Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise after my colleague, the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent. He brings both knowledge and passion to this House, and we are very fortunate to have him on the team.
Watching the reckless spending of the Liberal government in its two and half years here, he has raised repeatedly the fact that the Liberal Party of Canada broke its core election promise to Canadians, which was that it would balance the budget over the course of its mandate and never run a deficit of more than $10 billion. The Prime Minister and the finance minister broke that central promise within a few months of forming government. This budget shows that they have not learned the lesson.
The most troubling quote from the budget delivered a short time ago by the Minister of Finance was near the end of his speech, when he said, “With this budget, we are doubling down on our plan to invest in the middle class and in people working hard to join it.”
Now, “the middle class and those working hard to join it” is the trope the Liberals throw out all the time. The Fraser Institute has shown that the middle class is paying more under the Liberal government. In fact, 80% to 90% of middle-class families are paying more. Despite the rhetoric, and we have a Prime Minister who specializes in rhetoric, its record is atrocious. The Liberals are doubling down. It is a quintessential Liberal double-double: deficits and debt. We know that deficits are future taxes. What the government has committed Canada to is a long-term structural deficit, going out to 2030, that will start piling up debt on our children and on Canadian's grandchildren. It will almost double the debt over the projections of the Department of Finance and guarantee more tax increases in the future.
Actually, the semantics of the Liberal government are critical to watch, because it uses language. I was just at the immigration committee, where I heard for the first time the immigration minister use the term “illegal border crossers”. He likes to say that they are irregular. Well, his own department is suggesting that Canadians will be spending up to $3 billion on these irregular crossers, because the Liberals will not fix the safe third country agreement.
In the minister's quote I read, he said that they are going to double down on investments. The word “invest” is used 456 times in this budget. By comparison, the Canadian Armed Forces are mentioned zero times in the budget. It shows the Liberals' priorities. That is the largest department of the federal government. Just this morning, the minister of defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs committed our Canadian Armed Forces, in an awkward and incomprehensible way, to a mission in Mali, at a time when 162 UN peacekeepers have died in Mali, because it is a combat zone, not a peacekeeping mission.
The Canadian Armed Forces, our men and women, were mentioned zero times in this budget. However, investment, which is code language for spending, is mentioned 456 times. The Liberals have doubled down on excessive spending, excessive deficits, debt, and higher taxes for Canadians.
I started my remarks with the election promise the Liberals made. The Prime Minister of Canada changed the Liberal Party's view on deficits midway through an election campaign. He had said previously that they were the party of Paul Martin. Then when he wanted to outfox the NDP, he said that they were going to run deficits because we were in a recession. There was no recession. He either did not understand the economy or he misled Canadians.
The Liberals then said that they would not run a deficit of any more than $10 billion. As I said, they broke that promise within months. Their first two budgets had deficits in the $20-billion plus range, almost $30 billion. We are still doubling their projected goal at a time when the economy is doing well. This is not a time one runs massive deficits. As I said, those are future taxes on Canadians, which are going to slow our economy and hurt middle-class families. In a little over two years, they have increased spending by $58 billion.
It is unparalleled, even compared to the previous Prime Minister Trudeau, who I can mention by name because I am speaking about Pierre Trudeau. It is almost unparalleled to have, in two years, a 20% increase in spending during an economically positive growth period. Are Canadian families 20% better off? My friend from Welland is crying out. I know that the people in Welland are not 20% better off. I know they did not vote for $30-billion deficits. They did not vote for higher taxes on families, higher taxes on small business, higher taxes through CPP premiums, higher taxes through a carbon tax. In Welland, in Cobourg, and in Kingston, they did not vote for that. They voted for the promise of no more than a $10-billion deficit.
I would recommend that rather than heckling, some of the Liberal members should go into the coffee shops in their ridings, where people think a double-double is cream and sugar, not double deficits and double spending. The Liberal double-double is coming at a time when the U.S. economy is cutting taxes on small business. The Prime Minister and the finance minister waged a war last year on small business and are increasing a carbon tax at a time when we are already uncompetitive. Shipbuilding in Welland is going to be closing up as a result of the Liberal government.
I hope members do more than heckle here. They should heckle in their caucus. They should say to the Prime Minister to stop this reckless cavalcade of spending, stop raising taxes on small business and on farmers, stop raising taxes on businesses that are creating wealth and jobs. In this budget, where investment is mentioned 456 times, gender 358 times, Canadian Armed Forces, zero, it shows the Liberal government's priorities.