Madam Speaker, Statistics Canada reports that nearly one in three small businesses does not know how much longer they can stay in business, and the government still cannot get its rent subsidy right.
Bill C-9 was written on the fly and had to be rushed through Parliament without proper scrutiny, even though the Liberals had months to get it right. As written, the bill excludes the businesses that need help the most: the ones that have fallen behind while waiting for the government.
The finance minister had a solution. She told the Senate finance committee that since she clearly intended for these businesses to qualify, the CRA can just interpret the law according to her intentions. Is that really how it works? Is it the minister's intention that counts? It is not the rule of law now; it is the rule of ministerial intention.
Intentions do not pay the rent and neither do endless announcements. It is November 20, the first is coming soon, and thousands of small businesses do not know how they are going to pay the rent.