Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in the House on an issue of importance to my constituents. I want to let you know that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove, and I know we are all very anxious to hear from him after question period.
The previous Liberal speaker led quite nicely into what I wanted to say. He proved once again how out of touch the Liberal government is with the everyday needs, the everyday concerns of average British Columbians and of average Canadians. For those just tuning in, he said in his speech that if people are worried about high gas prices, they should just change their behaviour. In my riding, gas is $1.52 for a litre of fuel. It has been up to $1.80 plus in metro Vancouver, but we can just modify our behaviour.
If construction workers are driving a pickup truck full of drywall to go to work to feed their family, they should just modify their behaviour—stay home that day and maybe do not go to work. Maybe they should be hauling drywall on top of an electric vehicle. Maybe they should be driving a Prius when they have to do heavy construction labour building homes in my riding of Chilliwack—Hope. Just modify their behaviour.
If people need to take their mother to the doctor's office in my riding, which has limited transit options, maybe they should tell her to wait in the rain for the bus if she can get it, or tell her she can get her prescriptions next week; she does not need to go to the doctor. Why are people complaining about the high price of gas? They should just modify their behaviour. If they want to take their kids to school, why do they not just modify their behaviour?
Has the member ever been outside of Winnipeg Centre to a rural community? Do any of the Liberals represent rural Canadians who have to drive to work? They have to drive to school. They have to drive to get to doctor appointments, but for the Liberals, people are just exhibiting bad behaviour. People made a bad decision when they decided to live in rural Canada in one of the most rural countries in the entire world. That is a bad decision, and people should modify that decision.
It is an outrageous attack on rural Canadians to have that kind of attitude from the Liberal government, to tell them to modify their behaviour as if everyone lives within walking distance of a SkyTrain. That is the Liberals' attitude. They also have the attitude that everyone can just pay for it, that everyone has the ability, because that is whom they are connected to. That is whom they listen to.
We saw it with their $12 million gift to a multi-billion dollar company, Loblaws, a company that has more money than most Canadians can ever imagine having. The government took money from average, everyday Canadian commuters and gave it to a multi-billion dollar company—$12 million for something that Loblaws would have bought on its own.
That is whom the Liberals look out for. We saw it with SNC-Lavalin. Liberals look out for the big corporate interests and their big wealthy friends. In British Columbia, the person driving a luxury SUV whom Liberals are looking out for can peel off another $20 when the gas price goes to $1.75. It is nothing to them. They just reach into their wallet and peel off another couple of twenties and say they are doing something for the environment while they do not change a single behaviour.
The people I represent have to make choices and do not have hundreds of dollars left over at the end of every month and are struggling every month to make ends meet under the government. They do not have the option to just reach into their pockets and pull out another couple of extra twenties. They reach into their rainy day fund. They reach into the money they might have put away in an RRSP. They reach into the money they might have put into their children's future education fund. When people do not have that money available to them because of high gas prices, because of the increased cost of living, they do without, something that the Liberals have never understood.
My colleague, the member for Carleton, referenced again today that it is clear that the Prime Minister does not have the faintest clue what it is like to sit down at the kitchen table and try to balance a budget for a family. He has never had to do it. He has never had to run a small business where the cost of fuel determines whether he will make a profit from month to month.
There are now non-profit, volunteer organizations in British Columbia that drive people to cancer appointments and are seeing their operations devastated by this increase in the cost of fuel, and the Liberals say that they should modify their behaviour. I guess maybe they should go to one fewer chemo treatment. What is being said is that people should modify their behaviour. People are polluters if they go to work, go to school or take their children to activities that help them become better rounded individuals.
I have to touch on this. In British Columbia, we have a provincial government that has completely failed its people. First of all, it has taken Alberta to court to stop it from building a pipeline into the province. Now it is going to court to insist that Alberta continue to send oil and gas to British Columbia. It is outrageous. We know that the pipeline, if it were built, would reduce the price of wholesale fuel, refined fuels, in the Lower Mainland by about 20¢ a litre. If we combine that with the carbon tax in British Columbia, which is 9.8¢ when we add the GST, it is 30¢ a litre right now as a result of the Liberal government's inability to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built and the NDP's carbon tax.
The NDP has a carbon tax that was brought in by the B.C. Liberal government, and it has now made it completely revenue-neutral to the government. The government gets all the money now. There is no rebate in taxes. This is a preview of exactly what will happen across the country if these Liberals are re-elected. People should not fool themselves. The $1.75 prices we are seeing in British Columbia are coming right across the country, as well as the fact that the government will see that revenue pool and take it all.
Right now the Liberals are saying things like they are going to give it all back, which is a great scheme. If we give them our wallet, there will be more left over when they give it back to us. What a great scheme. That is how it always works with the government, is it not? It always gives back more money than people give it on the front end. Just pay the government and trust that we will get more afterward.
We know what happened in B.C. With the stroke of a pen, the NDP government took all the money for itself. It took all the money for itself, and it is forced to have a carbon tax by the federal government. Therefore, we have a two-step process in British Columbia that needs to be undertaken. The first step is to get rid of the federal government that requires a national price on carbon. That is job number one. Given the results in the by-election last night, I would say we are off to a good start, because after the next federal election, there will not be many Liberals left in British Columbia because of the attitude we have seen here today—things like telling people to modify their behaviour and that they are bad people if they use their vehicle, even though they have no other options. Then we will work on getting rid of the provincial carbon tax.
On the Trans Mountain pipeline, this is something that the government has bungled from day one. First of all, it added on 10 months' worth of additional hearings, which were supposed to ensure that this pipeline met the requirements for consultation with indigenous communities. We were told that it had to be pushed off almost a year so that the government could meet the requirements of the court. Of course, it held those expensive hearings and did not change a single recommendation. The only thing it did was delay the decision.
Does that sound familiar? Again and again, the government has delayed and delayed the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion decision. That now is coming home to roost. For a pipeline that was supposed to be in service this year, not even a shovel has turned this year. Another construction season will be missed this year.
British Columbians know more than most what it is like to live in a very unaffordable region. The government has done more in three and a half years to make life less affordable than any government in history. That is why job one is to replace the government with one that understands the needs and the concerns of everyday Canadians and does not think they are bad Canadians for driving their kids to and from sports or going to work to feed their families, that does not think they need to modify their behaviour and that thinks they are doing their jobs and looking out for their families. That is job number one. We will help them get ahead when we replace the government in October.