Mr. Speaker, I rise again today to discuss Bill C-394, the Supporting New Parents Act, brought forward by our leader. I do know one thing to be true. I mentioned this before and it bears repeating, as I continue my final seven minutes to discuss this piece of legislation. As I mentioned, I am a mother myself. I am very proud to be a mother. When we were discussing this piece of legislation before, one theme was just how incredibly expensive it is to welcome a child into the world.
It is a wonderful thing being a mother. It is the most marvellous thing, and among the most, if not the most satisfying thing I have ever experienced. However, there is certainly a cost to becoming a new parent, without question.
I think all of the speakers previously agreed that welcoming a child into the world is very much an expensive proposition. However, I will say this: Babies are expensive but the government is more expensive. That is why we need to consider the different costs associated with babies to start. When people have a child, they prepare, and purchase the things that are necessary. There is an endless list, such a stroller, the car seat, the crib, and the high chair. I recall my colleague previously doing a calculation for things like diapers and formula. Really, the costs are absolutely astounding.
Of course, as a responsible Conservative, I also considered the other financial implications. I know that my husband and I considered additional life insurance for my family. We took the time to have a will made, because it was something very important to us now that we had a future stake in the world. As well, we were very fortunate to begin an RESP contribution for our son.
Despite the the costs, it is a great joy for new parents to spend time with their child. I am sure that many, if not all, parents would say that it is probably the greatest joy of all. I was very fortunate when I had my son. I was, at that time, the deputy consul general in Dallas, Texas. Therefore, just like many Canadian women, I had a good job and a solid career. I had my child and was able to re-enter the workforce somewhat quickly. This has been done before. It will be done again in the future. It is something that mothers do all the time.
However, I was especially fortunate because my husband at the time was able to take two years from his career to care for our son. In fact, he credits this experience with the position he has today, in that his skills as a parent were recognized by his present employer. Therefore, this bill allows parents to spend more time with their children, which is something very important.
In addition, I mentioned before that we were able to have not only a happy child, but a healthy child. This is, indeed, not something that every family has the blessing of. I mentioned someone who is very close to me who had a child with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which resulted in many hours in the hospital. This experience with this child of theirs, this sick child, was certainly a testament to their strength and their will, and something that I cannot possibly imagine. However, the point is that this bill would, in fact, ease the burden of a family from a tragedy or something like that. It would allow them to be a greater ease in regard to their finances as they deal with their sick child.
In addition to the goodwill that is required to take care of a child, I just want to take a minute to discuss how the government talks about supporting and sticking up for the middle class. Supporting this bill was actually mentioned at the status of women committee, the very committee on which I sit, yet a recommendation in support of this bill was not included in a recent study of theirs. That is shameful. To me, it just shows spite on the government's part, that it is not willing to even consider a piece of legislation, even if it would be helpful to parents and to all Canadians.
Let us take a look at what has been destroyed by the government since it took office in regard to children.
First is the universal child care benefit. Every Canadian parent benefited from this and looked forward to receiving it every month. I know that $160 a month for my son certainly made a difference in my family budget.
Second is the children's fitness tax credit. My little guy plays hockey and that is not an inexpensive undertaking. All Canadian parents can certainly benefit from such a tax credit. It is a shame the Liberal government disposed of it.
As I said, babies are expensive, but the Liberal government is more expensive.
My son would never think about being the owner of a $4.5 billion pipeline, something I did not account for when I created my will. I am not sure if my son has any expectation of is ahead for him with respect to the carbon tax and its cost for my family as well as for future generations.
Babies are expensive, but the Liberal government is more expensive.
What concerns me the most for my son is the generational debt. This is the reason we should support the bill. It is about easing the financial burden on families. There is a deficit this year of $18 billion, a total debt of $669 billion. I daresay my son will be 32 years old when this debt is scheduled to be paid off.
Babies are expensive; the Liberal government is more expensive.