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Results: 1 - 4 of 4
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
Madam Speaker, I am happy to be splitting my time with the member for St. Albert—Edmonton today.
I would like to thank my friends in the NDP for bringing this motion forward and giving us the opportunity to talk about the Liberal government's failed record when it comes to tax policy.
As some members know, I enjoy listening to music, from bands like The Guess Who, who happen to hail from my hometown of Winnipeg, and The Beatles, and from artists like Jim Croce and Frank Sinatra, to name a few. When artists have been around long enough, they will usually release a greatest hits album. Today, I would like to produce a greatest hits album for the Liberal government. I think an appropriate title would be “the Liberals' greatest hits of failed tax policy”.
Although this album was not supposed to be released yet, I will spend the next nine minutes or so giving my colleagues a sneak preview. The lead-off track on this album, which is one of my favourites, is called “the budget will balance itself”, written by the professor of peoplekind himself, the Prime Minister of Canada.
As a follow-up, he hiked up taxes on low-income families and then said they do not pay any taxes, seemingly unaware of the fact that they do. During a time of economic prosperity, the Liberals are running massive, endless deficits that will force even higher taxes on Canadians.
There are higher Canada pension plan premiums. They also eliminated the children's fitness tax credit and children's arts tax credit, making it harder for young families to afford these important programs. Despite the fact that their mantra has become “low carbon”, they axed the public transit tax credit, which means fewer people can afford transit passes. They are paying $600 million to the media, picking and choosing which media organizations are winners and which are losers, an Orwellian plan, to be sure, and one all Canadians should reject. It is no wonder half of Canadians say they are $200 away from insolvency each month. They are literally being taxed into bankruptcy.
Then there is the carbon tax, a massive tax grab that makes life more expensive for everyone and will not do anything to reduce emissions. In the last election, Canada's Conservatives put forward a real plan to protect the environment, including measures like the green home tax credit, which would have encouraged Canadians to make their homes more energy efficient. It would have incentivized green tech, making Canada a world leader. Since the Liberals came to power, 81% of middle-income Canadians are seeing higher taxes.
I am happy to note with respect to the environment that more Canadians voted for the Conservative Party of Canada's environmental plan than any other party. Our plan, unlike the Liberal plan, did not include an unfair carbon tax that penalizes Canadians for everyday activities. Especially given the winters we have in Manitoba, a carbon tax will do nothing other than penalize people who have to heat their homes when it is -30°C.
There is some potential relief on the horizon. Yesterday, the Alberta Court of Appeal found the carbon tax to be unconstitutional. I hope the federal government listens to the Court of Appeal and respects its decision and its jurisdiction. Part of the majority 4-1 decision read as follows: “The Act is a constitutional Trojan horse.” That is strong language from the court. It continues, “Almost every aspect of the provinces' development and management of their natural resources...would be subject to federal regulation”.
The next hit on the hit list is “welfare for billionaires”. What a concept: We tax the poor to pay the rich. The Liberals are like a reverse Robin Hood. Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor, and for some reason the Liberals have it backward. They tax the poor into bankruptcy and give the money to billionaires.
They gave $12 million to Loblaws to buy refrigerators. My guess is that Loblaws can afford to buy its own energy-efficient fridges. I checked, and as of 4 p.m. yesterday, Loblaws had a market cap of $25.2 billion. There was also the $40 million given to BlackBerry. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, BlackBerry had a market cap of $4.2 billion.
Then there is my favourite. I call it the $50-million trifecta. There was the $50-million handout to Mastercard. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Mastercard has a market cap of $322.8 billion. Also, $50 million went to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which repeatedly engages in funding anti-Semitic activities. There is also the $50 million that went to a late-night TV host, Trevor Noah, by tweet.
There is $50 million here, $50 million there, $50 million everywhere. I wonder who is next.
I know a few organizations that could use this money. Maybe if they ask the Prime Minister nicely, he will tweet yet another $50-million pledge. It is worth a try.
Then there is the CRA. The government's motto should be “Pay us more; we'll treat you worse.” In the recently-released “Serving Canadians Better” report, the CRA reported that 83% of Canadians had an experience that did not meet their needs. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business gave the CRA a grade of D, and 41% of those who called the CRA received incomplete or incorrect information, a sad state to be sure.
Had it not been for the Conservative Party's pressuring the government from this side of the House, we would have had policies like reducing the accessibility to the disability tax credit for type 1 diabetics from 80% to 20%. Also, in October of 2017, the CRA tried to list employee discounts as taxable benefits, going after waiters and waitresses and restaurants for their employee discounts. In December of 2016, it came to light that the Liberals were considering taxing employer-provided health and dental plans.
Let us talk about the small business tax changes. It was in the middle of the summer of 2017, when Canadians were enjoying the hot weather and spending time with their families, that the government decided to quietly table tax changes when it did not think anyone was paying attention. These changes would drastically alter the lives of thousands of small business owners and families. Yes, small business people who were part of the middle class or working hard to join it had the rug pulled out from under them.
The government tried to hike taxes by 73% on small business investment, made changes to the taxes on splitting income and passive income and refused to make intergenerational family business sales easier, making it more expensive to sell a business to a stranger than to a family member. Remember that hot weather I mentioned? While Canadians were enjoying a nice cold beer in the sun, what did the government do? It raised taxes on beer too. This is sacrilege. I cannot think of anything more Canadian than an ice cold beer.
More recently, the government proposed an interest deductibility cap for businesses. This would be a disaster for all businesses and would have serious marketplace repercussions for banks, REITs, publicly traded securities and pension funds, to name a few.
I will start to wrap up now, but I want to let my colleagues on the other side of the House in on a secret. My goal today was to not only address the motion from my friends in the NDP, but eviscerate the government's failed tax policy initiatives and finish with a flourish.
At the end of the day, the Liberal proposal to increase the basic personal amount is a nice gesture. As Conservatives, we believe that people should pay less tax and get more value for their dollars. Canadians deserve to get ahead and not just get by.
It is not easy to find a humorous quote about taxes, but I think I might have. Here it is: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Who said that? It was the greatest genius of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, who discovered the theory of relativity. This man is the father of modern physics and he could not understand the tax code. What we truly need is tax simplification and comprehensive tax reform, not delivering tax policy on a piecemeal basis, as this measure does.
What do we get for these exorbitant taxes? We get runaway deficits; a budget that, contrary to the Prime Minister's belief, does not balance itself; and Canadians who are less than $200 from insolvency at the end of the month. It seems that the more we pay, the less we get. The hill of beans and half cup of coffee per week the Liberals have proposed for 20 million taxpayers will do little to relieve the massive tax burden that the government has foisted and piled onto Canadians.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-02-18 23:22
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Vancouver Granville.
I have heard many of the interventions this evening through this emergency debate and I want to bring a different perspective to this discussion tonight. I want to put this in context.
About 20 years ago, a previous Liberal government actually arrested farmers and put them in jail for crossing the border and trying to sell their grain in the United States. In perspective, right now we have protestors illegally blockading critical infrastructure across Canada and a Liberal government that is doing nothing to address that situation.
I want to talk about the collateral damage of the inaction that is happening and put that in perspective. Canadian farmers who are trying to sell their own grain are arrested and put in jail by the Liberal government. We have protestors, the court has said this is an illegal blockade and the Liberal government is not doing anything. We can imagine the message this is sending to Canadian agriculture. The blockades are bringing Canada's economy to its knees, and there are very real consequences.
On Friday, a grain producer from my riding came into my office in High River. I have to admit that it is not often I see farmers and ranchers almost in tears, but this 80-some-year-old farmer was extremely frustrated. He has gone through what has been deemed the harvest of hell this fall. He is now finally getting his crops harvested. Throughout January and February, when there was a nice day, some of the farmers in my riding were out in their combines trying to get whatever crop off they possibly could.
I now have this farmer in my office asking what else he can do. He suffered through one of the worst springs and falls in 60 years of farming. He finally harvested his crops, but now he is dealing with a blockade. There are no trains at the terminal where he could sell his commodities and get his product to market.
These are the very real consequences farmers across this country are facing. It is not just in western Canada or in my riding, but in every corner of this country.
Members across the floor are talking about not wanting to rush this through and wanting to have a discussion and open dialogue and saying they will be there for as long as it takes. However, there are business owners, farmers and ranchers across this country who literally cannot wait for this dialogue and the Liberal government to just stand back and hope that this resolves itself. They will be bankrupt before this is resolved if the Prime Minister continues to stand on the sidelines.
This is not just rhetoric. I have heard from many of my colleagues across the floor that this is rhetoric. I would like to mention the stats of what is going on right now. Currently in the port of Prince George, there are 19 ships waiting to be loaded with grain. They are short 400,000 tonnes of grain that is not there to be loaded. In the port of Vancouver, there are 42 vessels waiting to be loaded.
Just in Prince George alone, it is 400,000 tonnes of grain they are waiting for, which is about 4,000 railcars. Every day of waiting is about a million dollars. If we include both ports, every week the cost directly to grain farmers is between $40 million and $50 million. When those ships are not loaded, the demurrage costs are passed directly on to the producers. They cannot pass those costs on to anyone else. They are price takers. They are the end of the line. If we add this up over the four weeks, this has cost Canadian agriculture well over $200 million to $300 million, and that is only in grain. I am not talking about cattle, fertilizer, pork or other commodities. That is only in grain. We can understand the implication this is having on our farmers and ranchers.
This is not only on the commodity side. I spoke to a propane dealer today, who said that Quebec and Ontario may have four to five days of propane reserves left and that it is being rationed. I have heard similar stories from Atlantic Canada. This includes farmers who are trying to heat their barns and dry their grain. Every time they turn around, they are getting another punch to the gut. They are throwing up their hands and asking what more can they do and wondering why no one is paying attention to the anxiety, stress and frustration they are feeling.
The ironic part on the propane side is that these same farmers are now hit with a Liberal carbon tax, which is costing them tens of thousands of dollars a month.
We heard from the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, which said that the carbon tax was equal to 12% of one's revenue just disappearing.
The farmers finally got their grain off in the fall. Then they were faced with a CN rail strike, where again the Liberal government did not take any action and decided to stand on the sidelines and wait for it to resolve itself. That is finally now starting to get caught back up. Then in January, farmers were hit with a carbon tax. In February, now they are being hit with illegal blockades across this country and they cannot get their products to market. I hope my colleagues across the floor can see the utter frustration from Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Every time they turn around they are getting another punch in the face by the Liberal government.
When we asked the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food if she knew the impact the carbon tax was having on Canadian farmers, her response was that her department was not keeping any data on it and she was hoping to find evidence and data on it. Before one puts in a carbon tax, maybe one should have done an economic impact analysis on the agriculture sector.
For the last two weeks I have heard the Liberals say that they are not going to enforce the court injunction and they just hope it resolves itself peacefully and quickly. I am sorry, but that is just not good enough. I am absolutely not inciting violence or anything along that line, but sooner or later they have to understand there are real economic consequences to this inaction.
I do not know how else I can say this, but Canada's economy is on its knees. Even when this is resolved, whenever that may be, to just assume that Canada's economy is going to pick back up and get back on track is simply not the case. I spoke to CN last week and it is 200 freight trains behind. That will take not days, not weeks, but months to get caught back up.
The government also has to understand the implications this has on our global relations with some of our most trusted and important trading partners. They look at Canada as a supplier. They are our customers. What will customers do when the ships they have sent from Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and Peru to be loaded in Vancouver or Prince George are turned around empty? They will take those ships to where they know they are going to get a reliable supply. They will go to Brazil, Peru or the United States. These are customers that we will have lost.
This impacts our reputation in the global marketplace. More than 50% of the commodities we produce in agriculture are exported. Almost more than any other country in the world, we are reliant on those export markets. We cannot have this unreliability within the critical infrastructure and the supply chain from coast to coast without there being very clear consequences to what is going on.
I have talked a lot about the farmers on the ground who are being impacted by this, but I also spoke with Chuck Magro, the president and CEO of Nutrien on Friday to see the impact this was having on its business. It is the largest fertilizer company in North America and is based in Calgary. This is Nutrien's busiest time of the year. It is trying to get its supplies not only across Canada to its domestic customers but also to ships to send it around the world. If these blockades are not removed in the very near future, Nutrien will be forced to shut down some of its most important plants across Canada and lay off people. Nutrien is now 125 railcars short and that number continues to grow each and every day.
In conclusion, I want to be crystal clear to my colleagues across the floor that there are very real consequences to this inaction and this grandstanding. Farmers, ranchers, food processors across this country are going to be bankrupt. They are desperate. They need people to stand up and show they are fighting for them, but unfortunately, time and time again the government has shown that it is not.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2020-01-27 12:51 [p.442]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
I am pleased to be taking part in the debate on the Speech from the Throne at the start of the 43rd Parliament.
I would first like to thank the people of Lévis—Lotbinière for putting their trust in me. I am representing them in the House of Commons for the fifth time. It is a great privilege to serve a community that is as dynamic and visionary as the one we are all proudly part of in Lévis—Lotbinière .
My team and I are passionately committed to working tirelessly in our riding throughout the 43rd Parliament to provide personal and attentive service to every constituent who needs our assistance and to take concrete action that meets their needs. I would like to thank my wife, Chantale, my family and all the volunteers who proudly participated, directly or indirectly, in the democratic exercise of the federal election.
Today, I am debating the Speech from the Throne. It is no surprise that this is a speech reflecting the Liberal values of a minority government that is walking on eggshells and needs to be very carefully watched at all times. You will have guessed that I am referring to the SNC-Lavalin scandal. As I was telling the House on Friday, December 6, the Liberal government, true to form, is standing in the way of the RCMP investigators.
We all know this government is sort of reaching out to the right but that it tends to lean much more to the left, though without any firm conviction. The worst part is this Liberal government's deplorable lack of vision for sustaining and stimulating the Canadian economy.
Judging from the throne speech, Canada's energy sector may as well not even exist. There was just one tiny mention of it, a poor reflection of how important this key sector is to the Canadian economy. We need to acknowledge that it underpins our wealth as a nation.
In late November, the CN strike highlighted how precarious the supply of energy sources such as propane is, especially in Quebec. Farmers in my region came to the sudden realization that their propane supply would be interrupted during the CN strike because of rationing for essential services. The entire agricultural sector was left with no way to keep animals warm and to dry grain during the harvest.
Delays in harvesting and drying grain can lead to irreparable losses for farmers, with very little compensation. In light of these events, the question Canadians are asking themselves is this: Are we adequately protected against disruptions in the shipping of our energy resources and the impact this has on the lives of Canadians and on the entire energy sector? The recent event involving propane deliveries shows us just how vulnerable we are considering the quasi-monopoly that exists in shipping. We are not immune to the disastrous consequences of any future potential shortages.
As parliamentarians, we have a duty to pay close attention to Canada's energy security. It is imperative that we work with industry experts in order to avoid energy shortages and reassure Canadians with respect to a steady supply of the energy resources used in this country. Canada is a country rich in natural resources, including crude oil and natural gas in western Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, hydroelectricity in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, and nuclear energy in Ontario and New Brunswick, not to mention the shale oil and gas, coal, solar energy, wind energy and biomass used in various provinces and territories.
We are so lucky to live in a country that has such an abundance of resources. Dozens of countries around the world would love to have Canada's resources, as it would help lift them out of poverty. This prompts us to ask other important questions. How are all these energy resources transported within Canada, to serve all the provinces and territories, and how are they exported out of Canada, to the U.S. and other countries?
Do we have adequate infrastructure? Are these methods of transportation safe and reliable enough to ensure an uninterrupted supply or, as was the case in the recent propane crisis in Quebec, are we relying on a single transporter? Would an energy corridor like the one proposed by the Conservative Party be the solution to the problem we have transporting all these forms of energy?
In the Speech from the Throne there is no mention of the word oil as though we as Canadians are ashamed that Canada is an oil-producing country.
Another word that was missing from the throne speech is the word pipeline. The speech did however talk about shipping our Canadian natural resources to new markets. Everyone knows that a pipeline is the safest way to transport oil, gas or other chemical products. Have the Liberal MPs from Quebec forgotten about the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic? On July 6, 2013, 47 people were killed when a train made up of 72 tank cars carrying 7.7 million litres of crude oil derailed. If there had been a pipeline in that part of Quebec, we all know that those people would still be alive today.
I simply cannot understand what seems to be an obsession against pipelines as a secure and safe method of transportation. According to a Nanos poll published the first week of December 2019, most Canadians, or 60%, support the construction of a new pipeline. Only 30% of the population is opposed, despite all of the false information that is being spread about pipelines, particularly in my own province of Quebec.
The following week, a Léger poll indicated that 65% of Quebeckers prefer western Canadian oil. The same poll indicated that most Canadians believe that pipelines are the safest method of transportation.
Let us now talk about the Liberals' infamous carbon tax, which has already begun to wreak havoc. In early December, the Globe and Mail gave a good example of how this tax is affecting farmers in Saskatchewan, and the Currah family in particular, who are struggling under the Liberal government's tax.
Heavy autumn rains had a major impact on the Currahs and many other canola, oat, barley and wheat farmers across Canada. They had to harvest their grain crops while they were wet, meaning the grain had to be dried using natural gas dryers before it could be sold. As a result, for the past few months, farmers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have had to pay the Liberal carbon tax on the natural gas they need to run their grain dryers.
Since January 1, 2020, Alberta has joined the list of victims of the carbon tax. The Currah family in Saskatchewan has had to spend $1,200 on the carbon tax and expects the final tally to reach $10,000 once all the grain is dry. That $10,000 bill for drying grain comes on top of all the other production costs.
This tax is hurting our SMEs and our farms, but the worst is yet to come. In 2022, in order to comply with the greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, the tax will be increased to $102 per tonne, which means that $10,000 bill will rise to $50,000 a year for the Currah family of farmers in Saskatchewan.
In closing, I believe all energy sector stakeholders should work together as part of a large-scale national consultation sponsored by the federal government. We need to have the courage to talk about the energy sector, instead of glossing over it the way this Liberal government did by not mentioning it in the throne speech. Sadly, this subject is a divisive issue in Canada right now, when it should be a unifying force that brings all of us together, from coast to coast to coast.
I urge all parliamentarians, from all parties, to start this conversation with all energy sector stakeholders in order to develop a serious strategy for Canada's energy future, which will have an impact on the economic prospects of future generations.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Redekopp Profile
2019-12-13 13:01 [p.412]
Mr. Speaker, I want to inform you that I am splitting my time with the member for Calgary Centre.
It is my honour to rise in the House today for my maiden speech. I first want to thank the voters of Saskatoon West for putting their faith and trust in me as their representative in this House of Commons for this, the 43rd Parliament. I am humbled and honoured and grateful that they would trust me with this privilege. My pledge to them is that I will do my very best to represent them here in Ottawa and bring their views to Ottawa.
I want to thank my election team of Sunny, Braden, Alex, Kaitlyn, Donna-Lyn, Josh and Jared. I offer a special shout-out to the University of Saskatchewan Campus Conservatives club, which helped with a lot of door knocking. I offer big thank you to my friend the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek and her husband, Milton Block, for all of their encouragement, and to so many volunteers and donors who made this all possible.
As everybody in here knows, family support is critical to our success, and so I want to thank my parents, Alvin and Irene Redekopp; my sister, Gaylene Molnar, and her family; my two wonderful sons, Kyle and Eric Redekopp; and of course my beautiful wife, Cheryl Redekopp. I could not have done this without them.
It is for these people and for the 75,000 other people who live in Saskatoon West that I am replying to the Speech from the Throne today.
Unfortunately, I cannot and I will not support it.
This throne speech calls for “unity in the pursuit of common goals and aspirations.” The Prime Minister talks about listening and about parliamentarians working together, but the throne speech says almost nothing about the aspirations of people from Saskatoon. Not only that, the Prime Minister brings in policy after policy that targets the people of Saskatoon and our economy.
Let me explain the economy in Saskatchewan. If we think of a three-legged stool, the first leg is agriculture: wheat, canola, barley, oats and things like that. The second leg is mining: potash, uranium, gold and diamonds. The third leg is oil and gas. Last year, in 2018, these three sectors accounted for 36% of our GDP in Saskatchewan. The seat of the stool is manufacturing and construction. We manufacture machinery, industrial equipment and food products, while construction is the infrastructure that supports all of that work and all of the people. In 2018, those two sectors were 14% of our Saskatchewan GDP. Taken together, the legs and the seat of the stool account for 50% of Saskatchewan's GDP.
The other half of our GDP is the services that support our residents: things like stores, restaurants, education, health care and everything else. These things all sit on the stool, but the legs of our stool, the foundation of our GDP, are mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.
We all know that these three sectors are suffering in Saskatchewan.
In terms of the oil and gas leg, the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, has restricted capacity to ship our oil to markets. The selling price of oil is down, investment is down, and therefore there are fewer jobs.
The mining leg is also affected by Bill C-69. It politicizes the impact assessment process and adds significant time and uncertainty to the approval process. Companies no longer see Saskatchewan as the safe, stable place it once was to invest. Therefore, investments are going elsewhere and jobs are disappearing.
On the agricultural leg, the Liberals' continuing relationship failures with China have hurt our canola producers.
What does all this mean to the people of Saskatoon? When the legs of the stool are crippled, everyone suffers. Unemployment is up and people are struggling to pay their bills. During the election, I talked to many households and many families who were struggling to make their monthly payments, and on the campaign I spoke to many of the people we talk about who are short $200 every month.
I want to provide some vignettes of some real people and how this affects them.
I think of a young man who used to work on an oil drilling rig. He drove seven hours from Saskatoon to work in Drayton Valley, Alberta. He worked a two-week shift of 12-hour days, made really good money and spent that money in Saskatoon on vehicles, restaurants, stereo equipment, etc. I know this because this young man is my son. In 2015, the Liberals came to power. They introduced the no-more-pipelines bill and the no-more-tankers bill, and this drove down the price of our Canadian oil and reduced our investment. As a result, my son lost his job, and there was no more spending in Saskatoon.
Another example is a manufacturer who supplied components to the mining and the oil and gas industries. The manufacturer employed 140 people in Saskatoon. Those were well-paying jobs supporting 140 families in Saskatoon. I know this because my brother-in-law works at that company. Because of Bill C-69, investment in resource projects decreased, and the result was that people were laid off as the company adjusted to decreased business.
Fortunately, Saskatonians are resilient and creative problem-solvers, so they looked elsewhere and found business to keep the company going, but the business is smaller than it would have been had the oil and gas market kept going strong.
Let us think of an entrepreneur who build new homes for families, directly employed four people, indirectly hired 40 different contractors to complete all the work required and created several million dollars of economic spinoffs in Saskatoon. I know this because this was my business. Because of the Liberals' mortgage stress test, new homebuyers are forced out of the market. Because of changes in building codes, the cost to build a home significantly increased, and as a result, construction activity in Saskatoon has significantly slowed down. In fact, housing starts are at the lowest level in 14 years. Many good people in the construction industry are suffering or have lost their jobs.
What did I expect from the Liberal government throne speech in the spirit of working together? I certainly expected support for western Canadian jobs. After all, two days after the Liberals were reduced to a minority in October, the Prime Minister said he clearly has more to do to earn the trust of people in Saskatchewan. I expected support for oil and gas, mining and farmers.
What did I actually hear?
I heard a vague reference to natural resources and farmers, no mention of the Trans Mountain pipeline, no mention of a national energy corridor, nothing about repealing or even making changes to Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and certainly no concern for our rapidly growing and dangerous debt. I think Rex Murphy said it best when he said the Speech from the Throne “is a semantic graveyard, where dullness and pretentiousness conspire, successfully, against the life and lift of our two wonderful official languages.”
Housing was mentioned in the throne speech, and I hope the government will follow through on that issue. There are many people in my riding for whom good, stable housing is out of reach. As a former home builder, I call upon the government to relax the mortgage stress test, as this has had a significant negative impact on construction in Saskatoon.
One thing barely mentioned in the throne speech was the word “job”. The Liberals are quick to offer money to Canadians for this or that and to offer handouts to make up for their lack of action on the economy, but let me tell members something about people from Saskatoon: We are proud, hard-working folks, and we do not want handouts; we want good-paying jobs.
Saskatoon is also filled with entrepreneurs, people willing to take great risks in order to employ others and build our economy. Entrepreneurs do not want handouts; they want a stable playing field with reasonable regulations and the freedom to work hard, succeed and then enjoy the benefits when success does happen.
There were two other words conspicuously absent from the throne speech: “balanced budget”. I am gravely concerned that the Liberal government has chosen to spend seemingly unlimited amounts of money on every kind of program, with no concern for the underlying economy that pays for all of this. We are burdening our future generations with debt that will have to be paid back at some point. I call upon the government to at least plan to return to balanced budgets.
Finally, Saskatchewan people care deeply about our environment. All three of the stool legs I spoke of earlier are rooted in our land. No one is a better steward of our land than people from Saskatchewan. We all understand that healthy land, water and air are critical to our long-term success, but we cannot adopt a zealot-like approach, assuming that the only way to have a healthy planet is to stop human development and to stifle innovation and economic growth. We cannot sacrifice the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas industries of Saskatchewan and Alberta in exchange for a photo op with Greta. We cannot stifle economic growth and continue to increase taxes on our people.
This throne speech made it clear that the government intends to continue to raise the carbon tax. Taxes will rise, with no meaningful impact on carbon. This will hurt ordinary Canadians and business owners.
In conclusion, Canada's Conservatives are focused on the aspirations of everyday Canadians, like the good people of Saskatoon West. We are the party of the middle class, and we will continue to present real and tangible ideas that will allow people to get ahead and get the government off their backs.
As I close, I want to congratulate and thank the leader of my party for his tireless dedication and work over the past 15 years. I also want to wish everyone in this chamber a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
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