Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013 (Bill S-17)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question for the member for Souris—Moose Mountain is this.


I am well aware that we are here tonight to debate Bill S-17 and that it deals with tax treaties. I have not heard a single member of this place suggest that they do not want to vote for it. I find it strange that on a treaty and a bill of no consequence, which everyone supports, we have time for debate and we have committee hearings, but on something that threatens the sovereignty of Canada, such as the Canada-China investment treaty, we have neither had hearings nor adequate time for debate.

Would my hon. friend from Souris—Moose Mountain like to join me in urging that we still have time for debate before that treaty is ratified?

Ed Komarnicki: Mr. Speaker, I might remind the member that soon we will be off on summer break so time will be short.

To say that this treaty is of no consequence surely must mean the member has not read the legislation or has not listened to business, because business is quite clear. It wants this agreement. It wants to know what the rules of investment are. Billions of dollars are transferred that create jobs and long-term prosperity in both countries. Therefore, it is important that we deal with the legislation here today and that members are given the opportunity to debate this.

If we had said that members do not have the opportunity to debate this particular tax treaty, I cannot imagine what the member might have said. Perhaps, “We must have the time to debate it.” We have provided the time to debate it and the member talks about something else.

I know there are a lot of other issues and a lot of other pieces of legislation. However, today we are dealing with this legislation. If the member wants to debate she should debate this legislation, not something else.

So far what I have heard from the opposition is a debate on all kinds of other issues that may be of some significance but nothing to do with the tax treaties. If you want time to debate, when time to debate is given, debate the issues before you and not something else.