Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in the House, and tonight is no exception. I am following up on a question I asked the Minister of Finance regarding a member of the business community in my riding who owns a heating and air conditioning business in Chilliwack. I explained to the minister that this member of my community owns a small business, works hard, puts food on the table for his family, and employs other hard-working members of the Chilliwack community.
He was saying that the Liberal small business tax changes, the attack on small local businesses, would cause him to re-evaluate his ability not only to save for his retirement but to keep his business running. I asked the finance minister why his financial interests, his family fortune, was not impacted at all by the proposed Liberal attack on small business. He told me, quite frankly, that our system does encourage wealthy Canadians to take advantage of the system for their own gain, except that was not the case with small business owners in places like Chilliwack and Hope. It certainly was the case with the finance minister and the Prime Minister, who made sure through all these changes and attacks on our small businesses that their family fortunes, trust accounts, and offshore corporations were all protected. They would not be touched at all by these changes.
Even though the government was forced to back down on some of the most egregious proposals it made, there are still concerns. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is still very concerned with the proposals, the small business changes coming in, because they are coming in a matter of weeks. Here we are approaching the second week of December, these changes take place January 1, 2018, and small businesses still do not know what they will look like. They know change is coming, that it will not be good for them, but they do not know what the details are. That has been confirmed by the Department of Finance, which said that it will legislate that along with the budget in the fullness of time.
We now have a situation where in less than four weeks' time major changes will be made to the way small businesses are taxed and regulated, but we will not know the full impact because the government will not reveal to them the full impact prior to that. A few months later, it will give them the full details of the impact on their businesses. How does the government expect small businesses in my riding to be able to operate when they do not even know what the rules of the game will be? They know they are changing, that they will be detrimental to them, but they do not know what they will look like.
This is unbelievable. That the government, first of all, would have ever proposed these changes to attack small businesses in my riding and right across the country, and that when those changes were rejected wholeheartedly by a whole range of small business advocates, small business groups that came together to fight this attack on their way of life, entrepreneurship, and job creation, they still do not know what that is going to look like and we are just days away. How irresponsible can the government be, not only to castigate these job-creating people as being wealthy tax cheats, but to not give them the certainty they need to run their businesses?
I would like the parliamentary secretary to answer that.