Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to take part in today's debate on Bill C‑239, which deals with a promise that the Conservative Party itself proposed in the summer of 2018.
We also moved a motion on February 5, 2019, here in the House, on this clear and legitimate request from Quebeckers and the Quebec National Assembly, specifically to cut the paperwork burden on Quebeckers significantly by allowing them to file a single tax return.
On April 24, 2021, all of my Conservative Party colleagues voted for this measure in Bill C‑224. The single income tax return responds to a request that is dear to the hearts of the people of Lévis—Lotbinière and all Quebeckers. All Quebeckers are required to file two tax returns as soon as they start earning an income, even if they have not reached the age of majority. This noble and legitimate request will save a lot of time and money for Quebec families and all Quebeckers. It is important to note that Quebec is the only province in Canada that still has to take on this onerous task.
Whether it relates to this bill or any other measure that would be good for the Quebec nation and the entire Canadian population, nothing seems to make the Liberal government lift a finger since it came to power in 2015, because saving time and money is simply not one of its values and is not in its DNA.
Let me give a real-life example of when all my children were still living under the same roof at home. At the time, it meant 14 individual tax returns for one house, plus two returns for my small farm. Think about it, that is 16 tax returns under one roof. That is a lot of repetitive and counterproductive work forced on families, students and young workers, who are eager to be active in the workforce, which is in need of labour now more than ever.
True to their values, Conservatives have always been committed to simplifying the lives of Quebeckers, saving them time and money, and increasing their quality of life.
We cannot shy away from certain words. We are living under a coalition government, and this cronyism between the Liberals and the NDP is disastrous for all Quebeckers and Canadians across the country. This arrangement is damaging our democracy and prevents any good measures from being adopted. We saw proof of this when the NDP and the Liberals voted against Bill C‑224, sealing its fate.
We saw further proof recently with my private member's bill, Bill C‑215, which got a majority but may not be adopted at third reading because the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance are still refusing to give it a royal recommendation. I would like to remind members that my bill would extend EI benefits for people with serious illness to 52 weeks, a fix for outdated legislation that has not been amended since 1971.
There are a lot of good bills here, including the one before us now, Bill C‑239, which is perfectly valid. However, we have a major problem in the House after eight years of Liberal incompetence that is now making itself felt across Canada and in every sector.
Our Canada is broken. It will never be like it was before. We are experiencing the repercussions of lack of leadership and political will to bring positive, long-lasting change to the lives of people in Canada.
Under the Liberals, life has become very expensive. Inflation, taxes, crime and drug deaths are on the rise. Honest citizens like hunters and farmers are being attacked and penalized by Bill C‑21. We have a Liberal government that will do anything to help its cronies get funding and contracts in exchange for a $500 ticket to a dinner. The Liberals managed to legalize marijuana and now want to decriminalize hard drugs. However, when it comes to helping honest people who work hard, day in and day out, people who are responsible, or people who are seriously ill and simply deserve our support, there is no danger of Liberal favouritism. There is no danger of giving these honest people a free ride. We hear more than a simple “no”. It is a resounding “no” to anyone with common sense and logic, and this is all currently endorsed by the NDP.
This government is really old, worn out and outdated, not to mention fundamentally incompetent.
I remember all too well the Liberal argument against adopting a single tax return in Quebec. I can already see the return of the stale rhetoric of the Minister of National Revenue—we just heard it. The House has already heard responses using the simplistic argument that having a single tax return would result in massive job losses, which is unfounded and, moreover, would happen at a time when there is a dire need for labour across Canada.
I would also like to remind the minister and my colleagues that the number of public service jobs has increased by 32% from 2015. My constituents write to me to tell me that they can no longer make ends meet, have no savings, are using food banks to feed themselves and their family, can no longer afford their rent, have to work when sick or, even worse, have to declare bankruptcy. Like them, I am very worried about our future and that of our children and future generations.
The aspirations of Quebeckers are eroding after eight years of Liberal incompetence. The single tax return that has been a Conservative election promise since 2018 will still not see the light of day, I am afraid. The NDP has to go back to being an opposition party and stop propping up the Liberal government. We all know that the 32 Bloc Québécois MPs are not the ones who can make the change that Canada really needs.
I am proud that the people in my riding, Lévis—Lotbinière, trust me and the leadership of the Conservative Party to put an end to the Liberal incompetence that we have seen for eight years now—eight years too many. The Conservatives are the best equipped to work for a more productive Quebec, a stronger Quebec, a richer Quebec, a Quebec that is a partner in Canada's success, a Quebec that is proud of its culture and heritage, a Quebec that is worthy of the French language, a Quebec that is respected by the Conservative Party of Canada for what it has achieved. The Conservative Party is a proud partner in the success of all Canadians from all provinces.
Historically, the Conservatives have said yes to Quebec's requests. We said yes to the construction of the new Champlain Bridge, yes to the future third link in Quebec City, yes to more power over immigration for Quebec and yes to a single tax return. That is more than a promise of change or lip service. It is a real commitment, a promise that I have been keeping every day in the House for 17 years now, along with my Conservative colleagues. I say yes for Lévis—Lotbinière and yes for Quebec.