House of Commons Hansard #245 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-58.

Topics

International Volunteer DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Volunteer Day, I want to pay tribute to all volunteers. Their generosity and their selflessness are the finest of human qualities. They have a thankless job that they carry out with dedication and compassion. They are the guardian angels of society who bring solace and compassion to those most in need.

I direct my remarks to all volunteers: you make your community proud; you embody our Canadian values; you are the strength that carries us; you are the lifeblood that makes the community grow by redistributing the energy.

I thank them 1,000 times over.

Their selflessness and generosity is a reflection of our core values and our priceless gift to society. They deserve a standing ovation.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the finance minister's ill-conceived tax plan has resoundingly been rejected by Canadians across the country, we are still less than a month away from full implementation of this process and we do not know what these new rules will mean to hard-working Canadians.

The government has proposed significant changes to the tax system for small businesses. They do not know how it will impact them on January 1. Is this fair?

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear. We believe that the campaign commitment we made to Canadians included greater tax fairness. Our government spent considerable time listening to Canadians, working with small business people. We have outlined the details of a plan that we think is fair, that asks a very small percentage of people who have privately held corporations to pay a fair share of tax. Those details are understood.

I know the member is very impatient for the upcoming federal budget, as all Canadians are, and I am sure she will look forward to those results.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not speak for me or for what I am concerned about. What I am concerned about is this. There are details severely lacking in the implementation of these tax changes.

I have great friends, Jim and Tina Tsouros. They run the best donair place in Milton, Ontario. They will wake up on January 1 of next year and they will have no idea what these changes are and how they will impact their lives.

Will the Minister of Finance show business owners like Jim and Tina the respect they deserve and provide them the plan.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, because our government has such respect for the hard-working women and men who run small businesses, like those referred to by my hon. colleague, we have listened carefully to their concerns and have responded in detail with a tax plan we think is fair, which will mean that small business people who work hard to grow their businesses and create jobs will be treated fairly. Those who are among the wealthiest business owners will be asked to pay a fair share as well.

The member was a minister in a previous government. She knows that budgetary measures are not announced until the Minister of Finance stands in this place with the budget.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 1, the Minister of Finance told a Senate committee that the details would be forthcoming. Perhaps the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans should review what his other minister said, since he does not want to show up these days to answer questions in the House of Commons.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. I know the hon. member for Milton is aware that one does not call attention to the presence or absence of a member in the House. I would ask her to put her questions.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do apologize. I appreciate the interjection on that.

The reality is that it is a full month later and we still have zero details on what the implications are going to be of these tax changes that the Liberals are ramming through our system. These changes have real consequences on people, on their payroll, and on how much rent they are going to pay on January 1. They deserve a plan.

I know the minister is a little preoccupied with his ethical lapses, but perhaps he should step aside so we can get some real answers for Canadians.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, one thing my hon. colleague may like to tell the constituents she referred to who operate the small business is that they will in fact be paying lower small business taxes, thanks to the changes our government made.

Another thing my colleague, the Minister of Finance, has made clear is that we are continuing to review the submissions we received over the extensive period of consultation. We have said that all of the details of these measures will be known in ample time, before they would come into effect, and we intend to keep that commitment,

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has announced some changes in his tax reform that small and medium-sized business owners are concerned about. These changes, which will have a negative impact on our economy, are planned for January 1, 2018, which is coming up in a few days. There is just one small problem: business owners have yet to receive a thing.

How can job creators, who work hard every day, plan for the coming months?

Given all of his personal scandals, is it possible that the Minister of Finance just forgot to inform them?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I hope my colleague will remind these small business owners that, if there is one thing they can count on, that is paying less taxes next year, in keeping with the commitment we made to small and medium-sized businesses during the last election. It is very important for small and medium-sized business owners.

As we have been saying from the beginning, we are currently reviewing the submissions we received, and the measures will be explained in detail before they are implemented, naturally.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, exactly 139 days ago, business people found out that some of them will no longer be able to sprinkle their income, but they still do not know who will be affected or how. It is a complete unknown. Despite what the minister would have us believe, they have not been given any details at all.

If the Minister of Finance put as much energy into supporting our business people as he does into managing his personal finances, things would be totally different. If he cannot do his job properly, he should vacate the position for someone else.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, we believe the Minister of Finance is doing an exceptional job, and I hope my colleague will be satisfied with the economic results we have obtained.

For example, the Canadian economy created nearly 600,000 jobs over the past two years, most of them full-time, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, its lowest point in a decade. That is something the Conservatives could not even have dreamed of achieving when they were in power.

International TradeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, as was the case with the Prime Minister's last trip to Vietnam, no one knew the goal of his trip to China. The Liberals talked about tourism, SMEs, and so on and so forth.

Last week, the Prime Minister's Office did everything in its power to try to deny that this was about free trade.

If the government intended all along to enter into negotiations for a free trade agreement with China, why did it try to hide that from Canadians?

International TradeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, trade is vital to the Canadian economy. It opens up markets. It allows our hard-working businesses to create good paying middle-class jobs.

Canada is going to continue to embrace open and rule-based trade, while working to ensure that gains from trade are broadly shared. Our ambitious trade agenda includes, among other initiatives, modernization of NAFTA, FTA negotiations with India, the Pacific Alliance, and TPP countries, as well as FTA exploratory discussions with China.

International TradeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that when the Prime Minister was asked what he was doing to raise the issue of human rights in China, he said, and I am not joking, that he was holding press conferences with Canadian journalists.

News flash: that is what the Prime Minister does every time he travels; he talks to Canadian journalists.

Could the minister tell us exactly what the Prime Minister is doing, aside from media scrums, to raise the issue of human rights in China?

Any free trade agreement must include respect for human rights.

International TradeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the protection and promotion of human rights are fundamental priorities in our dialogue with China.

We raise the issue of human rights in China at every opportunity and we will continue to encourage China to respect its international commitments through open and frank dialogue.

By working to strengthen our relationship with China, we will have more opportunities to have frank discussions about issues that matter to Canadians, such as human rights.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, zero transparency from the government on whether it has decided to launch formal negotiations with China, just like the Prime Minister's trip to Vietnam where Canadians were left to wonder if the TPP negotiations were on the agenda or not.

Environmental protections, labour standards, and human rights must be at the forefront of any trade and investment discussions. Any trade deal must support Canadian jobs.

Will the Liberals commit to being clear with Canadians before they start official talks with China?

International TradeOral Questions

December 5th, 2017 / 2:25 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, Canadians appreciate that moving forward on a trade agreement is no small feat and that the process takes time. We also know it is important to get it right and to show progress in discussions.

With China, as with all our trading partners, we are committed to pursuing trade that benefits everyone, puts people first, reflects Canadian values, especially when it comes to the environment, labour, and gender. Both countries look forward to continuing exploratory discussions on a comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and China at a proper pace and in a responsible way.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are tired of the Liberal government's talking points. They need transparency. The Liberals have failed to take action to address steel dumping by Chinese companies, putting our sector at a dangerous disadvantage. Just this week, a paper, ordered by Global Affairs, reported that trade with China was responsible for the loss of 105,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs in Canada. This is a huge concern for Canadians. The report was clear on the job losses to China.

What is the government's response?

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, trade is vital to a growing economy. It is important that we have markets to sell our products to. That actually strengthens employers. It actually strengthens the opportunity for people to have a healthy middle-class living and move strongly into the middle class.

We are confident in our approach. These exploratory talks are beneficial to all Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I must remind the hon. member for Essex that having asked a question, it is important not to intervene again until she has the floor.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost two years ago, on December 7, 2015, the Minister of Finance introduced a tax measure that, in his words, would raise taxes on the rich.

The reality is that the rich have been paying less in taxes ever since that tax measure came into effect. According to the Department of Finance, they are paying $1.2 billion less. That is a fact. Another fact is that a week earlier, on November 30, 2015, 680,000 shares in Morneau Shepell, which was under the control of the finance minister's family, were sold. That is a fact.

Can the Minister of Finance confirm whether he was, or was not, the person who sold those shares?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has never denied that he sold shares when he arrived in Ottawa in November 2015. I am now trying to understand my opposition colleague's reasoning or the link he is trying to establish.

I am very proud that he mentioned the measure we announced on December 7, 2015. I thank him for that. One of our election promises was to raise taxes for the wealthiest 1% and lower them for nine million Canadians. We on this side of the House are proud of that accomplishment. I know this might seem odd to the opposition party, which preferred to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Canadians when it was in power.