Mr. Speaker, before I start my discussion on the fall economic update, I would like to acknowledge that today is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, where two Canadians lost their lives.
During a state visit with the former governor general, the Right Hon. David Johnston, whom I accompanied to India, we visited the Taj hotel, which was one of the places that came under severe attack. We paid our respects at the memorial that was set up in the hotel. We talked to the survivors of that terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were killed and to the people of India. Just a note to my colleagues, the masterminds of that terrorist attack are still free.
On another note, as everyone knows, I am from Calgary. Yesterday evening, I was sitting in a pub with fans in Ottawa for the Grey Cup. I had a great evening when Calgary beat Ottawa. The pub was pretty quiet, but they could not keep me quiet. I was out there rooting for Calgary. I am very grateful that we won the Grey Cup. Go, Stamps, go.
Now I am going to talk about the fall economic update and the management by the Liberal government of the economy. The government gave a fall economic update, and today we heard an announcement that over 2,000 Canadians are going to lose their jobs because of GM's closure of their plant in Oshawa. This has sent shock waves across the country. It will have a serious impact on Ontario's economy, and by extension, the Canadian economy. We will see not only jobs being lost but a subsequent chain of events associated with the plant and the production of vehicles in the auto sector. The impact is going to be huge. Therefore, the fall economic update, as far as I am concerned, is not very valid.
Tonight an emergency debate has been agreed to, which was put forward by the Conservative members. Members of the House will discuss this issue that impacts everyone. Hopefully, everyone will agree unanimously that we should all work together to ensure that Canadians will not be heavily impacted by this loss.
I also want to say that last Thursday, the Prime Minister visited Calgary to talk about the other sector that is crucially important to the economy, and that is the oil energy sector. He had come there to give assurances. He spoke to the Chamber of Commerce, and he met with business leaders. Close to 2,000 people were in the streets asking for action by the Liberal government with regard to the energy sector. Ultimately, his visit provided absolutely nothing of the kind to the oil sector and the workers in Calgary who are suffering. It will subsequently lead to more job losses. The oil sector impacts everyone in this country, yet the government was unable to give assurances to Calgary and Alberta about what it plans to do.
The government's inaction has become so bad, despite having the NDP as its closest ally in Alberta, that the finance minister in Alberta, the Hon. Joe Ceci, who I worked with for many years, because he was a councillor in the same riding I represent today, commented in frustration that if it was something like Bombardier, we would have seen massive action by the Liberal government. However, because it is Alberta, it kind of got the brush-off. This is what the NDP finance minister in Alberta is saying.
This is a warning sign to the federal government that if it does not pick up the ball in the energy sector, it will once more inflame the western alienation that occurred under the Pierre Trudeau Liberal government. It is a good point for the Liberals to know. It is not the Conservatives speaking about it. It is the NDP finance minister in Alberta talking about this issue.
The point of the fall economic statement is how the Liberals have managed our economy, and it is looking really bad. Canadians are concerned. The deficit is going on and on. It is now three times higher than what the Liberals promised during the election campaign. They like to say that what they promised they are delivering, but unfortunately, they are absolutely not.
The government has raised taxes on the middle class. It has raised taxes. The deficit is going up. What does the future of Canada look like under the current government? It does not look very good. Today's announcement is just one of the symptoms of not looking forward. The government should have known this might happen, and if it did, what actions it would take. It was totally caught off guard. We will hear in tonight's debate what it intends to do, as it is in power.
The main issue in the economic update is simple and straightforward. What assurances do Canadians have that there will be sound management? They are worried about jobs, their children and their families, and now there will be a carbon tax.
This weekend, Rex Murphy, a great commentator, said very simply that we cannot have extra burdens when the economy is under stress and that the government should revisit the carbon tax. We are calling on the government to revisit the carbon tax. It should not sit with its head in the sand and say no. There are other options to address climate change as we move forward, but the carbon tax is not the way to go. Liberals say the carbon tax is revenue neutral and they will return the money to Canadians, but what incentive do they have to do this except to create a bureaucracy for the carbon tax.
The main issue is that we need to create an economic environment that will create economic development. The Prime Minister's actions at the first TPP meeting in Vietnam were disastrous. He did not bother giving any attention to the trade file, which is crucial for Canada.
The finance minister was on TV over the weekend saying that the media was not giving him fair coverage. My colleagues and everyone else are wondering if that is why he gave the media $560 million, to make sure that the Liberals get favourable coverage from the media. There is a question being raised about that money, and a lot of the media are attacking that. I know it is about job security for them as well, but it brings into question why the government is favouring one sector. The minister says we need a free press. Indeed, we need a free press. Canadians want a free press, but they can make up their own minds as to what kind of free press they want. They do not need what the government is doing, forcing on them what they do not want. Liberals are not listening to what the media is talking about.
Nevertheless, over the course of the month, we will talk about how the Liberal government failed. In 2019, we hope Canadians will send them packing.