Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Carleton, one of the great, hard-working finance shadow ministers who the minister referenced, who are doing so much good work to try to help fix the gaps in the government's programs.
The finance minister has just painted an extremely dire picture of Canada's finances, but what we did not hear was any kind of a plan to support the reopening of our economy and to get Canadians back to work.
Coming out of the pandemic, every single country on the planet will be desperately competing for the same opportunities and the same investments, so where is the Prime Minister's plan to set us apart? The United Kingdom has a plan. France, Germany, South Korea and Japan all have plans. In fact, every single country in the G7 has a plan.
The government is borrowing $343 billion this year. However, the Prime Minister has no plan to help Canadians return to work. He has no plan to guide our economic recovery. He has no plan to stimulate growth or attract business investment to create the conditions for job growth.
The government is borrowing $343 billion this year. This year, for the first time ever, the net federal debt will reach over one trillion dollars. In fact, it is borrowing so much money that the Bank of Canada has to create it out of thin air. The Bank of Canada is purchasing 5 billion dollars' worth of government debt every single week.
The Prime Minister has absolutely no plan to help Canadians return to work, no plan for our economic recovery and no plan to stimulate growth, attract business investment or create the conditions for job growth.
I know this might come as a shock to a Liberal prime minister, but spending billions of dollars does not create economic growth, and handing it out to Liberal insiders certainly will not restart our economy. More Liberal tax hikes and more red tape will not restart our economy.
If we want to be competitive, we must unlock the power of the private sector, help Canadians get back to work, support small businesses, lower taxes, eliminate red tape and put Canada back on the map as an attractive place to do business.
The biggest misconception right now about the economy is that if we simply lift the restrictions and provinces reopen, our economy will come roaring back to life. The reality is that it will take leadership, big ideas and a lot of hard work. However, the Prime Minister's track record proves that he cannot be trusted to lead Canada's recovery. His sky-high taxes, wasteful spending and massive deficits put Canada in an incredibly weak position before the pandemic began.
While a responsible government would have saved while times were good and paid down debt, as our previous Conservative government did, the Liberals added $87 billion in new debt during its first four years of power. As a result, Canada is the only G7 country to have lost its AAA credit rating and has one of the highest debt levels in the AA category.
Before the pandemic, Canada's unemployment rate was higher than that of all other G7 countries except France and Italy, whose socialist policies the Prime Minister was trying to emulate. Now Canada has surpassed them and has the highest unemployment rate in the G7. In fact, we have among the highest unemployment rates in the OECD, falling fourth right behind Greece. This is should be a major wake-up call for the government.
There is no doubt that Canadians are struggling. The last few months have been very difficult. Millions of people lost their jobs. More than 100,000 Canadians became ill. Thousands died. Businesses shut down and many will never reopen. Canadians are watching in horror as their savings disappear.
Despite all of this, as provinces gradually reopen, Canadians are hopeful and optimistic about their futures. They want to work. Businesses want to reopen to welcome back staff and customers. They are determined to rebuild and are coming up with innovative ways to offer services as provinces.
Now, I do not know why the Prime Minister always feels the need to talk down Canada. Canadians are an endlessly enterprising people. Perhaps it is a product of our immigrant society where people have left the familiarity of home for a shot at a better life on the other side of the world, and then work hard to achieve it. Perhaps it is the inspiration that we take from indigenous peoples, resilient men and women who built Canada's first communities in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Perhaps it is our belief in freedom, limited government and the power of the free market. Regardless of the reason, Canadians have proven time and time again that through hard work, innovation and perseverance, we can accomplish anything.
Canada's economic recovery will be driven by Canadians. Governments do not create jobs, and we cannot borrow our way to prosperity. True success comes from investing in people, but the only people the Liberals are interested in investing in are the wealthy elites. While regular Canadians continue to struggle, the Prime Minister is passing buckets of money around the highest levels of corporate Canada. It started in the last Parliament when the Liberals developed their superclusters program, handing out billions and billions of dollars to corporate entities and wealthy institutions. They gave $50 million to Mastercard and $12 million to Loblaws. They gave $35 billion to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which protects wealthy investors and puts all the risk on the backs of taxpayers. How many projects has that new Infrastructure Bank actually completed? Zero. The Bank of Canada, as I said earlier, is printing money.
Now, the finance minister just bragged about the low cost of servicing that debt. Well, there is a reason why. It is because the Bank of Canada is purchasing government debt on the secondary bond market. It is creating money out of thin air, and who gets that money first? It is the wealthy investors who have already purchased government debt in the past. This is the epitome of trickle-down economics. It's throwing money around at the highest levels of corporate Canada while raising taxes on hard-working Canadians. In the middle of a pandemic and all of the economic difficulties it has caused, they raised the carbon tax and are raising payroll taxes and excise taxes. Meanwhile, there is no help for energy workers. They have refused to fix their flawed programs.
The finance minister talked about the need for speed. Well, we all agreed back in March that the government had to act quickly, and we were told that if Parliament passed these measures, they would be fixed as time went on. I note the date, July 8, and that they have still not fixed the flaws in the wage subsidy, and there are still thousands and thousands of people who have lost their jobs because of the gaps in that program. They have refused to make any adjustments to the rental subsidies that require businesses to have lost 70% of their revenue before they qualify, and, of course, they have refused to take away the barrier to people returning back to work by adopting the back-to-work bonus the Conservatives have proposed. We cannot forget that in the middle of this pandemic, the Prime Minister has let so many Canadians fall behind.
The Conservatives have been proposing constructive solutions to help Canadians all along through this pandemic. Our goal is to help workers and local businesses get back up and running as quickly as possible.
It is very disappointing that the Prime Minister did not use today's fiscal snapshot to offer the back-to-work bonus. Our Conservative plan can make the Canada emergency response benefit more flexible and more generous, to allow workers to earn more as businesses gradually open.
Helping Canadians transition back to work is vital to our recovery. A good job helps Canadians succeed. It helps their families succeed. It helps build our communities and ultimately makes our country strong.
Under the Prime Minister, Canada and Canadians are losing out. We are falling behind. We are falling behind every other nation in the G7. That is unacceptable. Canadians deserve a government that stands up for their interests. They deserve better than what they just got today.