Mr. Speaker, the more I listen to this debate, the more I come to the conclusion that the NDP is probably the only real friend small businesses have in this country. People should be judged by what they do, not by what they say.
I am proud to say that in my province of Manitoba, we are in our fourth majority government. The small business tax in my province, when we took over in 1999, was 11%. Every year thereafter, we lowered the small business tax by 1% to 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, and 6%, until now. Now the small business tax in the socialist paradise of Manitoba is 0%. That is putting our money where our mouth is.
If the Conservatives really believe that they want to stimulate small businesses, why are they hitting them with these punitive taxes? The Conservatives cut corporate tax rates religiously every chance they get, to where it is well below the OECD average, but they leave the small business tax at a punitive 11%.
The two things the Conservatives have announced recently, including a cutback in EI premiums, are not out of their wallet. They do not put one cent into the EI fund. The EI fund is entirely made up of contributions from employers and employees. Not one penny comes from the federal government. When it gives a few nickels of that back to small businesses, it is hardly coming out of its pocket.
This regulatory proposal the Conservatives are making is not a cost factor either. If they want to put their money where their mouth is, come to us with a dramatic reduction in taxes for small businesses. That is something the NDP has already demonstrated. We support it, and we do it.