Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak about Bill S-6, an act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
There seem to be good measures found in this bill, especially on double taxation. This bill contains provisions for tax in both Madagascar and Canada.
In the case of Madagascar, double taxation shall be avoided as follows:
(a) where a resident of a Madagascar derives income which, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, may be taxed in Canada, Madagascar shall allow as a deduction from the tax on the income of that resident, an amount equal to the income tax paid in Canada. Such deduction shall not, however, exceed that part of the income tax, as computed before the deduction is given, which is attributable to the income which may be taxed in Canada.
It is great to see the government is making a move that might keep more of people's money in their own pockets instead of going toward paying for the government's reckless spending. It is also good to see the government is concerned about double taxation. It is just a shame that it is only concerned about it when it is happening in the Republic of Madagascar and not here in Canada.
Would it not be great if the government made such an effort to avoid double-taxing Canadians? However, the government is doing exactly that with its carbon tax on everything. The Prime Minister is charging GST on top of that carbon tax. I would say that is a tax on a tax. That is just it. The government does not particularly care about the average Canadian, and especially rural Canadians, such as those in my riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
When the carbon tax took effect, it immediately raised the price of everything, from gas to home heating to groceries. Canadians are being taxed twice for living the life of luxury by heating their home and driving to work or driving their children to soccer or dance, or even driving to the doctor.
If the carbon tax were actually an environmental plan, would it not be logical that the great emitters of pollution in this country would pay most of this tax? They are not. Canada's biggest emitters are exempt from the carbon tax, while small business owners, commuters, hockey moms and dads, and farmers are expected to take public transit. That is not possible for many rural Canadians.
The Prime Minister expects rural Canadians to just hop onto public transit or buy a new Tesla. That does not jive with what is happening across Canada, and certainly not in my riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. It does show how disconnected the Prime Minister really is with average Canadians. Average Canadians, at least half of them, are $200 away from insolvency, but they had better rush out and buy that new Tesla.
We have amazing farmers in my riding, and it would be great if this bill protected them from double taxation, but it does not. They are hit by the carbon tax and the GST on top of that.
The farmers in my riding are some of the greatest stewards of the land that we have in this country. They have long been at the forefront of sustainability and innovation. The way farmers have incorporated new technologies like biofuel and robotics into their operations is very interesting. The prevalence of the use of biogas and biofuel on today's farms is particularly noteworthy. Biogas is methane that is produced with the use of anaerobic digesters on the farm. Usually manure and leftover waste like corn stalks and husks are introduced into the anaerobic digester to create methane for use on the farm; then the solid byproduct of the methane production can be used as fertilizer.
Cavendish Farms, a large potato processing operation with plants in Alberta, Ontario and the Maritimes, has reduced emissions by 50% over the last decade through the use of biogas, not because they were forced to by a nonsensical carbon tax on everything but because it made good business sense and because it was the right thing to do.
In addition to that, biodiesel can be created on the farm through high-energy waste such as vegetable oil. We know that most of the machinery on the farm will run on diesel. If farmers can meet some 20% of their diesel needs by creating biodiesel, then they are reducing emissions and helping their bottom line at the same time.
These investments in sustainability and innovation have occurred because it makes good sense for farmers, their families and businesses, not because they were threatened with taxes.
Now the Prime Minister's carbon tax is raising the cost of bringing crops to market, buying fertilizer and drying grain, which causes margins to shrink, and farmers cannot afford new investments in innovation when they are worried about that bottom line. The question still stands as to why the government is concerned with people abroad keeping more money in their pockets while it neglects people at home. The answer is clear: The Prime Minister simply needs the revenue to pay for his reckless spending, which will be paid for on the backs of everyday Canadians.
This reckless spending has come with massive deficit after massive deficit, the latest of which came in the form of the 2019 cover-up budget. In the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the Prime Minister must have sat down with the Minister of Finance to make a plan to distract Canadians from the corruption and contempt the Liberals have shown for the judicial system, which they continue to demonstrate, so the Liberals announced a budget with a $20-billion deficit and $41 billion in new distraction-spending.
We saw a large corporation, with the clock ticking, launch a full-court press lobbying campaign. The corporation got the Prime Minister's top advisers and top government officials on board. Then we saw a former attorney general who respected the rule of law and would not cave to pressure from the PMO. Then there was a convenient cabinet shuffle that saw the attorney general fired and replaced with a Montreal MP from right next door to SNC-Lavalin, one who was willing to support the government's disregard for the rule of law.
Knowing the trial of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was soon to be in court, the Liberals released this cover-up budget. It is clear the Prime Minister was trying to cover his tracks with this budget. There is overwhelming evidence that the Liberals politically interfered in this case and tried to destroy a decorated military officer, the vice-chief of the defence staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. The prosecution made clear that the documents the Prime Minister and the Liberals were fighting to keep secret were the very documents that caused the charges to be dropped. This fact strongly suggests the government was deliberately withholding and suppressing documents to prolong the politically motivated attack on the vice-admiral.
From withholding documents that would have exonerated the vice-admiral to using code names in emails to having government lawyers coach witnesses, the interference and the lengths to which the government was willing to go were very clear. It is no wonder the government needed to rack up record spending and record deficits to distract Canadians.
If my memory serves me correctly, 2019 was supposed to be the year the budget would balance itself, like so many babies on the campaign tour that the Prime Minister is now on. In 2015 he said, “I am looking straight at Canadians and being honest the way I always have. We said we are committed to balanced budgets, and we are. We will balance that budget in 2019....”
That could not be further from the truth. The free-spending Prime Minister's and finance minister's own finance department documents show the budget will not be balanced until 2040. What they are engaged in is nothing short of intergenerational theft.
It is shameful. The government spent $50 million to impress a celebrity on Twitter, gave $10.5 million to a convicted terrorist who murdered U.S. Army Sergeant Chris Speer, and the Prime Minister is willing to raise taxes on everyday Canadians to pay for it.
While Bill S-6, an act to create a tax convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the purpose of avoiding double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to income taxes is a solid measure, the real issue is that the government has neglected to take the same measures on double taxation here at home. Canadians should not have to pay for the Prime Minister's reckless spending through raised taxes and double taxation for generations to come.