Scott Brison has envisioned a platform for a new Progressive Conservative Party. Please use the links below to learn more about Scott Brison's ideas:
Harnessing The Entrepreneurial Spirit Of Canada's Regions
A Tax System To Make Canada A Leader In The World
A Canadian Doctrine For The Middle East
Creating A More Efficient Capital Market
An EI System That Works For Canadians Who Work
Protecting The Environment And Health Of Canadians
Regulatory Reform To Provide Greater Government Accountability
Allowing Canadian Banks To Be Global Leaders
Fix Canada's Health And Education Systems By Fixing Canada's Fiscal
CANADA - UNITED STATES Security And Economic Partnership
"In a meeting this week with our editorial board, Mr. Brison laid out the boldest and most sensible platform we have heard from any federal candidate -- Tory or otherwise. Unlike leadership contenders who insist they will defer to their caucus or "grassroots" before formulating an agenda, Mr. Brison had a clear answer for every question we asked. Better still, he came equipped with plenty of his own fresh ideas."
National Post Editorial
HARNESSING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL
SPIRIT OF CANADA'S REGIONS
After 40 years of the same agency/subsidy driven approach to regional economic development, it is time to consider courageous new approaches.
Current business subsidy programs like ACOA and Western Economic Diversification exist by taking money out of the hands of businesses that are succeeding (and paying taxes) and transfer some of it (after significant administrative costs) to other businesses, some of which are successful and some of which are not.
The market and business people have a better track record of picking winners and losers than bureaucrats and politicians.
The world today is vastly different from the one in which regional development programs were originally introduced. The new global economy demands a new approach to enable all Canadians to achieve economic success. Countries like Ireland have demonstrated the importance of competitive and innovative tax policy to generate economic growth.
Replace regional agency/subsidy driven programs like ACOA and Western Economic Diversification with major corporate and small business tax reductions through an investment tax credit system, while maintaining investment in needed infrastructure.
“Mr. Brison suggested that “this bold move would send the message that Atlantic Canada is a good place to do business, make money and create jobs.” He’s right.”
National Post Editorial
August 14, 2021
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A TAX SYSTEM TO MAKE CANADA A LEADER IN THE WORLD
Canada’s finance minister describes Canada as a northern tiger, but with his Liberal incrementalism, the best we can hope to be is a northern kitten. The real tigers, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore, have focused on enhancing productivity by dramatically cutting and, in some cases getting rid of, corporate taxes, capital taxes and taxes on investment. The true tigers have built tax systems that encourage investment and savings.
Canada’s effective corporate tax rates are among the highest in the OECD. This creates a competitive disadvantage between Canada and our international competitors.
Canada needs a major overhaul of its tax system, including: eliminating the job-killing capital tax immediately; eliminating personal capital gains tax; dramatically increasing RRSP limits; increase the basic personal exemption, the point where Canadians have to start paying taxes, from $7,400 to $12,000
Making the clawback of the child tax benefit for families with a household income in the $30,000 range more gradual, to reflect the reality that a Canadian family, with two children, earning about $30,000 is not rich.
Changing our tax brackets to align them more closely with our major competitors. For example, Canadians hit the top marginal tax rate at $100,000 whereas in the US Americans hit the top rate at $400,000.
Changing the tax system to treat single-income or dual-income families identically under the tax system, in order to stop penalizing Canadian single income families.
Eliminating corporate welfare in HRDC and Industry Canada and using that money to dramatically reduce corporate tax rates.
Implementing a youth tax credit system to help address the brain drain and to help make Canada a magnet for young talent.
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A CANADIAN DOCTRINE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
Under the Progressive Conservative government, Canada helped shape the world. Under the current Prime Minister’s government, Canada is trying to escape it.
In the recent Iraqi crisis Canada could have played a leadership role in helping build a UN sanctioned effort by helping align US and UN interests.
Foreign policy ought to be aimed at protecting our national interest and building a better world. Failing to shape the efforts of our traditional allies and failing to stand with our allies, does neither.
We should be shaping the policy of and standing beside our allies, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. We should not blindly follow the UN or the U.S. We are a sovereign country and we should develop a sovereign foreign policy. This means as a sovereign country, trusted by the US and the rest of the world, Canada can again punch above its weight as an important middle power shaping a better world.
Change the approach from a coalition of the willing to a coalition of the willful by focusing on an end game, not just in terms of regime change in Iraq but a macro approach to the entire Middle East. This would include reconstruction and democratization, and helping develop a vision not just for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq but for a more stable, democratic and peaceful Middle East.
Canada should play a leadership role in helping to fill in the blank spaces in that end game working with President Bush and others to propose a Canadian doctrine for the Middle East. This would include a democratically led Iraq, working with Israel and the Palestinian authority to first of all ensure a democratically led Palestinian authority and ultimately to an independent and democratically led Palestine that recognizes absolutely the right of Israel to exist in safe and secure borders.
I believe fundamentally that democratization should be an important tenet of Canada’s foreign policy in the mid-East and elsewhere.
I believe Canada must present an independent, sovereign foreign policy that is not guided by anti-Americanism, but rather by our desire to protect our national interests and build a better, more stable world.
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CREATING A MORE EFFICIENT CAPITAL MARKET
Canada remains one of the few industrialized countries without a national securities regulator. Canadian markets represent only a tiny proportion of global capital markets and therefore it is nonsensical to divide our relatively small market into 13 regulatory jurisdictions.
A national approach to securities regulation would create a more efficient capital market and reduce costs to market participants such as investment dealers, bankers, brokers and issuers.
The idea of a national securities regulator is as relevant to Main Street as it is to Bay Street. Canadians are now participating in capital markets in unprecedented numbers, both directly and also indirectly through their RRSPs, mutual funds and pension funds.
A national securities regulator would serve the interests of investors and industry by reducing the costs of raising capital and increasing market efficiencies.
In response to corporate malfeasance in the U.S., the American congress acted decisively by approving the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In Canada, the government has not acted.
The federal government must work with the provinces to create a national securities regulator that includes inter-provincial co-operation and the sharing of the costs and revenues. One set of rules would make it easier and less costly for issuing companies to raise capital. This would also facilitate Canadian entrepreneurs’ entry into the capital market.
A national securities regulator could initiate a comprehensive national investor’s education program, which is currently lacking in Canada.
A national securities regulator would have the resources to better monitor capital market activities and help restore Canadian investor’s faith in corporate governance.
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AN EI SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR CANADIANS WHO WORK
Canadians place a very high priority on our nation’s social assistance programs. To ensure that our social safety net is strong, social programs must be effective, well run, with minimum levels of abuse.
Employment insurance (EI) started as insurance against job loss but has evolved into a massively overpriced payroll tax and a cash cow that finances excessive government spending without accountability.
The current EI system does nothing to address the increasingly important problem of under-employment for those Canadians wishing to upgrade their skills and get a better job.
Canadian workers who pay into EI for ten years without drawing, would be entitled to individual EI accounts. Individual EI accounts would increase incrementally each year the worker does not draw EI benefits. Workers could use account balances to pay for education and training to upgrade skills and to become more fully employed.
The employer portion should be reduced and no additional paper burden be placed on employers for the new system.
Canadian workers could transfer unused EI account balances to retirement funds upon retirement.
“His pro-business economic nostrums are
offset by a liberal approach to social policies.”
The Globe and Mail
February 3, 2022
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PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH OF CANADIANS
Canada, once a world leader on environmental progress, is suffering from an ecological deficit leading many from the environmental community to proclaim the last 10 years to be a “lost decade” for the Environment. Sustainability is the essence of conservatism.
Health professionals estimate that thousands of Canadians die every year from pollution related respiratory disease. Air quality is intrinsically linked to human health. Clean air should be the right of every Canadian.
Enact legislation allowing the Minister of Transportation to set mandatory motor vehicle pollution reduction levels. Canada should enact regulated improvements that meet the recently announced California standards.
Provide incentives and loan guarantees to assist provincial utilities to convert coal-burning electrical generating stations to natural gas.
Encourage drivers to purchase low sulphur fuels and ethanol blended fuels by reducing the federal excise tax by four cents a litre on those fuels.
Introduce a Safe Air Act legislating acceptable air quality standards through sector-by-sector agreements with industry.
Enact safe drinking water legislation, setting as enforceable regulations Health Canada’s water safety standards. These standards are currently guidelines only with no legal effect.
Treat the provinces as true partners and conclude bi-lateral Kyoto agreements with every province to ensure the particular and unique circumstances of that province are considered in jointly developing greenhouse gas reduction plans.
Provide income assistance to farmers who choose to move from chemical farming methods to certified organic farming for the transition years in which they cease using chemicals but cannot market their produce as organic.
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REGULATORY REFORM TO PROVIDE
GREATER GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
Canada needs significant regulatory reform focused on productivity enhancement. Regulations are a form of hidden taxation. They raise the cost of doing business with the result that Canadians end up paying a relatively higher price for goods and services. They also kill jobs by making Canada less competitive.
Small businesses have helped maintain Canadian employment levels and we owe it to them to take leadership in creating a more vibrant economic environment.
Some estimates suggest that federal and provincial governments have passed over 100,000 regulations in the past two decades. Compliance with these regulations may have cost Canada $103 billion, that is, 10% of our $1.1 trillion annual economic output.
Table an annual “Red Tape Budget”, in addition to the annual spending budget. This would afford Parliament the opportunity to debate the regulatory burden on both Canadian businesses and individuals. A regulatory budget would help hold governments accountable for the full costs of their regulations and could prevent the current patchwork of redundant regulation that can stifle Canadian enterprise.
The use of sunset clauses can help ensure that the raison d’être of a regulation is reviewed periodically. Currently, once a regulation is on the books it is there forever, even after it has ceased to provide a public benefit.
“Brison’s proposal would do us all two huge favours. It would reveal the true extent to which our lives and pocketbooks are already controlled by insidious regulations, and it would enable us to start to break free from at least some of this control.”
October 31, 2021
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ALLOWING CANADIAN BANKS TO BE GLOBAL LEADERS
The federal Liberal government has done everything in its power to prevent Canada’s banks from succeeding on the world stage. The Liberals have been playing politics with the Canadian banking system. The Finance Minister said ‘yes’ to bank mergers last summer and the Prime Minister said ‘no’ to bank mergers last fall.
This uncertainty is particularly destabilizing for Canada’s capital markets — on which most Canadians rely for their retirement income. Ten million Canadians directly or indirectly own bank shares as part of their pension or retirement plans.
Canada’s financial services sector has the capacity to lead globally.
The U.S. market is rapidly consolidating. Once-smaller players have begun gobbling up the smaller banks, building their own national networks. Canadians should be in there competing for this lucrative market, but they don’t have the capital scale to do so.
Canadian banks have a distinct advantage over their U.S. counterparts. They know how to run large national networks of branches, something that until very recently U.S. banks — a patchwork quilt of small, regional operations — did not.
Canada’s financial institutions should be given the freedom to combine their capital to make them truly competitive world-class players.
Bank merger proposals would be subject to careful scrutiny. Bankers would address public interest concerns directly with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Competition Bureau.
“We note the lucid and sensible dissenting opinion from
MP Scott Brison, the Progressive Conservative finance critic.”
The Globe and Mail
March 28, 2022
(reporting on the release of the Bank Report
by the Finance Committee)
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FIX CANADA'S HEALTH AND EDUCATION SYSTEMS
BY FIXING CANADA'S FISCAL IMBALANCE
The federal government’s tax revenues have grown dramatically over the last decade.
During the same period, the federal government has slashed transfer payments to the provinces, and the provinces have subsequently faced significant increases in the costs of health care and education as well as for other areas of provincial social investment.
As documented by the Conference Board of Canada Séguin Report (co-authored by Yves Séguin, the new minister of finance in Quebec), the issue of fiscal imbalance is real and needs to be addressed in order to fix Canada’s health care and education problems.
Transfer an increased level of equalized taxing power from the federal government to the provincial governments to allow the provinces stable and consistent funding, and providing control over more of the tax levers to pay for the social investment areas for which they are constitutionally responsible. The provinces should not have to beg for funding crumbs from the federal government to pay for essential services.
“It is not fair to have one level of government, namely the provincial level, assume all the responsibilities for health care, social services and education, and another level of government, namely the federal level, assume all the responsibilities for raising money. The federal government has the means to raise money. Our provinces have the lion’s share of the responsibility to provide health, social and education spending, and yet the federal government has most of the taxing power.”,
Scott Brison, MP
House of Commons
February 19, 2022
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CANADA - UNITED STATES
SECURITY AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP
In the 1980’s, Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative government initiated negotiations with the United States for a Free Trade Agreement.
What began as an agreement between Canada and the United States evolved to include Mexico forming a true continental agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
NAFTA is a success. Total trade between Canada and the United States has more than doubled since 1994. Daily trade between the two countries totals $2 Billion per day, by far the most important single trading relationship in the world.
Today, more than 200 million border crossings a year take place between the two countries; 45,000 trucks cross the border daily.
90% of cross border movement takes place at just 20 crossings.
Investment flows exceeds $400 Billion per year between Canada and the United States almost half of it Canadian investment in the United States. We are each other’s preferred place of investment.
There has been tremendous change and evolution in the Canadian and US economies over the past 15 years.
NAFTA focussed on movement of goods between partners. Over the last 14 years there has been a shift toward movement of services, technology and people.
The impact of the unexpected events of September 11th has created a real urgency to Canada’s relationship with its continental partners, and national security is being highlighted for what it is, an important variable to Canada’s economic progress and prosperity.
Even before the attacks of September 11th, NAFTA was inadequate to serve the needs of Canada and Canadians. It’s time for fresh thinking, new approaches and move beyond NAFTA to forge a new partnership with the United States.
Canada plays a leadership role in negotiating a Canada-U.S. Partnership on Security and Economic cooperation where both countries retain full sovereign rights as nations.
Create a strategic framework that links Canada’s national security and defence with its economic goals.
New Border Initiative:
Shift responsibility of border enforcement from the present day internal border to global ports-of-entry to North America.
Streamline or eliminate outdated regulatory and procedural infrastructure barriers at the internal border.
Build a security initiative that will create a seamless border for low-risk cargo and travellers within a common economic space. It will shift the border from the traditional internal, north-south model to a shared checkpoint between Canada-US.
Develop a set of common procedures and a shared system for commercial processing to process and inspect cargo from third countries at the port-of-entry to the continental economic space. Marine containers would be processed for North American travel at the ocean port of entry with all relevant customs inspections done at that time allowing for unencumbered travel within the economic space.
Create a North American Travel Identification System in conjunction with an agreement on the faster movement of goods across the border, that will allow travellers to move easily and quickly between Canada and United States.
Develop a commonly-accepted identification system that includes a travel document that allows holders fast crossing between border checkpoints.
Travel documents would be offered on a voluntary, user-pay basis. Applicants would be required to go through a number of security checks on both sides of the border.
Help to foster development and understanding of a common, North American economic space.
Canada-U.S. Perimeter Security Alliance:
Allocate necessary resources to military and security agencies to fully meet Canada's responsibilities to Canada-U.S. Perimeter security.
Play a leadership role in developing standardized approaches to perimeter security with the United States. These standards will be designed by and trusted by both countries.
Creating Economic Efficiencies:
Review regulations in key continental industries like transportation, telecommunications, financial services and energy to reduce unnecessary overlap.
Initiate negotiations with the US on a ‘tested once’ principle for the Canada – US market. Streamline standards, inspection and certification procedures and other regulatory requirements in industries where appropriate. These include the consumer and industrial goods sector, food safety and pharmaceuticals.
Move Canada towards greater compatibility with the US in critical infrastructure including: telecommunications, computer networks, pipeline capacity, and electricity transmission.
Take steps to mover towards an “open skies” policy for air travel between Canada and the United States.
Canada and the US cooperate to the highest levels of environmental protection with an emphasis on clean water, air, and the handling of toxic waste and hazardous waste.
Resource security pact:
Initiate negotiations with the US on a resource security pact, based on two core principles: open markets and compatible regulatory frameworks.
Reduce threat of trade disputes by resolving the issues of resource pricing and subsidies
Create specialized joint commissions to address the four areas targeted for action in this strategy: new border initiative; creating economic efficiencies; resource security; Canada-U.S. security alliance.
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