House of Commons Hansard #283 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was 2018.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, when Stephen Harper inherited governance, he also inherited a multi-billion-dollar surplus. He converted that into a multi-billion-dollar deficit, and that was prior to the recession. The Conservative government continued to have deficits year after year, accumulating well over $150 billion. This government has nothing to learn or any advice to take from the Conservatives in dealing with how to manage a budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, it is always nice to get up in the House and talk about sensible policies and not shout, the way my hon. colleague does, with all his fluff and bluff. I have been listening for the last 16 years. He was in the opposition, and now he is over there.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I would ask the hon. member to turn down the volume on his hearing piece. We are getting a lot of feedback.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, it is all clear now, right? I was just trying to speak as loudly as he was speaking.

Today the Parliamentary Budget Officer issued his report. It is timely, as we are debating the budget bill. Of course, I would remind all my listeners out there that today the government brought in closure so it could stifle debate, because there are a lot of issues, as has been pointed out by the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Very clearly, when the government was over there, it was telling Canadians that it would not increase the deficit by more than $10 billion and would be bringing in a balanced budget by 2019. These were the promises the Liberals made. Today the Parliamentary Budget Officer said quite clearly that everything they did was wrong. Their projections were wrong. The estimates are wrong. They are fooling Canadians by using different numbers. It is good that the Parliamentary Budget Officer talked about it today.

Most importantly, he talked about the carbon tax the Liberals are forcing on all Canadians and all the provinces, and the fact that the carbon tax is supposed to be good for the economy and the country. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has quite clearly stated that the way they are going is not the right approach.

Let me be very clear on one issue in reference to carbon taxes. All of us want clean air. All of us look out for the environment. We live in this country. It is our environment. We want a clean environment, but not the way the Liberals are going, by forcing carbon taxes on provinces that do not want them. Saskatchewan does not want it, and the, hopefully, Conservative government in Ontario does not want it. The, hopefully, Conservative government, in Alberta does not want it. Then, lo and behold, we have the government in British Columbia being held hostage by three Green members.

Three Green members are holding hostage the whole of Canada on the Trans Mountain pipeline. Premier Horgan will not agree because he would lose the government. He does not want to go to the people. If he is so confident about speaking to the Trans Mountain pipeline, and all the polls are showing that British Columbians want it, someone just said that the easiest way to resolve it is to go to the people. That is the best way in a democracy. He would probably find that he would get a pink slip to go back to the unemployment line.

However, the question here is about the government and its budget. We just heard the government side talk about reducing taxes for the middle class. We hear the Liberals talk about it here, but we never hear them talk about their increase in taxes, the payroll taxes. Actually, the great indication by the Fraser Institute showed how much Canadians are paying in direct and indirect taxes. It is what they call “freedom day”. For the first time in the history of our country, under the previous Conservative government, we pulled that back into June. The date was sometime in June because of our reduction of taxes, but under this government, freedom day has gone back into July. That is the real issue.

That is where it really shows where the government, by not by showing the whole picture, is raising taxes. We have had a serious problem over here on this fact. The Liberals are just blindly spending money.

One of the key issues I talked about last time was the government of China's infrastructure bank. We have already given half a billion dollars to it. Why is that? Why are we giving it to that bank? It does not do anything good for us. It is great for China, but not for us. We already contributed to the African Development Bank, to the Asian Development Bank, and to the Inter-American Development Bank. We are already doing our bit to help countries through these development banks. Why are we following this with a half a billion dollars?

These are questions Canadians are asking. Where is our money going? Why does the deficit keep increasing?

The Liberals came out with infrastructure funding. However, in a province like mine, Alberta, we do not know what the government is doing. Where is this infrastructure funding going?

The issue here is on the fundamental issues of economic progress, and in this case it is the Trans Mountain pipeline, which everybody agrees is good for Canada. Of course, the NDP members do not agree, but that is all right; they are a small bunch. The fact remains that it is good for the country. However, the question is on leadership. This is where leadership needs to be shown, and it is not coming from the government. We have waited and waited, but nothing is happening.

We agree that we also want a clean environment, but there are ways and means of doing that, and it is not in stifling economic growth. When jobs and economic growth are lost what happens? The budget goes up and taxes go up. Somewhere down the line, we will have to pay this deficit.

Let us look at the deficit. The PBO came out and said that there would be a $22.1 billion shortfall this fiscal year. The Liberals projected $18.1 billion. Again, according to the Liberals' figures, the projected deficit would be $17.5 billion. However, the PBO projects $21.4 billion. The total is a $8 billion difference in deficit. Also, according to the PBO, there is a 5% chance of the budget being balanced by 2025. However, the Liberals are not interested in that, because, after all, when they lose power, they will leave this whole mess behind.

We left the economy in very good standing, and the Liberals quoted all these figures. I remember when they wanted change in Canada and sunny ways, but as they progressed, all the policies we had put in place they carried on with and implemented. Why? Because they were good policies. Despite the fact that the Liberals keep trying to blame the Conservatives for everything, it is not going to fly. They had good management from us when they took over. When they are gone, and hopefully we will take over, we will have to clean up their mess and look at the deficit.

Canadians are concerned where the government is going. What is the purpose of the government? Back home in Africa, we say that the ostrich has its head in the sand. The Liberals have their heads in the sand. They are not looking around at what is going on. They will not answer to the future generation, because they will not be around.

However, the issue is always on how we bring confidence to Canadian businesses. It is interesting that in Lima, the Prime Minister said that big projects would go ahead. Well, big projects are not going ahead in our country under the current government.

The Liberals keep talking about Conservatives not building pipelines. We built the environment where the energy industry grew up. The Liberals are running something where the energy industry is going down under their leadership. However, it is good to see that the NDP government in Alberta agrees with us.

The fact is that we need common sense policies, but they are not coming from the Liberals. We do expect any common sense policies coming from that side.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, my friend talked about the deficit. I wondered if he could point out in Hansard a time when he rose and condemned the Harper government for all those deficits it ran. It is probably zero.

The member also mentioned that he wanted to clean up the environment, that the Conservatives were behind that, but then he glossed over the fact that there was no plan. The Conservatives have offered nothing. They did nothing for 10 years. Could the member stand in the House and offer any type of plan as we are seeing the dramatic effects of climate change? Spoiler alert: it is probably zero again, but I would like him to have the opportunity to do so.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, if I recall correctly, the current government carried on with our targets, the targets we had put in place. The Liberals carried on implementing those targets. They did not change those targets because those were common-sense targets.

Therefore, the government has been acting on the environment, but it has its head in the sand. The question still remains. Will Canadians pay for the reckless policies of the government? That is the question every Canadian is asking.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, Canada has a number of key infrastructure issues with respect to keeping our economy going, and one of them is our highway system. If we travel across the country and travel on the Trans-Canada, we will be on four-lane highways. Then, when we get to northern Ontario, we get to two lanes, Highway 17 and Highway 11, which twist and turn through rugged rock country. This is the main truck transportation for the country. All the goods of the country travel on those roads. Year after year, we see them getting more dangerous. We see, with the privatization of truck maintenance by the Wynne government, the number of deaths we have had on the road.

I would like to ask my hon. colleague about the disregard we have from the present government toward the people of Ontario on issues of infrastructure that are literally life and death, that are issues about our economy, and the lack of involvement of the federal government in working with the province to establish a credible system of transportation that ensures the safe passage of goods but also the security of people who travel on these roads.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 23rd, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, I will answer that because northern Ontario is part of Canada. The question the member very rightly asks is where the government's priority. Is its priority to ensure there is infrastructure? Good roads are prosperous for everyone, like good pipelines are prosperous for everyone.

When we were in power, our government had infrastructure programs, which was why we built a highway up north. They opened it up, but remember the construction was started by us. I agree with the member. Absolutely the government, in co-operation with the province, and, by the way, a Liberal government in Ontario, could easily work with Ontario to look after the needs of northern Ontario.

Good infrastructure in northern in Ontario and all across the country is extremely important for us to ensure economic growth in our country.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I take issue with one comment made by my colleague with respect us not having to answer to future generations. The fact is that this government is all about looking out for future generations, whether it is the social well-being of them or the environmental well-being of them. How can that member suggest this government and this party are not looking out for the future of Canadians and our children?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, the Liberals have reckless policies that are not looking out for our future. l look at what they are doing to the deficit with this budget. That is spending recklessly, writing cheques without thinking. I look at what the Liberals are going to leave for the future generations. I look at what the PBO said today as to the amount of deficit and the cumulative deficit of the budget. At the end of the day, the government has yet to bring in some good policies. It is the future generation that will be paying.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, Indigenous Affairs; the hon. member for Saskatoon West, Health; the hon. member for Drummond, Justice.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for West Nova.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in support of Bill C-74, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018, and other measures.

First, I would like to talk about why this bill is so important to Canada as a whole. Then I will highlight some of the specific measures that will help my beautiful riding of West Nova and, most important, its people.

This budget continues to build on the strong foundation for growth that our government began putting into place when it took office just over two years ago. In that time, Canada's economic growth has been fuelled by the middle class, and there has been more support for those working hard to join it. Because of the hard work of Canadians, together with historic investments in people and communities, more than 600,000 good new jobs have been created right across Canada. Most of these are solid, full-time jobs. Consequently, under this government, the Canadian unemployment rate is at its lowest in my lifetime.

Also, Canada now has the best balance sheet of any G7 country, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio, and the downward trend of that ratio will continue into the future. Our debt as a portion of our economy is shrinking steadily and will soon reach its lowest point ever in my lifetime.

However, while the Canadian economy is doing very well, the most important indicator for any government is not some economic formula, but rather how people are doing. Do people have the tools to lift themselves up, to make their communities stronger and more vibrant, to be secure in the knowledge that they will have a dignified retirement, to help children living in poverty, to ensure veterans are looked after, and to ensure we position Canada to allow our industries to flourish?

While we know the economy is doing well and that thing are on the right track, we also know there is much more work to do so all Canadians have the opportunity to reach their full potential and, indeed, so people end up doing well. Our government wants a real and fair shot at success for all our people.

Let us start with the Canada workers benefit. Budget 2018 introduces the new Canada workers benefit, a more generous and accessible benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers than the income tax benefit it replaces. For example, a worker making $15,000 a year will get about $500 more in 2019. By allowing these low-income workers to keep more of their paycheque, it encourages more people to enter the workforce and it will deliver real help to two million Canadians, including 45,000 Nova Scotians who are working hard to join the middle class. This new measure will lift about 70,000 working individuals out of poverty and will promote economic independence for so many who would otherwise be left behind.

Let us turn to the Canada child benefit. Speaking of lifting people out of poverty and giving them opportunity, the CCB was introduced in 2016 and provides more support for nine out of 10 Canadian families. With the measures in budget 2018, the six million children currently benefiting from the CCB will continue to benefit for the long term, because it will be indexed, starting this July, to keep up with the cost of living.

In West Nova, the effects of the CCB are real. Thirteen thousand children are benefiting and over $4.5 million each month are being invested in the well-being of the kids in my riding. As a result, hundreds and hundreds of children in western Nova Scotia are no longer living in poverty and many are now able to receive adequate school supplies, join minor hockey, take dance or music lessons, have warm clothes for the winter, or go to summer camp. This is real and this is making a substantial difference in the lives of children in West Nova while also helping our local economy.

Let us talk about security retirement for our seniors. Like many members of rural ridings, I represent many seniors and I am so pleased that our government supports them. While there is more work to do, we restored the eligibility age of old age security and GIS from 67 to 65, and increased the GIS by 10% for single seniors. Also, working co-operatively with the provinces, the Canada pension plan has been strengthened for the long term. In fact, it will result in an increase of the maximum CPP retirement pension by about 50%, phased in over time, and it will mean even greater support to persons with disabilities who need support from their government.

As the member of Parliament for West Nova, an area with Canada's most lucrative fishery in lobster, scallops, and other seafood, it is critical to me that the fishing industry, which is the backbone of the economy in southwestern Nova Scotia, is supported. That is why I, along with other colleagues, have been advocating for increased investments in our small craft harbours to allow for the continued growth of fisheries operations.

I am very pleased the government has responded in budget 2018 with an investment of an extra $250 million over two years into our critical harbour infrastructure. This will help expand capacity and support the flourishing seafood industry being able to get its product off the boats and to world markets.

We know that with the coming into force of the European trade deal, CETA, and now the CPTPP, the demand for our seafood exports will continue to grow. This will diversify our customer base and sustain the high prices our fishermen have been getting for their lobster and other high-quality seafood. This makes a huge difference to our local economy in southwestern Nova Scotia.

I am also fortunate not only to represent an area with one of Canada's most important fisheries, but also to represent 14 Wing Greenwood, the largest air force base on the east coast. As a result, I represent many veterans all across my riding. It is vitally important that we support them for all they have done in their service to Canada. We know there is lots more to do, and we know that some may not yet know about the investments being made, but we are on the right track, and we are making things better for our veterans.

The government has made substantial investments to benefits and services for veterans and their families, so far totalling $10 billion. This includes new education and training benefits and expanded services to families of medically released veterans. We have reopened offices, increased the earnings loss benefit, and the disability award. There will be an option for a pension for life rather than the lump sum amount. There will be more front-line staff, more for mental health, and a new caregiver benefit for those taking care of ill and injured veterans.

Budget 2018 will expand the medical expense tax credit to include the cost of psychiatric service dogs that are so important in the support they provide to many of our veterans.

We know there is more to do, and I am committed to working with our government and continuing to advocate for the veterans I represent, but the fact is clear that we have made substantial investments and we are really beginning to fix the damaged system left to us by the Conservative government.

I am proud of the Acadian communities in West Nova, and I fully support them in protecting and promoting their cultural heritage, as well as our official languages.

Our government recognizes the importance of supporting official languages across Canada and is serious about its duty to actively promote the development of official language minority communities. We recently announced an action plan for official languages, which represents the largest investment in official languages in over 15 years. We have listened to the needs of these communities, and budget 2018 meets their expectations.

Our budget will invest in our community and cultural organizations, such as the Société acadienne de Clare, the Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas, and the Université Sainte-Anne in my riding of West Nova, so they can continue their important work preserving and promoting Acadian culture and the French language in my riding.

Budget 2018 will support radio stations and newspapers like CIFA and Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Despite the challenges faced by francophone media outlets in minority communities, they continue to offer content that reflects the French-speaking Acadian community they serve.

When we look at this bill to implement budget 2018, we see a vision for the future of Canada, one that builds on the foundation already laid by this government and one that continues to invest in our communities and their people so that all Canadians have a real and fair shot at success no matter what circumstances they were born into, so they can have a dignified retirement. It is a budget that continues to sustain our strong economic performance well into the future and keeps Canada on top as the very best country in the world.

That is why I am proudly supporting Bill C-74.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, my colleague commented on his vision for Canada and that this budget clearly lays out a vision for Canada.

What my colleague did not do was tell Canadians that part of that vision includes a massive debt that will be left to future generations of Canadians. He commented about the Canada child benefit. We champion the Canada child benefit, but it would be nice if, along with the cheque the government is sending to the parents of the children of Canada, there was a little disclaimer on the bottom to say, “P.S. You, your children, and your grandchildren will be obligated to pay for the out-of-control spending that the Liberal government is currently incurring on your behalf.”

How can my colleague actually believe this is a positive vision for Canada when it leaves us paying $26 billion a year just in interest, going to $33 billion in just a few years? That is not even counting the carbon tax. It is not counting the extra $4 billion that the Parliamentary Budget Officer indicated today would be added to this year's deficit, which was forecast to be $18 billion and is now $22 billion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I always find it interesting when I hear Conservatives talk in this place about deficits and debt. Most Canadians understand the fact that the last government ran up over $150 billion in deficits and debt. That has to be paid by Canadians. The result of that deficit and debt was one of the lowest and worst-performing economies in the G7, and a stagnant GDP.

This government is investing in Canadians and their communities, including the Canada child benefit, to put Canada on the right track for the future. It will strengthen local communities. Investing in our children is the best investment we can make. We are seeing the results. Canada has the highest GDP in the G7 right now because of wise investments like this one.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, it is not enough for the Liberals to tell Canadians they are going to implement pharmacare, or ask Canadians to just trust them, or tell Canadians they are going to have an advisory committee but it takes a long time, that kind of thing.

It would really be helpful if Liberal members stood up in the House and said they were going to implement pharmacare and that they were going to do the hard work to see that happen. Simply asking us to go along with a vague promise is not respectful to parliamentarians and it is not respectful to Canadians, who are looking for real timelines and for the government to move from talk to action.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I agree with my friend that we need to get there. I support the implementation of pharmacare, as do many of my colleagues. Many members in the House support it, as do most Canadians. However, we need to have a real plan to get there. We cannot just go ahead with something that is so vitally important and risk not getting it right. We have to work with the provinces to make sure the framework is properly put into place so that the investment we make will be a wise one, one that will sustain pharmacare for the long term, and make sure that people in Canada, including the vulnerable seniors I represent in my riding, will be able to count on that program for the long term.

We have to get this right. The government is committed to doing it and putting in place the right policy to do so.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I was hearing a lot of hyperbole and fiction and I was going to give my hon. colleague a pass because it is Monday, but then he started to talk about pensions. I mean, really? The Liberal government walked away on Sears workers. The finance minister came into the House to promote the interests of his family business, Morneau Shepell, and told investors that they needed legislation to take down defined pensions. Bill C-27 was the first pension bill the finance minister brought in; his family's company dealt with the Sears pensioners, and we expect the Liberal government to stand up for pensioners? This is ridiculous. The Liberals have a lot of gall to come into the House and pretend that they will do anything for pensioners.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I respectfully disagree with all of the assertions my friend has made. It is not helpful in the course of this debate to make personal attacks against members of the House. We can disagree on policy, but to call into question the integrity of an hon. member is beneath contempt and does not show proper respect for this place or for all Canadians.

The Canada pension plan has been strengthened for the long term because of the policies of this government. That is going to have real results for retirement security for all of our people.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, this budget is another failure by the Liberal Prime Minister and his finance minister: more taxes, more debt, and more spending that does not offer solutions for hard-working Canadians. Instead, it saddles us, our children, our grandchildren, and even our great-grandchildren with billions of dollars' worth of debt at a time when interest rates are rising.

Budget 2018 was a huge opportunity for the Prime Minister. The world economy is roaring, but the Liberal government is failing to turn this favourable climate into results for Canadians. Instead, the Prime Minister is raising taxes on over 90% of Canadian middle-class families, and this budget announces new tax hikes on local businesses.

The Liberals are also borrowing an additional $18 billion, which actually has now risen to $22 billion since this morning, which is adding another $22 billion in deficit to the budget. However, despite all the spending, middle-class Canadians are no further ahead and Canada's GDP growth will slow to 2% by the end of the year.

After the budget was presented, I spoke with the chairs of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Their words speak volumes about the measures in this failed budget.

Greg Durocher, the president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, said, “This seems to be a typical budget from a government that has seen better days in the battlefield. As a result of the massive campaign led by the chamber movement across the country, there was some moderate tweaking of the passive income tax calculation for small business owners. The real problem with this legislation is that it is not going to achieve the objectives they intended it to. You cannot get to the wealthiest 1% by targeting middle-class entrepreneurs, it is simply wrong and will still cost small business owners $1 billion taken out of our economy. There is nothing to make Canadian business more competitive given the massive tax reductions in the United States, our biggest competitor, and possible derailing of NAFTA talks which would cause a travesty in Canada for the business community. Supporting female entrepreneurs is a good thing, but frankly it is a shame we have to do this, and gender equality should be a foregone conclusion.”

He went on to say, “We are still very much concerned with a government who simply believes that a spending spree will be good for Canadians, and more importantly, good for our future leaders. We cannot continue to spend more than we take in. The time was right during the recession of 2008-09. Now, when the government itself says our economy is good, is the time to eliminate deficits, pay down debt and provide relief for businesses and individuals who are still struggling to grow and get into the prosperity of the economy this government keeps talking about.”

I am not sure I could have said it much better myself.

I also heard from Art Sinclair, the vice-president of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce who had this to say:

Small businesses across Waterloo Region and Canada need a tax system that is fair and straight-forward in its application. Our chamber has been consistently informed by our membership that new rules are making the system more complex and time consuming for companies who should be focused on growth and job creation.

This budget fails Canadians in many areas, but let me focus on three for the next few minutes.

First is infrastructure. This government campaigned on increasing spending on infrastructure, a promise that was popular across Canada. However, what we have seen is that even though this government is spending at record levels, very little is going into infrastructure. Meanwhile, the government is squandering $35 billion on a new Asian infrastructure bank that helps wealthy investors and ignores Canadians who want shorter commute times. In fact, this budget indicated the Liberal government is planning on cutting funding for infrastructure over the next few years.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote in the report entitled “Budget 2018: Issues for Parliamentarians”:

Budget 2018 provides an incomplete account of the changes to the Government’s $186.7 billion infrastructure spending plan. PBO requested the new plan but it does not exist. Roughly one-quarter of the funding allocated for infrastructure from 2016-17 to 2018-19 will lapse. Both legacy and new infrastructure programs are prone to large lapses.

It is another broken promise by the Liberals.

Second, I will talk about the carbon tax. Over 200 pages of the budget bill create a complicated and costly new carbon tax in all provinces that do not already have their own.

That tax would raise the cost of heat, gas, groceries, and everything else that Canadians need. A carbon tax would not work. Carbon taxes do not decrease emissions. They hurt the national economy by increasing the cost of living, all the while making the country less competitive globally. In fact, just today, as I mentioned, the Parliamentary Budget Officer announced that a carbon tax would take $10 billion from our Canadian economy.

Knowing all of this, the Liberal government is moving ahead with this bad decision. Unfortunately, that is not even half the problem. The Liberal government knows full well how much the carbon tax would cost the average family, but it refuses to let Canadians know. Officials from the Department of Finance have let us know that we can expect to see an 11¢ increase per litre on gasoline, and an extra $264 for natural gas home heating per year, with oil heating costs being even more. Trevor Tombe at the University of Calgary estimated that the carbon tax would mean $1,100 in additional costs per family. Other estimates are as high as $2,500 per family, just from the carbon tax implementation. That might not sound like a lot of money to the members opposite, but I have spent 12 years in this House making sure that my constituents in Kitchener—Conestoga get to keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets, not less, and I will keep fighting that fight.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote the following in the most recent economic and fiscal outlook:

Implementation of the federal government's carbon pricing levy will generate a headwind for the Canadian economy over the medium term as the levy rises from $10 per tonne of [carbon dioxide] equivalent in 2018 to $50 per tonne in 2022.

Based on analysis conducted by the Ecofiscal Commission, we project that real GDP will be 0.5 per cent lower in 2022 than it would otherwise be. This amounts to $10 billion in 2022.

Therefore, not only would families be paying more, but our economy would be guaranteed to suffer as well as a result. The government also knows whether its carbon tax would decrease emissions, but again we get no answers. My colleague, the hon. member for Carleton, has asked time and time again, and I will ask it now: What exactly does the Liberal government have to hide?

Third is the national debt and out-of-control spending. Canada started the new fiscal year on April 1, 2018 with a trillion dollars worth of market debt. This is the total debt upon which the Government of Canada pays interest. The net debt is $669 billion. We all remember during the 2015 election campaign when the Prime Minister, then the leader of the third party, promised that, if elected, a Liberal government would run a small deficit and return to balance by 2019. Instead, the deficits have been twice what he promised. Finance Canada now projects deficits for another 25 years, totalling almost half a trillion dollars.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer, in his review of budget 2018, had this to say in regard to the growing deficit and debt:

Despite commitments made in the Minister of Finance's mandate letter and in Budget 2016, the Government has not explicitly mentioned its fiscal anchors of balancing the budget and continuing to reduce the federal debt-to-GDP ratio in subsequent Fall Economic Statements or budgets, including Budget 2018.

The Liberal deficits today will require massive new tax increases soon after the election. Canadians will pay more tax to fund interest payments to wealthy lenders. That is money that is not being spent on our veterans, health care, national defence, or on real tax relief for the middle class.

We, as Conservatives, have a positive vision for our country. We on this side of the House have introduced legislation that supports young families, new parents, and persons with disabilities. We introduced legislation that provides more transparency about how taxpayer money is spent, and we will always support policies that create jobs and grow our economy. We will remove red tape and remove obstacles that are in the way of young entrepreneurs who are trying to start and to grow their business. I know that our leader, the Leader of the Opposition, has his private member's bill up for debate soon. I hope that members across the way will support this common sense legislation that would actually help new families, not saddle them with higher taxes.

This budget has been described by some as an election budget. While the Liberals are focused on trying to get re-elected, I will keep focusing on the hard-working people in Kitchener, Wellesley, Woolwich, and Wilmot. The people in my riding know how to work hard and contribute to the improvement of our community. I want to see them rewarded for their efforts, not saddled with mountains of debt.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Madam Speaker, I enjoyed listening to my colleague's remarks. He has a single vision, with a number of pieces that he has pulled out of a number of reports without any context at all, some of which are quite misleading. When he talks about the billion-dollar market debt, what he forgets to mention is that it first went to that number in 2012 under the Harper government. Indeed, that market debt includes crown corporations and others.

The misleading statements are not helpful to Canadians in terms of their understanding of what it really is. I would ask the hon. member if he does not think it is irresponsible to provide only partial information.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, that has been the argument that I have been making all day in this House. We are getting partial information from the government in this budget implementation bill. There is nothing in here to tell us what the carbon tax will cost us. There is nothing in here to tell us when the budget will be balanced, in spite of a very clear promise made by virtually every member of that party during the last campaign. I remember it was to be a maximum deficit of $10 billion, to be balanced by 2019. This year it should have been $6 billion, according to their projections. However, today the Parliamentary Budget Officer said it is not only $18 billion, but $22 billion.

Thus, I am absolutely opposed to partial information.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, it seems like those two parties really rub off on each other, sometimes for the better, but more often for the worse. We were given an omnibus bill of over 500 pages, a little strategy that they liked to use. Somewhere in all this mess, there were supposed to be measures to promote gender equality. In reality, there is not a single penny in the budget allocated for that.

I would like my colleague's thoughts on that. Does he think it would have been a good idea to include concrete measures for gender equality in the budget?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to pick up on the comment that my colleague made about the omnibus budget, which is 540 pages. Of those 540 pages, well over 200 pages are dealing directly with the carbon tax, and again there is no indication of cost.

I cannot answer specifically the question as to how much is directed towards gender equality, but based on the misinformation in this budget and the misinformation we have been given all day, I am not very confident that we will get an accurate figure for that either.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member mentioned a couple of quotes. I want to give him a quote from the Business Development Bank of Canada: “Canada had solid economic growth...in 2017. Our economy is on a solid footing. [...] Canada should have a solid growth of 2.2% in 2018”. Some estimates are even higher.

I want to quote the member when he said that infrastructure spending is very little. He should take a drive in his constituency, because we have invested $97 million to expand the highway. We have spent billions of dollars getting the light rail transit in the region. We have spent millions of dollars in infrastructure, underground maintenance, water mains, and waste water treatment programs. There have been millions of dollars spent in the riding.

I would encourage the hon. member to take a drive and see all the construction in the region.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, I am thrilled that my neighbour, my colleague from Kitchener South—Hespeler, mentioned light rail transit.

When I was elected in 2006, light rail transit was one of the things that I championed as a member of Parliament for the Waterloo region. I was honoured to stand with our former prime minister, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper, when we announced federal funding for the light rail transit in the Waterloo region. It is because when we were the government and made an announcement of that funding, much of that infrastructure spending was done toward achieving the results my colleague mentioned. I am grateful for those results.