Mr. Speaker, I trust and hope I will get an additional two minutes added to my time because of that point of order.
Having said that, I am very passionate about this issue. I recognize what Canadians want us to be talking about. They want us to be talking about full-time jobs. They want their members of Parliament to be talking about ideas that are going to have a positive impact on that particular front. Canadians believe that is the number one issue, because if we can create the jobs that are necessary, we will be able to improve the circumstances of the middle class and in fact of all Canadians, no matter where they live in our country from coast to coast to coast.
I want to get back to that flawed small business job credit program that the current government introduced earlier this month. If the Prime Minister had the political courage to recognize that his ministers have actually made a mistake here, we could improve this program so that more full-time jobs would be created.
Some of the quotes I saw in our media are interesting. In Maclean's.ca, I thought this was interesting on September 11. Referring to the government's program, it said:
...the government has set up a tax credit that can only be claimed by small businesses whose EI contributions are less than $15,000 a year.... As Kevin Milligan noted on Twitter, this sets up yet another “kink” in the tax schedule: small businesses will lose this tax credit if they grow too large.
The article goes on:
For firms that are just under the $15,000 threshold, hiring a new worker would mean crossing the line and losing the tax credit entirely. For firms that are just over the threshold, the incentives are even more perverse: firms may choose to actually reduce employment in order to be eligible for the tax credit.
That means losing jobs. It means jobs being lost because of this federal program. It is not creating the jobs that it could be creating, and that is why we are saying that they are losing an opportunity to do something good.
The Liberal Party has brought forward what I believe is a reasonable opposition day motion that would do something that the current government has not been able to do with regard to EI premiums, which is to clearly demonstrate that it will create full-time jobs across our country. We believe that if the government opened its mind somewhat, it would recognize the value of providing an EI premium exemption for every new hire to fill a new job in 2015 and 2016, because that particular program has been cited as being able to generate in excess of 150,000 jobs. Compared to what the Conservatives are creating, whereby there will even be some losses of jobs among certain employers, it is night and day.
We call on and challenge the government to recognize that, because those 150,000 jobs that I just referred to are not going to cost any more than what the Conservatives are proposing in their plan.
My colleague made reference to NDP voodoo economics, and I do not know where they get their numbers. What we do know is that the Liberal proposal would cost no more than the Conservative proposal, yet it would exceed by 100,000 new jobs what the Conservatives have on the table today.
Therefore, the question that I have for the government is this: why not? Why not allow for the Liberal plan to become a part of the government policy? There is no additional cost to it, and at the end of the day we would have 150,000-plus Canadians with full-time or part-time employment.
In the last 12-plus months, we have seen a net loss of full-time jobs. We have before us a resolution that would create jobs. This is an opportunity for the government of the day to recognize that it has made a mistake and adopt an idea that has been well spoken of even outside the Liberal caucus.
It is time that we move forward and look toward the future, one in which we can generate the types of jobs that are important to Canadians, full-time jobs, and ensure that opportunities will exist well into the future. That is what we in the Liberal Party—