Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat interesting listening to the Conservatives. We have heard them, not only today but in previous weeks and months, talk about the tax on tax, as if Stephen Harper never did it. One would think the Conservative Party never had a tax on tax.
Every week, Canadians from coast to coast to coast were paying a tax on a tax that Stephen Harper was very supportive of. When people put gas in their vehicle, there is a provincial and federal levy, and then there is the GST. My understanding is that the GST is a tax that is applied onto a tax. Yet, the Conservative Party is so offended by taxes on taxes, as if it has never happened before.
Why did Stephen Harper not deal with the tax on tax? What happened then to the oomph of the Conservative Party today, saying that a tax on a tax is bad? The Conservative Party is probably the one that came up with the idea of a tax on a tax. It was actually the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta that first came up with the idea of a price on pollution in North America. That is the reality of it.
The Conservatives are really good at opposition, and I have said this before: I hope we keep them in opposition for many years. However, we really need to reflect on some of the speeches that Conservatives give in the House. They are truly amazing. We hear all about the balanced budget stuff. Conservatives try to give the impression that the Conservative Party is good at managing budgets. Seriously.
Stephen Harper took a multi-billion dollar surplus and turned it into a multi-billion dollar deficit even before there was a recession. That is the honest to God truth. That is the reality. Stephen Harper had deficit after deficit, and I would have to say it was for eight or nine years. He accumulated over $150 billion in deficits, and yet Conservatives try to give us advice on deficits.
By the way, as we know, the current leader just flip-flopped on his deficit projections. Now a Conservative government would take five years to get rid of the deficit. I can appreciate that, if we take a look at what Liberals have been able to do in the last little while because of many of the budgetary measures we have taken. We have seen the generation of over a million new jobs in Canada in the last three and a half years, because of some of the changes we have made.
The Conservative Party wants to ask about this tax or that tax, but what did it really do when it mattered the most to most Canadians?
The most substantial tax break given in many years by the House of Commons was in Bill C-2. We call it the middle-class tax break, the tax cut for Canada's middle class. Millions of families benefited all across Canada. Hundreds of millions of dollars were given to Canadians, to the middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it.
What did the Conservative Party do? The Conservatives voted against it. It is hard to believe that when it comes right down to voting, a Conservative Party that preaches about giving tax breaks voted against our tax cut. In fairness, the Conservatives also voted against a tax increase on Canada's wealthiest 1%, which is consistent with many of the different types of boutique tax credits the Conservatives like to come up with.
I would suggest that the Conservative Party and those deep thinkers within it, and here I am talking about people like Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, the potential leadership contenders in the next go-around, need to sit down with Stephen Harper and the current leader and start revisiting the types of issues they have to try to overcome between now and the next election.
When I go door-knocking and speak to residents of Winnipeg North, I am always happy to share with them the reality of the Conservative Party, and I must say that it can be very discouraging at times.