from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the mining industry, PDAC, about how foreign affiliate dumping provisions will put Canada's finance and mining sectors at risk. It is important to consider that 80% of mining transactions or financing in the world over the last five years were transacted in Toronto.
Both on the finance side and on the actual development of mines, Canada is a global leader. There are measures in the bill that will compromise our capacity to create jobs in the mining sector both in Canada and for Canadians around the world.
These are some of the concerns, along with SR and ED. Canada's innovators, manufacturers and exporters are telling us that these changes to SR and ED are going to imperil Canada's innovation and research and development. The Conservatives are not listening and they are going ahead with these changes.
In conclusion, Bill C-45 includes measures to correct the mistakes that were in the spring omnibus budget legislation in Bill C-38. The Conservatives should have learned from ramming that through that they made some mistakes. They should have listened to Canadians, listened to opposition members, respected Parliament and not introduced another egregious omnibus bill such as Bill C-45.