Saying the federal Liberal government “has declared war on our small businesses,” Cloverdale – Langley City Conservative MP Tamara Jansen joined a chorus of opposition MPs demanding the government pause the audits of small businesses that received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, until at least June of 2021.
The motion, made by Calgary Rocky Ridge Conservative MP Pat Kelly, the party’s small business critic, also also called on the federal government to immediately introduce legislation “to enact small business support and ensure these supports are flexible enough that they actually reach the small businesses they are supposed to help.”
Speaking in the House of Commons debate on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Jansen accused the government of treating Canadians “like two different classes of people, the good and the bad, the honest and the cheat, the employee and the employer.”
“In a pandemic, people should not be getting a phone call from the CRA saying that they have 10 days to cough up the paperwork,” Jansen commented.
“We need to protect small businesses right now. We need to help them stay in business. The last thing they need is a call from the CRA.”
Jansen listed several local restaurants as examples of businesses that aren’t getting the support they should, including Shiraz and Viva Mexico one the one-way in Langley City, and the Naka Bistro and Dublin Crossing on the Fraser Highway.
“This government has offered them almost no help besides a wage subsidy that disproportionately helps some businesses while being useless to others, or rent subsidies that were impossible to access until our current motion forced the government to improve it,” Jansen said.
“The government promised to come back to this session with a plan. Where is the plan? How do I tell the businesses in my riding that the support they need is going to lapse without new legislation?”
Many small business owners, she said, “are not sleeping at night. They are absolutely desperate, and no one is listening.”
“I’ve met with them face to face. I’ve seen the anxiety and agony in their eyes. They are under extreme stress that comes out in the form of migraine headaches, eyes swollen shut, rashes all over their body and even heart attacks. Their stress comes from a government who doesn’t have a plan, so that they can’t make a plan, either.”
In response, Liberal parliamentary secretary Kevin Lamoureux, argued the Jansen speech utilized “Conservative backroom talking points.”
“There was very little in that speech that I would concur with, other than the fact that business owners, just like all Canadians, are having a very difficult time,” Lamoureux declared.
“The government is doing its very best to provide the supports necessary. Heaven forbid if it were Stephen Harper who was in government. At least with a Liberal government we have a government that truly cares and believes it needs to provide programs to support Canadians and businesses. “