Kevin SORENSON

SORENSON, The Hon. Kevin, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
Battle River--Crowfoot (Alberta)
Birth Date
November 3, 1958
Website
http://kevinsorenson.ca
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=eb53bf99-e3d5-44b9-a15e-6c295470cdd4&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
kevin.sorenson@parl.gc.ca
Profession
businessman, farmer

Parliamentary Career

November 27, 2000 - December 22, 2003
CA
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
December 23, 2003 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
  • Minister of State (Finance) (July 15, 2013 - November 3, 2015)
May 2, 2011 -
CPC
  Crowfoot (Alberta)
  • Minister of State (Finance) (July 15, 2013 - November 3, 2015)
October 19, 2015 -
CPC
  Battle River--Crowfoot (Alberta)
  • Minister of State (Finance) (July 15, 2013 - November 3, 2015)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 308)


May 14, 2019

Hon. Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate what I said earlier. The Conservative government did all it could to lower taxes at a very difficult time globally. The world fell into a recession, and we immediately evaluated where we were as a country. Were we going to attract investment or were we not? We lowered taxes. That being said, we also very much understood that we needed to have a fair rate of taxation, and we expected people to abide by and honour the law and pay taxes that were due.

Speaking of the CRA, the Auditor General's report said:

In addition, we found that even though the Agency’s own policies allowed it, the Agency waived $17 million in interest and penalties, despite the fact that the taxpayers were identified as at risk for non-compliance and were undergoing an audit at the time they asked for relief.

Let us think about this. CRA knew that money should have been paid and decided to waive it. It would just blot it out and give tax relief. As with all the audits, the Auditor General made a series of recommendations to CRA that would prevent that.

Most Canadians have just finished filing their tax returns, and we are dependent on that revenue coming in for our social programs, such as health care, education and others. However, it is an issue, as the parliamentary secretary said earlier. If there was an easy way to do it, a magic wand that would bring back all the money that was owed, we would love to have it. There is not, but tax treaties like this give a bit of certainty or confidence to those who are investing abroad.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018
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May 14, 2019

Hon. Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Speaker, for sure the Madagascar tax treaty is a “fish and chips” kind of issue. I thank my colleague for her encouraging words and her compliment.

With respect to how we want to encourage investment in this country, we want all levels of government to recognize that we can tax anything to the extent that people will refuse to invest in it.

This is something the parliamentary secretary pointed out with regard to the New Democratic Party, and he was right. I do not agree with him all the time, but on some things I do. We can literally tax the corporate and business sectors so that they move across the border, and that does not suit us well.

The member brought up homes and real estate. Some people have a cottage and others buy a secondary home because their child is going to university and they want a home in the same city. Taxing them creates a disincentive, and it affects the markets. The member is right.

This is an issue that causes people to say no. They cannot and will not do it, because they do not want to give up everything they saved to get a house so that their child can live near their university, as they will perhaps get walloped by two levels of government. It is unfair.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018
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May 14, 2019

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

Madam Speaker, I am encouraged today that the NDP colleagues said that they would be supporting this legislation. Most parties in this House will be supporting it. We are getting quite used to seeing the New Democratic Party, in this Parliament and the last, oppose trade agreements. It is good to see that it understands the importance of tax treaties.

In the Conservative Party, we believe that if we are going to have a strong economy, we need to have good trade relationships around the world, fair trade relationships. We need to have tax treaties that provide confidence to investors in whichever country they may be investing, foreign investors here and our investors there. That is important.

Also, on the training side, Conservatives believe that for a strong economy we need to have innovation and trade here. Does the member have any suggestions? The tax treaty we are signing is very similar to a tax model put out by the OECD. What are the important parts of a treaty that would make him agree with me that these types of tax treaties that encourage investment are vital to our local national economy?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018
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May 14, 2019

Hon. Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Speaker, I am going to look back on that statement in my retirement and say that the leader of the Green Party appreciated my speech. I had better look at the script again to make sure I did not veer off from what I believe. I appreciate it, and I thank her. As she knows, we have a very good working relationship, which is what I try to have with all members of all political parties here in the House. It is vital.

She mentioned our late, much-loved Auditor General, Michael Ferguson, and his report. This goes back to 2013 as well, but in his last report he laid out recommendations to help increase the amounts of money the CRA would be able to collect.

I remain skeptical about whether the CRA will in fact implement the recommendations of the late Auditor General, but I can tell members that we have a public accounts committee that will hold the CRA and every department to account. It is an all-party, non-partisan committee. I chair it. We work very hard to be non-partisan, because it is in the best interests of Canadians, Parliament and all parties that the departments deliver what is expected and required in an accountable and transparent way, without wasting a lot of money. Therefore, we will hold the CRA to account.

With respect to the CRA's action plan, we will make sure it enforces or implements the recommendations that the late Auditor General and we as a committee made, and that it abides by the timelines and responsibilities it has agreed to. If it does not, although we may be non-partisan and collegial, we will not be quite so collegial when we invite CRA representatives back the next time. It is never a good time when departments get called back because they have not lived up to their action plans.

I am skeptical, but I expect the CRA will try. Every deputy I have met wants to deliver on the late Auditor General's recommendations. Therefore, I am hopeful the CRA will implement those recommendations, as well as the recommendations from the public accounts committee.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–Madagascar Tax Convention Implementation Act, 2018
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May 8, 2019

Hon. Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Speaker, I apologize.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Tourism
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