House of Commons photo

Track Harold

Your Say

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is colleague.

Conservative MP for Kitchener—Conestoga (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 6th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I ask this question of all my Liberal colleagues. How can they stand in the House and say time after time that they were left with a deficit when the parliamentary budget officer and the Department of Finance clearly said that the Conservatives left the government with a huge surplus? In fact, over one billion dollars. I would like the member to correct the record for the House and all Canadians and let them know that the Conservative government left the Liberal government as it came into power with a huge surplus.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 6th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, let me try again. During the finance committee's pre-budget consultations, the committee heard from many people across Canada, many experts, who were cautioning the government about going further and further into debt.

In fact, I want to quote from The Macdonald-Laurier Institute:

...setting out a clear and credible plan to eliminate the deficit in particular should be the government's top budget priority, and—I put it to the committee with respect—your top priority as well.

Failing to do so risks setting us on a path of protracted deficit and increasing long-term costs or long-term opportunity costs. In this regard, I'd encourage the government to reconsider the enactment of fiscal rules, such as balanced budget legislation.

Would my colleague explain why his government, upon taking office, immediately reversed the balanced budget legislation our government had enacted, which would have kept us from this precarious position of going further and further into deficit financing?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 6th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have asked this question a number of times. In fact, I asked the member for Winnipeg North yesterday why he moved an amendment to remove a clause from this bill, and then during the votes last night voted against his own amendment. I wonder if my colleague could answer that question.

Another question that has not been answered in this debate is when the Liberal government intends to return the budget to balance. Continuing to build on the deficits we have is adding unbelievable amounts of interest costs. In fact, interest costs will go up by $15 billion per year over the next four years. I am wondering if my colleague could answer that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Madam Speaker, a number of times today we have tried to find an answer to the question of when the Liberal government will actually tell us when it intends to return to balanced budgets, to discontinue its deficit upon deficit spending.

I pointed out that in the budget book itself, it clearly indicates that another $10 billion per year in interest alone will be added over the next four years. The fall economic update added another $5 billion per year in interest. That is $15 billion per year in interest going out the window, just for interest, let alone paying down the debt.

I would like my colleague to answer the question as to when she sees the Liberal government returning to balanced budgets.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague's comments, and a number of times she said something to the effect that we are on the right track. A number of times she said that we are heading in the right direction. I would like to point out a number of areas where the current government is absolutely not heading in the right direction.

In the budget book, on page 234, members will find that the interest cost alone between today and 2020 will increase by $10 billion per year. Added to that, in the fall fiscal update, on page 66, we clearly see that an additional $5 billion in interest costs per year by 2020. That is $15 billion per year that Canadians will be spending simply on paying interest. A number of times we have asked the finance minister when we will return to a balanced budget, but there has been no answer.

How can we say that we are heading in the right direction and that budget 2016 is good for our kids and grandkids, when they are going to be the ones saddled paying this debt down? It does not add up, and I would like my colleague to answer that question.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I was intrigued by the opening comments by my colleague, who listed a number of so-called achievements. Then he said that all of this was done in only one year.

I would like to list a few other things from only one year. The Liberals promised a $10-billion deficit. Now it is over $30 billion, all in one year, resulting in interest-cost increases of $10 billion per year. Big spending; no results. There are fewer full-time jobs than a year ago. The cost of living has increased. It is harder for Canadians to qualify for or afford a mortgage. The Liberals also forgot to index the Canada child benefit. Now to index it, we find that it would cost $42 billion over five years. That is all in one year.

My really big disappointment is to see the Prime Minister not allowing us to have full debate on this bill in the House. This budget implementation bill is important for the future of Canada. It should have a more complete and full debate.

I wonder if my colleague would comment on why he thinks the Prime Minister is not allowing full debate on Bill C-29.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my neighbour from Kitchener Centre for his work in his riding.

I do not think anyone in the House is denigrating the arts. However, we all know that whatever project we want to support, there has to be money to support it. When we are borrowing money on more money on more money to build up a deficit of $30 billion, adding $10 billion per year in interest costs alone over the next four years, this is a concern. Could my colleague comment on the costs of his proposals?

Also, there was a question that I asked the Minister of Finance this morning, which we did not receive an answer to. It is found in the Order Paper today. It refers to Bill C-29. Motion No. 1 by the member for Winnipeg North proposes that one of the clauses of Bill C-29 be deleted. Could my colleague explain why a member of the government would move to delete a clause in a government bill?

Christmas Events in Kitchener—Conestoga December 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Christmas is on the way.

This past weekend, I had the wonderful privilege of participating in three Christmas parades, in Elmira, Baden, and New Hamburg. Thousands of children, teens, parents, and grandparents lined the sidewalks as a parade made its way down the street. Shouts of “Merry Christmas” filled the air as children sat on their fathers' shoulders or huddled under blankets in little red wagons.

Before Christmas, I will have the fun of attending four more parades, in St. Agatha, St. Clements, New Dundee, and Wellesley.

This weekend, I also participated in the Christkindl market in Kitchener, the Lioness Club's Christmas tree lighting in New Hamburg, and the Christmas turkey and food hamper drive for the House of Friendship. Dozens of volunteers are finding the joy of giving at Christmas.

On Saturday, at a Christmas concert at Koinonia Christian Fellowship in Bloomingdale, we were reminded again that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the one who was promised hundreds of years earlier, bringing light and hope to our world; the one who would “be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”.

Merry Christmas.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Madam Speaker, during the campaign, the Liberals were very clear that they would run a modest deficit of about $10 billion. We know that has ballooned to well over $30 billion. In the House, my colleague has asked the minister many times when the government will return to a balanced budget. The minister has not been able to answer, so I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary would answer the question of when Canadians can expect the current government to return our spending to a balanced budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 December 5th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I want to add my voice to the chorus of people who are disappointed that, after one hour, the Prime Minister is shutting down debate on something that is very important to our economy. Economic policy is being developed, and debate is being shut down after one hour.

I have a specific question for the minister. Why would a government member move motion no. 1, which would actually delete a clause of a government bill? Could the minister explain to Canadians and parliamentarians why a government member would move to delete a clause of a government bill?