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  • His favourite word is conservatives.

Liberal MP for Winnipeg North (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 69% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Revenue Agency April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would argue that in many ways these tax treaties that the member refers to enable the CRA to be able to withdraw more information, indirectly if not directly. We need that information to ensure that there is less tax avoidance.

The member is wrong on the assertion that this government is going after the little guy. This government is going after individuals and corporations that are going out of their way to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. That is what the close to one billion dollars is, and it might be over one billion with this recent addition of $180 million. This government is aggressively pursuing individuals and corporations, not just little guys. We are talking about huge sums of money.

There is a commitment from the Prime Minister to continue working with the Minister of National Revenue and the Minister of Finance to ensure that we have a fairer taxation system, and that is something that we will continue to strive for.

Canada Revenue Agency April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, when members of the opposition raise issues of this nature, they often get into the specifics and name particular companies. It is important to note that there are confidentiality provisions in the Income Tax Act that actually prevent us from discussing the circumstances of individual taxpayers or corporations.

Having said that, I have been a parliamentarian for 25-plus years, and one of the things I have always experienced is the justifiable expectation Canadians have that there be a sense of fairness in taxation. There is frustration when we get the perception of tax inequities that are there today. I would encourage my friend to recognize that we have some problems today that have been in place for many years. However, we have a Prime Minister who has been taking the issue of taxation head on, virtually from day one, in terms of our middle class, those aspiring to be part of it, and those who need a helping hand, and ways we can ensure tax fairness.

For example, one of the first initiatives we saw was the special tax on Canada's 1%. I am sure that even my New Democratic friends will acknowledge that we need to put more taxes on Canada's wealthiest 1%. We have already done that. It was one of the first initiatives. We then looked at lowering taxes for Canada's middle class. We also looked at those who are aspiring to be part of the middle class and the working poor. We brought in programs that would put more disposable income in their pockets, such as with the enhancement of the Canada child benefit program.

The NDP talks about tax evaders. Like members on the NDP benches, Liberal members are also offended by those tax evaders. We also want to see a higher sense of accountability from corporations or individuals. I will not be specific and list those names, but I can say that in general, it offends us when individuals go out of their way to avoid paying their fair share. They are tax evaders. As a government, we have seen the Prime Minister working with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue, who is responsible for CRA, to actually invest significant dollars. I believe this year alone it is over $150 million. In the last three years, it has been close to $1 billion to go after people who are trying to not pay their fair share of taxes. We have had a government that virtually from day one has been trying to improve the system.

For many of the initiatives my friend across the way might want to see the government act on, we are going as quickly as I believe we can. In certain areas, we need to look at what other countries are doing, because we need a collaborative approach. It is a worldwide problem, which means that we need to work with other governments around the world in certain situations.

Department of Industry Act April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat disappointing, but I know I will get another chance to add some more words.

I appreciate the fact that the member for Beauce has brought forward a private member's bill. I believe he is genuine in what he is attempting to accomplish with the bill. However, he has overlooked a great deal of things. The member from Markham, the government representative, did a fantastic job in trying to explain how the Government of Canada already exceeded what the Stephen Harper government did.

One of the things I really respect about the Prime Minister is that he has consistently said that we should look for ideas where we can improve and make things better, and we are open to doing that. There has been no shortage of ideas. All one needs to do is look at the many different initiatives the government has taken on and has been very successful.

It was not that long ago, and I have mentioned this before in the House, where I had someone show up at a local restaurant in my riding and tell me the Prime Minister had done more in a couple of years than the previous prime minister did in 10 years. As a government, we have a very aggressive and progressive attitude at trying to get things done, to work hard and achieve the best we can for Canadians in all regions of our country.

I want to add some thoughts as to why it is necessary at times for governments to engage with the private sector. If we look at the national government, or provincial governments, governments at different levels, governments of different political parties, even Progressive Conservative governments, even the Harper government, at times they have recognized there is a need to look at how we might have to protect certain industries and jobs that might be in some difficult times. It is nothing new. I believe a majority of Canadians want to ensure that the government is there to support industries if there is a need for it to do so and it can be justified.

Our government has recognized that, particularly in Canada's aerospace industry. It is an industry that is very important to my home province, to the provinces of Quebec, B.C., Ontario, and indirectly to other provinces. Literally tens of thousands jobs were absolutely critical and the Government of Canada needed to get involved. However, it is not the first time Bombardier has received government assistance. Even previous Conservative governments came forward, recognizing there was a need.

Providing that additional accountability and transparency is something our government continues to do in everything, such as when different departments are developing policy. We are seeing more of that.

I see my time has already run out for today. I will be happy to add more words when the debate comes up again.

Department of Industry Act April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, as the months go by, I find the Conservatives and the NDP have a lot more in common. I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Many would suggest it is an unholy alliance.

I acknowledge that political entities of all stripes across the country, at the provincial level and at the national level, have recognized that at times there is a need for government to get involved. We have seen many success stories, jobs that would never have survived if government had not been involved. Even the introducer of the bill might be a minority within his own caucus.

Does he believe that at times government needs to get involved to ensure the longevity of some of these very important industries? I could cite examples specifically in my province of Manitoba. It seems to cross party lines, at least at the provincial level and I would like at the national level as well.

Canada Business Corporations Act April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House, you would find unanimous consent to call it 5:30 p.m., so we can begin private members' hour.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 19th, 2018

Madam Speaker, it is interesting to listen to the Conservatives talk about the price on carbon. A majority of Canadians are actually paying a price on carbon already, today. In fact, what we are seeing, which we never saw with Stephen Harper, is what we call national leadership. We actually have a Prime Minister who wants to see Canada deal with a price on carbon as a nation.

The Conservatives, and a few others, want to leave it the way it is. Some provinces would have it, while other provinces would not. Do the Conservatives have a natural inclination to want to see that sort of Canada, versus a Canada where there is more national leadership, where we have programs such as CPP, potentially pharmacare, and other programs that all Canadians can benefit from, including a price on carbon?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 19th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I can assure the member that Quebec counts for a great deal.

My colleague across the way made the argument in his comments as to why it is important to have a strong national government here in Canada. Let us think about what the member was saying. He talked about the price on carbon and the impact if one province were to go ahead of another province in a progressive fashion. For the first time in many years, we finally have a Prime Minister who has a strong national vision, which is one of the reasons why we saw a national program for a price on carbon, rather than having one province doing it one way and another province doing it another way. That is in essence what the member across the way was calling for.

My ancestors came from the province of Quebec.

We want to see national programs. One of the wonderful things in this budget is the increase to the Canada child benefit program, which brings millions of dollars into every riding across the country, including the ridings of my friends across the way. It is a strong national program that contributes to the well-being of the nation as a whole, and by doing that we can see more progressive policies.

I am wondering if my colleague would agree with me that there are a number of strong national programs that can have a profoundly positive impact on all provinces, including the province of Quebec, a province—

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 19th, 2018

Madam Speaker, one of the issues I like to talk about is the Canada child benefit and the amount of money that is going into communities. It does not just apply to Winnipeg North. It applies to every riding. Literally millions of dollars are being put into support for the children of our communities.

Could my colleague and friend provide his thoughts on that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I take exception to a number of issues in the member's statement. I was a provincial MLA for many years and for most of those years, we had an NDP administration in the province of Manitoba. If I can contrast that to what this government has done on gender equality and the movement toward that, it far exceeds many years of what the NDP did in government in Manitoba on pay equity.

Right from the get-go, the Prime Minister appointed a cabinet with an equal number of females and males. A gender analysis is being applied to all aspects of the budget. In addition, there are many different government initiatives, through the Minister of Finance, to encourage and provide support for women. I question the real sense of the NDP wanting to see progress. The members talk a lot about progress, but I doubt that would happen if they were ever afforded the opportunity to be in government.

The member started by saying the Liberals talked about being environmentalists, but acted in the national interest with respect of the pipeline. We have to balance economy and the environment. We have to balance one NDP premier in one province saying “yes” a NDP premier in another province saying “no”. There is a balance. We have to work with others to get things done.

Would the member acknowledge that at times we need to work with stakeholders to get things done?

Questions on the Order Paper April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.