Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to speak on the budget implementation act.
This morning my friend John reminded me that there were dark clouds in the Liberals' sunshine environment, as Liberals said during election time. However, there is one issue that really bothers me, and that was what happened yesterday when the Prime Minister talked to students. He told them that the opposition parties liked to shout at respectful Liberals.
I am profiled in the grade nine high school book in Alberta, talking about democracy. I go to schools and talk about our great democracy and how our country is run. I never run down anyone. We are all here equally in this chamber to talk about issues for all Canadians. This is the chamber where we have democracy, yet the Prime Minister went to a school and partisanly told students that the Liberals were respectful and the opposition was not respectful.
May I remind the Prime Minister, if I recall correctly, that he was a member of the opposition when he first entered the House. Now suddenly he thinks that side is respectful. Should he impart this knowledge to young students? Shame.
I am splitting my time with my great Irish friend from Durham, Mr. Speaker.
We are talking about the dark clouds since the Liberals became government. The last member who spoke talked about the veteran cuts. Cuts to veterans was brought forward by the Liberal government. My colleague was a former trade minister and he did all the legwork for the trade agreements that the Liberal government signed. The Liberals want to take credit for that.
It is interesting that the word “Harper” has become so common in the chamber. I hear more about Mr. Harper than when he was the prime minister. Every minute, the Liberals keep talking about Harper. They forget that they have been governing for three and a half years. It was interesting to hear the the NDP member say that the Liberals were worse than Harper. Harper is a great word in the House.
However, talking about the Liberals' record, it is terrible. As I said during my leadership race, the deficit is in the blood of the Trudeaus. Whenever they come into power, we end up having strong deficits and a deficit balance. Our taxes and our debt keep rising. As I already pointed out, the Liberals increased the debt by $60 billion.
Where do things stand today under these dark clouds? Since the Liberals have come to power, the last member who spoke said the business environment was great. It is not great. The business environment today is what is causing serious concern for Canadians, a concern about jobs, the welfare of their children and health care. It is a serious concern. The disastrous handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the bill that would stop the pipelines being built under a regulatory regime will take investors away from our country.
We must remember that we share a very long border with the south. We share an integrated economy. If south of the border creates a business environment that is far more appealing to investors, then money flows there. It is not just money, but jobs flow south as well. That is where the danger is.
When we were in government, and my friend sitting next to me was the minister of state for finance, I checked with him, we introduced a regulatory process. We looked at how a regulatory process in our country would stifle competitiveness. To do that, we set out to find out how many regulator processes there were in our country.
Let me go back and give my own example with my son. He wanted to go into an agricultural business, and he is still going into it with my grandson. We tied in with farmers in my colleague's riding to export a product. We are still mired in regulatory reforms. It is not ease of business to do that. It has taken one and a half years and we are still in the process of trying to meet all the regulatory conditions that are laid out across the country.
The important point here is this. If we ask the government how many regulations there are, which it is supposed to know, it will not be able to answer the question. If it does not know that, how will it reduce the regulations? Even there, it cannot do this thing, yet the Liberals are saying that they have policies that are helping the business environment grow.
I come from Alberta and it is concerned about what the government is doing to the economy of Alberta. Irrespective of the fact that the Minister of Natural Resources is from Alberta, we do not see any kind of action coming from the government. It is a big concern.
Now the Liberals say that they are going to put in a carbon tax. Our carbon footprint is 1.6% of global pollution in the environment, yet we are the country putting a carbon tax burden on Canadians. Like everyone has pointed out to the government, it is a tax grab.
I read this morning that because the Liberals have announced they want to give money back to the people, people are saying that it will not impact them. Therefore, how are their habits going to change if they are going to get their money back? The carbon tax is a tax grab, as everyone says. We need to have an environment of the economy moving forward, which the government is failing to do. It seems to have priorities that do not address the main concerns of Canadians, which are jobs, health care and a future for our children.
These are good statements made by the government. However, as everyone has pointed out, when the government says “trust it” that is like the Nigerian prince saying, “Your cheque is in the mail”. More and more Canadians are saying that they do not trust the government.
We are concerned. There are dark clouds in the sunshine environment of the Liberal government.