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During Tuesday night’s all-candidates debate at NVIT, all five candidates were asked about their party’s plan to support small businesses.

*Candidates are listed in the order they responded to the question

Allan Duncan, People’s Party of Canada

“The PPC would like to lower taxes and balance the budget, our goal is to balance the budget within two years. We would like to free up people’s money and get that money moving. On zero to $15,000 there will be zero per cent tax. On $15,000 to $100,000 there will be 15 per cent tax, then above $100,000, there will be 25 per cent tax. There will be a reduction in corporate tax from 15 to 10 per cent. We won’t have a carbon tax. Gradually over one term, we would like to bring in those tax cuts.”

Dan Albas, Conservative Party of Canada (Incumbent)

“One of the first things the Liberals did in the spring budget of 2017 was to cancel the previous Conservative’s schedule for lowering the small business tax rate. Last year we would bring it down from 11 per cent to 9. They stopped it at 10.5.

A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will exempt spouses. Spouses, when you have an entrepreneur and their spouse, are working together, they’re both taking the risk. We will get rid of the passive investment rules. You can’t just keep throwing more red tape at a mom and pop operation. We need to support small business not attack them.”

Joan Phillip, NDP

“Small business is the backbone of the Country; small business employs the most people in the Country. I think that by relieving the tax from small businesses and putting it where it belongs, increasing taxes on the top one per cent.

The other thing I’d like to encourage is value-added, we’re shipping raw logs out of the Country and it isn’t making a nickel more than the log going on those ships. What about furniture, what about our cabinetry. And it’s the same as the fruit industry, where is all the processing being done? It’s not value-added. We need to keep the businesses here, we need to buy BC.”

Mary Ann Murphy, Liberal Party of Canada

“Number one, raw logs shouldn’t be shipped out of town like they are now to be refined in other centres. The TMX should be completed, the Albertans are going to find a pathway for their oil to market whether we finish the pipeline or not. There is a lot of new technology around the pipeline that makes it much safer and we have to accept the fact that transporting by rail is highly dangerous. Completing the pipeline would create more than 800,000 man-hours of jobs.

I think Merritt should take advantage of the Western Economic Diversification fund as Mayor and Council look to develop a new economic diversification program. The Liberals are going to create a new entrepreneur account. We have lowered taxes, they are at nine per cent despite the criticism you just heard and they’re the lowest in the G7. We will also cut taxes in half for companies producing green zero-emission products.”

Robert Mellalieu, Green Party of Canada

“I know what a small business is, it’s not a pipeline, it’s not Alberta’s oil, it’s some Texas millionaire’s oil. One of the first things we’ll do in the Green Party is to try to make a level playing field, so small businesses are working on the same plane as big businesses. The other thing we want to make sure we do is having capital available for small businesses. We are going to have a green venture capital plan and that capital plan is where you can take your plan and get some money to get started and some people to help you, some mentors.

Some people have a really good idea but don’t have anything to fall back on. With the guaranteed livable income, they will have that to fall back on. I’m going to swing for the fence, I got some money from the venture capital program, let’s see if it goes, and if you fall flat on your face, you’re not going to be on the street.”

For the full campaign policies visit the Party’s websites.

Canadians head to the polls of October 21.

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