House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberal.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Battle River—Crowfoot (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 81% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Members Not Seeking Re-Election to the 43rd Parliament June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to deliver my farewell speech in the House of Commons, a place that I have been honoured to be in for 19 years, close to two decades.

Although there are a number of friends and family here tonight, one person is not here who I wish was. It is my seatmate, the member for Langley—Aldergrove, who is in a hospital tonight in Langley. If he is watching or listening, our prayers are with him tonight, not just those from me and my family but those from our entire caucus.

I also have another very close friend, Dale Markwart, who is lying on a bed in a hospital in Castor, Alberta tonight. He is in a tough battle. Dale is a close friend and he means a lot to us all.

After six elections, 19 great years and various positions in the official opposition and the government, it is now time for me to spend more time with my family, which had so selflessly and stoically stood by my side through this long and demanding journey. It is time for me to return to the farm and dedicate more time to those who mean the most to me: my family, those in my community of Killam, Alberta and those in the county of Flagstaff.

However, I do so with a very heavy heart, as I have so much enjoyed the privilege of being not only a member of Parliament, but a member of Parliament for the riding of Crowfoot, which later had its name changed to Battle River-Crowfoot.

I cannot thank the good people of my riding enough for their support. For 19 years, they were my boss. Every day I have received letters, emails, telephone calls and face-to-face words of encouragement and prayers that mean more to me than they will ever know.

I was first elected in November 2000. I stood in the House, on February 1, 2001, to deliver my maiden speech, in which I said:

I thank all the people of Crowfoot for bestowing their faith in me. I promise to respectfully and truthfully represent their views and concerns here. I pledge to work hard, with the same diligence that the majority of the people of Crowfoot demonstrate daily as they go about their occupations and their careers in our predominately rural riding.

I have worked hard to keep my word. I firmly believe that is why I was returned to Parliament in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015.

The people of my riding are important. However, it has been my faith in Jesus Christ and the hope he offers the world. That has been at the heart of my keeping my word, staying principled, serving with humility and respect and working hard every day to earn the trust of my constituents.

When I thought about writing this speech, I thought I better go to Wikipedia to see what it said about me. It sounds a little selfish and vain, but I just want to mention some of the things Wikipedia views as accomplishments.

It says I represent “a riding that is very conservative even by the standards of rural Alberta.” Well, as my staff has reminded me, a three-legged dog could win in Crowfoot as long as it is a Conservative. It also says, “most of his territory has been held by a centre-right MP without interruption since 1935.” I love Crowfoot. It goes on:

He has won the riding by some of the largest margins ever recorded in Canadian politics. He was first elected in 2000, taking 70.5 percent of the vote, and since then has never dropped below 80 percent of the vote. In January 2006, he was re-elected with 82.5 per cent of the popular vote, the highest total recorded by a Conservative candidate in that election.

Wikipedia also notes that I chaired the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan while the Conservatives were in government. In opposition, I have received a remarkable amount of enjoyment out of chairing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

These opportunities, as well as being the public safety critic while in opposition, have given me such an appreciation for the institutions and traditions that have shaped this place and such respect for the many and varied stakeholders who come to us to plead their cases for change, accountability and principled policy that makes a difference in the everyday lives of average Canadians.

Being appointed to these positions as a member of Parliament has been the greatest distinction in my working career. All of it is thanks to the tremendous support of the amazing constituents of Battle River—Crowfoot, the many volunteers on my election campaigns and the dedication and the sage advice of my board of directors and executives.

I want to mention some of my campaign managers: Norman and Marian Steinwand, Bill and Judy Wilson, and for the last five elections, Steven Snider, as well as my president, Martin West. There are so many people I could thank.

I thank my current and former staff for their outstanding work and support in running my Ottawa and constituency offices: Leslie Olson; Gail Nordstrom; John Howard, who passed away while he was employed in the office; Emily Gilroy; Kirsty Skinstead-Lutz; Amy Jackson; Damien Kurek; Jeannie Smith; Linda McKay; Nancy Stewart, Dan Wallace; Melissa Johnston; and Paula Wilkie. Without them and their tireless efforts and loyalty, we could not have provided the first-class assistance that my constituents so richly deserve and have received.

I am equally indebted to my former ministerial staff led by chief of staff, Bram Sapers, who also professionally helped me navigate cabinet committees, memoranda to cabinet, departmental briefings and the onerous and exhausting budget preparations.

I have had the privilege of serving under amazing leaders. Preston Manning was the one who got me excited about politics and interested in making a change in this country. Stockwell Day showed confidence in me after one year by appointing me as the public safety, or solicitor general in those days, shadow minister.

I also need to thank our former prime minister, the right hon. Stephen Harper for the faith that he placed in me as the minister of state for finance, a position I served to the very best of my ability. I am so proud to have called the hon. Stephen Harper my Prime Minister, my leader and more importantly, my friend.

He led his caucus and this country with unparalleled wisdom, humility and, yes, the tough veneer that is so necessary as a respected world leader of his calibre. I was proud to stand by his side and give him unconditional support as we negotiated trade agreements, steered through the recession and balanced successive budgets to ensure the future of this country and that of our children and grandchildren.

Serving in his government was the highlight of my political career. Likewise, it is an honour to serve with our current leader, Andrew Scheer. I campaigned for him in 2004. We saw him as the Speaker of the House and hopefully as our next Prime Minister.

For many of my colleagues and I there were some negatives. We will always remember the terrible day on October 22, 2014, when we feared for our lives and the life of our Prime Minister, as shots were fired just outside our caucus room doors. Corporal Nathan Cirillo had already been fatally shot a the Canadian National War Memorial before his killer made his way up here to Parliament and into Centre Block. Shots were fired. People were hit. All parties were in the midst of their caucus meetings. It was a long and scary day that is forever embedded in one of the darkest memories that I have of Parliament.

The other was 9/11. I remember my nine-year-old daughter running onto the deck and telling me that a plane had hit a building. Less than a year after being elected and six months after being made public safety critic for the official opposition, I was tasked with responding to the ministerial statement calling on the Liberal government for anti-terrorism legislation.

Those dark days are all but washed away by the many fond memories I have of Parliament Hill and the friendships I have forged. There are so many that I need to thank.

First of all, more than anyone, I will miss my good friend and roommate for 19 years, the member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands. David and his wife, Sheila, have become lifetime friends. Thank you for all the late-night chats as we ate pizza and popcorn, solving all the problems of Canada and the world, sometimes frustrated with political correctness. Today is his anniversary and he has been together with Sheila a little longer than he has been with me.

To my parents, Ralph and Jean Sorenson, and my in-laws Ben and Alice Redekop, I thank them for their prayers and support. They have meant so very much to me and to my wife Darlene. My father, who watches most question periods with my mom, is now 93 years old and I am not hearing anymore, “Dad, it's time to get a life.”

To my wife Darlene, and our children Ryan, Kristen and her husband Matthew, and now my grandson Kayden, words are not enough to express the deep appreciation and love I have for them all. I am so proud of each one of them. Darlene has been my partner, my sounding board, the anchor that has kept our family grounded and so much more. She has given speeches on my behalf, has campaigned and has always been there beside me. I love her more now than I have ever loved her.

Once again, and in conclusion, I thank the people of Battle River—Crowfoot for bestowing their faith in me. They are truly the best constituents in all of Canada. I will miss this place. I will miss this job. It has been an honour to serve the people of Battle River—Crowfoot.

Finally, to my colleagues here this evening, I thank them for indulging me. I thank them for helping me along the journey of being a member of Parliament. I thank them for allowing me a few moments tonight to reflect and to give thanks. I want to give God praise. God bless everyone here tonight, and may God continue to bless this great land that is the greatest country in the world: Canada.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have had the pleasure of hearing many speeches from my colleague. I was there for his Petro-Canada speech, one of the truly fine moments in Parliament, as well as what I call his wake up and smell the thing speech, which, again, was wonderful.

Our economy is based on exports. The member knows the problem we have been having with China, India and so many countries where we have really lost our position internationally. I would ask my friend, who for so long served as a parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, if he would talk about the importance of Canada in the world and the importance to our economy. Why was that not addressed in the budget?

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act June 3rd, 2019

Madam Speaker, my colleague answered most of my questions. As with other bills, sometimes I get a little concerned about the definition of what cruelty to animals may be. I am from an agricultural constituency. Other bills have taken certain ranch practices and have deemed some of that cruelty to animals.

As to the member's point about compliance with California and Europe, I have some concerns with anything using that as an argument. It may not be a very strong argument for me. Could she give more assurance on the definition of cruelty to animals? Is it by statute or is it going to creep, as she talked about?

The Environment May 27th, 2019

Madam Speaker, my riding is predominantly a rural riding, so when my colleague gives accounts that he has heard from farmers in his riding, it is exactly the way he says it. I have seen those same bills. For anyone who is drying grain and carrying on with the farm practices we have, the cost is huge. When I think back 35 years ago when I was farming, our practices have changed. We have brought forward modern agricultural practices that are much better for our environment than they ever used to be. Farmers have been told and shown how modern practices can make a difference in their yields, and it has, so farmers have done that.

What my colleague said in his speech is a very good insight that I would encourage the Liberals to listen to. Regarding the cash advance that the Liberals have talked about so much and have yet to get out to the farmers, my colleague nailed it on the head when he said that money is paid back when crops are taken in and sold in the fall. Then he pointed out that we do not have that market back. What happens if our canola is not sold in the fall? Now the Liberals are going to pile onto many of our farmers a significant problem as far as credit rating and other things go.

I know my colleague is very in touch with the rural and agricultural sector. Could he enlarge a bit on that, and also on his thoughts on what farmers have done already to help our climate and environmental program?

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am going to look back on that statement in my retirement and say that the leader of the Green Party appreciated my speech. I had better look at the script again to make sure I did not veer off from what I believe. I appreciate it, and I thank her. As she knows, we have a very good working relationship, which is what I try to have with all members of all political parties here in the House. It is vital.

She mentioned our late, much-loved Auditor General, Michael Ferguson, and his report. This goes back to 2013 as well, but in his last report he laid out recommendations to help increase the amounts of money the CRA would be able to collect.

I remain skeptical about whether the CRA will in fact implement the recommendations of the late Auditor General, but I can tell members that we have a public accounts committee that will hold the CRA and every department to account. It is an all-party, non-partisan committee. I chair it. We work very hard to be non-partisan, because it is in the best interests of Canadians, Parliament and all parties that the departments deliver what is expected and required in an accountable and transparent way, without wasting a lot of money. Therefore, we will hold the CRA to account.

With respect to the CRA's action plan, we will make sure it enforces or implements the recommendations that the late Auditor General and we as a committee made, and that it abides by the timelines and responsibilities it has agreed to. If it does not, although we may be non-partisan and collegial, we will not be quite so collegial when we invite CRA representatives back the next time. It is never a good time when departments get called back because they have not lived up to their action plans.

I am skeptical, but I expect the CRA will try. Every deputy I have met wants to deliver on the late Auditor General's recommendations. Therefore, I am hopeful the CRA will implement those recommendations, as well as the recommendations from the public accounts committee.

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate what I said earlier. The Conservative government did all it could to lower taxes at a very difficult time globally. The world fell into a recession, and we immediately evaluated where we were as a country. Were we going to attract investment or were we not? We lowered taxes. That being said, we also very much understood that we needed to have a fair rate of taxation, and we expected people to abide by and honour the law and pay taxes that were due.

Speaking of the CRA, the Auditor General's report said:

In addition, we found that even though the Agency’s own policies allowed it, the Agency waived $17 million in interest and penalties, despite the fact that the taxpayers were identified as at risk for non-compliance and were undergoing an audit at the time they asked for relief.

Let us think about this. CRA knew that money should have been paid and decided to waive it. It would just blot it out and give tax relief. As with all the audits, the Auditor General made a series of recommendations to CRA that would prevent that.

Most Canadians have just finished filing their tax returns, and we are dependent on that revenue coming in for our social programs, such as health care, education and others. However, it is an issue, as the parliamentary secretary said earlier. If there was an easy way to do it, a magic wand that would bring back all the money that was owed, we would love to have it. There is not, but tax treaties like this give a bit of certainty or confidence to those who are investing abroad.

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, for sure the Madagascar tax treaty is a “fish and chips” kind of issue. I thank my colleague for her encouraging words and her compliment.

With respect to how we want to encourage investment in this country, we want all levels of government to recognize that we can tax anything to the extent that people will refuse to invest in it.

This is something the parliamentary secretary pointed out with regard to the New Democratic Party, and he was right. I do not agree with him all the time, but on some things I do. We can literally tax the corporate and business sectors so that they move across the border, and that does not suit us well.

The member brought up homes and real estate. Some people have a cottage and others buy a secondary home because their child is going to university and they want a home in the same city. Taxing them creates a disincentive, and it affects the markets. The member is right.

This is an issue that causes people to say no. They cannot and will not do it, because they do not want to give up everything they saved to get a house so that their child can live near their university, as they will perhaps get walloped by two levels of government. It is unfair.

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, it is always good to rise in the House, and as I have announced I will not be running in the next election, every time I rise in the House, I am still overwhelmed with not just the beauty of the chamber, but also the great responsibility I have had from the people of Battle River—Crowfoot in being entrusted with bringing their voices to Ottawa.

Today we rise to support Bill S-6, an act to implement a convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar that has the objective of eliminating double taxation and preventing tax evasion. Tax treaties of this nature meet this objective through the sharing of information between signatory countries.

We know that for governments to build strong economies at home, it is important that they look at a number of very important subjects. All three or four of the points that I want to make today deal with having a strong economy at home. They deal with making sure that jobs stay here at home, making sure that our young people are not travelling overseas necessarily to work but can find jobs here so that we can prosper here at home, and making sure that Canadians who invest abroad or find work abroad will have a better opportunity to prosper there.

There are some very important conditions that have to be laid out in order to find that prosperity and allow those jobs to be created. We know in the Conservative Party know that one of the vitally important aspects of securing a strong economy and creating jobs is trade. We are an exporting country. Canada, whether it is resources or agriculture, exports more than what we use at home. We are a vast country. Our geography and land mass make us a country of amazing opportunity. It is one of the largest countries in land mass in the world.

However, compared to many other countries, our population base is fairly small. We have only 35 or 36 million people. How do we guarantee that we will be able to prosper in spite of having a small population base? One way is through trade, through making sure that our resources and our agriculture can be sold and marketed around the world.

I live in a fairly rural riding in Alberta, a province whose economy has been hurt over the last four or five or six years in a remarkable way. In my riding, we have many different industries and many different sectors of the economy: gas and oil, resources, coal. We are rich in resources in Alberta, and my riding is also very strong in agriculture.

With all of these, we have a high level of exportation of our products. In order to have a free trade agreement in South America, we realized that people there had a desire to secure a safe food supply and were looking to Canada to provide grains, oilseeds, pulse crops, and other agricultural products, including beef and pork. Much of the food stock for the world is created in Canada, and much of it in Alberta.

We realized that we want to have free trade agreements with many countries, and if we do not have a free trade agreement with a country, we still want to have some kind of opportunity to trade with that country.

We do not have a free trade agreement with China, but we still carry on a great amount of trade with China. However, always, agreements enhance our trade. Likewise, agreements on taxes will enhance it as well.

Regarding our agricultural products, right now we are really feeling the pinch with canola. We are feeling the pinch, with one of our largest markets, China, basically stopping our canola from coming into that country. We believe that this is unfair and ungrounded. We have no doubt that this is not about food safety. It is not about the product. As I have said, we have the safest, best product in the world. However, we do not have a free trade agreement with China. Maybe when we see what is happening, we understand why we do not have a free trade agreement with China.

Right now, our canola farmers are really feeling the pinch. Indeed, at this time of year, in the spring, when our crops are being planted, I am getting calls to my office asking me if I am expecting the market to open up. They are asking whether they should be planting canola or cutting way back, although their rotation does not allow them to do that. We are hearing all the concerns coming from agriculture with regard to trade.

The Conservative government had a free trade agreement with Europe. We were pretty well ready to sign onto the TPP. It was not ratified, but everything was laid out. We wanted to get our product into these countries so that we could prosper at home.

However, it is not all about trade. If we want a strong economy, we also have to recognize that we have to have training. We have to have a skilled workforce. We have to be able to invest so that when times get tough, if we cannot compete with Mexico on wages to manufacture, we can compete with the skill sets we have here in Canada. Therefore, we invested greatly in training young people and enhancing the skill sets our workforce had already. This was a driving force in our Conservative government in the last 10 years we governed. We put money into innovation and training.

It was trade, training and red tape. How are we going to have job creation? How are we going to enhance it? How are we going to attract businesses to start up in Alberta, or wherever in Canada, if the red tape to get that business going is a mile long?

We brought forward a red tape reduction strategy to make it easier for businesses, investors and job creators to create those jobs right here at home. That job is unending. With more government and more bureaucracy, the tendency is to see red tape grow. One of the strong things we brought forward was making sure that we were able to cut red tape, and we still need to do it. Therefore, I am pleased that Premier Kenney is committed to the reduction of red tape. There is a level of optimism we have not seen in Alberta for many years. I would also say that our government has always and would continue to look at ways to enhance job creation through the cutting of the red tape burden.

The fourth and final aspect, besides trade, training and red tape, is taxes. If we are not a country that can attract manufacturing and investment because our tax regime is so out of whack, then we cannot expect to see our economy grow. We cannot expect that people will have confidence in investing their capital here in Canada. In Alberta, because of regulation, red tape and high taxes, including the carbon tax, we saw between $80 billion and $100 billion in foreign investment capital flee, and with that went jobs and hope for a lot of young Canadians and Albertans.

To have a strong economy, we have to make sure that we have a strong tax system that has integrity but is also not overly burdensome. When the Conservatives came to power, and when the world fell into a global recession, we moved our corporate rate from 22% to 15%, because we knew that business and manufacturing would flee to the United States or Mexico, predominantly, and other places if we did not compete with a tax structure or a tax rate that would attract investors to Canada.

A lot is about taxes. A lot of what we want to do in building a strong economy is in regard to the tax structure. Tax levels make a large impact on investment, and we have seen that.

Canada not only mines and extracts resources around the world, it invests around the world. We have people who prosper and earn an income from foreign investment. We want to be sure that if we are allowing that, we avoid double taxation. If taxation is important, who, as an investor, would want double taxation, where a country, Madagascar, in this case, would tax us, and then Canada would when we came back home? How much investment do members think would take place in those countries, and here, if we allowed double taxation?

Predominantly where we have massive investment, we have double taxation treaties. A tax treaty contains rules regarding the circumstances under which a signatory country may collect certain taxes on income so that when investors invest, they are aware. They look at the treaty and say that this is what we have to pay, this is what we do not have to pay and this is what we will pay back home. It is a single tax base. In the absence of a tax treaty, the income of a Canadian citizen abroad would be hit on both sides, and investors would flee.

For that reason, we come to this today. This debate, I would say, is the meat and potatoes of what is going on here in Parliament. This is not a day when we are talking about the issues that are really important to Canadians. I do not know if I have had a call to my office in Camrose about Madagascar. My constituents expect that we are taking care of business so that they can prosper, whether on the farm, in investing or in the oil patch.

Most of the tax treaties to which Canada is partnered follow the Model Tax Convention. This is a tax treaty or convention that is given as a model by the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This was done in 1963, and subsequent to that, there have been a number of occasions when it has been revised. Currently, Canada is signatory to 93 agreements. This is not something new. We are not stepping out into uncharted territory. This is common.

As I said at the outset, I fully support the intent of Bill S-6, but I am particularly concerned about the tax evasion side. We have heard much from all parties today about tax evasion and the ability of the Canada Revenue Agency to consistently enforce compliance rules and collect taxes.

I do not like high taxes. I look for ways to cut taxes. I formerly served as the minister of state for finance. We looked at every opportunity we could to drive this economy by lowering taxes and keeping more money in the pockets of Canadians. However, tax evasion is different. I think every Canadian expects that there is a certain level of taxes that they are required and willing to pay, not just by law but in order to have the services we have here in Canada.

From report 7 of the 2018 fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada, on compliance activities of the Canada Revenue Agency, the public accounts committee, which I have had the privilege of chairing, learned the following: “Most taxpayers are individuals with Canadian employment income. We found that the Agency requested information from these taxpayers more quickly,” and this is the important part, “and gave less time to respond, than it did with other taxpayers, such as international and large businesses, and taxpayers with offshore transactions.”

The Auditor General went on:

For example, if the Agency asked an individual to provide a receipt to support a claimed expense and the taxpayer did not provide the receipt within 90 days, the Agency would automatically disallow the expense as an eligible income tax deduction. The Agency would assess the taxpayer’s income tax return on the basis of the information it had available and would notify the taxpayer of the taxes due.

In other words, average middle-income Canadians are not cut much slack when it comes to their domestic income here in Canada.

Comparatively, the Auditor General's report states:

For other taxpayers, such as those with offshore transactions, we found that the time frame to provide information was sometimes extended for months or even years. For example, banks and foreign countries could take months to provide information on the taxpayer’s offshore transactions to the Agency or the taxpayer.

It continues, and this is important:

Sometimes the Agency did not obtain information at all, and the file was closed without any taxes assessed.

We can see that these agreements are vital. These agreements enhance what the CRA is given. If people understand the treaty, they know what to claim, they know what to put forward and they know what to show CRA. They feel less vulnerable to the Canada Revenue Agency and can also invest with greater confidence.

The Auditor General's office said that “over the past five years...the Agency took, on average, more than a year and a half to complete audits of offshore transactions.”

These agreements speed that up. The fall 2018 report was not the first time the Auditor General noted how long it took the agency to enforce compliance. The Auditor General further stated:

As we noted in the 2013 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada, Chapter 3, Status Report on Collecting Tax Debts—Canada Revenue Agency, the longer it took the Agency to enforce compliance, the less likely it could collect the taxes due. This was especially true for taxpayers with offshore assets, who may have been inclined to liquidate assets or transfer funds to make it more difficult for the Agency to obtain information and collect taxes due. On the other hand, for individuals and domestic businesses, the Agency had a better likelihood of collection by garnishing wages and seizing assets.

To add insult to injury, the Auditor General found that the Canada Revenue Agency did not proactively consider waiving penalties and interest consistently for all taxpayers. Again, the Auditor General stated:

We found that the Agency offered to waive interest and penalties for taxpayers in some compliance activities but not others—even when the Agency had caused the delays.

The inconsistent application of relief for taxpayers contradicts the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, according to the Auditor General. The report states:

[the] Taxpayer Bill of Rights gives all taxpayers the right to have the law applied consistently. It also gives all taxpayers the right to receive entitlements, such as benefits, credits, and refunds, and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law.

Although it may not quite be unanimous, I am pleased that most in this House, as far as I can see, see the importance of these kinds of meat and potatoes regulations and bills. Coming into compliance and making sure that Canadian investors are not vulnerable or put on an uneven playing field is imperative if we are going to increase foreign investment coming to our country and our investment in those countries, all of which will help build the economy, help Canada prosper and help us create jobs.

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I am encouraged today that the NDP colleagues said that they would be supporting this legislation. Most parties in this House will be supporting it. We are getting quite used to seeing the New Democratic Party, in this Parliament and the last, oppose trade agreements. It is good to see that it understands the importance of tax treaties.

In the Conservative Party, we believe that if we are going to have a strong economy, we need to have good trade relationships around the world, fair trade relationships. We need to have tax treaties that provide confidence to investors in whichever country they may be investing, foreign investors here and our investors there. That is important.

Also, on the training side, Conservatives believe that for a strong economy we need to have innovation and trade here. Does the member have any suggestions? The tax treaty we are signing is very similar to a tax model put out by the OECD. What are the important parts of a treaty that would make him agree with me that these types of tax treaties that encourage investment are vital to our local national economy?

Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018 May 14th, 2019

Madam Speaker, one of the advantages of 20-minute speeches is that they allow us to go into other areas. In introducing this bill, the member talked about what was happening in my province of Alberta, which is also his province. I agree with him that we have high hopes and that people are starting to realize that we are putting in place a foundation that will bring back investment but would also make sure we do what we can to clean up our environment.

The member talked about carbon pricing on large emitters. This is the way Premier Kenney suggested we would go forward. It has been done before, when the penalty large emitters pay went back into a research and development fund. Out of that, we have seen innovation in new and renewable types of energy. Whether it was clean coal, wind, solar or some of the others, we have seen money poured in to ensure that they are cleaner.

The government's plan right now is that every consumer, senior and single mom will be clobbered at the pumps or in heating their homes. The money invested back will make a difference. Could he talk a bit about how a tax regime helps grow an economy? We are seeing in this bill, the Madagascar—