Mr. Speaker, I appreciate your giving me this time so I can speak on behalf of my constituents of Calgary Shepard, as well as the warning that I unfortunately have only five minutes before we begin question period.
I am thinking about what to say about the third budget bill I have had a chance to debate in the House. I sit on the finance committee that was taken with this matter earlier in the month when it considered the contents of the legislation, as well as its implications for the Canadian economy and jobs in Canada. At the end of the day, the great hope is that every single budget will build on a plan or some type of goal or end journey that the government wants to get to in order to improve the situation of Canadian families, and of job-seekers as well. I just do not see that in this budget. I did not see this in the last budget and I did not see it in the budget before that. What I have seen is a series of failures to have a coherent plan on what they are trying to achieve. A lot of the time I think the government is simply making it up as it goes along.
One thing I will point out is that in this particular budget there was no chapter on defence spending. That was a big portion of the announced spending in the past two and a half years, but that is all it has really been. There was a bunch of news releases, a bunch of tweets, and maybe some Facebook posts, but there is nothing inside the budget that specifically talks about procurement. Over the next five to 10 years, procurement is expected to be one of the largest expenditures in our budget. We are seeing a continuous increase in the budgeted numbers for defence spending, with the same amount of equipment coming back to us, or actually less equipment, so the per-unit value of our spending is actually going down. Spending on defence is an important component, but we are always expecting to get something in return: equipment that the Canadian Forces can use to replace the equipment it now has, which is sometimes antiquated and other times has served out its proper life cycle.
They say that money is round and it rolls away. It is a Yiddish proverb. The chamber knows that I love Yiddish proverbs, and it is true in this case as well. In three consecutive budgets, we have seen deficits completely out of control, and the government is simply letting these roll away. It is money out the door and interest payments on debt that keeps going up. We have an $18.1 billion deficit expected this year. The government and its caucus members will say, “Everything is going so great: Look how we have juiced up the economy, look how good the GDP growth numbers are”.
However, what we have seen in the first quarter of this year, as is being reported in the media now, is that the economy has taken a serious hit. The housing market has drastically slowed down because of a successive series of changes, almost 20, to mortgage rules, including the latest one on January 1. The B20 mortgage rule changes have had a severe impact on new entrants in the market, those who want to buy a townhouse, a house, or who want to move up on the property ladder and expand because they need a bigger place to live, and those who want to downsize because they are coming to the end of their working lives and they want something simpler to live in and to have an easier means of taking care of their homes. All of those have been hit because, at mortgage-renewal time, they will now be facing a stress test. We know that the housing market in Canada and the different real estate markets in our small communities as well as our large metropolitan centres drive the economy. If we remove real estate growth and the construction of homes from our GDP numbers, we find that we do not have any growth. It is so critical. This mortgage stress test is expected to have an impact on job losses and reduce mortgage demand and housing by about 15%. Fifteen per cent translates into about 100,000 to 150,000 jobs that could disappear. These are well-paying jobs, not just brokers and real estate agents, but a lot of tradespeople who are in the business of building new homes, new condominiums, and new townhouses for Canadians to purchase, and for permanent residents to purchase as well. These people will be impacted by the successive series of mortgage rule changes. It is going to have an impact in the budget, something the budget has not planned for. The budget does not address this in any way. As I said, money is round and it is rolling away.
The government simply has no plan. This budget does not build on any type of long-term vision for the future. The Liberals have not set us up for success anywhere past 2019. It is as if the government is only thinking about the period between now and the next election. Planning from election to election is a bad way to set fiscal policy and public budgetary policy. Therefore, in the budget we will have accumulated, by the expected time frames in the forecast, nearly $100 billion in new debt.
I see the signal to stop now, but I look forward to continuing my intervention after question period.