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Results: 1 - 15 of 133
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned seniors. He also mentioned how it was a promise made, promise kept. In actual fact, the Liberals have changed the eligibility. I have had many calls in regard to changing the age to 75. I understood from two of his colleagues that the reason the government did that was because it had limited finances and it wanted to be fiscally responsible.
Does the member understand how farcical those sorts of statements sound when so much money is being thrown around? The Liberals are trying to save money on the backs of seniors.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, the PBO has said that the provinces are not in any position to take on new permanent spending. Since they do not have the required 50% of the funds, it looks like this will be yet another failed Liberal program. How exactly does the member think the provinces will come up with the money?
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” That is a quote from the great Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield. It was published way back in 1850, but is just as prescient as ever 171 years later. It is this basic principle of the need to live within one's means that has stood the test of time, keeping people and countries out of the poorhouse century after century. However, with the pandemic, we have seen common sense flung out the window, baby, bathwater and all.
Under the guise of the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, we have seen the government wield the heavy hand of opportunistic change in this budget, adding 16 billion dollars' worth of new permanent spending while Canadians are too busy trying to keep food on their tables and clothes on their backs to fight back. In a finance committee dissenting report, the Conservative members stated:
Now is no time for risky experiments or fantastical utopias. Instead, we must do what has always worked: free enterprise. Only voluntary exchange of work for wages, investment for interest and product for payment allows free people “to do well by doing good”....
Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance has ignored the true value and dignity that work affords a person, and has thrown the dice on a plan to print as much money as she wants to spend, hoping that her assumptions of low interest rates and low inflation last forever. What about the assumption that interest rates will remain low for the long term? Has the finance minister run some what-if scenarios with her team to see how much could change if any one of her hunches fail? The Parliamentary Budget Officer has intimated that there is no wiggle room in the current budget for inflation or interest rates to rise without serious consequences. It looks like we got a budget full of unicorn dreams that is long on hope and short on reality.
What is the reality we are currently living in? I can say with full confidence that inflation has reared its ugly head at every hardware and grocery store across the country, hitting those who can least afford it the hardest. Not only has damage to the global supply chain kicked low inflation in the teeth, but Canadians find themselves short on cash for necessities every month. In the latest consumer debt index survey from MNP LTD, just over half of Canadians surveyed said they are, at most, $200 per month away from being unable to pay all of their monthly bills and debt obligations. That is an incredibly scary statistic when we know that the cost of meat and dairy is rising, along with that of gas and rent, at a very steady pace.
With the continued implementation of quantitative easing, the Bank of Canada, in concert with the government, has decided to print money as fast as the government spends it. It has been proven by our own finance department that we do not need the huge sums of dollars the Bank of Canada is pumping off its printing presses. Our economy has been functioning well, with mortgage business increasing by 20% over the previous year. No one has been hoarding their dollars, which can be seen by the 20% increase in cash available on the market. The suggestion that these measures were necessary because of the risk of deflation has also been proven to be completely false.
As the government continues to spend, supported by the complicit printing presses at the Bank of Canada, our dollar is being seriously devalued, and the hardest hit are those who can least afford it. For those who rent, the rent is going up. For those going to the grocery store, the grocery bill is going up. For those getting gas at the gas pump, the gas bill is going up.
At the finance committee, the Governor of the Bank of Canada was adamant that he is completely independent from the government and the finance minister's policy decisions. However, let us take a deeper dive into what that independence actually looks like.
Last year our deficit was $352 billion, and last year the Bank of Canada bought $302 billion of that debt. This year our deficit will be $154 billion, and lo and behold, the Bank of Canada will buy $156 billion of that debt. Is it a mere coincidence that these numbers look so eerily similar, or can we all just admit that the governor has no choice but to respond to the policy decisions of the finance minister?
At committee, the Conservatives put forward the following recommendation: “Restore the independence of the Bank of Canada to ensure it focuses solely on its mandate of targeting inflation to 2 per cent a year.” It is very deep within the report, but it is there, because we believe this is imperative for a strong economy.
As we see, inflation has risen above the 2% target, and the lockstep of government deficits and Bank of Canada debt purchases continues. It is clear that independence is not functioning as it should.
The business of creating dollars out of thin air that has been happening in our country simply debases the money that already exists. That is the money people have in their savings accounts. It is the money they got in last month's paycheques. It is the money they have been saving for down payments on their first homes. It now buys less than it did a year ago. The monetary policy this government is utilizing to cover its unhinged spending is costing Canadians big time. It is nothing but a tax by another name, and the poor middle class end up bearing the brunt of it.
The Liberal budget has been widely criticized by many economists for being more concerned with redistribution than with economic growth. The focus is not so much on earning the money, but on borrowing it, so much so that we will borrow more in the next six years than in the last 152 combined.
No new taxes were another recommendation that the Conservatives included in our dissenting report. The Financial Post recently reported that our finance minister has indicated her support for joining President Biden's plan for a global minimum corporate tax, urging all countries to do the same. As a matter of fact, she called the idea “a breakthrough moment”. She made it clear that global interests are a priority over the best economic and financial interests of Canada, our workers and our young people, who will inherit our debt and our social programs.
What about $10-a-day day care? It is the centrepiece of this budget. The path to getting every Canadian back to work, we hear, is making sure every woman can put her children in a government-run institution for a mere 10 bucks a day. The finance minister would have us believe that all the mothers out there have been dying for this one-size-fits-all solution.
As a matter of fact, what I hear from constituents is that they want choice. Some prefer to leave their preschool children with close family, perhaps with grandparents where they are able to share their cultural and moral values. Others might want to share child care responsibilities with their neighbours, giving them flexibility around their very complex schedules. A one-size-fits-all program just does not fit the needs of Canadian parents for flexibility and alternatives. Does this government really think that it knows better than a mother what sort of care would be in her child's interests?
Add to that the challenge of getting the provinces on board. The finance minister has made this promise with some big strings attached. Since she will only foot 50% of the bill, the provinces will have to cough up the rest. Right now they cannot afford it, according to our Parliamentary Budget Officer. From where I stand, it looks like a very empty promise meant only as part of an upcoming election platform. The Liberals have been pledging this for years, and reneging on it just as often.
When Liberals stand up in the House and talk about their record, I would urge Canadians to stop and think about how much their grocery bills have risen since the Liberals came to power, about how much it costs to fill their gas tanks at the pumps or how far away their dreams of owning their own homes have become. Under the Liberals' watch, everything has gone up in price.
As Conservatives, we know that there is nothing better for our country than having its young people aspire to new heights, develop new ideas, and work with their hands and their hearts to create new wealth and prosperity free from government overreach. It is our commitment to all Canadians to create opportunities for them to be the solution and the economic drivers of our recovery. It is Canadians' hard work and ingenuity that makes this country great, not the Liberal government. I am thankful for all that Canadians do for their communities.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the hon. member look at the numbers again that I mentioned in my speech. Our deficit last year was $352 billion, and $302 billion of debt was bought. This year, our deficit will be $154 billion and lo and behold, as I mentioned, the Bank of Canada will buy $156 billion of debt. It cannot be mere coincidence. These numbers look eerily similar and this is a massive problem. We need to get back to having the focus of the Bank of Canada be on the 2% inflation rate target that it had set for itself.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I did not quite hear the end of the question, but what we have mentioned as Conservatives over and over is the fact that obviously programs were absolutely necessary during the pandemic, but they needed to be targeted programs that actually helped those in need. We still do not have well-targeted programs, and many people are falling between the cracks. Look at the HASCAP: Very few people have taken that up and they are the most impacted in this pandemic. Again, it is about doing programs that actually work and are targeted.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate my answer from the previous question. It is very important that the programs instituted actually work, and that we are not spending more than we should be spending. We have seen many, many programs not work well, but I agree that we need to ensure that those with disabilities and seniors are well supported. Absolutely. As the member mentioned, they are not well targeted either.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more that choice is what parents are looking for in their day care. If we want to keep mothers working, it would be important to ensure they have choice and have day cares that are flexible, rather than very set, stringent nationally run government day care systems. We need to look at how we can ensure that women will be given choices that fit their complex schedules.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am a big fan of The Pioneer Woman, who blogs about life on the ranch in Oklahoma.
I was scrolling through my Instagram and I saw the gorgeous photos of her daughter's wedding, held last weekend, and the pictures of people dancing and having a great time. Then I wondered why no one was wearing a mask or self-distancing. It turns out that back in January, Oklahomans were vaccinated by the hundreds of thousands, and now have days where they have no new cases of COVID. Here in Canada, almost no one was being vaccinated, and now we are setting records for new cases.
While the U.S. focused on procuring vaccines from reputable pharmaceutical companies early on, our Prime Minister frittered away his time trying to make a deal with China.
Today, we see America opening and getting back to normal, but because of our government's mismanagement, we are seeing stricter lockdowns that are wreaking havoc on our mental health. Canada should have been a leader, not at the back of the line. There will be no weddings and gatherings for Canadians this spring and summer, and we can thank the Liberals for that.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, considering how poorly the Liberal government has managed the pandemic for Canadians, I am wondering why they should have any confidence that the government can manage the environment, something that is so much more complicated.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, Nature Energy just put out a study from the University of California that states roughly 20% of electric vehicle owners in California replaced their cars with gas ones, with the main reason being the length of time to charge.
Does the member recognize the serious problem of discontinuance due to the technological challenges we still face at this time?
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, as a farmer, I have been in the business of carbon sequestration all my life and it is pretty exciting to see what kind of things we can do. If we take a look at the greenhouse, we pump CO2 in there. We go from 400 parts per million to 1,000 parts per million and we get a 21% to 61% increase in crop yield. It is amazing.
I wonder if my colleague could talk about the Conservatives' plan to support and encourage individual Canadian innovators in finding new technologies that improve our environment.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Madam Speaker, if there is one group of Canadians that has been hard hit during the pandemic, it is small business owners, men and women who risked everything to build a dream, maybe a small boutique grocery store on main street, a specialty bakery featuring grandma's secret apple pie recipe, the butcher who was taught by his father how to make sausage like they did in the old country or a unique restaurant featuring a mix of Italian pasta and Lebanese kebabs. They all have one thing in common: They have all been holding on by a thread, trying to keep the business afloat long enough to make it to the other side of these restrictions.
Moms and dads work tirelessly besides sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, all leaning on each other to keep that dream alive. Even before COVID, these hard-working entrepreneurs laid it all on the line, hustling endless hours, with no sick leave, vacation pay, maternity benefits or RRSPs. They put every penny they made back into the business, investing in the future, building a legacy, something that made their community a better, more dynamic place to live.
A huge majority of these brave job creators and risk-takers work side by side with their families, guiding son or daughter in the art of providing services within their community. These are fathers showing sons how to grind the pork, beef and spices just so to create the perfect kielbasa coil; or a mother demonstrating the art of making fluffy pastry crusts for the next day's batch of fresh fruit apple pies, recipes and skills handed down by word of mouth, with a keen determination to pass on skills to the next generation, quietly passing on knowledge that would otherwise be lost. Shoulder to shoulder, the generations tend to customers and suppliers, making deals and creating jobs in their local neighbourhoods.
It is in this organic-style school of business that big government just cannot help but cause havoc by way of unfair taxes, taxes that disadvantage a father when selling the family farm to his son or a mother selling the French bakery to her daughter. After years of giving everything they had to build their dream, late nights washing dishes, early mornings mucking stalls, long hot summers sitting in the combine or cold hard winters packing tomatoes into crates, they finally are ready to lay down their tools and pass the business on to the next generation.
What do these owners find when they go to sell their firm? That the government considers them a tax cheat simply for wanting to sell to their children rather than a third party stranger. It has to be said that passing a business on from one generation to the next is no easy feat at the best of times. Many family businesses have had a hard time surviving the challenge, so the very last thing the government should be doing is making this more difficult by disadvantaging the transaction.
There are 1.1 million small businesses and farms across Canada looking, hopefully, to the passage of this bill, which would ensure they have a level playing field when it comes to transition of ownership between parents and children. In our own family, I know the many years of hard work that went into the planning for transition, and yes, we incorporated early on. That did not make us terrible, awful people.
First, owners need to ensure their bankers are confident that their children will be able to succeed going forward. They need to earn the trust of their customers and suppliers that the generation will be able to skilfully man the helm when they one step away. They need to negotiate the rough waters of family dynamics that play a huge role in family business succession. Quite honestly, passing a business on to our kids is far more difficult than just selling to a third party.
Selling to a stranger does not disrupt the harmony of family Christmas dinners. It will not damage people's ability to see their grandkids when bitterness creeps in between their kids. It will not cause rifts between fathers or brothers like a family business succession can do, yet government treats those who are willing to walk that hard road like uber-wealthy tax evaders who are only in it for the quick buck. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Family business succession is not for the faint of heart and takes years to accomplish, so why do we keep punishing families for wanting to pass on a legacy? Not only that, but the current system is totally disrespectful to the hard-working Canadians whose entire retirement savings are wrapped up in their small business. Currently, these savings are seriously impacted if they choose to try to keep the business in the family.
This bill appears to be very timely from the perspective of a COVID recovery plan, since we know our small businesses will be paramount in helping us get our economy back on track when we finally reopen.
We all know that family businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and our communities. Honestly, I cannot wrap my mind around why the government would punish parents and children for being willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into a small enterprise only to be considered tax cheats for the simple desire to pass it on to the next generation.
Consider the story of a couple who owns a business in a small town, wants to retire and relies on the sale as their retirement fund. This sort of thing happens all the time. Now imagine the couple was hoping to retire and sell the business to one of their daughters who has been working with them for years. She is excited to take over from her parents and continue building on their legacy.
In the meantime, they are approached by a much larger, non-related company that has no local ties. This larger corporation would want to produce the goods in the bigger urban centre where it is based, possibly even overseas. Ultimately, this would mean completely shifting jobs and economic activity out of the local community.
As happens often, when they did the math with their accountant, they discovered it would cost up to 67% more in taxes for their daughter to buy their business than for a stranger, simply because she was their daughter. It makes no sense that we do not have a level playing field here, especially considering how much communities gain from family farms and businesses run by successive generations. It is clear that a robust COVID-19 recovery will need healthy small businesses that are owned and operated by passionate local entrepreneurs, and that this bill would make a huge difference for local family-run businesses that want to keep their work in the family.
Because this bill is critical for small, family-owned businesses, how many people have actually opposed the bill? As we can imagine, it has overwhelming support across the country including from the Chicken Farmers of Canada, Grain Growers of Canada, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and chambers of commerce, just to name a few, not to mention every Canadian small business owner who seeks to keep their business in the family.
For too long this situation has continued unabated, but why is that? Looking at similar bills that have come before Parliament in recent years, it seems that a significant reason they have never made it through Parliament is the advice that tax analysts give to the government of the day. The complexity of the Tax Act, which creates these disadvantages for family-owned businesses, was meant as an anti-avoidance measure.
I understand the need to safeguard against tax avoidance. That is why there are safeguarding measures built into the bill. However, the way the laws are currently set up, all business owners who seek to keep their businesses in the family are being punished because of the few who might try to game the system and avoid paying taxes. In typical fashion, we are punishing the wrong people. There will always be a chance that someone is trying to cheat, but contrary to the Prime Minister 's belief, most small business owners are not tax cheats. Most small businesses are not simply shell companies created for wealthy Canadians to avoid taxes. Only the wealthy elite who have never had to sweep the floor in their father's grocery store or sling bales on their uncle's farm would believe something like that.
Over 50% of Canadian small business owners wish to pass their businesses on to family members. Nobody in their right mind thinks that 50% of small business owners are looking to cheat on their taxes. I think we all agree that they deserve a level playing field. They do not deserve to be forced to choose between being hammered with extra taxes, which put their retirement in jeopardy, and selling their farms outside of the family and outside of the community.
Whoever is suggesting that we oppose this bill needs to remember that it is our job to serve the public, not the other way around. It is important for the government to remember it is time to show some political leadership and say, “Look, Canadians are being treated unfairly and we are going to fix it.”
If the government will refuse to show leadership on this, thankfully I am confident that Parliament will. We are, after all, the voice of the people. We need the bill to pass to ensure that our most valuable asset, the job creators and risk takers who make our communities strong and resilient even in the face of a devastating pandemic, are able to thrive. I call on all my colleagues to support this bill and bring fairness back for the little guy.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am rising today in response to the point of order made by the member for Don Valley West.
As I said to the member on Friday, the Bible verse I quoted was in reference to hypocrisy, which has been a common interpretation of that passage as the member for Don Valley West himself acknowledged this morning. Last week, I called to apologize to the member for the misunderstanding. I would like to extend that apology to all members of the House and anyone in the LGBTQ community who took offence. The quote I used was certainly not intended in the way it is being portrayed, and I am glad to have the chance to clarify.
I unreservedly apologize.
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Madam Speaker, I am so glad that my colleague invoked the words of the prophet Micah, so I am going to invoke the words of the Apostle Matthew, who stated:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
I have had so many people reach out to me in regard to this bill. Charlotte, a young woman in Calgary, was involved in lesbian activity. She struggled with self-worth and depression. She reached a point in her life when she did not want to continue with her lesbian activity, and her parents supported her choice and helped her find a counsellor who helped her process the feelings. She said:
Because of the counselling, I had a deep sense of love and acceptance. It was not harmful, coercive or abusive in any way.... If you enact the proposed bill, you're banning the exact support that I desperately needed at that time in my life. If this bill is to be truly inclusive, include people like me.
Why will the government not respond to—
View Tamara Jansen Profile
Madam Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition today concerning Bill C-6.
The petitioners recognize the need for a ban on harmful, degrading and coercive practices that seek to force people to change their sexual orientation. They also recognize, however, that the definition of conversion therapy used in Bill C-6 is not used by any medical body in the world and it is so imprecise that it will lead to the prohibition of forms of counselling that reduce unwanted sexual behaviour.
I am sure my colleagues can understand the damaging implications of this, and I remind them that committee witnesses testified that types of counselling this bill would ban actually saved their lives.
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