Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-05-06 13:06 [p.3021]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on her military service.
I think it is important to speak to members in this House about the specific measures in budget 2016 for veterans and how those measures will affect them. Nevertheless, before I address the more specific aspects of the budget, I want to note that my colleagues, the people of my riding of Beauport—Limoilou, and I all share concerns that the Liberal government is planning some exorbitant spending for this year and the years to come.
In light of Canada's current economic climate, the Liberal government's plan to run large deficits over many years is unjustified. Unfortunately, the government is essentially handing out money that has been borrowed instead of earned.
Furthermore, the government is breaking a number of its election promises, and we are just a few months in. This is surprising, since some of these promises were key planks in the Liberal platform. First, there was the promise to restrict deficit spending to a maximum of $10 billion, which has changed. I would remind members that the deficit spending was supposed to be used to invest in infrastructure, not to subsidize new recurring programs.
Then, the government promised to focus upcoming financial efforts on balancing the budget by the end of its term, which is no longer achievable. The other disappointment was the broken promise to lower the tax rate for small and medium-sized businesses, which create wealth for everyone.
I will set these concerns aside and get to the essence of my speech, which is the budget measures put forward to address the needs of our veterans.
I want to note that these measures were first presented separately from the federal 2016 budget, in Bill C-12, an act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. This bill was introduced barely one month ago. I thought it was a good sign that the Liberals introduced this legislation, since there was no notion of partisanship on veterans' issues.
As a result, as the official opposition veterans' critic, I was planning to support Bill C-12 and vote in favour of it to help this government take positive action for our veterans, even though I felt that some amendments were necessary to fix certain technical issues.
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