Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak today. I will be splitting my time with the member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
The motion we are debating today is, “That, given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” What could be more fair? This is a reasonable, common-sense and fair-minded motion that addresses the concerns that we are all hearing from our constituents as the cost of living continues to rise under the government.
I will repeat the motion, which says, “That, given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” The motion is simply asking for fairness for all Canadians, regardless of the region or the way they choose to heat their homes.
All of us in this House and all Canadians, especially Atlantic Canadians, are acutely aware of what happened with the Prime Minister. He brought in a carbon tax that hurts working people, single mothers and families that are trying to make ends meet. It hurts people who get up early in the morning and drive to work in their vehicles. It hurts parents who take their kids to a hockey game. It hurts families that are trying to put food on the table. It hurts senior citizens on fixed incomes who are trying to heat their homes.
All members have heard from their constituents about the damage that is being done by the carbon tax. The Conservative leader was about to hold an axe-the-tax rally in Atlantic Canada, in the province of Nova Scotia. I have been to rallies before where many people are very concerned about the carbon tax and are very enthusiastic about the Conservative Party's plan to axe the carbon tax, to make life more affordable, to give Canadians back a little more of the money that they work so hard to earn.
The Prime Minister and his Atlantic members of Parliament have been steadfast in voting in favour of the carbon tax every single time. It is funny that when it was the constituents of Atlantic Liberal members who were suffering losses, those members did not stand up to the Prime Minister. Their constituents called them, and we know these calls are coming in. Their constituents said that they do not know how they will pay their heating bills or put gas in their cars, that they have to choose whether to buy groceries for their kids or heat their homes. We know that is happening. It is happening in Atlantic Canada. It is happening throughout Canada.
The Liberal members of Parliament in Atlantic Canada and the Prime Minister, when the tables were turned, and the numbers were not looking so good, realized that their jobs were on the line. Forget their constituents, when those members saw this could cost them something, it got their attention. The very day the Conservative leader was in Nova Scotia for an axe-the-tax rally, the Liberals crassly announced this completely transparent proposal to freeze the carbon tax on home heating oil only.
In my province of New Brunswick, 90% of homes are not heated with home heating oil. This does not apply to those people. We are hearing other Liberal members throughout the country asking about their constituents and what is going to happen to them in the next election. Every Atlantic Canadian knows that the Prime Minister and Liberal members have voted to make their lives tougher. Every one of us knows mortgage payments have gone up, that the cost of groceries has gone up, that the cost of fuel has gone up, that people are being taxed every step of the way. Conservatives can see right through this panicked reaction. If it were not so sad, it would be laughable.
There is this increase the government has given to rural areas. Let us talk about rural New Brunswick. If someone is a tenured professor or a provincial bureaucrat living downtown in the city of Fredericton, the capital city of New Brunswick, they get the rural top-up. If someone lives in my riding in the village of St. Martins, with a population under 300, they could have a 100-kilometre round trip commute to work in Saint John. It is truly a rural community. Elgin, New Brunswick, has a population under 200. It is an over 100-kilometre commute to the city of Moncton for work. It is truly a rural community. They do not get the rural top-up. That is how twisted the Liberal proposal is and how little the Liberals understand the needs of New Brunswickers and the needs of rural Canadians.
As he watches his support drop to new lows, the Prime Minister is now trying to rebrand himself, very transparently, as a hero for Atlantic Canadians living in rural communities. This is a frantic attempt to slow down the support for our axing the tax movement. The Prime Minister announced a slight increase to the rural rebate but is applying it to urban centres. People living with the high cost of fuel, the high cost of groceries and the high cost of heating their homes are getting no relief whatsoever.
That is why it is heartening to see from coast to coast to coast different provinces standing up and saying that now is the time to axe the carbon tax, that now is the time to help people. Everyone recognizes this. Everyone recognizes it, except for the Prime Minister and his Liberal caucus.
I know this drives Liberals crazy, but how often have we all seen the Prime Minister get into his motorcade and jet off to some other country to preach about his virtue—