Trade, Taxes Dominate Andrew Scheer Appearance

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer takes questions Credit: Facebook/Effie Triantafilopoulos

By: Laura Steiner

Trade and taxes were the main themes of a speech from Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer this past week.  Scheer spoke to the Oakville and Milton Chambers of Commerce at Rattlensake Point Golf Club.

Scheer started with a 10 minute address where touched on trade, and the proposed changes to corporate tax rates. Scheer called the  proposed reforms “the largest, most egregious attack on small business.” In July, Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled new tax measures that would end practices of income sprinkling, and make changes to passive income.

Last month, Morneau announced further changes that would see the government establish a threshold of $50,000 for passive investment income.  A business tax cut was part of their 2015 election platform.  In October, they announced a cut by 2019.  Scheer stresses the effects of these changes aren’t limited to the business community.  “My message today is that we shouldn’t look at these issues as an employer vs. employee. We shouldn’t pit different groups of Canadians against each other.  We should have policies that benefit everyone,” he said.  The federal Conservatives will unveil new policies sometime in 2018.

Scheer Makes Case for Diversification on Trade

Scheer also used his speech to talk trade.  The Trudeau government has begun talks with the USA, and Mexico on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  US demands include changes to dispute resolution; something Canadian officials are against.  “The threat of losing NAFTA is very real,” Scheer said in his prepared remarks.

Scheer believes in diversification on trade.  He thinks Canada should be looking at a CanZuK initiative. a project intended to facilitate the free movement of goods and people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Scheer also gave the audience a feel for his personality.  In a rapid fire question and answer session he revealed a passion for etymology (the study of word origin), an interest in historical fiction, and that he’s a Simpsons’ fan.  Andrew Scheer is the first Speaker of the House of Commons to move onto a leadership role.