House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was plan.

Last in Parliament July 2017, as Conservative MP for Sturgeon River—Parkland (Alberta)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the member said it well. If there were over 100,000 people out of work in any other province in this country, there would have been something in the budget.

There are over 100,000 people who are out of work and are on the EI rolls, but there are thousands of contractors who do not even appear in those reports. There are over 100,000 people who are out of work, running out of EI, going on welfare, having to go to food banks, and there is nothing in this budget for them.

As the member for Chilliwack—Hope said, the government is also getting rid of a particular expense credit for those who drill new wells and explore in the oil and gas sector. Again, this is mean-spirited. The government is kicking a province when it is down. It is kicking an industry while it is down, and there is nothing to help that industry.

Imagine if the aerospace sector had 100,000 people out of work. Imagine if the automotive sector had 100,000 people out of work, with no hope and no light at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing in this budget to even recognize that this is happening, and this job crisis continues.

Who suffers the most in this province? It is young people. There is no hope for these young people in Alberta, and there is nothing in this budget to help Albertans.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, once again the government is not focusing on everyday working people, particularly low-income working people.

What was the first thing the government did? It was to take away the universal child care benefit that every single family in this country relied on. It took away choice. It also took away the tax credit for child care, and yesterday in the budget the government took away a credit for employers who were willing to put their own money into child care in their own businesses. If I asked any parents I know, they would say that this is the ideal kind of child care. To have it on site, where they work, close to their own community, with employers willing to put some of their own money into it to make the work environment better for their employees is ideal child care. What a great incentive for child care, and those guys over there took it away.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member's comment about a budget that is not for regular working people. I love that comment about this being for the elites and friends of the Liberal Party. This is what the budget is about.

The member talked about bus passes. This is mean-spirited. Why would the Liberals take away a benefit for people who take the bus every day to school? This tax credit allowed people to get almost two months of free bus passes back on their tax return. Seniors use this. Students use this. Low-income Canadians use this.

This is not a budget for regular working people, and it's not just about the people getting to work and back, but the people who want to work those 15 hours a day to actually own a small business one day. They want a return on their investment and they are thinking about taking that risk. How do we encourage them to take a risk? If there is a reward at the end of the day, if they work those 15 hours day, then they are going to get to build a business, to hire people, to actually keep some of their own money. What a wonderful opportunity for them and their community, but what are we doing? We are telling them they are tax cheats. That is what this budget does. We are coming after small business owners now.

It is everything from campground owners to people who operate a family-owned farm. This is ridiculous. This has to end.

We will be the voice of the taxpayers, and we will stand up for families and stand up for small businesses.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is funny when I listen to the member opposite. I know he is a Liberal, but he sounds a lot like some of the people south of the border who use alternative facts.

The truth is that in the last 10 years, the middle class grew by 30%. The supposed tax cut that the current government brought in helped the wealthiest part of the middle class, not lower-income people and middle-class Canadians. In fact, even with that supposed tax cut they gave, this is what happens.

The Liberals talked a big talk during the election, but then they taxed everyone to death with the last two budgets. There is nothing left of that middle-class tax cut they supposedly gave people. That is the reality. In fact, people are now more in the hole. The Liberals just keep taking and taking.

Why? We found out in the budget yesterday that it is because the Liberals grew the size of government by 12%. That is an unprecedented growth in the size of government.

This is not who we should be focused on. We should be focused on regular working people who need a break, and they did not get a break from the government yesterday.

The Budget March 23rd, 2017

It is my pleasure to rise on behalf of our Conservative caucus and all Canadians who are concerned that their tax dollars are not being respected to respond to the Liberal Budget.

I have had many opportunities to travel this country, and I have seen first-hand how the job-killing policies this Prime Minister promotes are hurting families and businesses.

It is my pleasure to rise on behalf of our Conservative caucus and all Canadians who are concerned that their tax dollars are not being respected, to respond to the Liberal budget. As Conservatives and as the official opposition, we are here proudly as the voice of the taxpayers.

I have had the opportunity to travel this country quite a bit in this role, and I have seen first-hand how the job-killing policies the Prime Minister promotes are hurting families and businesses. In Medicine Hat, I visited a greenhouse that is set to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, in fact exactly $750,000, to accommodate the Prime Minister's new carbon tax at $50 a tonne.

On Canada's proud east coast, I met families who are finding it harder and harder to save after the government hiked the cost of textbooks and after-school programs for their kids. The Prime Minister likes to talk about cleaning up the tax code, but he forgets that all of the tax credits that he is taking away from families made life more affordable for them. The truth is that regular Canadians feel like they are being nickel-and-dimed to death by the Prime Minister.

He promised a lot in the election. He made a lot of commitments, but now it seems like a lot of rhetoric. For all the money that he spent, and for all the taxes Canadians have to pay, what are the results? The Prime Minister is now in his second budget, clinging to this failed Liberal idea of taxing and spending because it seems impossible for him to understand what regular Canadians are actually going through out there.

Canadians needed a break. That is what they were hoping for in this budget, but they did not get one. We, on this side of the House, are not surprised. After all, this is the same government that broke its promise to lower taxes on small businesses, broke its promise to limit its deficit spending to only $10 billion, and broke its promise to balance the budget, all within six months.

These broken promises are proof to Canadians that the Prime Minister does not understand the everyday challenges families and workers are facing.

Canadians are not looking for bigger, shinier promises that will cost millions but never arrive. They are looking for common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems.

What are those most pressing problems? They are about getting new jobs for our young people, and people keeping their jobs and getting to keep more of their hard-earned money while the Prime Minister makes life more expensive.

I was at a function this morning with a lot of small business owners. One of them said that he works 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and in this budget the Prime Minister says he is going to target small business owners because he thinks they are sheltering money. That small business owner said that he invests every cent he has back in his business. He buys new equipment, hires another employee, and expands his business, and the Prime Minister thinks that somehow he is using the tax system to hide taxes.

This is the kind of attitude the Prime Minister has toward small business owners. This year's budget is just a sequel to last year's budget of his nickel-and-dime plan. Last year, it was textbook and education tax credits, which were cancelled. That cost families up to $600 per student. The Prime Minister made after-school programs more expensive, to the tune of hundreds of dollars. For a regular family, hundreds of dollars is a lot of money. If a family can write off an expensive registration for hockey, soccer camp, arts classes, or piano lessons, that is a big deal to a family, and those are all gone.

The Prime Minister steamed ahead with the higher small business tax. He got rid of the hiring tax credit for small businesses, which are struggling across the country. They want to hire more people.

We need to provide them with those incentives. Why would he take away an incentive to hire more people in this country? This year they are raising money off the backs of small businesses again by hiking EI premiums and CPP premiums.

They are raising taxes on Canadians who use the bus. Really? If a person takes the bus to work every day, or to school every day, and likes to enjoy a beer at the end of the day, guess what? They are taxing that too. They are even taxing our Saturday night plans. If we want to grab an Uber to go to the pub to have a glass of wine with friends, or a beer, they are taxing all of that. They are taxing Uber ride-sharing. They are taxing our wine, our beer. Why? It is because they are looking for every possible cent they can find in the sofa cushions to fund more government spending.

In short, they are making everyday life more expensive for regular Canadians. What do they have to show for it? They promised more growth. Guess what? There is none.

Despite continuing to squeeze taxpayers, there is not even in this budget new support for the Canadian men and women in uniform who help keep us safe. The Prime Minister just does not seem to get it. The more we watch him, it is like he does not understand what regular people are going through out there.

This budget is proof that the Prime Minister is out of touch with the needs of working people. Any family across this country will tell you the anxiety they feel about losing their job. Any student will tell you that their biggest anxiety is whether or not there will be a job for them when they graduate, a job that pays enough to cover their student loan payment and maybe a car loan payment someday. They have reason to worry because wages are not going up, and the jobs out there offer fewer hours of work, which means less money in their pockets.

This budget is proof that the Prime Minister is out of touch with the needs of working people, because any families we talk to across the country will tell us about the anxiety they feel about maybe losing their jobs. Students will tell us that their biggest anxiety is whether there is going to be a job to look for when they finally graduate, a job that will pay enough for them to be able to buy a car one day, get a car loan, get a house or a condo, and pay back a student loan. They have reason to worry, because wages are not going up and the jobs out there on offer are offering fewer hours of work, meaning less money in their pockets.

For all the Prime Minister's grandstanding plans, let us remember back to the election. He promised to not raise taxes; he has raised them. He promised to balance the budget; he has not. He promised to spend $10 billion on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, which is what most people think of as infrastructure; he has not. What do we have for it? Less growth. We are not seeing the growth he promised, so what is all this spending for?

With an aggressive American administration looking to attract every available job to its side of the border, time is running out to get serious. This budget missed a huge opportunity to protect the Canadian economy from the policies of the Trump administration. We were all waiting for it. We were hoping that he would recalibrate. This is a real threat to our economy. That country is our biggest competitor and our biggest customer. There is a lot on the line. There is a potential border adjustment tax. There are potential changes to NAFTA. He had a chance to change course, and he did not.

Lower taxes and less red tape are the tools to do exactly that to keep us competitive. However, instead of competitive solutions, the Prime Minister offers, and we are not surprised, more spending. As for his buzz words programs, how do I say this? I think yesterday they even invented new words. I thought that was a George Bush thing, but now, apparently, our Prime Minister invents new words as well. These kinds of programs do not reach the vast majority of Canadians. They will never see a benefit from these kinds of programs, as great as the Prime Minister thinks they are. All those people out there who are waiting for a signal from the government are the ones who are going to face much more intense competition from a low-cost, low-tax United States.

If the Liberals think people's jobs are fashionable enough that they might make a good photo-op after the budget, the Prime Minister might show up there. There is a good chance that they might be able to get a photo with him. They will be lucky. If they have a super cluster venture capital accelerator, then they are in luck, because this budget was made for them, but I do not think there are a lot of them in Portage—Lisgar. Maybe one day.

The truth is that graduates are looking at this and saying that they are struggling to pay off debt, let alone save a bit of money. They are looking at this budget and thinking, “What's in it for me”, because that is what people look for. There is not a lot. There is not a lot in it for the guy who is working on the oil drilling rig. There is not a lot in it for the person running a family farm. If someone drives a truck or owns a hair salon, those jobs are not fashionable to the current Prime Minister, and there is nothing in this budget for them. I hate to break it to those people, and it is not funny, but those jobs are not Liberal favourites. The Liberals are picking favourites, and the rest of the workforce will pay for it. The rest of the people in this country, families and businesses, will pay for that.

As it stands, these billion dollar programs are not really about the average working Canadian. Families and businesses were looking to this budget for a sign that the Prime Minister had done his homework, figured out a plan, and would be moving beyond his haphazard tax-and-spend approach.

As it stands, these billion-dollar programs are not really about the average working family. They really are not. Families and businesses were looking for a sign in this budget from the Prime Minister that he had done his homework, that he had listened, that he had figured out a plan and would be moving beyond this haphazard tax-and-spend approach. However, the opposite is true. There is actually no fiscal plan in the budget. An economist made mention of that yesterday. When is the last time there was a budget with no fiscal plan? There is no fiscal plan. There is no plan to return to balance. There is no appreciation of what this will cost. There is no accounting for the programs and the jobs they will create. There is no costing or measurement of the amount of GDP associated with these programs. The Liberals have not done their homework.

Despite the Prime Minister's promise to return to balance, he admitted yesterday that he has no intention whatsoever of returning to balance. Not only did the Prime Minister break his solemn commitment during the election to spend only $10 billion, but the upcoming deficit for this year is $29 billion. In fact, since November of last year, which is just six months, the Prime Minister blew through an additional $13 billion. Taxpayer money has disappeared into a black hole of photo ops and international trips, which have produced zero growth. Let me rephrase that. There is growth. Do members know where that growth is? It is in the size of government. Yesterday, the comment was made that this is unprecedented growth in modern times. That is how it was described. There has been 12% growth in the size of government. When taxpayers look at that, they think, “What is happening? That is not the bargain we were told we were going to get when the Prime Minister got elected”.

The budget also admits that the Prime Minister's infrastructure plan is not on track. It is right there in black and white. Very little of the billion dollars that was earmarked has gone to roads and highways and ports. It sounded like a good idea. We want shovels in the ground. We want people working. Those are the kinds of things Canadians expected when he said he was going to spend on infrastructure. That is not what happened. The construction sector has actually declined by 3.3%. Money is not getting out. Projects are not being built. Shovels are not in the ground. That means that jobs were not created in the construction business.

What is worse, the Prime Minister has not ruled out the idea of selling off Canadian airports to pay for an infrastructure plan that he even admits in this budget, still, after two years, is vague and unfinished. Let us be clear about that. The Prime Minister is still considering selling off Canada's airports to fund what amounts to a $40-billion shot in the dark for an infrastructure bank. Remember, the infrastructure bank was never mentioned in the election. This was not a promise the Prime Minister made. However, guess what? Canadians will be paying for it.

Something else that is very concerning in this budget is the notion of targeting small business owners. There is a shot across the bow in this budget that is very concerning for small business owners. If they are professionals, people who are accountants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and I could name a lot of people who are professionals, who work hard in our communities, who serve their communities, who are small business owners, the Prime Minister thinks they are hiding money in the way they manage their money, and he is coming after them. He has done that in this budget. He is also warning in this budget that he is coming for more.

We know the Liberals are squeezing farmers. They are even squeezing campground owners, who are small business owners. They are squeezing everyone who is a small business owner, because he thinks, as he said in the election, that small businesses are a way to shelter money and that somehow small business owners are cheating the system.

I think back to the guy I talked to this morning who works 15 hours a day, seven days a week. That is what small business owners do, and they take a risk to become small business owners. We should thank them, because they take a risk.

They are not living off the government. They are not living off the taxpayer. They have taken a risk and invested their hard-earned dollars to create jobs and to invest in the community. Many of them give back to the community through charitable donations and community work. These are the people who are the backbone of our economy, small business owners, and that is who the government is targeting. Where are its priorities?

Canada's Conservatives are here to be the voice of the taxpayer. Taxpayers are regular Canadians: moms and dads, workers and small business owners, seniors and students. All of them have been hit by Liberal tax hikes generated by reckless Liberal spending. Canada’s Conservatives will fight to keep money in everyone's pockets at every turn. However, this Prime Minister does not get that.

I will end by saying that Canada's Conservatives are here to be the voice of the taxpayer. Taxpayers are regular Canadians: moms and dads, workers and small business owners, seniors and students. All of them have been hit by Liberal tax hikes generated by this Liberal reckless spending, and Canada's Conservatives will fight to keep more money in the pockets of taxpayers.

Why? I think back to the fellow I talked to this morning and so many other people I have met across the country. They have worked hard, with early mornings, late nights, and long commutes. They have made sacrifices for their families. The Prime Minister does not seem to get that.

We know that responsible governing today will make the decisions of tomorrow far less difficult. Now it is time for the Prime Minister to get serious. There is about to be far more competition from our southern neighbour, which is drastically cutting taxes and reducing red tape in an effort to spur job growth and draw business investment to its side of the border.

For the second time, Canadians were hoping to see a plan from the Prime Minister's budget , and unfortunately, they have come away disappointed.

With that, I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following,

this House not approve the budgetary policy of the government as it: (a) includes a further deficit of at least $29 billion; (b) contains no plan to return the books to balance; (c) nickel-and-dimes Canadian taxpayers to death by hiking taxes on public transit users, Uber and ride-sharing, beer and wine, donated medicine, childcare, small business owners; and (d) demonstrates that the government's economic plan has failed to create the jobs it promised.

The Budget March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to be the voice of the taxpayer on this side of the House, and the voice for Canadians across the country who see today how the government has once again failed to recognize the challenges faced by regular, hard-working Canadians. They were hoping for a break today. They needed a break and they did not get one.

Instead of taking the necessary steps to help our businesses grow and create jobs, this Liberal budget caters only to the interests of the Prime Minister and his friends, not the families and workers of our country. Instead of lowering taxes and giving people a badly needed break, they are raising taxes and spending more.

When I conclude my remarks tomorrow, I will make clear how the Prime Minister's preference for this reckless spending while never delivering results is going to hurt Canada today, but also for years to come.

Before I finish, I would like to commend the finance minister on one thing, and that is on his choice of footwear, because he bought them in my hometown of Edmonton, in a great store named Poppy Barley. I thank him for doing that. It is much appreciated.

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

(Motion agreed to)

Government Accountability March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is proposing to change the rules so he can actually silence the opposition. His plan is to restrict debate, shorten the work week, and limit his attendance at question period to one day a week. No one has ever attempted gutting accountability like this.

I would like to ask him a simple question. What would he have done if former prime minister Stephen Harper had proposed the same thing?

Government Accountability March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's plan undermines the very principles of responsible and accountable government. The fact that the Prime Minister does not want to show up to answer questions more than once a week shows what little respect he has for Canada's Parliament. As inconvenient as he thinks it is, Parliament is actually the seat of our democracy, and central to that is the role of the opposition.

Can the Prime Minister explain to us why he is willing to undermine our system of democracy simply to get out of answering tough questions?

Government Accountability March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it was about a year ago the Prime Minister tried to push through changes to Parliament's rules to silence the opposition. That attempt ended in complete failure and he had to back down, but yet, here he is again, at it again, wanting to centralize his power. This time he wants to shut down debate and he only wants to show up for question period one day a week.

Why is the Prime Minister so determined to avoid accountability?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, for decades, Canada has had one of the strongest and most successful immigration and refugee programs in the world. That is because we have detailed laws, passport requirements, borders, and visas, all to ensure that our system is fair and rules based. This actually ensures the integrity and the success of our system.

Will the Prime Minister strongly signal to all those who want to make Canada their home that they must follow the rules?