Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Lethbridge, Alberta, who will be handily re-elected in the coming campaign against a fellow by the name of Ken Nicol, a provincial politician who thinks he may have a chance to defeat my colleague from Lethbridge. The fact is my colleague from Lethbridge is one of the finest members in this House and will be soundly re-elected in the coming campaign.
This budget was a great disappointment. When I sat in the House while the budget was being delivered, I looked at the finance minister and listened to him giving the speech and I looked over to the Prime Minister, sitting just to his left, and I thought to myself, what happened? What happened to the big, bold agenda, the brand new ideas, the passionate sense of need for the country that he was going to fulfill? What happened to the bold agenda that he had in mind? The idea of putting gas taxes into roads and all the other big ideas just absolutely were not there.
Canadians had very high expectations for the Prime Minister. Canadians hoped that they were going to see a new Prime Minister and a new agenda for Canada. In fact, what we saw was a bunch of stale, old hype that just was not fulfilled in any way whatsoever. The budget was a disappointment. Frankly, it was a hodgepodge and a jumble of projects that do not address the real needs of Canadians or Canada's economy.
With 46% of the income of the average British Columbian being eaten by taxation, we all expected more in this budget. Clearly, the Liberals are ignoring the emerging consensus in Canada that tax relief, including personal income taxes, business taxes, and reducing EI premiums has to be the priority in order for us to prosper economically and for there to be the job growth necessary for our future.
Under the Liberal government, spending has increased $41 billion over the past seven years. Over the next two years spending will increase by another $13 billion. Hardworking Canadians are sending more money to Ottawa than ever before, but Canadians still are not receiving the appropriate level of services commensurate with the level of taxation that they are paying. Hospital waiting lines continue to get longer, students continue to plunge deeper into debt, and our soldiers are stretched as thinly as ever.
What this means for the average Canadian is that they have less take home pay, which in turn means less freedom to choose how to live their lives and fewer opportunities, specifically for young Canadians.
The effect can be seen in British Columbia. The effect of this reality can be seen with regard to tax freedom day. Tax freedom day has moved, in British Columbia from June 9 in 1993 when the Liberals first came to office to July 2 today. Let me repeat that. When the Liberals came into power in 1993, tax freedom day in British Columbia was on June 9 and today it is July 2. What this means is that for the typical family in my riding of Port Moody— Westwood—Port Coquitlam, the typical family has to work 23 more days for the government than they had to in 1993.
This is a disgrace because Canadians work hard. My constituents work hard for their money. Businesses are sacrificing. People are doing what they need to do, yet year after year of Liberal government, they are having less take home pay, less money, fewer choices in their lives, and it is all because of the fiscal irresponsibility of the Liberal government.
What happened specifically to the promises of the Prime Minister when he was running to be Liberal Prime Minister? What happened to his promise for a new deal for cities by putting gas taxes into roads? In nine budgets over the past 10 years the current Prime Minister when he was finance minister said no to investing gas taxes into roads. Then on May 29 the Prime Minister said that the idea of putting gas taxes into roads would be among his very first priorities as Prime Minister. Ten months later he has still failed to act on his promise.
Even after he voted in favour of the official opposition motion in October last year, he has still failed to do that. Let us not forget that in October last year the House passed by a vote of 202 in favour to 31 opposed a motion that said:
That in the opinion of this House the government should initiate immediate discussions with the provinces and territories to provide municipalities with a portion of the federal gas tax.
Clearly, the Liberal government and the Liberal Prime Minister have abandoned their new deal for cities and they cannot be trusted to invest our gas taxes into roads.
There were essentially two pillars to his campaign as leader of the Liberal Party to become Prime Minister of Canada. On one hand, he said we needed a new deal for cities, and that has been abandoned in this budget. On the other hand, he said that we have to end the democratic deficit in the House of Commons. That has been abandoned by his failure to commit to fixed election dates and also his failure to implement the promise that he voted for, which is to initiate immediate discussions to put gas taxes into roads. He did not honour the vote in the House, 202 in favour to 31 opposed.
I see my colleague from Mississauga South is shaking his head. The fact is the member for Mississauga South, as all Liberal members in the House, voted in favour of putting gas taxes into roads immediately, but the Liberal Prime Minister and the Liberal government have again failed to deliver.
Every single year the Liberal government is missing opportunities. The government is spending more money than ever before. The government is spending over $183 billion this year, the largest budget by a government in Canadian history in terms of spending. It is spending more money than ever before, no matter how it is scored.