Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' spending is out of control. They are completely out of touch and do not have a clue about how the vast majority of people in Canada live.
Unlike their elite friends, whom they so fondly dole out tax dollars to in scandal after scandal, most people in this country work hard for what little money they have. The government is spending billions upon billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on frivolous vanity projects, on initiatives that no one other than their seatmate at the World Economic Forum would really care about. All the while the government is raising payroll taxes, tripling the carbon tax and implementing inflationary policies that weaken the dollar, which prices essential goods out of reach.
The callousness on display, the elitist attitude of cancelling one’s Disney+ subscription to save money coming from the people who are not hurting and who do not struggle to keep food on their tables or heat their homes, has to stop.
After seeing another load of spending and learning about Canada’s national debt of over a trillion dollars, one constituent of mine, Chris, wrote in to say, “I’d like to see them in our shoes that is the middle class or low-income households, with our wages. With high inflation for food, gas, heating, rising Bank of Canada interest rates, the soon to be tripling of the carbon tax, pay our bills, our mortgage, our debts, and see if the budget balances itself. I don’t need a handout of my own taxpayer dollars. I need a government that will fix the real issues behind Canada’s problems.”
My message to this resident of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, and to all Canadians who share this view, is that if we want to see change, we need to vote Conservative in the next election.
Our leader, the member for Carleton, knows the same simple fact that nearly everyone but our Prime Minister understands, that budgets do not balance themselves and that more spending, like what was announced in this fall economic statement, only adds inflationary fuel to the fire.
This is not the only feedback that I have received about waste and misplaced priorities. Recently, a 12-year-old wrote to me with a message that has more common sense in it than this government has displayed in years. This is from Everett.
Everett says, “I have been thinking about why the Prime Minister wants to further tax our hard-working farmers and their families. This tax will dramatically increase the cost of food to the consumer.
“Here is what I would say in Parliament and to the politicians: 'Mr. Speaker, if the federal government continues to enforce laws that control our farmers, there will be widespread criticism to the Liberal government, which has already spent billions of wasted tax dollars. Canadians have already faced difficulties in the beginning of the decade. Forcing our farmers to pay a tax on livestock methane will only lead to farmers who can barely get enough money to pay the ever-increasing carbon tax! It will lead to more bankruptcies in the country. Canadians are fed up!'
“They had already said it in the beginning of 2022. The government silenced them. With inflation, it will make it harder for Canadians to get past this winter. Canadians will be starving and this government will have caused another famine and caused people to starve.
“When will the federal government end the mandates against Canadian farmers?”
Well said, Everett. I thank him for sending that in. I agree. It is true. The government cannot see the forest through the trees, which is funny because they have committed to planting so many of them. I think it was two million trees, and they have planted zero. Is that not another Liberal commitment that has flown by the wayside, just like their promises for accountability and transparency?
It is no wonder that they have to resort to using Conservative ideas to give their fall economic statement any substance.
What ideas could those be? Well, investing in Canadian-made, clean, green technology. That is something we on this side of the House, Conservatives, have been calling for for years.
In fact, making investments in and growing Canadian capacity to be a global leader in clean green tech is exactly what we put forward in our last two platforms. It is an idea, I should add, that creates jobs and helps the environment, which was opposed by the Liberals before.
After learning that their current war against the Canadian energy sector had cost 170,000 Canadian workers’ jobs without a credible plan to back up their big assumptions and magical thinking, it is about time that they saw the light.
We should also note that the first figure is on top of the 180,000 energy jobs that were already destroyed under the Liberal government. That is 350,000 jobs, and counting, killed to satisfy the Liberal government’s imagination. While these Canadians look for work, the government buys the oil and gas we need from dictators instead.
Canadians need more common-sense initiatives, and it should be obvious that it is Conservatives who will give them that. It is Conservatives who will support our domestic resource industries and make positive changes that benefit all, even if the government tries to hide its mistakes and take credit for our ideas.
Do members know that the average before-tax income of a millennial in Canada is under $50,000? Do they know that the average Canadian family pays $39,000 in taxes? For Canadians aged 25 to 40, that means it is nearly impossible to get ahead. It means they will not be able to afford a home until retirement age, and that is if they get to retire. It means every dollar recklessly wasted by this government to grow inflation only puts them further behind. Tripling the carbon tax and increasing payroll taxes so the government can keep spending taxes does not give them hope.
This situation is surprisingly similar to what Canadian seniors currently face. They have sacrificed to save their money. After years of working hard, they gave it all to grow our nation, to make it successful and a great place to live. However, many are telling me they are feeling left behind and abandoned, forgotten by a government that no longer sees them as useful, a Liberal regime that would rather offer them death than sufficient medical or mental health care. They see no hope coming from spending announcements. They only see their bills piling up, groceries getting more expensive and becoming unaffordable, and a winter ahead of them with not enough money to keep the heat on. This is all thanks to the Liberal government's spending and mismanagement of Canada's finances.
From our millennials to our seniors, Canadians are saddened to see this once-prosperous, thriving country with an incredible reputation on the global stage become what it has become today under the government: a tax-and-spend nation that is driving people into poverty and is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the world.
I can see from the faces of those opposite that they do not believe me, but they should pay attention to this next bit of testimony.
A senior from my riding, from Wallaceburg, wrote that they are on ODSP and their cheque has been cut by $500. It's winter right now, they said, and they need that because of the price of heating oil. The senior said it cost $1,800 to fill the tank, and that is what they now get from ODSP.
This Canadian has nothing to live on and no other options.
What do members think about this heartbreaking story from another young mother? She wrote that she had spent the whole day consoling two brothers aged one and three, sick with a bad virus. If she could have given them Tylenol or Advil, she said, they would have had a bad day but they would have survived. Instead, these two very active boys cried and moaned, threw up and begged to be carried. They slept in her arms and were miserable all day.
Instead of acting quickly to see that Canadian children have the medicine they need, the government waited. Instead of working to make certain Canada never faces a similar shortage, it announces boutique spending policies that help no one.
This economic statement does not address the cost of living crisis that the costly NDP-Liberal coalition government has created. Its reckless spending and mounting national debt is simply not fair to future generations.
I have also been hearing from young people that with inflation and the cost of housing, they will be living in their parents' basements until at least the age of 30 and they have given up on their dream of owning a home for their family to live in.
To afford food, to be warm this winter and to give hope to the next generation of Canadians, Conservatives will always stand strong against the Liberal government's reckless spending and fight for common-sense policies.
Finally, here are some questions from average Canadians that no one has been able to answer yet: Where is this carbon tax going? Who gets it? What is it being spent on? No one believes that it is coming back to them, like the Liberals claim. Since the inception of the carbon tax, many have been asking how paying money to the government stops the global temperature from rising. How does money going from their bank account to a slush fund for the Prime Minister's self-glorification clean up the atmosphere, especially when China is the world's biggest polluter by far? How does paying a tax stabilize the weather, when the sun is the biggest influencer of the earth's climate? How does my handing money over to the least transparent, least democratic, most expensive government in our nation's history stop a hurricane from hitting the east coast? It is time to scrap the carbon tax.
Liberal spending is out of control. For the reasons outlined, I cannot support this economic statement.