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PM breaks another promise

It may seem difficult to believe today, but there was once a time when Parliament was a highly secretive place where citizens had no access to what occurred during debates.

Not only did this make it difficult for citizens to hold elected officials to account, it also created a situation where the public would hear competing characterizations of events that could differ significantly between opposition and government. 

Fortunately, Thomas Hansard came along and began publishing the events that occurred in the British Parliament and eventually this evolved into the system now known as Hansard.

Today, we refer to the Hansard Index as the key resource to information about what is said by members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

This is not only transcribed into written text, but we also have audio and video records as part of the Hansard Index.

Hansard is how citizens can hold elected officials to account and allow Canadians to view debates and form their own opinions on events without partisan influence. 

An example of this dates back to February 2018, when the House of Commons was debating whether to tax online streaming services such as Netflix.

During this debate, the NDP asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau why online companies such as Netflix and Facebook do not charge sales tax to Canadians.

The Prime Minister, in reply stated:

“It is not web giants that the NDP wants to charge, it is taxpayers. The New Democrats want to make taxpayers pay more taxes.”

When the NDP followed up with a second question on this the Prime Minister this time stated:

“Once again, the New Democrats are misleading Canadians. They are talking about making web giants pay their fair share. It is not the web giants they want to pay more in taxes; it is taxpayers. We made a commitment to taxpayers that they would not have to pay more for their online services. We on this side of the House plan to keep that promise.”

This week, the Trudeau Liberal government released what they called a fiscal update.

In this update, there is increased spending that will result in the budget deficit hitting at least $388.8 billion in 2020-21.

While there has been much discussion on the spending, there has been less focus on the fact that this budget update also proposes new taxes.

Specifically, the Liberal fiscal update proposes to tax online streaming services such as Netflix.

The Trudeau Liberals have indicated they expect to take $1.2 billion out of Canadians pockets from these new online taxes over the next five years.

Back in August, when Parliament was prorogued, and the Prime Minister was asked by a reporter if he would increase taxes, his answer was clear:

“No. The last thing Canadians need is to see a rise in taxes right now.”

My question this week:

  • What do you think of the Prime Minister’s performance in this matter?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the official Oppositions's finance critic.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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