Madam Speaker, we are speaking on Bill C-14, and I want to thank my hon. colleague from Northumberland—Peterborough South. He reminded me of my beautiful granddaughter, and I know I am not allowed to show those photos, so I will not do that again, but if any of my colleagues want to see them, I can do that. We are here to actually speak on serious terms, but I have to say that in troubling times and challenging times, my granddaughter and my family, and all our families, bring us back and remind us what is truly important.
I want to remind Canadians that it has been almost two years since we have had a federal budget. Unbelievably, and through good faith, our Liberal colleagues in the government have had an unprecedented amount of autonomy with their spending, based on goodwill and good faith collaboration from the opposition. When Canadians needed help the most, the opposition and all parties came together and dropped partisan politics, and we worked together in a team Canada approach. Sadly, we have seen that the Liberals have failed Canadians once again. They blew it, and today they are asking for another $500 billion. They want us to just trust them. They know what is best for Canadians.
It is disappointing. Our colleague from Courtenay—Alberni mentioned Jackie, his constituent, and her small home-based business that is struggling. As our colleague from Northumberland—Peterborough South mentioned, there are thousands of Jackies right across our country who are failing, whose businesses have been shuttered and have closed their doors. They are facing financial hardship. A Liberal talking point is that they are investing in Canadians. Today, I am going to highlight some of the businesses in my riding that the Liberals have absolutely failed. While I will mention only a few, due to the time that I have to highlight them, I can tell members there are literally thousands of businesses right across our country that have fallen through the cracks and been left behind due to the Liberals' lack of a plan to get relief to those Canadians who need it the most.
Roy Call is a constituent of mine I have known since I was in high school. Roy's family operates C+ Rodeos in my riding. It is among the top 10 rodeo stock providers in our country. The family has worked and built this operation for over 35 years. Three generations of the family work their ranch. Their stock has been bred for over 35 years and sadly, they have fallen through the cracks. They are among those tourism or events-based businesses that have absolutely fallen through provincial relief programs and federal programs. Repeatedly, we have brought the situations of C+ Rodeos and others to the government and the ministers, trying to work collaboratively with them on that team Canada approach that they so desperately want to foist back on the opposition, saying we should work together.
Sadly, today if Roy and his family do not receive any help, they have to downsize. In a rodeo performance-based business, what does downsizing mean? It means euthanizing perfectly good, healthy rodeo stock animals. I do not think anybody wants to see us get to that point. That is where we are, with business people having to make those hard decisions.
I also want to talk about Central Display, an events-based business, and Jack and Sheldon. They go from community to community and help put on those events that are such economic drivers that our small communities depend on, such as conferences and other events. They provide the resources and services for those events to be put on. When they go into these communities, they temporarily hire local staff. They teach them a skill and hire them to actually provide the services in those communities. They work with dry grad groups and support special groups, like the women's hockey team in Smithers, British Columbia. However, in 2020, they lost in excess of $650,000 and are projected to lose up to $1 million in just the first six months of 2021.
These are real numbers. The government is asking for more money and it says it wants to invest in Canadians, but that money is not getting to where it is needed the most.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with a lady who was celebrating her 100th birthday, Margaret Sweder. I phoned her to congratulate her on her 100th birthday, and she told me that she was just missing the simple things, like a hug. She is a sweet lady and very sharp. She said that it was the first time she had a call from Ottawa that she actually wanted to take. She thought it was the tax man who was calling. I gave her a virtual hug and made a date with her for tea when the “COVID thing”, as she called it, ceases to exist.
These are the real stories that I am not sure those across the way get. I could go on about the failed vaccine promises that the Liberals have mentioned. Yet again, we know they have let Canadians down.
Unbelievably, throughout this pandemic the Liberals have taken the opportunity for pet projects. Unbelievably as well, what they want to do is shutter airport towers just when we need them the most. In our critical time for recovery, they want to shutter airport towers in places like Prince George, my riding, where we have the third-longest runway in Canada. We are part of the northern corridor project and part of the Asia-Pacific gateway. They want to take a key economic driver in our region and shutter the doors. How blind are they?
The government comes to us, the opposition, to say “Just work with us.” Trust is not just given; it is earned. Respect is not just given; it is earned. Time and time again what we see is that they just do not get it. We see a lot of sabre-rattling where the Prime Minister threatens the opposition with going to an election and talks about a confidence vote. Let me be very clear: The only person who wants an election right now and wants to send Canadians to the polls is the Prime Minister. The rest of us are concerned about our constituents, about the fact that it is unsafe and we are seeing increased closures and quarantine measures.
This brings me to a very important point, and I want to thank my colleague from Carleton for bringing this up yesterday. He pointed out that there is a very human toll to what is going on here. He said, “The University of Calgary published a study recently showing that there is a two percentage point increase in suicides for every one percentage point increase in unemployment. Imagine the human cost of 7% unemployment.” We also know that substance and alcohol abuse grows with unemployment. Increased isolation and anxiety have led to increased suicide and domestic violence crises.
We have to do more. Sadly, what we have seen is that the Liberals have left Canadians behind. They have blown it.