Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 1—Third ReadingPublished on 21 June 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Jim Munson
Hon. Jim Munson:
Honourable senators, I never realized how hard it was to write cursive anymore. I have been sitting here taking notes, and I rise briefly at third reading to state my sober second thought.
My concern is about the escalator excise tax and the escalator clause on wine and beer. This is in the government’s budget implementation act, Bill C-44.
We all know the history but many of us worry about the future. This is a tax grab. Who is paying for it? Who will reach deeper into their pockets, their wallets and purses? Ordinary Canadians, brewery owners, winemakers and restaurant owners.
Honourable senators, in the world in which we live there is “Santa Claus” and there is “escalator clause.” Canadians like Santa Claus. Although he is a fictional figure, he does give out goodies, but when you think about it, Canadians should be aware of “escalator clause.” He is real and wants to dig deeper into your pockets, wallets or purses. He wants to do it every year and in perpetuity without asking for parliamentary approval.
If you are sitting in the Legion in Bathurst, New Brunswick, my favourite one-beer tavern, Carleton Tavern in Ottawa, or sipping a nice sauvignon blanc at the Ciao Wine Bar in Yorkville or the Water Hole in Patricia, Alberta, or how about the old Storm Crow in Vancouver, “escalator clause” is everywhere and he’s digging deeper and deeper into your pockets.
Those who like to have a beer or glass of wine don’t mind paying taxes, but they would like to see their parliamentarians have a say in the matter. That is all this is about, to have their parliamentarians have a say in the matter.
“Escalator clause” should pay attention; this is a regressive tax. What is wrong with simply just asking? All we’re asking for is parliamentary oversight. It’s as a simple as that. It’s not that complicated.
Now, “escalator clause,” it is almost summertime where the living is almost easy. So we’re asking you to take a serious look at this today. We are asking, hopefully when this goes back to the other side, that those parliamentarians who do have to go home and pay attention to their constituents on a matter which is simply talking about parliamentary oversight, we are simply asking for this government to pay attention on a fundamental issue of parliamentary approval.