The House resumed from May 4 consideration of the motion that Bill , be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
Mr. Speaker, I will carry on right where I left off, which is talking about how I think it is extremely important, as it relates to health care, that this budget makes clear that we will be working with provinces and territories on foreign credentialing. I know there have been a number of examples in my home province of Nova Scotia, where there are individuals who have come to our province, who want to be able to practise in their particular field of health and have not been able to do so. Yes, we have to work with provinces and territories and colleges to balance public trust in our system, but also to make sure that this process can be expedited, such that if there are people who want to help practise and help support our health care system, they are taken care of.
I also want to talk about tax credits. We had tax credits for CCUS, which is carbon capture, utilization and storage. What I would say to the House is that in 2050, there undoubtedly will still be an oil and gas sector in the global context, but estimates by the International Energy Agency suggest that the number of barrels per day will go from about 100 million down to around about 25 million, give or take.
I think we all, as parliamentarians and indeed as a country, have an important reflection to make when it comes to whether Canada is going to be a part of that market, the 25 million barrels of oil a day. I, for one, as a parliamentarian, feel that yes, we have a responsibility, but in a carbon-constrained world in which there is going to be less demand on that side, we have to make sure that our GHG intensity per barrel is as low as possible.
We took some criticism in the House on our decision on Bay du Nord, but that project was approved because it has some of the lowest emission intensity per barrel of oil in the world. We have to make sure that if we are going to be working with industry to reduce emissions in order to be able to meet our emission reduction targets, we also have to be positioning the sector to be the lowest-emitting oil and gas sector in the world, such that our products can continue to be competitive in the days ahead. I tip my cap, then, to the government on the CCUS tax credit.
Critical minerals, if we are going to be able to get to our climate targets, are going to play an extremely important role, from batteries in EV vehicles to potash to a whole host of different minerals that play a role in that. Canada has so much potential, and the fact that we had $3.8 billion toward the development of a critical mineral strategy is a really extremely important piece, as is the 30% tax credit for exploration in the country.
I think we have a tremendous opportunity on a global stage to be there and to make sure we have a role. I was in Saskatchewan, as I have mentioned. I sat down with the Saskatchewan Mining Association, along with our . They pointed to this as being extremely important.
The last thing I will say is on the importance in the budget of economic growth, which the made very clear in the budget document. The budget implementation act talks about a number of the measures that are important in that domain. I fully support that from where I sit here in the House, particularly the Canada Growth Fund, the recognition that we need to continue to drive innovation; 15 billion dollars' worth of capitalization; the innovation and investment agency, which is focused on attracting foreign capital to the country to drive the future economy and our future prosperity; and, finally, more money for the superclusters. In our neck of the woods, in Atlantic Canada, the ocean superclusters do tremendous work. These are all really important initiatives.
I also want to emphasize the importance of reducing interprovincial trade barriers and harmonizing certification between provinces and territories to improve labour mobility. A recent Senate report noted that our economy's GDP could grow between 2% and 4% if we focused on this area.
World-class wine production is a growing sector in my riding of Kings—Hants. However, in many cases it is easier for these producers to export to Europe than to other provinces, so I was pleased that the budget mentioned working on this with the provinces and territories.
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to be here today to speak on the topic of Bill , an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures.
Over the past two years, we have faced unprecedented challenges. There is no part of our lives that was not impacted in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. Challenges were both personal and collective in nature. “Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable” contains significant investments in key areas that would help Canadians continue to recover from the detrimental impacts of the pandemic.
Despite the challenges we have faced, Canada has emerged stronger. Because of our government's response to the pandemic, we are able to maintain the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio relative to our G7 international peers, with one of the fastest recoveries. We have the strongest job recovery in the G7, having recuperated 112% and maybe even 115% of the jobs that were lost since the peak of the pandemic, and our unemployment rate is down to 5.5%. This nearly matches Canada's best unemployment rate in 50 years, which we saw in 2019 when the unemployment rate was 5.4%.
The targeted investments in budget 2022 are designed to support people, economic growth and a clean future for everyone as we continue to navigate pandemic recovery. Through these targeted measures, this budget would help make it easier for Canadians to buy a home and move forward on dental care, help Canadian businesses scale up and grow, ensure that wealthy corporations pay their fair share, invest in a clean future, and help Canada become a world leader in producing electric vehicles.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of the many important investments outlined in this budget that are particularly impactful for my riding of Surrey Centre. These include important investments in housing, immigration, health and dental care. Regarding housing, we know that access to safe and affordable housing remains an incredible challenge for far too many. This is an issue that constituents raise with me often. Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the biggest concerns faced by many residents in the lower mainland. This region has some of the highest housing prices in the country, and as our population continues to grow, we need more homes to meet the demand.
Surrey Centre has been a recipient of significant investments through the rapid housing initiative over the past few years, including $16.4 million under the major city stream to support the creation of affordable housing units for the new Atira Women's Resource Society facility. I had the opportunity to tour the Atira site currently under construction with the a couple of weeks ago. This modular housing apartment will provide approximately 44 new affordable units. Owned and operated by Atira Women's Resource Society, this supportive housing complex will serve women experiencing, and at risk of, homelessness, including indigenous women, trans and two-spirited women, and women who are struggling with substance abuse, mental health and spiritual wellness. The $16.4 million funding also assisted Atira to create more units, including next door, where now dozens of units are there to help women in need.
Our government has also invested in the Foxglove supportive housing complex in my riding, which I had the opportunity to visit with the recently. This complex includes a total of 130 units: 66 are supportive housing, 34 are for complex care and 30 are shelter beds.
Housing is a complex issue, and I am pleased to see that budget 2022 contains significant investments to address the many layers of challenges with housing that we face and would help expand access to housing in our communities.
This would include doubling the construction of new homes over the next 10 years. Budget 2022 provides $4 billion over five years to CMHC to launch a new housing accelerator fund. This fund aims to remove barriers and help municipalities build housing more quickly. It would target the creation of 100,000 net new housing units in the next five years.
Budget 2022 also contains investments to help Canadians buy their first homes, including by introducing the tax-free first home savings account and doubling the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, and introducing a multi-generational home renovation tax credit that provides up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite in a home for an additional loved one. This would help keep seniors at home longer, and give them better, safer, more comfortable places to say.
The tax-free first home savings account would help thousands of Canadians save, tax free, up to $40,000 to buy their first home. This is on top of their RRSP options, thereby giving Canadian families up to $15,000 or $20,000 in tax savings.
As members may know, immigration is an issue very near and dear to my heart. I have one of the busiest constituency offices in the country and receive hundreds of immigration files each month. Budget 2022 proposes investments to make our immigration system more efficient. Applicants currently face long waits and delays with processing times. Our government has already begun to address these issues and I am pleased to share with everyone that we are continuing to do more.
Budget 2022 proposes $187 million over five years, and $37 million ongoing, for IRCC to improve its capacity to respond to a growing volume of inquiries and to invest in the technology and tools required to better support people using those services. The budget also proposes $386 million over five years, and $86 million ongoing, for IRCC, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and CBSA to facilitate the timely and efficient entry of a growing number of visitors, workers and students.
I also recently introduced a private member's motion, Motion No. 44, to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers. Budget 2022 contains a number of proposed investments relative to Motion No. 44 to improve the temporary foreign worker program.
Throughout the pandemic, employers have found it challenging to find workers. As demand grows for the TFW program, we need to make changes to meet the needs of the system and ensure that TFWs are protected and have health, safety and quality of life while they work and contribute to our communities. These proposed measures include millions of dollars in funding for increasing protections for workers, reducing administrative burdens for trusted repeat employers and ensuring employers can quickly bring in workers to fill short-term labour market gaps.
Health care, pharmacare and dental: Our health care system is vital to the functioning of this country. Our government made significant investments, more than $69 billion, to lead a coordinated federal, provincial and territorial response to fight COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians, with more funding to be rolled out in the future. This additional funding includes a $2-billion top-up, plus $45 billion to the Canada health transfer to the provinces and territories.
Budget 2022 proposes initiatives to attract more health care workers to rural communities and to support access to mental health resources with $140 million for the Wellness Together Canada portal, as well as $100 million for the substance use and addiction program to address the opioid crisis.
Finally, I would like to highlight the $5.3 billion over five years to provide dental care for Canadians with family incomes of less than $90,000 annually. It starts in 2022, with those under 12 years old, and expands to cover people under age 18, seniors and persons living with a disability in 2023, with full implementation by 2025.
There are far too many other important issues that budget 2022 proposes investments in for me to cover in the 10 minutes I have today. On that note, I will end with the hope that we can work collaboratively to pass this bill and begin the important work of getting these programs to Canadians as soon as possible to make life more affordable from coast to coast to coast.
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for .
I want to focus my remarks today on the acceptability of the government's budget and the budget implementation bill in two key areas. Number one is affordability as the larger issue, but specifically housing affordability as well as energy affordability. Number two is addressing climate change.
In the first half, I want to talk about housing supply, which is a hard truth that I really do not think anyone in here wants to talk about. No government has been successful in addressing the supply-side issue in Canada. The number of houses that the government is purporting to be able to build and all the money that has been put into building houses by the government have actually seen housing prices increase by 30% in a very short period of time. It is sort of a perverse environment, where we are seeing housing prices increase and become more affordable. I am sitting here looking at some of the pages in the House of Commons and wondering how they are going to be able to buy a house. How are they going to be able to afford this?
What this budget does not address, and what nobody is addressing in the House, is that having “taxpayer-subsidized savings schemes to boost down payments”, and I am quoting from an article in The Line written by Jen Gerson, “will double first-time buyers' tax credits and create more buyers' incentives”. All this does is address the demand side of things. It does not actually address pricing. What this does is just say that we are okay with the existing prices and the unaffordability of housing in Canada, and that we are just expecting that first-time homebuyers in Canada will somehow try to take on that level of debt to buy a home in Canada.
That is just not on the table for a lot of people. Not only is it not on the table for first-time homebuyers, but it is also not on the table for somebody who has been in a 10-year marriage and has just divorced. How is either of those people going to get back into the housing market at this point in time?
The reality is that nobody in this place wants to see housing prices go down, so what we are left chasing here is policies that try to get people into the housing market at what is probably an overvalued housing bubble that has been fuelled by very questionable policies on interest rates and whatnot in the past.
What we have in this budget, and I am sure everybody is going to hate my saying this, is incentives to keep juicing demand, as opposed to actually looking at the supply side and the affordability issue. For that reason, I have serious questions, given the severity of the housing affordability crisis in Canada, about the government budget's ability to do that. It is a huge problem. What are we saying to young Canadians right now? We are telling them not to worry because we are trying to make it easier for them to save up, when they are already not being paid in the same way their parents were and they are facing huge levels of inflation and high levels of housing prices that have been unseen. That is crazy. Why is no one talking about this?
This is highly problematic. I would just encourage members of all political stripes here. I wish we could have an actual conversation about ways to address some of the underlying problems with Canada's housing market. We have an entire generation of people who are aging, whose retirement is dependent upon paper gains in their real estate. They do not want to see their housing prices go down. That is their retirement. How are we addressing their retirement? We have told them, as a society, that this is a good thing. We have told them to depend on this, and now we are saying that housing is a problem.
Without addressing that issue, we are never going to fix this. This budget does not do that. We are just going to keep skating by while housing prices increase or until we have some sort of catastrophic failure, either of which is not good for the Canadian economy or for anybody in Canada who is trying to find a place to live.
The other issue I want to raise, which is near and dear to my heart as a member of Parliament in Calgary, particularly north central Calgary, is the inability of the government to match its so-called climate change solutions with incenting and providing low-cost, readily available low-carbon alternatives to high-carbon consumer products and practices. What I want to speak about specifically is the government's inability to both incent and provide alternatives, which it assumes are there with its policies, to the people I represent and how that impacts their lives and perversely makes achieving our climate change targets worse.
For example, in Calgary Centre North there are a large number of people who would love to take public transit to downtown Calgary, myself included. I prefer to take public transit. It lets me work more. I get stressed easily and do not like to drive when I do not have to. I would love to do that, but the reality is that for me to take a 20-minute bus ride from where I live in north central Calgary to downtown, it is 20 minutes at the best of times by bus, but sometimes it could be an hour or even two hours on a snow day. There is no light rail transit that goes from downtown Calgary to my part of the city, which has one of the highest levels of under-serviced potential transit ridership in western Canada, based on the ridership numbers I have seen. What that means for somebody like me is that I still have to gas up my car to get to meetings downtown. I am paying $100 or more for a tank of gas, but I am in a privileged position. What are people supposed to do if they are not making my income? They do not have the option of getting on a public transit line; they have to fill up their vehicle to go to work or get their kids to school.
Therefore, all the increase in carbon energy, which has been affected not just by the price on carbon but also by supply-side failures, means that people are paying more for carbon, not that they are using less of it. This is part of the problem with the inflationary pressure we are seeing in Canada.
The budget could have started to address some of these issues, for example in how the government is allocating transit funding, both from a capital development perspective and from an operating perspective. It is using a formula that is just not realistic, with respect to where the money is going. I believe it is 30% population-based and 70% based on existing transit ridership. What about parts of the country where there is no public transit? We would love to have public transit, but the government has not allocated transit funding there. That is the first problem, that we do not have the transit to use. It is not that we do not want to use it; it is that it is not there, so we are still filling up our tanks with gas.
The second problem is this. It is not just about funding allocation, but about how the federal government uses its convening role as a funding partner between the provincial governments and the municipalities to see transit projects built. The green line, the LRT project I was talking about earlier, has failed in Calgary. Although the funding was announced nearly 10 years ago now, virtually nothing has been built. The project has decreased in scope to a quarter and has ballooned in cost four or five times what was originally projected. That is a bad investment with respect to how this management works. The federal government should put boundaries around funding to make sure these developments actually get built. People cannot afford to keep having taxes increase, prices increase and lack of supply of goods, housing and energy increase, while not addressing those core, fundamental issues. From that perspective, this budget is a huge missed opportunity.
I wish I had an hour and a half to get into all of the issues around the amount of money that is spent, which puts Canada into debt, but just on those two issues alone, this budget is not addressing them. It spends so much and it disadvantages Canadians. I hope the government can get it right. Until then, it does not have my support.
Madam Speaker, today we are debating Bill , an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures. For my constituents, budget implementation acts are the mechanisms for Parliament to approve the spending outlined in the government's annual budget. In other words, it is when rhetoric meets reality.
My constituents were hopeful that budget 2022 would provide much-needed relief and address the key challenges facing Canadians, such as the labour and housing supply shortages and, of course, the rising cost of living. Instead, budget 2022, while indeed making many promises, fails to meaningfully address critical issues facing Canadians. It has piled more debt onto the backs of taxpayers, and has raised taxes while failing to address tax evasion. Bill is very long, yet it somehow manages to leave out most of the things the Liberals promised to do. Imagine that. Why did the table a budget that makes so many promises if she had no intention of implementing them at this critical time?
During my time, I am going to talk briefly about the labour market, Pacific economic development, housing and some local issues.
On the labour market, it never ceases to amaze me how many businesses in my riding need employees right now. I see “help wanted” signs on billboards across my riding, on window fronts, in newspapers and on company vehicles. There is a significant shortage of skilled workers throughout not only my riding and province, but our entire country.
We all know Canada's population is aging. In fact, we have known this for a long time. For years we have been warned of a coming “grey tsunami”. I would argue today that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this point. It means that more people right now are exiting the workforce through retirement, with fewer people entering to replace them.
Budget 2022 makes lots of promises about labour shortages and attracting new skilled workers, but when I looked at Bill , I saw only two of the nine different commitments made in the budget.
The first one in Bill C-19 is the amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that commits to increase the number of permanent residents accepted each year. While this sounds great on the surface, what this budget does not do is address the other side of this problem. If we are increasing the number of skilled immigrants coming into this country who want to buy homes and use their capital, we are only making the housing supply shortage worse. The government never addressed this key fact. The permanent residency point only conflates the housing problem that we are facing.
The second point is that, while I support tax recognition of up to $4,000 a year in travel and relocation expenses, as outlined in Bill , this will not add new workers to Canada's labour force, nor will it provide the skills training for Canadians who seek a promotion or a new career.
One commitment that could have been included, which even the Liberals have talked about, is foreign credential recognition. Many skilled workers who enter Canada come here under the pretense that they will serve as doctors or nurses or work in skilled health care fields. The current government, which does not work with the provinces, does not address that issue. This is an easy way we could solve part of the doctor and nursing shortages that my province is so acutely facing at this moment.
Another important promise missing from Bill is the opportunities fund supporting people with disabilities. This is a segment of our workforce that does not get enough attention. It is a segment of our workforce that wants to find purpose in the work they do. The government made a promise to work with them, but it is obviously not a priority because it is not in Bill C-19. I would encourage the Liberal members of the House to push their government to include the promises on workers with disabilities. That is very important.
Third, the government made multiple promises regarding temporary foreign workers, but they are also excluded from Bill . I raise this point because I come from an agriculturally rich area of the country. In fact, the riding of Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, the riding of Abbotsford and the neighbouring riding of Chilliwack—Hope have the highest farm gate sales in the entire country. The greenhouse growers, dairy farmers and fruit growers are all calling for more temporary foreign workers to help meet the food security challenges that we are facing. The government could have done that and it failed to.
Turning to Pacific economic development, last August the government launched the department of Pacific Economic Development Canada. This agency was touted as a long-term partner dedicated to supporting B.C.'s economic development on the ground and in our communities. Indeed, it came with a lot of fanfare and big announcements, but almost a year after it was launched, Pacific Economic Development Canada has not opened its new office in Surrey. It is still in the old western economic development office in downtown Vancouver, and it has not fulfilled any of its promises to serve rural Canada.
I mention this today because, as everyone in the House knows, the one thing I have spoken about most is disaster recovery and emergency management. Pacific Economic Development Canada and, by extension, Community Futures, which I believe is the most efficient government organization, could be doing a lot more, so I encourage the government to fund Community Futures to help address labour shortages and business capital shortages for the many people in rural British Columbia. It could have gotten this done.
Finally, on Pacific economic development, what irks me the most is that when I went through the estimates, I found out that PacifiCan will receive just $48.44 on a per capita basis for every citizen in the province of British Columbia. Members can compare that with Ontario, where the agency will receive $55.14 for every citizen, and Quebec, where it will be $67.85.
Why is British Columbia being underfunded again? Why now, especially when our province has faced unprecedented challenges, is the government not empowering an organization in the government or Community Futures to do the work that we need to do right now to help people who are facing some critical situations? It is not fair to British Columbian taxpayers that we are underfunded. In fact, it kind of sets the stage for the argument that the Laurentian elite do not care about British Columbia.
I will turn to housing. Last year, as the opposition's shadow minister for housing, I highlighted the failure of budget 2021 to address the critical supply shortages, money laundering and foreign investment that have contributed to the high cost of homes. On this side of the House, we have said over and over that supply is the biggest factor in skyrocketing home prices. We are not alone in this. There is industry consensus, and CMHC has been saying the same things. We are not keeping up with demand.
The government claims it is finally addressing the issue of foreign investors flooding Canada's real estate market, doing so through its temporary ban on foreign non-residents purchasing residential properties. However, Bill is very vague on the details. It says that temporary residents are exempt from this ban. We are left to wonder what this government means by temporary residents. Could wealthy foreign families still buy real estate through their children who come to Canada as international students? The loopholes are just astounding.
In the months leading up to the budget, we heard a lot from the Liberals about how they heard Canadians and how they would address the housing crisis. The Liberals made grand promises in this budget, including a housing accelerator fund for 100,000 homes, a direct payment to those struggling to afford a home, doubling the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, a new savings account and increased funding to tackle homelessness. However, the previously mentioned ban on foreign buyers and a tax on house flipping were the only items included in Bill . They are not even including their primary promises in this bill. Canadians just want an affordable place to call home, so when we talk about rhetoric and reality, all we are seeing from the government is rhetoric on housing. It is not even doing what it says it is going to do.
In conclusion, from this budget my constituents were hoping for a commitment to improve infrastructure, which was wholly ignored by the government; a partner to support much-needed economic development in B.C. after devastating floods and wildfires; a substantial increase in our housing supply; and a plan, which I did not have a chance to talk about, for the backlog at Passport Canada that is stopping people from travelling right now.
With that, I would like to wrap up my comments today by moving a subamendment to Bill . I move, seconded by the member for :
That the amendment be amended by adding the following:
“, and fails to combat tax evasion.”
Madam Speaker, it is great to see everyone. I wish all my colleagues a wonderful and productive day. The sun is shining outside, and warmer weather is close at hand. I think we are all happy about that.
I will be splitting my time with my friend and colleague, the hon. member for .
It is a pleasure to rise to speak on Bill and the measures in the bill that would continue to drive the Canadian economy forward by leveraging the inherent strength and resiliency of all our citizens, create good-paying middle-class jobs, and ensure a bright and prosperous future for all Canadians, including the wonderful residents of Vaughan—Woodbridge, who I have the privilege of representing.
As many of my colleagues know, I am an MP who is focused squarely on the economy, competitiveness, job creative and fiscal prudence, backed by my entire educational and professional career in the field of economics and working in the global financial markets literally throughout the world. It is the economy for me.
At the same time, I am a socially progressive person who believes fundamentally that we as a society must always ensure that human rights, women's rights and the rights of minorities and the most vulnerable are always protected. As a father of three beautiful young girls, including a seven-month-old, I will state this in reference to what we are seeing transpire in the United States, where I lived and worked for several years and where I have many friends and family. A woman's right to choose is simply not up for debate. A woman's right to reproductive health services is not up for debate. We must always ensure that women across Canada, from coast to coast to coast, have full access to the health services they need. Protecting and promoting women's rights is something we must always stand for, full stop, non-negotiable.
The Canadian economy is strong, characterized by historically low unemployment and strong economic growth. The future is truly bright. I am the chair of the Liberal auto caucus and in the last two months we have secured, as a government working with industry and our partners, more than 13 billion dollars' worth of investment in Canada's auto sector, maintaining and creating more than 16,000 direct jobs.
The auto sector is something near and dear to my heart, since my time in New York City working for a rating agency. At the rating agency, I was actually in charge of the global auto parts coverage, and worked in tandem on the global OEM manufacturers, visiting Wolfsburg Volkswagen in Germany, Peugeot in Paris, Fiat in Turin, Hyundai in Korea, and Japanese manufacturers as well. It is an industry I am very well versed in, and something I have been watching for many years, including during the 2008-09 recession.
It is great to see our government working hand-in-hand with industry, leading the charge, so we can have a vibrant industry here in Canada. It is also good to see the ongoing transformation to electric vehicles, for which Canada is uniquely positioned, both on the human capital side and on the natural resource side.
Turning to Bill , tradespeople and skilled trades build and maintain the critical infrastructure we utilize, and we are dependent upon them on a daily basis in the communities where we raise our families. In my youth, I worked at a pulp and paper mill in northern British Columbia. I spent a few summers there. It was a phenomenal experience, and I learned a lot from the hard-working Canadians who work in our resource sector.
Much like in other infrastructure, be it refineries, pipelines, chemical plants, major infrastructure projects, people who work in the trades travel. They travel quite a distance for what are called “turnarounds” or “shutdowns”. I remember experiencing that. They also travel for permanent relocation.
With that, I am very happy to see, and I was very happy to advocate for, the labour mobility deduction of $4,000 in Bill . It would allow these skilled trades folks to offset some of the costs associated with this travel. It is a well-needed measure that I again advocated for, and it is great to see it in the BIA, Bill .
My riding is home to the training centres and the headquarters of LiUNA 183 and the Carpenters Local 27, and the individuals from these two unions, day in and day out, toil, sacrifice and build without a lot of fanfare. They build our infrastructure and communities. I salute them, and I am proud to be their representative in Ottawa. I will always have the backs of all of them and all the great skilled trades people across this country.
Budget 2022 focuses on three main goals: investing in creating economic growth and innovation, continuing to invest in Canadians, and investing in the ongoing green transition.
We all know quite well that we must act with all levels of government and all stakeholders to make housing more affordable for Canadians. With that, we know we cannot have a growing and strong economy and a diverse and talented workforce, particularly for newcomers coming to Canada, without more homes. We will act, and we are acting.
First, we will allow Canadians who intend to purchase their first home to help them save via a tax-free home savings account. Second, we will increase the supply of housing by launching a $4-billion home accelerator fund to support and incentivize municipalities to build more homes faster. We must break down the red tape, and we must break down the barriers to getting more shovels in the ground and boots working. Third, we need to protect buyers and renters by introducing a homebuyers' bill of rights and bring forward a national plan to end blind bidding. We will also ban foreign buyers from owning non-recreational residential property for two years.
I am one of the representatives in the city of Vaughan, along with the members for and . The city of Vaughan and the York region are home, frankly, to the largest number of home builders in the province of Ontario and, really, in the country.
The joke goes that infrastructure projects in Ontario all seem to touch the city of Vaughan because of the many infrastructure participants there in one shape, form or another, such as names like Greenpark Group, Deco Homes, The Remington Group, Empire Communities, Sorbara Group, Gold Park Homes, TACC Construction, Cortel Group, CountryWide Homes, Canvas Developments, Fernbrook Homes, Royal Pine Homes, Arista Homes and Caliber Homes. Those are from just doing a quick search, and I probably missed about another 10 names.
These are all home builders who are based in the York region in the city of Vaughan. They are entrepreneurs. They came to this country as newcomers. They worked hard and toiled, and they build. They build the communities that we live in. They sacrificed. They employ, directly, tens of thousands of Canadians and, indirectly, many, many more.
Their goal is simple, which is to ensure that Canadians have a home, to create memories for them and their families. We need to build. That is what we will be doing, and that is what these individuals and these firms do. We will work with them and we will work with the municipalities to ensure that we increase the supply of new home construction across Canada and more than double housing construction over the next 10 years.
On my last topic, I am a strong believer in our free market economic system and in competition. Competition leads to innovation and, yes, disruption as well, but competition in our free market and our capitalist system has brought with it the highest standards of living and pulled literally billions of individuals across the globe out of poverty.
However, competition can be eroded. When anti-competitive practices take hold, and with that, I have long advocated for changes and the strengthening of Canada's Competition Act to ensure that business practices do not hold back innovation and competition, it can be detrimental to the interests of consumers and employees. We must hold back on that.
With that, I am pleased to see, in Bill significant amendments to the Competition Act, which I know are highly technical, but they are very important. They include a proposed criminal offence for so-called wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements between competitors; an explicit prohibition against drip pricing; private access to Canada's Competition Tribunal for abuse of dominance claims; an increase in administrative monetary penalties; an expansion of the scope of the competition bureau's evidence-gathering powers pertaining to section 7; an expansion of the list of factors that may be considered when assessing the prevention and lessening of competition for merger review and non-criminal competitor collaborations; and the amendment of the definition of anti-competitive act for abuse of dominance.
Competition is the essence of our free market and capitalist system. It is wonderful to see the , along with the and their teams, collaborating and working in unison to ensure that anti-competitor practices are both disallowed and that the Competition Act be modernized, which we will need to continue to work on fo the penalties to be updated.
There is nothing more important to someone like me than to see healthy competition that leads to innovation, job creation and a growing and strong middle class, and there is nothing that makes me angrier and makes me speak out more than when I see anti-competitive practices take hold in any markets.
Madam Speaker, it is a real privilege for me to rise in the House today to speak to Bill , an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, which is very important.
It is a privilege to speak in the House today to Bill , the Budget Implementation Act. Budget 2022 plots a course forward for our country: our destination is a greener, cleaner, fairer, more equitable country with more well-paying jobs and more affordable housing for all Canadians.
I have heard before that in order to know where we are going, we must first know where we came from. Today, May 5, is Dutch Liberation Day, for my fellow Dutch Canadians. I know there is more than one Dutch diaspora individual in the House. My dad arrived here in Canada as an infant with his parents and siblings almost 70 years ago. He texted me today that the exact day that he remembers is October 15, 1953. My dad, Joe, is on his way to Ottawa today, so we can all go to the Dutch heritage event tonight.
His family settled in southwestern Ontario and, like many Dutch immigrants, took to farming and agriculture to support themselves and to build a new life. Much like the contributions from Canada's proud Ukrainian diaspora, it is a fact that Canada is a strong farming and agriculture nation because of our roots that include so many of Dutch heritage.
On this Dutch Liberation Day, l would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and contributions from the Canadian Armed Forces in World War II, who led the liberation of Holland. On my run this morning, I saw some beautiful tulips poking their colours through the green stems, and I was reminded of the gift from Holland and Princess Juliana commemorating the significant role that Canadians played in the liberation of the Netherlands and in providing Princess Juliana a safe haven during the birth of her daughter. The Dutch still remember us today for those proud efforts, and every year the Dutch royal family and people of the Netherlands each send 10,000 bulbs to Ottawa. If people venture out in town, they will see them coming up now.
Like many of my colleagues, I have had the chance to discuss budget 2022 with many diverse groups and stakeholders in Milton, and I am incredibly grateful to represent such an engaged community. I could not do this work without the expertise and perspectives of my neighbours in Milton. I had the chance to consult with the Chamber of Commerce, Milton's Downtown Business Improvement Association, housing advocates, small and medium-sized businesses like Sargent Farm, Fix Automotive, DSV, Lumberville, La Rose Bakery and so many more, as well as with child care operators and parents who are thrilled that our government has signed deals with every province and territory across the country for universal country-wide early learning and child care.
Before I move on, I would like to thank my local stakeholders, in particular the Milton Community Resource Centre, Advancement of Women Halton, Community Living North Halton, the Muslim Advisory Council of Canada, the YM-YWCA and so many others for contributions to this program, because they engaged early. We worked together to ensure that local priorities were heard, and indeed they are reflected in our national universal $10-a-day early learning and childcare program that will help families get back to work and continue their careers. It will build new jobs in the sector and ensure that kids get the best possible start.
On the subject of early learning and child care, I also want to acknowledge the work being done across the country to ensure that our early learning and child care programs include physical literacy, in particular Active for Life. I am so proud of our government's support for Active for Life's building capacity and resilience through physical literacy and active play projects. It received over $428,000 to continue ensuring that kids get the best possible start.
I will move on to something that is very, very close to home for me: that is co-op housing. Budget 2022 rapidly commits to building new affordable housing for Canadians. This includes additional affordable housing units that are urgently needed in our communities, particularly for those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. It ensures that more affordable housing can be built quickly. Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1.5 billion over two years, starting this year, to extend the rapid housing initiative. This funding is expected to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units with at least 25% of the funding going toward women-focused housing projects.
Finally, something new and very personal for me as I mentioned, budget 2022 also commits to a new generation of co-operative housing development in our country. For generations, co-ops have offered quality, affordable housing to Canadians while empowering their members through inclusion, personal development and security of tenure through their community-oriented model of housing. I do not mind saying I am a proud co-op kid. I am a product of a co-op: The Chautauqua Co-op in Oakville. My mom and dad moved there in the early eighties and when my parents divorced, my mom moved back into Chautauqua Co-op. I lived there until I was 26, and through university as well.
Co-op housing did not just put a roof over our heads. Co-op housing also put a guitar in my hand and made sure that I took guitar lessons. I went to summer camp. My mother could afford to send me to the canoe club. Co-op housing literally got me to the Olympics.
The community was far more than just a safe place to live: It was also a security blanket. My mom lost a job at one point, but we did not have to worry about losing our home. I am so proud that this government is committing to a new generation of co-operative housing in this country.
To be a bit more specific, budget 2022 proposes to reallocate $500 million of funding, on a cash basis, from the national housing co-investment fund to launch a new co-operative housing development program aimed at expanding co-op housing in Canada. This program would be codesigned with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and the co-operative housing sector. Budget 2022 also proposes an additional $1 billion in loans to be reallocated from the rental construction financing initiative to support co-op housing projects.
One of the proudest days of my co-op life was in 2017, when my co-op paid off our mortgage. Our co-op is mortgage-free, so that means that we have the ability to keep rental costs, which we call “housing charges” in the co-op housing sector, extremely low for families. When we take profit out of housing, we actually make it affordable. It is a remarkable concept.
Back in 1984, Canada was building lots of co-ops, but since then co-op construction has been in decline. Budget 2022 commits to a new generation of that. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada has said that this “federal budget [represents] a turning point, as it acknowledges the unique value of co-operative housing and commits to its expansion.” That is something I just could not be more proud of.
Finally, I will close by acknowledging the heartbreaking and ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in this country. Today is Red Dress Day. We are all wearing that on our lapels, but we are also wearing it on our hearts. The systemic racism and gender-based violence against indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQ2+ people is a horrific national tragedy, and it underscores the work that we as a nation still must do in order to accomplish the meaningful transformative change that is necessary to help end these despicable events.
While there is still a lot of work to do, it is important to highlight the work that we have done, and that we continue in, alongside Canada's indigenous peoples to address these historical injustices. In budget 2022, the government expanded on these commitments and laid out an additional $11 billion over six years for continued support for indigenous children and families, and to ensure that indigenous communities have resources necessary to continue to grow and shape their own futures.
Included in these investments is $275.3 million to address the shameful history of residential schools and western colonialism that were so utterly devastating to indigenous peoples and their cultures. This money would go to documenting, locating and memorializing burial sites, allowing for the appointment of a special interlocutor, supporting and encouraging community-led responses, supporting document digitization, and commemorating and memorializing former residential school sites.
Our government is also committed to eliminating barriers that prevent first nations children from being able to access the services and supports they need in order to thrive. Jordan's Principle, which helps ensure that those children have access to the cornerstones of health care, as well as the social and educational services they need, when and where they need them, is a key part of this work. That is why this budget proposes $4 billion over six years, starting this year, to make sure that Jordan's Principle has the resources to provide these necessary supports to first nations youth.
It is important issues such as this that this government will continue to fully support as we acknowledge the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls with Red Dress Day. I know that our government will continue to work alongside indigenous peoples every day to address historical injustices, support nations and their communities in their rebuilding efforts, and accelerate self-determination and self-government.
I will now be pleased respond to any questions or comments my colleagues may have about this important bill.
Madam Speaker, to the member across the way, I appreciate that.
I am pleased to rise today, not only as the member of Parliament for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, but also as the critic or shadow minister for indigenous services on behalf of the official opposition, to speak on the budget implementation act, Bill , an act to implement certain provisions of the 2022 budget.
As I am sure many colleagues already know, I am a Conservative with libertarian leanings, and one of the predominant concepts of libertarian thought is the natural harmony of interests. It is predicated on the idea that individual interests are harmonious, in so far as acting in one's own interests furthers the interests of the community. In other words, it is the free market.
Another pillar of conservativism and libertarianism prompts groups to work out conflicts because of the benefit of joint prosperity. Farmers benefit from the prosperity of merchants. People benefit from competition between those merchants, and the resulting wealth creates jobs and opportunity.
In a system where everyone benefits, interests will naturally align. Only when government begins to hand out rewards based on political pressure do we find ourselves involved in an unresolvable conflict between groups that must contend for their piece of the budgetary pie.
That brings me to my first point of contention with Bill . Rather than support indigenous people to achieve economic freedom from centuries of political oppression at its worst, and apathy at its best, the government has chosen to inflate the very bureaucratic system that purports reconciliation yet does everything it can to stymie it with the broken “Ottawa knows best” approach.
Recently, the first nations financial management board, a top-notch, indigenous-led financial organization that supports economic development for indigenous communities, wrote a letter to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. In that letter, the executive chair, Mr. Harold Calla, summed up the situation, using the example of housing. He stated:
While the budget makes significant investments in new housing, it does nothing to change the failed systems for getting homes built nor [does it] change the pay-as-you-go systems that [purport to] support First Nations housing.
Before I continue to quote more from Mr. Calla, I want to let the House know that I am splitting my time with the hon. member for . I apologize for not kicking that off. I appreciate the help from the table in front of me for reminding me about that.
As I mentioned, rather than tackling those systematic inequalities that keep indigenous people in poverty, poor health and without adequate housing, the budget simply throws money out, hoping the problem goes away.
Mr. Calla continued:
Building homes on-reserve is possible when homeowners have access to employment income, and economic development that creates employment can be one of the sources of stable, long-term jobs. Securing private sector financing is the key to moving away from the status quo of proposal-based government funding. To our team at the Financial Management Board, this is what systemic change and a new nation-to-nation relationship can look like.
Rather than pitting groups against each other, the government could solve the housing crisis for indigenous communities by, number one, listening to indigenous communities; two, not haemorrhaging money into a broken system; and three, getting out of the way of the free market.
Bill is not a responsible budget. This is a budget that, as I have said, simply pumps money into a broken “Ottawa knows best” system. This budget does nothing to empower indigenous communities to make decisions for themselves. Rather, it simply grows bureaucracies in Ottawa.
Again, one of the first pillars of libertarianism that students of political science are introduced to, although they may not know it at the time, is summed up neatly in the famous quote from Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Of course, at the time, the English parliamentarian, historian and writer was referring to the absolute power of popes and kings, but he might as well have been referring to the Indian Act and those government structures put in place to support it.
I will concede, thankfully, that in a parliamentary democracy, legislation is never absolute, and bad laws can be cast into the dustbin of political history, but that does not negate the fact that the Indian Act, like the absolutionist powers of historical Europe, suppresses the individual liberty of indigenous people and hampers their sustained economic growth.
I will take a moment to respond in advance to the government's retorts to the House about not taking advice from Conservatives, to say that successive Canadian governments have had the opportunity to raise indigenous people up, but chose instead to keep them down through the paternalistic policies of broken systems.
As we all know, Canada is in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and in desperate need of economic recovery. It has serious geopolitical issues abroad. Now is not the time for the to grant himself even more power and be less accountable to Canadians.
We all share in the shame of the discriminatory historical policies that enshrined a broken, paternalistic system that limited indigenous rights, freedoms and prosperity. However, it is the government that continues to inflate and support those very structures that sustain the broken system that the Liberals promise to fix every election.
My second point of contention is that the budget has unleashed an avalanche of uncontrolled spending while failing to present a fiscal anchor and failing to present a plan to control inflation. We cannot simply keep printing money and seizing the earnings of Canadians to pay for bigger prices and more government spending.
For the first time in over 31 years, prices are up 6.7% compared to a year ago. More and more people are barely making ends meet as the pinch of inflation is making everything in their daily lives more expensive. Families are spending more on groceries. Gas is costing workers more, and home heating is shrinking seniors' savings. There is an affordability crisis here in Canada, and after seven years of Liberal out-of-control spending, Canadians are facing record inflation. The budget does nothing to address this, and it also does nothing to tackle skyrocketing house prices.
It is hubris to think that this government can make houses cheaper by continuing to spend even more money on its so-called priorities, but in fact it may create a shortage of housing that will undoubtedly cause prices to rise even higher as demand outstrips supply. We can say that, whether it be a physical house itself or the materials to build it, governments will never be able to replicate the free market.
A more sustainable, long-term approach to affordable housing would include reducing government red tape and making it easier, faster and ultimately cheaper for homes to be built. There are a number of non-taxpayer-funded initiatives that could support affordable housing, and it starts through the creation of socially responsible investment instruments, mandating federal tax laws to favour investments in affordable housing, and working with the provincial and municipal governments to unshackle the barriers to land use.
Now, a growing number of working Canadians simply cannot afford more of the tax-and-spend agenda of this government. They want real action to fight the cost-of-living crisis and an outline of a clear commitment to control inflation.
My third and final critique of Bill is that while our financial liability to government debt increases, the government's obligation to the taxpayer decreases. In the last month, my constituency office has been inundated with calls for passports. People cannot get through to Service Canada on the phone and are waiting days with no answer. Some constituents have reported that they stood in line for hours, only to be turned away at the end of the day, even though some public servants had no one in their lines. With the pandemic coming to an end and the anniversary of the 10-year passport, the increase in demand for passport renewals should have been pretty easy for the government to predict. The government expects Canadians to pay their taxes. Well, news flash, Canadians also demand services for those taxes.
Now, small businesses pay their taxes, and their ask has been pretty clear: Prioritize red tape reduction and ensure that the cost of doing business does not increase by tackling inflation. The Liberals have failed to bring forth a budget that prioritizes either request.
Farmers, as we all know, pay taxes. They are struggling to keep up with inflation, and the increased cost of fertilizer due to the war in Ukraine is really causing hardship for these farmers. By 2030, the rising cost of the carbon tax will take over $1.1 billion from farm families, which could be used to upgrade machinery and adopt more sustainable practices. To add insult to injury, the Liberals have chosen to spend $30 million just to administer carbon tax rebates to businesses and farms.
Canadian manufacturers and exporters continue to face high inflation rates. Supply-chain disruptions resulted in losses of more than $10.5 billion and critical labour shortages, with 81,000 vacancies. Budget 2022 fails to do enough to address those issues and many others.
These are just a few issues on which the budget fails to meet the needs of everyday Canadians, and they are why I cannot support this budget.
Milton Friedman once mused that if you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand. We need less government liability, not more. We need more economic freedom, not less. Unfortunately, this budget delivers on neither.
Madam Speaker, as always, I appreciate the opportunity to speak in today’s debate on the budget implementation act and the impacts this legislation will have on the constituents of Souris—Moose Mountain and Canadians across the country.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see yet another budget that is full of exorbitant spending that will do almost nothing to benefit those who live in rural Canada. One need only look at the news these days to see how divided our country has become. It is thanks to policies like those contained in this omnibus budget that those divisions are continuing and widening under the . This is the same Prime Minister who promised he would never do an omnibus budget bill, although it is reflective of his understanding of and statements on financial issues: He believes the budget will balance itself and that monetary policy is not a priority.
When looking at the overall picture of the Liberal government’s spending, the numbers are concerning to say the very least. In just over six years, government spending has increased by 53%, yet Canadians are worse off than they were when the Liberals first sought power in 2015. It is unconscionable to both me and my constituents that a government can spend billions of dollars, racking up our national debt in the process, and still have no meaningful impact on improving the lives of Canadians.
This reckless spending will need to be paid for at some point in time, and it will fall onto our children and grandchildren to foot the bill. My daughter will have a second child next month, our second grandchild, and unfortunately our future grandson will have this enormous debt to pay off over his lifespan. In fact, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's national debt clock, as of yesterday, had debt per person at $31,345.01. This is the escalating legacy that the Liberals are leaving behind, despite their false assurances that Canadians are happy and prospering under their leadership.
On top of an ever-climbing national debt, Canadians are also dealing with out-of-control inflation, which is driving up the cost of living across the board. Instead of using this budget as an opportunity to give Canadians a much-needed break, the Liberals chose to spend money launching new programs that stand to benefit a few rather than help the many who need it.
For example, on April 1, the Liberals had an opportunity to provide Canadians with some relief from the carbon tax, yet instead they chose to increase it, taking more money out of the taxpayer’s pocket and putting it into government coffers. As I have said before in the House, it is “dyspocketnesia”: taking from one pocket and putting it into the other, and then forgetting why it was done. This is not what my constituents want, need or deserve.
I would like to spend some time talking about the impact of this budget on the energy industry in my riding, especially as it pertains to emissions and the future of energy production in Canada.
A large number of my constituents work in the energy sector, and thanks to the government, many are experiencing deep concerns about their careers in the longer term. As many members are aware, the Liberal plan to phase out coal-fired power is well under way, and while the Liberals believe they are supporting this transition adequately, I can tell members first-hand that they have completely dropped the ball and workers and communities are being left behind.
Since I became a member of Parliament in 2015, one of the issues I have advocated for time and again is the use of carbon capture and storage technology, or CCUS, to reduce emissions while also extending the life of the power plants it is used on. It took seven years for the government to listen. Just imagine the amount of emissions that could have been captured in those seven years if we had acted earlier, not to mention the jobs that would have been created.
The 2022 budget does create a new tax credit for CCUS expenses, but the credit does not cover enhanced oil recovery, which to me is a huge oversight. For those who may not know, carbon capture serves to decarbonize the energy sector by permanently locking liquefied CO2 into the rock formations of spent oil wells.
On a number of occasions, I have had the privilege to tour the Boundary Dam site in my riding, which captures CO2 using amides. BD3 takes the captured CO2 and either stores it two kilometres below the earth’s surface or sells it, transporting it 50 miles away where it is stored and enhances the oil recovery at the Whitecap Weyburn injection site. This utilized enhanced oil recovery continues to impress me, as does the level of knowledge and innovation that has gone into developing this technology. This is on top of the reduced emissions, which border on making BD3 CCUS carbon-neutral.
The fact is that if the Liberals had included enhanced oil recovery in their tax credit, it would have brought much-needed jobs and investment into Canada, especially during a time of change and uncertainty in the energy industry. Unfortunately, those huge investment dollars are going south to the United States, where they have the 45Q investment tax credit. I have asked multiple cabinet ministers over the years if it is the industry they want to kill or the emissions, and of course the enthusiastic answer I get every time is that it is the emissions. The exclusion of enhanced oil recovery from this tax credit tells me this is not the case.
Canada still requires the use of fossil fuels and will for some time as we move into the future. Instead of allowing CCUS and EOR to function as tools that would help lower emissions, while simultaneously producing the energy that Canada needs at the lowest possible emissions intensity, the Liberals have chosen not to support the innovative work and projects that are happening right here in our own country.
Furthermore, a white paper produced by the International CCS Knowledge Centre states, “[enhanced oil recovery] results in a 37% reduction in CO2 emissions per barrel of oil produced as compared to conventional oil production.” The numbers are there and the technology is there, but the Liberals have yet again chosen not to support the energy industry by picking and choosing which parts of CCUS fit their green agenda, regardless of how this might impact Canadians.
In the last month alone, I have seen multiple groups travel from my constituency to Ottawa and advocate on behalf of the people and communities that will be drastically impacted by the transition away from coal-fired power. According to the Coal Association of Canada, the transition will eliminate approximately 42,000 jobs from Canada’s labour force and take many billions of dollars out of Canada's economy each year. While I understand that the Liberals will try to justify this by saying that they are providing funding for these communities through their just transition initiative, I am here to tell members that they have patently failed the hard-working Canadians who will be affected by this major industry shift.
One of the groups that came here shared a study that was conducted for the Town of Coronach, in my riding, regarding the negative impacts the transition will have on the community. The economic consequences are alarming, indicating a $400-million loss in GDP, a 67% loss in population and an 89% loss in household income.
While the Liberals will claim that the just transition initiative is going to create new, green jobs to replace those that are lost, the fact is that those new jobs would not be in rural areas. This means that the people of Coronach, and those in other rural communities who are in the same boat, will need to consider uprooting their lives to find work elsewhere. In what world does this show a just transition for those who have been contributing to Canada’s economy for their entire careers?
On top of these startling figures, the federal Liberals have only dedicated approximately 3.5% of transition funding to economic development activities that would ensure affected communities remain viable post-2030. Instead, they have invested the funds into community infrastructure such as roads, waste water and parks, which are built by businesses from bigger, urban communities from outside the riding.
If the Town of Coronach stands to lose 67% of its population, what good are the parks? What good are roads if there is nobody left to drive on them because the Liberal government decimated the local workforce? There will be nobody to pay taxes for the upkeep of this infrastructure or to maintain it. It will just deteriorate.
Another sector that is essential for my riding is agriculture. Shamefully, the word “farmer” was only mentioned 11 times in the 280-page budget, and there were no new measures that would have provided support to our agricultural producers. Recognition of the need for food security does not exist with the government. Instead of giving farmers a break, the Liberals increased the carbon tax on April 1. The carbon tax alone takes almost $1.1 billion from farm families that could have been used to upgrade equipment and adopt more sustainable practices. As a reminder to my colleagues across the floor, farmers are small business owners. They cannot afford an ever-increasing carbon tax on top of things like inflation and skyrocketing gas prices.
In conclusion, I know I speak for my constituents when I say that the people of Souris—Moose Mountain have had enough of a government that pretends to take of care them while doing nothing to make their lives easier. Our country has never been more divided thanks to a government that disregards anyone who does not agree with it. Canadians deserved a budget that would give them a break, but instead they are facing uncontrolled government spending, higher taxes and a rising national debt.
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for .
Today, I am so proud to speak in the House to Bill , the budget implementation act, to highlight some of the measures that would move Canada forward. This is a key piece of legislation that is important for Canada's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In my speech today, I want to focus on certain priority areas for my residents in Brampton South that I believe this budget responds well to. These are the issues I have heard through consultation, as well as at the doorsteps of my residents. I heard that we need to confront the challenges before us while continuing to build a stronger Canada. All Canadians want clean air, good jobs and a strong economy. Budget 2022 lays out our next steps to build a clean economy that will create good-paying jobs, middle-class jobs and concrete actions.
Last week, the was in Windsor to announce the recent $3.6-billion investment by Stellantis to retool and modernize its two plants in Windsor and Brampton. This means good new jobs in an innovative sector. These historic investments will create thousands of new jobs, specifically with the return of a third shift at both plants, and transform the plants into flexible, multi-energy EV assembly facilities ready to produce electric vehicles for the future. This government will help more Canadians drive zero-emissions vehicles by continuing to provide rebates for Canadians, rebuilding charging infrastructure that drivers can rely on, and supporting critical mineral projects for Canadian-made EVs and batteries.
Budget 2022 reiterates the $9.1-billion commitment presented in the emissions-reduction plan as we continue to deliver for Canadians and the economy. A key element of this plan is the electrification of public transit. Recently, the Canada Infrastructure Bank finalized an investment of $400 million to the City of Brampton for up to 450 zero-emissions buses through 2027. Brampton Transit is a great partner in this work. It is another great example of how we are building a greener city and healthier communities.
Since the start of this pandemic, the federal government has introduced significant investments to support Canadians and communities. This government is continuing with these targeted measures that will help meet the needs of our workers, our businesses and the Canadian economy so that it can keep growing stronger for years to come. These investments have worked. Canada has recovered 115% of the jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic. Job creation is remarkably strong, and even our hardest-hit sectors are starting to get back up and running. That is real progress to set up the Canadian economy for success, deliver good jobs and keep our air clean.
Shifts in the global economy will require some workers in sectors across Canada to develop new skills and adjust the way they work. I have seen this first-hand in Brampton South, where we have a diverse and resilient workforce. This is why I want to talk about upskilling and re-skilling. At the Brampton Board of Trade Federal Issues Forum, I heard from community leaders that skills training is the key to Canada's future prospects. I am glad that we are targeting high-growth business sectors with new strategic investments that will have a significant and positive impact on the regional labour force and long-term job growth.
In recent years, the federal government has made significant investments to give Canadians the skills they need to succeed in an evolving economy and connect our workers to jobs. The measures in Bill , the budget implementation act, would build on these past investments. These measures include working with provincial and territorial partners on improving how skills training is provided in key areas.
One of those key areas is trades. Improving labour mobility for workers in the construction trades can help to address the labour shortage and ensure that important projects such as housing can be completed across the country. That is why Bill , the budget implementation act, is proposing to introduce a labour mobility deduction. This measure would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons. Providing quality settlement services for workers is another important part of the budget.
I was proud to welcome the to Brampton South recently to visit the Achieve organization. Its settlement workers told us about how important this budget's measures are to providing additional skills training and support services. Workers need to have the skills to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Bill would implement the plans proposed in budget 2022 after paying attention to the needs of Canadians as we set them up for success.
Budget 2022 lays out $2.6 billion for skills development, job training and related needs. It also supports cybersecurity technology for small to medium-sized businesses to help boost cyber-resilience. This is something I have been working hard on with Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst in my riding. Skills training will support Canadians in learning new skills to put to use in their careers and grow our workforce by addressing these barriers. We are building an inclusive economy for the 21st century.
When we talk about an inclusive economy, we have to talk about child care. This is why we are helping all parents, especially women, to have the ability to build both families and careers, because we know that child care is not a luxury. It is a necessity. This is something I heard at many doors when talking to residents. Too many parents across Brampton and across the country are struggling to find affordable, high-quality child care. That is why we have now signed agreements with all provinces and territories, including Ontario, which signed on in Brampton South last month. We are making $10-a-day child care a reality for families across the country, with a historic $30-billion investment. Businesses, economists and women are in agreement that we need more child care options and we need them to be flexible, affordable and inclusive. This agreement gets this work done.
We have heard of the challenges many Canadians have faced during COVID-19. Every Canadian should have access to quality health care. This government is taking action to work with the provinces and territories to invest in health care for everyone. We know that COVID-19 resulted in a backlog of surgeries, and some patients are facing longer wait times for surgical treatment. The government has announced the intention to provide provinces and territories with an additional $2 billion through our top-up to the Canada health transfers to address these backlogs. This would build on the $4 billion in support provided in 2021. Over the past two years, many non-urgent elective surgeries had to be postponed, and these investments will make a real difference in the lives of all Canadians when it comes to accessing high-quality health care services.
When we talk about this pandemic, we need to acknowledge that many women were hit hard. It is important to understand the implications of the pandemic, especially in the area of gender-based violence, which we have been studying in the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. Budget 2022 proposes to provide more than $5 million to Women and Gender Equality Canada to enable provinces and territories to improve services and supports to prevent gender-based violence, and to support survivors. We need to ensure that all women are safe and have access to economic opportunities. That is exactly what we are doing.
In conclusion, by taking action with Bill , we are building more homes and creating good-paying jobs for Canadians. Passing this bill would enable our government to continue this important work. That is why I urge all members of Parliament to support the passage of this bill.
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to this bill.
I will start by saying that, in addition to today being Red Dress Day, as I was reminded by the member for , today is also Liberation Day in Holland, which is important to me, being half Dutch. I sat and thought, while the member was making those comments, about how my grandfather, during the Second World War, spent a lot of time trying to avoid interaction with the occupying forces in Holland at the time. When Holland was finally liberated, seeing Canadian soldiers walking through the streets liberating Holland, it was at that point that my grandfather said, “That's where we're moving. We're moving to the place where these people are from.”
I think this is a reflection of not just the incredible set of values that we have in Canada, but indeed the way our troops represent us through the world. They represent us not just in a purely militaristic sense, but also from a place of being ambassadors of Canada, and that is quite literally how I am here today. Had my father's father not made that decision to move to Canada after the Second World War, my father would never have met my mother, and I would never have been here to have this discussion, despite the fact that, at times, I am sure that my Conservative friends from across the way might wonder what that world would have been like.
When we talk about this budget, one of the key pillars for me is our commitment to move toward clean air and a stronger economy. We know for a fact that in the economy of tomorrow, where hedge funds and investors are looking to put money right now is into anything green, anything sustainable, anything that will have an impact for generations to come. When we talk about renewable energy, for example, this is where people want to put their money.
I have heard a lot of discussion, from Conservatives in particular, about the size of Canada's debt, the debt we took on in order to get through the pandemic, which most of the Conservatives here voted in favour of. I think they raise some serious concerns. We have a lot of debt. How are we going to get through that debt? How are we going to deal with that debt?
There is the default reaction, which is to say, “Well, it's going to be our kids and grandkids. That's the only solution. They are the only ones who will be able to deal with it.” However, I offer a different perspective, and it goes to two things that I have already brought up today. The first—
Madam Speaker, I think of both things that I brought up today: my grandparents immigrating to Canada and my desire for a clean, renewable economy that is built here in Canada. That is how we are going to get through this pandemic, the effects of the pandemic and the debt that has been taken on during the pandemic. We are going to do it by growing our economy in the right places, the places that have longevity to them, the places where we know that when we invest in technology, if we can be on the forefront of it, we will become an exporter of that technology around the world and reap the benefits from that.
That, in my opinion, should be an end goal here, and that is what I see in the budget, but also as it relates to our willingness to be an open country, to be a country that is willing to accept people from around the world and celebrate the differences they bring here, provided they want to be constructive participants in a strong economic force.
I think back to when my grandparents immigrated in the 1950s, which I referenced earlier, both sets of grandparents, from Holland and from Italy. They came here looking for a new life and prosperous opportunities so that their children could succeed. Indeed, on my mother's side, my three uncles ended up starting a housebuilding company, building custom homes, and they were quite successful during their careers.
Providing opportunities to people from around the world to come to Canada is what we have been doing. Over a million new people live in Canada now, compared to 2015. By doing these sorts of things, by being an open and welcoming country, investing in our economy and making sure that we have the right investments, we are going to grow our economy. That is how we are going to deal with the hardships of the pandemic and what was required in terms of spending during the pandemic.
I heard the member for speak about carbon capture. I do not want to single him out, because a number of Conservatives have spoken about it. Carbon capture is certainly something that we can consider in the short term. It can be effective in the short term, but I cannot understand, for the life of me, why we would want to suggest that it is a long-term solution.
I am not sure if members have seen the movie Don't Look Up. It is a recent movie out on Netflix. The whole premise is that there is an asteroid coming toward earth. The default reaction is how to deal with this asteroid, but before long it turns into a conversation, in particular by those on the right, about letting the asteroid hit earth and capitalizing on it by mining the various minerals and riches the asteroid is bringing with it.
That, in my opinion, is exactly like talking about carbon capture. We know there is a problem. Why is the solution to the problem to take the problem and bury it two kilometres underground? It does not make sense to me. Of course, the Conservatives' default reaction to dealing with fossil fuels and the problems that come from fossil fuels is how to capitalize on them. I do not think this is the solution. I think the solution is investing in making sure that we build the battery technologies of tomorrow. Let us be an exporter of those battery technologies, looking at different ways to invest in zero-emission vehicles.
Zero-emission vehicles are here. We passed the tipping point. By 2035 in Canada, all vehicles sold for regular use will have to be net-zero-emitting. The vast majority will be electric. Why are we not investing in the technologies that will be required? The electric vehicle right now is where the Model T Ford was in terms of the runway for vehicles. We are just at the beginning. If we give it 10 or 15 years, we will see that the battery technology is going to very quickly adapt so that we will be able to drive 1,000 kilometres on a charge and charge almost instantaneously. That is the future.
We should be investing in this technology, so that we can be on the forefront of it, so that as a country we have the companies right here in our country because the government believes in this technology, and so that we can be exporters of that technology throughout the world.
Therefore, I am very glad to see the $1.7 billion going toward zero-emission vehicles in this budget because I think that is going to get us there.