IN THE HOUSE – ‘Will the minister justify why he is attacking Paula’s future’

MP Cathy McLeod speaks in the House.

Excerpts from debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Sept. 19 on the Liberal government’s tax reform proposals:

Gérard Deltell, Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, in real life, for real entrepreneurs, real local business owners, there are good years and bad years. That is why real entrepreneurs who know how to run a business put money aside in case things go wrong, as they sometimes do. They also put money into their pension fund. Now, however, we have a government that does not understand that entrepreneurs are cautious, realistic, and responsible, unlike the current government.

Why does the government want to tax small business owners who are being responsible and putting money aside for a rainy day?

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we all know that our current system creates an incentive for the wealthiest Canadians to incorporate so they can pay less tax than middle-class Canadians. That is very important. We also know that it is important for SMEs to be able to keep investing in their business. This is going to continue. That is a fact. That is the truth. That is what we want for the future of our country.

Rachael Harder, Lethbridge, AB (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, I am hearing from hundreds of people in my constituency who are very concerned with these tax hikes the Liberals are imposing on Canadians. One woman who came to me owns a local clothing store and said that she was saving up in order to hire a business manager and go on maternity leave. She is hoping to start a family. However, these changes actually defeat her ability to do that, so she is feeling quite discouraged.

The Prime Minister calls himself a feminist, so why does he insist on attacking hard-working female entrepreneurs?

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we inherited a tax system from the Conservatives that encourages wealthier Canadians to incorporate and pay lower tax rates than middle-class Canadians. We do not think that is fair and we are going to fix it.

Parental leave benefits apply to all self-employed Canadians. Doctors and other business owners are just as eligible as any other worker to participate in maternity and paternity provisions. Just because rules are legal does not mean they are fair. It is not fair when a budding entrepreneur, who is a single mother with two young children, has to pay a higher tax rate.

The Speaker Geoff Regan

Order, please. Members need to not only listen to the questions but also the answers.

The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Cathy McLeod, Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, Paula, a small business owner in Kamloops, has asked me to give an unequivocal message to the government, which is that these tax measures are ill-conceived, heavy-handed, and will have unintended consequences. She goes on to say she has no guaranteed income, no pension, no employment insurance, no health plans, unlike perhaps some of the advantages that the Minister of Finance might enjoy.

Will the minister stand and justify why he is attacking Paula’s future?

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, our existing tax rules let the wealthiest Canadians pay less taxes than millions of middle-class Canadian women and men. We inherited a tax system from the Conservatives that encourages wealthier Canadians to incorporate and pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. Just because these rules are legal does not make them fair.

Everything this government does takes gender into account. Canada’s economy depends on equity and fairness. We are focused on ensuring that Canadian women have the same opportunities as everyone else. Our economy depends on it.

Pierre Poilievre, Carleton, ON (Conservative)

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Finance announced that his deficit would be 80% larger than the $10 billion the Liberals promised in the last election. They are running out of money and coming after small business to pay for it.

The Liberals have exempted big, publicly traded companies that are on the stock market from any of the tax increases. Millionaire owners of large multinationals will pay just 55%, while a cornerstore will pay 73% on investment income. How is that fair?

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the context of the question. What the member has actually identified is that we announced this morning, in our annual financial report, that we are $11 billion better off than we said we would do in budget 2016.

We have a situation where our economy is doing very well. We are growing better than we have grown in the last decade. We have created almost 400,000 new jobs over the last year. More Canadians are employed. We are looking toward a better future because of the investments we have made in our economy.


About Mel Rothenburger (7618 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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