Madam Speaker, I know that the Conservatives believe it is fair. I do not believe it is fair.
As well, one of the things that has come up in the draft legislation is whether these rules would be retroactive. What happens after July 18? Are people going to be affected by these new rules? Again, the minister has said that these rules would not be retroactive. However, if we read the draft legislation, there appears to be some retroactivity. That is why we need to listen. I have had a lot of documentation sent my way by different groups. Yesterday it was the Canadian Bar Association. They want to help us address inequities in the system. Certainly retroactivity is a major issue that needs to be addressed.
The party opposite wants us to vote tonight to extend the consultation, which I find a bit ironic. Earlier today someone said that there is uncertainty right now. Business owners do not know what the rules are, yet they want to continue this until January 31. What I am hearing on the ground is that business owners need to know what the rules are before they can make decisions.
A month ago, I talked to an old friend of mine who said he needs to draft his will and he is not sure what to do, because he is not sure how the rules will end up. The longer we continue this, the less certainty there will be in the markets. There need to be assurances, because when we are in consultations, the Minister of Finance cannot make pronouncements. He cannot give direction to the Canadian population, to business owners, and to the House. Now that the consultation period is done, he can do that, but before he can to that, he needs to take into consideration all the comments. Many good suggestions have come our way.
The debate will continue, even though the consultation period stopped yesterday. I will meet again with my constituents. I am returning phone calls. I want their suggestions. I am addressing these with the Department of Finance, with my Liberal colleagues, and with members in the House to try to make it right. As the Minister of Finance said, we are going to get this right. We want to make the system more fair to address the inequities that exist right now in the Income Tax Act.
When we talk about passive income, I know a lot of the comments from members of the opposition are about the whole issue of a 73% tax. Right now that is hypothetical. We have a discussion paper. There is a discussion paper that has provided certain hypothetical scenarios. We do not have draft legislation. The sooner we have draft legislation to study that we can question and improve, the better off small businesses will be.
I have had a few calls from concerned people who have saved money to invest. They are being told that they will have to pay an inordinate amount of tax on that money. I am telling them that this is not the way I am reading the draft legislation. That is not the way I am reading the discussion paper. However, before people do anything, they should wait and see what the results are to have certainty. That is normal. There will always be uncertainty in the law until we draft and bring a bill to the House to discuss and vote on.
I am very happy that the consultation period is over. The discussion will continue. It has to continue. On a go-forward basis, we need to address a lot of what is in the draft legislation and the discussion paper and how this will be rolled out.
I am very proud that we are tackling this issue and talking about tax fairness in our system. I have heard from many entrepreneurs and doctors who are very concerned about their situation. At the same time, obviously we want these entrepreneurs to succeed, reinvest their money in their business, and create the best possible lifestyle for themselves. We will continue to reinvest and give them opportunities to reinvest. We will not stop, and I am very glad that we are going to carry on with this plan.