Mr. Speaker, as I said, I want to have the opportunity to comment on the things I like and do not like about the budget. I will start with the things I like.
I was very pleased to see $11 billion for home and palliative care and mental health care. I was really pleased to hear the Minister of Health comment on that again today. With my private member's bill on palliative care coming forward, I am happy to see money in the budget that would be used in that direction.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
Let us start with some of the things in the budget that concern me.
First, the whole point of the budget and the Liberal campaign promises was to run a deficit to grow the economy, to get infrastructure money in place and create jobs, and so we saw a $23 billion deficit last year.
However, the infrastructure money, according to the parliamentary budget officer, was not flowing at a very good rate, so we really did not get the growth in GDP we expected. In fact, if we look at budget 2017, it is projecting a deficit next year of $28 billion, and still the growth rate for GDP that is projected is not above what it was before we talked about spending all this money. We are spending a huge amount of money and going into a huge deficit, and it is really not producing the results we intended.
That gives me great concern. Once we start with a structural deficit—and it appears to me that the deficit is intended to run on and on, because I think I heard the member for Saint Laurent say 2055, and it was not contradicted—we get into paying interest on it every year. It will start off with $10 billion of interest that could be used for other things, such as paying down the debt, and then it becomes $50 billion by the time the deficit is the $1.5 trillion that has been suggested.
This is a bad direction for Canada. We are not getting the results we want out of it. We really need to focus on things that are going to create jobs.
With regard to job creation, one of the key drivers of employment in Canada is the energy sector, the oil and gas sector. The budget does absolutely nothing in this area. In fact, by removing some of the incentives for oil well drilling and things like that, the Liberals are killing the oil and gas sector. The carbon taxes that are going to be applied under this budget will just crucify the oil and gas sector.
I know this absolutely from my own riding of Sarnia—Lambton. We produce about a third of the petrochemicals that are produced across Canada. We have three oil refineries, we have a number of chemical plants, and we are the hub where the Marcellus natural gas is coming through, as well as the Utica gas. These companies create various kinds of jobs and all kinds of employment in our community. Now we have to think about companies like NOVA Chemicals, which has a $2-billion plant in the offing. It can decide to build it here or build it on the gulf coast. The carbon footprint will not leave the planet, but 3,000 Canadian jobs will go to the U.S. because a carbon tax like this is not competitive.
There is another energy company that is looking to build three energy facilities in Canada at $1 billion each. It also has the option to go to the U.S.
Again, I think that we have created an environment in this budget that will kill jobs and move our jobs from Canada to the U.S. It will not accomplish what Canadians want.
We have created a bad environment for small businesses. If we think about small businesses creating 90% of the employment in Canada, then it is certainly of concern that the Liberals did not come through on their promise to reduce the small business tax rate. In fact, they have increased the costs that small businesses have to pay through the CPP and EI payments they will have to pay for each employee. The combination of all these factors is creating problems for small business. That also is not going to result in jobs.
One of the other comments in this budget is about skills and training and the importance of having the right skills and training so that we can put people into these well-paying jobs. I really do applaud skills training, and I think we need to match the skills and the training of people to the job opportunities that exist. However, if that is a priority, I have no idea why the government, in this budget, has delayed the funding for skills training until nearly the end of its mandate. That makes absolutely no sense to me.
Some of the other concerns I have are with the amount of money going into this infrastructure bank and the whole discussion about foreign ownership of what I would consider to be critical secure assets for Canada. If we think about our airports and our harbours and some of the folks who potentially could be buying a foreign interest in our airports and harbours, that causes me great concern. There does not seem to be oversight in the infrastructure bank of who determines who gets that deal. That is very concerning in every way.
Let me talk a little bit about the gender equality part, and again, I will say something nice and then I will talk about the things I think are missing. As a woman, I am pleased to see that the Liberals have actually dedicated pages in the budget to talk about women, that they have done a gender-based analysis, and that they have 60 measures that are intended to help women here in Canada. That said, we know that senior women are some of the most impacted, the ones who are struggling the most in terms of making ends meet and living from day to day. There is absolutely nothing in the budget for seniors, and certainly nothing for senior women, so that gives me pause.
I was lucky enough to be on the pay equity committee. We studied and we made recommendations, and a large number of recommendations were made. One of them was about legislation, but there were many other things that could be done. Although I see that pages 217 to 221 are devoted to pay equity, there is absolutely no action taken immediately to address some of the things that could be done within the government. That is disappointing for me.
I was pleased to see child care as something brought forward in the budget. Again, this is a huge issue that is keeping women from entering the workforce. If I look at the 40,000 spots that are planned, they are not planned until 2019. That does nothing to address the issue right now. If we work out the math, divided by the ridings it is only 120 spaces in each riding. We have ridings across the country where there are waiting lists of two years to get children decent child care. Again, that is a little disappointing.
On violence against women and girls, we have talked about how important this is. There have been lots of words said. We do not see much progress on the murdered and missing aboriginal women effort, other than consulting with 90 victims. However, if I look at the amount of money the Liberals have put for violence against women and girls, it is $100 million. Let us measure that and how that stands up against some of the other priorities in the budget. There is four times as much money to have Statistics Canada collect data as there is to address violence against women in Canada. That, to me, is totally the wrong priority. I am not saying that it is not good to collect data, but in relative terms, one in four women are experiencing violence. We have an incidence of date rape on campus where 29% of young women in their first eight weeks will experience sexual assault. That is a huge priority, and I think it is not reflected in the budget.
Finally, I want to talk a little bit about innovation, because this budget is supposed to be an innovation budget, and I am a fan of innovation. I think that is definitely where we need to go as Canadians to figure out where we can succeed. I am all for that.
To have innovation succeed in Canada, there are three elements we really need. We need good ideas, so again, I want to say good things about the budget in terms of the science budget. I work very well with the Minister of Science, and I am pleased to see that good ideas will be fertilized in this budget.
We then need good support to commercialize, and unfortunately, although I see some funding with the Business Development Bank, I do not see enough funding that is really in the right risk portfolio to get the kind of commercialization we will need to create jobs.
Finally, we need a good business climate for those ideas to flourish and become companies in Canada. I have already spoken about the high taxes, the carbon tax, all the CPP, and the regulatory regime in Canada. It is really unsuited to creating entrepreneurial business in Canada, and I would like to see the government address that.
With that, I will conclude. That is the good and bad on the budget.