Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise on behalf of the fiscally sane constituents of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.
This is supposed to be a debate about a budget. Sadly, the document the Liberals tabled is an insult to the word “budget”. They claim it is fiscally responsible as they cast away the last fiscal anchor. They claim it is about productivity while they strangle innovation with red tape. They claim their GST rebate is a grocery rebate, when there is no GST on groceries.
Spending is clearly out of control. Each budget and fiscal update revises future spending upward. Whether it is a household budget or a business budget, the goal is to make a plan in the face of an uncertain future. If a person is responsible in their financial planning, some years they will be a little over in their estimates, and other years a little under. For a business, that might mean that an estimated profit of 5% at the end of the year might come in at 4.9% or 5.1%. It is like target shooting. If a person is generally around the target, they can be satisfied they are doing it accurately, but if their shots are way off to the extreme left, it means they are doing it wrong. As this gang shoots Canada farther and farther to the extreme left, they are no longer shooting at the target. Instead, they have decided that the best thing for Canada is to shoot ourselves in the foot. That is the best way to describe this glut of corporate subsidies for green energy.
The Liberals claim that they have to spend like crazy because the Americans and Europeans are spending like crazy. No one told the Liberals that, just because all of their friends are throwing money off the bridge, it does not mean that they should too. The Liberals claim they believe in free trade, but they do not really get it. If our competitors are lighting money on fire, we do not join the bonfire; we sell them matches. Canada had an opportunity to sell natural gas to Europe, but the Prime Minister, the Mr. Dressup drama teacher, claimed there was no business case. The finance minister claims they are not picking winners and losers, then proceeds to pick which Liberal-friendly companies will get subsides and picks out all the small businesses and expects them to pay for those subsides.
The government is picking electricity-hogging electric vehicles over more emissions-efficient hybrid vehicles. The government is effectively prohibiting carbon-neutral fuel development in Canada by banning internal combustion engines. All this extravagant spending is supposed to lead us to a promised land of green jobs. This was the same pipe dream we heard from Dalton McGuinty in Ontario. The result was higher electricity prices, tens of billions of tax dollars wasted, and, according to the Auditor General, over 60,000 net jobs lost. After laying waste to Ontario’s economy, the Liberals packed up their taxpayer-funded moving trucks and came to Ottawa to repeat their failed experiment. This seems to be the socialist mindset. Every time socialism is implemented, it leads to misery, suffering and death. Yet they continue to try again, thinking that, somehow, it will be different. Einstein called this insanity.
What is worse is that failure only seems to make the Liberals more ambitious. In their first budget, they said they would conserve an additional 7% of Canada’s natural habitat by 2020. After eight years, they managed to reach only half of their goal. A normal person who missed the mark by half would lower their future estimates. Instead, this Prime Minister announced that he would conserve 30% by 2030. That would require him to conserve four times as much land in the next seven years as he has in the last eight years.
The truth is that the Liberals know they will not be held accountable for empty promises, so they just use the simplest slogans. That is why they announced a target of 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions by 2030. They announced a Soviet-style sales quota mandating that 30% of cars must be EV by 2030, and then there is their Paris pledge of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide by 2030. This policy-making is based on slogan. It is tweet-sized thinking. It is TikTok-style government: short, snappy, attention-deprived and a little too close to the Communists in Beijing.
If we need any more evidence that this government is abandoning liberal democracy for a progressive socialist technocracy, we need look no further than the Public Health Agency report on public health and climate change.
For the Public Health Agency report, they hired a radical academic to act as an outside consultant. They used taxpayer money to conduct focus groups with other far-left extremists working in public health. What was the conclusion of the government-published report? According to the so-called experts, climate change is not caused by carbon but by capitalism, individual liberty and democracy. In socialist mindset, capitalism is always the villain. In reality, socialist and authoritarian countries are the worst environmental offenders. Unfortunately for Canadians, the Liberals have abandoned reality-based policy, making for visions of a socialist utopia. The radical socialist public health manifesto said that non-western science fiction “offers a way of imagining the future without colonization and asking ourselves how we can get there.”
While it is true that Star Trek was inspiring to many who worked at NASA, it should not form the basis of our climate policy. If these radical socialists were just sitting around in a big self-congratulatory circle while fantasizing about a climate apocalypse, they could be dismissed. However, they have laid out their plan for all to see. The report calls for a complete reordering of Canadian values led by these radical public health socialists. The authors of the report wrote, “Many experts we heard from highlighted the importance of shifting dominant societal values and transitioning to health and well-being economies if meaningful action is to be taken on climate change adaptation and mitigation.” What are those societal values that they need to shift? Here is what one expert had to say:
Ultimately, there are 3 core values in western society, and for that matter, in global society, that have to change. One core value is about growth and materialism. The second core value is liberty and individualism, which has to be rethought because the kind of individualism that is preached by neoliberals is part of the problem.
In response to this extremist claim that individual liberty and ending poverty are the root of all evil, the report's authors wrote:
The above-noted core values, which are undermining public health and well-being, are well known, but public health systems have been successful in reorienting society values. For example, public health research and communications have changed our societal relationship with tobacco products.
That is shocking to read. Radical public health experts want to socially stigmatize liberty. They want to socially stigmatize economic growth. Stigmatizing people has become the current government's calling card. That is what the Prime Minister was doing when he accused opponents of forced vaccinations of being misogynists and racists who hold unacceptable views. If someone does not agree with their plan to use climate change as an excuse to advance socialism, they accuse them of being a climate denier.
The goal is to rhetorically link critics of bad climate policy to racist anti-Semites who deny the Nazi Holocaust. All societies stigmatize gluttony and over-consumption, but these socialists want to stigmatize all consumption. Then he tried to stigmatize words like “freedom” by labelling them as dog whistles. They are even trying to stigmatize the Canadian flag. None of this comes as a surprise. The Prime Minister said that Canada is a “postnational state”, and he is committed to seeing this fantasy become reality.
The budget bill would further entrench the government in the market. It would keep expanding the state and driving out free enterprise until there is nothing left but the party and the state. Ever since the Prime Minister positioned the Liberals to the left of the NDP and broke the Canadian consensus that balancing the budget was the responsible thing to do, we have been sent down a dangerous path. We have become governed by slogans. The Liberals have forgotten Canada's multicultural heritage in favour of a single narrative of oppression. They love to claim they have Canadians' backs; the truth is that they just find it easier to pick people's wallets when they are hiding behind them.
After eight years, the Liberals are tired, desperate and dangerous. Reduced to spewing slogans like “30 by 30”, they now project their policy on poverty onto us. We have a plan to put more money into people's wallets. They have a tax plan; we have an environmental plan. They have slogans; we have solutions. If they had any real confidence in their radical socialist agenda, they would put it to Canadians to decide. While the Liberals are busy dividing and stigmatizing Canadians, Conservatives offer unity and hope.