House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was budget.

Last in Parliament November 2013, as Conservative MP for Macleod (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 78% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, we cannot reiterate that enough, and I thank my hon. colleague for raising that.

The fundamental purpose of the bill is to prevent double taxation. People do not like paying their taxes but they understand that if we want social programs, if we want to fund education or health care, then we all have to pay our taxes, but we should only pay our fair share of taxes.

International companies can move their money around. We want to make sure that, if taxes are not paid in this country, then they are indeed paid in the country where that company is making its profits. That is one important issue, especially the more international companies become. Allocating taxing rights between Canada and its treaty partners over different categories of income is very important. This gets very complex. I will leave it up to the accountants to perhaps explain it in detail.

Prescribing the method of relief for double taxation for different types is important. We need to describe that, and it is in the legislation. I would encourage all hon. members to read that.

The fundamental principle behind this legislation is preventing the avoidance and evasion of taxation. We have willing partners who are going to sign on to this agreement. It is time to move on to protect tax integrity in this country.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, there certainly is urgency to most of these pieces of legislation that we are putting forward. There was certainly urgency with respect to the budget bill that was passed just a few moments ago in the House.

Talking about urgency, if these tax treaties are not passed in this spring session of Parliament, they will not come into force on January 1. They need to be passed in the spring session in order to be enacted with all the countries with which we are working. There is urgency to this legislation. We need to get it done.

We were not sure if the opposition wanted to debate these. The NDP is sensitive on this. That party has individuals in its caucus, apparently, who do not believe in paying taxes. We are concerned about the Liberals because they are protecting a senator who has pretty much taken her money offshore and hidden it in a tax haven. We are a little concerned about how serious those parties are about protecting taxpayers' money.

We have put in place 75 different changes to tighten up tax loopholes. That is the right direction to go in, and we will continue moving to protect taxpayers.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, to answer the question on records, today we reached another record milestone. We moved tax freedom day two weeks ahead. That is because of this government's policies of not just sitting in the House and debating issues but actually getting it done. If we waited for the NDP to support us on everything it opposes, we would probably not have a million more Canadians working today than were working in the depths of the recession in 2009. Every successive budget, every successive policy change that we put forward, to not only help Canadians get back to work but to help those who could not find a job have access to EI, the NDP voted against. It would have us in the position of some of the countries we look at in Europe that are in recession.

Canada has an incredible record. When he talks about records, I do not mind repeating the fact that last month 54,000 young people got a job. Youth employment has been a challenge for us all. We have had many questions in this House, and rightfully so. We are concerned about our youth. If we were to travel to Europe, we would see 60% youth unemployment. We do not have that here. Ours is still too high, but there are 54,000 more of them working this month than last month. We think that is a pretty good record.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, indeed there has been an opportunity, which is all recorded, that being the debates that happened within the Senate, within the Senate committees. I would encourage hon. members to go back to that.

Once again, if all hon. members support this piece of legislation, then we should make the best use of our time and get on with the substantive discussions. I am sure the Speaker would encourage us to do that. We are offering the time to actually debate this piece of legislation, to talk about the benefits of it.

I might share with this House that I just had meetings with the OECD, and one of the primary roles it is playing right now is on base erosion and profit shifting. It is doing a consultation paper for the G20 leaders when they meet later on. Every country is concerned, but specifically the OECD members, with this profit shifting, a term we are not used to using here but I think pretty much explains itself, that being the shifting of profits to lower tax jurisdictions.

That is part of what we are doing here. Since the Liberals started this process of these tax treaties, there have been 30 of them that have been set out in legislation in this government and previous governments. It is nothing new. Hon. members could have done their homework to see exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. There was ample time for that.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, forgive me if I am not understanding the reasoning here, but if the opposition members are indeed in favour of it then why should we not move forward with this piece of legislation and actually accomplish what it very definitively sets out?

This is a double taxation agreement with countries such as Namibia, Serbia, Poland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Hong Kong. These are important trading partners. They are not just trading partners but very important financial sectors, especially Hong Kong. We do a lot of financial transactions back and forth with Hong Kong. A lot of our financial institutions are doing an incredible amount of work. At last count we have three-quarters of a million Canadians living in Hong Kong.

We think this is very important. If the hon. members on both sides of the House are in support of it, let us move on to another piece of legislation about which we can have some reasonable debate. If everyone is in favour of it, let us vote for it.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to speak for other ministers. They are quite capable of speaking for themselves.

However, in answer to that, the urgency we feel is in getting this piece of legislation passed, which is very much a housekeeping piece of legislation that has received more than 100 days of parliamentary debate. Folks back home watching this would say that should be enough for all witnesses who would like to comment on this to appear and for all parliamentarians who would wish to comment on it to have ample opportunity to do that.

However, I sense a bit of sensitivity coming from the Liberal Party perhaps because we are working on stopping international tax havens. I am sure there is some sensitivity on behalf of the Liberals. They do not want to see this happen because one of their caucus members actually has $1.7 million in a tax haven, as my understanding would have it.

I think we should get on with fixing this as fast as we can.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I think anyone watching this debate will recognize that my friend across the way and I actually get along quite well on many things. I do want to share with him that what I am addicted to is actually getting things done for Canadians.

When we see a piece of legislation that the hon. member just said opposition members support, I would suggest that we should probably get on with it as quickly as we can. This process is necessary to make sure that we get these pieces of legislation. We have repeatedly had to do this, because we have heard speeches time and time again in debate where we could almost hit replay on some of the speeches. I have even sat in my office sometimes when I am not on duty and watched.

That is not an expeditious use of those members' time, our time or the time of the House. It is very important. Canadians have listened to this. To Canadians who are listening to this debate, I would encourage them to understand the principles behind what it is that we are passing.

There have been 100 days of discussion and debate on this. I think it is time to move on.

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 June 10th, 2013


That, in relation to Bill S-17, An Act to implement conventions, protocols, agreements and a supplementary convention, concluded between Canada and Namibia, Serbia, Poland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland, for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the second reading stage of the Bill; and that, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Taxation June 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the member for Fundy Royal has it exactly right. It was on June 26 in 2005 that we reached Tax Freedom Day, but since then, our government has reduced over 150 different taxes. We have lowered the GST. We reduced personal taxes. We reduced business taxes. We introduced the tax-free savings account. In fact, now Tax Freedom Day is over two weeks earlier than under the former Liberal government.

Another interesting fact is that Canadians, because of our tax reductions, have $3,200 more, every year, of their own money in their pockets.

The Economy June 7th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, because we have remained focused on the economy, 95,000 Canadians are working today who were not working a month ago. That is very important.

That brings us to a total, since the depth of the recession, of one million more Canadians working. That is what matters to Canadians. That is indeed the best job growth record in the G7 and, for Canada, it is the second best growth in jobs for any month in recorded history.