House of Commons Hansard #250 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-24.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised an open, transparent, and merit-based appointment process. However, after dragging their feet for months, they appointed a second official languages commissioner because the first one was too partisan, a lobbying commissioner who had actually applied for the position of information commissioner, and a conflict of interest and ethics commissioner who has already been severely rebuked by the Auditor General.

How can the Prime Minister tell Canadians that these are the best candidates when the process is so flawed?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we established a merit-based appointment process for choosing officers of Parliament and making government appointments that better reflect the diversity and quality of what Canadians have to offer. After 10 years of partisanship, we are proud of the process we have created, and we have great confidence in all our appointments.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says the process is open, but we know nothing about the government's selection criteria. He says it is transparent, but we know nothing about who is on the selection committees. He says it is merit-based, but we know nothing about the candidates.

Basically, what he is doing is giving the opposition a piece of paper with a name written on it that came out of nowhere, and then he wants us to comment on that name for seven days. This is what he calls a consultation.

Could the Prime Minister show some transparency and tell Canadians who was on the selection committee and who the candidates were?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. We have built all kinds of transparency mechanisms into our appointment processes so the public can have confidence in the process.

We have made new appointments from coast to coast to coast to ensure that people interested in running for positions in the Senate, on the Supreme Court, or as officers of Parliament are free to do so as part of a process that was far too closed and partisan before we came along.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to suspect that the Prime Minister does not know what the words “open and transparent” actually mean. The law requires the Prime Minister to meaningfully consult with the other party leaders. What did the Liberals do? They sent us a “take it or leave it” letter with one name on it for a new Ethics Commissioner. That is not consultation; that is a sham. Canadians are starting to worry that this Prime Minister does not even care.

For a Prime Minister who is actually under an ethics investigation, does he finally understand that we need a credible process to hire the watchdogs who work on behalf of all of us?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, nominating an officer of Parliament is an extremely important process that we are glad we have engaged in with the members of the opposition.

We will continue to consult and ensure that the highest quality of people come forward, and are encouraged to apply, to make sure that our officers of Parliament, and indeed, nominations across the government, whether it be senators or Supreme Court justices, reflect the full skills and diversity this country has to offer.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, he says “engaged”, but then he sends us a letter that says take it or leave it. New Democrats actually offered the Liberals a solution to this appointments mess, and it would actually help Liberals keep their campaign promise. Do members know what the Liberals did? They voted against it.

Let me remind the Prime Minister of Canada one more time: these watchdogs do not work for him. They work for Parliament on behalf of all Canadians. Will he pull the names, restart the process, and finally show a little respect for this place?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is important that the officers of Parliament have the confidence of this House. If the officers of Parliament we have appointed do not have the confidence of the New Democratic Party, let it say so.

TaxationOral Questions

December 12th, 2017 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 20 days, the new taxes on small business take effect. These changes promise to have a significant impact on businesses, on their operations, and ultimately, on their bottom line, which means in the new year, owners of businesses are going to be making the choice between raising prices for customers or laying off hard-working employees. New year, same old Liberals.

With 20 days to go, will the finance minister stop trying to avoid the scrutiny of Parliament and finally disclose the details of his new tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we know how important it is for small businesses to plan. What we can say, importantly—

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I would ask the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier and the other members to refrain from heckling and interrupting other members. Everyone has to wait their turn.

The hon. Minister of Finance.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we know how important it is for small businesses to plan. What is really important is that on January 1, they will be able to plan for a reduction in small business tax rates. One hundred per cent of small businesses in this country will have a reduction in taxes starting January 1.

Tomorrow we are going to announce, for that 3% of small businesses that split revenue with other family members, how they can do this very simply. We are looking forward to that, but most importantly, we are looking forward to helping small businesses.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister originally announced these changes in the dead of summer. Here we are, six months later, and this is the first time we are hearing when the details are going to be coming out. He said very soon in the fall, and today he is saying tomorrow. I do not know whether we can put actual stock in what we are going to be hearing tomorrow.

First he ruined summer, and now he is ruining Christmas for small business owners. When will the finance minister truly release the details of his tax plan and stop being such a Scrooge?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say, again, that 100% of small businesses will have a tax reduction starting January 1.

For that very small percentage, the 3% of small businesses that pass revenues to their families, of course they can do that, starting January 1, with simplified rules. Their taxes, which will be due in April 2019, I think they will have adequate time to work out.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is what Robert Bernier of the École nationale d'administration publique had to say in response to all the conflicts of interest involving our Minister of Finance: “The Minister of Finance showed a clear lack of judgment”.

This is the same Minister of Finance who is imposing tax measures today that will negatively affect businesses and their employees, the transfer of businesses to the next generation, and all jobs across Canada.

When will the Prime Minister do the right thing and call on his finance minister to step down?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that 100% of small and medium-sized businesses in this country will get a tax cut starting January 1, 2018. That is very important. As for the 3% of small and medium-sized businesses that currently split their revenues, we have an announcement for them tomorrow regarding the rules that will allow them to continue doing so in the new year.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister were in a classroom, he would be failing miserably.

New measures will be effective January 1, which is just around the corner, and today we are learning that businesses will get the information tomorrow. January 1 is in a few days. These people plan, they create jobs, they work incredibly hard every day.

When will Canadians finally have the minister they deserve? Will the Prime Minister take responsibility and relieve the Minister of Finance of his duties?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, in a few weeks, on January 1, all small and medium-sized businesses in this country, 100% of SMEs, will enjoy a tax cut. That is very important.

The 3% of businesses that split revenue with other family members will hear the rules tomorrow. They will have a little over a full year to work out their tax return for the next year.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the finance minister took office, the small business tax rate was already at 9%. He raised it back up to 10.5%, and now he expects us to congratulate him for reversing his own tax increase, but he has another tax increase to come. He is going to bring in new rules for families that share the work and the income of their businesses. Tax court judges say it will lead to battles in court.

How much time is he leaving them to prepare? It is less than three weeks. While he is on a sunny island somewhere, small businesses will be scrambling over Christmas. Why?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to start with the facts. When we came into office, the federal tax rate on small businesses was 11%. It came down to 10.5%. We are now reducing it down to 10%, so it will be lower for every small business in this country.

What we are going to do tomorrow is make clear, for the 3% of small businesses that are passing revenue to their family members, clear rules so that they actually will not have to work with the Canada Revenue Agency. That will help them. For that number of businesses that are passing revenue to family members not in the business, that will cease in order to make our tax system more fair.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in reality, the minister, when he first took office, took the gifts from under the small business Christmas tree. He raised the tax rate from 9%, which it was set to be at, right up to 10.5%. Now he expects us to give him a cookie because he is putting those same gifts back under the tree that he took away in the first place.

The minister has tried to raise taxes on diabetics, on people with autism, on small businesses, and now, with the GST, on his very own carbon tax. When will he stop taking so much money from the people who pay the bills in this country?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud to talk about the reductions in taxes we have made across this country for nine million Canadians as our first act of government. We lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. Nine out of 10 families saw a significant change of $540, and of course, $330 for an individual.

What is going to happen on January 1, 2018, is that every single small business in this country will get a reduction in its tax rate from 10.5% to 10%. That is important. The following January, it will go down again, from 10% to 9%. These are efforts to make sure our tax system--

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Phoenix file is a complete shambles. One in two public servants is affected, which is half of the public service. Students, pensioners, executives, family members, no one is immune.

These people are not statistics. Actual people are losing their homes and experiencing tremendous financial strain. Public servants and unions have been speaking out about the system for two years now, but nothing much has been done to fix this fiasco.

Is the government waiting for all public servants to be affected before it takes action and finds a solution?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, resolving this situation is my top priority. It is unacceptable that people are not being paid. We are doing everything we can and leaving no stone unturned. We are doing things that the previous government did not do.