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

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate that recognition. It is an easy mistake to make because I did fill that role, a role that is covered very ably by our colleague from Saint Boniface, who has handled this file very well.

There are five full days of debate within the House of Commons. Once it moves from this place, it then goes to multiple committees. We are still working on which committees it should go to. That provides an incredible number of hours to debate it.

Rather than standing up and asking process questions, the hon. member had lots of time to ask me a specific question about something that was in the first budget implementation act 1. She chose not to.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, with respect to tax havens—or aggressive tax planning, as it is referred to by accountants in a more equitable fashion—we need to make sure that taxes are levied fairly across all Canadians. That is our fundamental principle. Honest, hard-working Canadians pay their taxes, and there should not be those who are able to avoid that, whether internationally through holding companies or whatever it may be. Those are challenges that the Canada Revenue Agency is dealing with. It has had a tremendous success rate using our double taxation agreements with many countries, and we continue to add to that list of countries. The foreign investment promotion protection agreements help us on that as well.

There are items in this budget that will help us crack down on tax avoiders.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I think I understood what the hon. member was getting at, which is the first-time donor's credit.

The hon. member will have heard many witnesses come before the finance committee during its study of charitable giving. He would have heard the challenges of many of the associations that pleaded for more support. The not-for-profit and charitable organizations in this country are feeling the same pinch that many of the companies are. Therefore, we felt this was an appropriate way.

Many young Canadians want to start giving, so this is an opportunity to leverage their charitable giving, which I think is an honourable goal.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I thought we put the issue of zombies to bed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, in answering a question one day, actually did put that fear to bed, so I am glad that is not going to happen.

There are a number of items that I would suggest are very urgent. We consulted broadly with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. It thanked us, first of all, for making the gas tax rebate to municipalities permanent. Then it thanked us for the legislation that we put in place so that municipalities could legally put it in their budgets. However, it did say to us that their costs continue to go up with inflation and asked if there was any way they could have that gas tax fund indexed. We went through it and did the number crunching, and it is feasible. We understand the challenges that municipalities are facing, so we indexed the gas tax fund.

We need to get this legislation through so the municipalities have confirmation that they can continue with their infrastructure projects.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for pointing that out. I knew the House leader for the official opposition was probably referring to another minister from that time who sits on the front bench.

However, it does give me an opportunity to remind hon. members that we are being encouraged to get this done as soon as possible. If I have the opportunity, I will go through a litany of supportive quotes from different associations, different industries and businesses across the country.

In fact, just last evening I met an individual who is on the board of Genome Canada. I was not even aware that he was on the board. He thanked us for the contribution to Genome Canada and highlighted some of the incredible work that it has done. He said the sooner we can get that money flowing, the sooner it can get this science to work. His main theme was in the agricultural sector. There have been incredible breakthroughs through Genome Canada, and we need to get this money out as soon as we can to get it working on that.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question provides me with the opportunity to remind him and other hon. members that this legislation, should it be approved, will go to multiple committees after second reading, where it will be studied and witnesses will come forward and speak to the pieces of legislation that need updating.

Our fundamental role as government is to move forward with the plan that we put forward following the recession, a plan that I would argue has been very successful, especially when it is benchmarked against other countries, many of them in recession. Eight of the seventeen large economies in the European Union are in recession while Canada continues to grow. We continue to grow because we have kept the plan for jobs and growth and the long-term prosperity of this country.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to my hon. colleague from Wascana that the budget was actually tabled in the House almost 50 days ago. There has been ample discussion in question period about some of the items referred to in the budget. There have been answers to clarify many of those questions, and we know that this place always gives good answers to good questions.

I am not sure which Liberal finance minister's budget it was in 2001, but I would remind that hon. member that in 2001 there was a slightly larger bill than the present budget implementation bill and closure was forced on that. Members had three days in the House of Commons to debate that bill. There was no option for it to go to more committees than just one.

I would suggest that through transparency we are providing more opportunities for politicians to debate the budget implementation bill and more opportunities for witnesses to state their concerns or their support for what is in the budget.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 May 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my hon. colleague across the way, but there are a lot of inaccuracies in some of the comments that he made.

This is a very important piece of legislation. This is the blueprint of our government's mandate moving forward, our plan to continue to create jobs, help businesses continue to create jobs, help grow the economy and help the long-term prosperity of this country. We think it is very important that we move this along.

However, the most important factual error that I need to point out is that we are providing five full days of debate before the bill ever goes to committee. As we all know, this is the primary phase, wherein the bill is discussed in the House of Commons and then moves to committee.

We felt that five days was more than adequate. We will then move the bill to committee and, once again, to make sure that we have more than adequate time to debate all of the clauses, the bill will go to more than just the finance committee this year.

Ways and Means April 30th, 2013

moved that a ways and means motion to amend the Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the Excise Tax Act, be concurred in.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act April 29th, 2013

for the Minister of Finance moved for leave to introduce Bill C-60, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 21, 2013 and other measures

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)