Madam Speaker, the weight of a Canadian one-dollar coin, what we call the loonie, is 6.27 grams. This is a simple number that even a child can understand. I bring that to the House's attention because it seems me that members opposite have lost touch with reality, while at the same time losing their ability to manage Canada's economy. Let us go back to basics in the hope that the Liberals and their NDP friends can gain a glimmer of understanding. I will try to use simple numbers, ones that even a Liberal can understand.
Bill C-8, the economic and fiscal update 2021, adds an additional $70 billion to government spending and brings our national debt to $1.2 trillion. Until the government, such a number was inconceivable, which means the members opposite can be forgiven for not understanding the number, even if Canadians cannot forgive them for their spendthrift ways.
A trillion dollars is a million million dollars. That is a one with 12 zeroes, if we are writing it on paper. It is tough to visualize a trillion dollars. However, if we were to take that debt and pay it off with loonie coins, the weight of cash would be 8,400,000,000 kilograms. That is still a difficult number to comprehend, but since the Liberals have no plan to ever reduce the debt, let alone pay it, maybe it does not matter if we cannot visualize it.
Let us look at it in a different way. Using imperial measures, this debt of 1.2 trillion loonies would weigh 7,860,428 tonnes. This is also an unfathomable number, but let us visualize this. The Liberal disaster weighs 150 times as much as the RMS Titanic, the unsinkable ship that went down off the coast of Newfoundland 110 years ago this month in one of the biggest maritime disasters in history, or of all time, to be specific.
The government's fiscal management is a disaster that is 150 times as bad. It is no wonder the Liberals hide behind the big numbers that they hope people do not understand. They have used the pandemic as an excuse to make changes to the economy, to bring in $176 billion in new spending completely unrelated to COVID-19. They are hoping Canadians will not notice, that they will be too distracted by events to notice that the Liberals are spending without any concerns about the future.
Canadians are, on the whole, a financially responsible people. We know that we should not spend more than we earn and that bills must be paid. We know that money for government programs comes from taxes paid by each Canadian. Canadians understand that we are already taxed at the breaking point. The taxpayers of this country cannot afford new taxes and tax increases. At least most Canadians understand that. Those who do not apparently become Liberal or NDP members of Parliament. Those two parties seem determined to spend this country into bankruptcy.
I was born in a country where the government has had to declare bankruptcy. The suffering of ordinary citizens there is heartbreaking. I do not want to see this happen here in Canada.
People in my riding of Edmonton Manning are concerned about rising prices. They feel they will not be able to make ends meet. They want to know when the Liberals will get serious about the economy. They are not happy that the answer seems to be “never”.
Inflation was 6.7% in March, the highest level in more than 30 years. The government response has been a collective shrug. It is an international problem, they say, as they add more inflationary taxes to Canadians' burdens. As gasoline prices reach record highs, the Liberals' response is to raise the tax on fuel to make things more expensive for Canadians. Gasoline costs are up almost 40% in the last year, and groceries are up by almost 10%. Furniture prices are up about 8% in March alone. Housing prices have doubled under the government.
Young Canadians used to dream of graduating from university, getting a job and buying their first home. These were the milestones of adulthood and rites of passage. With the Liberal government, that dream has changed to a nightmare of crippling student debt and living with parents forever because they will never be able to afford a house of their own.
My constituents are concluding that either the Liberals do not understand the problem or they do not care. Canadians deserve a government that will take real action to fight the cost of living crisis and outline a clear commitment to control inflation. We will not find that in Bill C-8.
Under the government, the cost of a typical house has risen from $435,000 to $810,000. With inflation, purchasing power is down, not up, and wages are not keeping pace. Who can afford a house under this titanic disaster of a Liberal policy? Our economy has hit an iceberg and is sinking fast under the weight of 150 Titanic ships.
We are told inflation will cost Canadians $2,000 each this year. We already know the Prime Minister does not shop for his own groceries, so he has not noticed the increases in prices on everything in the store. Bread, milk and other dairy products, meat and vegetables are all more expensive than they were this time last year. What is the government doing to address the concerns of Canadians concerned about their ability to afford nutritious food? It is doing absolutely nothing.
Rising prices and inflation are happening everywhere, they say. That is just an excuse for inaction. If the government does not understand how the economy works, if it cannot figure out how to help average Canadians in their time of need, maybe it should do the honourable thing, step aside and let someone else fix its problems, someone who will have Canadians' backs instead of stabbing those backs with high prices. That, of course, is not going to happen. The Liberals have no idea what a trillion dollars is, or how much 1.2 trillion loonies weigh. They do not seem to understand that there is a problem.
The Prime Minister has asked Canadians to forgive him for not thinking about monetary policy. That is a disaster. How can we forgive him and his government for polices that make things worse for families and worse for the middle class? How can we forgive him for a $1.2-trillion debt that our grandchildren will still be paying off?
The government is a fiscal disaster of titanic proportions. There is nothing in this bill that can hide that fact.