Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to address the House of Commons on behalf of the people of Chilliwack—Hope.
We are here today discussing Bill C-56, the affordable housing and groceries act, which the government whipped together after its London caucus meeting. The government is great at the announcement part of things. It is great at the glitzy announcements and the flashy photo ops, but it really is terrible at delivering results for Canadians.
This is no more evident in any file than in the housing file. It had billions of dollars and promises for eight years about how it was going to revolutionize housing in this country, and what it has delivered is failure. Time and time again, when the rubber meets the road, it has not delivered the housing units that it promised, it has not delivered the funding that it promised. It is Canadians who have paid the price.
On the first day of the London caucus meeting where the panicked Liberals said they had to do something because what they were doing was not working and they were getting crushed at people's doors, the Prime Minister actually reannounced, for maybe the third time, the same funding that he had announced in previous budgets in years past. He said that Liberals were working with London and announcing new money, and, for once, the media did not buy it. It said what they were announcing was something they announced before and were a year behind in delivering, that this was old money and not a new promise of new housing for Canadians.
That did not work, so what did the Liberals do the next day? They came out with an eight-year-old promise from the 2015 Liberal red book. They again failed to deliver on the promises they made to Canadians at that time. They promised the GST rebate for apartments in 2015. It was 2023 and, on the back of a napkin half an hour before the Leader of the Opposition was releasing a comprehensive housing plan that included a GST rebate for rental housing, they whipped out this promise that they had buried and forgotten about for eight full years. That is not leadership, that is admitting failure, which is what they have done again and again on this file.
It is the same thing with the grocery store photo op. It is the same government that gave millions and millions of dollars to Galen Weston and Loblaws to subsidize freezers and fridges. It is a good thing it gave the money. I heard that Loblaws barely scraped by last year. It barely made a profit and it is a good thing that the federal Liberals reached deep into taxpayers' pockets and took out $12 million for fridges and freezers to gift to Loblaws. Then they have audacity to say they will bring representatives of grocery stores to Ottawa, they will tell them what is what, they will have a photo op and things will be different, that we should trust them. Nothing happened at that event except a photo op for the industry minister and a talking point for the Liberals.
When we asked the Liberals, as a result of this meeting, what will happen to the outrageous price of a head of lettuce, a bag of carrots, a bag of potatoes and a turkey, we heard nothing. They have no idea. This is a complete and total photo op by a government of complete and total failure. Every single time there is a problem, it comes up with a communications plan that does not deliver anything for Canadians.
Canadians are not holding their breath in my riding that a photo op meeting with some CEOs is going to make any difference in their grocery bills, but they know what would make a difference. What would make a difference in their grocery bills is axing the Liberal carbon tax because we know that when farmers pay a tax, they pass that on, when truckers have to pay a tax to pick up food from farmers, they pass that on, when manufacturers and food processors have to pay the carbon tax, they pass that on, and the grocery stores pass it on. The Liberals say it has no impact on the price of groceries. We know that it does. We know that taxes have an upward effect on grocery prices, but the government refuses to look at that and, instead, has gimmicks and photo ops that do not make a difference to the bottom line of Canadians.
The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader spoke just a few moments ago. He said that things were going well for Canada. It reminds me of the new justice minister. When he was appointed to his position, he said that the rising crime wave Canadians were feeling in their communities was all in their heads, that it was not actually happening. However, the data shows that it is happening, that the crime rate is soaring across the country. It is the same with the price of groceries. When the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader says that it is all in their heads, that things are going well, he obviously has not spent much time talking to his constituents.
People are suffering. People need help. People in my riding are living in RVs full time. They are living in their cars, they have taken over highway rest areas, which have become permanent encampments for people to live, and they are live in tents. It is because the price of rent has doubled in eight years under the Liberal government. The price of mortgages has doubled in eight years under the Prime Minister. The cost of a down payment has doubled under the Prime Minister.
We see a recycled promise from eight years ago, just in advance of the Leader of the Opposition's announcement, and the Liberals want us to applaud them for their housing plan. It is not working. I wish they would adopt the rest of the Leader of the Opposition's private member's bill, Bill C-356, the building homes not bureaucracy act. We need to incentivize municipalities to actually get homes built, not talk about it, not plan for 15 years from now but to get keys in doors and people in homes. That is what the Leader of the Opposition's plan would do by incentivizing municipalities to get more homes built and punishing municipalities that stand in the way.
We know that the cost of red tape and gatekeeping in Vancouver, for instance, now adds over $1 million to the price of a home. It has been revealed that even upper middle-class Canadians can no longer qualify for the average home in Canada. They cannot qualify for a mortgage, making $170,000 a year. That is the state of play in our country, and the Liberals want us to say that they are doing so well.
One of the great tragedies, and having young people in my life, I think of my own family, is that nine in 10 young people, 90% of young people, have given up on home ownership altogether. They do not believe they will ever be able to afford a home. That was not the case before the Liberal government, and it will not be the case after the Liberal government is gone.
It is time for real action on housing. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition's plan on housing, which would take real action. Real steps and real metrics would be realized to deliver actual results. The Liberal plan has failed. We saw refugees coming to our country with the promise of a better life. They have been living on the streets and using food banks, living under overpasses. We have seen students forced to live in shelters and use food banks.
This is the legacy of eight years of the Liberal government, and this bill would not change that. Having a photo-op will not change that. Having a re-announcement will not change that. What will change it is real action. As I mentioned, the Conservative leader's plan is a real plan, unlike the back-of-a-napkin approach of the Liberal government.
We have said that we would withhold transit and infrastructure funding from cities until sufficient high-density housing around transit stations is built and occupied. That is key. Not planned, not built at some stage but when they are occupied is when they will get the money. We are going to incentivize cities with a super bonus if they do better. It is not just a stick; it is also a carrot. That is an important part of the Conservative leader's bill that is better than the Liberal bill.
We are paying performance bonuses to executives of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for this dismal failure of getting Canadians into homes that they can afford. We will cut those performances bonuses unless they can deliver results for Canadians.
This bill just scratches the surface. If the government were serious about getting more Canadians into homes, it would axe the tax, which would not only help with the price of homes but would help with the cost of groceries. The fact that it has not done that shows that the government is not yet serious about this very important issue.