Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Peace River—Westlock.
I have been looking forward to this debate, because it gives me an opportunity to again highlight for Canadians the duplicity of the Liberal government in how it conducts the affairs of this nation and how it manages the finances of this country.
I will paint a bit of a background here before I get into the gist of my comments.
When the Prime Minister was running for election, members will remember that he promised he was going to run deficits of no more than $10 billion a year, and Canadians took him at his word. They thought he had never been the prime minister and they were going to trust him. He also said that he was going to balance the budget by 2019, and that we could take his word to the bank that he would balance the budget by 2019. What happened? Well, year after year with the current government, it is huge deficit after huge deficit, triple the size that the Prime Minister had promised.
This is in line with a field of broken promises that the Prime Minister has left behind. I am not going to regale members with all the broken promises, but I can say that history will show that the Prime Minister and his government have broken more promises than any government before it. It has been an unmitigated disaster when it comes to keeping their word to the Canadian people.
We had deficits that were supposed to be $10 billion. Today, they are $20 billion. The government has added $60 billion to our national debt. The worst part of it is that the Liberals said they were going to balance the budget by next year, but now we know that it will not be until 2045. Now, this is 25 years that we are going to be running deficits.
Just so that Canadians are very clear about this point, when we run a deficit what we are doing is spending more money than is coming in. Tax revenues come into the government, the government takes those revenues and spends them, but when it spends more than those tax revenues, it is going to have find that money somewhere. How does it do that? It borrows. Therefore, for the next 25 years, every single year, the government is planning to have Canadians borrow, whether it is $10 billion, $20 billion or $30 billion a year, adding it to the debt, which somebody has to pay.
Who pays back that debt, members might ask? It is my children and theirs. It is the next generation coming up, who we are trying to teach to manage their finances wisely. We are trying to teach them to balance their chequebooks, to live within their means and not incur mortgage debt or loan debt that is beyond their capacity to pay, because if, at the end of the month, they do not have enough money to pay for their expenditures, they have to go to the bank and borrow. It is either going to be on a mortgage or loan or some other way, such as a loan shark perhaps, which is the worst case. However, the bottom line is that we are teaching our kids not to do that, but to be respectful of their spending and to balance their books. Yet, we have a Prime Minister who grew up in the lap of luxury, a trust fund baby, who has no understanding of what it means to balance budgets. He has no understanding of the importance of balancing budgets. He has no understanding of what it means to pay down the national debt and act responsibly.
That is the context in which the budget implementation act is playing out. It is a sad story. What does the bill contain?
It really concerns me. I am the shadow minister for environment and climate change. What the Prime Minister is authorizing is the imposition of a massive carbon tax on Canadians. We know on this side of the House that Canadians do not support a carbon tax. They are suspicious of more taxes. Today, Canadians already pay $800 more in taxes than they did when the Liberal government was first elected. Whether it is payroll taxes or other taxes, their tax bill has gone up.
Here is a bigger problem. That amount does not even take into account the carbon tax they will now be paying. That carbon tax is on everything. It is on groceries, home heating bills and gasoline to tank up the car. Let me talk about that briefly. I am from British Columbia, and I know that today British Columbia has the highest gas prices in the country at $1.61 per litre. Why is that? The carbon tax is adding more to that, another 11 cents per litre that every single Canadian is going to pay to tank up the car. That is just for gasoline. It does not include any of the other goods that people are going to buy on which the carbon tax will be applied.
What is happening is carbon leakage, something that most Canadians do not know a lot about. I will explain it in layman's terms. We impose a tax in Canada, and the tax is so onerous that businesses and individuals, consumers will leave the country and find a place they can buy that product cheaper.
Do members know what is happening in British Columbia? It is something that has not happened for a number of decades. British Columbians are now again crossing the border into the United States, into Sumas, Lynden and Blaine, Washington, and they are tanking up there.
We are now depriving Canadian vendors of those gasoline sales and the jobs that come with them. On top of that, when those Canadians go south of the border, what do they do? They stock up on cheese, milk and other things. They may end up going to Costco. However, they are buying products in the United States, when they could have been buying in Canada.
By the way, the pollution is the same in the United States. In fact, I would venture to say that Canada's performance, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is superior to that of the United States.
I will go on to ask this. What is the actual tax that the Prime Minister is imposing on Canadians? By 2022, it is $50 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. The Prime Minister says that he is doing this to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, to do our part for the environment. However, we know, by the Prime Minister's own admissions this week in this House, that he does not even believe that his carbon tax is actually going to reduce emissions. He admitted that in the House this week.
If we are not reducing emissions, then it comes down to a simple tax grab. The Prime Minister knew it was going to be a tax grab. He came up with something that he is calling a “climate action incentive”. What he is doing is he is taking a dollar out of one pocket of the taxpayer and saying, “By the way, as an election gimmick, just to make sure you are going to elect me, I am going to put that dollar back in the other pocket by way of a rebate.” That is what he called it, “a rebate”. Canadians would get it right after their income tax forms were filed.
The Prime Minister went further and he promised the taxpayers were going to get back more money than he took from them in the first place. Anybody who does the math will know that if a dollar is being taken out and more is being put in the other pocket, which by the way is a pipe dream, that difference has to come from somewhere. Someone has to pay for it.
It will not be the big emitters, because they have gotten all kinds of exemptions. There are big factories, refineries and cement plants that have all kinds of special deals they made with the Prime Minister. However, the average Canadian families, the ones who have small businesses, are the ones who are going to pay the difference. There are about a million small business across Canada, employing millions more Canadians. The money is being taxed on the backs of those small businesses. Let us just imagine. It will be the businesses that are least able to bear that tax.
This is a carbon tax scam. It is not about going after polluters. It is not about helping the commuters, the soccer moms and dads, and the seniors. It is not about helping those who need the help. It is about giving special deals to the polluters and doing absolutely nothing for the environment by the Prime Minister's own admission.
Everyone can tell that I am extremely disappointed by this bill and the budget it is supposed to implement, because it is an unmitigated disaster. It is a deception on the Canadian people.