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Track Harold

Your Say


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 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?

Canada Pension Plan November 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked about enhancing the retirement benefits for seniors, but for them to actually have retirement benefits they have to have a job to contribute into CPP or their retirement plan. The Department of Finance, to which the government is listening for advice, or should be listening, indicates very clearly in its analysis of the bill that it would reduce employment by 0.04% to 0.07%. That is 1,050 jobs per year over 10 years, 10,000-plus jobs lost. How can these people who do not have a job ever hope to retire with a meaningful pension if they have never been able to pay into one?

Canada Pension Plan November 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that when the Ontario government proposed its enhanced retirement plan specifically for Ontario there was a large push-back. The government heard loud and clear that this was not the way to go. Many small businesses indicated then, as they have now, that this was not the way to go. In a recent news release from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, many small businesses indicated that this was not the way to go, that two-thirds of small businesses would have to freeze or cut salaries, and over one-third say they would have to reduce hours or jobs in response to these increases. That would not change whether it was the ORPP, the Ontario retirement plan, or the CPP.

The troubling part about this question relating to Ontario is that many times in the House over the last few days the Liberals have indicated that they have the approval of all provinces on this. Of course they are going to get approval, and if it is going to be imported anyway, if we are going to do an Ontario one, it is better to have one that is right across the nation. Small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario have spoken clearly: this is going to be devastating for investment in jobs of the future.

Canada Pension Plan November 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity this summer to visit New Brunswick and different parts of Atlantic Canada. People in those areas are also concerned about this proposed CPP increase. I spoke to a lady who is the accountant for a number of small and medium-sized businesses and she said unequivocally that increasing CPP premiums from 9.9% to 11.9% would have a drastic negative impact.

I would love to applaud all of the positive initiatives that my colleague suggested but it is hard to do that when I realize that they will come at the expense of my children and grandchildren. They will be paying $10-billion interest more per year than what is being paid today simply because of this unbelievable supposedly small but rather explosive $30-billion deficit. If we were not borrowing to finance some of these things I might be able to applaud the government, but under the current circumstances this is not the direction to be going in.