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  • His favourite word is chair.

Conservative MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I feel it is important for me to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-29, which implements the measures announced in the budget presented back in March.

This budget was supposed to have a deficit of about $10 billion, but that figure is not even close to reality. The Liberal government is therefore not keeping the promises it made during the election, because it said that it would run deficits of about $10 billion a year for three years. In just the first year, it will run a deficit of $30 billion or more. The amount will probably be announced this afternoon in the government's economic statement. Not only is the government adding to the Canadian debt and placing the burden on future generations, but it is also failing to meet its commitments. More importantly, the desired results are not being achieved. Economic growth is weak at this time. Job creation targets are not being met. We have heard that the shortfall in terms of the job creation target and the actual number of jobs created is 50,000.

The economy has ground to a halt, despite the government's budgetary measures. The government spent and then spent some more. The Bank of Canada, economists at the IMF, and the OECD have all downgraded their economic forecasts for Canada for the next two years.

The current unemployment rate is 7% and has remained unchanged since the Liberals came to power. The parliamentary budget officer's report entitled “Labour Market Assessment 2016” indicates that 6,000 net jobs were lost over the past year. The government projected that 43,000 jobs would be created during that same period. That is a shortfall of 50,000 jobs, which is just terrible because we are here to create jobs. The government is spending money with no job creation to show for it.

The government should have immediately realized and admitted that it was and is going down the wrong path and changed tack. There is nothing wrong with recognizing one's mistakes and correcting them. There has been no indication so far that the government is going to fix its mistakes.

The government thought it could authorize the deficit with the stroke of a pen, but it has to answer to the opposition. The economic situation speaks for itself. It seems like the government cannot balance the budget. What I said yesterday during my three-minute speech is that the government thinks that budgets balance themselves. Anyone who manages a budget, whether it is a family budget or a business budget, knows full well that budgets do not balance themselves. There needs to be a plan to return to balanced budgets. Yesterday, not a single member was able to project a balanced budget in any way. The government seems to think that wishful thinking will balance the budget, but that is just not so.

I am still an entrepreneur. I am the co-owner of a business that employs 25 people. One thing I know for sure is that the government plans to impose new taxes. It has said as much. It also broke its promise to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%. This would have helped businesses innovate and invest in new equipment to improve productivity.

I understand very well what that means because in the last few years that the Conservative government was in power, there were many tax cuts. This made it possible for us to continue to invest more and to create jobs. That is the complete opposite of what the government said it would do and, unfortunately, it did not follow through. In fact, it made an election promise to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%, which it has broken.

That is making things difficult for businesses and it is really detrimental to job creation. The government increases taxes and does not lower the business tax. In a sense, that is tantamount to double taxation.

Then there is the carbon tax. This tax will be devastating for job creation not just for me, as an entrepreneur, but for all Canadians. On top of that, we have the mandatory increase in CPP contributions to look forward to.

This will have a negative impact on SME start-ups like mine. Actually, my business is not all that new. It is 25 years old. That being said, all of Canada's SMEs will have to pay higher CPP premiums for all of their workers and they will feel the effects. For me, this measure will mean that I will have to pay $1,000 a year per employee, for a total of about $25,000 a year. That represents most of one of my employee's salary. It is perhaps a little less but it is around there. That means that I might have to cut jobs. Given that SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy, imagine what will happen if they are all in the same situation as me.

I may be unable to absorb the cost of the CPP hike from my business profits, and I might eventually have to cut jobs. If all of Canada's SMEs have the same reaction, there are going to be job losses. Some economists already think that at least a hundred thousand jobs will be lost. What is worse is that the benefits of the CPP hike will not even be felt for 30 or 40 years.

This is a major problem for SMEs, and businesses are very concerned to see all these taxes adding up.

I would like to come back to the carbon tax. Businesses will not be the only ones affected. All Canadians will be. The cost of the carbon tax that companies have to pay will inevitably be passed on to consumers. The price of all consumer goods, including gas, will go up so that businesses can continue to offer the same products.

Many of the measures that the Liberals have put in place are contradictory, and unfortunately, Canadians will be the ones who pay the price.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I will continue the speech I started late yesterday evening.

It is important to me to rise in the House—

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 October 31st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I have been in the House most of the day and have had a chance to hear the remarks of the members on both sides of the House.

One thing is crystal clear: this government has made decisions in its budget to create an annualized deficit, which is what it promised during the election campaign, specifically, a $10-billion deficit a year for about three years. Scotiabank issued a statement today, on top of all the others it has issued over the past few weeks, to inform Canadians that the deficit will not be $10 billion, as it had previous announced, but rather somewhere between $32 billion and $35 billion. That is three times higher than planned. In just one year, the Liberals will have created the deficit that was supposed to be spread over the next three years.

The government tells Canadians that it is going to invest, say yes to everyone, and hand out money like candy. However, at some point, someone has to pay for all this.

The difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that we managed to make many significant investments, in infrastructure among other things, without running a deficit.

During the election campaign, the Liberals said they would run small deficits of $10 billion. This is year one and we already have the deficit that was projected for year three or four. The fundamental problem with all this is that there is no plan to return to a balanced budget. I have heard that a number of times here today. No government member has talked about returning to balanced budgets. None of them have.

Later I will ask how it is that these members and this political party can run a deficit with no light at the end of the tunnel, because there is nothing to indicate an eventual return to balanced budgets. I am sure that my colleagues will continue to ask the same question tomorrow. This is an extremely dangerous road we are going down.

I heard my colleague across the way say that the government was giving an extra $900 to seniors. When the government says that it is going to hand out money left and right, the problem is that it gives with one hand from its own pocket and takes with both hands from the taxpayer's pocket. The carbon tax is a good example. It is a $2,500 tax. The government is giving $900 with one hand and taking $2,500 with the other.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 October 31st, 2016

Madam Speaker, the eloquence and quality of my hon. colleague’s presentation are truly excellent. They were excellent as well during the election campaign. In his own speech, he himself raised the fact that the Liberals had promised a whole series of things in their latest plan, in the last election campaign, and one of those things was to incur just a little deficit of $10 billion over three years.

The first thing we found out, and are now realizing, is that that little $10 billion per year is mutating, not into $15 billion, not $20 billion or $25 billion, but $30 billion, maybe even $35 billion. Some observers are even talking about $40 billion for the first year.

Does my colleague consider that making promises during an election campaign and not keeping them afterward is a way of respecting all of his fellow citizens and Canadian voters?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 October 31st, 2016

Madam Speaker, the parliamentary budget officer was quite clear about the fact that we left a surplus at the end of the last fiscal year. We are very proud of that. In addition to leaving a surplus, we also planned to invest a significant amount in infrastructure.

The Liberals decided to add to that amount. The difference between us is that they are running a deficit of over $30 billion this year in order to invest a bit more in infrastructure.

Can my colleague tell the House who will foot the bill?

Regional Economic Development October 28th, 2016

Madam Speaker, the Liberals are determined to centralize power and ignore the regional diversity of our country. Prior to the election of the Liberals, Canadians could expect real leadership from their regional ministers, skilled ministers who were very familiar with the unique characteristics of the regions and provinces for which they were responsible.

Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development tell us what he really knows about Quebec's economic priorities?

I would also like to know how many times the minister has travelled east of Montreal.

Organ Donation October 27th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, today I really want to speak about Chaîne de vie, a project started by a student in my riding in collaboration with the Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup school board and Transplant Québec.

On October 16, the Chaîne de vie challenge took place on the occasion of World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation in order to raise much-needed funds. The purpose of Chaîne de vie is to raise awareness and inform secondary school students about organ donation by providing them with accurate information and real testimonials. The goal is not necessarily to persuade them to sign up.

In Quebec, signing your health insurance card or registering with the Quebec health insurance plan (RAMQ) registry of consent is the first step. However, that is not enough. The family has the final say, so people need to speak with their families.

I truly admire Lucie Dumont, founder of this project, who has started the conversation. We must openly talk about organ donation with our families. I have signed my card. What about you, Mr. Speaker? I hope that Chaîne de vie will expand across Canada.

Canada Pension Plan October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I have to choose my words carefully because I could use some very crude language to explain what he just said. He used the term “deceitful”. I would go further and say that what we saw and heard during the election was, to be polite, smoke and mirrors. That was not the only thing that the party in power, the Liberal Party, promised to do. It said that it wanted to do many things, but it did not do them, and it will probably never do them.

My colleague mentioned that I am an entrepreneur, which I have also mentioned a few times. However, it is important to realize that every one of us has all kinds of different experiences. The life of an entrepreneur is very difficult. One must always stay on top of things and be very patient to continue developing businesses.

Canada Pension Plan October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very good question.

He may have a point. We may not have done a good enough job of educating Canadians about the tools we put in place during our 10 years in office to help them save for retirement. The fact is that if we compare what is happening now to what was happening 50 years ago, people are saving a lot more now than they did then. That is definitely a change for the better.

It is clear that people, whether young or older, can now take charge of their own savings. They do not need the government to impose a new tax on them or a new way to save or any kind of forced savings.

Canada Pension Plan October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we need a balanced approach to pension funds. It is important to have a retirement plan already in place. We have one with the Quebec Pension Plan and the CPP in Canada.

It is important to have one, but it is also important to allow all employees or workers to invest in the funds they think suit them best. It is not up to the government to tell all workers where to put their money.

We are no longer in the 1960s or 1970s. We are now in 2016, and I can say that many people and many young people are now saving. My son and my daughter are saving. They do not have the same concept of what constitutes saving. In my time, I was not saving as they are doing today.

Things have changed, and we must trust future generations to take care of themselves and their own retirement.