Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards said he plans to continue to lobby the federal government on a number of ongoing issues this year, including changes proposed to the small business tax in 2017.
Richards said the federal government broke its election promise to reduce the small business tax rate and cancelled the small business hiring credit, among other changes proposed to the tax.
“There was a lot of negative reaction, rightfully so, from Canadians on what they saw that would really affect small, family-run businesses in particular,” he said. “Obviously, the government has indicated it will make some changes to those proposals as a result of that reaction, which is positive, but certainly they haven’t backed away from them completely and we have to continue to be on top of this one as we go into 2018.
“It showed that when Canadians band together and fight back, we can at least make some change, stop certain things from happening.”
Richards said he would also like the federal government to scrap its proposed carbon tax. The provincial carbon tax, which came into effect Jan. 1, 2017, increased from $20 per tonne to $30 per tonne Jan. 1.
“When the federal government has finally imposed its full set of requirements on the provinces, (the carbon tax will be) as high as $50 a tonne, and obviously that is going to have significant impacts on Canadians,” he said.
“It will be thousands of dollars coming out of your pockets every year to pay for that…. It seems like it’s a never ending attempt to increase taxes on Canadians from the Liberal government.”
Richards also put forward a private member’s motion for better support from the federal government for parents who have lost an infant child or have dealt with pregnancy loss, which he expects to be up for debate in February or March.
Reflecting on 2017, he said it was a year for the books in Canada, as Canadians celebrated the country’s 150th birthday and had the opportunity to reflect on Canada’s rich history.
“It was great to see so many people – whether it be a Canada Day parade (or) various things that happened throughout the year – with their Canada 150 flags and other paraphernalia and just really showing pride in being Canadian,” he said.
“That’s something that we don’t see often enough.”
In honour of Canada’s birthday, Richards awarded several volunteers in his constituency with Canada 150 awards for their contributions to their communities.