Friday, April 4, 2008

Thomas Mulcair: The Official Opposition of the Opposition

Many of you have noticed that I have been harping on the theme that the NDP continues to attack the Liberal Party almost in exclusivity. Thomas Mulcair has become the worst offender of this. Last Sunday on Question Period was ridiculous when he gave Peter Van Loan a free ride and leveled an attack on Ralph Goodale.

And, now, we have this classless attack on Liberals, specific Members of Parliament and, in my view, the decorum of the House. Birdbrains?? The Liberal Party is going to be abolished??(h/t IMPOLITICAL)

Mr. Mulcair seems to have a fetish with his former party and with Mr. Rae. 21 times does he reference the Liberal Party by name. That's not counting the theys and the thems referring to the Liberals. By comparison, Mulcair mentions the Conservatives a mere 15 times and doesn't lodge a single personal insult at any of the members of the Conservative Party.

As I've said previously, Dippers attacking Liberals will not generate votes for them. In fact, Canadians don't really know what Jack and Tom stand for any more. Oh yeah...there's that ATM fee thing...and that getting rid of the penny thing.

From Hansard:
Table of Contents]

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, once again, we will have a chance to see the Liberal Party of Canada's true colours. Once again, during this afternoon's question period, we heard the Liberals get all worked up about all of the appalling ruses they detected in how the Conservatives handled the budget. The Liberals criticized the Conservatives for having included immigration provisions in the budget bill.

If we are meant to take them seriously and to accept their statements at face value, we would expect them to vote against budget bills, just as, from time to time, they have to speak out against the Conservative government's decisions because they are the official opposition.

As usual, the Conservatives know exactly what to expect from the Liberals. They know that they can do whatever they want, including burying objectionable immigration provisions in a budget bill, because the Liberals are much too weak to stand up to them.

This afternoon, we are considering a motion that takes the Conservative government to task for the choices it made in the budget. The Conservatives made a lot of decisions that brought radical change to Canada, and now we are talking about something quite specific. I will give a few examples to illustrate.

Table 5.4 of the budget just tabled by the Conservatives reveals what they really think and betrays their true intentions. Specifically, beginning today—as the new fiscal year begins—and over just two years, revenue collected from personal income tax—from my colleagues, from me, from the people listening to us now, from workers and their families—will increase by 12% in the state's budget, whereas revenue from corporate income tax will drop by 14%. That is the shameful choice the Conservatives really made in the budget. Individuals will be paying 12% more, and corporations will be paying 14% less. People can check table 5.4 of the budget and see for themselves.

We strongly object to this choice. What will the so-called official opposition do? I see that the Liberals are prepping their new star from Toronto Centre, who will undoubtedly rise to try to lecture us, as did his colleague who, yesterday, attempted to mislead the public with false figures on countries such as Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark and Norway. What tales did they tell yesterday? It was nonsense. What did his Liberal colleague say? He said that in the four above-mentioned countries, the corporate tax rate was lower than the Canadian rate. Is that so? Let us look at the facts.

Here, in Canada, with the most recent cut, the corporate tax rate is now 19.5%. It is important that we remember this figure of 19.5%. It will be further reduced by 4.5% to 15% by 2015. What is the current corporate tax rate in the other countries in question? It is 28% in Sweden; 30% in Great Britain; 30% in Denmark; and 28% in Norway. That is the reality, not the nonsense trotted out by the Liberals yesterday to try to justify the unjustifiable, that is their weakness, their softness, their lack of conviction and the fact that, once again, they will support the budget choices of the Conservatives. Conservatives or Liberals, it is all the same.

If the Liberals had the slightest amount of conviction, if they believed in anything, they would be getting up to criticize and challenge the Conservatives' budget.


Later, when the new member for Toronto Centre rises, we will see that they will no longer be content to sit on their hands.

The Minister of Finance dared to reduce corporate taxes that much only because the current and ineffective leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, the so-called official opposition, told him that he could reduce corporate taxes as much as he wanted.

Indeed, the Minister of Finance rose in this House and said that he would never have dared to reduce them so much. He is a Conservative. He would have wanted to, but he did not think he could. It was the current leader of the Liberal Party of Canada who told him he should do so and reduce them so much. This is exactly what he is now doing and it is scandalous.

Now, to try to ease their conscience, instead of simply hiding, ducking the issue, disappearing from the House or sitting on their hands, they are trying to tell us—and I cannot wait to hear it—that the Conservatives' budget choices are completely consistent with their own. And that party has the nerve to talk about social justice, a nation-wide affordable child care system and wait times at hospitals across Canada, which receive federal funding. It can say what it wants but the Liberal Party of Canada does not believe in anything. That is the simple truth, which will be revealed a little later.



On this side of the House, we are not afraid to stand up. We are not afraid to tell Canadians what is really going on here.

We can look at table 5.4 in the new Conservative budget if we want to understand what is going on. In that one table, there is a snapshot of the difference between the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Conservatives, but the Conservatives are being helped in this by the Liberal Party.

In that one table, we see the following: starting from today, when we are at the very beginning of a new fiscal year, over the next two years the part of the budget that comes from corporate income taxes is going to go down by 14%, while individual income taxes, which is what you, Mr. Speaker, and I and the people listening to us pay, are going to go up by 12%.

That is an increase of 12% for individuals and a decrease of 14% for the corporations. That is a scandal. The Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves for proposing it. The only reason they are doing it is because of the weakness of the Liberal Party.

Yesterday one of the minor ministers from the former Liberal government, a former revenue minister, went on the public record with something that was completely contrary to the facts. He named four countries, Sweden, Britain, Denmark and Norway, and said they had a lower rate of corporate taxation than Canada has.

Here are the facts. For somebody who was once in charge of revenue, it is surprising that he cannot count. In Canada with the most recent budget, we are now at 19.5% as our corporate tax rate. It is going to go down a further 4.5% between now and 2015, bringing it to 15%. The tax rate in Sweden is 28%. The tax rate in Britain is 30%. The tax rate in Denmark is 30%. The tax rate in Norway is 28%.

Hon. Bob Rae: Add the provinces, Tom, add them.

Mr. Thomas Mulcair: That is what those birdbrains in the Liberal Party of Canada want to support. They want to support the Conservatives. They are against families. They are against social programs. They are against social justice. They have no vision. They have no convictions. They do not believe in anything.

More and more, the truth is coming out. Canadians are starting to decode the Liberals. I am just waiting to hear the new star from Toronto Centre, someone who once had the guts to come into this House and claim to represent social justice and progressive thought and who has now sold himself out to the bosses.

I can hardly wait to have him stand up and talk against families, against workers, in favour of tax increases for individuals, and against the average working family. That guy wants to give tax breaks to corporations.

Let him have it, I say, and let him know what really is going on out there in Canada. We can hardly wait because we are going to deal with him.

[Table of Contents]

Mr. Ken Epp (Edmonton—Sherwood Park, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the enthusiasm with which the member spoke. He certainly was animated, and he had the attention of the House, which sometimes is a rarity here.

I have a couple of comments. First, would it ever occur to him that perhaps the amount of revenue that is coming from individuals is going up because there are now some 800,000 more jobs? There are that many new people who, instead of being unemployed and collecting unemployment insurance as long as it lasts, now finally under this government have the opportunity to get a job from business that is staying in Canada because it has a more tax-friendly base than other countries that beckon. This is just a reality.

I would also like to point out this fact when he complains about the price of fuel. He is talking about increasing taxes for people who produce fuel. Would it perhaps also occur to him that the price at the pump will increase if those guys have to pay more taxes? This is so elementary that I cannot believe he does not understand it.


[Table of Contents]

Mr. Thomas Mulcair:
Mr. Speaker, I hope you will give me as much time to answer the hon. member's question as you gave him to ask it.


I will answer in English for my colleague from Edmonton—Sherwood Park.

If he were a Liberal and not a Conservative, I guess the member would say that he is from Sherwood forest, because the Liberals love branding themselves as Robin Hood trying to help the poor, but the actual fact is that the Liberals do not believe in anything. They talk a good game when it comes to social programs and social justice, but they actually do not believe in anything.

Although I do disagree with the budgetary choices of the Conservative government, they exist, they are there, and the Conservatives themselves hold out for the fact that they are going to reduce by 14% the proportion. It is not a question of the global mass. The 800,000 workers do not change anything in the proportion.

The proportion of what is coming in from taxpayers individually is going to go up by 12%. The proportion of what is coming in from corporations is going to go down by 14%. Those are the numbers. It is in the Conservative budget in table 5.4. The member can look up the numbers. They are irrefutable.

However, what is even more important is what was done as a budgetary choice in the fall, with $14 billion in tax cuts for the most profitable corporations. In Ontario or Quebec, where the soaring Canadian dollar is making it more and more difficult to export, manufacturing jobs have been lost by the hundreds of thousands and we are suffering terribly in the forestry sector.

The Minister of Finance stands up in the House all the time and says that he gave all those tax breaks and that is how he is helping corporations. The problem is that if a company did not make a profit last year it did not pay any taxes, so it is not getting any of those tax breaks. If the company is called EnCana, if it is based in Alberta, and if it is making a small fortune in profits, it just got a cheque for several tens of millions of dollars from the Canadian taxpayer. That is the problem.


[Table of Contents]

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Royal Galipeau):
Just for the edification of the hon. member for Outremont, the question took one minute and fifteen seconds and the answer one minute and forty seconds.

The hon. member for West Nova has the floor.


[Table of Contents]

Hon. Robert Thibault (West Nova, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to listen to this dialogue on this economic question put forward by the NDP.


It is rich to listen to this because we know what the New Democratic members' economic policy is: their support for small businesses is to take all large businesses, tax them all the way down to small businesses, give subsidies to bankrupt businesses, and tax profitable businesses. They have no vision at all on economics and are quite disingenuous on social programs.

I remember that not so long ago in the House, when there was a minority government, we presented a budget. The leader of the NDP negotiated with the Liberal Party so that we brought forward a year or two years ahead some of our priorities that were not in that budget: housing, assistance for poverty, day care, and Kelowna. We brought them all forward. The NDP members were all very happy to boast about it and then they voted our government out and supported this one on the income trust scandal, which took about $30 billion away from hard-working Canadians.

We cannot believe these people.


[Table of Contents]

Mr. Thomas Mulcair:
Mr. Speaker, I imagine the hon. member will be quite pleased to tell all the employees at Trenton Car Works that he agrees with the Conservatives' budgetary choices.

There are a number of companies in his province that are suffering in exactly the same way other companies in Quebec and Ontario are. That is why it is scandalous to have a political party like the Liberal Party of Canada, that has the constitutional right to call itself the official opposition party, but which in fact has become the official abstention party. Soon it will become officially abolished.


Alan said...

I find it somewhat rich that Thomas Mulcair can stand up and denounce Bob Rae on his association with the Liberals, considering that Mulcair himself was the former Liberal Quebec Environment Minister.

And wasn't Rae technically a Dipper longer than Mulcair was? Mulcair just joined the NDP last year and then won his by election. Rae was on the NDP for years before he quit over the party's anti Israeli position. So Mulcair standing up and cursing Rae was clearly not based on fact, since what would Mulcair know about being an NDPer anyway?

But you know what the most annoying thing about this Mulcair guy is? The way he talks into cameras with that stare and stupid smug smile on his face every time he talks. As if he can somehow hypnotize the Canadian electorate to agree with whatever bafflegab that emerges from what passes for his mouth (All I see on the screen everytime I see him is a shithole surrounded by facial hair)

I guess he's practicing hynonsis so he can win the NDP leadership by somehow convincing delegates to vote for him over whoever else is more qualified.

James Curran said...

Imagine him saying Rae sold out? Who really sold out? Rae was out of politics for some time. Mulcair left his party for the promise of deputy leader.

Alan said...

There was another thing with Mulcair a while back. He had tried to link the Liberals to the Mulroney-Schreiber affair because Schreiber hired Marc Lalonde's law firm to be his legal defense team. I know Lalonde is a patriarch in the Liberal Party, but as a lawyer he was doing his job, which was to represent a client(no matter how repulsive he or she may be). I enjoyed what Ian MacDonald described this situation as: "what Mulcair did with Marc Lalonde was truly disgusting."

Let's see: the David Oliver mess, the Irene Mathyssen porn mishap, and Mulcair's constant personal attacks. This is what the party of Tommy Douglas and Ed Broadbent has been reduced to.

James Curran said...

Exactly my point. Thanks Alan.