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C-2: An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act

The Hon. the Speaker: I hear a no. On debate, Senator Tkachuk.

Hon. David Tkachuk: Like many of you, I have sat in this chamber and listened to this debate on Bill C-2 with great interest. I'm going to expand a little bit and follow up on what Senator Mockler talked about a few minutes ago.

In a few short days, we're going to have to vote on this bill, a bill the Trudeau government would like you to believe is all things to all people, the perfect solution that will transform the country by growing the middle class.

Of course this is nonsense. We owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Smith and his colleagues on the National Finance Committee for exposing this charade for what it is.

Imagine, some of the smartest financial — no, some of the smartest Liberal financial analysts in the country who can't seem to cost out this bill or its contribution to the growing deficit; or refusing to confirm if the cost of the bill has been included in the minister's most recent economic update; or a Minister of Finance being incapable of answering the simplest of questions, "How do you define the middle class?"

Can you imagine a Paul Martin, a Michael Wilson, a Jim Flaherty, or a John Manley performing in such a manner?

Honourable senators, we're being played.

The bill ignores the middle class. Instead, every one of the Liberals that voted for this bill in the house will get a bigger tax break than those they are supposedly trying to help. Why are we surprised?

Every honourable senator who votes for this bill is voting to give themselves a larger tax break, two to three times larger than those who are the supposed targets of this bill.

For many of you, this will be a historic vote. Your first Senate vote on an important government bill. So when your grandchildren ask you what was the first thing you did in the Senate, Grandad or Grandma, you can say, "Why, I gave myself a large tax break." Liberal times are good times — for Liberals.

This bill fits in with how the Liberals co-operate, and how they operate. Remember when Justin Trudeau promised to take the Child Tax Benefit from, as he put it, wealthy families, like his, and give it to the middle class? He did take it away from wealthy families, but not from his own. He got taxpayers to pay for his nannies.

He excoriated the Conservative government during the campaign for their lack of openness and transparency, promising Canadians more. Then he redacts the manifest of his vacation holiday flights to remove the name of those nannies we are paying for, and for his in-laws.

Transparency in Liberal parlance also means never showing up to answer questions. The open and transparent Prime Minister missed Question Period 58 per cent of the time during his first year, 36 per cent of the time without any excuse whatsoever. He wasn't travelling; he didn't have a competing obligation. He just didn't feel like showing up.

What about pensions? They say they want to help people with their pensions, and then they cut the TFSA and instead increase the CPP. Those people being forced to pay more into the CPP won't realize any of the benefits. Who is going to be paying? The middle class.

As Senator Stewart Olsen said on Monday, December 5, 2016, in her fine speech:

For those who will receive the payouts tied to this tax hike, they will have to wait for the far-off-distant future. And these changes, should they still be there at that point, will do nothing to help today's seniors or our workers who are soon to retire.

And she said:

Those who would be the first to benefit are now 16 years old.

This isn't about pensions. This is about taking money from the middle-class taxpayer and using it for their own ends.

Honourable senators, Bill C-2 fits in with this government's pattern of saying they will look after you, but they are really looking after themselves. You can be part of that, or you can assert your independence. Canadians are watching.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: It your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned.)