IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on taxation

40th Parliament, 3rd Session
Context : Supplementary Question

M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, les conservateurs, dans leur pure tradition de négocier avec des régimes douteux, ont signé une entente de libre-échange avec Panama. Le Panama est parmi les paradis fiscaux les plus secrets au monde et les conservateurs n'ont absolument rien fait pour changer les pratiques d'évasion fiscale. En fait, il n'y a pas un mot dans l'entente pour enrayer l'évasion fiscale, au contraire!

Pourquoi les conservateurs veulent-ils encourager l'évasion fiscale en signant des ententes qui encouragent cette pratique avec des régimes douteux?

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives, in their fine tradition of negotiating with questionable regimes, have signed a free trade agreement with Panama. Panama is one of the most secretive tax havens in the world, and the Conservatives have done absolutely nothing to change the tax evasion practices there. In fact, there is not one word in the agreement on eliminating tax evasion.

Why do the Conservatives want to promote tax evasion by signing agreements with questionable regimes that encourage this practice?

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that very question was answered, actually, this morning in the debate on Panama. However, for the member, I will answer it again.

The reality is that the Minister of Finance has written to his counterpart in Panama, asking that Panama undertakes its obligations and, indeed, the Government of Panama has made a commitment to undertake its obligations under the OECD.

However, I do note that the party that is speaking here is inclined to look for any excuse to avoid creating trade opportunities for Canadian workers, for Canadian businesses.

On the other hand, we are interested in seeing our workers and businesses prosper.