Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my friend, the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's, with whom I served as a Progressive Conservative. Ten years ago the word “progressive” was removed from the Conservative brand. It was a reflection not only of style but of substance in that party. I understand that the member, after distinguished service to the people of South Shore—St. Margaret's and Canada, is retiring from public life and I wish him well in his future.
The question here is whether this public policy will work to create jobs and encourage small businesses to grow. The reality is that—and this is according to Jack Mintz, a significant economist at the University of Calgary, or Mike Moffatt—the Conservative measure would, perversely, provide a disincentive to grow businesses. In fact, it would potentially pay a small business $2,200 to fire someone while only $190 to hire someone.
There is a flaw in the design of this policy and I would urge the hon. member to stick to the public policy on this. He is a smart fellow. He has been a small business person and he understands business. I think he would agree with me that it does not make sense to encourage businesses to fire people. We should encourage them to hire.