Mr. Speaker, the question I am asking tonight has to do with the Prime Minister's vacation that he took, I believe last Christmas, which now is subject to an investigation by the federal Ethics Commissioner, related to his use of private aircraft.
The questions I raised, though, were more to get a sense of where his head space was at in this. I will try to make it relevant to the people in my community.
Alberta is going through a really hard time right now. There are many people out of work in Calgary, and many things have happened in the last two years that have essentially been a kick while they are down. We have seen a carbon tax put in place. We have seen punitive policies from the federal government on the energy sector, such as changing the rules for an environmental assessment midstream.
They are very political decisions, essentially designed to shutdown the energy sector. There are municipal property tax increases, changes in the wage floor in Alberta, and now the small business tax increase. Many people in my community are saying the government is taking a lot from them, but the Prime Minister was taking a vacation. I wanted to know why the Prime Minister thought it was okay to do this, and to give him a chance to explain to my constituents how he thought this was right.
The response that I got was nowhere close to satisfactory. If the Prime Minister was going to take those sorts of actions, he should be able to explain them, and he did not do that. When I told a friend about this situation, he said, “Wow, that's a real super-Gucci vacation that the guy took”, and I agreed with him. It is a bit out of character.
The Prime Minister has asked Canadians to make many sacrifices, and they have not gotten much to show for it. He is kind of saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”, with the Caribbean vacation thing. I am trying to make this very serious.
I know the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary will be responding to this question. Could the parliamentary secretary tell me how he feels about this? I know he also represents a large number of constituents.
Does he feel like he can stand up in this place, and defend the Prime Minister's actions with regard to this vacation, especially in the context of the small business tax? The data is showing the federal debt is increasing, our GDP is not growing, and people are not getting more jobs.
What is it like for the parliamentary secretary to have to defend a Prime Minister who is under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner, will not answer questions about it, and frankly, took a very expensive and high profile, super-Gucci vacation on the taxpayer's dime?