MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Questions the Minister of Industry About a Plan for Small Businesses

    Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Conservatives keep cutting overall funds for community development, and they are failing to help small businesses that support our communities.

    Small businesses are responsible for nearly 80% of new private sector jobs created over the past decade. When the Conservatives handed out tens of billions of dollars to the largest, most profitable corporations, they left our small businesses and their owners behind.

    Will the Conservatives support the NDP plan to cut small business taxes so that they can grow and create the jobs that we desperately need?

    Hon. James Moore (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, of course, we have already lowered taxes for small businesses, and we have put forward this tax relief to help small businesses grow. It is the New Democrats who have voted against it.

    The leader of the NDP has twice now come forward and talked about his support for small business, but the fact is that the CFIB has done its assessment of it—

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

    The Speaker: Order, please. I think that the members in the opposition may have been a little bit premature there. The hon. Minister of Industry still had about 15 seconds to finish his remarks.

    Hon. James Moore: Mr. Speaker, the small problem with that is that it is only the New Democrats who are applauding because the CFIB says that the NDP's plan is stupid and anti-small business. That is what the CFIB says.

    They can applaud all they want, but the real leaders understand.