Minister discusses senate reform and taxes

Canada’s Minister of National Revenue said the government is waiting on the opinion of the Supreme Court when it comes to senate reform.

Canada’s Minister of National Revenue said the government is waiting on the opinion of the Supreme Court when it comes to senate reform.

“We’re waiting for that report so we can see what we can do unilaterally as a parliament to make changes, or what requires full constitutional amendments,” Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay said earlier this month.

Constitutional amendments are not easy to make in Canada, she said warning amendments require majority support from the provinces.

Findlay said the different provinces have varying views of senate reform.

The West has always felt under-represented in the senate by numbers and is probably leading the way in respect to reform, she added.

“Of course our prime minister has stood for that quite clearly and has always said the senate has to be reformed or abolished.”

Findlay suggested most Canadians would like to see a reformed senate, not necessarily an abolished senate.

A few years ago, the Conservative government established higher disclosure rules for senators.

“Senators have been shown to not be as transparent or forthright as we would like them to be so we’re looking forward to that Supreme Court of Canada reference because we want to get on with the business of senate reform.”

Taxes

Findlay said the federal tax burden is at its lowest in 50 years.

“We are working toward a balanced budget by 2015 but doing it by creating more jobs and more opportunities and keeping taxes low.”

It’s better for Canadians to have more money in their pockets and make decisions on how to spend it, not hand it over to government, she said.

When asked if lower taxes results in a transfer of the burden over to municipal and provincial governments, Findlay questioned if those levels of government are not managing the money they have with the same approach as the federal government. “That’s a question each region and municipality has to ask itself,” Findlay responded. “Our transfer payments to the provinces for health care has increased six per cent every year since we came into government seven years ago. We’re funding it more than 40 per cent higher than we were when we came into power.”

Different provinces had jurisdiction over their health care and have different levels of efficiency with the money they are getting, Findlay said.

“When it comes to municipalities it varies. Some are doing really well and some are trying to raise taxes. It comes down to management I would suggest.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Lifelong learner

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe got his first teaching job in Williams Lake

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Federal Court exonerates Kamloops Mountie in burger beef dispute

A Federal Court ruling has overturned punishment in case involving a cop, McDonald’s manager

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

BC Emergency Health Services Advanced Care Paramedic Practice Educator Trevor Campbell. (Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation - Contributed)
ECG machines onboard Okanagan ambulances for quickest response to heart attacks

Donations from Lake Country, Predator Ridge, Vernon and Armstrong behind purchase of 8 live-saving machines

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read