Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 35035
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2022-09-23 10:01 [p.7603]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Red Deer—Lacombe.
This summer, I spoke with thousands of constituents from Kelowna—Lake Country in person, over the phone, on their doorsteps and at community events. I met with small businesses, farmers and not-for-profits. The struggles I heard from people and small businesses are real and extensive.
I heard about the unmanageable cost of living, which includes costs on housing, fuel and food, overall inflation, labour shortages, travel restrictions such as the ArriveCAN app, ongoing federal mandates, crushing debt for small business, supply chain issues, and delays in every federal government department, whether it be immigration and citizenship, CRA, benefits or passports.
It is evident that the legislation before us, Bill C-31, does nothing to address any of those issues and nothing to address the cost of 40-year-high inflation. For the Liberals to introduce this thrown-together legislation that will only boost inflation, and which will see its benefits evaporate with the ever-rising cost of food and gas, demonstrates the government's detachment from working families, small businesses and seniors.
I remember as a kid those tough times 40 years ago at the end of the last Trudeau government. History is repeating itself. I remember eating lots of wieners, white bread and Spam. What got us through were two sets of grandparents who had big gardens. Families are suffering today.
I mailed out a survey to residents of Kelowna—Lake Country to get their feedback about the cost of groceries and gas prices. I received thousands of responses. Food costs can vary regionally, and most people said their food bills had actually gone up more than 20%. To fill their vehicles was over $50 more per fill than last year.
Many people gave specific examples of their personal situations. I will give just a small sampling. John, who needs his pickup truck for work and who says he has good mileage on his truck, will be paying $513 a month more for gas than last year. Jeff in Lake Country wrote to me that he is getting close to having to choose between gas or food, saying that is “not a good spot to be in.”
Lea in Kelowna says she is forced to go to food banks for the first time in her life. Ken wrote that his family is presently helping a person who is living in his car because he cannot afford rent. This person works as a delivery driver, but gas prices may now prevent him from working entirely.
Paulette wrote to me and said, “I am a recently retired as a nurse. I am pretty tight with my budget. I have been able to keep my bank account at the same float number. Since March of this year, I have noticed incremental decline in my bank balance to the tune of $400 a month. It doesn't take long on a fixed income to be alarmed in seeing consistent decline.”
How is a retiree like Paulette supposed to deal with a $400 loss each month? How is a new family or a young worker supposed to deal with it? They will not if we maintain the government's high-spend, high-cost NDP-Liberal approach. We need to stop the money printing, stop the spending and stop increasing taxes, all of which are creating inflation.
Legislation like Bill C-31 will not reverse the ever-increasing costs of our basic necessities. While the government says this legislation will tackle the real issues of Canadians in need of relief, the value of these supports on people's budgets will rapidly proceed to nothing. They will evaporate quickly if the government does nothing to rein in its own costs.
Conservatives have been talking about precisely where the government could reduce costs, which would directly help to reduce the inflation that is shredding the value of people's paycheques and household budgets. It could cancel its $35-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank, which has yet to build a single road, bridge or rail line. It could drop the ArriveCAN app entirely today. It could save $25 million right now and scrap what I call the “ArriveCAN'T” app.
The government could use a one-for-one rule: For every dollar spent, find a dollar in savings. It could cancel all planned tax increases, including payroll tax hikes scheduled for January 1 and tax hikes on groceries, gas and home heating scheduled for April 1. It could cancel the escalator excise tax, which is also scheduled for April 1.
Leaving those scheduled increases on the books will be catastrophic to Canadian and small business bank accounts. Let us change course today. The NDP-Liberal bill would only raise Canadian costs, and this is obvious.
Economists are in agreement on this as well. Robert Kavcic, senior economist at the Bank of Montreal, was quoted recently on the government's proposal as saying, “We all know that sending out money as an inflation-support measure is inherently…inflationary.”
Andrey Pavlov at Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business said, “If we have high inflation and that inflation continues, that assistance isn’t going to do very much to help anyone, including the recipients of that assistance. It’s just not going to be enough.”
Derek Holt, vice president and head of capital markets economics at Scotiabank, could not have been clearer: “Any belief that the government's proposals will ease inflationary pressures must have studied different economics textbooks.”
Let us not forget that this legislation is before us only because of the summer rush that the members of the costly NDP-Liberal coalition put on themselves, once again trying to make a parliamentary body of law-making into a short-order kitchen of quick fixes.
The legislation bears all the hallmarks of a bill not thoroughly thought through. If the government members even took the time to glance at most rental listings in British Columbia, they would know that a $500 cheque would represent not much more than a single week's worth of rent.
According to rentals.ca, British Columbia had the highest average rental rate, at $2,578 per month in August 2022. Even if the bill passes, six out of every 10 renters will not qualify for it. In Kelowna—Lake Country, the government's record on rent is clear. According to the CMHC, the average one-bedroom apartment was roughly $900 a month in 2015, when this government was elected. Fast-forward to 2022 and the rental prices have increased 61%, to $1,475.
Instead of a bill that would expand the rental market or offer my constituents an affordable path to home ownership, the government chooses to raise costs even further.
For the government to call the other half of this legislation a dental program is not quite accurate. A program would typically feature an application process. It might coordinate with many provincial, low-income dental care programs. It would actually be a program. Instead, what the government offers is an attestation.
We have seen this attestation process with no verification or cross-referencing before. We have not been told how the CRA will administer this program or what extra staff they will need to administer it. All the government has said is to remember to keep one's dental receipts.
Will people be subject to having the value of this benefit clawed back if the government or the CRA deems them not applicable? My constituency office was inundated with people being told they had to pay back CERB. The government just has not learned.
Once again, the Liberal-NDP coalition is clear on how it wants the government to run: Allow inflation to rise unchecked, take more from Canadians' pockets, circulate it through the government's bureaucracy, and then write cheques that will give only a fraction of it back. It is like a family's financial situation is a sinking boat, and the Liberals throw them a teacup to bail out the boat instead of patching the holes.
We need to put people first.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2022-09-23 10:10 [p.7604]
Mr. Speaker, it is most unfortunate that the Conservatives and the Bloc do not recognize that this legislation is going to enable children under the age of 12 to get the dental work that is absolutely necessary. Many children are not getting dental work because of the issue of affordability. Many of those children end up going into hospitals at great cost because they did not get the dental work that is required. Now, we have a government that is recognizing the importance of getting the job done in serving our young children in Canada.
We are talking about hundreds of thousands of children who are going to be eligible, in every region of our country, yet the Conservatives feel that the federal government plays no role.
Why is the member not standing up for the children whom she represents who do not have dental insurance?
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2022-09-23 10:11 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, I guess the better question is this: Why can people not afford to spend money on certain things? The reason is that their paycheques are evaporating. The reason is that we have 40-year high inflation, which means people cannot even afford to buy food, they cannot buy medicine, and they cannot put gas in their vehicles. It is the policies of the government that are leaving people short every month. I gave several examples in my statement today. People are hurting because of the policies of the government.
View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2022-09-23 10:12 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, when our Conservative friends talk about the housing crisis, it seems as though they are always just opposing any measure the Liberal government proposes without bringing many solutions to the table.
I met an economist from the CMHC at a housing summit in Laval last week, and he said that, if we do not do something to change things, only 500,000 housing units will be built in Quebec over the next 10 years when, in fact, 1,100,000 units are needed to deal with the accessibility and affordability crisis. That is how many housing units we need to build in Quebec over the next 10 years to truly address this crisis.
What does the Conservative Party suggest we do to resolve this crisis?
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2022-09-23 10:12 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, we have given a number of suggestions. One suggestion is that we have a lot of federal buildings that are empty, and we could use those to build housing. We have a capacity problem. We have one of the lowest numbers of houses in the world when we look at it percentage-wise. We absolutely need to build more supply.
The other part is that costs are going up. When we have supply chain issues and when we have inflation the way it is, it makes it a lot more difficult for construction and for builders to build affordable housing. If we do not get this inflation crisis under control, it is not going to help with the affordability of building houses either.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2022-09-23 10:13 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, a constituent of mine, Ted, is a senior. He lost his teeth. He cannot get dental care coverage. I raised this in the House and someone from the member's party suggested that Ted should go back to work. He is 77. He should not have to go back to work to get his teeth fixed, and he should not have to eat soup all the time.
The member talked about payroll taxes. CPP is not a tax. It is retirement income; it is deferred wages. It is critical. We are hearing from seniors who have not saved. They need help with dental care. They need to make sure they can retire with more income.
Conservative premiers, and premiers right across this country, worked out a deal with the government to increase CPP, and that is for both workers' contributions and those of their employers, so that seniors can have enough money to get the things they need.
Does my colleague not agree that investments in CPP are deferred wages and are meant for retirement income? They are not payroll taxes.
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2022-09-23 10:14 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, first, I will address the comments the member made about the senior in his riding. I hear stories like that as well. Seniors are among some of the hardest hit, because they are on fixed incomes. As this inflation continues to be at record levels, they, as I mentioned in my intervention with examples, are some of the hardest hit, because they are not able to have more income. That is the first thing.
The second thing, regarding people's paycheques, is that what the CPP and EI increases will do is reduce the paycheques they are taking home. It is also going to be more costly for businesses. A time like this, when we have record-breaking inflation, is not the time to be increasing any costs on people.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2022-09-23 10:15 [p.7605]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her eloquent speech and articulate thoughts in the House this morning. She is exactly right.
The government is proposing to be the solution, but it is actually the problem. The problem can never be the solution. We are witnessing, coming out of COVID, the massive inflation-induced problems that Canadians are facing, making their paycheques shorter. There is more month now left than there is money on those paycheques. Canadians are struggling.
I am not talking about Canadians who have always or have typically struggled. I am talking about Canadians who just a few short years ago did not need the government to do anything at all for them. They were business owners. They were working in the private sector. They had the ability to earn a living and make their paycheques cover their cost of living, pay for their homes, pay for their energy, pay for their food, raise their children, put them through school and even save enough for their retirements.
These are Canadians who just want their government to provide them with the services only it can provide and get out of their way. This is the mentality of the people I represent in the constituency of Red Deer—Lacombe. This is why Alberta, my home province, is one of the lowest-taxed jurisdictions and one of the provinces in this Confederation that creates wealth in abundance, or at least it used to create wealth in abundance, for everybody to share in.
The problem is the philosophy of the current government. In its rush to make everybody equal, it is making everybody equally miserable. This is the problem with the philosophy of the socialist-bent NDP-Liberal coalition. It does not work. History has shown us throughout time that this kind of thinking only leads to everybody being worse off.
This bill specifically talks about rent and the dental program. The reason the government believes it needs to bring these things forward at this time is that my constituents who used to be able to pay for these things on their own, who used to have jobs where their employer made those payments or had a dental care plan, no longer find themselves in that calibre of employment anymore. That is because of the ideology of the current government across the way and its ideological attack on energy.
I want Canadians at home to realize that, if they take a look around their home, everything they have was either made from, brought to them by or manufactured with energy. When we attack that energy with things like a carbon tax, it underpins everything we do in our economy. The government's hell-bent position from the very first press release it issued was to rework the northern gateway and energy east pipelines and basically cancel those projects. The short-sightedness for cheap political gain of critical energy supplies, not only within Canada but around the world, is showing itself today.
The Chancellor of Germany was just here and our government was too dim-witted to even know that he came here asking for help in the way he could without embarrassing himself in front of his own people. What did our government say in response to our friend, our NATO ally and our economic trading partner? It basically gave him the bum's rush out of town and said we would have some renewables for him in three to five years. Meanwhile, the good people, our friends, our western liberal democracy philosophical allies are going to be left in the dark by the current government, which cannot see past the end of its nose in its ideological crusade against oil and natural gas. I think 14 to 18 LNG proposals were cancelled, shelved or tabled because of the current government. That is the legacy we have.
I want to get back to how that is relevant to the citizens of my province and the citizens I represent in the constituency of Red Deer—Lacombe. Central Alberta is a hub of the service industry of the oil and gas sector in Alberta. We have numerous pipeline companies, service rig companies, drilling rig companies. We even have, hopefully, a formerly Russian oligarch-owned steel pipe company that was providing services to the oil and gas sector. These were good-paying jobs.
I have good friends who have had multi-million dollar businesses. The way to get rid of a $10-million trucking company in Alberta is to vote Liberal and just wait a couple years. There is nothing left at the end of it. That is exactly the story, sadly, of some good friends of mine back in central Alberta. That is the misery that has been inflicted on the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Albertans who are victims of this policy.
Now the good people of Germany and the rest of the free world are being held hostage by dictator energy in places like Germany, Ukraine and Poland. These are our friends, and they are being held hostage by the ruinous imperialism of Vladimir Putin right now. They are being held economically hostage. Putin has used energy as a weapon.
We could be energy independent. We do not need to import a single drop of gas or oil into this country. As a matter of fact, we have the third-largest proven reserves of oil in the world, and we have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas under every province and territory in this country. We could be supplying our friends, neighbours, allies and like-minded citizens in liberal democracies. That is small-l liberal democracies, because today's Liberals are not liberals. We could be providing that energy, relief and security to our friends.
The reason my constituents do not have the buying power they used to have, the reason my constituents are now in the same boat that many other Canadians find themselves in is that they do not have the security of that job they used to have, that well-paying energy sector job, a job with a company that actually could provide a benefits plan for them. I watched it happen. It has been absolutely disastrous and absolutely ruinous.
The problem I go back to is the philosophical bent of the government, which cannot see past the end of its nose. We can look at the pipeline policies and the unfair application of these things. For example, the upstream and downstream emissions on oil and gas that is produced in Canada are not applied to oil that is imported into Canada. Why the double standard?
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, this is a bill about dental care for children under the age of 12. The member has spoken about just about everything under the sun except dental care. I am wondering if he could be encouraged to get back to the topic of discussion.
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2022-09-23 10:23 [p.7606]
I appreciate the point of order. I would ask the member to maybe try to tie it in because there is two minutes and 35 seconds left.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2022-09-23 10:23 [p.7606]
Mr. Speaker, my next-door neighbour back home is a dentist, and he noticed a sharp decline in his business shortly after the Liberal government took office, because nobody had the money they used to have in their pockets because of the policies of the government. That is the whole point. I know the members are cheering for that loudly over there—
An hon. member: That is from your side.
Mr. Blaine Calkins: —because Liberals actually do not care about Canadians who do not vote for them. That is the issue.
I would be happy to bring in all of my friends who happen to be dentists to talk about the decline in business once the oil and gas sector workers no longer had any disposable income. This is the problem, and I will get to it.
When a family is spending all of its money and the people who used to be able to easily provide for their families no longer have the resources they need, that is what puts them into this situation, that is what makes them desperate and dependent on government. That is actually what the Liberal government wants. I will go back to a great quote from Ronald Reagan, the former president of the United States, who once famously said, “Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.”
That is exactly what is happening with this piece of legislation. What is a $500 rent cheque going to do for somebody in Toronto or Vancouver who is now paying $2,300 to $2,600 a month for rent? The government is proposing to solve their housing problem by giving them one week's worth of rent while adding billions of dollars of debt onto our already massive national debt. This is not going to work. Economists are almost unanimous across this country in suggesting that any more spending by the government is surely to cause upward pressure on inflation and exacerbate the problem that we currently have.
The current government is not a solution-provider. The current government is problem-maker. There are more people in trouble in this country today than there have been in the entire time I have been here. They are in more trouble than they have been in 40 years with the inflationary pressure that we have. Interest rates are going up. Now people who borrowed money and the businesses that borrowed money during the pandemic have upward pressure on the loans they need to pay back. The pinch and squeeze is terrible for the people of this country. The problem is the government. It is not the solution.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I guess I will ask the member a question about his speech because he did not talk about dental care. I do want to make it relevant to his speech.
The member talked about a price on pollution. The reality of the situation is that 14 out of the 31 OECD countries have some form of price on pollution. I understand that Conservatives are against it now, but I would remind the member that when he ran in the 2021 election under the leader from Durham, he was in favour of pricing pollution. However, I guess now the Conservatives are not.
Could the member inform the House how the Conservatives plan, if they are elected, to tackle the rising carbon emissions and properly bring in measures to fight pollution, as we should as a society. I am assuming that he would agree with that. What is the Conservatives' plan today? I know what it was in 2021 when he ran in the last election, but what is it today?
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2022-09-23 10:27 [p.7607]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague across the way who asked that question that Conservatives have always been environmental stewards. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is one of the greatest environmental stewards we have ever had sitting in the Prime Minister's chair. He has been awarded for this and Conservatives have always put forward a plan on the environment.
However, the issue right now, and where the current government is an outlier, is that virtually every other country that the member just listed in the OECD is reducing taxes and cutting spending to get this inflation under control. These guys are always late to the game. Just look at the border measures. Just look at everything the Liberals are doing when it comes to getting past the COVID restrictions. These guys would not know a good idea if it bit them.
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2022-09-23 10:28 [p.7607]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Red Deer—Lacombe for his speech. He and the speaker before him talked about the importance of cutting spending to fight inflation. If we want to cut spending, then I would suggest that we cut the subsidies being given to oil companies that are making record profits in the current crisis.
The Conservatives would never dream of cutting oil subsidies, but they do not want to provide rental assistance.
I would simply like to know why oil companies, which are already rich and making profits, deserve help more than someone who cannot afford to pay their rent.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2022-09-23 10:29 [p.7607]
Mr. Speaker, that is spoken like a member of Parliament from an area that does not have energy workers in it. I represent a part of the country that actually has a large number, or at least used to have a large number, of energy workers. I know, for example, that the GDP alone of Fort McMurray is almost 6% of the national GDP. All of the businesses that operate there, the subcontractors that operate there and the employees who work for those companies all pay taxes into the general revenue of this country, which is distributed across the country, particularly to places like the Province of Quebec. I would appreciate a thanks instead of the rhetoric I just heard.
Results: 1 - 15 of 35035 | Page: 1 of 2336

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data