House of Commons Hansard #213 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drug.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, order. I would ask the member for New Westminster—Burnaby to try to restrain himself. I do not want to hear that kind of outburst from him again.

The hon. member for Carleton has the floor and I would invite him to restart his question.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question was not whether the Liberal government is spending more money on tax collectors, but with regard to the 40-year long tax treaty with Barbados. We now find that the minister's billion-dollar family business has a subsidiary in that country. He is forbidden by an agreement with the Ethics Commissioner from being involved in any matters affecting that family business.

Can the hon. minister confirm that the Minister of Finance has absented himself from any matters related to the Barbados tax treaty?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to cracking down on tax cheats and bringing them to justice with the help of our international partners.

I am proud of the leadership role we have taken on the international stage. Co-operation between revenue authorities, including the exchange of tax information, is an essential tool for maintaining the integrity of Canada's tax base.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance claims to have listened to business owners across the country, and he emphatically stated that he would introduce a tax reform that was fair and equitable for all business owners.

Nevertheless, we recently learned that his own family company, Morneau Shepell, will not be affected by the tax hikes because it has a subsidiary in Barbados.

How can the Minister of Finance justify raising taxes for Canadian plumbers, workers, and entrepreneurs while making sure that his family business remains sheltered from taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we consulted with and listened to Canadians across the country regarding these proposals, which stem from a very clear promise that we made to the middle class to make the tax system fairer.

I want to be clear about what came out of those consultations: we will always stand behind our small and medium-sized businesses. We will always stand behind our entrepreneurs, and that is what guides our government as we consider everything that we heard from Canadians. We are going to make sure to keep the tax rate the lowest in the G7. We are going to make things easier for entrepreneurs, and we are going to ensure that intergenerational transfers are not affected. We listened. I know that must seem strange to a party that did not listen for 10 years when it was in government.

We are listening, and we want to do things right.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, to the Liberals, tax fairness means finding more and more ways to tax family businesses.

If the Liberals were serious about fairness, all they would have to do is open up the tax treaty Canada signed a few years ago with Barbados to ensure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Morneau Shepell is one of the corporations that benefits from that tax treaty.

As my colleague said, when the minister was asked about that, he said we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The baby is Morneau Shepell, and Morneau Shepell must pay its fair share of taxes.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, right now, there are things about our tax system that are unfair, and we want to fix that.

For example, some of our wealthiest Canadians are encouraged to incorporate so they can access tax benefits that the vast majority of the people watching us today, the people we represent here in the House, do not have access to. That is what we want to fix. We have listened to Canadians from coast to coast to make sure we do things right.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and our cultural industry are furious about the Liberals' deal with the American giant Netflix. Yesterday, the Prime Minister continued to promote this as a good deal. Unless the Prime Minister owns a lot of Netflix shares, it is not a good deal. It disadvantages Canadian companies, it sets a dangerous precedent for other large multinationals that are not paying their fair share, and three-quarters of the money comes directly from Canadians.

How can the Liberal government justify this betrayal of Canadians?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to growing the creative industries. This investment, which is the first of its kind in the world, guarantees there will be at least half a billion dollars in original productions made here in Canada in both official languages. This investment will create jobs and opportunities for creators and producers to make great content to share with Canada and the world. As part of our vision for a creative Canada, these investments will help ensure that the creative industries remain strong. We are extremely proud of them.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, how naive. It is incredible.

The free pass that was given to Netflix does not pass muster in Quebec. Everyone is speaking out against it: the National Assembly, the Union des artistes, even our entrepreneurs such as Peter Simons who points out that local businesses, our entrepreneurs, are doing their fair share. Everyone is against this and yet the minister says she is proud of her work. Something does not add up. As Gérald Fillion says, it is as though she were not listening to us.

Quebeckers are calling for a real cultural policy and businesses are calling for a real tax policy, but the minister is so proud.

How can she be proud of such a failure?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our commitment to Canada's creative industries is clear. This investment provides for at least $500 million in original productions in Canada, in both official languages. This investment will create jobs and allow creators and producers to share their content in Canada and around the world. The investments in Creative Canada will help ensure that our creative industry remains strong.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned that the Minister of Finance's family business might have a subsidiary in Barbados, a known tax haven. Meanwhile, the Liberals are proposing a tax reform that attacks our local businesses and their future.

Can the Minister of Finance confirm to the House what personal ties he has to the family subsidiary in Barbados, a tax haven?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the hon. member that we will always stand behind our small businesses. We want to keep the small business tax rate below that of all other G7 countries, because we recognize the importance of SMEs to the growth of our industries and the Canadian economy. We proposed some tax reforms and then we listened to Canadians from coast to coast to coast to make sure we get it right and make our tax system fairer where it needs it.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance promised the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in writing that he would abstain from participation in all matters related to his family business. Today we learned that Morneau Shepell registered a subsidiary in Barbados, a subsidiary whose profits can then be repatriated to Canada tax free.

Will the Minister of National Revenue investigate the Minister of Finance's actions and ties to his family fortune in tax havens? Is the net tightening around the Minister of Finance?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is firmly committed to combatting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, and our first two budgets proved that. We have invested nearly $1 billion to combat tax evasion and tax avoidance. We are well on our way to recovering $25 billion. Some 627 cases have been transferred to criminal investigation, and there have been 268 warrants and 78 convictions. Yes, the net is tightening. Much more—

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was just this July, when the finance minister was asked about Barbados being a tax haven, when he threw his comment, “we're not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Literally at the same time that he was telling entrepreneurs and farmers and small business owners that they were going to have to pay upwards of 73% tax, his baby, Morneau Shepell, was nicely and safely havened in Barbados. What this boils down to is absolute hypocrisy on the part of the government and the finance minister. Why can he not see how unfair this tax grab is?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I just want to remind the opposition that we were elected on a very clear promise to defend the middle class. The previous government ignored the middle class for a decade to focus on giving tax breaks to the rich. That is why the first thing we did was lower taxes for 9 million Canadians and make the Canada child benefit more progressive than ever before, ensuring it will lift 300,000 children out of poverty. We are very proud of these achievements, and we do not need any lessons from the other side of the House.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, here is what we know. The Minister of Finance refuses to recuse himself from discussions around policy that affects Morneau Shepell. We also know that any decision made at the cabinet level seems to benefit Morneau Shepell.

Does the Minister of National Revenue believe that the Minister of Finance, who, by the way, will not tell anybody how many shares he has in Morneau Shepell, that is a big secret, should recuse himself around any discussions about tax havens like those located in Barbados?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is fully committed to combatting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. The proof is in the historic investments we have made, unlike our colleagues opposite. We were even told by a member who served as the minister responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency under the Conservatives that this issue was not even a priority when they were in power.

We are moving forward with our work. The net is tightening, and Canadians expect no less of us.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations start next week in Washington, and the Americans are expected to bring forward their dairy sector demands. After repeated attacks from President Trump on our supply managed sector, the government has stated that it will protect it, yet it has never stated clearly and without hesitation that it will not open our dairy market to the U.S.

Since the Liberals and Conservatives put our dairy sector on the table in CETA, and it is likely part of the secretive TPP 11, will they finally stand up in the House today for dairy farmers and commit to not sacrificing our supply management system in NAFTA?

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government strongly supports Canada dairy farmers and the dairy industry. It is worth reminding people, particularly our American interlocutors, that the United States has a very great surplus in dairy trade with Canada of 5:1, and that is what I do at the negotiating table.

We will fiercely defend our national interest at the NAFTA round, and we will stand up for our values.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, producers deserve a better answer than that.

The United States clearly wants greater access to our dairy market. Supply management should not be on the negotiating table, period. Producers must also know that the minister will not provide greater access to our dairy market.

I will therefore repeat my question: instead of spouting the same rhetoric, will the minister today tell Canadians and the dairy industry that she will not give the United States greater access to our dairy market?

International TradeOral Questions

October 5th, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are here to protect our dairy producers and the Canadian dairy sector.

I would like to remind everyone that American dairy producers enjoy a five to one trade surplus with Canada, and that is what I am going to be saying at the negotiating table. We will vigorously defend our national interests and remain faithful to Canadian values.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Surrey—Newton, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing the growth of a strong economy and the creation of jobs across the country. However, there is still more work to do.

In my riding of Surrey—Newton, I am pleased that our government is supporting organizations, such as DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, to help at-risk youth get the support they need to find and keep good jobs.

Could the minister update the House on actions taken to ensure that everyone, including at-risk youth, have the chance to participate in our growing economy?