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Income Tax Credits

June 9, 2022

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Gold, later this afternoon the Senate will start third reading debate of Bill C-8. This bill, amongst other measures, expands the school supplies tax credit and introduces a new refundable tax credit for farming businesses. The changes to these tax credits are retroactive to 2021.

Senator Gold, since the bill was introduced last December, all Canadians had to file their 2021 income tax returns. Teachers and farmers filed for the tax credits I just mentioned. They have since been told by the Canada Revenue Agency that they will not get their tax refund until Bill C-8 has been passed — not just the portion of their refund that comes from Bill C-8, but all the money that CRA owes them is being withheld. And when people complain, this is the answer they get: They are told to contact parliamentarians and pressure them to adopt Bill C-8.

Senator Gold, as Leader of the Government in the Senate, why did you allow your colleagues in government to use such a blatant blackmail tactic to put pressure on parliamentarians to adopt a government bill? Isn’t this reflective of the Trudeau government’s willingness to bully parliamentarians?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. Bill C-8, which was held up in the House for an inordinate amount of time, is a bill designed to assist Canadians. I am very pleased that we finally did receive it. I am very pleased that it was properly studied in this chamber, and I look forward to the third-reading vote so that it can benefit Canadians, as intended.

Again, you just let all Canadians know why it is called “Question Period,” and not “Question-and-Answer Session.”

Leader, the government could have used a simple solution: It could have adopted, in December, a ways and means motion in the House of Commons on those two tax credits, which would have allowed the CRA to process the tax refunds of teachers and farmers, but they didn’t.

Senator Gold, why did your government decide to take teachers and farmers hostage? Why should these hard-working Canadians be victims of the NDP-Liberal government’s contempt for Parliament?

Senator Gold [ + ]

The Government of Canada has taken neither teachers nor agricultural workers hostage. The delays in Parliament, the partisan politics that have characterized the daily practice in the other place, are far more disrespectful — and I will not use stronger words — to Canadians and their interests and right to be served by parliamentarians who should care more about their interests than about scoring political points on Twitter.

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