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View Garnett Genuis Profile
Madam Speaker, I know the member for Timmins—James Bay is excited to hear the rest of my remarks and it sounds like he is chomping at the bit for the privilege of debate that may be coming. I look forward to his remarks. I would encourage him to make sure he has consulted with the rest of his party around the position he takes on that, because there may be some differences of opinion around that important and sensitive issue.
With respect to the remarks I was making, it is very clear that we have two different approaches in front of us when it comes to responding to the economy. The Liberals have started to try to adopt Conservative language, although not all of it, as maybe the point of order demonstrates. They do not want to acknowledge their own responsibility when it comes to inflation, but they have started to acknowledge that there is a problem of inflation. They just think it has nothing to do with the policies of the government, which obviously stretches credibility.
The government has, in the last two years, pursued a radically different direction. In some respects, it has the last seven years, but it has escalated in the last two years. They have pursued a radically different direction with respect to economic policy. We have gone from tens of billions of dollars of deficit, which felt quite significant, and was quite significant, to hundreds of billions of dollars in terms of deficit, and they want to pretend as if that approach has had no consequences with respect to affordability. The reality is that it obviously has and Canadians are seeing the direct impacts on their lives when it comes to rising costs of all sorts of different goods. The government's efforts to pass the blame for this onto everybody but themselves really stretches credibility. Now their proposals of more taxes, more spending and more borrowing are simply going to make the problem worse.
I appeal to the government, on behalf of my constituents and many Canadians who have raised concerns about affordability, that if it wants to show that it has a modicum of sincerity when it comes to the issue of affordability, it should cancel the planned tax increases for next year. It would be a simple way for the government to show that it is actually listening to Canadians.
I want to talk specifically about the issue of the carbon tax. The Liberals think that a tax increase is a replacement for a meaningful response to the challenges we face with environmental policy. It is clear from various reports that their carbon tax is not working to achieve environmental objectives. Many of the groups that have supported them on this are saying it is a dramatic increase they want in terms of the carbon tax, and the Liberals are planning, I believe, and forecasting it.
Before the previous election, they had promised that they would not increase the carbon tax, but then they did increase it. It is continually going up and up. When is it going to stop? Every time their carbon tax fails to achieve their environmental objectives, instead of changing approach and realizing that we actually need an approach that emphasizes technology instead of taxes, they are just doubling down on the taxation approach. It is just not working; it is not achieving the objectives they said it will.
The government really needs to be responsive to what Canadians are telling it and it needs to be willing to make changes in its direction when the evidence clearly suggests it. I repeat that appeal again: no new taxes. The least the government can do is stop the damage, and that means to commit to not proceeding with the tax increases that it has scheduled for next year.
It is a clear choice and a clear contrast. We have a government that is talking about borrowing, spending and taxation, and that is leading to inflation. Then in the official opposition, we are talking about more freedom, giving individuals back control of their lives, reversing tax increases, lowering taxes and fundamentally replacing big government with big citizens, with a big society, as David Cameron talked about, with the idea that a strong society, with people standing together and supporting each other's needs, is much better at bringing us together as communities and moving us forward than the government. I am proud to continue to champion that vision and make the case for that vision in the House and beyond.
At this point, I would like to move an amendment. I move:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
"the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing, since the bill will fuel inflation and fails to address the government's excessive borrowing and spending that lead to the inflation crisis in the first place.”
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