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Results: 1 - 60 of 3594
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Just for clarity, Mr. McGowan, I want to go back to a question that one of my Liberal colleagues asked you earlier in this area. You said that the current plan and the message to the small business owners is that Bill C-208 will be in effect, unaltered, until November 1. Can you confirm that any small business transfers to family members that take place between today, or even June 30, and November 1 will not be subject to retroactive application of any further amendments?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
I guess my question was to do with any amendments, but a new bill coming forward.... We don't have one now, because it's law, but could a new bill coming forward by the government be retroactive?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
The government was supposed to be, as the press release said yesterday, clarifying. That was the title put on it, that the government “clarifies taxation for intergenerational transfers of small business shares”, yet we have this confusion. There's a contradiction. Obviously, a correction was tried, because the government thought on June 30 that it could go retroactive and make amendments to do it. Now it's saying it can't—or won't. I think there's a big difference between “can't” and “won't”.
If you bring in a new bill, obviously it could go back retroactively, even if the press release is.... Press releases aren't law. I guess all I'm asking you is whether we can get clarification on that.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
I think therein lies the point of order. She said it's not their “intention”, not that they won't. I mean, it's still ambiguous.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you. I'm not sure that clarified it.
Mr. Chair, I'd like to ask if the people in the Department of Finance know whether the Justice officials were consulted on the illegality of delaying the implementation of Bill C-208. I'm talking about consultation, not advice, because we went through that this morning.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
I guess I'm wondering, Mr. Chair, why it took almost 20 days for Finance to provide an updated release here. Was it because you so graciously called this committee meeting today? Was it, as was referred to earlier, a decision made by executive council or cabinet if not, as Mr. McGowan has already answered, that the minister was in charge and made that decision? Was it in fact the minister, or was it in fact executive council or cabinet?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In regard to Ms. Bendayan's comment, I just have to add that the reason Mr. Kelly was able to put out those kind comments was that the government was forced to appear before our committee today.
I want to thank you, Mr. Chair, for calling this meeting, because without it yesterday's press release just wouldn't have happened.
An hon. member: [Inaudible—Editor]
Mr. Larry Maguire: There's no use hiding the fact that the government recused its decision from June 30 in yesterday's press release. Mr. Kelly is quite right to say that they're pleased, but as Mr. Ste-Marie said, for 527 days the government fought this bill, and fought it hard, not only on its own—
If it was such a good bill, why didn't the government members vote for it in the House?
Nineteen of your colleagues, Mr. Chair, you included, got the fact that small businesses in your constituencies, in every constituency in Canada, are the predominant private sector employers in those constituencies.
I just want to reiterate that without the attention brought to this bill.... The government fought this all the way until yesterday, when it decided, well, this isn't very popular among small business people in Canada, so we'd better change our minds on this.
I have just a couple of quick questions, Mr. Chair. I know we still have a bit of time.
Mr. McGowan, before yesterday's press release was issued that stated the obvious, that the law is the law, were you consulted on the language in the updated release?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
It goes without saying, then, that if we hadn't put up this fuss, Finance wouldn't have sent out the updated press release. What specific date were you told that a new policy decision was going to be taken?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. McGowan just said you were informed.
Anyway, having said that, obviously you were informed by the government that something was going to take place and that this reversal was going to take place. Did cabinet have to approve this new policy direction, or could it solely be made by the Minister of Finance?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
You know, I understand that the government doesn't like Bill C-208, but not a single amendment was put forward by the government through this whole process, and now we still don't have amendments. The government is talking about them here, but if there are amendments, why aren't we seeing them now, so that we can discuss them before a committee like today's?
Have you been asked to put forward amendments? You've had 20 years.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
What specific legal authority did Finance use to release and announce this tax policy change without providing amendments?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
I'm just asking what specific legal authority Finance used to issue the release and announce this tax policy change in a press release.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Clearly, there are no amendments forward to clarify for small businesses in Canada what the government's intentions are.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
There's nothing stopping them from discussing those amendments today, because we've had decades of discussion on this particular topic. It leads those in small business today to really—
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
I'll go back to my colleague Mr. Fast's comments. He called it the tax cheat issues. I'll be clear that the Prime Minister's very words were something to the effect that small businesses are just formed to allow for tax avoidance. I think that's a pretty clear message from the top leadership of the country as to what they think of small businesses. To come out in the release and say, oh, we're one of the most friendly governments ever to be in place for small businesses....
I've had chartered accountant firms tell me that this bill is probably the most significant change to help small businesses in the last 20 years. There's a great dichotomy of opinion here. I would ask why we still can't see some of the amendments or why we're not here today discussing some of the amendments. They've obviously been talked about, because the department put forward its case before the House and before the Senate, and both houses, both chambers of the parliamentary process, passed this bill.
I'll leave it at that, Mr. Chair. I don't know if there's an answer from the government or from the finance department as to why we're not seeing amendments today. I will ask this simple question: Has the government instructed the finance department to come up with any amendments yet?
That was my final question, Mr. Chair.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to thank you for the calling of this meeting and our witnesses for being here today.
Mr. Dufresne, in the case of June 30, 2021, when Finance announced the suspension of Bill C-208, what legal authority did the department use to announce this tax policy change?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Certainly, we have to agree that only Parliament can decide whether to give that legal effect to a proposal by government for tax measures to apply retroactively. That's correct; I think you've already stated that.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Now that they've recused the statement from June 30 by yesterday's press release, let's say in a hypothetical situation they hadn't gone forward with yesterday's case, and they stuck to their original press release and unfairly delayed the implementation of Bill C-208 until January 1 coming up. What recourse could Parliament take against the department?
I mean, this is contempt of Parliament, similar to what the government has done by suing the Speaker. What if it were to happen again? What are Parliament's options here in regard to taking action against the department? The department put out the press release.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
What happens if the government provisionally collects a tax that ultimately never becomes law due to Parliament amending the bill or the bill never passing?
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
Well, thank you very much. I want to thank Mr. Boudria and Mr. Milliken for their clarity today as well.
I want to ask a question of Ms. Robinson and Ms. Bissonnette. In the Department of Finance press release that was put out yesterday—after 527 days, as my colleague from the Bloc said, of fighting this bill, and 20 days to have said why, if it were such a good bill, they didn't vote for it in the House—the caption reads “clarifies taxation for intergenerational transfers of small businesses”. The Deputy Prime Minister is acknowledging that it's law. Everybody knew that except their own caucus. I think it's nothing new to say that.
However, there's still doubt here. I've already had phone calls on that. They're saying, “Well, we know it's law now”, but the release also has that “forthcoming amendments are intended to make sure that it facilitates genuine intergenerational transfers and is not used for artificial tax planning purposes.” On the word “genuine”, I want to ask my colleagues in the agriculture field, because this applies to all small businesses. The government wanted to remove the other 97%, other than farming and fishing, from the bill in the Senate in that regard. The use of the word “genuine” leads me to believe that the government doesn't believe that a lot of these transfers are genuine, and that it believes there may be some hidden agenda behind them. So does “not used for artificial tax planning purposes”, when the government knows full well that CRA can audit anyone at any time.
The questionable part of this whole thing about introducing amendments and introducing the bill is that it also states that these would apply as of the later of November 1 this fall or the date of publication of the final draft of the legislation. My question to you is, do you think this will ever happen? The later could be another two decades away, or six years or four years. I see this as a very open-ended opportunity for the government to continue what it's done for the last six years, which is nothing in this regard.
I think the four points in this statement it put out yesterday also lead to a great deal of misunderstanding—by the government in this particular case, not the finance department—about how these businesses are the same as any other small businesses, that farming and fishing are the same as any other small business. They're talking about the stripping of wealth in these small businesses, but they're only referring to that if it's a family farm or a family business, not one that's sold to a complete stranger. These things are very concerning to me, as a former farmer and farm leader in western Canada, or in all of Canada, for that matter.
I just wonder if you could comment on those points.
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:36
Mr. Chair, Mrs. Jansen will be going first.
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:44
Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Minister, for coming to the committee today. It's good to see you here.
I'll get right into it. Can you tell this committee how many dollars are lost each year to overseas tax evasion?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:45
Okay. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that annually we lose $25 billion in uncollected taxes due to overseas tax evasion.
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:46
Okay.
It says overseas. You should know better than I do.
Regardless, budget 2021 proposes to provide additional funding to the CRA to improve its ability to collect outstanding taxes, yet the budget document admits the investment will only lead to the collection of about $5 billion over the course of five years. That's a mere $1 billion per year compared with an annual $25 billion lost.
Minister, to me, recouping $1 billion for $25 billion lost is a failing grade. Your government is raising taxes on Canadians while failing to go after the taxes that are already owed. Why is that?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:47
That comment just isn't accurate, Minister. In fact, CRA has launched fewer and fewer audits of large corporations over the last several years. It's actually a 30% drop during your tenure as minister, and of some 30,000 audits of large companies conducted since 2015, less than 20 of them were sent to the CRA's criminal investigation division. Half of those investigations have been abandoned, and a mere one case as been referred to prosecutors.
Is that really the best that this government can do?
View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2021-06-22 16:48
Mr. Chair, I actually have a couple more questions.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you so much, Chair.
I'd like to start out by commending Madame Oko for her strength and sharing the story about caring about her parents. I also looked after my parents when they were both sick many years ago and I know the toll it takes in trying to make sure that your parents have care that allows them to live in dignity. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Madame Majowski, thank you as well for your tremendous knowledge and work. My first question is to you.
For years, advocates in the disability community, including seniors, have advocated for better supports for disabled persons so that they can live with dignity. Unfortunately, in my opinion, I don't think the rights of disabled persons were a priority for this government or previous governments before the pandemic or during the pandemic.
Today, the day before the House rises and we're adjourning for summer—we have a potential election in the fall—finally this government introduced legislation to create a Canada disability benefit, known as Bill C-35, something that I hope sees the light of day, but I'm not very hopeful. To me, this piece of legislation should have been a top priority if we look at some of the statistics that we've witnessed during the pandemic.
I'm wondering if you can speak about how both persons with disabilities and disabled seniors in particular have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Going back to the question of poverty, in 2012 Statistics Canada reported that 12.1% of older Canadians were living at a low income and that by 2016 the number had increased to 14.5%. That goes to your point that we're not taking better care of our seniors; in fact, they're going into deeper levels of poverty. On top of that, the pandemic also revealed the extent to which Canada forces seniors into vulnerable and unlivable conditions.
I present this question to both of you. It's just a question. I put forward a motion for a guaranteed livable basic income. How do you think this would benefit seniors?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, witnesses, for your testimony. I found it very heartfelt, and we could tell that pursuing better and dignified care that is compassionate and considerate for those in long-term care is very personal to you and a passion of yours.
Obviously this year we've seen that there is an incredible need. It really feels as though it's lifted the veil for Canadians to see how [Technical difficulty—Editor] with home care, as you, Ms. Majowski, had touched on, as had Ms. Oko with regard to long-term care.
I have a question for each of you.
First, Ms. Oko, in some of the answers to other questions today you talked about isolation and the impact on your mother's health. We heard something similar in previous testimony as well. One witness told us that there is a measurable decline in physical and mental ability for seniors in long-term care after prolonged isolation.
Also, I really appreciate how you laid out your remarks. There were the three problems and the four solutions. That was excellent. For the purposes of my question, could you outline a little bit further how you saw grave impacts from that isolation and potential solutions to that?
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you for sharing that. I certainly took quite a few notes on your remarks and I will further reflect on the recommendations. I thought you made some very strong ones.
I'm sorry that you're dealing with this in your family. I can appreciate the polka music; my grandparents greatly liked polka music as well. Again, thank you for what you're doing for your mom. I wish everyone had advocates like you are for your mother.
Ms. Majowski, you touched on home care. I want to ask for your perspective on something I read recently by a man named André Picard, who has written extensively about long-term care. He is proposing that the Dutch model may be a solution to some of the issues that we're facing with home care.
Recently my grandfather passed away. We tried really hard to keep him at home, as was his request, so he wasn't isolated at a hospital or in long-term care. However, we saw so many different home care workers who would come in for 50 minutes and often engage in very intimate activity with cleaning or changing. It was very difficult for an individual who thus far, until this point, had been completely autonomous. I just think that the Dutch model, whereby they come in, sit down, have coffee with the resident, spend a couple of hours there, and get to know the community and the other residents, was an interesting idea. Seeing it first-hand, I would love your perspective on that.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
That's right.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you very much to both of you.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you so much, Chair.
My question is for Madam Oko.
Certainly the pandemic has shone a light on the glaring inequities and inequalities, and certainly targeted inequalities, in this country. I would say that seniors are one of the groups that have been targeted or ignored even prior to the pandemic. Had we ensured that seniors lived in dignity, we wouldn't have found ourselves in this situation in the first place. I think it relates to ageism and the idea that when you reach a certain age, you are no longer of value. They are the kinds of ideas that are associated with the concept of working—that when you are no longer working full time, you lose your value.
I was really touched by the story you were telling about caring for your mom. We've heard comments like “COVID-19 isn't too dangerous, because it's just impacting older people.” We heard a lot of shocking things like that.
Can you speak to how ageism played a role in the responses to COVID-19 and how it has impacted many of the seniors that you're talking about today?
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. It's nice to be here.
Hi, Doug.
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
For purposes of disclosure, Doug is actually a constituent of mine, but more than that he is a great jokester, and more than that he is a great Manitoban.
I first met Doug back when I was on Winnipeg City Council a few years ago and he came to present to the committee. I'd never heard of Men's Sheds, but since then I've visited Men's Sheds a number of times. This group does amazing work and really deserves the attention of this committee. In fact, I said to Doug that if my political career ever came to an abrupt or voluntary end, I may seek membership in the Men's Shed if they'll have me. We'll cross that bridge someday, I suppose.
Doug, I want to give you a chance to speak a little bit more about Men's Sheds so the committee gets an idea as to exactly what happens there. I know when I visited, men were carving canes out of tree branches and doing woodworking and working with glass and doing all kinds of arts and crafts and things like that. I wonder if you could describe it. I see you have an example of the woodwork right there.
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
I've seen it first-hand. It really is a great environment, particularly for men who are widowed or retired and alone, but even more when their situation is exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.
I'm just wondering if you have been able to have meetings virtually at all, or have they been...? How have you coped?
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
You established the first one right here in Winnipeg, correct?
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
Now, while I've got you, because my time is limited, I wanted to touch on this. I know you said that in other countries that have men's sheds—in Ireland, Australia, the U.K. and so forth—there are federal supports. What would Men's Sheds like to see from the federal government?
I know you've tried to apply for charitable status a number of times. I wonder if you could talk about that and the other kinds of supports that you think might be necessary from a federal perspective.
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
If I have time, Mr. Chair, I just have one quick last question. I think this is the most important question right now for Mr. Mackie. For anyone watching, how do they join Men's Sheds? How do they get involved?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you so much, Chair.
I'd like to welcome Mr. Mackie, a fellow Manitoban, to the committee today.
I have some questions for Madame Guerin on affordable and accessible social housing.
In my riding in Winnipeg Centre, many seniors are on the verge of being unsheltered—a real threat, a real reality—as a result of not being able to afford housing. Can you speak a bit more about the importance of affordable, accessible social housing as one of the most important social determinants of health?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
I really appreciate what you've shared, particularly about choice. I know we've had many witnesses come to committee who have talked about widening options so that seniors can choose if they want to be at home or in a long-term care facility. They have talked about opening things up so people actually have a choice. Having a choice is really important for people to maintain their dignity and independence, particularly as we age and particularly for women.
Speaking about women, we know that women, as they age, live at disproportionately higher levels of poverty than men. They are not eligible for pensions, for example. Their care work is often not paid.
How has poverty disproportionately impacted seniors during the pandemic?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
To follow up with that, one of the things I've been pushing for is a guaranteed livable basic income. Could you speak about the importance of ensuring that all seniors have a livable income?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Do you have anything to add on the importance of having a livable income?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you so much.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the witnesses for their testimony today.
My first question is for Mr. Mackie. Thank you for being here.
My understanding is that your organization provides—please correct me—support for senior men. You come together almost fraternity style, with friendship, support and similar interests, to help senior men cope with the issues that [Technical difficulty—Editor].
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Mackie, how would you say that your efforts to support men in your community with this program have been impacted by COVID? I know you outlined it a little bit, but have you felt that it's been quite detrimental? What have the impacts been?
It sounds like you gather in a group and socialize and have the camaraderie that I would imagine is quite important to that model of service delivery. How has that been impacted by the COVID measures, and how do you feel we can best move forward?
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
Oh, that's very innovative.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
You're passing on this sort of generational handyman knowledge from the senior men to the younger men and women.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
It's wonderful.
View Raquel Dancho Profile
CPC (MB)
I appreciate that. When I went off to university many years ago, the gift my father gave me as a parting gift was a tool box. I actually used it quite a bit. My grandfather had taught me many things when he was around, so I really appreciate the generational knowledge that you're also providing. I can imagine that there are many opportunities with the shed model to bring in younger and perhaps troubled men to have that knowledge and the transfer from senior men.
I want to thank you for what you're doing, and I hope that your organization can fully recover when we come out of this pandemic. Thank you, Mr. Mackie.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
My question is for Mr. Mackie.
You spoke a lot about the conditions of social isolation and the impacts of social isolation during the pandemic. How does your organization assist with combatting the social isolation of seniors?
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
One of the things we've discussed a lot in committee is the importance of technology, especially during the pandemic, when people can't meet in person. Would it be helpful to get support for participants so they can participate should they have, for example, issues with accessing the Internet or computers?
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