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View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
I honestly find the two topics very interesting and relevant.
If the motion before us deals with the report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance—one of its authors appeared during our pre-budget consultations—it would be worth the committee's attention.
However—and I'm no expert on procedure—I find Pierre Poilievre's suggestion very interesting, and I would prefer that we start with that issue. You'll understand, however, that I'm waiting to see how Mr. Poilievre will formulate his proposal. Furthermore, the reasons for my support are diametrically opposed to his.
Indeed, I believe in government support for businesses when the money is well-spent and when the assistance is well-targeted. Let's take the example of Bombardier: this assistance has supported jobs, and the government has made a lot of money from the equity investment in the company. If the committee is able to establish that, it may silence the members, Conservative and otherwise, who are rising in the House to criticize the assistance to Bombardier. Indeed, this kind of assistance is a tool that is used by the government, but it has a bad reputation because it isn't accompanied by sufficiently transparent accountability. If the committee can finally look into this issue, we will be able to get to the bottom of it.
In the words of Mr. Poilievre, does the dollar taken from the pockets of SMEs and other businesses as a subsidy generate more wealth and value than a simple tax cut? My hypothesis is that it may indeed do so if the subsidy is well-used. However, the committee will have to look at this issue to answer it. Similarly, if this money is used to give gifts to friendly companies, it is important to shed light on this possibility, which is one of the committee's responsibilities.
Mr. Chair, I don't yet know enough about the procedures surrounding the selection of the committee's future business. However, I will vote in favour of starting with the study on support for business. If we could decide today to study the report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance at a later date—between government bills, budgets and other topics—I would agree.
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