Mr. Speaker, part of an MP's job is to acknowledge the achievements of people from our riding. I am going to take a few seconds to talk about an important event that took place on the weekend.
There was a tournament of our national sport, the Canadian Hockey Enterprises Canadian Cup, in Saint-Constant, in my riding. Teams from Ontario and Quebec came to play, along with a local team, Arsenal Cadet D2 from the Jacques Leber school. Under the masterful guidance of Yann Hallé and Matt Grenon, our local team won the tournament. That is outstanding news.
I could list the players who truly put all of their talent on display, but it was a team win. I would first like to say that the goalies really put up a brick wall, letting in just two goals in five games and posting three shutouts. The defence held firm. No one was getting by them. The offence used all their energy to create scoring chances. All this combined helped Arsenal win. The players lifted the trophy in front of parents and friends who were extremely proud of their heroes. Congratulations to the Arsenal players for playing so well.
Now I will turn to Bill C‑32. That is what we are here for, and I get the feeling people are eager to hear what I have to say about it, so here goes.
I want to go over what led to the introduction of Bill C‑32. They say that opportunity makes a thief. They also say that heroes are born in times of crisis, and history has proven that to be true. We have witnessed truly difficult times, and we have seen extraordinary people, in both thought and deed, emerge.
To be honest, I am a very hopeful guy. I am optimistic by nature. People even stop me on the street to say so. I have pondered this difficult economic situation, with inflation at its highest point in 30 years and the looming threat of recession. People who take an interest in economics know how rare it is for these two conditions to occur simultaneously. It is very rare, and the situation is critical.
The health care system is broken everywhere in Canada, including in Quebec. ER doctors recently said we have hit the breaking point. This is serious. ER doctors on the ground working with people say things are really bad.
The rigours of inflation have hit seniors especially hard because they are on fixed incomes. These people were expecting help.
In addition, six out of 10 people do not have access to employment insurance. This system is so bad that CERB had to be created during the COVID-19 crisis because the system was unable to fulfill its mandate. In addition, employment insurance is what is known in economics as an automatic stabilizer. That means that when the economy is bad, employment insurance helps people who are in financial distress. We thought that the Liberals were actually going to do something about it and that the stage was set.
We were looking forward to the economic statement. Someone said to me that it was going to be as sensational as a kangaroo on a trampoline. It was set to be quite a show. I asked him if he was sure. Well, so much for the kangaroo. These are extraordinary times, but the statement was a massive flop. That reminds me of something else.
I went to a baseball game this summer. There was a peewee player who weighed at least 200 pounds and had a moustache. When he went up to bat, the pitcher threw some balls and everyone was sure he would hit one out of the park. He took a swing, hit a 10-foot grounder and basically staggered to first base. The defence was not at its best, but when the player got to first base, no one told him that he had not done well. He was patted on the back, and what he did was somewhat comparable to what the government has done.
The Bloc Québécois has taken stock of what the government has done, the short 10-foot ground balls, and we do have to pat it on the back, not because it has impressed us, but because what little it has achieved is not so bad.
Given the circumstances, we expected 100% and we got 3%. Hooray for the 3% and for the effort. That is what we can say to this government.
What is in this document? Nothing spectacular, but the government does use the word “inflation” 115 times. It was excited. It decided that it was not going to do anything about inflation, but that it was going to do an incantation. The government decided to talk about inflation so much that people would think that it is going to do what needs to be done about it. That is an old, outdated strategy, but the government thinks that it is enough to say “inflation” while gathering around the fire.
In the end, we see that nothing is happening. Simply saying a word over and over is not going to change anything. The government needs to take action, but as we have seen, it is not doing so. The government is staying static, and it is business as usual. That is what this government always does. Regardless of the situation, regardless of whether the issue falls within its jurisdiction, the government does nothing. Things have gotten to the point where, when it finally does do something, we are shocked because we are not used to it.
We can see that the government has dusted off some legislative standards and is serving up the same old thing when it talks about giving back money through the goods and services tax credits. It says that is good news. Last week in the House, the Liberals were applauding and cheering, and one of them even almost sent his glasses flying in the excitement.
That is an okay measure, but the Bloc Québécois had been calling for this to be done for a whole year. The Liberals dragged their feet, but at least they did it. It is the least they could do. It is a grounder, but it is still worthwhile.
What did the Liberals do for seniors? I did not say that because we are also dealing with a shortage of workers. We are not asking them to do something about the shortage of workers because they are way too mixed up. The Bloc Québécois is saying that we need to encourage those who are retiring to re-enter the workforce and give them tax exemptions. We need to tell them that if they want to go back to work, we are there to help, but that they are not being forced into anything. If they do not want to go back, that is not a problem.
What they are doing, what they have said several times, is that they will solve the worker shortage in a very simple way, namely, by giving nothing to seniors aged 65 to 75. Sooner or later, those seniors will have so little money that they will be forced to go back to work, and that will help solve the worker shortage. That is pure nonsense. That is not how it works. It must be an incentive. It should not be forced on them because these people do not have enough money to make it through this period of high inflation. The government does not understand this.
The Liberals have been telling us for seven years that something needs to be done about EI, that we have to wait and something is in the works. We have been waiting for seven years, but nothing has been done. They will not tell us anything. It seems that something is brewing, but no one will tell us what that might be.
It would have been easy to fight inflation intelligently. Inflation, among other things, is a result of supply chain issues. It is a result of our dependence on fossil fuels. That is a problem for us, which means that we are dependent on the fluctuating prices of fossil fuels, including oil. That is very easy to understand. We need to move toward clean energy, but the Liberals are incapable of doing so. They are encouraging oil companies to continue to produce. Canada is the only G7 country to increase its greenhouse gas emissions and they are happy.
I will end with something very simple. I was saying that we expected a lot and that the Liberals did nothing about employment insurance and health transfers. They would rather bicker. It is futile and they are bickering. A fat lot of good that does us.
However, they did do something very important and I am sure that, when I talk about it in my riding, people will say that this is quite the government. The Liberals implemented a Canada-United States agreement on the treatment of public servants who go to the moon. It seems that this is a far-sighted government that talks about what will happen on the moon but has no idea what is happening on earth.