I have had the great privilege of representing my riding in the House since January 23, 2006, and my colleague and I have had the opportunity to work together in the interest of all Canadians in a way that respects the principle of tax equity, a principle that seems to have been forgotten since this Liberal government took office.
I want to begin by telling the people of Lévis—Lotbinière that the Conservatives will continue to fight the tax hikes imposed by this Liberal government, a government whose hypocrisy knows no bounds and that keeps breaking the promises that it made to honest, hardworking Canadians.
Bill C-342 will amend section 154 of the Excise Tax Act to exclude the collection of GST and HST on provincial carbon pricing systems. From now until the next election, the Conservatives will be the voice of the taxpayer, and we are proud to stand up for Canadians against this tax on the carbon tax.
This is no surprise to anyone. Our party has always opposed high taxes on Canadian taxpayers, and we oppose the Liberal government's unprecedented deficits and spending.
It is no secret that those who voted for a party other than ours are now looking at another option, and that option is the Conservative Party. Our previous Conservative government made it clear that the party respects taxpayers, our wallets, and each person's ability to pay. Our party does what it says and says what it does, in addition to helping Canadians make ends meet. Not only do we do all of that, but we also do so fairly, at no one's expense, and without mortgaging future generations to the hilt.
We hope that the Prime Minister is the only one in his generation to think that the world will end in 25 years and that Canadians will not have to pay down this massive deficit. Unlike the Liberal government, a Conservative government knows, in no uncertain terms, how to balance a budget and eliminate deficits.
The Liberal government's proposal shows the Liberal Party up to its old tricks. This is just another one of these Liberal shell games where Canadians always lose out. Does anyone believe the Prime Minister's claim that the government's new price on carbon will be revenue neutral? It is absolutely shameful that he should have the nerve to try to make the public believe this. He must always be looking for new ways to fill government coffers on the backs of hard-working Canadians so he can outspend our borrowing capacity by a factor of two, if not 10.
What does the Prime Minister take us for? Fortunately, not all of us blindly swallow everything the Prime Minister says in the House. It is patently obvious that by charging GST on top of the price of carbon, the Liberal government will be collecting billions in new tax dollars. Too bad they will not be able to make even more money off this revenue by stashing it in a tax haven, as their Minister of Finance is currently doing. Granted, that scandal is another matter altogether, but it is just one more in a long line of crooked Liberal manoeuvres that, sadly, always end with us losing out or getting the shaft.
This hidden tax is totally unconscionable, obscene, and unfair to Canadians. What is even more appalling is that it represents one more broken promise from this Prime Minister. Instead of taxing Canadians, and taxing the tax, as this unscrupulous government currently wants to do, the Conservatives believe that we need to lower taxes for Canadians, including taxes for businesses, families, and individuals. This is an integral part of the Conservative vision, a vision of prosperity and opportunities for all Canadians.
This bill's objective is very noble and laudable. We want two main things: we want to help the Prime Minister, as a matter of urgency, to keep his promise, and we want to prevent the Liberal government from collecting GST/HST on provincial carbon taxes.
Let us look back at the untruthful comments the Prime Minister falsely made on October 3, 2016:
Provinces and territories will be able to have a choice in how they implement this pricing. They can put a direct price on carbon pollution, or they can adopt a cap-and-trade system....
Whatever approach is chosen, this policy would be revenue-neutral for the federal government. All revenues generated under this system would stay in the province or territory where they are generated.
Budget 2016 included a 21% increase of GST revenue from 2015-16 to 2020-21, despite the fact that federal GST would stay at 5%. The amount of GST the federal Liberal government is currently collecting through carbon taxes for the 2017-18 fiscal year amounts to $65 million from Alberta and $65 million from British Columbia. In 2018-19, it is projected to be $140 million from Alberta and $110 million from British Columbia, and that is for just two provinces. Imagine how much the government will collect from across Canada. This will mean billions of dollars more unfairly taken away from Canadians through this double taxation.
Halfway through their mandate, the Liberals have an abysmal track record. According to a report by the Fraser Institute, 81% of middle-class families are paying more taxes under the Liberals. These are families that pay on average $840 more per year. That is a significant sum.
The Liberal tax hikes are hurting Canadian families and businesses. Among other things, they scrapped the universal child care benefit, fitness and children's art tax credits, post-secondary and textbook tax credits, as well as income splitting for families.
With respect to small businesses, it is thanks to the pressure applied by the official opposition that they will be paying less taxes, as set out in the Conservative plan.
The Liberals also halved the TFSA's contribution limit, scrapped the public transit tax credit, introduced an Uber tax, and raised taxes on beer, wine, and spirits.
They then tried to tax health and dental insurance benefits, as well as employee discounts.
Now the Prime Minister, in true hypocritical fashion, is asking middle-class Canadians to pay more to cover his reckless spending, all while his family's fortune remains intact. For shame.
The Prime Minister is failing in his duty and wasting Canadians' hard-earned money. So far he has used these massive tax hikes to pay for luxury vacations to tropical islands at the taxpayers' expense and to pay for a lovely book cover for the Liberals last budget.
Those who still believe that he is not going to raise taxes on Canadians are a rare breed, and they are tending to keep quiet on the issue. Canada does not have the luxury to pay for another Liberal government. This Prime Minister does not deserve to be reelected because he has already lost the confidence that many Canadians placed in him.
Next year, all my colleagues across the way will be allowed to smoke marijuana, but they will not be able to stonewall our ideas on this side of the House. Conservatives are strong, solid, lucid, and determined. Day after day, we will do what this Prime Minister and the Liberal government do not know how to do and that is work hard in the interest of all Canadians to build a strong, stable, and prosperous country.