Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2017-02-23 10:04 [p.9245]
Pursuant to section 38 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, I have the honour to lay upon the table the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner's case report in the matter of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.
This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Scott Brison Profile
2017-02-23 10:07 [p.9245]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table a document on behalf of the Minister of Finance, in both official languages, entitled “Report on Federal Tax Expenditures”.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2017-02-23 10:07 [p.9245]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2017-02-23 10:07 [p.9245]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-240, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit — first aid). The committee has studied the bill and recommends that the House of Commons not proceed further with this bill.
View Rona Ambrose Profile
CPC (AB)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-337, An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code (sexual assault).
She said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House to introduce a bill to address the need to build more confidence in our judicial system when it comes to the handling of cases involving sexual assault and sexual violence. Too often, those involved in these cases come away with the feeling they have experienced not just a judgment on their case but a judgment on their character.
I believe we must address this situation by starting with the people responsible for overseeing Canada's justice system.
There is a definite lack of transparency in the federal justice system with respect to how and how often judges get training and education around handling cases that involve sexual violence.
This is about making our legal system fairer for everyone involved in these difficult cases. I hope my colleagues from all parties will take the time to consider the steps we propose here and support my legislation, the judicial accountability through sexual assault law training act or, what we like to call it, the just act.
View Gordon Brown Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the Member for Carleton, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, March 7th, 2017, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2017-02-23 10:10 [p.9246]
Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, income splitting is a basic tax fairness measure because it ensures that families making the same income pay the same rate of tax and the same amount of tax. That is why I am pleased to table a petition today signed by people from my constituency calling for the reinstatement of the family tax credit, which was, unfortunately, cancelled by the government when it took office.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-02-23 10:11 [p.9246]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to rise this morning to present two petitions.
The first addresses the crisis of homelessness. It is from constituents within Saanich—Gulf Islands, who are asking the House to consider the national homelessness strategy as proposed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as a model for dealing nationally with homelessness.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-02-23 10:12 [p.9246]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition, again from residents within my constituency but also a goodly number from Ontario, is calling for action to protect Canada's pollinators by banning, as other jurisdictions have done, the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by residents of the metropolitan region, including the riding of Mount Royal, who are asking for something pretty far-fetched: they want the percentage of seats occupied by parties in the House to reflect and represent the percentage of votes those parties obtain in an election.
I am pleased to join them in asking this of Canada's Parliament.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2017-02-23 10:12 [p.9246]
Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2017-02-23 10:12 [p.9246]
Is that agreed?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2017-02-23 10:14 [p.9246]
moved:
That, given: (a) the Liberal election platform states that “government and its information should be open by default” and “data paid for by Canadians belongs to Canadians”; (b) the Department of Finance has indicated that a federally-mandated carbon tax will cause higher prices to “cascade through the economy in the form of higher prices”; (c) such regressive taxes cause low-income people to bear a larger burden as heat, gas, and groceries form a larger portion of their family budgets; and (d) the Department of Finance has produced numerous calculations of the impact of these taxes on low and middle-income families, and their effect on the gap between rich and poor; an Order of the House do issue for a copy of the Department of Finance’s documents titled “Impact of a carbon price on households' consumption costs across the income distribution” and “Estimating economic impacts from various mitigation options for greenhouse gas emissions,” and any other documents that calculate the cost of carbon taxes on Canadian workers, businesses, and families.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Brantford—Brant.
This week we learned the story of an Ottawa-area senior who said he could no longer afford to heat his home or fuel his car, so he is giving up both. Rick Russell even put up a sign on his house declaring, “Another senior loses home due to high energy costs”, telling reporters he can only afford a home without heat or heat without a home.
He is not alone. Disabled grandmother Kathy Katula broke down into tears at the Prime Minister's recent town hall meeting, demanding to know how she would pay his new carbon tax on her home heating when she is already struggling with $1,000 a month electricity bills imposed by the provincial Liberal Government of Ontario. The Prime Minister gave her a warm hug, but unfortunately not warm enough to heat her home.
These are not isolated cases. The 2016 Ontario Association of Food Banks report entitled, “Hunger Report” said, “Since 2006, hydro rates have increased at a rate of 3.5 times inflation for peak hours, and at a rate of 8 times inflation for off-peak hours.”
Sixty thousand Ontarians have had their electricity cut off for failing to pay their bills, the report noted, adding that many food bank clients struggle with electricity bills of $300 to $700 a month. The food banks themselves say they are struggling to afford the electricity for their massive refrigerator systems.
Ron Dunn, executive director of Windsor's Downtown Mission, has had people come to him and plead, “If you can help me with food, then I can pay for some of this hydro bill before it gets cut off.”
These increases are the direct result of the Liberal Green Energy Act, which forces consumers to subsidize millionaire turbine and solar investors who sell overpriced, unneeded, and unreliable electricity to the government. While millionaires have prospered, Ontario has the worst poverty record of any province in Canada since the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals took power.
Between 2003 and 2014, the poverty rate dropped by one third in British Columbia, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, and Quebec. It did not budge in Ontario.
Over the same time period, Ontario had the largest increase in the percentage of the population earning less than half the median income. It also has the worst record for middle-income growth across the country. Ontario's auditor general calculated that the government subsidies of wind and solar power companies will cost consumers like Kathy and Rick $170 billion, making the Ontario Liberal Green Energy Act likely the single-largest wealth transfer from the poor and middle class to the super rich in Canadian history.
The national carbon tax will do to gas, groceries, and heating costs exactly what the Green Energy Act has done to electricity. A Statistics Canada official recently testified at the House of Commons human resources committee that increases in fuel, food, and other basic necessities necessarily increased the number of people living below the poverty line.
Even carbon tax supporter Nicholas Rivers admitted that the tax will raise the price of gasoline by 11 cents a litre, electricity by another 10%, and natural gas by over 15%.
Annually, it will cost $1,028 per person, or $4,100 per family of four, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
This month, the Fraser Institute released proof that British Columbia, which has the least damaging carbon tax in the country, will still take a $870-million net tax increase from British Columbian taxpayers. That is to say, the average family of four in British Columbia will pay $728 more in carbon taxes than they get back in offsetting tax relief. That is the least damaging carbon tax in the country.
We know that the burdens of these taxes fall disproportionately on the backs of those with the least, for a number of reasons. First, we know that Stats Canada data shows that poor households spend roughly one-third more of household income on the basic necessities that will be taxed, like gas, groceries, and heat. While wealthy households still buy these goods, they constitute a much smaller share of a wealthy household's income. Therefore, the percentage tax increase is actually higher on those who are poor, which is the very definition of a regressive tax.
Second, the carbon tax will generate billions of dollars in new revenue for the government, but who will get that money? It is those who can afford to lobby for grants, rebates, and corporate welfare under the guise, of course, of saving the environment. I turn to the rebate that people can now receive if they can afford to buy a $150,000 Tesla car. I guess Rick Russell has now had to give up his truck, but if he wants to get back any of the money he is paying in the carbon tax, he will have to find $150,000 to buy one of these fancy Teslas or Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles, and then he can get $15,000 back. In reality, those wealthy enough to lobby for these rebates will get all the money back, as is so often the case with the theory of trickle-down government. Those at the top end up with the most.
That is why I filed an access to information request to find out how much poor and middle-class taxpayers will pay under the new Liberal carbon tax. I asked for the government to provide documents such as briefing notes, analyses, projections, and emails regarding the impact of a $50-a-tonne price on carbon or a carbon tax on the Canadian economy and include any analysis on the price of carbon on the impact on the consumer price index, median incomes, low-income household incomes, the poverty rate, the employment rate, and the unemployment rate.
The response was ominous. Imposing a carbon tax will lead to costs that will “cascade through the economy” said the finance department document, referring to two tables that would tell how much households would pay, but those tables are blacked out. These tables would break down the costs of the carbon tax by income quintile for the very poor, the poor, the middle class, the upper income, and the rich. The government says it wants to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Should it not then jump at the opportunity to release data on the tax's impact on income inequality, unless it has something to hide?
Could it be that, after running an entire election campaign on the supposed promise of taking more from the rich so that it could give back to the poor, the government is doing precisely the opposite and, worse, trying to cover it up? The most basic principle of parliamentary democracy is that people must consent for the taxes that they pay, through the assembled Parliament.
The Bill of Rights of 1689, which established the parliamentary system that we know today, through the mother Parliament in Britain, had as one of its basic principles what would become no taxation without representation. “Levying money for or to the use of the Crown...without grant of Parliament...is illegal.” Simply put, government cannot tax what Parliament has not approved, but we cannot approve what we do not know, and therefore, there cannot be taxation without information.
This motion calls for the immediate release of that information. These may seem like abstract concepts, but they are real to people like Kathy Katula, Rick Russell, and others who have no money to influence government or pull its levers, two people seeking no program or wealth but merely asking for government to get off their backs and out of their pockets. They pay the bills. They have the right to see those bills. This motion would give them the chance. Anyone voting against the motion would take that right away from them.
I ask the House to vote for this motion, to bring the light of day. To pass this motion in the House of Commons is to stand for our duty to represent the common people here in the house of the commoners.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2017-02-23 10:24 [p.9248]
Mr. Speaker, if there is any policy issue for which the Conservatives can clearly demonstrate they have lost touch with Canadians, this has to be it. Even Patrick Brown, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario, has recognized that we need to have a price on carbon. Provincial governments across Canada, with one exception, and governments around the world have recognized the need for a price on carbon. Only the Conservative Party of Canada inside the House of Commons has lost touch with reality on this issue.
My question to the member is this. Why does he believe that the Conservative Party is the only party in North America, it seems, that tends to want to say no to a price on carbon? Do its members not care about the environment? Why will they not listen to what Canadians have to say on the importance of the environment?
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