The Budget

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I also wish to extend congratulations to the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca on his election. As it happens, we are neighbours. I am very pleased to see him here on behalf of his constituents.

Has the hon. member had an opportunity to look at the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s most recent report? The fact is the government has used tax credits as the largest, fastest growing component of budgetary expenditures. The effect of these sorts of tax credits, as he has rightly pointed out, do not benefit people who are not able to pay taxes. Could the member comment on whether we need more oversight of this matter?

Randall Garrison: Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on her victory. As she has said, we are in neighbouring ridings. One of the many municipalities in my riding is the municipality of Saanich, which I share with the hon. member. I expect to see her at many of the same community events in the future.

On the question of tax credits, as I mentioned, my problem with the Conservative approach is that these are non-refundable tax credits. There are many people in my riding who actually need help, but the fact that these are non-refundable tax credits means they are no help at all. In particular, volunteer firefighters are taking great risks with potentially great sacrifices on behalf of their community, yet the government denies them the benefit of these tax credits.

I would much rather see a fair tax system to start with, a system that would promote the creation of jobs in my riding so many more people would not have to be dependent on tax credits.