Mr. Speaker, when I was last in Halifax, I spoke to a microbrewer who had started in the early eighties, I believe. He said that back in the eighties, there were probably about 60 microbreweries right across Canada. Today there are well over 600. That was such a rapid increase in microbreweries that I asked him why. He said that the Harper priority budget of 2007, which started providing excise relief for microbreweries, caused the whole game to change for microbreweries in Canada.
The current government is actually adding more excise tax, and not just that. The microbreweries do not mind paying their fair share, but now the government has added an escalator whereby, year after year, regardless of where inflation is, the tax will just lockstep up—and again, there is also the GST on top of that—which makes their product more expensive. Let us not forget that provincially there is excise tax as well.
Would this member agree that these kinds of increases, particularly the fact that there is an escalator, are not only less democratic and transparent, but will actually hamper that industry, both wine and beer, and I am sure spirits as well, although I have not heard from them?