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Track Blake

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is liberal.

Conservative MP for Banff—Airdrie (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 63% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, every year there are thousands of Canadian families that tragically have their lives changed forever when they lose an infant or when their child is stillborn. Many of these parents simply want the government to show more compassion toward their situation by providing them with the support needed to properly grieve and heal. I table this petition today, with thousands of signatures, from every single province and territory right across the country, calling on Parliament to stand shoulder to shoulder with Canadian families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss and to support Motion No. 110, which will be up for debate next Friday.

The Budget March 21st, 2018

Madam Speaker, this is certainly one more area where the current Liberal government failed, just like everything else that it has tried to do.

The member also talked about tourism. I did not get an opportunity to talk about some of our small business owners and our campground owners in this country whom the government is attacking. The Liberals are saying those businesses are too small to be a small business. That is shameful. That is the kind of attitude we see from the government and it is the kind of attitude that has to stop.

The Budget March 21st, 2018

Madam Speaker, let me tell the member that it is time for school to come in because we have some explaining to do and some lessons to give here.

This is a member who stands up and tries to somehow claim that the Liberals have cut taxes for the middle class. Did he listen to the speech at all? I do not think he did. If he listens to the analysis, 92% of Canadian families are paying more taxes than when the current government took office. What do they have to show for it? It is not a whole lot.

The member talked about being ill prepared. Again, I do not think he listened to the speech because that is exactly what I was talking about. When we were in power, when the Harper government was in place, in the first couple of years of the previous government, before there was a huge global recession, what was the government doing? It was paying down the debt so that it could be in a situation where, if something were to happen, it would be better prepared to handle it. It happened and we had a huge global recession, so the government invested to try to create jobs and opportunities. I remember the other side. The Liberals were over there in the corner at that time, which is where they belong, and they were claiming that they wanted to see more money being spent. Now they are saying it was too much.

At the end of the day, we can clearly see what they really believed because here they are in good times wasting money like it is going out of style. They are just tossing it out the window. When we hit another recession, we are going to be in huge trouble in this country because of the current government.

The Budget March 21st, 2018

Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak about the federal budget and what a complete and utter disaster it is for Canadians. If a Canadian family ran its household budget the way the Liberal government runs our country's finances, that family would be in absolute, serious trouble. Of course, this is not something that is new or surprising to most Canadians. The only person who does not seem to get that is the Prime Minister.

It kind of reminds me of this cartoon I keep on my desk. Someone sent it to me during the days before the last election. There is a picture of the former prime minister, Stephen Harper, and behind him is a nicely built home. It talks about the home renovation tax credit that he put in place. Then there is a picture of the member for Outremont. He was leader of his party at the time. It says something relating to maybe he would not have to put a fourth mortgage on his house because of the home renovation tax credit. Then it shows the Prime Minister standing in front of a house that is kind of in ruins and shambles. Smoke is coming out of it, and it is falling down, and he is saying, “The house will build itself”, just like he famously said that the budget would balance itself. We saw how well that worked. That cartoon was a good illustration of that.

This is the same Liberal government that promised balanced budgets by 2019. The Liberals had a balanced budget when they started, and they went into a huge deficit. They said they would have a small deficit, but it turned out to be a lot more than small. They said they would get back to the balanced budgets they were left with by 2019. However, there is no plan, obviously, that we have seen to do that.

In this most recent plan, the Liberals' so-called budget offers absolutely no tax relief for Canadians. It piles on debt for future generations, and attacks the backbone of the Canadian economy: small businesses. The best way I have heard the budget summarized, certainly by the Leader of the Opposition, was that never has a prime minister spent so much and accomplished so little. That really says it quite well. More and more Canadians are seeing through these empty promises of the Prime Minister and his government.

Here are the facts: 92% of Canadian families are facing higher taxes than when this government came to power. Middle-income families have seen their average income tax go up by $840. Now, $840 might not sound like a lot to the millionaire Prime Minister, but it is a huge difference for the household budgets of a lot of Canadian families. It might be a month's worth of groceries for a family of four or a couple of payments on the car. Maybe it is an opportunity lost for ballet or sports lessons for the kids or maybe a plane ticket to visit grandma and grandpa. That is what it means for an average Canadian family. It is significant.

The government claims to be all about helping the middle class, but actions speak louder than words. Here are some of the actions the LIberal government has taken since coming into office: higher Canada pension plan premiums, up to $2,200 per household; cancelled family tax cut, up to about $2,000 a household; cancelled art and fitness tax credits, about $225 a child; cancelled education and text book tax credits, up to $560 a student; and a national carbon tax, up to $2,500 per household. We can start to add that up.

The Liberals have taken more money from the wallets of Canadians while implementing measures like a carbon tax that has made the price of everything go up. Groceries are more expensive. Heating one's home is more expensive. Filling up one's car with gas is more expensive. In what convoluted way would a Liberal see that as somehow relief for Canadian taxpayers? I cannot imagine.

The Prime Minister and the finance minister inherited a surplus. They inherited a surge in the global economy and the beginning of the recovery of oil prices. Things should be running quite smoothly and Canadians should be benefiting from the situation, but of course, they have blown it. They have absolutely blown it. The government can try to take credit for growth in our economy, but the reality is that the growth was driven by an economic recovery. That happened not because of the government but in spite of it.

The sensible thing to do when our economy is growing at a rapid pace is to pay down debt, the approach that was taken by the former government, to ensure there is more room to manoeuvre in case of a global downturn. As we saw in 2008, Canada is certainly not immune to these global patterns.

This brings me to my second point. The Liberals have continued to add to our debt and to pile on to our future generations debt they cannot possible hope to repay. The current government will be long out of power by that time, so it will be up to another generation to fix the problems left behind by this irresponsible administration.

In the less than three years since coming to power, the government has added $60 billion to our national debt, over $1,600 for every Canadian. Even projections from its own finance department are bleak, and that is that the budget will not return to balance until 2045, if we were to remain on this course. That means adding an extra $450 billion of debt. That is almost half a trillion dollars, a number that most Canadians cannot even comprehend. This is what the government will add to the debt and will saddle that legacy onto future generations.

The government continues to live beyond its means.

What happens when there is a serious economic downturn? By adding more debt to our finances, the Liberal government is selling our chances at a speedy recovery should anything happen to our economy. Make no mistake, there are signs of trouble just over the horizon. The Liberal government certainly has no contingency should the United States terminate NAFTA, for example.

The budget also contains no policies that make Canada open for business or that allows our businesses to be able to compete. Our neighbours to the south recently announced sweeping new tax reforms that would help businesses and Americans. In response, what has the government done? Absolutely nothing. Why has the Liberal government added $60 billion to our debt? That is the question many are asking, as everyday Canadians are seeing none of this money going toward helping them.

The government's economic policies include spending $35 billion on a new infrastructure bank that helps wealthy investors, but not everyday Canadians; and $1 billion on superclusters that help big corporations, but not Canadians who are struggling to find employment.

The amount of debt that the government is accumulating is absolutely staggering, and it will be a major impediment for future generations. It is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the government also continues to attack our job creators, the people who are the backbone of the Canadian economy, our small businesses. Remember last fall, when the Liberals decided they would tax small businesses at a rate of about 73%? I certainly remember, because I received thousands of emails, phone calls, and letters from concerned small businesses and employees in our communities. No doubt the members over there have received those same kinds of emails, phone calls, and letters.

I think the Liberals heard the message to some degree because they slowly, at least partially, backed away from those controversial plans. However, it took a huge outrage from Canadians to do it. There is never going to be an end with respect to the attacks on small businesses.

With the proposals the finance minister has made, thousands of local businesses will no longer qualify for the small business tax rate or will see it reduced. In many of our communities, we rely very heavily on small businesses to provide jobs and opportunities, sponsor charities and sports teams, and to make our economy thrive. All those businesses are concerned about the future as a result of the actions of the government.

The government has even gone so far as to try to tell some businesses that they are too small to be a small business, when it went after campground owners. Too small to be a small business, how does that make any sense? Those are the kinds of actions of the government.

The Liberals are continuing to ask Canadian families and Canadian small businesses to pay more for its out-of-control spending. That is simply unacceptable.

Committees of the House March 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative members of the procedure and House affairs committee had a number of issues with the report surrounding the creation of a debate commission. Therefore, we have put forward a dissenting report, which I would encourage all members to read, outlining those things, not the least of which is the fact that the committee had undertaken this while consultations were being done by the minister separately, which were not taken into consideration. We believe this is something the minister should be taking into consideration.

Therefore, we certainly hope that those comments, suggestions, and differing opinions will be taken into consideration when the report is looked at.

Canada Elections Act February 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's speech and heard wonderful words, but that is what we always get from the government: a bunch of words and very little action.

The Liberals might claim this to be action, but at the end of the day, this is really a cover-up, a PR exercise. What would really be required to prevent these kinds of practices from occurring is simply for the Liberal Party to start following some of the guidelines it set for itself, for the Prime Minister to start behaving ethically, and for the Liberals to stop doing cash for access fundraisers. That is all that would be required.

There is no need for a piece of legislation to tell someone what everyone should already know, which is how to behave ethically and how to follow the rules, something the Prime Minister thinks he is above and beyond. Simply, all the Prime Minister needs to do is follow them. Why does the government not simply choose to follow the rules?

I would like to ask a corollary question. Let us look at the kinds of incidents that have occurred, whether they be cash for access or the Prime Minister's travel. The Prime Minister inappropriately claimed some travel expenses in 2009, before he was Prime Minister. It was $672 for a limo ride to an event that had nothing to do with his responsibilities as a member of Parliament. At that time, he said that he would take responsibility, and he paid back the money.

What was good for the goose then should be good for the goose now. Why does the Prime Minister not simply start to follow the rules instead of creating legislation to cover it up with a PR exercise?

Canada Elections Act February 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, the member is right about one thing. There is a very big difference between the Prime Minister and the leader of the official opposition. There is a very big difference. We have a Prime Minister over there who thinks that he is above the law and better than everyone else. Over here we have a Leader of the Opposition who is one of us. He is one of the people. He is someone who understands what everyday Canadians go through and has their best interests in mind. That is the big difference between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

I can assure members that when the Leader of the Opposition is the prime minister of this country in 2019, they will not be seeing his name attached to any kind of ethics scandals or wrongdoings, like we have seen multiple times with the Prime Minister and his government, because the Leader of the Opposition stands up for regular everyday Canadians and understands what they are going through and does not feel he is entitled and better than everyone else. He wants to accomplish something for everyday, hard-working Canadians, and that is what he will do.

Canada Elections Act February 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, that I know of, no, that never occurred. That is because he is someone who tried to conduct himself with integrity. That is the difference between that prime minister and the current one.

As for the current one, I cannot even name the number of examples of ethics breaches, violations, hypocrisy, and the breaking of promises, all things that speak to the integrity of the Prime Minister, of which there really is none.

Canada Elections Act February 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I found that omission interesting as well.

I suppose if one actually believed that this piece of legislation was intended to try to address or fix the problem, then maybe one could say that there is an omission. However, I do not really believe that is what this is about at all. It is simply a PR exercise, because the Liberals got caught with their hands in the cookie jar and now they are trying to blame the cookie jar.

What is really interesting about it is that if we actually look at the Prime Minister's own guidelines that were written, it says very clearly that they should apply to ministers and to parliamentary secretaries, and there should be no conflict of interest and no appearance of it. Simply, all they have to do is follow their own guidelines. They do not even need a new piece of legislation. Clearly, that is not what this is about at all. This is simply a PR exercise for the Liberal Party because it was caught breaking the rules.

Canada Elections Act February 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, when the member wants to stand up in the House of Commons to try to correct somebody, he should make sure he has his facts straight. He is simply wrong. He can go back and check that for himself.

I guess the way to respond to his various statements and questions would be say that these cash for access fundraisers are part of a pattern that we have seen from the government of unethical behaviour. Part of that pattern, just as a way of a parallel example, is this vacation that the Prime Minister took, his so-called vacation, when he went to the private island of a billionaire who lobbies the government. Obviously that was found by the Ethics Commissioner to have broken the law in four separate ways. The Prime Minister says that he is taking responsibility, but he is refusing to actually take responsibility by paying that back.

There have been previous instances where the Prime Minister, when he was simply a member of Parliament, prior to being the Prime Minister, was found to have inappropriate travel expenses. This was back in 2012. He was found to have misused $672 in transportation costs to attend an event that had nothing to do with his role as a member of Parliament, and he used House of Commons resources to do that. When he was caught doing that, he admitted to the wrongdoing and repaid the money.

There is a saying about what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In this case, I would ask the member, is what was good for the goose still good for the goose? Why is he not paying back the money now?