Madam Speaker, it is again a pleasure for me to rise to speak on this budget implementation act, but I would like to comment on what the government has been doing since it was elected.
Just now, the member opposite asked a question regarding 10 years of regressive policy. May I remind that member very simply that we were elected in 2006, elected in 2008, and we were elected in 2011 with a majority government. What is this talk about regressive policy?
Let me remind this member of a similar thing. The Liberals keep saying that we gave them a deficit. Let me tell me tell them very clearly that at one time they were in favour of the PBO, and now they are having problems with the PBO because he said we gave them a surplus. Again, they are hiding what is really the truth.
Today the Prime Minister got up and said we did not understand protocol because he took his mother and his in-laws to Washington. He says that we do not understand. He is talking to somebody who has been in government for the last 10 years, and we do not understand protocol? Again, he is trying to hide this thing.
When the government came into power, the Prime Minister went on the international stage. I am talking about the international stage, because I was the parliamentary secretary for 10 years in foreign affairs. Very interestingly, he said, “Canada is back.” Of course, the media took that to be something, as if the government never existed before these people came into power, but for the fact that he was sitting over there in that corner before being the Prime Minister.
Let me say this. That was an insult, not only to everybody who was looking, but, most importantly, to the hard-working foreign affairs people who have demonstrated time after time the excellent way that they run Canada's foreign policy and the objectives that the government sets out. We should be thankful to them. Yet, here is the Prime Minister going on the world stage and saying what? He says, “I am back.” Inciting who? He is inciting the same officers that he is dealing with now.
Let me give an example. When the Prime Minister came into power after that, the first thing he said with respect to international development is that they will continue supporting the child maternity initiative that was done by the former government at the Muskoka conference. He wanted to continue that because that was a very good initiative. Yet, he says, “Canada is back.”
Yesterday, when he went and met Melinda Gates, he said they were going to give a commitment for the global fund. May I remind these people who are telling us that Canada did not exist prior to them coming into power, that it was the former government, the former prime minister, who was with Melinda Gates and who started giving money to this project. Now they say they are continuing that project. It is the same old story. They will continue doing what we were doing, and they want to take credit for it.
During the election campaign, the Liberal Party made numerous promise. Now it is coming out that all of them have been broken. One by one by one, major promises are being broken.
However, today we are speaking about the budget, so let us talk about the budget.
We are going to do a $10-billion budget. Well, guess what? One of the members said we can borrow at a cheap rate.
There is nothing wrong with borrowing at a cheap rate. We borrow money, but we have a plan to pay it back. Everyone has a plan to pay it back. Where is their plan to pay back this money, which is going to be a deficit of $30 billion? There is absolutely no plan.
Then they get up, and what do they say? They said, “Yes, we are borrowing the money. Everybody does.”
Let me also say this. They raised the international development budget by $250 million. That is fair enough. Then guess what the Minister of International Development said? She said, “I'm going to use this money to help us get votes at the United Nations Security Council”, which they have said they are going to fight for.
I was one of the persons in the former government who went out campaigning to get our seat. I can tell members that we stood our ground. We stood our ground, despite the fact that we were going to lose that thing.
We did not go out to buy votes like the Liberal government is saying it wants to do with the international development fund. That in itself is absolutely a broken promise. Where is the government going with this implementation bill?
There is another broken promise. Before I came to Parliament I was in a small business with my wife. We ran a successful dry-cleaning operation. She was the boss, and I was helping her. That is maybe why the business was successful. I was just taking care of the accounting process. The biggest issue with respect to that was that every time I dealt with the government, costs went up and up. Any time we dealt with the government for the 10 years that we were in business, the costs related to the government kept going up. That is a heavy burden for small business.
What did we do when we came into power? My good friend, the member for Beauce, undertook the initiative of how to reduce the red tape. As the Minister of Small Business was saying, small business is the driving engine of the economy.
If that is the case, let us do something for them, such as reducing the red tape and the government costs. Recognizing that, we even reduced the tax. What have the Liberals now done? They have refused to reduce the tax for small business, the driving engine of the economy.
Today, the PBO was absolutely clear with respect to the consequences of not fulfilling that promise. It will be a lack of revenue for the government, and job losses. The Liberals are saying they are presenting a budget that will create jobs. However, the PBO has said that because they did not reduce the small business tax, we will lose jobs. Therefore, the Liberals will put aside the old PBO report and carry on with the hoodwinking of the Canadian public, which is what they have been doing with their regressive policies. Who had regressive policies? Us? Forget it.
Let us be very clear about this. We will hold the Liberal government absolutely accountable. After our 10 years of experience, we left it with sound financial books. Now everyone is jumping on the Liberal bandwagon and saying that the deficit is fine.
When I was sitting over there in 2008, I remember that we went into a deficit because the G20 had agreed to go into a deficit to get the global economy out of the recession. Canada is not in a recession. Canada has its problems, but it is not in a recession, because we gave them sound financial books.
When I was representing Canada overseas, I remember being asked these questions repeatedly: Why is Canada's economy so sound? Why is it that the Canadian government has not had to bail out the banks? That was in 2008. It was because we had sound economic policies. The policies of the Liberal government are, as that gentleman has called it, “regressive”.
Let me say this. We left the Liberal government with sound economic books. What will the Liberals now do? They will nip a bit here and there, and destroy all of that. As one of my colleagues said, our children will pay for that.
Let us go to the basics. A deficit can be used temporarily when there is a need for it. However, there was no need to do that now because we are not in a recession. When the Liberals promised to increase the deficit by $10 billion, they should have come with a plan. I would not be surprised if the Liberal government raises the GST, which we had reduced, and places that heavy burden on Canadian taxpayers.