Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed listening to the speech of the member for Winnipeg North. It was all about spending, and the Liberals talk about that a lot. They spend, spend, spend. There was nothing about fiscal control. There was nothing about economic sustainability, being able to afford the things we paid for. There was nothing about reducing the tax burden on Canadians.
Therefore, it is a real pleasure to talk about the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the amendments that have been proposed. When we actually compare the provisions of the act and what the act requires against the performance of the Liberal government, we will find that this tax-and-spend Liberal government has been found wanting.
The underlying purpose of the act is to find the appropriate balance between our natural environment, our social environment and economic environment. Unfortunately, the current Liberal government does not understand where that balance should lie. In fact, if the Liberals went to section 5(b) of the act, they would find that there is a notion of intergenerational equity that requires current governments to take into account the welfare of future generations. Intergenerational equity, one of the key principles of the act, requires governments not to steal from future generations to pay for their current needs or demands.
However, when we look at the performance of the Liberal government, what does it do? It praises the Federal Sustainable Development Act, but then it incurs huge deficits when it promised not to.
I remember the last election when the Prime Minister went across the country saying he was going to run small deficits of $10 billion. By the way, he went on to promise he was going to balance the budget by 2019, which happens to be this year. However, we know that today, in 2019, there is no balanced budget and we know that it is going to take over 20 years to balance our budget based on the direction the government is going. That does not take into account additional spending that the Liberal government is going to undertake during the election year.
What happens? There is no intergenerational equity. What the Prime Minister is asking us to do is to pay for his mistakes.
Then we have a Liberal government that is hell-bent on phasing-out Canada's oil and gas industry. The Prime Minister has deliberately wiped out projects like the northern gateway pipeline and the energy east pipeline. He has imposed additional regulatory burdens, upstream and downstream impact requirements with which foreign oil does not have to comply. Therefore, these investments are fleeing the country. Over $100 billion of investment has fled our country over the last couple of years. Again, the Prime Minister is asking us to pay for his mistakes.
We remember the small business fiasco. We are talking about economic sustainability, social and environmental sustainability. Let us talk about small businesses. It was the Liberal government that introduced a policy that was going to harm small businesses by increasing the tax rate on those businesses to 73%. There was no apology in the House for suggesting that was what small businesses could bear. In fact, it got so bad that the Prime Minister referred to our small business sector as tax cheats. We have one million small businesses across the country and all the Prime Minister could do was to call them tax cheats. I have spoken to hundreds of them and they are angry at a prime minister who is asking them to pay for his mistakes.
I will talk a little about trade policy, because trade policy is about sustainability. It is about providing an environment in which Canadian companies can thrive within the global marketplace.
When our Conservative government finally left office in 2015, we turned over the reins to the Liberal government. At that time, Canada had strong diplomatic and trade relationships around the world.
As trade minister, I could pick up the phone and call my counterpart in pretty well any country to say we have a problem and ask if we could sit down and fix it. We could have that discussion. What does that look like today? Today, we have a trade agenda wasteland. Our diplomatic relationships around the world are in tatters. When did it start? Let us talk about it.
In Vietnam, where the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be signed, 12 countries agreed to expand trade. Eleven countries showed up in Vietnam. Everybody promised they were going to sign that agreement there. Who did not show up? There were two chairs that were empty at that meeting. Canada's trade minister did not show up. Canada's Prime Minister did not show up. What an embarrassment. Can the Prime Minister go back to Vietnam? It would be very difficult. It does not want him back there. None of the partners in the TPP want him back.
Then we see the Prime Minister travelling to China. He was going to start trade negotiations with China. Do members remember that? Unfortunately for Canada, the Prime Minister went there with a bunch of preconditions that had nothing to do with trade and told China that it was going to have to comply with these preconditions, otherwise we were not interested. China was very upset. It basically gave him a swift kick in the rear and sent him packing with his tail between his legs. What an embarrassment that was.
It did not stop there. Let us remember when he travelled to the Philippines. Canada is not a member of the East Asia Summit. The East Asia Summit was taking place in the Philippines. Our government asked to be invited, so the Prime Minister got an invitation from the President of the Philippines. He arrived on the ground there and the first thing our Prime Minister did was embarrass the Philippine president in his own country. Rather than using traditional diplomacy to raise the very serious issue of human rights, he embarrassed the president of that country in front of his own people. Do members think he is welcome in the Philippines now? That diplomatic relationship was torn asunder.
It goes on. Do members remember the Twitter diplomacy that founded our relationship with Saudi Arabia? At that time, we had tens of thousands of Saudi Arabian students studying in Canada, many of them for four and five years. While they lived here, what did they do? They would pick up many of the principles of freedom, democracy and human rights. When those students would go back to Saudi Arabia, many of them became great proponents and champions of human rights, democracy and freedom.
The Prime Minister thought it was a great idea to attack Saudi Arabia on its human rights record, and it does have a shabby human rights record, but he chose Twitter to do it, unlike our previous government, which used traditional diplomacy and tact in doing it. That relationship was torn asunder. It is costing our economy billions of dollars a year in lost revenue. The current Prime Minister wants to make you, Mr. Speaker, and all of the other Canadians across this country, pay for those mistakes.
It got worse. Do members remember the NAFTA negotiations? The Prime Minister embraced Donald Trump's offer of renegotiating NAFTA when in fact Donald Trump's ire was directed at Mexico, not Canada. Then the Prime Minister had the audacity to promise Canadians that when he was done renegotiating NAFTA we would have a better deal than we had before. What happened? The Prime Minister totally failed us. All the experts now acknowledge that the NAFTA deal that we have today is a much lesser deal than we had before the Prime Minister got started.
It is another failure, another mistake the Prime Minister wants us to pay for. The sad thing is this. The Prime Minister had an opportunity to address the steel and aluminum tariffs that Donald Trump had imposed on Canada through these negotiations on NAFTA. Do members think he got that done? No. Those tariffs are still in place, costing Canadians hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of dollars a year.
Was the softwood lumber agreement resolved in those NAFTA negotiations? The Prime Minister had that opportunity. It never got done. It was a failure, a mistake the Prime Minister wants Canadians to pay for. What a shame.
Let me return to China. We have seen the China relationship deteriorate to the point that it is the worst it has ever been over the last 40 years. We have a Prime Minister who cannot manage this relationship. He sends his own friend, John McCallum, to be the ambassador there, and then Mr. McCallum embarrasses Canadians by interfering in what should be an arm's-length legal extradition process for Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive. Our ambassador in China undermined the rule of law in Canada and undermined our ability to defend that rule of law here at home and abroad. Who suffers? It is people like Michael Kovrig, who is in prison in China for bogus reasons.
I know my friend here from P.E.I. is mocking us, but my own constituent, Robert Schellenberg, who is on death row in China, is the one who is going to have to pay for the Prime Minister's mistakes. It is all the same: failure after failure.
I could talk about our immigration system, because that is part of the social sustainability piece of this legislation. What do we have in our immigration system? We have eroded public confidence, because the Prime Minister will not enforce the law. What has happened here is those who obey the law are waiting in line while others jump the queue, costing the federal, provincial and municipal governments—for example, the City of Toronto—millions upon millions of dollars in additional housing, law enforcement and other costs, and the Prime Minister wants us to pay for his mistakes.
Let us talk about the environment. The Prime Minister was elected on a platform that said he was going to come forward with a pan-Canadian climate change plan. I remember being in Vancouver. The Vancouver declaration was signed by everyone except Brad Wall. The Prime Minister promised we would meet the Paris targets. By the way, I was in Paris too when that agreement was signed. People were expecting the Prime Minister to meet those targets. Today we know that the Liberal government is nowhere close to meeting its Paris targets. It talks a big game on the environment. Our environment minister gets up pretty regularly in the House and proclaims what a great job the Liberals are doing on the environment and that they are going to meet their Paris targets, when the Parliamentary Budget Officer says they will not meet the targets, when Canada's Commissioner of the Environment says they will not meet the targets, when the United Nations itself says Canada will not meet the targets. It is a failure, and who pays for that? We pay for the Prime Minister's mistakes.
I say all of this because this is of course an election year. Sustainability is a critical piece of what we do in Canada. We do have to find the right balance between our social environment, our natural environment and the economic environment in which we all operate and on which our families depend.
We cannot afford another four years of this Liberal government's failures. We saw what happened in Ontario with 15 years of the Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty governments driving their economy into the ground and driving up electricity costs to the highest level in North America. Is that what we want to repeat in Canada? No, we do not. That is why we cannot afford another four years.
What a lot of Canadians do not know is that the same crew who ran Ontario for 15 years and ran Ontario into the ground, many of that same crew are in the Prime Minister's office today, starting with Gerald Butts. Do we trust him to get our economy right? Do we trust him to get sustainability right? No, we do not. The problem is, if we have four more years of failure and four more years of a Prime Minister who wants us to pay for his mistakes, we will have a disaster.
We have not had a government as incompetent as this for many, many decades. Canadians should expect more. They should expect better.
I say this to Canadians: As we approach October, measure the Prime Minister against the promises he made. Did he actually deliver on his promises or is the road littered with broken promises? Balanced budgets was a broken promise. What about electoral reform? Remember how the last election was going to be the last one under first past the post? How did that go? It was a broken promise.
As we approach this election in October, Canadians need to take note of what the Prime Minister has actually done in this country to undermine our economic prosperity. He has effectively shut down our oil and gas sector. He has effectively shut down our pipeline construction. We have seen General Motors bailing out of Canada, and General Electric bailing out of Canada. What is happening? Why does the rest of the world not have confidence in Canada the way it used to under the former Conservative government? We had lots of investment coming into Canada.
Today, as I said earlier, we have lost about hundred billion dollars of investment, just over a period of a couple of years. That flow of investment out of Canada into places like the United States and elsewhere around the world is going to hurt job creation in this country. We are going to see that happen. It is going to require governments to raise taxes. Who pays those taxes? It is not only this generation. If we have deficits and if we have debts, future governments are going to have to continue to raise taxes to pay off those debts and deficits, and the interest on those debts.
I am coming right back, full circle, to the notion of intergenerational equity. It is something that is basically the linchpin of the Federal Sustainable Development Act. It ensures that future generations will continue to have the opportunity for prosperity and a clean environment that our current generation has had. The Prime Minister is undermining all of that through high taxes, high deficits and high debts. Who is going to pay for those mistakes? The Prime Minister wants us to pay for those mistakes.