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Crucial Fact

  • Their favourite word was program.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Edmonton Centre (Alberta)

Lost their last election, in 2021, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

COVID-19 Emergency Response June 23rd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the many struggling businesses, particularly those in the tourism sector, that have been impacted by the lack of communication and non-existent border opening strategy in this country.

Trix Star Productions, one of 133 tourism and hospitality businesses in my riding, is heavily reliant on cross-border revenue to operate and will not see a light at the end of the tunnel until this government implements a concrete plan with benchmarks and measurables to reopen the U.S.-Canadian border safely and effectively.

This government has refused to listen to recommendations of its own public health advisers, who argued that maintenance of supply chains and services was one of the reasons against a rapid border closure. The tourism and travel industry accounts for $43 billion of our GDP. U.S. visitors contribute $1.9 billion. We cannot deploy a full economic recovery until we safely and strategically execute a plan on a border reopening.

We need a plan and we need it now, or our economy and the people of the country will continue to suffer the consequences.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Madam Speaker, the member should be incredibly proud of that intervention, his family, and all he has done and brought to this country.

I have a simple question for you. How concerned are you for those kids of yours, with the massive amount of debt the government is accumulating?

Fort Edmonton Park June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to congratulate Fort Edmonton Management Company for the completion of the Fort Edmonton Park enhancement project, a $160-million project sponsored by the Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton. As both a board member and an Edmontonian, I am proud to have played a small part in seeing this project come to life.

Recognized as the largest living history museum in Canada, Fort Edmonton Park will reopen on July 1 with an upgraded utility work, an expanded 1920s midway, a new front entry plaza and, most important, the Indigenous Peoples Experience. This one of a kind transformative experience will immerse our guests in indigenous customs and traditions and highlight the inspirational stories of first nations, Métis and Inuit peoples who have resided on these lands for hundreds of thousands of years. The breath-taking and interactive exhibit tells the story of four seasons and the 13 moons, and is designed to be truly diverse and an inclusive representation of Canada's first peoples.

I look forward to the impacts it will have on my community, the surrounding area of Edmonton and the rest of Canada.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, there is lots of talk in this budget about training for new jobs, green jobs, jobs that are not here yet. Does the member have any idea what specific jobs the government is talking about that people will be retrained for? In my province, people want to know where these new jobs are, how they are going to get started and what these training programs are going to do for them in the near future, not looking out five years.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, it is a great concern, as we see inflation starting to move to 3.6%. We have issues with supply chains. We have issues with housing costs. We are seeing a lot of things drive up costs. The concern is that we are going to see interest rates do the same thing.

The level of debt that we have taken on in this country has to be paid back, and there is going to be interest that has to be paid on that debt, even if it is termed out over a period of time. A lot of the budget is now going to have to go toward debt repayment. That money could be spent on housing. It could be spent on some of the things that we desperately need in this country. That is a big concern.

Future generations will be stuck with this burden. That is the thing that is most distressing.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, my position would never change on this. If people earn an income and owe taxes, they should pay. We should use the full force of the law to make sure that we go after those who are trying to take advantage of any kind of scheme that would allow them not to pay their fair share of tax.

In the same breath, we should also recognize that wealth creators are good for our country. They are creating wealth. Creating more jobs and more investment in Canada is good for our country. Those who do it by the rules, let us support them and let us cherish them because they are the ones who are going to help us grow this economy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I am an incredibly proud Canadian. We have an enormous capacity and potential in this country. It is time we recognized it. It is time we let these sectors grow and prosper.

I firmly believe the rest of the world wants more of what Canada produces. We are leaders on the agriculture side, leaders on the forestry side, leaders on the energy side. Let us recognize that. Let us look at our strengths and make sure we emphasize those strengths, get behind those strengths and grow this economy so that kids will have something to look forward to in this country.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 22nd, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Essex.

Before I get started on the budget, this may be the last time I get to appear in front of you, Mr. Speaker, given that there seems to be a lot of chatter about an election. I want to take this time to thank you for your service to your country and say what a pleasure it has been to be able to serve with you. I wish you the very best in everything that you do into the future.

I am standing here again on a budget bill. Although much of this budget was important because it helped families and businesses ensure that they had some kind of income so they could manage through this crisis, it is also important that we talk about how it will potentially burden the future of many families and younger people as we have amassed this enormous debt.

This February, I was appointed as the shadow minister for COVID-19 economic recovery. It has been an incredible honour to serve in this role, because it has given me the opportunity to go across the country virtually and look at the economic impacts COVID has had on every sector, every region and every demographic of the country.

A strong economic recovery should be inclusive to all demographics, sectors and regions, ensuring that all persons and all areas of the country thrive and that we have specific objectives with measurable strategies for every sector to ensure that nobody gets left behind. It is impossible to implement a cookie-cutter plan, which is pretty much what I see in the Liberal budget. We will not get a full recovery unless we look at every economic sector to make sure it is successful.

The budget outlined how the federal Liberals proposed to rebuild the Canadian economy in a way that will bring Canadians along. This is another example of a lot of talk without a clear, precise, strategic and thoughtful action by the government.

If the government was actually interested in bringing all Canadians along, it would have laid out outcomes for job creation, growth and prosperity in this country's agricultural sector, maybe the energy sector, the forestry sector and the natural resources sector, just to name a few. There are millions of Canadians who work in these sectors. It is time that the government at least got honest about what it is trying to accomplish. Quite frankly, it seems like we are stuck in this never-ending cycle of spending more to achieve less. It is all talk and no action.

I hearken back to when I first had the opportunity to get involved as a contributor to the economy. I was able to buy into a business when I was 21 years old. I look back at those times and how I looked at the world as my oyster, that I would be able to do something, build something, grow something. Sadly, I do not hear that from youth anymore. I do not see that in this budget, which does not necessarily set people up for success.

A bunch of stats have come out of this budget, like the largest debt and deficit we have seen in the history of our country, and yet very little to show for it. We are certainly not moving forward. In fact, I often think we are moving backwards. It is important that we look at a few stats. Canada fell out of the top 10 ranking of the most competitive economies. We have fallen near the bottom of our peer group on innovation, ranking 17th, as stated by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Canada ranks 11th among G7 countries, among 29 industrial countries, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 33%, and Canada fell to 25th out of 29 countries. In other words, Canada has the fifth-highest level of total indebtedness. No other country experienced such a pronounced decline in its debt ranking. The debt-to-GDP ratio will rise from 31% last year to 56% this year. The Bank of Canada projects business investments to grow at 0.8% over the next two years, failing to recover to 2019 levels until 2023.

Consumption and government spending will represent about 80% of economic growth over the next two years, while investment and exports will be next to zero. An important industry like mineral fuels accounted for 22% of our country's exports, the number one exported product, which is something we should not forget about. We still have the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world and are the third-largest exporter of oil.

Just as the government continued to do since 2015, it has ignored the Canadian natural resource industry. There is virtually no mention of the energy sector, which is Canada's number one export. By ignoring the strength of Canada's resource, forestry and agriculture sectors, among others, the government has failed to recognize the impact these sectors would have on our battered economy. The world wants and needs more of our natural resources, so we should be thinking about expanding our market share, not hastening its decline. At the very least, we should be trying to develop policies that make sure we have an active role in these sectors.

There is an entire chapter in the budget dedicated to environmental initiatives aimed at net-zero emissions by 2050, which includes $18 billion in spending, but with dubious assumptions about the impact on economic growth. Rather than supporting a proven catalyst for economic growth like the natural resource sector to accelerate Canadians' recovery and get Canadians back to work, the Prime Minister has decided to continue the abandonment of this industry and hedge our future on uncertain technologies.

Conservatives are not opposed to developing and enhancing Canada's environmental-oriented sector. In fact I, along with the Conservative Party, highly encourage Canadian market participants in this sector to continue to grow and create more jobs and revenue while making sufficient contributions to the nation's ecological sustainability. I am proud of our industry. Our industry has been doing fantastic work and is a leader in the world. We should be proud of that and stand up for it. As we continue to combat this pandemic and the economic damage it would cause, we must unleash and utilize the capabilities of all profitable revenue streams. That includes green technologies and natural resources.

There are some vague references in the budget to growing green jobs and retraining the workforce for new jobs. It is very vague. Where and in which sectors are these jobs going to be created, and by when? Words are great, but actions speak louder. In the province I come from, people want to know, if they will be trained into a green job, where that job will be, what kind of income they will get and how they are going to be able to support their families in that new role. We have heard lots about retraining for these jobs that do not exist yet, but the need for tradespeople only happens if something is approved and built in this country.

What is it going to take? If the economy is going to grow, it has to be private sector-driven. The high cost of doing business in Canada, the red tape and the over-regulation make it almost impossible for small business owners. That has to change. There has been a real and visible impact on Canada's capacity to attract foreign investment. We need to be able to tell people they are welcome in this country and their investments are welcome. The perceived risk around investing in Canada's energy sector has to change.

What does the future look like? What is the trajectory? What does the country look like? We see inflation now. The target was 2% and it is running at about 3.6%. It is very concerning for people who are trying to live on a budget. My biggest fear for the country is that this budget will continue to invest massive sums of money into under-tested, under-productive schemes that fit the government's political agenda. The title is “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth and Resilience”, but the federal government's budget contains very few details on specifics and a lack of measurables, and it really does not say how it is going to execute on this plan.

I am concerned this budget is far from resilient and far from sustainable. If it were resilience that the government was after, it would be asking itself how this federal spending is going to position the country for post-pandemic success. We need to ensure that any spending helps with productivity in this country and ensures we have long-term sustainability. The well-being of our people and our economy cannot afford to be stuck in this never-ending cycle of the government's scheme of throwing money into the wind and hoping something sticks.

The most important focus for our country right now needs to be investment and commitment to ensuring Canadians get back to work. That is why the Conservative Party of Canada would implement the Canada recovery plan, a plan that would recover the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hardest-hit sectors. Canadians deserve strong leadership, inclusive leadership and a robust plan for not only recovery, but prosperity for many years to come.

The Economy June 21st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I can assure members I am not laughing. Jobs are not being created. The economy is not growing, and we are slipping in our G7 position. Canadians are desperate.

The Prime Minister sold this budget as a growth plan, but evidently it is nothing more than a marketing plan for an election. We cannot talk our way into a better future. My constituents are sick and tired of the lack of deliverables. They want action. I have had enough of the theatrics and the sales pitch of a budget.

Will the Prime Minister come forward with specific growth targets and clean, clear timelines by economic sector?

The Economy June 21st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, it appears that another promise made is a promise failed, when the government does not meet its benchmark of a return of creation of 1 million Canadian jobs by the end of this month. Between March and May, the unemployment rate rose from 7.5% to 8.2%. That is 1.6 million Canadians out of work. Jobs come from growth, and there is a lack of focus from the government on spending that would grow the economy.

Could the Prime Minister tell us today where the jobs went and the new date they will be coming back on?