Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in the House on behalf of the people of Calgary Midnapore.
It has been a month now that I have been in the role of shadow minister for the Treasury Board. I would like to once again thank the leader of the official opposition, the member for Carleton, for this role. It gives me an opportunity to work very closely with two of my favourite members of Parliament, the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, the shadow minister for ethics, which we have been doing continuous work on ArriveCAN, and the member for Calgary Forest Lawn, who serves as our shadow minister for finance. It really is a pleasure to have this role.
I am sure members are aware of the crippling inflationary numbers in Canada, 6.9% in the most recent reports, down a slight bit from the 8.1% high we saw in June. Food, of course, is at a 40-year high.
I just came from the government operations committee, and the President of the Treasury Board was there on the supplementary estimates. I am sorry to report that the government has asked for another $21 billion, and I am not making that number up. We have a $36.4 billion deficit this year. That is because of $6.1 billion in new spending even though we are supposed to be moving past the pandemic now. One thing is clear about the Liberal government, and that is that it just does not get it.
As I said, inflation is at a 40-year high, and 1.5 million Canadians are using the food bank in a single month. In the GTA, pre-pandemic food bank usage was at 60,000 people per month. During the pandemic, it was at 120,000 people. Now, under the Liberal government, it is at 182,000 people per month.
Grocery prices are up 11%, the highest rate in 40 years. One in five Canadians are skipping meals and more than half of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. What is the Liberals' solution? It is to give up one's subscription to the Disney channel. As I have said, the Liberal government just does not get it.
Consumer insolvencies rose 22.5% compared with a year earlier. This is the largest percentage in 13 years. Small business insolvencies are on the rise. One in six businesses are considering closing their doors. This is very dear to me, since I come from a small business family.
The average credit card balance held by Canadians was at a record high of $2,121 at the end of September. The Royal Bank of Canada estimates that households will soon have to allocate 15% of their income to debt servicing alone. Nine in 10 Canadians are now tightening their household budgets, yet the Deputy Prime Minister is telling us not to worry, that Moody's gave us a AAA credit rating. Quite frankly, that will not put food on the table. The government just does not get it.
Mortgage interest rate costs rose by 11.4% on a year-over-year basis, the largest increase since February 1991. For those whose mortgages are up for renewal this year, they will pay $7,000 more compared to five years ago. Also, the average rent is now $2,000 a month. The average rent for a one bedroom in Toronto was $2,474 in September. In 2015, seven years ago, it was $1,100. In Vancouver, it is $2,300. In 2015, it was $1,079. Toronto has the worst housing bubble in the world and Vancouver is the sixth worst, according to UBS. However, the government is telling us not to worry, here is $500, when people need $2,474 for one month rent alone in Toronto. It just does not get it.
There has been a 32% increase in violent crime since 2015, which is 124,000 more violent crimes last year than in 2015. There were 778 homicides in Canada last year and 611 in 2015, a 29% increase. There has been a 92% increase in gang-related homicides since 2015 and a 61% increase in reported sexual assaults since 2015. Police-reported hate crimes have increased 72% over the last two years, yet the government pushes through Bill C-5, making it easier for offenders to stay home and play video games. The government just does not get it.
About 31,000 Canadians lost their lives to overdose between 2016 and 2022. There were 7,169 deaths from opioid overdose in Canada in 2021. Twenty-one people a day are dying from overdose, and before the pandemic it was 11. More than six million Canadians do not have access to a family doctor and, as brought to light by the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, there has been a shortage of children's Tylenol and Advil. No other country anywhere in the globe is experiencing such shortages. However, people should not to worry, because if their child is sick, there is day care for $10 a day. The government just does not get it.
When it comes to immigration, there is a backlog of 2.6 million people. It has grown by 800,000 people under the current government. Fifty-seven per cent of the files in the system are beyond the processing timelines set by the government, and what is it doing? It is putting up incredible new targets that we know it will never achieve, which is not fair to the people who are applying or for the people who are backlogged in the system already. The government just does not get it.
Toronto's Pearson airport is ranked the most delayed airport in the world, with Montréal-Trudeau International Airport right behind it. We have seen how horrible it is to get a passport in recent days and how difficult it is for families who just want to get away on vacation after the difficult two years they have had. It has been impossible to get a passport. We know this, but what does the Minister of Transport say? He says it is Canadians' fault; they do not know how to travel anymore. The Liberal government just does not get it.
We have the second-slowest time for building permits of any country in the OECD. The average permit time is 250 days. In South Korea, it is 28 days, yet the government continues to shove money into the Canada Infrastructure Bank. It is millions of dollars after millions of dollars. The government just does not get it.
In 2015, there were 50 major LNG infrastructure projects under proposal, yet not a single one has been finished. It is the government that gave us Bill C-68, Bill C-49 and the carbon tax, bringing energy production to a halt in this nation at a time when we need it the most. The government just does not get it.
I will tell members what the Liberals do get. They know how to spend and they know how to tax. Under a Conservative government, there would be no new taxes. For every dollar of spending, we would find a dollar of savings. However, until that day, we are unfortunately stuck with the current government and the government just does not get it.