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FINA Committee Meeting

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Meeting No. 19
Monday, January 28, 2008

The Standing Committee on Finance met at 3:34 p.m. this day, in Room 208, West Block, the Chair, Rob Merrifield, presiding.


Members of the Committee present: Paul Crête, Dean Del Mastro, Rick Dykstra, Hon. John McCallum, Hon. John McKay, Ted Menzies, Rob Merrifield, Thomas J. Mulcair, Massimo Pacetti, Hon. Garth Turner and Mike Wallace.


Acting Members present: Ed Fast for Rick Dykstra and Jean-Yves Laforest for Thierry St-Cyr.


In attendance: Library of Parliament: June Dewetering, Principal Analyst; Alexandre Laurin, Analyst.

The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.

Paul Crête moved, — That the Committee recommend to the government, in view of the serious crisis in the forestry and manufacturing sectors, that it implement without delay an improved assistance plan for the forestry and manufacturing sectors, including $500 million to restore Technology Partnerships Canada; $1.5 billion in reimbursable contributions to allow companies to purchase new equipment; a $1 billion diversification fund for the forestry industry, to be administered by Quebec and the provinces and allocated among them based according to the size of their forestry industry; $1.5 billion in support measures for workers affected by the crisis, including $60 million for an income support program for senior workers and a $1.44 billion reserve for the employment insurance fund to be placed in a special fund until an independent fund is created; and that the adoption of this motion be reported to the House at the earliest opportunity.


The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 2.


Garth Turner moved, — That this committee as soon as possible launch an inquiry into the unproven allegation by the Finance Minister that income trusts result in a loss of tax revenue to Ottawa, in light of reports that 70% of all recent trust purchasers are tax-exempt, while individual Canadian investors lost tens of billions of dollars, and therefore pay less tax, as a result of the government trust decision.


The question was put on the motion and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 6.


Garth Turner moved, — That this committee investigate, and hold hearings into, the recent Cabinet decision to issue a remission order canceling the obligation of certain former employees of SDL Optical to pay tax related to stock options, to ascertain whether this order contravenes the Canadian Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Witnesses to include, but not be limited to, the Minister of National Revenue, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Natural Resources.


By unanimous consent, the motion was allowed to stand.

Pursuant to Standing Order 83.1, the Committee resumed its pre-budget consultations.

At 4:11 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:13 p.m., the sitting resumed.


At 4:24 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.


Jean-François Pagé
Clerk of the Committee

2008/02/01 9:06 a.m.