Mr. Speaker, this morning I wrote you requesting an emergency debate, in accordance with Standing Order 52. The finance minister's unfair tax changes will lead to dire consequences for our local businesses and family farmers. The government has allotted exactly zero hours to debate them before the end of the consultation period on October 2.
Parliament, and not the government, is the final authority on taxation. The government cannot tax what Parliament does not approve. Despite this, the government has not even given the opportunity to members of the House, the House of the common people, who will pay the bill for this tax increase, to hold a debate on the costs. In the spirit of non-partisanship and co-operation, our House leader, the member for Portage—Lisgar, asked for the government's consent for a take-note debate on this subject. Unfortunately, the government refused. Therefore, we are appealing to you, Mr. Speaker, to schedule an emergency debate.
These consultations were announced in the middle of the summer, with just 75 days of feedback from Canadians, including during a time period when our farmers were in their fields harvesting their crops, unable to defend themselves against a tax change that will give major advantages to large international corporations seeking to take over the family farm.
Every day the House has heard statements from affected Canadians, delivered through members of the opposition: from farmers who plan to hand down their farms to their sons and daughters but who now will face a much larger tax bill for doing so and whose kids may therefore be turned into tenants of foreign corporate landlords; from the local grocer, who saved for his retirement and protected himself against a downturn in his business; and from small-business owners, who played by the rules while the government referred to them as tax cheats.
Canadians are concerned, and they deserve answers. This matter is urgent, not only because of the consultation period closing just next week but also because the minister plans to impose this taxation retroactively to when the consultation was released on July 18. It would set a dangerous precedent to allow the government to impose retroactive taxation without any debate or scrutiny in the House.
To conclude, these proposed changes have been subject to intense media and opposition scrutiny for almost two months outside of this chamber. They deserve to have the same kind of scrutiny inside the chamber, where the final decision on them will be made. Therefore, I ask you to schedule an emergency debate on this subject, to take place prior to the October 2, 2017, consultation deadline.