Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Cariboo—Prince George, and what a debate it will be. After all, the cat is out of the bag.
Earlier today, I asked the finance minister if he would rule out bringing back his small business tax increases. Members will remember them, the ones he ruled out in the summer of 2017, after the Prime Minister had said that small businesses are typically just wealthy tax cheats. The minister went out and tried to impose tax increases that would cost 73% on the dollar for every small business investment, and then he increased taxes on income and work shared among members of a family business.
We remember when the Liberals tried to double the tax paid when a parent sells a business to a child. We remember when they put forward a proposal that would allow foreign multinationals to pay half the tax if they bought a Canadian family business, and then the kids of that family business would pay. We remember how our farmers feared that this would mean that within a generation we would have nothing but foreign-owned farms where farm kids would be turned into tenants to foreign landlords on their own ancestral lands. That was the shock and dismay that Canadian entrepreneurs felt when the finance minister struck out and attacked them in the summer of 2017.
Then Canadians fought back. Local chambers of commerce, shopkeepers, pizza shop owners, plumbers, farmers, people who had never met all locked arms and said that was enough. For far too long, the government had been picking their pockets and they just quietly went on their way, showing the typical Canadian culture of deference.
However, when this tax increase struck, it went too far, and entrepreneurs decided that they were going to unite and defeat these tax changes. They were only partially successful. The minister then agreed to put some of the most egregious parts of his original proposal on hold. There was a great sigh of relief, but I think people were under a misconception that the government had backed down. In fact, headlines screamed out that the finance minister had backed down from small business tax changes.
The truth is that he never backed down. He simply put those changes on hold, leaving open the possibility that they might one day come back. He never once admitted that the proposals were flawed or wrong. He simply said they were politically impossible so close to an election. He made the pragmatic calculation to put them on hold. On hold until when, one might ask. The answer is quite simple: until after the election, when the Liberals no longer need voters but still need their money.
Of course, the Liberals are running out of other people's money. The deficit is $20 billion. The budget has not balanced itself. In fact, the deficit is growing year after year, and the government needs a way to pay for its insatiable spending habit. What Liberals hope now is that Canadians will not ask them how they will pay for it until after the election is over, when voters cannot do anything about it because it will be four more years until the subsequent election—
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Business of Supply