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Conservative MP for Haldimand—Norfolk (Ontario)
Won her last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Standing Orders and Procedure October 6th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member for Yukon has a long way to travel. It can be very difficult travelling even for those of us who have a short distance to go.
However, I am a bit confused, because throughout his speech the member suggested having a shorter work weeks in Ottawa and taking Fridays off, and he suggested rising earlier, all so he could spend more time in his riding.
When I first came to the House in 2004, I was under the impression that we were here to represent our constituents in Ottawa, not to represent Ottawa to our constituents. How does the member feel about that?
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 30th, 2016
With regard to employment in the public service as of October 19, 2015: (a) what was the total number of full-time employees; (b) what was the total number of part-time employees; (c) what was the total number of casual employees; (d) what was the total number of contract employees; (e) how many employees were on leave; (f) how many employees worked in the National Capital Region; and (g) how many employees worked outside the National Capital Region?
Questions on the Order Paper May 20th, 2016
With regard to the government hiring consultants, including an American investment bank, to help analyze the feasibility of a $1 billion (U.S.) aid package to Bombardier Inc.: (a) what was the total cost of all American consultants hired; (b) what were the criteria for hiring these consultants; (c) for each consultation in (a), (i) what organizations and individuals were consulted, (ii) what were the dates, (iii) what was the location; (d) what other consultations has the government conducted with other outside sources on this subject; and (e) for each consultation in (d), (i) what was the total cost of other outside sources hired, (ii) what organizations and individuals were consulted as a result?
The Budget April 12th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the member should know that, when the HST was introduced in those provinces, it was at the request of those provinces. We did not impose it upon them; it was not our choice. We worked with the provinces to do this.
My real fear when it comes to the GST is that the Liberals, somewhere along the way over the next four years, probably sooner rather than later, are going to feel compelled to raise the GST. That is a tax on everyone. There are very few ways that the Liberals can raise as much money as would pay for these programs and pay for that $12 billion a year in extra debt, just the interest on it, without doing that.
Canadians deserve better than that, because w know, we believe, and we have seen evidence that, if Canadians have more money in their pockets, they will save it, they will invest it, and they will invest in their children's education and in projects that stimulate the local economy, which stimulates the national economy, and the whole country is better off for it.
The Budget April 12th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, there is no question that paying interest on burgeoning debt loads does not create jobs, certainly not in the private sector and not in the Canadian economy.
That is where the Liberal budget fails. The Liberals think that by borrowing more money they can create jobs, and yet their infrastructure investments are all slated to be pushed off, with a very small fraction of them happening this year, when they say it is needed. The Liberals are planning to spend it later, in fact most of it after the next election. That is not going to create jobs.
Meanwhile, they are burdening Canadian taxpayers with extra debt, which means taxes will have to go up. That $12 billion that my colleague cited is money that is not going into job creation programs nor is it going into things like health care, transfers to the provinces, or social programs that would help look after Canadians, when it should.
The Budget April 12th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was not here in the day, but during the worst global recession since the 1930s, our government made a reluctant but responsible decision to invest in the economy, to invest in programs that would create jobs right away, things like the home renovation tax credit.
That is one of the reasons that our country went into the great recession later and more shallowly and came out stronger and faster than almost any other country in the world. It was necessary under those conditions, but we also made a promise to balance the budget.
The difference between our government and the Liberal government is that we kept our promise. The Liberals, in the election, promised a deficit, but they have far exceeded everyone's expectations by multiple factors. As well, they have no plan and have made no promise to balance the budget.
In fact, that is why they are throwing out the balanced budget legislation, so they do not ever have to balance it. That is not a responsible course. No family can survive that way, no business can survive that way, and no country is going to be healthier that way.
The Budget April 12th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, on March 22, the Liberal government released its 2016 federal budget, and I stand here today deeply disappointed with the many broken promises in that document.
The Prime Minister made promises to support the middle class while keeping the annual deficit at no more than $10 billion a year for three years. This is what Canadians were led to expect, but the Liberal's own deficit forecast has come in much higher than that, and over many more years. Indeed, over the term of the current government, there is no end in sight to deficit financing.
It is so bad that the Liberals are actually repealing the Federal Balanced Budget Act, because, as the budget itself says, the current legislation is “inconsistent with the Government’s plan”. In other words, the law is an inconvenience. This is a plan that is reckless. It is ineffective, and it is one that gives little consideration to the future financial health of our families, or indeed our country.
The budget confirmed that the Liberals are raising taxes on honest hard-working families, eager young students, and on enterprising small businesses, which will only hurt the people in my home of Haldimand—Norfolk.
Members know, and I know, and every responsible Canadian knows, that borrowed money has to be paid back, That is why I guess the Liberals are already raising taxes. In fact, personal income taxes are set to go up by $1.3 billion this year and $2.4 billion next year. Yet, despite promising support for middle-class families, the Liberal government is going to repeal many tax programs that were brought in by our last Conservative government, especially to help families. These are programs such as the family income splitting, the child tax benefit, and the universal child care benefit, of which I am particularly fond. Over 9.4 million families in Canada will be directly affected by these changes, including 32,000 families in my home riding.
The new Canada child benefit claims to boost payments to some families, but it comes at the expense of existing child benefits. At least 10% of families will be losing support altogether, and mark my words, that 10% number could go a whole lot higher.
The Liberal government is also taking away the children's fitness and arts tax credits. In Haldimand—Norfolk alone, the parents of some 21,000 children under the age of 16 have been eligible for these tax credits up until now. These are tax credits totalling $1,500 each year. Unfortunately, these families will no longer be eligible.
Conservatives have always understood that Canadians work hard, and we support policies that put more money where it belongs, back in the pockets of Canadians.
One of the things I was pleased to see in the budget is that there will be an increase to the guaranteed income supplement for seniors. However, I was disappointed in the Liberal's changes to the Canada student loan program. Despite what they said, their own numbers show that only one in five students will benefit. That is certainly not the way that they are promoting it. This becomes even more disturbing when we realize that they are also taking away the tax credits introduced by Conservatives for text books and tuition, which were available not just to a few but to all post-secondary students.
Another huge hit is going to be to Canadian small businesses through higher payroll taxes. The government will not be lowering the business tax rate to 9% as it promised. Instead, the government will hold it at 10.5% and introduce new conditions around eligibility.
Many small businesses describe this broken promise as a shock. Here is what the Canadian Federation of Independent Business had to say:
In its platform, in a written letter to CFIB members, and in campaign stops across the country, the new government promised to reduce the small business corporate tax rate to nine per cent by 2019. That promise was broken today....
This was said by Dan Kelly, the president of CFIB.
This decision alone will cost firms almost $1 billion per year, starting in 2019.
This broken promise comes as no surprise, considering that the Prime Minister himself called small businesses tax havens for the rich. Canadians know that this is simply not true. Small business owners devote countless hours to their businesses, with a 51% survival rate over five years. There are some 1.2 million SMEs in Canada with the average worker taking home just $750 a week before taxes, which is $100 lower than the average of $850.
The government has to do better for small businesses because small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Small businesses are indeed a key to a thriving Canadian economy because they make up 98% of all Canadian companies and employ 70% of the private sector labour force.
The Liberal budget did not renew the tax credit for EI premiums paid by small businesses, and over $1 billion in new EI expenditures points only to higher premiums for all employers in the near future.
Another disappointment was that there was nothing new in the budget that offered support for our agricultural producers such as I have in Haldimand—Norfolk, or indeed anywhere else in Canada, despite the agrifood sector accounting for over $100 billion in economic activity and employing more than two million Canadians. There was no direct commitment to this key part of our economy.
Conservative MPs have always supported infrastructure, investing more than any federal government in history, to the point that we ranked second among the G7 in 2014. Infrastructure spending needs to be prioritized in a way that creates both short-term and long-term jobs and makes Canada an attractive place for a business to invest.
Most people envision infrastructure as building roads and bridges. They think of investments that reduce gridlock, thereby making it easier for people to get to work, to get home, and to get their goods to market.
To the Liberals, infrastructure is divided into three main project pots: transit, green initiatives, and what they refer to as social infrastructure.
For transit, the budget allocates $3.4 billion over three years, which does nothing to help rural ridings like Haldimand—Norfolk. Their green infrastructure fund accounts for $5 billion over five years, but only $650 million is to be spent this year.
The Liberals also claim that they will spend $3.4 billion on social infrastructure over the next five years. Now we have to wonder if that will be put off until after the next election too. Also, will it too focus only on the cities?
If we add it all up, infrastructure spending is far less than what the Liberals promised Canadians in order to get elected. In fact, by 2019, only one-fifth of the promised funding will be available to create jobs.
It is a fact that roads, highways, ports, and rail infrastructure will get their funding from existing funds that our previous Conservative government already committed under our new building Canada plan.
The bottom line is that, over the next five years, the Liberal government will borrow billions of dollars with little to show for it. Budget 2016 contains undisciplined spending, has no plan to balance the books, will fail to boost economic growth, and will raise taxes on families, on individuals, and on small businesses, taxes they cannot afford to pay if they are to not only grow but thrive.
Therefore, that is why the Conservative Party of Canada and I as a member of it cannot support the budget.
Finance March 11th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, Sir John Templeton perhaps said it best in response to that when he said, “The four most expensive words are, 'This time it's different'”.
Canadians cannot afford the Liberal government's out of control borrowing and spending plan. When will the Minister of Finance start showing some fiscal sense and stop the reckless spending? Will he ever deliver a balanced budget for all Canadians?
Finance March 11th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, everyone knows but the Liberals that we cannot spend our way out of debt. The latest estimates are that the Liberal budget will inflict $150 billion in new debt on Canadians without creating economic growth.
When will the Liberal government wake up and start managing the public purse responsibly so that our children and grandchildren will not be buried under a mountain of Liberal debt?
Finance March 9th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the previous government went into deficit to fight the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s and then balanced the budget without raising taxes. The Liberals are spending money they do not have, to fight a recession we are not in. They have already slashed tax-free savings accounts, and now they are jacking up payroll taxes.
How high will taxes go to pay for risky Liberal deficits?