Mr. Speaker, before the Minister of Finance introduced Bill C-32, the fall economic statement implementation act, on November 3, the Conservative leader made two clear demands on behalf of our party.
First, we wanted the Liberal government to stop the taxes. This included cancelling the planned tax hikes and the tripling of the carbon tax. Second, we wanted the Liberal government to stop the spending. Any new spending by Liberal ministers in the government must be matched by an equivalent saving to cut wasteful spending and stop the inflationary deficits that drive up the cost of everything for Canadians.
Unfortunately, neither of our demands was met by the government and, for that reason, I will be voting against this bill.
Simply put, the fall economic statement does not address the cost of living crisis facing Canadians right now. In fact, it makes the crisis worse. After seven years of the Liberal government, we pay more today for goods and services and get less. Groceries, gas, home heating and more are getting more and more expensive by the day because of the Liberals' reckless spending habits, the same reckless spending habits that have played a big role in driving up inflation.
Many of the inflationary issues and concerns we face are of the government's own making. For months we have been warning the Liberals that their out-of-control spending would lead to an increase in interest rates. The government responded by telling Canadians not to worry and to go ahead and take out big loans and mortgages, because interest rates would remain low for a long time and there would not be any negative consequences.
Well, fast-forward to now, and interest rates are increasing at the fastest rate in decades. Families that bought a home five years ago with a typical mortgage that is now up for renewal will pay $7,000 more a year. The Bank of Canada has signalled that interest rates will have to rise even higher to tackle inflation. Many Canadians will not be able to afford their mortgages and will risk losing their homes.
Through the government's bad spending habits, as inflation soars, so does our national debt. Since they were elected in 2015, the Liberal government has doubled our national debt, spending more than all previous governments combined since Confederation in 1867. Let that resonate for a moment.
Here are some recent examples of reckless Liberal spending contributing to inflation and our national debt.
The government wasted $54 million on the disastrous ArriveCAN app, yet it refuses to tell us who got rich off those massively excessive contracts.
The federal government paid out generous bonuses to Destination Canada executives when the tourism industry badly needs to recover.
The Liberal government recklessly spent $400 million on random testing at our borders, when medical experts said this policy was no longer needed.
Just last month, the Prime Minister spent $6,000 to stay for one night in a luxurious European hotel room.
Despite all the reckless and record Liberal spending, Canadians have less to show for it and are worse off because of it. Is it any wonder, then, that Canadians are struggling? The cost of groceries is up almost 11%. The cost of transportation is up over 10%. Gas is up over 22%. Next April, the excise tax on alcohol will increase by nearly 7%.
Under these deteriorating conditions, people work harder to try to get ahead, but they take less home because of the higher cost of the things they buy and the higher cost of punishing taxes to afford all this reckless Liberal spending. As a result of the Liberal government's incompetence, goods and services are more expensive and we have less money to pay for them.
How are Canadians reacting to this new reality? Families are downgrading their diets to cover the jump in food prices. Food bank usage is at an all-time high. Seniors are delaying their retirement and watching their life savings evaporate with inflation. Younger adults who did everything right are now trapped in 400-square-foot apartments or living in their parents' basements. No wonder Canadians feel like they have lost control. Many are falling behind, and others are struggling to get ahead.
The fall economic update shows that federal government revenues have increased by $40.1 billion this year alone. As Canadians suffer financially, the Liberal government is actually profiting from increased inflation that it generates and Canadians pay for.
How did it do that? Well, when Canadians pay higher prices on goods and services, they are also paying higher taxes. When they pay higher taxes, the government makes more money.
My NDP colleagues in this place have a history and reputation for taking issue with big corporate greed, yet when it comes to big government greed, apparently it is different and they turn a blind eye.
Rather than rein in the spending to begin slowing down the vicious cycle of spend and inflate, the Liberals drive the cycle of inflation even faster by spending more money at every opportunity they get. In addition to driving inflation, the federal government is also incurring tremendous amounts of debt. In fact, debt interest payment costs will have doubled this year. Next year, interest payments will be nearly as much as the Canada health transfer, and it is projected to be larger than what the government spends on the budget for the Department of National Defence.
Let us think about that. This is not good governance. It is dangerous governance. Anyone with a stake or interest in the good governance of our country should be alarmed and concerned.
Today, the federal government spends more money than any federal government before it. It is bigger, in terms of workforce, than ever before, yet what are the results? Millions of immigration applications are backlogged. Passport applications are severely delayed. New NEXUS and FAST applications are far behind schedule. The Phoenix pay system disaster continues. Government transparency is all but gone as journalists, researchers and Canadians cannot access federal information because the access to information system is broken in many federal departments.
Another irony I will point out is that despite the record number of federal employees and a track record of nothing working, this big-spending Liberal government spent $14.6 billion last year on outsourcing contracts to businesses outside of the public service to do public service work. This is yet another indication that the federal government is too big, which is causing it to break down.
Canadians are paying for reckless Liberal spending. We are not benefiting from it. In fact, future Canadian generations are at risk because of that and the debt the Liberal government has incurred. Canadians must realize that as the Liberals make more promises for a better tomorrow to detract us from the issues of today, none of the problems they have created, which Canadians now face, are getting fixed. After seven years of Liberal government incompetence in Ottawa, Canadians are realizing they are worse off today compared to when the Liberals first took office in 2015. We need real solutions to these real problems that Canadians are facing right now.
Instead of creating more cash, the Conservatives would create more of what cash buys. Enough with the talking, we need to get more homes built. We need to make energy more affordable, and to do so we would repeal anti-energy laws and get Canadian energy out to market. We would cut corporate welfare and axe the carbon tax. We would tackle climate change by making alternative energy cheaper, not by making Canadian energy more expensive. We would reform the tax system to ensure that whenever people work an extra hour, take an extra shift or earn an extra bonus they are always better off and would keep more of that dollar for themselves and their needs, not for the government's political agenda.
Conservatives have an ambitious vision and plan for when we form government after the next election, but for now, I am going to do my part by voting against Bill C-32.