That the House call on the government to take immediate action to build a balanced economy, support the middle class and encourage manufacturing and small business job creation by: (a) extending the accelerated capital cost allowance by two years; (b) reducing the small business income tax rate from 11% to 10% immediately, and then to 9% when finances permit; and (c) introducing an Innovation Tax Credit to support investment in machinery, equipment and property to further innovation and increase productivity.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.
I am very pleased to begin the debate today on our motion, which calls on the government to take immediate action to build a balanced economy, support the middle class and encourage manufacturing and small business job creation.
A defining feature of Canada is a strong middle class. It is something we value, something we want our children to aspire to, and it is the most important economic asset we have in Canada.
Sadly, over the years of Conservative government, Canada has lost more than 400,000 good manufacturing jobs. These jobs have often been replaced by jobs in the service and retail industries, many of which have not paid nearly as well, and have been very precarious and insecure. Now many of these jobs are being lost.
What I see in my community, in Parkdale—High Park, and all over Toronto is families that are struggling to make everything work. They may have jobs, but they are spending so much on housing, whether it is rent or a mortgage, and they are spending so much on child care and everything else, that they do not have any savings or, worse, they have more debt than they have income.
Some families had good jobs with decent pensions and benefits, many in the manufacturing sector, but now they are working two or three jobs, none with benefits, never mind the pension.
More than 200,000 more Canadians are out of work now than before the recession, and job growth is not even keeping up with our population growth. The Conservatives have doled out big tax cuts to big business, and now they are proposing more tax cuts to the wealthiest 15% of Canadian families. What about the 85% of Canadian families? What about everybody else who is only just barely getting by?
That is why Tom Mulcair's NDP is fighting for the middle class and fighting for the majority of Canadians. That is who we are standing up for.
Today we are calling on the government to support the middle class with concrete actions instead of empty words and tax breaks for wealthy families.
We need to strengthen the traditional sectors, such as resource extraction and manufacturing, while taking advantage of new opportunities for innovation and growth. The NDP is calling for immediate action to support Canada's manufacturing base and is sending a message to investors that an NDP government will lead the Canadian manufacturing sector into a new era.
Today, our motion in Parliament is to take immediate action to build a balanced economy, support the middle class, and encourage manufacturing and small business job creation. Our practical plan would extend the accelerated capital cost allowance by two years and reduce the small business tax rate from 11% to 10% immediately, and down to 9% when finances permit. That is the prudent way.
We are calling for the introduction of an innovation tax credit to support investment in machinery and equipment and to help many to further innovate and increase productivity. All these measures would make a difference now to diversify the economy and encourage investment in the Canadian manufacturing sector.
Let us talk about small businesses. I make a point in my community of buying local whenever I can, everything from food to supplies for my house to clothing. I talk to small business owners who are always trying to find new ways to reach customers, to promote their products, to reach and expand into other neighbours.
Giving them a tax break, cutting back on their taxes, would put money into their pockets. It is something my friends across the aisle are always advocating, putting more money back into people's pockets. It would help small businesses expand and help them hire. That is the whole point. They are the job creators.
Government should support our motion today to help small businesses, which make up 98% of all the businesses in Canada. It should help them use their money to grow and expand. Small businesses create jobs and are invested in our communities. They enrich and diversify our communities.
Ninety percent of Canadian exporters are small businesses, and they help build our Canadian brand as high quality, highly innovative, and highly technical manufacturers in many cases.
Let us talk about manufacturing. Clearly the government has failed the manufacturing sector. What Canada needs is a government committed to cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing that looks to energy efficiency and sustainability in sectors where Canada is or could be a global leader; but sadly, it has failed.
There have been some measures that look good on paper, like the advanced manufacturing fund, until we see that actually it is slow moving and inflexible and has not released one single penny. That is some support for the manufacturing sector.
Meanwhile the Conservative government has cut hundreds of millions of dollars of support for business innovation while putting all its economic eggs in one basket, in the oil and gas sector. However, now oil prices are dropping, and most likely this sector will shed capital spending and cut jobs. Because the government has shown no interest in encouraging a diverse economy, our manufacturing sector cannot just pick up the slack.
After years of neglect, this sector has been left without the capacity it needs to increase production and take advantage of the low dollar to boost sales. We need a government committed to boosting the manufacturing sector, like most advanced countries around the world. Germany, South Korea, Brazil, and most advanced economies are fighting for their manufacturing sectors, standing up for small business. We need the government to finally wake up and start taking action.
Today is an important day. It is when members have the opportunity to stand up and be counted. Are members in the House going to stand up for Canada's middle class? Are they going to stand up for the manufacturing sector? Are they going to stand up for innovation and job creation? Are they going to stand up for small businesses in towns, cities, and communities right across this country? Every member has the chance to stand up and be counted. I urge every one of my colleagues to vote in favour of this important motion today.
The electoral district of Rimouski-Neigette--Témiscouata--Les Basques (Quebec) has a population of 84,453 with 68,055 registered voters and 201 polling divisions.
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