Madam Speaker, I rise to speak to the proposed legislation on marijuana.
This is nothing more than the Liberals raising taxes once again. I have been spending quite a while trying to figure out what drives the Liberals. I have come to the conclusion that it is how to raise taxes on all Canadians.
This legislation makes no sense. There is no coherent message to it whatsoever. The Liberals say that they want to keep marijuana out of the hands of children and, at the same time, they will legalize it. If we look at it through the lens of raising taxes, it starts to make some sense. This bill is all about that.
The Liberals have this figured out that if they legalize marijuana, there is perhaps a tax windfall, although not a great tax windfall. The Liberals do not go after the big fish. They go after people who have small tax credits, and things like that.
I do not think this will raise a whole bunch of money for the national coffers, but it will raise a little cash from legalizing marijuana, and therefore taxing it. The bill is all about that.
People may wonder why the Liberals need to raise taxes. They need to raise them so they can give it to their friends around the world. They have given nearly half a billion dollars to an infrastructure bank in Asia. In turn, that bank will use some of that money to build pipelines in Asia. We cannot even get pipelines built in this country. However, we are giving money to infrastructure banks across the world and they are building pipelines with that money.
This Liberal government is completely out of touch with the needs of Canadians, and this bill is nothing more than that.
What else are the Liberals doing with this money? They are bailing out Bombardier. I sent out a ten percenter to my riding, asking if anybody was in favour of the Liberals bailing out Bombardier. Believe it or not, nobody sent it back to me saying he or she was totally happy with the Bombardier bailout, that this was amazing work.
Bombardier is being sold to Airbus, a company out of France. Will Bombardier repay the taxpayer? Will it make them whole? No. Do the Liberals have a balanced budget issue? Yes. How will they raise the money? One of the ways they will raise it is through taxing marijuana.
As I said, this bill is nothing more than a way to raise some tax money. The government has been spending it on infrastructure banks in Asia and on Bombardier.
When I questioned the innovation minister on why the taxpayer would not be made whole with the deal between Airbus and Bombardier, he said that I did not stand up our aerospace industry. However, I do stand up for the aerospace industry in Canada and I am very proud of it. In fact, one of the greatest airplanes ever produced in the world would be the Avro Arrow, and that came from Canada. I am very proud of that fact.
What I am not proud of is the way the Liberals have treated the oil industry. The Liberals have never once stood up for the oil industry. They went to Calgary to announce an innovation cluster. We would have expected they had gone there to announce the innovation cluster for the oil industry or the energy sector, which is one of the most innovative sectors in our economy, but no. It was for agriculture. Agriculture in Calgary is completely out of touch.
What else do the Liberals need the money for? Members may have seen a $5 million skating rink on the front lawn. A hockey rink or a skating rink is quintessential Canadian and I grant that. However, I believe that within spitting distance of this very fancy hockey rink being built on Parliament Hill is the longest skating rink in the whole world. It is called the canal. That is the kind of thing the Liberals need to raise money for with the increase in taxes.
How do we know the Liberal government needs money so badly? I do not think putting a tax on marijuana is going to raise a great deal of money, particularly because I do not think the method the government is using to introduce it will stave off the black mark.
We already have a lot of contraband products when it comes to cigarettes. I do not see the difference here. I am not sure that when we get the government involved in regulating the prices, it will get the price perfect, and we will see the black market disappear. I am not convinced of that at all. Therefore, I do not see that there would be a great windfall.
The Liberals do not have a particular philosophy on how they raise taxes. They just think they can raise taxes wherever they can get it. We have seen this with the cancellation of the tax credit for folks with diabetes. Eighty per cent of the people who were formerly approved for the type 1 diabetes tax credit have now been taken off that list. It was not a great deal of money, but it was for those particular individuals. We can see the Liberals are not worried about raising taxes on everyday Canadians.
When we look at legalizing marijuana in order to tax it, suddenly it all makes sense. This is not about legalizing marijuana, or keeping it out of the hands of kids. It is not about making our country a safer place. This is about raising some tax dollars. As we look at it, we see the legalizing of marijuana is going to have some very detrimental effects. Granted, we may raise some money. I will give them that, but we will see increased traffic fatalities. We have seen this in other jurisdictions that have brought this on. Colorado, for example, has seen a 40% increase in traffic deaths in its jurisdiction since it legalized marijuana. In Canada, we have about 1,000 impaired driving fatalities in the country every year. A 40% increase is another 400 deaths. I do not know how we can justify legalizing marijuana when we know it is going to cause deaths across the country.
Not only that, we always get the comparisons with alcohol and smoking. They say those things are legal, why can marijuana not be legal. First, there is not really a direct connection with either of those other products. Neither of those other products permanently alter one's mind. Marijuana does permanently alter one's mind. I speak at schools, and the marijuana issue comes up. I always say that that is the number one thing. If someone smokes marijuana, there is a significant likelihood of them not graduating from high school; I am not sure exactly what the number is. I tell them that all the time.
Also folks who smoke marijuana have double the rate of psychosis. It doubles the rate of schizophrenia. Someone who is susceptible to schizophrenia and smokes marijuana is twice as susceptible to schizophrenia.
I do not understand this at all. The Liberals say they want to keep it out of the hands of children. To tell children that we are now legalizing it and then at the same time tell them we do not want them to use it, those two messages cancel each other out or even encourage marijuana use. It has nothing to do with the age limits they put on this stuff. I think that is left to the provinces, but they have definitely not put in an age limit. We hear everyone saying after 25 it may not affect your brain, but before 25, marijuana definitely affects one's brain in very detrimental ways.
I can come to no other conclusion than this particular bill to bring in legalization of marijuana has nothing to do with keeping our country safer, has nothing to do with keeping marijuana out of the hands of children, and has everything to do with raising a tiny amount of taxes.