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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2019-06-04 13:02 [p.28485]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my honourable colleague for his speech and for giving us his version of history, but the facts say otherwise.
If we look at Canada's economic history, we see that the Conservative government we replaced generated huge deficits. It racked up more than $150 billion in debt. Perhaps that was an anomaly, so let us take a look at the previous majority Conservative government, that of Mr. Mulroney. It racked up over $350 billion in debt. The debt generated by the Conservatives amounts to half a billion dollars. That is huge. Since Canada’s national debt is approximately $700 billion, we could say that the Conservatives are responsible for more than half of it.
How can my colleague criticize our government with any amount of integrity or honesty?
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-04 13:03 [p.28485]
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to say that my honourable colleague is my MP when I am in Ottawa, since I live in his riding, on Montcalm Street in Gatineau.
Four years ago, my colleague got elected by saying that the Liberal government would achieve a zero deficit by 2019-20, yet today, it is showing a $19.8-billion deficit. Must I also remind my honourable colleague that, while the Conservative Party was in power, we faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Recession? Nevertheless, as I said in my speech, although perhaps my colleague was not listening, under our government, Canada was the first G7 nation to recover. That is the exact opposite of what we are seeing now. The government is compulsively running deficits in a period of strong economic growth.
My colleague has a lot of nerve to talk about the former Conservative government, but I would remind him that this former Conservative government succeeded that of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who literally pioneered the running of deficits in times of economic growth.
If my colleague wants to talk about former governments, can I mention the former Liberal government and the sponsorship scandal? When will the Liberal Party reimburse the tens of millions of dollars they pocketed during the sponsorship scandal? That issue has yet to be dealt with.
The election campaign will begin in a few weeks. What credibility will my colleague have when he said that the government would achieve a zero deficit in 2019 and we now have a $19.8-billion deficit? The Liberals have no credibility at all.
View Harold Albrecht Profile
CPC (ON)
View Harold Albrecht Profile
2019-06-04 16:28 [p.28511]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's comments about the Canada summer jobs initiative and about increasing the number of students and so on. While we are grateful for that, what he did not say is where the money is coming from. We now have a $20-billion deficit added to the previous deficits. We are borrowing money, paying huge amounts in interest to pay for student summer jobs.
Does the member realize that the current debt is costing Canadians over $26 billion every year in interest payments alone? How can he justify using borrowed money to pay students who, when they graduate and when they have children, will have to pay back these huge debts and all of the accumulated interest as well?
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
2019-06-04 16:29 [p.28511]
Mr. Speaker, I am rather shocked and surprised. The member may be surprised to realize that we have one thing in common: We both come from an area that graduates a heck of a lot of students. There are two universities, maybe a college, in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Certainly in the Ottawa-Gatineau area there are l'UQO, Ottawa University, Saint Paul and Carleton, of course. We are very proud of our institutions of higher learning.
These students require these investments in summer jobs. These students require the first start that these grants to employers and other public institutions give. After his party left us an environmental debt of $150 billion in borrowed money, I am very shocked to hear the member now question the money we are investing to make sure young people continue to contribute to this country. I am very surprised at that.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:05 [p.28517]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-97, an honour but also a concern.
It is also an honour and a privilege to bring the concerns of my constituents of North Okanagan—Shuswap to this House and debate them as their member of Parliament. Perhaps the greatest honour I have ever known, aside from being blessed with a loving wife and becoming a parent, is to represent the people who have entrusted me to carry their issues and best interests forward, on their behalf and for the good of Canada.
We all come to this place with the intention of representing our ridings and the great people in them, and some of us are very successful at it. What I have seen over the last three and a half years is a government and a Prime Minister who have strayed away from representing the people. The Liberals have put in place a bureaucracy and a larger government with priorities far ahead of what the average Canadian's needs are. The most glaring example of that is the government's out-of-control spending, the lavish sense of entitlement of the Prime Minister and the ballooning budgets that we see year after year after year.
Bill C-97 is an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019. It is 396 pages, which is not a massive omnibus bill, but it is massive in its own right. This budget adds almost another $20 billion in deficit. This has been happening for multiple years now, with the government and its out-of-control spending.
Most people have difficulty envisioning what $20 billion would look like; a big $20-billion pile is very hard to envision. Most average Canadians cannot quite put that picture together. When I am talking to the good people in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, I explain to them that the $20-billion increase to debt that the government seems to be putting forward every year works out to about $540 for every man, woman, child, veteran, senior and grandparent. It is another $540 per year, year after year after year, that the government is taking out of their pockets.
Then I ask people if they can envision what those dollars would look like in their hands and what they could do with that money in their pockets. That is when they start to get really angry, as they realize they could do far better with the dollars in their pockets rather than sending them to an out-of-control government with out-of-control spending habits. Then I also explain to them, especially those in the workforce, that they are actually on the hook for double that amount. It is over $1,000 for every working person, because only 50% of Canadians are employed full time and might be able to pay back some of this debt the government is piling on. That is when they get really upset and ask what we can do, and ask that we do everything we can to eliminate the out-of-control government and its out-of-control spending.
Average Canadians must base their lives on what they can earn, borrow and pay back within their working years. Average Canadians understand these principles. They strive to pay off their debts and provide a starter investment for their children or leave a bit of inheritance for their children or grandchildren, whatever that may be.
In contrast, we currently have a Liberal government that thinks nothing of spending beyond not just its means but the taxpayers' means. What it really comes down to is a government that is spending beyond the taxpayers' means right now and adding debt year after year after year.
This is a government that does not believe in setting aside anything for a rainy day. Instead of leaving something in the bank for future generations, it is passing on a massive debt load that current and future taxpayers will have to pay back.
On top of this increasing debt load the government is passing on, it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars offshore. Upon joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the government committed Canada to a roughly 1% share of the bank, worth about $256 million. This will all be spent over the next five years.
When I explain this to the good people back home in North Okanagan—Shuswap, they start to envision what that kind of money could have done back home. When I talk to people there, they think of the projects we talked about in the pre-budget consultations I do every year. I go around to every community, every first nation and the chambers of commerce to meet with their boards and ask what they would like to see in the budget. I compile all that information in a condensed, concise version and provide it in a letter to the finance minister well in advance of the annual budget each year. Unfortunately, what we see in return is not reflective of what average Canadians need.
The dollars being spent offshore in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are going to build pipelines in China. They are going to build major projects overseas, but no Canadian operations will be involved in those projects. All that funding will simply go offshore rather than being used to put Canadians to work.
That really upsets the people back home when I tell them. They have requested funding and support for youth space in their small communities, such as in the village of Chase, so that their youth can have a place to be active rather than out on the street. The Sicamous community has put forward the idea of a joint project involving the community and the local first nation band, the Splatsin. They can see what these projects can do for the community and they can see the revenue generation it could create. However, those funds are not there, partly because the government has decided to send them offshore.
I have seen requests from communities asking for help in purchasing emergency equipment or in upgrading their fire halls. Again, that funding is not available, because it has been sent offshore or has been spent to service the increasing debt, as we have heard in some of the speeches this afternoon. These are debt service costs from the increasing deficit the government continues to pile on.
I have also heard communities ask for a bit of a kick-start in developing economic plans. First nations bands and small communities have asked me about this. They want to know how they could possibly get some assistance and guidance in putting an economic plan together. Again, the money is not available, because it was spent elsewhere.
We have heard much talk about the mortgage stress test. I hear a lot back home about the shortage of affordable housing. I use the term “housing that is affordable”. The term “affordable housing” rings to most people as low-income, income-assisted or payment-assisted housing. However, it is housing that is affordable at all levels that we need. I believe that it is not just in my community but right across the country. For every chance we have to move someone into a first home or into a retirement home or into a rental home, an opportunity is opened up for someone else.
Those are the kinds of things I see average Canadians in my riding asking for.
They are asking for things like highway improvements. They are asking for things like electrification for the small community of Seymour Arm, which is currently off the grid and using diesel generation to power the community. These kinds of things would really help small communities move forward and get together, but the funds are not available, because the current government is deciding to use them on lavish vacations or offshore spending or for servicing the debt.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2019-06-04 17:19 [p.28518]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague made the comment that people cannot visualize what $1 billion is. Well, the Liberals this time around this year had a $20-billion deficit. They also had $20 billion in extra revenue because the world economy is doing so well. That is $40 billion they spent that they did not plan on and that no one planned on having. To put that in perspective, that is like giving one million Canadians a cheque for $40,000 and allowing them to sit at home doing nothing. If this is the Liberal idea of a job creation plan, I think we have to question that.
I would like to ask my colleague a very important question. If the Liberals continue to go down this route of deficit spending, which we have seen in Ontario, where Ontario became the worst sub-national government in the world, and these deficits become the taxes of the future and the cuts of the future, what does the member think will happen to our country? Will it be exactly what has happened to Ontario?
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2019-06-04 17:20 [p.28519]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague on this side of the House for putting forward a question that is really relevant to what is happening here, which is increasing debt.
I come from a small business background, which many of the people in my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap are from. They understand that small businesses can invest when times are good but need to put something away for those rainy days when times are not so good.
We know about global economic cycles, especially the North American economic cycle we go through about every eight to 12 years. Indications are that we are now coming to a cycle where we could be looking at a major slowdown. All the current government has done over the past four years of moderate economic growth is pile up so much debt that the cost, in a few years' time, if we have a slowdown, is going to be an increasing burden, and we are going to have no choice: We can either push the country further into debt, which is the absolute worst thing we can do, or try to find efficiencies in the way we manage government. The way the government is operating, it is harder—
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-04 20:37 [p.28545]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for the speech he gave, which was kind of a summary of what is going on in his riding, as we are all expected to do on behalf of our constituents, asking what the budget has for our constituencies.
I noticed that he failed to mention some of the darker clouds in the budget, especially on the deficit and debt numbers as they are right now. I wonder if the member could comment on his comfort level with the government accumulating well over $100 billion of new debt in the next few years. We are at $705 billion right now, as the national debt stands. If we add in Crown corporation debt, we are at about $1 trillion.
One of the most interesting things is that when the government proceeds to borrow large amounts of money on the public market, the central bank, the Bank of Canada, reaches the point where it has now started to buy mortgage bonds, widely traded mortgage bonds on the market to fill up the balance sheet. It is unique. It is the first time in the history of Canada.
I would like to hear if the member has any concerns over the out-of-control spending, the out-of-control debt or the $1 trillion of debt, combining the Crown corporations and the Government of Canada.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-04 20:38 [p.28545]
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to get that question.
First of all, I would like to say that I really appreciate the member. I have been on committee with him. He has a very positive input and I like that. I also love it when the Conservatives ask about debt, because for a majority of the years they were in power, they increased that national debt. I do not know why Conservatives keep asking about things in Parliament that they did such a terrible job at. If they are against debt, hopefully they will start convincing themselves.
The other thing the member did not mention was that because of all these investments, and the finance minister always calls them investments, there is $20 billion more to pay down that debt from revenues, because the economy is booming.
I am being cut off, so I cannot talk about more good news and things we have done. I have a long list.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 2379--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s desire to have SNC-Lavalin offered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA): (a) has the government taken any steps towards providing a DPA to SNC-Lavalin; and (b) has the Director of Public Prosecutions received any instructions or advice from the government in relation to SNC-Lavalin, and, if so, what are the details including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) instructions or advice?
Response
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, with respect to part (a), deferred prosecution agreements are at the discretion of the prosecution.
With respect to part (b), any advice sought or received from any government source is privileged; no instructions can be provided to the director of public prosecutions other than a formal directive by the Attorney General, which would be published in the Canada Gazette.

Question No. 2383--
Mr. Peter Kent:
With regard to the warning that the government received from Fitch Ratings about the rising debt level: (a) what specific action, if any, is the government prepared to do to ensure that Canada retains the “AAA” credit rating; (b) does the government have any projections on the effect of losing the “AAA” credit on the government’s finances and, if so, what are the projections; and (c) has the government received warnings from any other credit ratings agencies, since January 1, 2017, that it may lose its “AAA” credit rating and, if so, what are the details of any such warnings?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, with regard to part (a), ratings issued by credit ratings agencies are based on their assessment of a sovereign’s strengths and weaknesses under several categories, including economic strength, institutional strength, fiscal strength, external financing, a country’s ability to address adverse economic/financial shocks and how susceptible the country is to these risks; and a country’s performance according to environmental, social and governance, ESG, factors.
Canada fares well in overall credit ratings assessments. Canada is one of only a few countries that continues to receive AAA status, with a stable outlook, from S&P, Moody’s and Fitch. Canada has held its AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s since 2002, and from Fitch since 2004.
With budget 2019, the government is continuing to invest in people and in growing the economy for the long term while carefully managing deficits and debt. Indeed, since November 2015, targeted investments and strong economic fundamentals have contributed to creating over 900,000 new jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to around its lowest levels in over 40 years. Canada also had the strongest economic growth of all G7 countries in 2017, and was second only to the U.S. in 2018.
The government continues to manage deficits carefully while delivering real results that grow the economy, create jobs and improve the quality of life for the middle class and people working hard to join it. As projected in budget 2019, the federal government deficit is projected to decline from $19.8 billion in 2019-20 to $9.8 billion in 2023-24. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio, which is Canada’s debt in relation to the size of our economy, is also projected to fall in every year of the forecast horizon, reaching 28.6% of GDP by 2023-24. According to the IMF, Canada also has the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio among G7 countries.
It is also important to note that while general government debt measures are useful for international comparisons, provinces and municipalities are responsible for their own fiscal and debt management.
With regard to part (b), there is a large degree of uncertainty regarding the estimated impact of a downgrade on the government’s finances, as shown by the wide range of impacts seen with recent international experiences. Australia’s downgrade warning in 2016, triggered by a persistent period of slower-than-expected growth and concerns over the government’s will to curtail budgetary deficits, saw very little market reaction. The British gilt 10-year yield increased by about 100 basis points following the downgrade in 2013. As the 2016 downgrade was due to the Brexit vote, it is impossible to disentangle the impacts of the downgrade from general market reaction. With regard to France during the period 2011 to 2015, in 2011, the spread between French and German 10-year government yields increased by about 100 basis points for approximately nine months. There was little market reaction to the 2013 and 2015 downgrades.
With regard to part (c), the most formal way for credit ratings agencies to signal concerns or issue warnings over ratings would be to assign a “negative” outlook, although ratings do change sometimes without first getting a “positive” or “negative” outlook.
Since January 2017, Canada has not received a negative outlook. Fitch, S&P and Moody’s continue to rate Canada as AAA with a stable outlook, meaning that the three major ratings agencies do not expect changes to Canada’s AAA rating. Canada has held its AAA rating, with a stable outlook, from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s since 2002, and from Fitch since 2004.

Question No. 2390--
Mr. Guy Caron:
With regard to the government’s ratification strategy for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty: (a) what measures has the government taken so far to comply with the Treaty; (b) what other measures does the government plan to take to comply with the Treaty; (c) what is the timeline for each of the measures in (b); (d) did legal opinions show that measures in Bill C-47 failed to comply with both the spirit and letter of the Treaty, broken down by (i) department, (ii) agency; and (e) for the responses to (d), what are the file numbers of each of these legal opinions?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. With regard to parts (a) to (d), the Government of Canada is committed to promoting peace and security here at home and around the world. This includes finally acceding to the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT, which Canada failed to do in 2013 or 2014.
The ATT is the only international treaty that seeks to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons. By acceding to the ATT, Canada is supporting the multilateral efforts to address the violence caused by this unregulated and dangerous trade.
On April 13, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs introduced legislation that made the necessary changes for Canada to accede to the Arms Trade Treaty.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also announced $13 million over five years to allow Canada to implement the ATT and further strengthen its export control regime, and a $1-million contribution to the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation, in order to help other countries accede to the ATT.
On March 8, 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the government’s support for further legislative amendments to strengthen Canada’s arms export system. This included putting the Arms Trade Treaty assessment criteria into law. This means that all considerations of potential exports must include international human rights law, peace and security, and gender-based violence.
Through the amended legislation, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018, the government is also introducing a new legal requirement for the Canadian government to refuse permits for arms exports that would violate these criteria. This is the most significant change to Canadian arms exports in over 30 years.
The government is currently preparing the necessary regulations to enact these changes. These have been informed by public consultations from December 2018 to January 2019, which included over 190 participants from industry associations, businesses, civil society organizations, academia and legal professionals, as well as by pre-publishing in part I of the Canada Gazette from March 2019 to April 2019.
Four regulations will establish Canada’s brokering controls, and two regulations will enhance transparency and reporting by enabling the Government of Canada to collect data on the export to the U.S. of the full-system items for which the ATT requires reporting.
In addition to this work, government departments including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence are currently updating their internal processes to ensure the Government of Canada is fully compliant with the ATT.
Global Affairs Canada’s legal division has confirmed that the steps Canada has taken to accede to the ATT comply with both the spirit and letter of the treaty.
All Canadian exporters, including those working with the Canadian Commercial Corporation, CCC, will continue to be required to comply with the Export and Import Permits Act, and with the new legislative changes. CCC is putting in place policies and procedures to address the ATT assessment criteria and to ensure that the Canadian exporters it supports do the same. All exports of controlled goods, including those facilitated by CCC, require an export permit and will be subject to the ATT assessment criteria.
Shortly after the final publication of the regulations, Canada will deposit its instrument of accession to the ATT with the United Nations and formally become a State Party of the ATT in 2019.

Question No. 2391--
Mr. Guy Caron:
With regard to the contract to sell light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, which Canada signed in 2014 and the government approved in 2016: what meetings were held between Global Affairs Canada and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, as of October 2018, including (i) the date of the meeting, (ii) the location of the meeting, (iii) the participants, (iv) the purpose of the meeting?
Response
Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. The Government of Canada has demonstrated its clear commitment to openness and transparency. The Government of Canada believes in evidence-based policy-making and meaningful consultation with Canadians.
Meetings with key stakeholders and experts help to inform the policy development process. For a listing of lobbyist interactions, please visit the Registry of Lobbyists, which is the central source of information about individuals, not-for-profit organizations and for-profit corporations who lobby the federal government: https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/clntSmmrySrch?lang=eng

Question No. 2392--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to the statement in Budget 2019 that “To date, Canada’s efforts to reform fossil fuel subsidies have resulted in the phase-out or rationalization of eight tax expenditures”: (a) what are these eight tax expenditures; (b) of the tax expenditures in (a), (i) which ones have already been abolished and which ones are being phased out, (ii) which ones have been rationalized and which ones are being rationalized; (c) what is the timeline for phasing out or rationalizing each of the tax expenditures in (a); (d) how much will be saved in total by phasing out or rationalizing the tax expenditures in (a); and (e) what is the annual cost of each of the tax expenditures in (a)?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, the combined response to parts (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) is as follows. The eight tax measures, and the actions that have been taken to phase out or rationalize them, are listed below. For most of the measures, an estimate of cost savings was provided when the phase-out or rationalization was announced in the budget. For reference, these estimates are summarized below. However, these estimates are not up-to-date and have a number of limitations.
First is the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for the oil sands from budget 2007, completed in 2015. No costing information was included in the budget for the period affected by the phase-out. See page 374 of the budget plan 2007, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/pdf/bp2007e.pdf).
Second is the reduction in the deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects to align with rates in conventional oil and gas sector from budget 2011, completed in 2016. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $220 million from 2011-12 to 2015-16. See page 263 of the budget plan 2011, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2011/plan/Budget2011-eng.pdf).
Third is the phase-out of the Atlantic investment tax credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors from budget 2012, completed in 2017. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $135 million from 2014-15 to 2016-17. See page 380 of the budget plan 2012, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/plan/pdf/Plan2012-eng.pdf).
Fourth is the reduction in the deduction rate for pre-production intangible mine development expenses, including coal mining, to align with the rate for the oil and gas sector from budget 2013, completed in 2018. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $45 million from 2015-16 to 2017-18. See page 331 of the budget plan 2013, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/plan/budget2013-eng.pdf).
Fifth is the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for mining, including coal mining from budget 2013, to be completed in 2021. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $10 million in 2017-18. See page 331 of the budget plan 2013, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/plan/budget2013-eng.pdf).
Sixth is allowing the accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas facilities to expire as scheduled in 2025 from budget 2016. No costing information was included in the budget for the phase out of this measure. However, when the measure was introduced in budget 2015, the cost was estimated as $45 million over the 2015-16 to 2019-20 period. See page 210 of the budget plan 2015, https://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/docs/plan/budget2015-eng.pdf).
Seventh is the rationalization of the tax treatment of expenses for successful oil and gas exploratory drilling from budget 2017, to be completed by 2021. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $145 million from 2019-20 to 2021-22. See page 6 of the tax measures supplement, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/tm-mf/tax-measures-mesures-fiscales-2017-en.pdf).
Eighth is the phase-out of the tax preference that allows small oil and gas companies to reclassify certain development expenses as more favorably treated exploration expenses from budget 2017, to be completed in 2020. It was estimated that this would result in cost savings of $5 million from 2019-20 to 2021-22. See page 6 of the tax measures supplement, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/tm-mf/tax-measures-mesures-fiscales-2017-en.pdf).
The department provided the above estimates of cost savings over the budget horizon at the time the phase-out or rationalization of each measure was announced. Once an announcement has been made, the department does not continue to update or track the resulting cost savings. As such, the cost savings amounts listed above are indicative only and actual savings may be different. The amounts should not be added up, as this would not accurately represent total cost savings.

Question No. 2393--
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice:
With regard to all legal fees paid since November 4, 2015: what are the details, including the nature of the complaints or charges, the amount, the date of payment, and the government representative that received the money, of all legal fees paid pursuant to (i) section 8.6.1 of the Policies for Ministers’ Offices, (ii) section 6.1.14 of the Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification, (iii) previous provisions of either of these sections?
Response
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, with regard to the policy on legal assistance and indemnification, the government is not able to produce and validate a comprehensive response in the time allotted.
In processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. A response to the question could disclose personal and solicitor privileged information.

Question No. 2403--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
With regard to the changes made by Veterans Affairs Canada to the disability questionnaire meant to document post-traumatic stress disorder claims by former soldiers: why was the minister's mental health advisory committee left out of the development of the new questionnaire and not consulted about the changes?
Response
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, to deliver faster decisions for veterans related to their disability benefits applications, Veterans Affairs Canada shortened the medical questionnaire for psychiatric and psychological conditions. The questionnaire was simplified to allow medical professionals the ability to complete the process quicker. This provides veterans with faster decisions on their disability benefits applications, which allows faster access to treatment. The changes are designed to increase efficiency of the process and to ensure that veterans in need get access to treatments faster.
Veterans Affairs Canada consulted its service excellence advisory group. This advisory group is focused on initiatives aimed at streamlining processes for veterans and health professionals. A team of mental health professionals, including those from operational stress injury clinics who are frequent users of the questionnaire, was also consulted and requested revisions to the form. As a result, the questionnaire was modified and streamlined to improve the turnaround times for completion and get benefits out to veterans faster.
Veterans Affairs Canada has a new approach to making disability benefit decisions for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, in that the department now only requires minimal diagnostic information. Veterans Affairs Canada asks health professionals to provide a diagnosis and accepts their professional assessment.
It is important to note that 97% of first applications for post-traumatic stress disorder were approved, according to the 2018-19 statistics.
The following changes were made.
The questionnaire was modified and streamlined. It was reduced in size to ease the paperwork burden on physicians and to improve turnaround times for completion. This is expected to result in faster decisions for veterans.
Veterans Affairs Canada is no longer asking for health professionals to substantiate their diagnosis. Veterans Affairs Canada is taking them at their word. The information on the form focuses on assessing the severity of their injury.
The privacy notice was updated.
The medical diagnosis heading was renamed to “Confirmed Medical Diagnosis’. In addition, the diagnosis section has been revised. The physician/psychologist information has been moved to the last page.
A single psychiatric condition could be assessed at 100%, if the individual meets the highest ratings in each table in the table of disabilities.

Question No. 2404--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Treasury Board Secretariat’s YouTube video titled “Cracking the Code” released on May 30, 2018: (a) how much was spent to create the video; (b) was an actor or actress paid to do the voice-over for the video and, if so, how much was the actor or actress paid; and (c) how many full-time equivalents worked on the video from development to publication?
Response
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, in response to part (a), the video was created in-house by the TBS multimedia team, using their equipment. Sixty dollars, $60, was spent to acquire the music track.
In response to part (b), no actor or actress was paid for the voice-over. A TBS employee provided this service on a volunteer basis.
In response to part (c), seven people worked on this project part-time, for a total of 84 hours from development to publication.

Question No. 2405--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the $12 million in government funding for Loblaw Companies Limited to install new refrigeration systems, between January 1, 2019, and April 9, 2019: how much funding was provided to smaller, less-profitable independent grocery stores for new refrigeration systems and what are the details of any such funding, including (i) date of announcement, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) amount?
Response
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, the over $500 million low-carbon economy challenge is part of the low-carbon economy fund, LCEF. The LCEF is designed to leverage Canadian ingenuity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support Canada’s clean growth as part of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
The challenge has two streams. The champions stream provides funding to eligible recipients, specifically provinces and territories, municipalities, indigenous communities and organizations, large as well as small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Independent grocers were eligible to apply, but we did not receive any proposals. The project referenced is one of 54 successful champions stream projects, which are providing solutions to cut pollution and increase energy efficiency in communities across Canada. Announcements for successful champions stream projects are ongoing.
The second part of the low-carbon economy challenge, the partnerships stream, was launched in December 2018. Eligible recipients for the partnerships stream are small municipalities, indigenous communities and organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and small and medium-sized businesses, including independent grocery stores. This stream provides an additional opportunity for smaller businesses, organizations and communities to participate in the shift to a low-carbon economy. Proposals are currently under review, and results will be communicated to applicants in 2019.

Question No. 2408--
Mr. Peter Julian:
With regard to the statement in Budget 2019 that “Canada will continue to review measures that could be considered inefficient fossil fuel subsidies with a view to reforming them as necessary”: (a) how many measures that are considered inefficient are currently being reviewed; (b) what is the name of each of the measures listed in (a); (c) what is the timetable for phasing out or rationalizing each of the measures in (a); and (d) what is the estimated annual cost of each of the measures in (a)?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, here is the response of the Department of Finance to parts (a), (b), (c), and (d). As committed to in the department’s action plan following the 2017 Auditor General report on fossil fuel subsidies, the department completed a review of 13 tax measures that are specific to the fossil fuel sector. Based on evidence currently available, it is not possible to conclude that any existing tax measures are inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
The department will continue to support the government in fulfilling its commitment to phase out or rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. As part of that work, Canada and Argentina recently committed to undergoing peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process. Peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies can increase transparency, encourage international dialogue, and help develop best practices while moving toward a low-carbon economy. This voluntary process will enable both countries to compare and improve knowledge and push forward the global momentum to identify and reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
View Harold Albrecht Profile
CPC (ON)
View Harold Albrecht Profile
2019-04-30 12:14 [p.27161]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his comments. It is good to work with him on the scrutiny of regulations committee.
My colleague went through a list of investments or expenditures the current government is making over the next couple of years. However, he failed to get to page 284, where there is a clear outline of the dramatically increasing costs of our public debt. In fact, this year we are going to be spending $26 billion on interest alone, and that is rising, as confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer today, to about $34 billion by 2023. This is going to leave a massive expenditure on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. That is a big concern for me and for many economists.
I am wondering if my colleague would comment on the negative impact that future debt charges are going to have on the ability of future governments to invest in programs that are necessary for the advancement of Canada rather than simply spending all this money on interest. We are spending money today that we cannot afford, which our children and grandchildren are going to pay. It is like leaving a credit card debt to someone else to pay off for one's expenditures.
View Fayçal El-Khoury Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Fayçal El-Khoury Profile
2019-04-30 12:15 [p.27162]
Mr. Speaker, we are not spending; we are investing. I will expand on why we are investing for the member. We are investing in order to support the middle class. We are investing to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We are investing to keep the air and drinking water clean for all Canadians. We are investing to grow our economy. We are investing so seniors will have a dignified retirement. We will keep investing in order to improve the lives of future generations and to generate money and pay the debt left to us by the previous government.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2019-04-12 12:58 [p.27064]
Mr. Speaker, I am going to be sharing my time today with my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent. For those who are watching at home and who may be quickly bored by my speech, if they hang in there for 10 minutes, they will hear a much better speech after by my colleague.
I am very pleased to join the debate today on the Liberal budget. The Liberals have presented what I call a Dr. Strangelove budget or, in this case, “How I stopped worrying and learned to love the debt”. That is what the government wants Canadians to believe: “Do not worry, we can continue to spend forever. Do not worry, the economy will grow forever. No recession will ever happen again. Do not worry, we can rack up debt to the very end of time and it will not be a problem. Do not worry about about interest payments. Do not worry about the fact that our interest payments are growing from this fiscal year of $26 billion and to $33.2 billion per year in just a four-year period.”
That is $149 billion that we are going to be paying, transferred out of the pockets of taxpayers to rich bondholders on Bay Street, just over a five-year period. It will be $149 billion. In the fourth year, 2023, it is going to be $33.2 billion. Now, that is more than we spend per year in EI payments. That is more than we pay out in the child benefit program. That is more than we pay out for national defence.
Here we are with the Liberal priority of paying off rich Bay Street bankers and bondholders instead of defence, instead of families and instead of those on EI. To put it in perspective, with that money, the Liberals could pay for 2,750 refrigeration units for the Weston family. Let us think about that. The Liberals could also provide their own billionaire island for every single cabinet minister, so they could go to their island and not worry about violating the ethics laws. Liberal ministers could go to their own billionaire island and not worry about being invited by a paid lobbyist.
“Do not worry” is what the Liberals are saying. Do not worry about the declining productivity rate that Canadians are suffering through. Do not worry about disappearing foreign investment.
That is one thing I do worry about, though. We see foreign investment fleeing Canada. We see the oil industry devastated, $100 billion fleeing to the States. We see the Liberals giving Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to take out of the country and invest in pipelines in the States. Who do we see interested in investing in Canada, which the Liberals are only too happy to see? It is Huawei. We see Anbang investing in Canada, thanks to the Liberal government. We see the Chinese Communist government-controlled CCCC construction firm trying to buy out local Canadian infrastructure companies. The Liberals are all willing to invest in Canada but not regular people.
“Do not worry,” say the Liberals. Do not worry about the fact that the debt is going to rise to over three-quarters of a billion dollars over the next five years. That is not including Crown corporations. When we throw in the Crown corporations, it is well over a trillion dollars of debt that Canadians are going to be carrying. This money has to be worrying, but “Do not worry. Stop worrying. Learn to love it,” is what the Liberals are saying.
Canadians are worried. We sent out a request to my constituents, asking for their response, asking what they think of the debt and if they feel they are further ahead than when the Liberals took over. This is what they are saying. This is not the made-up information that is in the budget, such as “Billy went to buy an electric vehicle and got a handout from the government.” These are real Canadians, real people living in Edmonton West, and this what they are saying.
Elmer wrote in and said, “It's worse off and it's not improving. They are so concerned about the ramifications of Oshawa's GM plant closing. What about Alberta? We've had no oil revenue and, therefore, severe unemployment problems for over three years, but I have not seen any concern about Alberta's unemployment situation.”
We used to have four Liberal members of Parliament. We have not had any of them stand up, supporting Alberta. We had four MPs in Liberal Party from Alberta, which are now down to three because of a scandal. We used to have two in the cabinet and now we are down to one, again, because of a scandal.
The member for Calgary Centre stood up and publicly stated that he would pound his fist on the desk at the cabinet table to make sure pipelines were built. What has happened? Absolute crickets from the member, he has done nothing.
The natural resources minister is based in Edmonton in the riding of Edmonton Mill Woods. What has he done for Alberta? Absolutely nothing.
In the budget, $27 million are provided for the diversification of the western economy and there are $100 million for oil and gas support. What did the Liberals put aside for subsidies so wealthy people could buy electric vehicles? Almost half a billion dollars. Even though the Minister of Natural Resources is from Edmonton Mill Woods in Alberta, only $27 million have been provided for diversification.
What about the member for Edmonton Centre? I asked him for his thoughts on the no new pipeline bill, Bill C-69. I asked him about the offshore tanker ban that did not ban tankers, just Alberta oil. I also asked him about all of the Liberals' other punitive policies against Alberta. He stood and said that he was proud of them. He was proud to push through Bill C-69, which ensures we will not see a single new energy project ever again in Alberta. He was proud that our oil was banned on the west coast, while we happily bring in oil from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. This is shameful.
I received a letter from a lady named Holly, who was asked if she was better off. She said, “Seriously? Can anyone be better off? We lost our small business of 20 years. We paid our taxes and paid our staff. The bank took our house, which guaranteed our small business loan, which we hadn't missed a payment on. All of our employees, including four family members, are all out of work. We are jobless and homeless, and the government just keeps on destroying the economy.”
Let us remember back to a couple of years ago when the Prime Minister was in Calgary and confronting these things. His comment was, “Just hang in there.” People like Holly cannot just hang in there. The government's policies are destroying the livelihoods and hope of people living in Alberta.
Brian writes, “Worse off—I live in subsidized housing in Edmonton—the cost of living has gone up a great deal but not our income. We all got a raise from the Alberta Government, not even $2. 30% of that goes to my apartment cost, so what did I get? We got a carbon tax—30% of that went to our apartment cost. Anything we get, 30% goes to the cost of our apartment.”
The Government members stand again and again, as they did just recently, to note the Liberals' $40-billion national housing program. Apparently, it is $50 billion now. The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, or IFSD, which is headed by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, has looked for this money. It writes that the Liberals', “NHS looks like” nothing except a “glossy document that accompanied its announcement....unfortunately, for now, the NHS is virtually nowhere to be seen in the federal fiscal framework.”
With respect to the Liberals' $40 billion, the Prime Minister and the parliamentary secretary responsible for this both stood to say that the Liberals housed one million people. They actually told people this. That was until the Toronto Star, the prophet of North America, said this was not true and that the number was actually 13,000. The Liberals' own department results showed it was 13,000 and the Liberals claimed it was one million. However, they say, as they just did now, this is worth $50 billion.
The IFSD said that it could only find $1.3 billion budgeted in the first five years and $5.1 billion budgeted over 10 years.
As a last comment, I would like to note comments by a man named Helmut. He said, “Worse than a year ago. As a senior on income security, the provision is not keeping pace with high rise in expenses....”
This is what we are hearing from Canadians when we talk to them. They are barely treading water. They are not getting ahead, as generations have before them. Every time they take a step forward, the government drags them back two steps, whether it is done with the carbon tax, taking away other tax credits or pushing up debt, which pushes up interest rates. Canadians are not getting ahead.
On Tuesday, when Jason Kenney becomes premier of Alberta, we will take our first steps toward fixing the problems in Alberta. On October 21, we will take the next step, when we turf the government and bring back a Conservative government.
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
CPC (AB)
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
2019-04-10 19:06 [p.26965]
Madam Speaker, I very much appreciate the opportunity today to rise in this chamber to speak to this private member's bill from my colleague, the member of Parliament for Lethbridge.
I want to reiterate something the hon. member for Calgary Shepard said. I believe that the intention of the member for Lethbridge is to help Canadians get ahead and help Canadians stay ahead. That is something we have not seen the government of the day assist in doing.
I am very proud to stand today to support this piece of legislation.
Unfortunately, not every Canadian has a trust fund, like the Prime Minister. The majority of Canadians, in fact the majority of constituents in Calgary Midnapore, do not have those types of trust funds. As a result, they must rely on their own resources and their own family decision-making to manage their finances, because they simply do not have the resources the Prime Minister has to lean on.
Life is becoming less and less affordable for Canadians. I certainly, as a mother, can say this. When I go grocery shopping, I cannot believe the increase in the cost of groceries I am seeing. Mortgages, of course, are getting more and more difficult to obtain, with the recent stress test, particularly in Calgary, a place where the market is not defined the same way it is in larger cities.
Gas, certainly, has just hit record prices in the last three or four years, as has home heating. I will take this moment to say that I very much support the initiative of our leader in making home heating more affordable for Canadians.
Families like mine sit around the dinner table making difficult decisions. Will they be able to enrol their son or daughter in gymnastics? Will they be able to enrol their son or daughter in hockey? Is there enough money to have meat every day of the week? Probably not. That is because the Liberal government is not helping to make life more affordable for Canadians.
I would also include the carbon tax, the carbon tax that we are seeing many provinces across the country refuting, such as Saskatchewan, of course, where my father is from. Manitoba and Ontario are also refuting the carbon tax.
God willing, I hope that we have a new United Conservative Party government in Alberta on Tuesday, led by the previous member for Calgary Midnapore, whose footsteps I am so proud to follow in.
Canadians do not want a life that is more expensive. They want a life that is aspirational and attainable. What they really want is fairness and transparency. Might I add that we are not seeing this at all recently from the government of the day. However, this credit card fairness act would promote these principles. I will review them once again.
Number one, the credit card fairness act would mandate that if a cardholder paid more than 95% of the outstanding balance before the payment due date, the bank could not charge interest on the amount paid on or before the due date. The bank could only charge interest on the amount outstanding after the due date.
Number two, it would ensure that payments made by cardholders were applied to balances with the highest interest rate first, before being applied to balances at a lower interest rate.
Number three, it would require banks to disclose on the monthly statement how much interest the cardholder had paid in the previous 12 months.
Number four, it would require that marketing materials prominently communicate the annual fee, the annual interest rate and the period of time until the introductory rate ended, along with the interest rate that would apply following that period.
Number five, it would prohibit banks from increasing interest rates retroactively on the cardholder's outstanding balance owing.
Number six, it would require banks to provide an online mechanism for consumers to cancel their credit cards and/or decrease their credit limit. As my colleague, the hon. member for Calgary Shepard, mentioned, it is not uncommon to receive a notice in the mail that one's credit limit has been increased.
Number seven, it would legislate that banks must obtain consent before increasing a cardholder's credit limit. As I said, this is something that would promote better financial management by families across Canada.
Families need to have full information when making financial decisions. I need not remind anyone that household debt at present is 170% of disposable income. That means that most Canadians owe $1.70 for every $1 in after-tax earnings, for a total of $1.83 trillion of household debt, which is incredible, or an average of $22,800 per Canadian. I really believe that the member for Lethbridge is making this sincere and humble attempt to help families across Canada as they face difficult decisions in this financial crisis, which as I said is not being assisted by the government of the day, as they make their financial decisions.
Every family in Canada goes through the process of making these decisions, such as home renovations. Many homes in Calgary come with undeveloped basements and this is a significant investment if families decide to renovate their homes. A new car is another significant investment, as well as vacations. These are all difficult decisions that Canadian families have to make relative to their finances. The member of Parliament for Lethbridge is trying to help these families manage their finances.
I will mention what a fan I am of financial literacy for Canadians. I want to recognize a special constituent of mine, Shamez Kassam, who is a financial planner in my riding. He has an annual financial planning summit for women, at which I have twice now been the keynote speaker, and that is another reason I support this piece of legislation. I believe in financial literacy for women because women, wives and mothers, are a major part of running finances within our families. I definitely believe that the member for Lethbridge would help families with this legislation.
We all know that people need a credit card to do anything and everything in this day and age, such as booking a hotel, booking a flight or going on vacation. In fact, today I used my credit card to make a payment for my son's birthday party. We are going to a Roughnecks game. I am really looking forward to that at the end of April. I receive the Calgary Sun newspaper every day on my front porch. I look forward to reading my horoscope and the news. This goes on my credit card. Again I applaud the hon. member for Lethbridge for putting forward this legislation.
My colleague, the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, pointed out that previously the government had the position of a minister of consumer and corporate affairs. Unfortunately, under the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien, that position was eliminated. In the absence of the previous checks and balances we had, we need to give Canadian families the power to have more knowledge and information when making these complicated financial decisions. As I stated, we want to help Canadians get ahead and stay ahead.
As I mentioned previously, the Liberal government is not helping. We had the fourth consecutive deficit budget, adding to the debt. My son, at this point, will be 32 years old when the budget is balanced. That is absolutely terrible. I have said if financial planners need a new product, it should be the RDSP, the registered debt savings plan, so that all youth will have the money to pay off their debt eventually.
I hope the government will do the right thing. We are an aspirational nation. On this side of the House, we are a party that wants Canadians to live their dreams and that happens by having more information and more control over their finances. I urge the government to vote for this bill that would help Canadians get ahead and stay ahead. It is the right thing to do.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
2019-04-08 18:08 [p.26829]
Mr. Speaker, I have heard a similar speech from the member many times before, and I find it very troubling particularly when he talks about getting a handle on spending.
How does he justify that Stephen Harper ran up the debt up by $160 billion? I know his response, because we hear it a lot from those on the other side of the House. They say it was the economic times and the circumstances, and that they needed to come back out of the 2008 recession.
However, in reality, if we were to go back over the last 151 years, we would see that Conservatives have been in power for 36% of the time but have racked up well over 55% of the debt. In fact, of the last 19 budgets introduced by Conservatives in the House, 16 of them ran deficits, occurring under Mulroney and Harper. The only three that ran surpluses were the two that came after Paul Martin's $13-billion surplus and the one in 2015, after Conservatives slashed veterans services and sold off shares of GM at bargain prices so that they could produce a budget to bring into the election.
How can the member opposite square off that argument about Stephen Harper's record?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the member is asking a similar question to one he has asked before, so he will no doubt receive a similar answer. Let me answer each point he made.
He said that Conservatives ran up $160 billion. Usually we hear the Liberals say it was $150 billion. Maybe by the election they will be saying it was $300 billion. The figure of $150 billion is not even accurate. In fact, in spite of the global financial crisis, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio went down during the period of the last Conservative government.
During this time, members across the way, some of whom were not here at that time, were calling for an increase in spending. Liberals thought we should be spending more, but we said, no, we would have timely, targeted and temporary deficits and we would get back to balance, which we did.
The member opposite wants to compare Canada's history over the last 150 years. I do not know if I can say much about the record of former prime minister Charles Tupper, for example, when it comes to deficit spending.
We could go back a long way. I do not hold the member opposite responsible for the Liberal policy under Pierre Trudeau of opening residential schools. I do not hold the Liberal Party responsible for all of the things it has done over the last 150 years, and I cannot necessarily be held responsible for Conservative policies that were pursued in the early part of the 20th century and last part of the 19th century.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2019-02-04 12:10 [p.25180]
moved:
That, given:
(a) 81% of middle-income Canadians are seeing higher taxes since the government came to power;
(b) the average income tax increase for middle-income families is $840;
(c) the government’s higher Canada Pension Plan premiums could eventually cost up to $2,200 per household;
(d) the government cancelled the Family Tax Cut of up to $2,000 per household;
(e) the government cancelled the Arts and Fitness tax credit of up to $225 per child;
(f) the government cancelled the education and textbook tax credits of up to $560 per student;
(g) the government’s higher Employment Insurance premiums are up to $85 per worker;
(h) the government’s carbon tax could cost up to $1,000 per household and as high as $5,000 in the future;
(i) the government’s intrusive tax measures for small business will raise taxes on thousands of family businesses all across Canada;
(j) this government tried to tax employer-paid health and dental benefits which would have cost up to $2,000 per household; and
(k) this government tried to tax modest food and discount benefits that retail employees receive from employers;
the House call on the Prime Minister to provide written confirmation that the government will not further raise any taxes on Canadians.
He said: Mr. Speaker, before we buy a product, we have to know the price, and elections are no different. That is why politicians should tell Canadians the price tag before Canadians vote. The Prime Minister is not doing that, because he is afraid that voters will have sticker shock. Instead, he is trying to get voters to hand him a blank cheque before the election that he can cash after the election.
He learned this from his two mentors: Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, the former Liberal premiers of Ontario. Their record was to double Ontario's debt; double electricity prices, driving the poor to food banks and our jobs out of the province; and of course, lying before every single of their four election victories about their future plans to raise taxes. This record led to the worst middle-class income growth of any province in the country and the highest poverty rate of any province in the country.
These consequences and these costs, unfortunately, were not known until after the elections were over, because these two mentors of our current Prime Minister would lie blatantly about their real plans and the true cost until it was too late for voters to do anything about it.
Who was the architect of this dishonest tax hiking strategy? It was Gerald Butts, the principal secretary to the current Prime Minister. He was the one who, behind the scenes, drafted the talking points and spun the media to trick everyone into believing that all the pre-election goodies promised would come for free. However, after the election was over, Ontarians again and again were hit with heavy bills that they had no reason to expect, and as a result, they were stuck paying for a product they would not have otherwise purchased.
How do we know that the Prime Minister will repeat the strategy of his two Ontario Liberal mentors? First, he has already started. He has begun raising taxes on middle-class Canadians, who are paying, on average, $800 more per family of four. These tax increases have targeted families where one spouse earns more than the other by cancelling income-splitting. They have taken away tax credits for kids' sports and arts, for university students' textbooks and some of their tuition costs, and for transit users, who lost their bus pass tax cred. Small businesses now face new penalties for saving within their companies or sharing the work and earnings with their family members. These same small businesses are paying higher payroll taxes for each employee and higher carbon taxes on their energy use, a cost that will not be compensated for with any form of rebate.
The government is fond of claiming that it will only tax rich people. Let us examine that very carefully. To believe that, we have to accept that soccer moms who put their kids in sports are all rich. They are the ones who lost the children's fitness tax credit. We have to believe that students who buy textbooks or pay tuition are rich, because that was the justification the Prime Minister used to take away their education and textbook tax credits.
We have to also believe that anyone on a bus is rich. According to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, that is the case. He claimed that only rich people were claiming the transit tax credit. I do not know when the last time was he was on a bus anywhere in Canada, but there are not a lot of millionaires and billionaires rolling around on public transit. I understand that the Prime Minister does not know that. He has probably never taken a bus. He has always had a driver, but it has never been a transit driver.
Our leader, of course, grew up in a family without a car, and he therefore took a bus everywhere he went as a kid. He would be able to tell the Prime Minister, as would most Canadians, that millionaires and billionaires do not typically ride around on public transit. It is not believable to suggest that only the rich paid more when the government cancelled the tax credit for public transit fees.
It is interesting, though, that Liberals talk about taxing the rich, because when they designed their tax policy, they specifically ensured that those with large family fortunes, like the Prime Minister, or those with billion-dollar companies, like the finance minister, would not face any new taxes. They were sheltered from the changes. That means higher taxes for those who take the bus, buy textbooks and put their kids in soccer, but those with a trust fund, a family fortune or a billion-dollar company are protected under the government's policies. When the government engages in class warfare, I think we can all agree that it is just a little bit rich.
This is even more true if we look at the actual data. CRA published data in the aftermath of the government's tax changes to ascertain how much people in various income groups are paying in taxes. This data, which was published in a front page Globe and Mail news article, found that the wealthiest 1% is paying $4.6 billion less in income tax after the tax changes that the government brought into play. In other words, those in the middle class are paying $800 more, while those who are part of the elite 1%, with trust funds, family fortunes or billion-dollar companies, are part of a group paying $4.6 billion less. The result of that broken promise is that everyone else has to pay more to make up for the hole left behind by the rich, who are getting breaks from the government.
The second way the Prime Minister is seeking a blank cheque is with respect to tax increases that he attempted to implement, but on which he was caught and therefore forced to put on hold. He attempted a 73% tax on the passive investments that small businesses make within their companies. Prior to the changes proposed, those businesses already paid an automatic in-year tax of 50.7% on all income they earned from investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other passive instruments in which they set aside money for retirement, maternity leave, a rainy day or future active investments. They are already paying half of those gains in taxes, but the government wanted to tax them twice for the same dollar, bringing the full tax burden to 73%. Of course, I caught the Liberals. We caught them. Small businesses caught them, and as a result of the backlash, they put that change on hold.
They also considered taxing health and dental benefits and got caught. They put that proposal on hold. They attempted to take away the disability tax credit from diabetics, even though the law says that anyone who needs 14 hours of life-sustaining treatment and has diabetes is entitled to receive that tax credit. They even attempted to tax employee discounts so that the waitress who takes a 10-minute break at midnight and has a free chicken salad sandwich at the restaurant would have to pay income tax on that sandwich at the end of the year.
Do members want to know something else about all of these attempted tax increases that the Prime Minister has put on hold? He has not once stood in this place or anywhere else and said it was a mistake, that they were wrong and that he never should have contemplated them. He simply backed away temporarily because he knew the voter backlash would threaten his chances of re-election. However, with that election behind him, when he no longer needs voters but still needs their money, we can be sure he will bring every single one of those unjust and exorbitant tax increases right back, because he still believes they are the right thing to do.
Then we have the carbon tax cover-up. The government has released documents containing the true cost of the present carbon tax proposal. There is only one problem: It blacked out all of the numbers. Why would the government do that if it has nothing to hide? If Canadians are really going to get back in rebates what they pay in taxes, the government should be thrilled to have everyone know the exact cost of the tax, rather than just having some numbers published in government press releases. However, those numbers are still blocked out, and this government is under investigation by the Information Commissioner for its refusal to release that data.
That is just at the current rate of the carbon tax. The government currently admits that it would impose a $50-a-tonne carbon tax. However, that tax rate would lead this country to fall 79 million tonnes short of reaching its Paris accord commitments.
How do we make up the difference? According to a February 27, 2017, briefing to the finance minister, the carbon tax will have to increase in “severity” in order to reach the government's targets. That is right. The carbon tax is so ineffective at reducing emissions, it has to be significantly higher than the government admits in order to have its intended effect. That is why Conservatives are suspicious about the true post-election carbon tax rate, and there is more reason that we should be.
A 2015 Environment Canada briefing document said that the tax would have to rise to $300 a tonne, not $50 a tonne but six times higher at $300 a tonne. That is not only six times higher than the planned carbon tax, but 15 times higher than the rate that would be in place this year. Based on the government's own figures, a $300-a-tonne carbon tax would lead to a cost for the average family of $3,000 per year in Ontario and $5,000 a year in Saskatchewan. These higher costs would come in the form of increased gas, heat and grocery bills. Basically, anything that needs to be moved, heated or cooled would become significantly more expensive.
Herein lies the trick. Liberals will send people a few hundred dollars in rebates before the election and then give them $5,000 in higher costs after the election. Does that not remind everyone of the Kathleen Wynne-Dalton McGuinty scam I described at the beginning of my speech?
I will move to the next reason why we should expect higher taxes from the government if it is re-elected, and that is the runaway deficit. The reason Liberals raise taxes is that they have an insatiable appetite to spend other people's money. We have seen that so far. Government expenses are up by 25% in just three years and while the Prime Minister promised that the budget will balance itself in the year 2019, here we are and this year the deficit will be $20 billion and growing. Far from balancing the budget this year, Finance Canada now says that will not happen until the year 2040, two decades from now, when the national debt will be $1 trillion.
In fact, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, we will be spending two-thirds more on interest for the national debt within just four years. Forty billion dollars in interest to wealthy bondholders and bankers is good news if one is a rich guy that lends the government money, but bad news if one is the taxpayer paying for it and getting nothing in return. Forty billion dollars is a hard number to comprehend. To put it into perspective, that is what we spend on transfers to the provinces for health care, an absolutely astronomical sum of money vanishing from working-class taxpayers into the hands of wealthy bondholders.
We know what Canadians know, and that is that the Prime Minister broke his promise on deficits and he will break his promise on taxes. That is what Liberals do. The only way to pay for the exorbitant increase in debt will be with an increase in Liberal taxes after the election when they no longer need voters. This tax increase will cost Canadians a fortune and the current Prime Minister knows something about fortunes. He inherited one.
The Prime Minister's family wealth originated with his grandfather's petroleum empire, which is a great irony now that the Prime Minister is putting oil workers out of jobs and has blocked three pipelines. Three of the biggest worldwide pipeline companies were ready to put shovels in the ground when the Prime Minister took office and all three of them have left and taken their money and jobs with them down to Dallas and Houston. All of our exes are in Texas, and back here in Canada, we are unable to get our own product to market. The Prime Minister, ironically the same Prime Minister who has caused that heartache for petroleum sector workers, continues to live off of the fruits of his grandfather's petroleum empire.
Nobody should fault the Prime Minister's grandfather. He was evidently a brilliant entrepreneur who created wealth and opportunity for many of his peers in his time, which is all Canadians are asking for today. However, the one unfortunate consequence is that his grandson has no idea what it is like to live in the financial real world with everybody else. He believes budgets balance themselves because that is how it has always worked for him. He has never had to balance a household budget, so he believes budgets balance themselves. He has never had to worry about costs because he has always made others pay for his mistakes. He inherited a fortune and now he is costing Canadians a fortune.
Before one buys the brand name, one should know the real cost and also know that cost will not fully be understood until after the election. Also, there is no money-back guarantee. Instead of giving this Prime Minister a blank cheque, Canadians should elect a government with an affordable plan, one which forces itself to live within its means and make life more affordable so that Canadians can get ahead.
As Conservatives, we understand the cost of government leads to a higher cost of living. This is why we will run a government that lives within its means and according to the budgets of everyday Canadians, who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules. We will grow spending only at sustainable rates equal to or lower than inflation and population growth so that Canadians can keep more of what they earn and we can return to a balanced budget in a reasonable time frame.
That is how we make space for families and entrepreneurs to build their own dreams and ambitions. On this side of the House of Commons, we believe in a country based on meritocracy, not aristocracy; where small businesses and entrepreneurs get ahead by having the best product, not the best lobbyist; where businesses make a profit when they obsess over customers, not when they obsess over pleasing politicians; and where every Canadian can achieve his or her own ambitions without politicians standing in the way, but rather with a government standing by their side.
View Ron Liepert Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ron Liepert Profile
2019-02-04 14:06 [p.25197]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians will soon be presented with a new budget, and for the fourth consecutive year, the government will be running a substantial deficit.
Since coming to office in 2015, the government has added almost $60 billion to the debt. The debt now stands at two-thirds of a trillion dollars. Our annual interest payments are $26 billion annually, and that exceeds all of our military spending. Worse yet, these interest payments do not reduce the overall debt and continue to increase our debt each year. Huge new spending, additional taxes and larger deficits, none of this was promised in the last election.
The current government will be seeking a new mandate soon, and I urge all Canadians to think about those broken promises and elect a strong Conservative government.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to the very comprehensive motion before us, which is focused on taxes. A lot of it is focused on not raising taxes in the short term. However, most importantly, we also do not want to see this continuing growth of our deficit and debt in the long term. Therefore, it is about both the taxes of today and the taxes of tomorrow.
As we know, and as any family knows, a certain amount of income comes in, and there is only a certain amount of debt it can service. The current government seems to have an outrageous problem with spending.
If we go back to the campaign of 2015, the Liberals promised a balanced budget. They would run small deficits for the short term and then get back to a balanced budget. They predicted a recession and that things would be difficult. The former Conservative government left them with not only a balanced budget but things in place to create success in the economy. I would argue that the success of the economy, at least in the first couple of years, had nothing to do with the Liberals' policies but was a result of the appropriate moves the former government made, which left them in a good position.
Not only have the Liberals had deficits, they have had good times. Their argument was that they might have to spend a little money to stimulate the economy. Well, if we have to stimulate the economy in bad times and stimulate the economy in good times, and increase debt as we do it, we will run into a whole bunch of problems, and that is exactly what the government has done.
Quite frankly, I know a lot of people who call themselves Liberals. They were certainly Chrétien-Martin Liberals. They remember the 1990s. They remember the challenges of the massive problem we got ourselves into in terms of debt that was increasing and the very difficult job of getting ourselves back into a reasonable fiscal position. I will give the former Martin-Chrétien group credit for recognizing that there was a serious issue and for making some of those hard choices. Of course, they paid down some of the debt. The Conservative government, in good times, before the global recession, also paid down significant debt.
What we have is a Liberal government that made a specific promise, and quite clearly it has broken it. A recent report by the Macdonald–Laurier Institute says that the Liberals are leaving what will be a really unfair tax burden on our children and grandchildren. When they talk with pride about spending money here and spending money there, what they really mean is that they are leaving debt for our children and grandchildren. Perhaps they should look more closely at that. This report is not from a right-wing think tank. It is a very reasoned report in terms of the current situation. It is saying how unfair it will be to our children and grandchildren if they continue in this way. Quite frankly, we cannot afford another four years of this total disregard for taxpayers' dollars and how they spend it.
What we are talking about is a lot of taxes. The Liberals have a desire to spend money and have a very tough time saying no to anything. They are trying to find ways they can pay for this spending and maybe not have that debt look quite as significant and severe.
Let us talk about some of the things they have tried to do in terms of sneaking in extra taxes to pay for their out-of-control spending. We all remember the changes the Liberals were going to make for small businesses and the uproar from small businesses across the country. The Liberals backed away partially from that move.
We all remember what happened all of a sudden for someone who worked in a McDonald's and maybe got a complimentary Big Mac meal. These people make minimum wage, but they might get a meal. All of a sudden, government wanted to tax that as a taxable benefit. The Liberals quickly heard that that was not going to work. They could not get tax money there, so they backed off from that.
Then the Liberals were going to try to tax health and dental benefits. Again, they quickly heard an uproar and moved back from that idea.
Then, of course, who could forget when the CRA decided to go after diabetics, who have huge challenges in terms of the management of their disease and the number of hours that they have to spend managing their disease? All of a sudden, the Liberals decided that managing a chronic disease such as diabetes was not really that bad and that diabetics really did not deserve to have the disability tax credit.
What we see are broken promises, out-of-control spending, the inability to not say yes to everything, and now the Liberals are looking for ways to actually pay for what they are spending.
So far the Liberals have backed off from these unpopular decisions, but as I have indicated, if they are in power for another four years, we could see not only those issues coming back to the table but many more that might be up their sleeves.
Let us go a little more into taxes and what is truly happening in the real world for small business operators. I am going to use an example.
I met with a number of people who sell small boats, little fishing boats, and they are scattered across British Columbia, where we have beautiful lakes.
In the summer these businesses were saying that the aluminum tariffs were really going to be a challenge for them, because they had to order right then for their product to arrive for the 2019 season. They were asking if the tariffs were going to be removed and whether they should wait a few weeks or months to do their orders, because it would have a very significant impact on their business if every boat they brought in from an American manufacturer was subject to a significant tariff.
I could not answer that question at the time, and it is a good thing I did not answer it, because had they decided not to order their product, they would still be looking at the same issue many months later. They would not have any product coming in. What many of them had to do was just go ahead, do the order and pay the tariffs, which would be passed along to the consumers.
Not only that, but at the same time, these business owners in British Columbia were being hit with an employee health tax that the provincial government decided to impose. The Canada pension plan premiums are going up. All of a sudden small businesses are facing increases in payroll taxes, employment insurance, Canada pension plan, the new employee health tax and a 15% premium on the products they are bringing on.
What has happened for people like these small boat manufacturers is that they have had to lay off staff, and in some cases their businesses are no longer viable. It has been incredibly crippling. It is just raising the cost of everything, even if they have consumers who can actually afford what could be a 20% or 25% increase in terms of the product.
I have to use British Columbia as an example in briefly mentioning the carbon tax. The Liberals love to talk about how the carbon tax in British Columbia has worked so well and has been there for 10 years and is just great. What they never tell anyone is that with a stroke of a pen, what was a revenue-neutral carbon tax in British Columbia became a tax grab by the NDP government. It was done with the stroke of a pen.
The Liberals can say all they want about how they are going to give a cheque to those four provinces that do not have their own plan and how they are going to take as much out of the right as they are going to put in with their left, which no one believes, because they could never put as much in when they take that much out. No one believes it is going to be the same amount of money. More importantly, as everyone knows, it is not going to take very much—just one slash of a pen—for that to go from revenue neutral to a tax grab to pay for the Liberals' out-of-control spending.
I think we can see small businesses right there.
This is an important motion, and there are very good reasons that we have put it forward.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, I think I gave some really good examples. When businesses like those boat owners have to lay off people, we have some serious issues out there due to the policies of the government and the tax system it has in place. The unresponsiveness to small business is creating huge challenges in the country.
I do also want to make note of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute with regard to the debt that the government is adding, the debt that it does not care about, the debt that the Liberals promised in 2015 would be gone by now. When the Liberals say they are leaving that for their children and their grandchildren, I do not know how they can stand there and justify their economic plan.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, we all recall that in 2015 there was going to be a middle-class tax cut and that the upper-income Canadians were going to pay for it. Clearly, that did not happen. That is another piece of mismanagement that has added to the debt of the government, debt that is going to our children and grandchildren.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Rob Nicholson Profile
2019-02-04 18:00 [p.25233]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of splitting my time today with the member for Perth—Wellington.
I rise in the House today to speak to the motion on the floor and call upon the Prime Minister to provide written confirmation that his government will not raise taxes on Canadians. In order to do this, we should look at the record of the Liberals when they are in power. Indeed, it is a tale to tell.
As writer and philosopher George Santayana penned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” If we look at the Liberal government of the 1960s through to the 1980s, under the Liberals, federal spending rose from 30% to 53% of GDP. I am sure that many people in the chamber can remember that incredible inflation. Prime lending rates skyrocketed to an incredible 22%. Subsequently, the inability to pay such exorbitant rates resulted in both corporate and personal bankruptcies. It would be two decades before Canadians would crawl out of this economic black hole and begin to reduce the country's debt. In fact, by 1984, Canada's international debt had grown by 700%.
If we fast-track to 2019, the current Government of Canada is on the same trajectory. There is 81% of middle-income Canadians who have experienced the economic pain of higher taxes, and the Prime Minister has promised Canadians that he would not raise taxes but lower them.
Another obvious comparison to years ago is the now failed and infamous national energy program. Starting in 1980, the national energy program, with the Liberal Party behind it, single-handedly destroyed the thriving economic engine that benefited all Canadians, putting thousands of Canadians out of work and causing many to not only lose their livelihoods but their homes as well.
Enter the current Liberal government and its pipeline debacle. Because of the Prime Minister's failure to secure a pipeline, thousands of Canadians have lost their jobs. It sounds familiar, does it not? Currently, Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for a $4.5-billion pipeline that may never be built. Last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the government has probably overpaid for the Trans Mountain pipeline by an unbelievable $1 billion. This is costing the Canadian economy about $50 million a day.
Doug Porter, the chief economist and managing director of BMO Financial Group, predicts the following: “I think Canada has a very weak competitive position. I think we’re going to get crushed in the next recession”. Canadians are already feeling the crush. The average income tax increase for middle-income Canadians is $840. In addition, Canada pension plan premiums have gone up to $2,200 per household, and employment insurance premiums are up by $85 per worker.
The outlook is even bleaker as the Liberals insist upon this new carbon tax of theirs. This will end up costing households about $2,500. Sadly, the carbon tax fails to address the environment and serves to make life even more expensive for Canadians, and yet the Prime Minister has promised that he will not raise taxes. This is not the Liberal record. Fifty years ago, the Liberals inherited a strong, growing and varied Canadian economy, and when they left in 1984, Canadians were still feeling the effects of Canada's worst recession since the Great Depression.
The current Liberal government inherited Stephen Harper's zero-deficit balance sheet a little over three years ago, and over the last three years, the government has added $60 billion to the national debt. The Prime Minister promised that the budget would be balanced this year. Instead, the deficit will hit $21.3 billion. Again, he has promised that he will not raise taxes. This is why we are here today. We are calling upon the Prime Minister to provide written confirmation that his government will not further raise taxes on Canadians. In light of how he has bungled our coffers thus far, it is simply not credible to believe the Prime Minister when he says that he will not raise taxes. The question that I think Canadians have to ask is, by how much? According to Finance, the budget will not return to balance until 2040, and by then racking up an additional $271 billion of debt.
Financial trends are cyclical. Most economists believe Canadians and the world will be facing an economic downturn. The Prime Minister has left nothing to cushion Canada from such a forecast. Last year Canada's national debt reached an all-time high of $670 billion, or a massive $47,600 per Canadian family. A recent Fraser Institute report states that a very serious downturn could add more than $50 billion per year to the government's deficit forecast. Canada's national debt would be nearly a trillion dollars by the year 2023. That is unfathomable and should be unthinkable.
When the recession hit Canada in 2009 we were largely insulated because of the prudent economic planning by the former Conservative government. I remember travelling with prime minister Stephen Harper, and it was astonishing to see world leaders lining up to speak with the prime minister. Presidents and prime ministers from around the globe would line up to ask Mr. Harper how it was that Canada was the only country in the G7 able to withstand the worldwide economic downturn. It was due in part to ensuring that we had a good financial cushion to rely on in the event of a fiscal recession. The Liberals, on the other hand, seem hell-bent on employing any fiscal policy so long as it is not in line with what the Conservatives implemented.
In addition, I remember back in 1988 when the Liberals were against implementing the GST. They had just finished coming off an election where they were against the free trade agreement, and we remember how they changed their minds on that one. All Liberal leaders at the time were against implementing the GST. Liberal leader John Turner said the GST was an attack on the weaker regions of the country, that it was regressive, against lower-income groups, invisible, sneaky and of course an administrative nightmare.
It gets better. Paul Martin stated in the chamber the following: “Mr. Speaker, the goods and services tax is a stupid, inept and incompetent tax”. He went on to say he would abolish the GST.
It did not stop there. In 1990, then Liberal leader Jean Chrétien said on September 27 of that year, “I want this tax dead”. He went on to say the following: “I am opposed to the GST. I have always been opposed to it, and I will always be opposed to it. It is a tax that is both regressive and discriminatory”.
We cannot believe any of those Liberal leaders. What they did when they returned to power was to be completely onside with implementing the GST. What I have been saying about them is that they cannot be trusted in these areas.
I was told many years ago that the Liberals would say whatever it takes to get elected. If they think it will get them elected to be against the free trade agreement, they are against it. If it helps them to be against GST, wage and price controls, name it, over the years it was whatever they felt was necessary. However, they would always go with something afterward that was completely out of line with that.
NAFTA is just another example of their bungling of their international obligations for our country. We can see that the new NAFTA that is being presented to us is weaker than the existing one. It will raise the price of condos through the steel and aluminum tariffs. That is just one example. American farmers will have tariff-free access to 3.6% of Canada's dairy market. It will send hundreds of millions of dollars more of their product into our country, and not a single concession was made by the United States.
Why do we want to have a written confirmation from the Prime Minister that he will not raise taxes? Just have a look at the last 50 years of Liberal governments. The Liberals say one thing during an election and do something different after the election. It is our job to hold them accountable as much as we can. That is why we want to have this in writing.
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
2019-02-04 18:25 [p.25237]
Mr. Speaker, while I enjoyed the member's speech, when I listen to folks on the other side, I often wonder where they were when their party was going to market with its 150 billion dollars' worth of borrowing in less than 10 years, accumulating, as the Conservatives have, over 65% of Canada's debt over the course of its history. However, I digress.
I have a very specific question for the member. The average family in the member's constituency is getting $8,160, tax free, to use as they choose, for skating or piano lessons, child care or whatever the parents see fit to spend it on. How much of that money will be cut in the Conservative platform?
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2019-02-04 18:28 [p.25237]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke of some of the issues concerning all Canadians with respect to debt and deficits. One of the finance department records indicated that had the Conservative platform and record of management continued, the country would be debt free in 2040. The debt will be $1 trillion if we follow the Liberal trajectory.
Could he comment on that? The Prime Minister is making Canadians continue to pay for his mistakes. We want to balance the budget as soon as we possibly can to ensure that Canadian debt going into the future is not something we burden our children and grandchildren with.
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Nater Profile
2019-02-04 18:29 [p.25237]
Mr. Speaker, what a wonderful question from the hon. member for Red Deer—Mountain View. He is quite right about following the path that was laid out by the Conservative government, through Jim Flaherty and Joe Oliver. They had a long-term plan to ensure that Canada had the economic capacity and fiscal space to pay down the debt long term and invest in the priorities of Canadians long term.
We have seen the Liberals spend and spend with nothing to show. Their long proposed infrastructure investments have failed to move the needle on economic growth. Why? Because they are not investing in the priorities of Canadians. They are not implementing infrastructure projects in ridings like mine and in communities across the country. They are not making it happen. Canadians know better.
We on the Conservative side remain committed to working on behalf of Canadian families and taxpayers in ensuring we have a long-term plan so our fiscal house is in order for future generations.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2019-01-29 10:34 [p.24937]
moved:
That, given the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year and that perpetual and growing deficits lead to massive tax increases, the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019 to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this new chamber for my first speech here, and may it always remain faithful to the principles and practices of its predecessor. That is our inheritance as parliamentarians and as Canadians.
Speaking of inheritances, the Prime Minister inherited a massive family fortune. He has bragged about it. He has called it a family fortune. Because he has never had to worry about money, he does not worry much about Canadians' money. He believes budgets balance themselves. For people who inherit a family fortune, I suppose they do. He believes one can borrow one's way out of debt. I guess if one has always made other people pay for one's mistakes, that might make sense.
However, for ordinary, everyday Canadians who get up in the morning and earn a living and pay their bills with their own money, none of those things makes sense at all. The problem with this mindset is not just that it dances riddles in the Prime Minister's brain, but that it plays out in real consequences for Canadians, consequences they feel in their everyday lives. Canadians are paying for his mistakes.
Political life has only grown the Prime Minister's fortune. He forces taxpayers to fund his nannies while working Canadians pay for their own child care expenses. He was found guilty of breaking ethics laws by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in free vacations from someone seeking a grant from his government. He accepted thousands of dollars in speaking fees from charities and school boards while he was being paid to work here in the House of Commons. At that time, he had the third worst attendance record of any of the then 308 members of Parliament. He even forced Canadian taxpayers to pay the expense for him to clown around India with a terrorist and a celebrity chef in tow, until that great country laughed him out of town.
Canadians work hard and they pinch their pennies, so they laugh when the Prime Minister says that the budget will balance itself. Many of them, though, believed him when he put his hand on his heart and promised that the budget would be balanced this year. He looked them straight in the eye and said there would be three modest deficits followed by a balanced budget this year.
However, now we know that not only did this Prime Minister inherit a fortune, but he is costing Canadians a fortune. The debt is growing to four times as much as he said. Far from being balanced this year, the budget will not be balanced, according to Finance Canada, until the year 2040. We know what this means, and that is the purpose of this debate.
We know that this Prime Minister's out-of-control and growing deficit today will lead, if he is re-elected, to higher taxes tomorrow. Before we get into the case to prove that reality, let us just point out that not everybody is doing worse.
The wealthiest Canadians are doing much better. The Prime Minister and people like him who have family fortunes, such as the trust fund finance minister, are in the class of the one per cent. According to the CRA, the wealthiest one per cent is actually paying $4.6 billion less in income taxes than it was in the final year of the previous Conservative government. This, of course, runs contrary to the Prime Minister's promise, but it is the factual reality, which his own department of tax collection has publicly reported, and which has been printed in the Globe and Mail.
Unfortunately, for everyone else, those people without a family fortune, life is getting more expensive. Let us just recap why it is getting more expensive. When it becomes costly, the government makes life more costly. Deficits drive up interest rates and inflation in the present, and they drive up taxes in the future. That is why Canadians are consistently telling us they cannot make ends meet.
Half of Canadians now say they are $200 away from insolvency, not able to pay their monthly bills. I have an unfortunate message, a warning, for all Canadians. Yes, taxes have gone up under the present Prime Minister, but they ain't seen nothing yet, and let me give the evidence for that claim.
First, the Prime Minister broke his promise and raised taxes once before. The average middle-class family is paying $800 more in taxes than when he took office. This is because he took away the children's fitness tax credit, the transit tax credit, the textbook tax credit from students and the education tax credit from those same students. That is in addition to the increases in payroll taxes that take effect this year and the carbon tax that takes effect on April 1.
The Prime Minister took in all of the extra revenue from these taxes, and one would think that would have helped the budgetary balance, but instead the $20-billion windfall that resulted from higher taxes and a booming world economy has vanished, because the Prime Minister blew every penny.
That brings us to the second point. The Prime Minister not only raised taxes, but he got caught trying to raise others. He attempted to impose a 73% tax on small business investment. He attempted to impose new tax penalties on family businesses that transfer the company or the farm from father to son or mother to daughter. He tried to tax health and dental benefits.
He even tried to put in a new tax on what are called employee discounts, like when a waitress has a chicken salad sandwich on her 10-minute break at one o'clock in the morning. Her employer was going to have to put that on her T4 slip and force her to pay income tax on it at the end of the year. Thank God we caught the Prime Minister and forced him to put that plan on ice.
He also attempted to take away the disability tax credit from diabetics. These tax hikes will all be back if he is re-elected, when he will no longer need voters but will still need their money.
Then we have the carbon tax cover-up. It started with the blacking out of documents that I requested in an ATIP, asking for the real cost to average families of the Liberal carbon tax. The Liberals claim that this tax makes people better off. If that were true, surely they would be determined to release every single government document they have to prove it. Instead, there are dozens of pages covered, ironically, with black ink, which is of course a carbon-based product itself. They have not revealed how much carbon went into that ink either, so that is another part of this cover-up. That is only the first part of the costs they refused to reveal.
The second part is that the documents they released that were not blacked out indicated that they will not be able to meet their climate change goals with a $50-a-tonne carbon tax. They now admit that it will require a $300 carbon tax. That is six times higher than they admit and 15 times higher than the tax is expected to be this year. Rather than, as the government claims, costing Ontario families about $600, when the carbon tax is implemented it will cost them over $3,000. Rather than costing the average Saskatchewan family about $900, it will cost that same family well over $5,000.
Again, that is based on documents the government released, and the numbers are calculated based on the government's own figures. These are not the opposition's calculations; they come directly out of the government's documents. In reality, if Canadians re-elect the present Prime Minister, they will pay carbon taxes in excess of $3,000 per year in Ontario and $5,000 a year in Saskatchewan.
The Prime Minister will tell Canadians not to worry because he will send them a rebate for $150 a year. Big deal. Trading $3,000 for $150 might make sense if one has inherited a family fortune, but for the folks who pinch their pennies in order to get by, that is a financial disaster. For families who are $200 away from failing to pay their monthly bills, that is a mathematical impossibility. They recognize that they are already paying for the Prime Minister's mistakes, and they cannot afford to pay a fortune more.
The next proof point that the government will impose massive tax increases if the Prime Minister is re-elected is the deficit. The Prime Minister promised we would have a balanced budget. He broke that promise. He broke his promise on deficits; he will break his promise on taxes. It is a mathematical fact that runaway and growing, permanent deficits must eventually lead to tax increases. The only way to avoid that is to set in place a plan, starting this year, to phase out that deficit over a reasonable time frame so that we can avoid the higher taxes that the Prime Minister is setting Canadians up to pay.
This is an unavoidable fact. We have seen it before. Back in the eighties and nineties, the deficit grew and grew until the interest was consuming one out of every three dollars that Canadians spent on their federal taxes. Now we see the same trend. The deficit is growing, and so is the debt interest. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, by the year 2023, only four years from now, we will be spending $40 billion a year on debt interest. That is an increase of two-thirds from last year. We will be spending more on debt interest than the government currently spends on health transfers. In other words, that means money for bankers and bondholders rather than for doctors and nurses.
Of course, when that happens, the Prime Minister will come back here and say that circumstances have changed and he can no longer keep his promises, and that yes, he denied and denied during the 2019 election that he was going to raise taxes, just as he had denied and denied that he would run long-term deficits in the election before, but that unfortunately he is going to have to make Canadians pay more. We can almost imagine him giving the speech now, a tear rolling down his cheek, blaming everyone but himself: “It is the world's fault. It is Stephen Harper's fault. It is John A. Macdonald's fault. It is Wilfrid Laurier's fault.” He could go further back into history, I am sure. There is no one who is more skilled at externalizing blame for his own failures than the Prime Minister. We can count on him to do it again in the future. If—God forbid—he is re-elected, he will impose massive taxes.
It is a common characteristic of those who have never had to pay for their own mistakes. If people inherit a family fortune, they just pass on their mistakes to others and let them pay for it. That is how he has lived his life and that is how he has governed the country. However, Canadians can no longer afford to pay for his mistakes.
That brings us to the fifth and final proof point: because he inherited a fortune, he costs one. He costs Canadians a fortune.
Most people understand the basic principle of scarcity. When they are raising their kids, they will tell them they can do skiing in the winter or hockey, but they cannot do both, or they can have a great vacation at the cottage or at Disneyland, but they cannot do both. Most people who go out and buy groceries are going to make sure they get the best price for those groceries so that their dollar goes as far as possible. Someone who inherits a family fortune does not have any appreciation for that sense of scarcity, because there is always someone else's money to spend. It is always “yes” and “get me the most expensive one you can find”. That is exactly how he has run the government.
Do members know that the Government of Canada is 25% more expensive today than when the Prime Minister took office? Does anybody out there in the real world believe they are getting 25% better services or products from the Government of Canada? I cannot find a constituent who can identify a 25% increase in the benefit.
If a grocery store charges 25% more than the competition but says to just trust it because it is worth the money, yet the product is exactly the same as before or worse than before, then really the grocery store is asking the consumer to pay for the brand name. Does that not remind us of someone? Even though it is way more expensive, worse in quality, costs more and does less, we would pay 25% more for the brand name.
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie: It is Prime Minister's choice.
Hon. Pierre Poilievre: Someone said that it is the Prime Minister's choice, not President's Choice. I thank the member for that very helpful intervention.
However, there it is, the case that Canadians need to hear: if the Liberal government is elected with the current Prime Minister at its head, they will raise taxes, and those tax hikes will cost Canadians a fortune. We know this because he raised taxes before. He got caught trying to raise them again, and he covered up the true cost of the carbon tax. We will have to pay for his never-ending and growing deficits. Of course, he inherited a fortune, he spends a fortune, and therefore he will cost a fortune.
I do not want it all to be about bad news, because in a democracy there is always an alternative, and we have a good one. We have as our leader the son of a working-class family who grew up with the same struggles as ordinary Canadians. He worked at a local restaurant in order to pay his bills and get through university.
He had a driver too, but his driver was a bus driver. He talks fondly about how hard it was trying to convince a girl to go on a date when they had to meet at a bus station. He worked in insurance briefly before he was elected to Parliament. He raised his five children with the same values he inherited from his working-class family. Those values were that he had to work for everything he had, had to live within his means, and could not make others pay for his mistakes.
We need to empower individuals and their families to get ahead through their own ambitions and hard work. It is not about us and it is not about him. It is not even about our leader; it is about everyday Canadians achieving their dreams through their own hard work. It is about putting people before government.
Under our leader, we will make government live within its means so that life is more affordable and Canadians can achieve their dreams.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the hon. member spoke about many things I disagree with. I am flabbergasted that she still contends that the USMCA, for example, was in any way an improvement on the previous situation we had under NAFTA. Canada made nothing but concessions in the context of those deals. The triumphs the Liberals pointed to were merely concessions they did not make.
I want to ask this, which pertains particularly to the topic of the motion that was proposed. The government talks about all its spending. Does it, at a basic level, acknowledge that when it takes on debt it has to pay interest on that debt, which ends up costing Canadians more over the long term? In other words, if it does not have a plan to balance the budget, if it fails to develop such a plan, that failure has a significant cost to Canadians in terms of higher taxes. What ends up happening then is that we pay taxes not for social programs, not for the vital needs of Canadians, but we simply end up paying more and more taxes to fund interest on debt to pay bondholders more money. Surely, that is not in the public interest.
Does the member accept, as a point of basic principle, that we should be, as much as possible, using our taxes to fund things for Canadians and not interest on debt that is continually being accumulated as a result of the failure of the current government?
View Jennifer O'Connell Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Jennifer O'Connell Profile
2019-01-29 11:13 [p.24943]
Madam Speaker, what I will first say is that I would take absolutely zero lessons from the Conservatives on how to manage a stable economy. The Conservative government added $150 billion to the debt in 10 years. The Conservatives speak about the debt, yet they added $150 billion. What did that get Canadians? Tax cuts for the wealthiest, low growth rates, high unemployment rates and cuts to things like services for veterans and Canadians. They did nothing to support seniors and to ensure that Canadians have a dignified retirement.
Therefore, I do not accept the Conservative member's premise on how to manage an economy that grows for everybody. That is what Canadians elected us to do and that is exactly what we are delivering on.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2019-01-29 11:45 [p.24947]
Madam Speaker, it is entertaining to watch those two parties argue over who can be more expensive to Canadian taxpayers, who will pay more than the other. It is really impressive to see how quickly they can run up the costs for Canadians taxpayers and that they measure their success by how costly they can be. We will let them continue to carry on this bidding war. We will stand on the side with people who earn the money in the first place, hard-working Canadian taxpayers.
The member is debating a motion related to gradually eliminating the deficit and balancing the budget. He claims always to be against handing fortunes to wealthy people, on Bay Street in particular. There is no mechanism that more readily hands money to the wealthy on Bay Street than interest on our national debt. Who does he think the lenders are who collect the interest? Does he think they just hand over the money out of the generosity of their hearts, all of these investment banks and private equity fund managers? Does he really believe they expect nothing in return? I do not think he does.
He accepts that we pay interest on that debt, that the interest comes from the working class and then it goes to the super rich, that it is a transfer from the have-nots to the have-yachts. Does he not therefore support our view that we should limit public debt?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-01-29 11:47 [p.24947]
Madam Speaker, the member for Carleton is really hilarious on this because he asked the question just a few minutes ago about who would increase the cost of government most. He should already know the answer if he was listening to the debate. The answer is, the Conservatives. Yes, the Liberals increased the cost of government 25% over the term of its mandate, and the member raised those figures quite rightfully in the House of Commons. What he forgot to do, in not doing his homework, was check what the comparative figures were for the Conservatives. There was a 25% increase for the Liberals. What happened under the Conservative mandate? It was a 34% increase in the cost of government. Thirty-four per cent is far worse than the Liberals.
The Conservatives love giving money to Bay Street, love giving money to have-yachts, love giving money to anyone who is rich. With the motion today, they will permanently fossilize any attempt to actually build a fair tax system.
According to the member, the web giants will never have to pay a single dollar of income tax in Canada and all of those offshore tax havens will continue under the Conservatives. That is why we are voting against the motion. The Conservatives did not do their homework. They actually win the gold medal for increasing the cost of government from 2006 to 2015.
View Peter Kent Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Kent Profile
2019-01-29 11:53 [p.24948]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to support the motion before the House. I will be sharing my time with the member for St. Albert—Edmonton.
Members may recall that in the last election campaign in 2015, the then leader of the third party promised modest deficits, if elected, leading to a balanced budget by the end of that Liberal term. He said that the promised balanced budget in 2019 was “very” cast in stone. It is not very grammatical, but that is what he said.
The Conservatives warned the brash new leader that in times of modest growth, responsible governments did not run the country into deficits. I am sure members will recall that in 2015 Canada was in modest growth mode. After guiding the country through the 2008-09 recession, Canada was hailed by economists around the world for being the last country to go into recession and the first to emerge, and emerge strongly.
After guiding the country through the 2008-09 recession, our Conservative government raised infrastructure spending by three times and we did it while balancing budgets and lowering taxes on Canadians. In short, our previous government's building Canada plan was the largest long-term infrastructure plan in Canadian history that was itself structured to keep the country out of a structural deficit.
We know that Canadians, for a variety of reasons, made a fateful choice at the ballot box. Almost immediately, buyer's remorse began setting in as the new Liberal government began breaking promises. It broke promises across the policy spectrum. There is not time to list all of those broken promises again today, but the biggest, the most damaging broken promise was the “very cast in stone” promise to run three modest deficits of $10 billion a year, returning to balance in the final year of the mandate, this year, 2019.
Instead, and despite a $20 billion windfall of a booming world economy, the Liberal government blew it all, and has run huge budget deficits, leading to today when the Parliamentary Budget Office tells us that the deficit is more than $21 billion this year alone. According to Finance Canada, the budget will not be balanced until at least 2040. By then, Canada will be looking at an additional $271 billion in debt.
It is abundantly clear that as the Liberal government and the misguided Liberal Prime Minister runs now chronic deficits, he is borrowing money not only from our children but from our grandchildren, in fact, from our great grandchildren. Today's deficits are tomorrow's taxes. As much as taxes have been raised by the Liberal government and continue to be raised based on its past, current and future spending plans, the worst is yet to come.
As the leader of the official opposition, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, warned Canadians on the weekend, if the Prime Minister is re-elected, our taxes will go up. Taxes will go up in many areas and for a variety of reasons. My colleagues have spoken, and will speak, about the results of misguided policy mistakes and ineffective spending. However, I would like to discuss another example of irresponsible deficit spending with regard to the almost $650 million committed to the ill-considered commitment to bail out the Canadian news industry, widely seen as a cynical election year attempt to co-opt, to buy-off, media owners and publishers.
Members will recall that $50 million was allotted in the 2018 budget and another $595 million promised in the 2018 fall economic statement. There is a stark disagreement between the owners and shareholders and those who actually generate news content on the worthiness and acceptability of the bailout, and I will address that in a moment.
I grew up and was blessed to develop a career in the golden age of 20th century conventional media after arriving in Canada from England near the end of the Second World War. I was born in a Canadian army hospital in Sussex to Albertans serving in the army and army medical core. My father went to work for the Southam newspaper chain in Canada: the Ottawa Citizen, the Medicine Hat News, the Calgary Herald and so forth.
I enjoyed many happy days with my dad at the various papers, captivated by the smell of hot lead, clanking Linotype machines and the wonderful roar of the presses. That led me to a wonderful career in journalism, more than four decades in radio, television and newspapers, working for CTV, Global, CBC, NBC and Monitor Television. I was honoured to host CBC's The National for a couple of years in the mid-70s, before being assigned, or actually exiled, abroad for successfully challenging Trudeau government interference in CBC editorial decision-making during the time of the Parti Québécois government in Quebec.
I participated in the ultimately ill-fated attempt to converge the Global Television Network with the former Southam newspapers to adapt to the rapidly changing media changes at the turn of the century.
I saw far too many colleagues deal with the harsh downsizing of newsrooms, as fragmented advertising budgets and audiences took a destructive toll on the gathering and generation of Canadian news content: local, national and international.
Back now to the stark disagreement over the almost three-quarter-billion dollar news industry bailout I mentioned earlier between boardroom and newsroom. News organization CEOs and publishers, who draw multi-million dollar salaries and equally outsized bonuses as their newsrooms are depleted, are delighted. Then Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey enthusiastically welcomed the finance minister's fall economic statement announcement. Mr. Godfrey recommended that “Everyone in journalism should be doing a victory lap around their building right now.”
However, I agree passionately with a host of Canada's most respected journalists who immediately rejected the Liberals' bailout as an unacceptable intervention that will compromise the independence of their craft. I share their opposition to the Liberal proposal of a panel of news experts who would distribute the election-year beneficence by deciding which newsrooms are credible and worthy and which newsrooms are not.
The Canadian news industry is not disappearing. It is being transformed from conventional print and broadcast forms to digital platforms. To my mind, struggling conventional organizations will survive only with public policy adjustments that will reset and level the playing field for private sector newsrooms.
The finance minister cannot justify the Liberals' $600-million-plus election year bailout, because he has absolutely no idea what will happen after his subsidized transition period. That is unacceptable. Intervention should have a goal beyond short-term survival and dependence.
I will save discussion of the public policy remedies the government should be considering for another day. I offer the misguided attempt to bail out the Canadian news industry as just another example of the out-of-control deficit spending by the Liberals.
I will conclude by returning to the ask of today's worthy motion:
That....the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019 to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2019-01-29 12:53 [p.24956]
Mr. Speaker, it is a real pleasure to rise today in this new interim House of Commons, representing the good people of Barrie—Innisfil. History will certainly be made in this place over the course of the next 10 years or more. It is nice to know that we will get back to Centre Block before a balanced budget is even expected in this country.
Last year, on December 21, four days before Christmas, the finance department released a report, from which we learned that the budget will not be balanced until at least the year 2040. Let us think about that. My son, who is now 14 years old, will be 35 years old before the budget is balanced. I do not even want to begin to think how much he and those his age will have to pay in taxes.
Like many Canadians, I am worried about my children and their children. With the current government's record on spending, I want to know what tomorrow's Canadians are going to have to pay. I want to know whether they will be able to buy houses and have a good quality of life in spite of the government's spending.
I am also worried, quite frankly, for the residents in Barrie—Innisfil who are heading into retirement, seniors who will be profoundly affected by this fiscally irresponsible government. That is why I am happy to speak today to this motion by the member for Carleton. I will again remind the House what the motion says. It states:
That, given the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year and that perpetual and growing deficits lead to massive tax increases, the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019—
That is in a few short months.
—to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
It stands to reason that when a country is faced with debt and deficits, the inevitability of raising taxes is going to happen. There is no question about that. Canadians should not be questioning that. The government ran on the fact that the budget would be balanced this year. We are finding out that the deficit this year will be $20 billion, and in fact the budget will not be balanced until the year 2040.
Think about the impact that is going to have on everyday working Canadians who quite simply cannot afford it. A report came out last week that said that 46% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency: $200. It is a very fine line that Canadians are walking right now with respect to the level of debt and deficit they are facing, not to mention the fact that the government is putting it on.
I am also very pleased and honoured to be sharing my time today with the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.
The Prime Minister does not have to worry about household debt or incurring deficits. In fact, he has inherited a family fortune, so he has no worries at all, unlike the families in Barrie and Innisfil who have to worry on a day in, day out basis about their financial situations.
The other thing is that the Prime Minister got caught trying to impose tax hikes. He tried to put a 73% tax hike on small businesses. It was not until the opposition brought that forward and spoke to businesses across the country that the backlash occurred and the Prime Minister and the Liberal government backed down on those tax hikes.
Do not think for a second that those tax hikes will not come if the Prime Minister is re-elected. He also tried to impose a tax on health and dental benefits and employee discounts. Waitresses and waiters who get free meals as part of their working conditions were going to be taxed on those things. Again, the opposition brought that forward. He also tried to impose taxes on a disability tax credit for diabetics. These tax hikes, make no mistake, will be on the table again if the Prime Minister is re-elected.
As I mentioned earlier, he has also broken his promise on higher deficits. Higher deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow. Somebody has to pay for this.
Those living in Ontario saw 15 years of Liberal mismanagement. The Liberal structural debt was the largest sub-sovereign nation debt in the world. It was billions of dollars of debt. Billions of dollars were being paid toward interest payments that could have gone to government services to help those who were vulnerable and in need. Instead, the provincial Liberal government ended up incurring debt and deficits.
We are on the same path. In fact, during the last election, I spoke often in all candidates debates and I toured around, talking to my constituents. I spoke about the fact that we were on the same path federally as we were provincially in Ontario. That path was one of structural debt and deficits from which it would be very difficult to recover.
That is why the election in 2019 has become one of the most critical elections in the country's history. We cannot allow the federal Liberal government to do what the Ontario Liberal government did in Ontario. We have to stop it now. As we have seen from finance department reports, the budget will not be balanced for another 31 years.
We know this is the Prime Minister's plan. There is no reason to believe him on a lot of things he promises. He promised that the deficit would be low. He promised that he budget would be balanced this year. The only thing that is sure, as a result of what the government's fiscal policy has shown, is that taxes will rise after the 2019 election once he is given that further mandate. Canadians cannot afford that.
They cannot afford a carbon tax either. We have heard that the carbon tax will cost $20 a tonne. Some finance department projections say that it could cost upwards of $300 a tonne. What would that mean for families in Ontario? It would mean $3,000 extra a year in carbon taxes when they are already struggling. When they are already on a razor-thin line of insolvency, how will this help them meet their economic needs? It will not.
We also heard that families in Saskatchewan will be spending up to $5,000 with the carbon tax. It is really interesting. When the Liberals are talking about taking from one pocket and giving to another, they are talking about giving a rebate. If the purpose of a carbon tax is to change people's habits, what incentive and motivation is there when the government taxes them and then gives them a rebate?
How is that going to help families in Barrie—Innisfil that are required to drive up and down Highway 400 every day to get to Mississauga or Vaughan to go to work? What about those soccer moms who have to drive their kids to soccer? What about those hockey families that drive all over Ontario? My family was one of them. We would drive from Barrie to Peterborough to Kingston so our kids could play hockey. Why are those families going to be penalized with a carbon tax that the Prime Minister even admitted on a Quebec television show would have no difference in the country at all in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
The government's own documents say that it has to raise that carbon tax by $300 a tonne. That is 15 times more than what it is going to cost now. The only way the Liberals are going to do that is if they raise it after the election, if they are elected again.
Just as in Ontario, we cannot let this take root. We as Canadians have to stop this now. If we allow the Liberal government four more years or more, we will be in a structural deficit and debt situation that will profoundly impact the lives of Canadians in a negative way.
We as an opposition are here to stand up for Canadians. We are here to stand up for them and their dreams, not what the government wants to impose on them. We and our leader will continue to fight. We will continue to stand up for what is right for Canadians. We will ensure that we balance the budget and that Canadians pay lower taxes so they can achieve their dreams for their families.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
2019-01-29 13:37 [p.24962]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to this opposition motion presented by the hon. member for Carleton and to provide some insight and my perspective on it.
I will start by saying that, as usual, I am perplexed by the fact that the Conservatives somehow have this moral high ground to stand on to judge this side of the House when it comes to fiscal responsibility. For some reason there is a notion out there, and I would say it goes far beyond just our borders, that Conservative and alt-right governments are fiscally responsible.
In reality, when we actually stop and look at it, what we see, in looking back at the last 19 budgets introduced by Conservative governments in the House of Commons of Canada, 16 ran deficits. This is really easy to prove. Anyone can go on Google and see this. As a matter of fact, and this one takes a little more work, but with help from the Library of Parliament I was able to do it, if we actually dig and look at the debt that has been created by governments over the past 151 years, we actually find that the Conservatives have been in power for 36% of the time yet have racked up well over 50% of the debt.
For some reason, there is a perception out there that Conservatives are somehow fiscally responsible. However, the proof, in the last 151 years of this experiment that we call Canada, has not produced any results that actually substantiate that claim.
We come to today's motion, presented by the hon. member for Carleton. He is specifically trying to drill down in various rhetorical ways, as he has done many times in the past in this House, on commitments made by the government.
What we have been able to see, the results from the government over the last three years plus, is the lowest rate of unemployment since we started recording it over 40 years ago. We are now sitting at the lowest rate. That is what the government has produced.
The debt-to-GDP ratio, which is extremely relevant, but of course, the Conservatives never want to talk about it, because it is pretty amazing as well, is at the lowest rate it has been in Canada, and more importantly, is among the lowest rates among the G7 countries. We currently have among the best, especially when we compare ourselves to our neighbour to the south, debt-to-GDP ratios.
We are also one of the national leaders among the G7 countries when it comes to growth. This is as a result of investing. This is as a result of investing in Canadians. This is as a result of investing in their potential. This is as a result of investing in businesses in Canada. That is what this government is doing, and that is why we are seeing the results we are.
Let us talk about the first thing the government did when it came into power. The first thing it did was reduce taxes for the middle class and raise them on the 1%. We recognized, unlike the Conservatives, that to have a successful economy, we need to have people out there in the marketplace engaging in the marketplace. We are not going to have a successful economy if all the wealth and all the income is among the top 1%.
One would think, from a business perspective, that the Conservatives would get this. We need people to spend money. How are people going to make money in their businesses if we do not have people spending money? That is exactly what the tax cut for the middle class is all about.
It is also about creating equality and equal opportunities. It is about seeing the potential in marginalized segments of our population and how they can contribute to our economy. That includes an issue that I am extremely passionate about as it relates to gender equality and putting more women in the workforce in less traditional jobs in this country. This is about creating opportunities and putting the necessary pieces of the puzzle in place so that we can see the success that continues to see our country grow. That is exactly what we have done.
We also recognize that we have to take care of some of the most vulnerable in our community. That is why the government put in place a $40-billion, 10-year plan with respect to a national affordable housing strategy to assist people. If people do not have the most basic requirement of housing, if they do not have their most basic need, how can they possibly be expected to perform and work in our society and generate wealth and opportunities? That is what we saw, and that is why we are delivering on that.
At the same time that we made sure to put the social elements in place, we also looked at strengthening the private sector and the business sector. That is why this government decided to reduce the small business corporate tax rate from 11% to 9%.
I will note that this was introduced in the budget last year, and the Conservatives voted against it. I challenged them on this many times, asking why they would vote against a reduction from 11% to 9%, and the answer, to be fair, was that they had to vote against the entire budget, so they could not vote for that.
Fair enough, but not once did I hear a Conservative member stand to say, “Despite the fact that I am going to be voting against the budget, I would like to say that I am really happy with seeing the corporate tax rate for small businesses reduced from 11% to 9%.” I may stand corrected and I would love to see the excerpt from Hansard to confirm that I am wrong, but I spend a lot of time in the House through the various debates, and whether from this side of the House or from the opposition putting forward motions, I have yet to hear that.
As we put these different mechanisms in place to strengthen the social aspects of our communities and to strengthen businesses, we are seeing the results coming out on the other end of it. We have 14 new free trade agreements covering 26 countries. We are the only G7 nation with free trade access to the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. This government understands the benefits of putting policy in place that gives us the opportunity to start trading and working collaboratively with other economies so that we can see the win-win scenarios that come out of those. We are going to continue doing that.
We will continue to work to make sure that we strengthen our economy and, more importantly than just the economy, the people who contribute to that economy and who make the economy a reality. We are going to do this by making sure that we put those elements in place.
When I listen to the debate from the other side of the House, as I have this morning and into the afternoon, I wonder about exactly what the Conservatives would cut.
The Conservatives talk about austerity and the need to cut, cut, cut, and one of the things that has come up a number of times in this debate is the Canada child benefit. The member who introduced this motion might be interested to know that 16,400 children in Carleton receive the Canada child benefit, which equates an average of $5,400 per month per family. The member for Carleton might want to start having a conversation with those members of his community as to what he plans to do with the CCB should he ever be put in a position to have the ability to do something with it.
Because the Conservatives refuse to tell us what austerity measures they will take, the only reference point we have is to see what Doug Ford has done in Ontario. We know that the Leader of the Opposition and Doug Ford are pretty tight, since we have seen pictures of them hanging out and they have had several meetings. I can only assume that the Leader of the Opposition is taking his direction from Doug Ford. If that is the case, Ontarians and Canadians should be extremely worried.
Let us look at what Doug Ford has done. He is stripping education, removing free education for the poorest of families in Ontario. He has eliminated repairs to school buildings. He has removed the youth pharmacare plan. Doug Ford eliminated the indigenous culture fund. He scrapped social assistance increases. He scrapped the minimum wage and he put an end to the round table on violence against women.
Who would do that? How much could that possibly have cost? However, Doug Ford did that.
Since the opposition refuses to say what it plans to do in terms of austerity, Canada should look to Doug Ford, who is the Leader of the Opposition's best friend these days, to see what direction it will head in, because that is the direction this country would head in if the people of Canada gave the Leader of the Opposition the opportunity to do so.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-01-29 13:51 [p.24964]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be sharing my time with the hon. member for Durham.
Our Conservative Party of Canada official opposition motion of the day states:
That, given the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year and that perpetual and growing deficits lead to massive tax increases, the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019 to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
Today's official opposition motion contains two facts, followed by two requirements. I know the facts resonate with Canadians across the country and reflect the frustration and anger of Saskatchewan constituents, who can hardly sleep because they are so motivated to see this be a “won and it's done“ disastrous blip in our country's history.
As for the two requirements, we are simply asking the Prime Minister today to table a plan to eliminate the deficit, as he promised, without any tax increases. The government has one more opportunity before the door hits them on the way out to stop spending foolishly—while insisting that veterans are asking for more than they can give—and live within their means instead of crippling the life out of our economy.
When the election is over and Canadians breathe a common sigh of relief, there will be no rewriting of this history of the Liberal damage done. The ghost of Pierre Elliott Trudeau still haunts this country, and now the son who thought he could follow in his father's footsteps will be making his own footprints in the snow, contemplating with incredulity that budgets actually do not balance themselves after all.
The first fact is that the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year. Canadians laughed when he said the budget will balance itself. They are no longer amused. He promised he would balance the budget in 2019. Instead, he continues to spend. The PBO confirmed that the deficit is more than $21 billion this year alone. The Prime Minister clearly thinks he can borrow his way out of debt. According to Finance Canada, the budget will not be balanced until at least 2040, by then racking up an additional $271 billion of debt.
When trying desperately to change the channel, the Prime Minister sings the praises of his only two claims to fame. He claims to have lowered taxes for the middle class while raising them on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians. He claimed that the loss of revenue to the government from the temporary gift of tax relief to middle-class Canadians would be offset by the increase on the wealthy.
On December 8, 2015, just weeks after the Liberals won the election, the Financial Post recorded that although the Prime Minister claimed during the campaign that the increased taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians would raise $2.8 billion in fiscal 2016, the Liberals had already had to change their prediction—i.e., break their promise. It would only raise $2 billion.
The artificial stimulus to rejuvenate the middle class was forecast in their platform to cost $2.9 billion in fiscal 2016. That prediction also fell short. The new forecasted cost, weeks into governing, was $3.4 billion. The Financial Post article on December 8, 2015, stated that “In other words, the middle class tax cut and corresponding increase on high earners was pitched as roughly revenue-neutral and will now cost $1.4 billion.” We know it is not costing the wealthy, because in fact they are actually paying over $4 billion less in taxes.
Here is the thing: Somehow the costing was not accurate. Whether it was due to poor fiscal advisement or simply a devious spin to win votes at any cost, lo and behold, the scheme was not revenue neutral but instead left a gaping hole of $1.4 billion. I think we can safely say that the trend of a $1.4-billion gap continues on at the very least annually to the current day.
Clearly, right from the get-go, the Prime Minister had no understanding or capability to cost or administer anything with the term “revenue neutral” attached. Do members need more proof? I will get to the carbon tax in a minute.
The Prime Minister's second claim to fame is the Canada child benefit, which he says is putting more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadians. I was speaking with a young father of four children last week who was really concerned and represents what I hear throughout my riding. He and his wife are both full-time students. He is working full time and his wife is home schooling their children. Yes, of course, they can always use the extra money. It helps out. However, he said that every month he cannot help but think about how his kids are going to suffer in the future, because by 2040 they will start to pay this debt off while starting to raise their families and will continue to be burdened with this huge debt they did not agree to.
It is not right to do this on the backs of the next generation. Every year that the Prime Minister runs deficits, he is borrowing money from future generations, maybe not from his kids and grandkids, but definitely from the children and grandchildren of today's middle-class parents. Today's deficits are tomorrow's tax hikes. The failure of the Prime Minister to balance the budget means higher taxes down the road and less protection against the next economic downturn.
Let us examine tomorrow's taxes, with the fake revenue-neutral spin attached to the current government's carbon tax. For New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Liberal carbon tax will increase the cost of gas, home heating and everyday essentials. This will impact the everyday lives of families in those provinces. It will do nothing for the planet, other than continue to destroy Canada's economy and force us to use resources from lesser environmentally concerned countries. It is compounding the uncertainty that is sending investment, bright leaders and capable, competent workers out of Canada, thus devastating businesses all over this country.
Worst still, it is going to get even more expensive. In 2019, the federal carbon tax starts at $20 a tonne, going up to $50 a tonne in three years. However, internal government documents confirm the Liberals are already planning for a carbon tax of $300 a tonne. That is 15 times larger than it will be on April 1, when it kicks in. This is no April fool's joke. A special carbon tax side deal with Canada's largest emitters means they will not be impacted, while families and small business owners get hit with the full force of this tax. For wealthy Liberals, like our Prime Minister, an extra $100 a month for groceries or an electrical bill may not be a big deal, but it matters a lot to a family trying to make their household budget last to the end of the month.
Then there is the silent killer, the additional GST being charged on the carbon tax. There's nothing to see here, right? It was intended all along as another way to make up for the poor fiscal management of the current Liberal government, a government that thinks it knows better and could provide better from a postnational ideology that destroys the rights of individuals to create their own wealth, grow their own families and enjoy a life where government does not dictate values, make demands or punish the very people it is there to serve.
In 2019, Canadians will have a clear choice between a leader who knows their challenges because he has lived the same challenges and his family is his plumb line, and a leader who has never known what it feels like to go without so that his kids could have more, or work every day to earn what he has. Canadians deserve a government made up of talented, passionate, motivated men and women, who fight every day to help Canadians realize their dreams. That is what our Conservative team is offering. We will lower taxes, put people first and enable Canadians to be proud on the world stage once again.
The Conservatives will continue to expose the Prime Minister's many failures and expose how Canadians will be paying for more of those failures if he is re-elected, while presenting our own vision for creating opportunity to help Canadians get ahead.
I can imagine the Prime Minister would love to get his hands on our Conservative platform for the 2019 election. He has asked for it almost every day: “What's your plan? What's your plan? What's your plan?” He is going to have to be patient. We want to show it to Canadians first.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-01-29 16:13 [p.24987]
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Beauport—Limoilou.
The motion before us today reads as follows:
That, given the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year and that perpetual and growing deficits lead to massive tax increases, the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019 to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
This is a very reasonable motion put forward by the Conservative Party's shadow minister of finance. It speaks to the responsibility that we have as parliamentarians to be wise stewards of taxpayer dollars.
I want to briefly outline why the Prime Minister's broken promise on deficits is so important to Canadians, why they should be concerned about it, why these deficits will undoubtedly lead to higher taxes and why it is so important for my colleagues across the way to look away from the Prime Minister and say what is in the best interests of their constituents, which is to bring the deficit down significantly, work back to balance and to not raise taxes on Canadians.
First, I will talk about the Prime Minister's broken promise. In 2015, the Prime Minister made the following promise to Canadians, a balanced budget in 2019, and from the Liberal platform, “modest short-term deficits of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years” and a balance sheet with a debt to GDP ratio of 27%. Where are we today on those promises after the Prime Minister famously said that the budget would will balance itself?
The Liberals made these three promises in the 2015 campaign. Their management approach was that the budget would balance itself. My colleague has asked many times when the budget will balance itself and we have not heard an answer.
This is where we are at today. The finance department itself, the government's own public servant, has said that there will be no balanced budget until at least 2040, 21 years from now. That is really irresponsible to not even have a target on when we can get back to balance.
The amount of debt just on the current course that we are on, never mind having to deal with future issues or whatever, is that the Prime Minister will have added an additional $271 billion of debt on our country. This comes on the fact that the Prime Minister, when he came into government in 2015, inherited a balanced budget from the former Conservative government.
In October of this year, in time for the 2019 election, or it might be earlier we never know with the Liberals, the Liberals have added over $75 billion of debt in that short period of time. They have clearly broken their promise and the debt to GDP ratio will be around 30.5% in October, so they have increased that as well.
Why is this so important? First, we notice that when a lot of Liberal cabinet ministers or parliamentary secretaries stand in question period, they use something of a success metric that no small business owner or anybody in a household would use as a success metric. They say that the Liberals have spent x amount of money. When we ask how they are going to solve this problem, they say that they have spent x amount of money. They do not talk about actually fixing the problem. They just talk about spending money. That is because the Liberals do not understand that spending money is not a metric of success in government, that we need to be very wise about when we spend money.
The problem with this deficit is that Canadians do not really have anything to show for all that debt the Liberals have incurred on their behalf. I do not see the green line in Calgary that our former government committed to under the context of a balanced budget bill. The only infrastructure that really has been filled under the present government was the then minister of infrastructure and communities office renovations, which was about $1 million.
What the Liberal government has done is expanded the size of government just for the sake of expanding it, not to help Canadians. That is a problem.
Canadians are spending money and not getting anything out of it. However, someone has to pay for this at some point, which is why the government will absolutely raise taxes on Canadians. They are seeing this massive debt increase. The Liberals are expanding government. They have ever-increasing costs of so many different things without results, but the economy will not be resilient. It is not going to be competitive. Therefore, when the economy retracts, we start seeing a decrease in government revenue.
We have the Liberals increasing expenses for no reason and racking up massive deficits, putting in place very negative scenarios for economic growth over time, which means there is a high probability that government revenue will decrease. Therefore, how do we get more money? If we are not going to decrease expenses and not increase revenue through economy growth, what is left? It is taxes. People should be concerned about the deficit because every Canadian will have to pay through increased taxes for the Prime Minister's mistakes. The mistake is the deficit, a promise he broke to Canadians.
Let us talk about competitiveness. While our major trading partners in other parts of the world have been trying to put in place competitiveness aspects by reducing red tape and reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens or lowering taxes, we have been increasing those things. What do we see in Canada? We see talent and capital leaving Canada to invest in more competitive jurisdictions. That is a problem for the revenue side, which is going to precipitate a need for more taxes. Again, it is paying for the Prime Minister's failures.
Over time, that lack of competitiveness makes increased deficits. They make the government less able to withstand shock if we have a major economic incident as we saw in 2008, which we were able to weather with targeted short-term infrastructure investments and then a return back to balance in 2015.
The Prime Minister inherited a balanced budget, a very strong performing economy, and the campaign narrative was now was a good time to borrow money. The Liberals did not talk about why or the need to go into deficit. We are going to be less resilient and the government is going to be less able to spend in the future if we have these massive debts. Why? Because the more debt we have, and people who have a credit card bill understand this, the more interest payments we have. The Government of Canada has to pay interest on its debt. The more taxes that the Prime Minister has to collect to pay down the interest on his deficits means that we cannot spend money on things like infrastructure, like the green line in my riding of Calgary.
The government has created a massive problem by its deficits for no-reason policy, by adding all of this debt to the Canadian government and the Canadian people and it is going to result in higher taxes. That is why we put forward the motion today. It is for government members to have an opportunity to say, “You're right, we need to stop this.” Canadians should not be in a position where they have to pay for the Prime Minister's mistakes.
Also, we have ample evidence now that the budget will not balance itself.
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
NDP (QC)
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
2019-01-29 16:59 [p.24994]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate and rise for the first time in this temporary House to give a speech.
Unfortunately, we are once again debating a Conservative motion. Whether in the permanent House or here in the temporary one, they have fixated on two things: the carbon tax and balanced budgets.
As I was saying to a colleague earlier, we are being asked to vote on a motion that would indefinitely tie our hands with respect to taxes in Canada. If the members of the House pass this motion, the government and the House will never be able to increase taxes under any circumstances. This is a rather restrictive motion that would tie our hands indefinitely. The motion does not have a time limit, even though my colleague seemed to be saying that it would only apply to the Liberals' next term. The motion clearly states, in black and white, that the government must never raise taxes of any kind.
My colleague may have had good intentions when addressing fiscal responsibility. The NDP is a very responsible party when it comes to taxation. Members need only look at the record of the numerous NDP governments in many provinces over the years. By examining the record of other major Canadian political parties, we come to realize that the NDP has the best record on fiscal responsibility in Canada.
Naturally it makes sense to talk about taxation, responsibility and a balanced budget in the House. These are important themes for those listening to the debates, for several observers of Canadian politics and for people in the financial and business sectors concerned with these issues.
Every government must manage public finances responsibly and must have a credible plan for returning to a balanced budget when it makes investments and accumulates deficits. This is probably the biggest shortcoming of the current Liberal government. It has no plan for balancing the budget. That is what the Conservatives' motion condemns.
If that was all, we would be having a different discussion. Unfortunately, the Conservatives go much further. They want perhaps to divide the House by asking us to indefinitely prohibit tax increases in Canada. As I stated earlier in a question addressed to my colleague, it is totally irresponsible today, in 2019, to support such a motion that would forever tie our hands.
On this file, the Conservatives are big talkers. They act as though they were perfect and never ran any deficits. They keep talking about balanced budgets, but recent history shows that they do the opposite of what they say.
Earlier, my Conservative colleague said that running deficits inevitably leads to raising taxes and paying more in interest every year. It is true that the interest rates are high and that they increase over time, according to forecasts. If interest rates go up, so does the cost of the public debt. That is money that goes directly in the pockets of Canadian and global high finance. Major financiers are lining their pockets and giving bonuses to bank executives.
My colleague said that interest rates would inevitably go up, but she failed to mention that the Conservatives added $150 billion to the public debt over the last decade they were in power. The Conservatives themselves increased the public debt by $150 billion. I would therefore like to ask my colleague how much that represents in higher taxes and higher interest charges.
The Conservatives are all talk and no action. When it comes time to walk the talk, unfortunately, that is when we see the Conservatives' true colours, for they do not do as they say. They tell others to do as they say, but will not do so themselves, unfortunately.
What can we say about the Liberals in all that?
The first item in the Minister of Finance's mandate letter is a plan to balance the budget in 2019-20. Lucky for us, that is this year. Perhaps in the upcoming budget we will have our answer to that promise and that mandate letter, which puts balancing the budget at the top of the list. At that point we will see whether that promise can be added to the very long list of broken Liberal promises. Unfortunately, that is the reality. The Liberals make promises during the election campaign but then do the opposite once they are elected. That is what awaits Canadians during the next election campaign. Canadians will have to be vigilant and keenly aware of what the Liberals are all about—not just this Liberal government, but Liberals in general. Indeed, time after time, the Liberals have said one thing during an election campaign only to do the opposite afterwards or simply deny saying what they did to get elected.
That promise to balance the budget hints at the kind of political tactics the Liberals are likely to redeploy during the upcoming election campaign.
One thing the motion does not mention is what is in store for Canadians if the Conservatives win the next election: Stephen Harper-style austerity. I remember it well. Conservative austerity measures really hit hard in 2011. Soon after winning their majority in 2011, the Conservatives began cutting in every department. If I remember correctly, they instructed departments to cut nearly 5% of their budget.
That Conservative approach is what lies in wait for Canadians. Let us not fool ourselves. When the election rolls around, Canadians will have a choice to make. Voting for the Conservatives will mean voting for the kind of cuts we saw in my riding, Sherbrooke, where services to the public were reduced.
The Conservatives are already trying to convince people that their plan to balance the budget will not affect services to Canadians. That is totally false. Canadians must not allow themselves to be misled by such appealing promises. The truth is that it will be 2011 all over again.
Cuts were made to services in Sherbrooke between 2011 and 2015. There is no longer an Immigration Canada office in Sherbrooke. People no longer have in-person access to the services offered by Immigration Canada, they can rarely attend their citizenship ceremony in Sherbrooke, and they can no longer or rarely ever take citizenship tests there. People have to travel to Montreal to have access to those services. That is the reality created by the Conservative cuts. The impact of those cuts is still being felt in 2019 since the Liberals did nothing to remedy the situation.
The same thing goes for the Canada Revenue Agency. Before the Conservatives' 2011 austerity measures, the people of Sherbrooke had access to in-person services at the Canada Revenue Agency. When the Conservatives took office, they put an end to all in-person services there. They simply posted the telephone number to call for services on the door of the CRA office. That is the reality created by the Conservative cuts and austerity measures. With all due respect to the Conservatives, Canadians will be warned that cuts to services are hiding behind all this talk of balancing the budget.
Although I will not repeat what she said, I believe my colleague from London—Fanshawe pointed out just now that taxes are important. With all due respect to the Conservatives, taxes do serve a purpose. Throughout this debate, members seem to have forgotten that taxes serve a purpose: they make a fairer and more just society possible. As my colleague said, those who pay the least tax are also those who receive the most services. That is the kind of society we want to live in, a society where the least fortunate still have access to quality services so they can overcome their difficulties, succeed in life, and have a shot at a better future. Conservatives need to realize that taxes serve a purpose even if that offends their Conservative ideology.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-11-28 14:44 [p.24092]
Mr. Speaker, before the global financial crisis of 2008, Minister Flaherty paid down nearly $40 billion of our debt. To be fair, I will say that previous Liberal governments did the exact same thing. These decisions prepared us for the coming crisis.
Now, we are still seeing problems in the energy and auto sectors, increasing interest rates and potential upcoming crises.
How much of our national debt has the Prime Minister paid down?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-11-28 14:45 [p.24092]
Mr. Speaker, during the financial crisis of 2008, the Conservative government put billions of dollars into the Canadian economy but did not manage to stimulate economic growth for Canadians. On the contrary, Stephen Harper's Conservative government posted the worst economic growth of any prime minister since R.B. Bennett during the Great Depression, many decades ago.
We know that investing in Canadians, investing in infrastructure and investing in the future is what Canadians need.
View Mel Arnold Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mel Arnold Profile
2018-11-27 12:22 [p.24012]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-86, the budget implementation act. I feel fortunate that I will get to speak on this bill, but because of time allocation on this bill and multiple others by the government, many of my colleagues are not going to have the opportunity to debate it. I feel fortunate that I at least get to debate the bill and question the government.
It has been pointed out many times that the government made numerous promises in its election campaign that it has no intention of upholding. When I make a promise, I vow to uphold it, but the government seems to have no respect for that whatsoever or for Canadian citizens, which I find simply abhorrent.
Liberals promised not to introduce omnibus bills and yet we have a budget implementation act of over 800 pages, almost 900 pages, in fact. Just the summary of this bill is over 12 pages long. It is a massive bill that deserves full debate in the House, but with time allocation being applied, we will not get that opportunity. I have spoken with my colleagues who wanted parts of this bill taken out and debated separately in committee, but those requests were denied by the Liberals at committee. It is a shame that we cannot properly debate a bill that is so important to every Canadian.
I will go back to the election promises that the government made back in 2015. Liberals claim to have been elected on a mandate of what they said they would do for the Canadian public and a big part of it was to keep the deficit below $10 billion per year. That is a promise broken. Another part of the 2015 election campaign was that deficits would decrease annually as Liberals moved through their mandate. That is a promise broken. Liberals promised to reach a balanced budget by 2019. That is a promise broken. They promised to be open and transparent in their government. We have seen multiple times how that promise has been broken and we have another example of it again today with time allocation being applied to debate on this bill so that we cannot fully expose this bill for what it is to the Canadian public.
When I return to my riding of North Okanagan—Shuswap, increasingly people approach me and ask what we can do to stop this out-of-control spending by the government and the debt that it is passing on to future generations. That truly concerns me. There are a lot of young entrepreneurs in my riding looking to a brighter future, but we see what the government is doing with these continual deficits of nearly $20 billion year after year. Most people cannot visualize what that $20 billion would look like in a project in the town or community they live in or a project at home.
That $20 billion does not translate easily to individuals, but it creates an approximate $600 debt load per person. The government puts every man, woman, child, infant and senior in Canada further in debt by almost $600 every year. In three years, that is $1,800 for every man, woman and child. Imagine what it will cost a family of four people. It is unbelievable when people hear what this really means for families and individuals. When we work into that the percentage of Canadians who are full time in the workforce, it is probably about 25% of Canadians. Therefore, one in four Canadians is paying back the incredible debt that the government is building up.
In 2019, we are working towards electing a Conservative government, led by our leader. We are looking forward to bringing reality back to finances in Canada, so that we can provide hope and prosperity, and a future for those young Canadians.
The only way we are going to be able to do that is to try to keep them out of this incredible debt that the government keeps piling on. I cannot imagine. I have a daughter and son-in-law who have established themselves, but I cannot imagine having teenagers or young children right now and having to tell them that, with the government, they are going to be another $500 or $600 per year further in debt every time the government passes a budget. That is very troubling to me. I cannot imagine passing on that information on the doorstep.
That is what I am hearing from people when I am back home. They do not want that debt passed on to their children. Time and time again, people are asking, “How can we stop this?”
Another of the factors that have popped up in this bill and that have been pointed out is the increase in the debt servicing costs of government. It will not matter whether it is a Liberal, Conservative, coalition or minority government. It will not matter; the increased debt servicing costs could grow by up to 60% under the current government's plan. That is incomprehensible. It will mean that we could end up paying more in debt servicing per year than our current health care transfers to the provinces.
What it means is that what the government is creating in deficits and debt load to future governments is going to be taking away from something else that we should be able to pay for in the future. Whether that is housing, health care or business investment, all of those things are going to be impacted by the debt load that is currently being passed on by the government.
Getting back to some more of the promises that were made by the government and have now been broken, it promised to reduce business taxes. It has done that in some ways, but in other ways it has reached into the back pockets of business people and taken more out than it has actually put in. It did that earlier this year with the implementation of the deferred income taxes.
The government increased taxes on passive income investments. It will be up to 73% that individuals will have to pay on those passive investments. That is absolutely killing corporate investment in avenues other than their core business. Many people who had surplus income in their primary business decided to purchase rental properties, whether it was detached homes or small apartment buildings and so on. They would invest their extra income in purchasing those rental properties to create lower-income rental opportunities for individuals in the community who could not afford to purchase their own home.
I have had those individuals approach me time and time again over the summer and since, and they say they are no longer going to do that. There is no point in investing in a secondary business other than their primary investment. It is no longer feasible because of what the government is doing.
I know my time is running down, so I will try to wrap up. With over 800 pages in this bill, it is really difficult to fit in much detail about the individual pieces in a 10-minute presentation. Again, I want to stress the fact that the government has moved time allocation on the bill which, for most of our members, will remove the opportunity to speak on this bill. Again, it is deplorable that the government keeps doing this. I cannot comprehend how we are going to get past this.
We need to work together, as government and as opposition, on what is good for Canadians, but the government is making it almost impossible. I will wrap up with that statement.
View Kerry Diotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kerry Diotte Profile
2018-11-27 13:24 [p.24021]
Mr. Speaker, we have heard talk from the other side of the House about lifting people out of poverty. I hear that constantly. I am going to state some figures. My colleague on this side of the House was getting into some of them.
The first figure is $2,066,210, the second figure is $17,948 and the third figure is $49,589,041. I could do a quiz, but maybe the folks on the other side of the House realize that the first figure is the amount the debt is going up per hour. The second figure is the amount that every Canadian owes, $17,948. The third figure, $49,589,041, is the amount the debt grows every day.
When Liberals talk about lifting people out of poverty, what does my colleague tell Canadian youth who are faced with a debt of $663 billion right now? How is that lifting them out of poverty?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View David Lametti Profile
2018-11-27 13:25 [p.24021]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his proficiency in math. The answers are quite obvious.
First, the major part of Canada's overall debt was loaded by Conservative governments, first Mulroney and then Harper, in a massive way. It was only Liberal governments, such as Mr. Martin's government and this one, that managed to reduce the overall debt load.
Our overall debt load is going down as a function of our GDP. Precisely the answer for young people is that we are investing in the kind of economy that is going to give them great jobs when they finish school. It is going to subsidize the education they are getting to get those great jobs. As the economy grows, the overall percentage and importance of the debt actually goes down. I would put it to young people that they would like more challenging and better-paying jobs, knowing the debt has been managed moving forward.
View Harold Albrecht Profile
CPC (ON)
View Harold Albrecht Profile
2018-11-27 15:34 [p.24041]
Madam Speaker, I too look forward to October 2019.
While I am glad to rise today and lend my voice and the voice of my constituents to this debate, I would be remiss if I did not also register my frustration that the majority of my colleagues in the House will not be able to give any input on this piece of legislation. The government has again moved time allocation, effectively ending debate.
Here we go again with more broken promises. Over and over during the campaign, the Liberals railed against time allocation and they railed against omnibus bills, yet all the promises they made are out the window. This is an 800-page omnibus bill. It would take Canadians more time to read this legislation than we have been given to debate it. It is outrageous and it is undemocratic, but it is made even worse because of the campaign promise of the Liberals not to use omnibus bills.
I will be focusing most of my time today on the lack of action taken by the Liberal government in order to improve Canada's competitiveness on the world stage. The imposition of a carbon tax, the spending spree and the debt spiral the government is plunging Canada into are all part of the abysmal track record of the Liberals on keeping their promises to Canadians.
Remember those promises? They were a maximum $10-billion deficit, and a balanced budget in 2019. Again, we have more broken promises.
The Business Council of Canada, which represents the largest companies operating in Canada, made the following submission to the finance committee during pre-budget consultations:
[W]e ask the government to introduce a comprehensive strategy to improve competitiveness, diversify trade and attract private sector investment. According to a recent survey of our members, only one in seven CEOs expressed confidence in the competitiveness of Canada's business climate. According to that survey, the tax and regulatory burden combined with concerns around the availability of talent were the most important factors affecting company investment plans in Canada.
Among other recommendations, we've called on the government to undertake a comprehensive review of Canada's tax system with the goal of strengthening the incentives for investment and growth. We believe the need for this review has only been intensified by the implementation of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
It went on to say:
Effective January 1, 2018, the U.S. reduced its federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% and allowed for full expensing of investments in machinery and equipment. This tax reform package also introduced new international tax rules. They encouraged multinationals to shift capital back into the U.S.
These changes have given the United States a significant tax advantage over many advanced economies but in particular Canada, given our very close proximity and dependence on that market. According to a...study that we commissioned by PwC Canada on the implications of U.S. reform, failing to respond to these changes threatens 635,000 jobs and $85 billion in GDP.
In their last budget and their most recent fall economic update, the Liberals have done absolutely nothing to address the concerns outlined by the Business Council of Canada on Canada's lack of competitiveness on the world stage. The Liberals are just out of touch with Canada's business community.
Our Conservative team has been on the ground from coast to coast to coast, talking with business owners, investors, and employees. Personally, I have visited Sault Ste Marie, Belleville, Guelph and all throughout the Waterloo region. I was proud to host a round table with local business several months ago, with the shadow minister for international trade, the member for Niagara West. While the round table focused on the trade negotiations between Canada and the United States and the retaliatory tariffs, we also heard how the Liberal government is not creating a healthy environment to enable small and medium-sized businesses to grow.
One business from southwestern Ontario that participated in our round table shared that in 2009, during the global economic recession, it lost 800 employees. However, because of the policies of our Conservative government at the time, it was able to recoup its loses in just eight months.
Contrast that with today. The same business is looking at job losses of over 1,000 employees as a result of slow economic growth. It is worried that the Liberal government is spending the cupboards bare, so that when a recession hits, it will not be able to recoup like it did previously.
We also heard that, just as the Business Council of Canada outlined in its submission to the finance committee, the competitive climate is causing many companies to move south of the border. Even worse, it is discouraging entrepreneurs from starting businesses here in Canada at all.
For those already in operation, any foreseeable plans to expand have been put on hold. Companies that once felt they were supported and encouraged by the policies of the federal government just do not feel that same level of support anymore. That the government is raising taxes and has no plan to balance the budget is making this climate of worry and concern much worse.
Speaking of debt, in the first three years of the current government, the Prime Minister added $60 billion to the national debt. Deficits are even higher than expected and higher than what was promised in the 2015 election campaign. The Parliamentary Budget Officer projects deficits of $22.2 billion in 2018-19 and $21.4 billion in 2019-20, which is $4 billion higher than the government showed in budget 2018.
Last year, Canada's net debt reached an all-time high of $670 billion, or $47,612 for every Canadian family. According to the finance committee, the budget will not return to balance until 2045, by then racking up an additional $450 billion of debt.
When the economy is strong and growing at 3%, a responsible government would pay down debt, so that we have more fiscal room in case of a downturn. However, we see the current government doing the exact opposite.
In 2009, the Conservative government was able to take decisive action to support the Canadian economy, yet it returned to balance and a surplus by 2015. However, with no plan or commitment to balance, the Liberals have budgeted the cupboard bare. The next time Canada is faced with a crisis, there will be nothing there.
The cost of interest alone on our debt will increase from $23.9 billion in 2017-18, almost doubling to $39 billion in 2021-2022. That is $39.1 billion, which is more than the $36.1 billion we spend on federal health care through the Canada health transfer.
Let us think of what that money could do if we were to provide our veterans with the help they desperately need. We could properly invest in mental health care throughout Canada. We could provide palliative care to every community from coast to coast. Instead, it is going toward paying for the government's out-of-control spending.
My last point is on the carbon tax. Following the Liberals' announcement of their forced carbon tax on Canadians, the president of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce said that although he is a climate change believer, the senseless response by governments all over the world is, simply put, ridiculous. He said there should never be a cost to using less, that it makes no sense. If less use is required, he described punitive measures as the lazy man's way of reducing carbon emissions. As he said, it is completely counterproductive to take money out of circulation, hang on to it for a period of time, then give 90% of it back. That was a promise he had heard from the Prime Minister on a report by 570 News, which he felt was insulting to the intelligence of every taxpayer, like we need to be babysat.
The chamber of commerce president said he was reminded of an old saying: A tax is a fine for doing something good, and a fine is a tax for doing something wrong. He said the carbon tax is a fine everyone will have to accept, and that is just wrong. He said that today, when business is burdened in every manner by government, it's time that it be recognized by all politicians that without business there is nothing for anyone. Businesses, he said, need a path that clearly demonstrates our economy is first and foremost, so it can provide all the money government needs to save the world.
It is clear that the government is far more interested in imposing its ideology on Canadians than it is in listening to and working with Canadian business.
I am going to finish with this. According to a website that tracks the success of the Liberal government, after 1,119 days in office, the Liberals have broken or completely ignored as many promises they made in the 2015 election campaign as they have kept. That gives Canadians much reason to worry, because a government that campaigns on one thing and does exactly the opposite only increases Canadians' mistrust in our democratic institutions.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-27 16:46 [p.24052]
Madam Speaker, I would like to respond to something the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands said. She said the government always has iconic and historical engagement announcements. I have come to think that it is all the government is about. It is always historical, amazing, so great, but we have never in Canadian history seen a government spend so much money to do so little.
I am very happy to speak today in the House of Commons on behalf of the citizens of Beauport—Limoilou.
Centre Block will soon be closing for complete renovations for 10 or 15 years. I wanted to mention that. There is no cause for concern, however, because we will be moving to West Block. I will therefore be able to continue to speak on behalf of my constituents.
Today I am discussing Bill C-86, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures.
I will focus on the fact that the members of the Conservative Party are extremely disappointed with the bill. We have witnessed a string of broken promises over the past three years. It is a little ironic that the hon. member for Papineau, the current head of the Liberal government, said during the election campaign that he wanted to do something to make people less cynical of politics, to help them have more confidence in politicians, in the ability of the executive branch, the legislative branch and members of Parliament to do things that are good for Canadians and especially to respect the major promises formally made during the campaign.
A group of researchers at Laval University have created what they call the Vote Compass. It shows the number of promises kept and broken by the provincial and federal governments.
I remember that, to their chagrin, a few months before the 2015 election, the research institute had to acknowledge that 97% of all promises made by Mr. Harper during the 2011 election campaign had been kept.
The Liberal government elected in 2015 broke three major promises and is continuing to break them in the 2018 budget. These were not trifling promises. They were major promises that were to set the guidelines for how the government was to behave and for the results Canadians would see.
The Canadians we talk to are familiar with the three major promises, since I often repeat them. I have to, because this is serious.
The Liberals promised to limit themselves to minor $10-billion deficits in the first two years and a $6-billion deficit in the third year.
What did they do? The first year, they posted a deficit of $30 billion. The second year, they posted a deficit of $20 billion. This year, the deficit is $18 billion, or three times what was announced.
That is the first broken promise, and it was not just some promise that was jotted down on the back of a napkin. In any case, I hope not. In fact, I remember quite well that the promise was made from a crane in the midst of the election campaign. The member for Papineau was in Toronto, standing on a crane when he said that he would run deficits to pay for infrastructure. That is the second broken promise. He said that the $10 billion a year in deficits would be used to inject more money into infrastructure. However, of the $60 billion in deficits this government has racked up to date, only $9 billion has gone to infrastructure. That is another problem, another broken promise.
That is why I was saying earlier that we have rarely seen, in the history of Canada, a government spend so much money for so few results. This is probably the first time we have seen this sort of thing.
I will give an example. He said that he would invest $10 billion in infrastructure in 2017, but he invested only $3 billion and yet racked up a deficit of $20 billion. Where did the other $17 billion go? It was used for all sorts of different things in order to satisfy very specific interest groups who take great pleasure in and boast ad nauseam about the Liberal ideology.
The third broken promise is an extremely important and strategic one. In fact, it was so obvious that we did not even really think of it as a promise before.
All Canadian governments, in a totally responsible manner and without questioning it, traditionally endorsed this practice. If there was a deficit, the document would indicate the date by which the budget would be balanced. There was a repayment date, just as there is for anyone in Canada. When the families of Beauport—Limoilou, many of whom are watching today, want to buy a car or appliance, such as a washer or dryer, not only does the seller ask them to get a bank loan, but he also asks them to sign a paper that indicates when the debt will be repaid in full.
Thus, it is quite normal to indicate when the budget will be balanced. We have been asking that question for three years, but what is even more interesting is that the Liberals had promised that the budget would be balanced in 2019, and now there are 45 days remaining in 2018. Telling us when the budget will be balanced is the least the Liberals could do.
There are consequences to running up large deficits, however. The Liberal government has been accumulating gigantic deficits at a time when the global economy is doing rather well, although forecasts indicate that we will enter a recession in the next 12 months. Although times are tough in Alberta and Ontario, where General Motors just closed a plant, the situation is positive. There are regions in Canada that are suffering tremendously, but the global economic context is nevertheless healthy. Knock on wood, which is everywhere in the House of Commons.
The first serious mistake is to run up deficits when times are good. When the global economy is doing well and our financial institutions are making money, we have to put money aside for an emergency fund and an assistance fund, especially for the employees of General Motors who lost their jobs and for all families in the riding of my Alberta colleague who have lost their jobs in the oil sector.
We have to have an emergency fund for the next economic crisis because that is how our capitalist system works. There are ups and downs. That is human nature. It is random. Agreements are signed, things are done, progress is made, and there are ups and downs. The current positive situation has been going on for five or six years now, so we need to be prepared. That is why growing the deficit during good economic times can have very serious consequences.
I would like to talk about another serious consequence, and I am sure this will strike a chord with the people of Beauport—Limoilou who are listening to us now. Does anyone know how many billions of dollars the government spends on federal health transfers? It is $33 billion per year. To service the debt, to pay back people around the world who lend us money, we spent $37 billion last year. We spent $4 billion more on servicing our debt than on health transfers.
An hon. member: That is shameful.
Mr. Alupa Clarke: Yes, Madam Speaker, it is shameful. It sure looks like bad management of public affairs. It makes no sense, and I am sure Canadians agree. I am sure they are sick and tired of hearing us talk about $10-billion, $20-billion, $30-billion deficits and so on.
Canada's total debt is now $670 billion. My fellow Canadians, that means that, at this point in time, your family owes $47,000. That is a debt you will have to pay.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage was very proud to announce that the government was giving nearly $6,000 a year per child, through the Canada child benefit, to people earning less than $45,000 a year. They are not giving money away, however; they are buying votes, which is unfortunate, since the very children this money is helping will end up having to pay it back. This is completely unacceptable on the part of the government.
I am proud to be part of a former Conservative government that was responsible, that granted benefits without running deficits and that also managed to balance the budget.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-11-21 16:26 [p.23682]
Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has demonstrated that he can do two things at one time. He can give a speech while adding almost a million dollars to our national debt, in the same half-hour. I congratulate the minister, and we know that Canadians will get the bill for that new debt.
Our government has told us, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, that budgets balance themselves. He predicted that this self-balancing budget would manifest in the year 2019, barely a month from today.
Today, the finance minister has presented a fiscal update, in which the deficit is three times the size the Liberal Party promised in the last election and in which the deficit will not only be in place next year, when it was promised to be gone, it will actually be bigger than it is right now. In fact, this economic update reports that the deficits for the next five years will all be larger than the Liberals projected just six months ago in the 2018 budget.
None of us on this side is surprised that the finance minister and the Prime Minister failed to take responsibility for these promise-shattering deficits. Like most Canadians, we have come to accept that these Liberals never take responsibility for anything, but what is startling about this particular statement is that they just go on doing more and more damage to the fiscal situation of this country, without any concern or hesitation.
What we learned in this document that we did not already know is that not only do the Liberals break their promise, not only will they fail to balance the budget next year as they said, but they now admit that under their plan the budget will never be balanced. There is no time period into the future when they are even committing to returning to a situation where the debt stops growing. That is effectively the election platform they are running on today, that there will be deficits forever and that there could never be an occasion where the government would live within its means.
These two gentlemen of great privilege have inherited enormous fortune: balanced budgets from the previous government; booming U.S. and world economies; a roaring housing sector in Vancouver and Toronto, which has poured more revenue into government coffers; record low interest rates, which make debt more affordable temporarily. All of these factors are out of the government's control but have, through the goddess Fortuna, rained money on the current government, $20 billion of additional revenue, I am pleased to report to the House.
The Prime Minister took that $20 billion and did the responsible thing. He put it against our national debt. He saved it up for a rainy day. He reinforced our foundation against forthcoming storms. I am kidding. He blew every single penny of it, and it was not enough. On top of that windfall, he had to spend $20 billion more.
We are told to take comfort in the debt-to-GDP ratio. All ratios have numerators and denominators. With the Prime Minister lecturing us all about the need to teach us all in the House, as his pupils, he should actually know that. The reality is that the only way for that debt-to-GDP ratio to decline is if inflation and GDP are constantly going up. I just pointed to the factors that the government admits have led to the windfall of revenue before us. That can only continue as long as the world factors, which are out of the government's control, continue on at this pace.
In other words, if a crisis of any kind, another international financial recession, a massive problem with international security, a natural disaster or any other such kind of difficulty, led to the compression of the denominator, then we would face a crisis in the nation's finances. In that crisis, the Liberal government, if it were to keep its promise, something that none of us believe it would ever consider doing, would then be in a position where it would have to raise taxes or cut spending at a time when the economy needs the opposite. Therefore, the Liberals are putting our future in a reckless state of danger by spending our tomorrow on their today.
The second consequence of these growing deficits is this. When governments spend more than they have, they compete for scarce goods and services, which drives up inflation, making the cost of living more and more expensive. We have seen inflation reach nearly 3%, the upper end of the Bank of Canada's range of acceptable levels of consumer price index increases. That is in part, I believe, because the current government is overspending, increasing demand with unnecessary government spending, pouring money into the purchase of the same goods and services that Canadians have to compete for.
Furthermore, when governments borrow, they have to sell bonds. When those bondholders purchase the bond, they get interest in return for it. Why would they lend money to a Canadian homeowner for 2.5% when a rapidly borrowing government will give them 2.75% or 3%? The answer is they would not. That is the reality of the credit markets. When governments borrow, they compete with Canadian consumers and homeowners and drive up the cost of interest on those same people. In other words, while Canadians face record household debt, the government's insatiable appetite for debt is actually making that problem worse, not just in the future but here in the present.
Speaking of the future, we all know that debt today means higher taxes tomorrow. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has indicated that the cost of borrowing for the Government of Canada will rise by two-thirds, to almost $40 billion, over the next four to five years. That is almost as much as we transfer to the provinces to fund our entire health care transfer. In today's update, the government admits that the cost of borrowing is going up. For the first half-year, the increase in the borrowing cost has been 14.3%. That is the combined result of growing deficits and higher interest rates. In other words, at this pace, there will be a massive wealth transfer from working-class Canadians, who will pay higher taxes so that wealthy bondholders and bankers can collect more interest. Even socialist economists recognize that interest on national debt represents a wealth transfer from the working class to the wealthy, because those who own bonds are those who can afford to buy them. One cannot lend money if one does not have money. Therefore, those with money benefit when governments go out and borrow. Instead of the government favouring the have-nots, it once again favours the have-yachts, something we have come to expect from it for a very long time.
We were told that this economic update was going to respond to the attempt by the U.S. President to take our money, business and jobs. So far, the Prime Minister has been prepared to help the President in all of those objectives. His carbon tax, his decision to block pipelines and his massive regulatory state that prevents businesses from functioning here in Canada have driven money out of our country. Canadian investment in the U.S. is up two-thirds and U.S. investment in Canada is down by half, and when money leaves, jobs leave.
A senior at the Business Council of Canada says that the result of this imbalance could lead to half a million jobs lost in this country. What is the government's response to that? Liberals tell us they are going to be bringing forward something called the centre for regulatory innovation. I think that for most people who have dealt with the red tape the government has put forward, the last thing they want to see is more regulatory innovation because so far, that regulatory innovation has meant blocking the northern gateway pipeline. They came up with innovative ways to make it impossible for Trans Canada to build the energy east pipeline. Of course, their most innovative stroke of genius has been to drive Kinder Morgan out of this country by giving them $4 billion of Canadian tax money in order to buy a 65-year-old pipeline that we already had, money that the Texas oil company is now using to build pipelines in the United States of America.
When the Prime Minister took office, three of the world's most respected pipeline companies were ready to put shovels in the ground. Kinder Morgan was going to build Trans Mountain. Enbridge was going to build northern gateway and Trans Canada was going to build energy east. They had the financial commitments, the applications in and they were ready to go and all three of those companies have now left. What does the government offer? A centre for regulatory innovation.
However, that is not all. I should give the Liberals credit for another very exciting announcement they have made in regard to regulation. They are going to make the building code available to all Canadians for free and just in time for Christmas. That is if Canada Post is not on strike and unable to deliver the building code to those Canadians who are anxiously waiting to receive it.
That is the plan that the Liberals have to unwind the massive regulatory obstacles that have driven our oil, our money, our businesses and our jobs right into the arms of Donald Trump and nothing in this announcement today will reverse that direction. In fact, the government has backed down on NAFTA, giving President Trump everything he asked for and getting nothing in return that we did not already have.
We on this side of the House will stand up for the common sense of the common people, the people who understand that budgets do not balance themselves because those people, unlike our leader, have actually had to balance a household budget. A future Conservative government would recognize that we cannot spend what we do not have and we cannot borrow our way out of debt.
I conclude today by challenging the government. I know how painful it is for the Liberals to hear the truth, the painful truth from which they have for so long tried to turn away their eyes. Unfortunately, they have to face up to the fact that they shattered their promise to balance the budget next year, they have built up massive new debt not only for future generations, but for present-day Canadians, the cost of government is driving up the cost of living and that is leading to a serious crunch on the backs of everyday Canadians, Canadians who know what it is like to live within their means.
This is why a Conservative government will make sure that the budget will be balanced in the medium term, to deal with the massive deficits accumulated by the Liberal government and previous governments.
The Conservatives recognize that Canadians work hard for their money and they must balance their own budgets. As a government, we will help them and will not make things harder for them, like the current government is doing.
As the official opposition, we are calling on the government to meet Canadians' demands, tell them how the budget will be balanced, create a plan to do so, and lower taxes so that Canadians can keep the money they earned.
We will put forward a government in the future that will stand with those who know how to balance a budget, because they do so in their own households and they expect the very same of the Government of Canada. Under a Conservative government, they will get no less.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-11-21 17:01 [p.23686]
Mr. Speaker, today's statement is somewhere between an economic statement and the Speech from the Throne. It is heavy on the blah-blah-blah, and light on anything tangible. We were treated to many lovely images, fine words and slogans, but that is about it. It is like an Easter egg: it is nice on the outside, but completely hollow on the inside.
People say that the federal government is out of touch and the Minister of Finance just gave us an excellent example of that. It is out of touch with Quebec, out of touch with Quebeckers, disconnected from the real world and unaware of the real needs. The statement is full of rhetoric and utterly meaningless. The needs and challenges remain. The truth is that Ottawa is completely disconnected.
An economic statement is supposed to do three things. First, it should provide an update on the actual state of our finances in terms of problems and solutions.
Second, it should complete the budget, fill the gaps and correct the omissions. There was no shortage of those. The government being out of touch is certainly nothing new.
Third, it should allow for adjustments when the situation has changed and requires realignment.
An economic statement is those three things. It is not complicated, but in this case the government is zero for three.
First, the economic statement does not tell the real story. A few weeks ago, $2 billion in expenditures magically appeared in the public accounts because the government wrote off a loan to Chrysler in Ontario. It will soon be GM's turn, to the tune of another $2 billion. Then, the loan to the Muskrat Falls dam of almost $10 billion will magically appear there as well, since everyone knows that Newfoundland will never be able to repay that debt.
We never see or vote on loans and guarantees, we just pay for them. That does not give us the real story. These three loans alone represent a charge to taxpayers of close to $15 billion. Quebeckers will pay their share but get nothing in return. The government is keeping quiet about this and is therefore not proposing any solutions to the problem. There was not one word about this in the economic statement. There was nothing about going looking for the money where it really is by cutting subsidies for fossil fuels.
It is high time the government honoured the promise made ten years ago to close the tax haven loophole, which has, in fact, become a sinkhole that is swallowing public funds.
The Conservatives are outraged by the deficit. Oddly enough, when they are told that eliminating tax havens and oil subsidies would cut the deficit in half, they no longer protest quite so loudly. Neither does the government.
Today's statement has no substance.
Second, the economic statement should have filled the gaps in the latest budget. Quebec just had an election. Poll after poll invariably concluded that health and education are the priorities, but neither is mentioned in the budget. Transfers have been capped at 3% since last year. However, in Quebec, health care costs and system costs continue to rise. Ottawa is simply reducing its share.
Our nurses, our patients and our health network end up paying the price. Wait lists are growing. When people opt for private care because the public system does not meet their needs, Ottawa threatens to make more cuts, which just makes things worse. Everyone knows this is not sustainable.
Everything I just mentioned about health care could be said about education. Teachers are also exhausted. This sector has the same problems, except education transfers have been capped at 3% for nearly 15 years. Health and education are where Quebeckers have a real need. These are the priorities, but this statement made no mention of either. The government seems to be too highfalutin to see the needs and understand the priorities.
Third, an economic statement is meant to allow the government to adapt throughout the year to changing situations. Once again, we all have reason to be disappointed.
I would now like to say a few words about the recent tax cuts made by Donald Trump. I am not bringing that up because it is important. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said that it would not have any impact. I am bringing it up because the Conservatives would have us believe otherwise. Let us be frank. Our corporate tax rates are already competitive.
Here is something no one ever talks about. In the United States, employers pay for medicare. In 2017, that accounted for a mere $14,900 U.S. per employee. The lack of social safety net in the U.S. is costing them a fortune, so no, we do not have any problems in that regard.
In any case, a race to the bottom approach is not the way to remain globally competitive. We need to develop the sectors in which we are strong. In Quebec that is the clean energy sector. If Ottawa would support our electrification of transportation efforts, we would have clean cars, but the government preferred to spend our money on a pipeline.
The government indicated in the economic statement that it is going to implement a tax credit with regard to the production of clean energy. I am not against that. It could be worthwhile for paper mills and biomass enterprises. However, we need to be aware of one thing. In a number of provinces, private companies produce electricity. If they start generating clean energy, then Ottawa would give them a tax writeoff, and Quebec would have to pay for part of that.
Quebec has Hydro-Québec. Since it is a government-owned corporation, it will not be entitled to the tax credit. If that is all Ottawa does, it will be subsidizing the “bad guys” so they are not quite as bad, and Quebec, a world leader in green energy, is back at square one, without a penny, for doing the right thing. What a great deal. Let's face it, that is an odd way to promote the green economy.
Our high-tech sectors could use some support, but Canada invests very little in business-led research and development. The innovation fund will not help our high-tech companies. Instead, that federal money will just make up for the lack of innovation elsewhere.
As for agriculture, the government signed a new trade agreement that creates another breach in supply management. We were expecting a firm commitment in terms of compensation, as the Prime Minister had promised, but once again, nothing.
Then there is Davie. Davie did not get anything from the naval strategy, and only a few crumbs after that. Whenever we asked the government when Davie would get a fair share of the contracts, we kept being told, “not now, later”. It should be now. That is what an economic statement should look like, but no, once again, Davie suffers. Soon the Liberals will be trying to woo workers before the election, but for now, they get nothing. They are just as predictable as the Conservatives.
There was nothing about how e-commerce is disrupting the economy, either. Nothing for businesses that are competing with Amazon, which does not have to charge sales tax on purchases under $40. How are our people supposed to compete against a giant with an unfair advantage? Our small businesses are going to take a beating, and Ottawa is not doing anything about it. Obviously, people are asleep at the switch.
Internet giants are another example. They are hurting our media, our artists and our culture, and they are competing unfairly. I applaud the government's initiative to support our media. Well, actually, it announced plans to support our media, but not until the next budget. Press freedom and information quality are essential in a democracy, so I welcome this initiative, but I am not getting too excited. As long as the government refuses to do something about Internet giants and their unfair competitive advantage over our media, it will not solve the problem. If it does not solve the problem, it is part of the problem. Ultimately, every one of us and democracy as a whole will pay the price. The government needs to take meaningful action to support our media.
To sum up, the Bloc Québécois is disappointed. If we were to grade the economic update on looks alone, I would give it a B, but the true yardstick is the measures themselves and whether they will meet people's real needs in terms of health, education, tax fairness, agriculture and support for strong economic sectors. On that score, this economic update is vacuous. The only real measure coming on line right away is accelerated depreciation. Something that minor could have been addressed with a planted question. All the rest is fluff.
We give the government's economic statement an F for failure.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-11-19 12:03 [p.23507]
moved:
That the House call on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced, and to do so in this week’s Fall Economic Statement.
He said: Madam Speaker, it is only about 42 more sleeps until this Prime Minister is scheduled to keep his promise and show us how the budget will balance itself, because 2019 will soon upon us, the year when the Liberal election platform said the budget would be balanced. We remember those modest temporary deficits that were promised, of no more than $10 billion and for no more than three years. “Back to balance by the end of the term,” he said, and we were all to be comforted by that commitment. In fact, if we go to the Liberal Party website today, we still find that election platform and that commitment.
Unfortunately, no one at the Liberal Party headquarters has talked to anyone over at Finance Canada. There, officials report, though the finance minister refuses to confirm, that the budget will not be balanced until 2045, a quarter century later than the Liberal Party says it will. The Liberal Party says it will be next year; Finance Canada says it will be in 25 years. Who are we to believe? We are here today to find out. I have put forward a motion with the strong support of Her Majesty's loyal opposition.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Hon. Pierre Poilievre: Members should feel free to interrupt my remarks with their applause at any time. I will be conservative in my remarks as long as they are liberal in their applause.
However, unfortunately, the current Liberal government has been too liberal with our money. Government spending has grown at a rate of about seven per cent a year, even though economic growth has only been around two and a half per cent. The combined rate of inflation and population growth has been less than three per cent. In other words, we are growing the government more than twice as fast as we need and twice as fast as we can afford.
Last year and in the years before, this Prime Minister inherited great fortune. That was nothing new to him. He inherited a multi-million-dollar trust fund and he has never had to worry about money. Luckily for him, more good fortune fell from the sky in the year 2017. In that year, the U.S. economy and the world economy were roaring. Commodity prices were up, housing markets boomed in Vancouver and Toronto and elsewhere, and interest rates were near record lows. All of this good fortune, which is out of the government's control but to its benefit, generated a windfall of $20 billion last year according to the government's own records.
I am pleased to report that our Prime Minister did the responsible thing. He saved it all for a rainy day; he put it aside in the great Canadian tradition and prepared us for difficult times ahead. I am kidding.
In fact, he blew every single penny. When he was done blowing every penny of the windfall, the increased revenue he had enjoyed, he continued his spending splurge and borrowed $20 billion more, meaning his deficit in that fiscal year was about twice what he promised it would be. This year, if we believe Finance Canada, the deficit will be three times what the Liberal platform promised. Next year, there was supposed to be no deficit at all.
Soon, in fact just two days from now, the finance minister will introduce his fall economic update. He will tell us, we hope, the size of the deficit and when this miraculous self-balancing budget will manifest itself. We have put forward a very non-partisan motion that anyone should be able to support, namely, that the government simply reveal the year that the budget will be balanced. We are not even contesting the extraordinary bonanza of spending and the massive debts and higher taxes the government has imposed on Canadians—we know that will be a central debate in the next election—but are putting all of that aside and simply asking for the government to give us the year when the budget will be balanced.
The fact that we even have to put this in a motion is rather startling, because past governments always projected the year in which budgets would be balanced. They projected many years out how big the surpluses would be and what the size the debt would be in given years down the road.
The current government has changed that practice. It has stopped concluding a medium- and long-term fiscal forecast in its budgets and fall updates. That means that Canadians are left guessing when it is that their government will stop adding debt in their name. If Finance Canada documents can be believed and the 25 years of deficits go ahead, that will add nearly half a trillion dollars of new debt to this country.
Now, it is always difficult to appreciate the urgency of tackling debt. Sometimes people think it is a theoretical problem, far away from home. In reality, it is quite simple. Deficits today mean massive tax hikes tomorrow, because the bankers and the bond holders who have lent us that money expect to have a rate of return. It would be completely unrealistic to expect that they would just donate that money out of the kindness of their hearts or park it with the Canadian government in the hope of getting it back at the same value. No, these bankers and bondholders want to collect increasing interest at increasing rates, and that is exactly what has happened.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, by the year 2023, the Government of Canada will be spending nearly $40 billion on interest on the national debt. That $40 billion is a two-thirds increase over last year. It means that we will be spending more on interest on our national debt than we currently spend on health care transfers to our provinces.
That is money that working-class taxpayers will have to fork over to wealthy bankers and bondholders, people with money, because only people with money can lend government money and earn the resulting interest. These working-class families will contribute that tax money, and they will get nothing in return for it. They will simply have the comfort of knowing that some affluent lender, somewhere on Bay Street or Wall Street or in Hong Kong or some other world financial capital, is reaping a windfall because the government could not control its own spending.
That represents, by the way, a wealth transfer from the working class to the super rich, another example of the government's continual efforts to take from those with the least to give to those with the most, to take from the have-nots and give to the have-yachts.
There are three major consequences from these spiralling deficits. In the short run, deficits put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates. In other words, they raise the prices Canadians must pay for the goods and services they use, and because the government is competing with homeowners for borrowed money, the amount lenders can charge to lend that money actually goes up. Our homeowners have to pay higher interest rates in addition to higher costs, because the government is competing with them for credit.
The second consequence is that because higher debt today means higher taxes tomorrow, Canadians will feel the crunch of higher interest rates on their household debt at the same time they are experiencing it on their tax bills. As interest rates go up for the government, they will be going up for households that are facing record debt of their own. The government, on its current trajectory, will have to raise taxes on the very people who are struggling the most to make ends meet in order to pay interest on an out-of-control and unnecessarily large debt.
Third, increased debt and deficits render us vulnerable in the bad times. There will be bad times again. We know this, because history repeats itself. That is why, in the early Conservative government, we paid off about $30 billion of debt, which helped prepare Canada to have a solid financial footing when the U.S. financial system came crashing down. In that once-in-a-generation, or maybe once-in-a-century, financial crisis, Canada was the last to go into deficit and a recession and the first to come out of both among all its G7 peers. During the good times, we prepared, we stored away and we built our foundation so that when the storm struck, we were able to resists its ravages.
However, the current Prime Minister has done precisely the opposite. He has blown all our good fortune in the good times. When everything was going in his favour, when all the luck was on his side, he squandered it, every last penny. Therefore, when the next crisis comes, unless we change course, the Prime Minister will lead us into it with an unprecedented degree of weakness and a lack of readiness. That is the third consequence of having unnecessarily large debts and deficits in the good times.
The Prime Minister said that the budget would balance itself. He said he could spend, spend, spend and that the money would magically appear in the budget. He promised that the budget would be balanced by 2019, which is in about 40 days. As the official opposition, we are here to ask the government exactly when it will balance the budget.
The minister will deliver his economic statement in two days. When a government delivers this kind of statement, it usually predicts when the budget will be balanced and tells Canadians how much they can expect to be added to the national debt in the meantime.
This is a non-partisan motion. We are not even debating the content of the government's policy. We are not saying that the government is bad or good. We are simply saying that the government should be transparent and give us a date. Without this information, we cannot debate. If the government has nothing to hide, it should have no problem sharing this information.
The existing deficit has three main consequences. First, government deficits increase inflation and interest rates for consumers. They also increase the cost of living for workers, families and suburbanites.
Second, we will have to pay more interest on our national debt. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in four years, we will have to pay $40 billion. That is a two-thirds increase in the interest payable. That means more money for bankers and other wealthy individuals. On the other hand, it means that ordinary people will be paying more taxes without getting any programs or services in return. The higher interest rate and the increase in the debt represent a migration of wealth from middle-class workers to the wealthy. Our government should not transfer poor people’s assets to the wealthy, but that is exactly what happens when a government is carrying too much debt.
Third, we will see more crises in the future. We do not know when, but we know that they are coming. That is why, in the past, responsible Liberal and Conservative governments decided to pay back the debt during good years in order to prepare for future difficulties.
The former Conservative government paid back $30 billion before the 2008 crisis that started in the U.S. That is why we were the last G7 country to experience a recession and post a deficit, and the first to get back on our feet.
Today, our country has an enormous deficit despite the fact that there is currently no crisis, while the Prime Minister could have taken precautions by taking advantage of a favourable situation: lower interest rates, spectacular economic growth in the United States and around the world, very strong real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto, and an increase in the price of Canada’s various assets.
All of these factors are beyond the government's control, but the Prime Minister benefited from them. He will not, however, always have this undeserved good fortune. That is why his decision to launch us into a significant deficit during the good years was so irresponsible. That is why we are demanding that the government tell us when we will be returning to a balanced budget.
We on this side of the House stand for fiscal responsibility to prepare Canada for a rainy day, to stop the outrageous transfer of wealth from the working class and the poor to the super rich in the form of interest on debt, and to stop the government from raising the cost of living on everyday Canadians, who are already facing a cost-of-living crunch.
The first step, though, is for the government to tell the truth. To resolve any problem, one has to admit that there is a problem, and the first admission of that problem would be to tell us the day. Is it really going to be 2045 when the government returns to a balanced budget, a quarter of a century from now and half a trillion dollars later?
By the way, I should mention the bad news. That 25 years, that half trillion dollars, assumes that the government does not spend another penny in the fall update or in its pre-election budget. That would expect a degree of financial discipline the Prime Minister has not demonstrated once in his entire life, yet we have hope. We have hope that if he comes forward with the cold, hard truth that his budgetary plan is a mess and that he has broken his word to Canadians, he will awaken to the need to live within our means, just as ordinary Canadians who do not have multi-million dollar trust funds have had to do their whole lives.
We ask the Prime Minister to join, finally, for once in his life, in solidarity with those people, the people who pay the bills, and at least tell them what the situation is and when the budget will be balanced, and give us the truth so that we can restore the solid fiscal foundation upon which this country's economy has long been built and that he inherited.
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2018-11-19 13:29 [p.23520]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Saskatoon—Grasswood. I am sure he is also looking forward to hearing the government's response to the question raised in the motion moved by my colleague from Carleton that the House call on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced, and to do so in this week's fall economic statement.
It is a very simple and non-partisan motion that does not pass judgment on how this government has been spending Canadians' money. It makes no mention of any of the promises this government made, which I will talk about in my speech. Many promises were made around balancing the budget, but the motion makes absolutely no mention of that. It just asks one simple question to which all Canadians deserve an answer: when will the budget be balanced? What is so scary about answering that question?
One of my colleagues across the aisle delivered a long 20-minute speech, but he did not once address the matter before us today: when does the Liberal government plan to return to a balanced budget? Why is it so afraid of giving us a date for returning to a balanced budget? It is as though the government thinks that balancing the budget is something to be ashamed of.
With Wednesday's economic statement, Canadians are going to learn how this government has been spending taxpayers' money without any real plan to return to a balanced budget. It is no secret that the Liberals are spending money on the backs of future generations of Canadians.
The Department of Finance is not afraid to set a date, and it says the budget will not be balanced until 2045. By then, our national debt will have increased by nearly half a trillion dollars. That is an extra $450 billion that will be added to our debt if nothing is done now. I will be 79 before Canada returns to a balanced budget. Imagine that. Many Canadians who are not even born yet will be 20, 22 or 23. They will not learn at school how important it is to balance their budget, because their country will not be able to achieve a balanced budget. They will hear that throughout their entire education.
Let us not forget what the Liberals promised in 2015, during the last election campaign. They promised to run small deficits for three years and then return to a balanced budget in 2019. They wanted to reassure Canadians by telling them that they would run small deficits because the economy was doing well and interest rates were low and that they would return to a balanced budget at the end of their term. They said that they would use that money to invest in infrastructure, which would create jobs for Canadians.
First, the money promised for infrastructure did not come, and second, the small deficits that were promised have ballooned massively. I am not tall enough to demonstrate how big the deficits have gotten.
We are in an excellent economic situation globally, and that generates revenues for the government that should have been more than enough for making investments. However, this government has decided to invest money it does not have, money from future generations, to keep itself going and fulfill its promises. In fact, there are a number of promises it has not kept, but I will come back to that.
Canadian families deserve a government that looks out for them and manages their finances more carefully. This year the deficit is close to $20 billion, three times more than what the Prime Minister had said, and the debt has gone up by $60 billion since 2015. Failing to fulfill their promises has now become the Liberals' trademark as they betray Canadians' trust yet again.
We knew that the Prime Minister had had training as an actor, but it seems he also thought he could be a fortune teller. When he announced small deficits, he made an astonishing statement about budgets balancing themselves. The budget would balance on its own. We can see that the Prime Minister does not really have much talent as a fortune teller. Not only will the budget not balance itself, but the deficit will be three times higher than what he had predicted. That is shameful.
The Prime Minister has no talent for fortune telling or for accounting, because he has never really had to worry about balancing his personal finances in his life. Our Prime Minister was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as the saying goes. He never had to balance a personal budget. He never had to worry about having enough money left at the end of the month, about transferring the balance of one credit card to another so that he could put food on the table. He never had to do that. The Prime Minister was born into wealth, and he thinks that he can manage Canada the way he manages his own personal finances, by letting banks and others take care of Canadians' money. That is not the reality of Canadians. Canadians are increasingly worried. They are more and more concerned about the Liberal government's successive, never-ending deficits. A survey published in the Globe and Mail in October said that nearly 60% of Canadians think that balancing the budget should be the government's priority.
We are asking the Liberals to give us a date. When will the budget be balanced? When?
Not only are they incapable of balancing a budget, but they are also incapable of telling us when they will return to a balanced budget, even though this was an election promise.
Not too long ago, in 2015, the Conservatives managed to get our fiscal house in order. The Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance were lucky enough to inherit a balanced budget, at a time when global economic growth was on its way up.
This was after one of the worst global economic crises ever. I remind members that the Conservative government was the first G7 government to get its fiscal house in order and to even post a surplus in the wake of this great recession.
It is sometimes ironic to look back at what journalists were saying a year before the election campaign. I have here an article written by journalist Emmanuelle Latraverse, who wrote, on January 19, 2014, that one of the 2015 campaign issues would be the debate over how to spend the money accumulated by the Harper government. A responsible government would have used this money to pay down the debt, but instead, the Liberals chose to increase the debt and waste every single dollar.
It was not enough for them, so they had to borrow more. What will the 2019 campaign issue be? It will not be about what to do with the surplus, but when the government will balance the books.
Several articles have touched on this issue. In November, Jean-François Cliche wrote in Le Soleil:
When the economy is doing well, the government should seize the opportunity to get back in the black. In fact, injecting money into an economy that is doing well—whether by reducing interest rates or by running up deficits—may even be counterproductive and result in a sluggish economy that leads to a crisis.
When the most recent budget was presented, Sylvain Gilbert, a partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, stated, “It is very dangerous to run deficits when the economy is doing well.” He added, “[The Minister of Finance] has got himself in a bind, and it will be very difficult for him to get out of it if the economy starts going sideways.”
The problem is that they do not even know what they are doing. They cannot give us a date. We just want a date. When will they balance the budget?
By 2023, the Liberals will be spending more on servicing the debt than we currently spend on health care transfers. That is unacceptable.
I will conclude by once again asking my colleagues opposite a simple question: when will the Liberal government balance the budget? We are asking for a date, just a simple date.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2018-11-19 13:40 [p.23521]
Madam Speaker, traditional Keynesian economics would suggest that when the economy is struggling, governments can borrow money in order to prime the pump and make the investments that are necessary to get the economy moving. However, that must be balanced off when times are good, the economy is going well and the government runs a surplus, it should pay down the debt that was accumulated during the deficit times.
In 2008, the Conservatives with all-party support borrowed a lot of money and went into significant deficit in order to deal with the crisis at that time, but they ran deficits in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and arguably in 2015 as well, but that is a matter of debate. At the same time they stood in the House and bragged that Canada had the strongest economy of the G7. However, while they were saying that Canada had the strongest economy in the G7 and things were going well, they were not running surpluses and they were not paying down the debt. This is similar to the Liberal government today which is running massive deficits at the same time as saying our economy is doing really well, defying all Keynesian logic.
I am wondering if my hon. colleague has any comment on that. When should the government pay down debt and run surpluses if not when the economy is running well? Perhaps he could explain why the previous Conservative government did not do that.
View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2018-11-19 13:41 [p.23521]
Madam Speaker, before the 2008 economic crisis, the previous Conservative government had paid back $30 billion on the national debt. If we were the last country hit by the economic crisis in 2008, it is in fact due to our good management of public funds. If Canada was the first G7 country to emerge from the crisis, it is due to the good government we had, which had Canadians' interests at heart and who had more in mind than the interest payments it would have to make by borrowing more, like the Liberal government is doing now.
The question remains: when will the Liberal government tell us at what date the budget will be balanced?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2018-11-19 13:44 [p.23522]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in favour of the motion that has been brought forward by the official opposition. It demands that the Liberal government answer a very simple question. It is a question that has been asked repeatedly by Canadians for the last three years now. The question is this: In what year will the budget be balanced? It is as simple as that.
We call upon the Liberal government to finally be up front with Canadians and tell us in this week's fall economic statement in what year the budget will be balanced. This motion is reasonable. It is fair and it is certainly straightforward. The Liberal government should have no trouble telling Canadians from coast to coast to coast when it will balance the budget.
The Liberals clearly had no trouble telling Canadians during the 2015 election that they would balance the budget by 2019. That is just a year away, I should add. Why is it that as soon as they get into government, after piling on billions and billions of debt through reckless spending they suddenly seem to struggle with this simple question? Why is it that the Liberal government's most extensive track record is its ever-growing list of broken promises?
When the Liberals fail to tell Canadians time and time again when the budget will be balanced, they are not only failing to be accountable to the current generation of Canadians, they are failing to be accountable to future generations as well. The Liberal debt of today will become the higher taxes of tomorrow. These are the taxes which are heaped onto the shoulders of our children and our grandchildren. They did not ask to be overburdened with this Liberal debt. They did not ask to be the ones who will be stuck with the terrible task of paying for the deficits of today.
Does the Liberal government have any plans at all to lessen the burden which it continues to create for these future generations? Has it at least committed to reduce the rate at which it adds to the federal debt? Unfortunately for our children and our grandchildren, the answer is no. In fact, the Liberal government has just made the situation worse by increasing its reckless spending with each passing year.
The one thing that the Liberal government really excels at is its ability to keep digging itself into a hole which keeps getting deeper, deeper and deeper. The unfortunate thing is that the current generation and future generations of Canadians will be the ones who will bear the consequences of the future and the failure.
The irresponsibility of the Liberal government has significant costs for all Canadians. The size of the deficit in this year alone is nearly $20 billion, a figure which is three times larger than what the Liberals promised it would be. The Liberal government has added a remarkable $60 billion in debt. This is not what the Liberals promised to Canadians.
Last year alone the Liberal government spent $23 billion just to service the national debt, $23 billion. This is not what the Liberals promised to Canadians. Interest on the national debt now is expected to grow by two-thirds to $37 billion a year, which is almost as much as we spend on the entire health care transfers to provinces and territories. This is not what the Liberals promised to Canadians.
How can the Liberal government claim it stands for sunny ways, that it believes in supporting the middle class and that it supports the development of economic opportunity for all Canadians when it actively pursues a policy of fiscal mismanagement which will see more and more Canadian tax dollars going towards interest payments on the national debt? Compare it to the amount which is actually spent on health care transfers.
Canadians expect that their hard-earned tax dollars will go toward funding programs and services that benefit all Canadians. Unfortunately, reckless Liberal spending will make sure that increasingly large portions of those tax dollars simply go into the pockets of bankers and bond holders who own the interest on this ever-growing Liberal debt.
Perhaps what is most shocking about the debt of the Liberal government is it was completely avoidable. When we look back at 2015, the Liberals did not face a dire economic situation when they came into government just three years ago. In fact, the Liberals inherited a great fortune, which any government would dream of.
The Prime Minister inherited a balanced budget, which was left behind by our former Conservative government. He had the benefit of thriving U.S. and global economies, which had recovered from the worst of the 2008 recession. He could take advantage of booming housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver. He had the benefit of record low interest rates, never seen before in our lifetime. All of these added factors gave the Prime Minister a windfall of $20 billion in additional revenue alone last year. However, despite all this great fortune, the Prime Minister still somehow managed to spend it all in a matter of mere months, leaving all Canadians with almost absolutely nothing to show for it.
Instead of sunny ways and real change, the Prime Minister has left Canadians with a growing mountain of billions of dollars of debt, which is not going to be erased for many years to come. Instead of a budget which balances itself, like the Prime Minister actually promised in 2015, Finance Canada tells us that Canadians will now face at least 25 more years of deficit at the rate that the Liberal government engages in reckless spending.
Canadians are already facing the costs of higher interest, record household debt, and instead of helping to ease the burden faced by Canadians, the Liberal government is hurting Canadians by saddling them with the prospect of more massive tax increases just to fund the Prime Minister's reckless and inefficient spending habits.
Canadians deserve a government that actually works for them rather than against them. Sadly, the Liberal government only continues to disrespect hard-working taxpayers by making life more expensive for Canadians across this great country.
Because the Prime Minister never had to worry about money, he does not think or even worry much about Canadians when he carelessly spends it. We have seen that. He did not worry when he spent over $1.66 million on that failed trip to India, which only led to an international diplomatic debacle. He did not worry when he spent over $8 million, just a year ago, on a temporary ice hockey rink on the lawn of Parliament Hill. He certainly did not worry when he paid $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to Kinder Morgan as a result of his failure to get the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline built.
How will the Liberals' newly purchased pipeline factor into this year's budget? We still do not know. It cost $4.5 billion. What is the Liberals' plan to sell the Trans Mountain pipeline? The Liberals still have absolutely no meaningful plans whatsoever to get this pipeline built.
This past May I spoke to the Liberal government's budget implementation bill. I asked the Liberal government whether it was fair to members of future generations of Canadians, like my granddaughter, Avery Thornhill, when we tell them that in 2018, the government has no hope at all of balancing the budget. The Liberals have repeatedly failed to give Canadians an answer to this question. That is why Conservatives are calling on the government today to announce in its fall economic update two days from now in what year the budget will finally be balanced.
Canadians deserve respect, and they deserve to know when the budget will be balanced by the current government.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2018-11-19 16:18 [p.23553]
Mr. Speaker, never has a government spent so much to achieve so little.
It is unfortunate that I rise today to speak to the recklessness of the Liberal government, the spending, the wasting and the deceit. We are looking to end that today.
Canadians have been waiting for the government to tell us when it will balance the budget. I will echo what my colleagues said in saying that in 42 days, if the Liberals are telling the truth, or were to tell the truth, we will be in a balanced budget in this country.
Canada's Conservatives have been asking very clearly when the budget will be balanced. We have asked that question not just today, but over 400 times throughout the course of successive committees throughout the House of Commons and during question period.
It is not the most difficult question in the world. It is a simple one. For the sake of Canadians, for the sake of seniors, for the sake of young people in this country, when exactly will the budget be balanced? The government for some reason seems to feel that answering these types of questions is like climbing Mount Everest.
We have heard from Finance Canada that it could take up to 2045 to see the budget balanced again and that the debt servicing cost will be $40 billion by 2023. Think about that: $40 billion just in debt servicing costs alone. Who makes that money? Bondholders, debt holders, those people with money who lend money to the government make that money.
This is the scariest aspect of not answering this question: my 14-year-old son will be 40 years old by the time the budget is balanced according to Finance Canada. Imagine the burden that will be placed on him and every other single young person in this country. Twenty-five years of deficits will be on him, his family and his grandchildren. How difficult will that make it for him to buy a family home, to buy a new car, to save for retirement or even put a few dollars away for his child's education? It is alarming.
All we want to know is whether Finance Canada is wrong. Will the budget be balanced by 2045?
I would like to think that the Liberals will stand up and do the right thing and balance the budget but it is hard when the finance minister cannot even say the words "balanced budget". Is it because he does not want to be backed into a corner? Are those words not in his talking points? Or is it because he is riddled with guilt over what he and his government are doing to this country and to my children and tomorrow's Canadians? I would be willing to say that it is very likely all of the above.
We also see billions of Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars being given overseas. A November 8 article in The Globe and Mail said that “aid money [in Afghanistan] has gone to build medical clinics without electricity or water, schools without children and buildings that literally melted away in the rain. Also, corrupt local officials who were in charge of paying workers with some of the funds created what the audits called 'ghost workers,' civilian bureaucrats, police and soldiers who did not exist, then kept or diverted money recorded as being paid to them." Where is the accountability in that? That is hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
Another example of our money setting sail overseas is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. By bringing Canada into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Liberals plan to send hundreds of millions of Canadian taxpayers' dollars to foreign billionaires with no control over how that money will be spent or whether Canadian companies will benefit at all.
When will the budget be balanced?
When the previous Conservative government could not ensure that this money would be spent in the right way, or that the bank would follow environmental, social and human rights standards, we joined the U.S. and Japan and said no. The previous government was not willing to gamble the hard-earned money of Canadians in Asia in this way. Maybe the Prime Minister should take Kenny Rogers' advice and that is to know when to hold them and know when to fold them in this case.
We can also look at the proposed Canada infrastructure bank. Who pays when a project goes south? It is not going to be the investors who are taking the risk. Hard-working Canadians are going to act as a backstop to anything that may go south.
I have received many letters from businesses around my riding of Barrie-lnnisfil and one thing was clear: small businesses in my riding are feeling taken by the Liberal government. The government sees small business simply as a tax grab to pay for three years of out-of-control spending.
The government has spoken about all of the programs that it has instituted, structural deficit programs. Over the course of the last week, when I was back in my riding, I spoke to seniors, families and students who are feeling none of the positive impacts that the government says those structurally deficit programs are supposed to do.
These businesses have been hit. Many businesses have been hit and will be hit with the Liberal job-killing carbon tax, increased CPP and EI premiums, increased personal income tax rates for entrepreneurs, and changes to the small business tax rate that will disqualify thousands of local businesses.
Can the House see what I am getting at? For three years, the government has squandered, entered into bad deals and just plain messed up managing Canadians' money. It has failed at every aspect of that. Now, the Liberals have to go after entrepreneurs to make up the lost fiscal ground. How shameful is that?
Most of my hon. colleagues would agree that as parliamentarians, we must be honest. We must be accountable with Canadian taxpayers. With all that the government has done wrong and all of the cover-ups, it should at least do one thing right, not tell us where, what, why or how, we will worry about that later, but when.
When will the budget be balanced? I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance will be more than happy to answer this question, so that we get off his back about it and he can get back to the work of balancing the budget in just 42 days. I take us back to that time that the Prime Minister, again, during the last campaign, said that the budget would be balanced by 2019.
Now we are hearing that it will not happen until 2045. Why? When will the budget be balanced?
As I stand here today, and I urge all members on all sides to stand with us and the almost 37 million Canadians and demand that the government say when it plans to balance the budget. As many of my hon. colleagues have said, only so much can be charged on a credit card before the limit is hit and it has to be paid back. Let us not hit that limit. Let us stop here, before our grandchildren are hit with the interest and over-limit fees.
For those of us who have lived in Ontario, we have seen the impact and the effect of structural deficits over the course of the last 15 years of the Wynne-McGuinty government. In fact, the third-highest department, if it was to be measured as a department, would be the amount of debt that Ontario residents have to pay in order to serve the debt, the largest sub-sovereign national indebted nation in the world.
Today's debt and deficits equal tomorrow's tax increases or service cuts. We cannot do that to our children. Yes, we can make investments, but those investments have to be measured and they have to be calculated against at the cost to our children and to future generations. That is why, today, we are spending the day asking a simple question, a question that has been asked hundreds of times. When will the budget be balanced?
As we head into Wednesday's economic statement, I do not think it is unfair of Canadians, through their parliamentarians, to be asking the government to ask the finance minister that very simple question. As I will remind everyone, when the Prime Minister campaigned in 2015, he campaigned on small deficits, he admitted that, and he also said that we would return to a balanced budget in 2019.
We are asking the government to tell Canadians, to be honest with them, to be forthright with them. We are asking the finance minister and the Prime Minister: when will the budget be balanced? It is a simple question that we expect an answer to.
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2018-11-19 16:55 [p.23558]
Mr. Speaker, before I begin my speech, I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my excellent colleague from Souris—Moose Mountain. It is interesting that his riding name contains both French and English. I think that this is a very important debate. As a member of the Association parlementaire de la Francophonie, the French fact is very important to me and to the Conservatives.
Today's opposition motion is very simple. There is nothing complicated about it. We simply want to know what is really going on. We want to know where we are going. I think that any self-respecting government needs to know where it is going. The motion is simple, but I want to make sure that it is clear for all parliamentarians, so I am going to read it. It says, and I quote:
That the House call on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced, and to do so in this week’s Fall Economic Statement.
I have been told that the government will likely present its fall economic statement on Wednesday of this week. I hope that the Minister of Finance is ready. I hope that he has worked hard to answer this question, which is vital for a good manager. I hope that he was professional when he was in the private sector and that he will continue to be professional in his role as finance minister.
The Prime Minister inherited a balanced budget. Say what you want, but that is not fake news. It is a reality. Every expert confirms it. It is not partisanship. It is a fact. In 2015, there was an election and when the Conservative Party left the government, it left some money on the books. The U.S. economy and the global economy were growing and the real estate market was booming. Those are facts. I said so at the time: the real estate market was booming in Toronto and Vancouver and interest rates were very low, a record low. Last year, there was a $20-billion deficit. In 2017-18 alone, the government ran a $20-billion deficit. We do not get the impression that the current government has any fiscal restraint. It has decisions to make, plans to make, programs to implement, inputs and outputs to manage, revenues and expenditures to manage, but we get no sense that the government has any fiscal restraint. The Liberals have no plan.
There was an extraordinary increase in revenues due to the economic situation: we had a surplus of $20 billion last year. Instead of paying down the debt, the Liberals spent that money, but we do not know on what. The Liberals prefer to waste money. As the member for Papineau has never had to worry about money, he is not really concerned about Canadians' money. I would like to inform the government and its leader, the Prime Minister, that Canadian workers' money does not belong to them. They have a responsibility.
Before he was elected in 2015, the member for Papineau, who is our Prime Minister today, said that budgets balance themselves. Wow. That really says a lot about what the future holds for the manager of public funds. In the 2015 campaign, he promised a slight deficit, which happens from time to time. It has happened in the past. In certain circumstances, there may be temporary deficits. The Prime Minister and the Liberals campaigned across Canada in 2015 and said that they would run small deficits and then balance the budget by 2019. The reason for today's motion is that there is every indication that this will happen after 2035. Some even say that it will not happen until 2045. That is really reassuring. Is that responsible? I think not.
As I mentioned, Canada has a deficit of nearly $20 billion this year, three times what the Prime Minister had promised during the campaign. The debt has increased by $60 billion in three years. We will not engage in partisan politics. The Department of Finance Canada is not Conservative, Liberal or affiliated with any party of the House. I hope we can trust our public servants.
The Department of Finance Canada is predicting another 25 years of deficits if the Liberal Party of Canada, the party that currently forms government, is left in charge.
If we, as a good father, good mother or a family's financial manager, acted that way, it would not take 25 years to have to declare bankruptcy.
It is important to be responsible, which is why we, the Conservatives, are asking when Canada will return to a balanced budget.
Under the Liberals, the future will bring a higher cost of living and tax increases for all Canadians. It is simple math. If the government continues to spend and spend, it will eventually have to meet with specialists and have a recovery plan. In a recovery process, either drastic cuts or increased revenues are needed.
How does the government increase revenues? Quite simply, it raises taxes and income tax. It is not complicated. I am not inventing anything and I make no claims of being any kind of tax expert. This is just common sense.
My personal and family budgets are balanced, and there have been surpluses for many years. For over 30 years, I have been waking up every morning to go to work. I am very proud of that, and I am trying to instill that work ethic in my children. I think that we need to lead by example. I am not sure that the Prime Minister is currently leading by example. At any rate, the example he is setting is not a very good. Normalizing the use of marijuana is not setting a good example either, but that is another issue.
The Liberals are going to spend more paying down interest on the debt than we are currently spending on health transfers. Is that reasonable? The answer is no.
According to the Department of Finance, the budget will not be balanced until 2045. The debt has gone up by $450 billion. More debt today means more taxes tomorrow. That is how it works. Last year, Canada's debt hit a record high. This government will go down in history for racking up the highest debt in Canada at $670 billion. That is the equivalent of $47,612 per family.
I do not have much time, but this is the first time that I have had so much material for a speech. I have a giant pile of material. I will try to cover as much of it as I can.
I would like to get back to the government's broken promises. It promised $25 million for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board. It promised to run a short-term deficit of $10 billion, balance the budget in 2019, and provide costing analysis for every bill. It said that cutting taxes for the middle class and creating a new 33% tax bracket in 2016 would have no fiscal impact. It promised to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio to 31% in 2015-16, 30% in 2016-17 and 29% in 2017-18. Other things it promised to do right away were to invest $3 billion over four years to improve home care, eliminate the $1,000 labour market impact assessment fee to make it easier and more affordable to hire live-in caregivers, and set a cap on how much can be claimed through the stock option deduction on annual stock option gains higher than $100,000. I hope that is clear.
It promised a 12-month break on EI premiums to encourage businesses to hire young people by waiving employer EI premiums for all those between the ages of 18 and 24 who were hired into permanent positions in 2016, 2017 and 2018. It promised to invest an additional $100 million each year in the industrial research assistance program and an additional $6 billion in infrastructure, as well as an additional $775 million per year in worker training.
It promised to remove the GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing, invest $300 million more in the youth employment strategy in order to create 40,000 jobs, including 5,000 green jobs, each year for three years, and invest $40 million each year to help employers create new opportunities.
It promised to phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, re-evaluate the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project—it did not say it would invest $4.5 billion—review the previous government's repeal of the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and require all parliamentarians to disclose their expenses in a common manner each quarter.
I am out of time, so I would be happy to answer any questions my colleagues may have.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2018-11-19 17:10 [p.23560]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to this important motion we are debating. This motion calls on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced and to do so in this week's fall economic statement. This is a question many Canadians would like an answer to, yet the Liberals have refused to provide this information time and time again.
During the campaign for the 2015 election, the Liberals made a lot of promises. One of the major promises was that they would run a deficit of $10 billion per year for three years, assuring Canadians that the budget would be back to balance by 2019. However, this year's budget projection is that the deficit will be $18.1 billion for 2018-19 alone.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer has stated that the budget will not be balanced until 2045 the way we are going, and the Liberals still refuse to provide us with their projected date for when a balanced budget might occur.
To be frank, the fiscal mismanagement that has occurred under the government is astounding. Although we are here today to talk about a balanced budget, there are so many other areas of failure we could discuss, but that is for another day.
The Liberals can point a finger at whoever they like, but as my kids say, in doing so, three fingers will be pointing back at them. The fact of the matter is that they inherited a great fortune when they came into power. They came into a balanced budget, a booming U.S. and global economy, outstanding housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, and record low interest rates. They were set up to succeed, in large part due to the work of the previous government. Instead of taking this great inheritance and building upon it, the Liberals took the $20-billion windfall of extra revenue and squandered every nickel.
I often wonder if perhaps the Prime Minister is so out of touch with the way regular Canadians live that he simply cannot see the issue. The majority of people in this country do not grow up in a wealthy, high-profile family that rarely needs to bat an eye when it comes to spending money. They understand the need to be fiscally responsible, and they work hard to ensure that they can pay their bills. They do not count on anyone else to pay their expenses. lt seems that because the Prime Minister has never had to worry about money, he does not worry much about recklessly spending Canadians' money and about a plan to get back to balanced budgets. I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who said, “the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.”
Instead of keeping their money for groceries, gas and other family essentials, Canadians will be paying more to bankers and bondholders to fund the growing interest on the Liberals' spiralling debt, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Interest on the national debt is expected to grow to $37 billion per year, an increase of two-thirds from what it was. This money could fund the building of hospitals, schools and more around the country. It appears that yet again, the Liberals are foisting the cost of their irresponsible financial planning on the backs of all taxpayers. When will they realize that their job is to stand up for the little guy, not saddle him with ever-growing debt?
Interest rates are rising, and consumer debt, including mortgages, is climbing rapidly, reaching $1.864 trillion, yes trillion, creating a growing concern about delinquency rates.
I know that my constituents simply do not buy that these Liberals will balance the budget. I was recently speaking to a friend of mine, Maureen, in my riding. Maureen has been working in the Canadian banking sector for over 30 years. She has seen governments come and go, and she knows the ins and outs of her industry. When speaking to her about the current deficit and the notion of when the budget will come back to balance, she said, “They will never do it in my lifetime.”
The reality is that at this rate, not only will the budget not be balanced in Maureen's lifetime, her children and her grandchildren will still be paying it off long after this government has left office. That is the legacy the Prime Minister will leave: attempting to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working Canadians and spending recklessly while breaking promise after promise at the same time. If and when this budget gets balanced, it will be in spite of this government, not because of it.
As I said, the people in my riding know that nearly all promises made by the government are a farce. They know that a Prime Minister who regularly says one thing and does another cannot be trusted. How can they, or any Canadian, believe that a government that spends taxpayer dollars so recklessly is actually able to balance a budget, especially since it has clearly gone back on the promise made in 2015?
The deficit this year is now closing in on $20 billion, more than three times what was initially promised, yet there is very little to show for it in my constituency. In fact, the Liberals have made life significantly more expensive for the people of Souris—Moose Mountain. They attack farmers and other small business owners with their changes to tax rules that would have serious repercussions for businesses and their ability to succeed.
They failed to champion a pipeline that would have provided much-needed jobs in some of our communities. They are shutting down the coal industry with barely any consideration for the thousands of people, including workers, families and businesses, who will be affected by it.
The Liberals are also hurting my constituents with their job-killing carbon tax that is proving less and less effective by the day. After realizing that Canadians, namely those in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, rejected the tax, the Liberals went back on their word and ended up giving allowances.
I have said it before and I will say it again: the role of government is to help its citizens, not hurt them. In health care, we say “do no harm”. Since the Liberals took office, the average Canadian middle-class family has paid over $800 more in income tax. That figure does not include the Liberals' new payroll taxes, which affect both employees and employers, or the carbon tax, which will have serious effects in my constituency in particular.
That means that the worst is yet to come, and even more money will be taken out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians and put into government coffers. All of this, combined with the lack of an action plan for the future and uncertainty about getting the budget back to balance, does not foster a positive and trusting relationship between the government and the people who elected it. To make plans for the future, we need to know when exactly the budget will return to balance.
I understand that in some situations, running a deficit is necessary. In 2009, the GDP growth rate was negative 2.9%. There was a global recession, and running a deficit was a necessary tool to help stimulate the economy in a time of need. Due to good planning, that deficit was gone, and we were back to balance by 2015.
Last year, GDP grew by 3%, a huge contrast to the economic climate in 2009. We have growth, so why does the Prime Minister continue to pile on debt, with no action plan for the future? Furthermore, what will happen if there is another downturn in the global economy? With the government's spend, spend, spend mentality, these are important questions that deserve answers.
ln the oil field, there is a saying: When times are good, we only buy toys with cash, not with credit, because when it goes bad, and it will go bad, being too deep in credit will come back to haunt us.
Furthermore, in 2017, Canada's national debt reached an all time high of $670 billion, averaging out to almost $48,000 per Canadian family. Last year the Liberals had to spend $23 billion just to pay interest on that debt, a figure the Parliamentary Budget Officer says will rise to $40 billion by 2021. That is almost a 60% increase. That again means that the Liberals will be spending more on debt interest than we currently spend on health transfers. That is absolutely absurd.
There are so many better and more productive things this money could be used for, but instead, it goes towards servicing an ever-growing national debt. This is just one of the consequences of the Prime Minister's failures. Something needs to be done, and it is the Liberals who have the power to do it. Unfortunately, their track record is clear. They make big promises and fail to deliver, yet they expect Canadians to trust them. They spend recklessly, yet they expect taxpayers to be okay with the fact that at this rate, we will now have 25 more years of deficit.
It seems so simple to say that Canadians have a right to know when their government will stop running a deficit and get to balance. I sincerely hope that there is a plan in place. That is why Conservatives are calling on the government to announce, this week, the year in which the budget will finally be balanced. The government needs to do the right thing, stop spending so recklessly, and acknowledge that no, budgets do not balance themselves.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2018-11-19 17:22 [p.23562]
Mr. Speaker, I was fortunate enough to be in this House from 2008 until now. I well remember the recession that occurred in late 2008, one the Conservative Party, during the 2008 election, called a fiction. It actually denied that there was a recession coming, and of course, it was a very great recession that happened.
My question is about the subsequent behaviour of the Conservative Party. I understand, and our party supported, extraordinary spending in 2009 to prime the pump and get the economy going. A lot of that was one-time spending. Instead, the Conservatives took a number of what I think were irresponsible fiscal measures, including reducing revenues at that time, which put us into a structural deficit.
I have a simple question for my friend. Once the recession was dealt with, by about 2010-11, his party claimed that Canada was performing extremely well economically. Can the member tell us how much of the federal debt the Conservative Party paid down from 2008 to 2015? I will give him a hint. It was not one penny.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2018-11-19 17:23 [p.23562]
Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak for the previous government, because I was not part of it. I am a rookie MP. Therefore, I will not speak on its behalf. However, I can say that Minister Flaherty did balance the budget. He campaigned on the fact that he would balance the budget, and he did come up with that balanced budget.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2018-11-19 18:00 [p.23566]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
Mr. Speaker, $2,066,210.05 is the amount of money every hour the Liberal government spends more than it collects. That means every day the Liberals are adding $49.5 million to Canada's debt. No Canadian voted for this debt.
Not even the most partisan Liberals thought that their government was going to do this to the nation's finances. Across Canada, Liberal candidates said that their numbers were rock solid. They said that they had a fiscal plan and that voters could trust them. Nothing could have been further from reality.
I remember participating in a debate where I questioned the validity of these proposed Liberal deficits and I was told that the Liberals had financial gurus who worked on their election platform. They knew exactly what they were doing and that their short-term deficits were not only needed, but they were good for the nation. Now we know the exact consequences of their ill-thought-out fiscal plans: a lot of red ink and debt service charges that will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
Back in 2015, the Liberals walked into a balanced budget, a growing economy and record low interest rates. Not only did the Liberals break the bank in their first couple of years in office, they also raised taxes and drove us deeper into debt while doing it. The amount of $17,937 is the share of the national debt for every living, breathing Canadian, and that is just the federal debt. This does not include provincial, municipal, personal and household debt.
There is something fundamentally wrong when the Minister of Finance, the individual in charge of the nation's money, is unable to tell the House of Commons when he plans on balancing the budget. Some could argue that he does not know. Some could say that he is refusing to say. Some could even say that he is holding us in great suspense and is planning the grand reveal in the days ahead. Regardless of the endless speculation, I would argue that he does not care. His actions reveal that he may actually believe that the budget will balance itself.
Politicians need to be reminded on a constant basis that money does not grow on trees; it does not magically appear out of thin air and budgets do not balance themselves. There has been little evidence to suggest that the Liberal government has any intention of ever getting the nation's finances under control. From what has been reported, the Liberals' cabinet committee in charge of finding efficiencies has come up empty. The Liberals have almost nothing to show for their efforts. They have no plan to return to a balanced budget.
There has been no meaningful debate from the Liberal government, which leads us to our Conservative opposition day motion. We are arguing its merits at this very moment. It is telling that we even have to put forward a motion such as this one. Surely to goodness the first thing the Minister of Finance should be concerned about is balancing the budget. The mere fact that every single day the Liberal government is borrowing millions of dollars with zero plan to ever pay it back should be a signal that it is time for a new government.
The government's own survey found that Canadians believe it is wrong to continue to rack up massive deficits and add billions to the debt. In that same survey, which the government commissioned, it said that over 60% of Canadians want to make reducing the deficit a priority. I can assure the Minister of Finance that those numbers are accurate. I would even go so far as to argue that in my constituency of Brandon—Souris those numbers would even be higher.
Across this country, everyday taxpayers are fed up with governments everywhere that do not live within their means. They know that when interest rates rise, and they will, it will be a serious blow to their pocketbooks. The Minister of Finance has had ample opportunity to inform Canadians of his plan to stop adding billions of dollars of debt, but at every turn, he has twisted himself into a pretzel. The minister is a very accomplished, educated, successful individual, so I know full well that he understands the question. In many respects, I have a bit of sympathy for him. He must feel absurd as he bobs and weaves while evading this question.
The word “balance” truly seems to be the hardest word. I know my colleagues across the way are a little leery of the whole conversation as it reminds the entire nation that the budget is supposed to be balanced next year. In the last election there was no ambiguity in the Liberals' election platform about the numbers. It said that in 2019 they “will balance the budget”. It did not say that the Liberals will try to balance the budget. It did not say that they will strive to balance the budget. It said that they will balance budget. Not only did they break that promise to Canadians, but they have failed to provide a plan to stop adding billions of dollars to our debt.
What makes this all so somewhat comical if it were not so serious a topic, is that right under the promise of balancing the budget the Liberals' platform said that they “will raise the bar on fiscal transparency”. All those following this debate will know that the Minister of Finance is anything but transparent when it comes to his handling of the nation's finances. We only need to go on YouTube to see the countless times the minister has sidestepped questions about his deficit numbers. If we were to keep scrolling past the videos of him calling Canadians tax cheats or the videos about his ethics investigations, we would find countless exchanges of the minister doing his best to avoid saying anything decipherable.
That is what brings us to this debate today. On Wednesday, in the Liberals' fall economic statement, I implore the Minister of Finance to reveal to Canadians his plans to balance the budget. The Liberals were not given a blank cheque. They were not given the mandate to run massive deficits as far as the eye can see. Future generations should not be on the hook for the Liberals' reckless spending. Everyone knows that today's deficits are tomorrow's taxes. Canadians know it is wrong to leave their kids with an unpaid credit card bill, but that is exactly what the Liberal government is doing. It is nothing short of intergenerational theft.
The deficit is now almost $20 billion, more than three times what he promised. Instead of balancing the budget next year as the Prime Minister said he would, Finance Canada says we will now have 25 more years of deficits at this rate. Interest on the national debt is expected to grow by two-thirds, to $37 billion a year. That is just the interest. That is almost as much as we spend on health care transfers. Instead of keeping their money for gas, groceries and other family essentials, Canadians will pay more to bankers and bond holders to fund the growing interest on the Liberals' spiralling debt.
That is why Conservatives are calling on the government to announce in its fall economic update the year in which the budget will finally be balanced. While every family or business out there has to balance their budget, it is mind-blowing that the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister think they have no obligation to do so. The only thing I know for sure is that it will not be by next year as promised.
There has to be at least some Liberal MPs who see the lunacy of the actions of the finance minister when it comes to avoiding the question of a “balanced budget”. They must agree that their own government has fallen short in terms of financial transparency. People's patience is wearing thin and this charade must come to an end.
That is exactly why we are forcing a vote of the House of Commons on this issue. I want every Liberal MP to have a chance to join us. It is never too late to ask for a little common sense from the government. I want them to join us in stopping the raid on future generations. I want them to join us in eliminating out of control deficits and get Canada's fiscal house back in order. At the very minimum, I would ask them to support this motion.
Canadians deserve answers. Liberal parliamentarians deserve answers. At the end of the day, if we can at least agree that having a plan to balance the budget is needed, it is a meaningful step in the right direction. I urge all Liberal MPs to support this motion and demand better from their own finance minister.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2018-10-29 11:32 [p.22908]
Mr. Speaker, this is a study of the situation of plastic pollution around aquatic environments. It comes from the NDP member for Courtenay—Alberni, and I commend him for bringing this motion forward, which would refer the matter to the environment committee of this Parliament to study.
The proposal says:
the government should work with the provinces, municipalities, and indigenous communities to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments
The motion calls on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to undertake a study on the situation of plastic pollution around aquatic environments and to then report that study back to the House within four months of it being considered. I will note that it does not stipulate whether the focus of this study should be Canada's own plastics pollution or the much more insidious global oceans plastics problem. One of the concerns I have is that if we do a committee study, we know exactly what we are being asked to study so that we have a robust discussion around the committee table to make sure that we are focused on the area where Canada can make the biggest contribution.
More specifically, the motion calls on the committee to study the following:
(a) regulations aimed at reducing (i) plastic debris discharge from stormwater outfalls, (ii) industrial use of micro-plastics including...microbeads, nurdles, fibrous microplastics and fragments, (iii) consumer and industrial use of single use plastics, including...plastic bags, bottles, straws, tableware, polystyrene...cigarette filters, and beverage containers; and; (b) permanent, dedicated, and annual funding for the (i) cleanup of derelict fishing gear, (ii) community-led projects to clean up plastics...on shores, banks, beaches and other aquatic peripheries, (iii) education and outreach campaigns on the root causes and negative environmental effects of plastic pollution in and around all bodies of water.
We are still not clear what “in and around all bodies of water” means. Are we talking globally? This is a global problem, and the biggest concerns are not in Canada; they are elsewhere around the world.
I note that the study is actually focused on expanding what I believe could be a furthering of the intrusive role of government into the lives of Canadians. It also proposes to study new and permanent funding for government initiatives at a time when the Liberal government is running huge deficits and will not be balancing its budget for at least 25 years.
In June, at the G7 summit, the Prime Minister asked the partner countries to sign a plastics charter to reduce the use of plastics in our environment. The charter was eventually signed by France, Germany, Italy, the European Union and Canada, but there was not full consensus, because the United States and Japan did not sign it. It is understandable why they did not. The focus of that charter was not clear. Their concerns echoed some of the concerns I will be articulating in the House in a moment.
To be clear, this is a global problem. Globally, it is estimated that around eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in our oceans every year, and that is predicted to double over the next decade. All these problems around the world with plastics in our oceans are expected to double over the next 10 years. More plastic waste has been produced over the last 10 years than during the entirety of the 20th century.
This year it was estimated that around 10,000 tonnes of global waste enters the Great Lakes annually. In 2017, 16 tonnes of plastic were found during the Great Lakes beach cleanup alone. Plastic appears in the Great Lakes from external water flows, but I point out that plastic makes up a much smaller percentage of the pollution in many other aquatic environments in Canada. It should be noted that the Saint John and St. Lawrence rivers and the Great Lakes have elevated levels of pollution, the majority of which is not plastic.
By the way, the current Liberal government, despite its incessant virtue signalling on the environment, has been directly implicated in the dumping of millions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Those decisions were made directly by the current Liberal government, so the virtue signalling comes across as pretty hypocritical.
How serious is Canada's own plastics pollution problem for our ocean environment, especially within the global context? Researchers have collected extensive data to determine the origin of plastics that pollute our oceans. Their data ranks countries based on the amount of plastic waste they contribute to the ocean, and whether it is mismanaged. In this study, Canada did not even show up in the rankings. That is how clean we are, which is not to dismiss concerns about plastics pollution within Canada. However, as part of the larger global oceans plastics problem, Canada is an insignificant contributor. In fact, I would go out on a limb here and say that we are not a contributor to it.
Compounding the challenge is the fact that bans and taxes eventually get added to the cost of plastic items. Invariably, those costs are passed on to consumers. As a result, businesses pay more, consumers pay more and our competitiveness declines. Therefore, we also have to be careful before we impose more regulations on Canada's businesses, because these will get translated onto Canadian consumers.
Compounding the challenge is the fact that the provinces, territories and municipalities all have some jurisdictional powers over plastics. This effect on companies has already manifested itself in municipalities such as Montreal and Victoria, which have banned plastic bags, for example. Companies say that a poorly thought-out policy on plastics would hurt them, due to the need to meet different regulatory burdens in different jurisdictions across Canada. If we are going to start moving down this road, we had better think carefully of the long-term impacts and do it in a smart way.
Members can be assured that our Conservative members of the committee will be the only ones at the table representing the interests of taxpayers. We know what this would mean for taxes in Canada, and we are going to make sure that whatever recommendations come out of the committee, they will be reflective of taxpayers' concerns that their governments spend money wisely and live within their means.
To summarize, Canada is not responsible for the extensive amount of plastics pollution in aquatic environments around the world. Canada's primary role should be to work with the global community to address the major sources of plastics pollution around the world, including places like China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, which are the primary sources of plastics pollution. Focusing exclusively on our own contribution to this problem would have a negligible impact on the global problem.
Canada's Conservatives recognize the detrimental impact that plastics pollution is having on our oceans, and we believe that Canada must work collaboratively with other countries to help them address their major sources of plastics pollution. Therefore, surprisingly, we will be supporting this motion. I commend the member for Courtenay—Alberni for bringing this forward. We will work closely with the committee to make sure that its report back to the House is respectful of Canadian taxpayers' money and deals effectively with the issue of global plastics pollution. We will be supporting the motion, and I commend the member for bringing it forward.
View Sheila Malcolmson Profile
NDP (BC)
View Sheila Malcolmson Profile
2018-10-29 11:42 [p.22909]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand with my colleague, the New Democrat member for Courtenay—Alberni, in presenting solutions to the calamitous tragedy of marine plastics on our beaches. We see it very strongly close to home on B.C.'s Pacific coast that we represent, but we know this is a Canada-wide problem.
With respect to my Conservative colleague who just spoke, he has to spend time on B.C.'s beaches to see that the source and impact are both here in Canada. This is costing communities right now. To say that as taxpayers we cannot afford to deal with this Canadian made problem is severely shortsighted.
When I was Islands Trust Council chair, I heard presentations every year from the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards. These were women who, with great respect to my elders, were well into their eighties. Every year they were pulling between two and four tonnes of plastic debris, particularly from the aquaculture industry, off the beaches. That is a single clean-up, all on the backs of volunteers.
Returning adult B.C. salmon, the cultural and economic cornerstone of our province, are ingesting up to 90 pieces of marine plastic every day. Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo all agree that Canada is responsible for marine plastic pollution and the costs are being felt right now by our economy and our ecology.
There is almost nothing I do as a member of Parliament that gets more responses from constituents than the issue of marine plastics. The campaigns against it are extremely strong around the world. There are images of sea turtles entangled in plastic bags and of autopsies on beaches of whales finding how much plastic is inside them. Albatrosses are starving because their stomachs are full of marine plastic.
The images are tragic and we know it is about us. This is the result of human impact. Every year plastic litter kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals, such as turtles, dolphins, whales and seals. Eighty per cent of all plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources. The Strait of Georgia has 3,000 pieces of marine plastic per cubic metre and those rates go up even higher close to our shellfish operations. Seven to eight per cent of world oil and gas production is used to create single use plastic and by 2050 it is estimated that plastic production will use 15% of the world's global carbon budget.
Again and again, if we act on marine plastics we save the environment, improve our coastal economy, we get the work off the backs of volunteers and we also deal with our fossil fuel habit problem. By 2050, if we do not act, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, so let us act.
I am regularly urged by school kids in Nanaimo and Ladysmith to act. Departure Bay Eco-School does surveys of the beaches. They point out that adults leaving their cigarettes butts on beaches is probably the number one immediate form of marine debris. Certainly, on the west coast, I have had the privilege of working for years as an ocean kayak guide along some of British Columbia's wildest beaches, and every year we have seen more and more plastic. It is not only from Asia, but also from right here.
We do have community action. Seaview Elementary School in Lantzville just won a prize in the plastic bag grab challenge. Students collected nearly 6,000 bags of garbage from the environment within one month and did a great job of doing daily announcements about the issue at their school to raise awareness about it. Their librarian, Jolaine Canty, who led the initiative, said that having the students win that big contest was an added bonus. She is really proud of the work they did.
Smokin' George's BBQ restaurant in Nanaimo is moving to compostable containers and straws, and it wants Parliament to know that it recycles its fryer oil. There are people who need to use straws for medical reasons or because they are disabled, which is fine, but it is great to see restaurants offering compostable, renewable alternatives. These businesses are doing what they can to be more sustainable.
Cold Front Gelato in Nanaimo is also moving to compostable spoons and containers. The Vault Café, which feeds me a lot of coffee and makes my work possible, is also moving to compostable plant-based products. Their customers are asking them to do that, which is a sign of how much people want to see action on this.
On Oceans Day, I had the pleasure of being with my colleague, the member of Parliament for Courtenay—Alberni, for a beach cleanup in Parksville. The groups that we were working with, the Surfrider Foundation, the Ocean Legacy Foundation, and Clayoquot CleanUp, are all on the ground and are really inspiring us to realize that if we can get the plastic out of the water, we can use it. They are already piloting gathering marine plastic off the beach, feeding it into 3D printers, and generating new products with this plastic that has been collected. Also, they are piloting the use of new forms of fuel by liquefying and gasifying the marine plastic pollution that has been gathered, again, finding new uses for it.
It is really inspiring to talk to five-generation sea captain, Josh Temple, I think his name is, about how much plastic net floats they see on the beaches everywhere. What if we used the glut of recycled glass that we have just sitting, and in some cases ending up in landfills, and we got back to a time of manufacturing glass floats? Beachcombers would love it. It would deal with another recycling glut and pollution problem that we have. Again, if a glass ball breaks, either a tourist finds it or else it breaks up and goes back to sand.
These groups are on the ground, and in the absence of government support and direction, they are doing the hard work. We commend them. They inspire us.
The Georgia Strait Alliance is an amazing group dedicated to ocean protection in the Salish Sea. It is based in Nanaimo. They have been working with global partners to tackle the problem of ghost gear. This is the problem of stray fishing nets, which are increasingly made of plastics and just do not break down in the same way as others, moving across our world's oceans, gathering fish and in turn attracting more predators. It is a terrible, compounding cycle of death. They are working on an initiative to block that.
The Regional District of Nanaimo took a motion to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting. Chair Bill Veenhof was so proud to stand up in support of my colleague's motion, M-151, to adopt a national strategy to deal with marine plastics. It received virtually unanimous support at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. If the Conservative Party thinks that is a bad idea, then it is not talking to its local partners.
As the House knows well, I have been working for a long time on trying to deal with another type of marine plastics problem, abandoned vessels, ripped up and discarded fibreglass boats, which have reached the end of their lifetime. It is another huge issue. If we had a comprehensive government program, if we piloted a vessel turn-in program, as I have proposed but the Liberal government voted down, we could work with the recycling and salvage companies to recreate new markets for fibreglass, the same as we can for marine plastics, if we deal with this in a comprehensive way.
This is the beauty of my colleague's motion that we are encouraging the House to adopt. We do not have any commitment to regulation. We do not have any commitment, yet, to action. Banning the use of single-use plastics is something that really should be done across the country, but we need to regulate the responses, not just talk about them, and we need to fund action. This is an ongoing budget item, not just the flavour of the month.
There is unprecedented global support for action on marine plastics. The NDP has a history of doing this. It was our former colleague, Megan Leslie, who, in 2015, got the House to agree to go ahead and ban micro beads. It was our colleague, the member of Parliament for London—Fanshawe, who brought a motion to the House to ban plastic bags across the country.
When we see what is happening to our marine mammals that we are legally bound to protect, we must take this simple action. School kids are urging us to. Local businesses are urging us to. I strongly encourage the House to move beyond talk to the kind of action my colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni, has urged and to vote in favour of Motion No. 151.
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
CPC (ON)
View Pierre Poilievre Profile
2018-09-28 13:10 [p.21998]
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to address the subject of tax fairness.
In the last federal election, the Prime Minister barnstormed across the country, promising billions of dollars of new spending. A chicken in every pot, he said. When Canadians inevitably asked how he would pay for it all, he said not to worry for a moment, that he would just raises taxes on the so-called wealthiest 1%, the rich guy living up on the hill.
Today, as we debate the subject of tax fairness, it is appropriate to ask if he has, in fact, kept his promise to fund his spending through those means. He certainly has kept the promise to spend vast new sums. Spending has grown, at around 7% per year, which is three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth. In other words, the government is spending three times faster than is the need among Canadians.
The result has been that the deficit this year is three times the size the Liberal Party promised in its most recent election platform and the budget will not be balanced next year, as the Prime Minister promised it would. According to Finance Canada, that will only happen in the year 2045, a quarter century from now, during which time Finance Canada admits the government will add a half a trillion dollars in additional debt. In other words, the budget will not balance itself.
What has become of the rich? The Prime Minister claimed he was going to raise taxes on those people. The results are in. CRA data released two weeks ago demonstrated that in the first year after the tax increase took effect, the government actually collected $4.6 billion less from the wealthiest 1%. Finance Canada released documents almost exactly a year ago today in its annual financial report, on September 19, 2017, in which it revealed almost exactly the same phenomenon. Revenues went down from the wealthiest 1%.
The government said that this was all due to one-time factors. People were playing games to avoid the higher taxes, said the government and that phenomenon would disappear in future years. The government is right. There were some wealthy individuals who moved money around to avoid paying their fair share.
One of them is the Minister of Finance. He announced a tax increase to take effect on January 1, 2016, and he sold his shares in his own company, Morneau Shepell, just 30 days before that in order to ensure his capital gain would be taxed at the lower earlier rate so he would not have to pay the same higher taxes he imposed on everyone else. Is that not nice? He knew the tax increases were coming, but being a multi-millionaire who had worked hard his entire life to avoid paying taxes, he was not going to pay a penny more on that capital gain. He was going to ensure he was taxed under a lower rate than everyone else.
He says, and his department has said, that many people did that. However, now that phenomenon is behind us, they say that in the future more revenue will come in. There is no question that in the 2017 tax year there will be probably be a one-time windfall of revenues from certain entrepreneurs and other Canadians as a result of reactions to government policies.
For example, the anecdotes by accounting firms and the reports in our business media are so common now that it is hard to be skeptical of their truth that people are moving money out of Canada. They are moving money out because the tax burden and the regulatory burden is so high that it is better for some people to do business outside of the country rather than keep their money here. Therefore, they will pay exit taxes. As that money goes out the door, it will be taxed one time.
The Prime Minister, who is only concerned about the here and now, who wants to spend more money today, might celebrate that one-time burst of cash as he shovels it out the door as quickly as possible.
What he forgets is that the problem with one-time cash is that a person only gets it one time and in the future it is gone. That money, once it leaves the country, will be taxed by other governments. When a wealthy CEO moves his fortune to London, England, the government today gets a one-time tax benefit for that as he pays an exit tax. However, in years subsequent, his tax burden in Canada is zero. He pays taxes to another government and funds services for another non-Canadian population. In 2017, I have no doubt that many people will pay one-time exit taxes as they took their money out of our country.
Furthermore, in the fall of 2017, the government announced small business tax changes that would have punished families for selling their businesses to their children. If a farmer sold his farm to his kids, he would pay a dividend tax rate of nearly 45% instead of a capital gains tax rate of 25%. If he sold that same farm to a foreign multinational, he could pay the lower tax rate.
In other words, there is a massive penalty for farmers selling their farms to their own kids, but a tax break for selling those same farms to a foreign multinational and having that multinational turn those children into tenants on their ancestral lands.
Because of the ferocious backlash led by the Conservatives and spontaneously ignited on the ground by Canadian taxpayers, the government has decided to put that change on hold until after the next election when it will surely be back. However, small businesses and farmers are not stupid. They know what bullet they dodged and are not going to risk having that change brought forward again.
What have many of them done? According to some of the most respected accounting firms in the country, many of them did their farm sales immediately upon learning that the government had put the change on ice. Therefore, those people will pay a one-time tax on that transaction in the 2017 year. After that year is gone, so too will future revenues, because those transactions will not repeat themselves every single year.
Finally, the government proposed to punish families that shared the work and earnings of a company. It calls that “sprinkling”. I can understand why it calls that sprinkling. The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister did have their wealth sprinkled upon them as if by an angel from above. Would it not be wonderful if we could all have trust funds and if we could all be trust fund babies like those two trust fund twins? They did have money sprinkled upon them from above, so it is not surprising that they would use the term “sprinkling” to describe small family businesses that own a local restaurant and therefore share the earnings of that restaurant with the kids who show up everyday and help run it.
The change proposed by the government took effect on January 1. Businesses knew that so they had to pay out higher levels of dividends to their children and their family members in 2017 before the tax change took effect. There is no question that the government will tax those dividends in the 2017 year. In other words, the government will get a burst of revenue from that phenomenon of forcing businesses to pay out to their family members before the punitive new rules take effect. There is no question the government will get more money in the 2017 year as a result of that.
Any day now, though, we can expect that the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister will march triumphantly into this room, as if they were Caesar at a Roman triumph, saying,“Aha! Look at all the money we took from all these people”. They will say that their high-tax plan actually worked in raising cash for them to spend. However, all of these phenomena I just described are one-time cash, in and out. Then it is no longer available to future governments to spend. For that reason the burden will inevitably fall upon the working and middle class that always suffer the most as the government gets big and expensive.
Why is that? Because higher earners and capital are far more mobile than lower earning people and workers. Labour has a harder time moving. Why? Because labour is carried out by a person and therefore he or she would have to move physically to another jurisdiction to have his or her labour tax at a lower rate. However, capital can flee or travel just like the air. Anyone can open their laptop computer and purchase equities, foreign stocks in companies around the world, literally in a matter of five minutes, moving their money out of the country just like that.
However, a working family who lives in Oshawa or Windsor on the assembly line floor cannot just get up and move because the government has hit it with a higher tax burden. That is why workers and labour cannot move around to avoid taxes the way capital and wealth can move around.
The end result is that when government gets big, capital flees and the burden gets more and more punitive on the working class Canadian. That is exactly what has happened. The average Canadian middle-class family is paying $800 higher income tax today than when the government took office. That is before the carbon tax and before payroll taxes that the government plans to institute the year after the next election. In other words, it is only going to get worse.
It is also before the increased cost of servicing our national debt, which is growing at a spectacular rate. In fact, last year, our government spent $23 billion on servicing the national debt. Within three years, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that amount will rise to $40 billion, a two-thirds increase in just a few years, as debt rises and interest rates rise simultaneously to have a compounding effect of transferring more and more wealth, again, from the working class taxpayer to the wealthy bankers and bondholders who own our debt.
Here we are with these social justice warriors bringing in deficits and debts that have the effect of transferring wealth from low-income people who pay tax to wealthy bondholders and bankers who own the debt, in exchange for which we will get nothing. Interest on debt does not pave roads, does not build hospitals, does not hire nurses, does not pay soldiers, none of those things. It simply fattens the wallet of the wealthy people who have enough means to lend to the government.
If people ever wanted proof that these people are wealthy, the government cancelled the Canada savings bonds. It used to be that modest income people would buy Canada savings bonds and lend to the government. The government does not do that. It borrows all of its money from wealthy private equity fund managers, investment bankers and others of vast fortune.
Therefore, it always is that when the government gets big, the wealthy and well-connected and powerful are better off. It is ironic. Jeremy Corbyn, who calls himself a socialist, the socialist leader of the Labour Party in Great Britain, says that he wants to end greed is good capitalism. He is going to ban greed. The Prime Minister has made similar comments. The plan to end greed is to make the government so big that there is no room left for greed. It will be removed from human DNA. People will become altruistic and generous. No one will have more than anyone else, so they say. These socialists are actually going to transform human nature because they are so powerful they can do even that.
Can they really transform human nature? Apparently they did not read Macaulay, who wrote:
Where'er ye shed the honey, the buzzing flies will crowd;Where'er ye fling the carrion, the raven's croak is loud;Where'er down Tiber garbage floats, the greedy pike ye see;And wheresoe'er such lord is found, such client still will be.
The point is that wherever there is money, there will be people trying to get it. If all the money is in the government, there will be greedy people trying to make money off the government. We see it all the time.
There are corporations coming to Ottawa saying they need a corporate handout, and they have had a very generous benefactor in the Liberal government, such as the $400 million for Bombardier, which went on to immediately give big bonuses to its executives. There is the infrastructure bank, for example, which will provide loan guarantees to powerful construction companies so that if ever their projects lose cash, the taxpayer and not the business owner will pay the price.
In Ontario, the Liberals brought in something called the Green Energy Act, which simply did not create any green energy, but it did put a lot of green in the pockets of the wealthy lobbyists who were able to get the so-called green energy contracts, double the cost of electricity and cause what the Ontario Association of Food Banks call “energy poverty”. People literally walked in with their power bills and said that they could not afford to keep their lights on and eat and asked for food so that they could pay their power bill. So, yes, it was great for the wealthy one percenters who got tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for their phony electricity, but it was not so great for the working-class people who could barely afford to turn the lights on and live a normal life.
So, yes, wherever we fling the honey, the buzzing flies will crowd. My colleague did not say “bees”. He said “flies”, and flies do not make honey but will happily consume it. They are parasitical. Bees create honey through the process of pollination, which is the free exchange between a vegetative life and a creature, which is the essence of the free market economy, right? That is the free market economy, the voluntary exchange of capital for interest, product for payment, work for wages.
Every single transaction in a free market economy happens through voluntary exchange. Do members know why? It is because every single transaction must improve the lives of both people or they would not engage in it. It is why we have something called the “double thank you”. We go to a coffee shop, buy a cup of coffee, pay for our coffee and say “thank you”. What do they say back? It is not “your welcome”, but “thank you”. Why? It is because our payment is worth more to them than their coffee, and their coffee is worth to us than our payment. In other words, we both have something worth more to us than we had before. If I have an apple and want an orange, and someone else has an orange and wants an apple, we trade. We still have an apple and orange between us, but we are both richer because we each have something worth more to us than we had before. That is the genius of voluntary exchange.
Why does no one write “thank you” on their tax forms? It is supposed to be a voluntary exchange. It is supposed to be an exchange. We are paying for something. We are supposed to get something in return. The answer is, because we have no choice. It is not a voluntary exchange. It is mandatory. We are forced to engage in it, and that is the rule of the government economy. Every single transaction in the government economy is done by force. Every single transaction in the free market is done by voluntary will of every single participant.
We on this side of the House of Commons believe in a bottom-up free market where businesses obsess over customers rather than over politicians. It is where one gets ahead not by having the best lobbyist but by having the best product. That is the free market economy. It is a bottom-up economy and not a trickle-down, government-directed economy, like the government on the other side of the aisle believes.
Therefore, we will continue to champion the free market system, a system based on meritocracy, not heiritocracy, where we do not have to have a trust fund to have hope for a better future. We just have to have big dreams and hard work. That is our plan for tax fairness.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 1078--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to expenditures made by the government since February 7, 2017, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not Elsewhere Classified): what are the details of each expenditure including (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1392--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to all expenditures on hospitality (Treasury Board Object Code 0822), since January 1, 2017, and broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) start and end date of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1408--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to fees collected by government departments and agencies, since December 1, 2016: (a) what is the total amount collected by the government; (b) what is the monthly breakdown of fees collected, broken down by department or agency; and (c) what is the monthly breakdown of fees collected by specific fee?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1420--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to expenditures made by the government since June 12, 2017, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not Elsewhere Classified): what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1424--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to all contracts awarded by the government, since January 1, 2017, broken down by department or agency: (a) how many contracts have been awarded to a foreign firm, individual, business, or other entity with a mailing address outside of Canada; (b) for each contract in (a), what is the (i) name of vendor, (ii) date of contract, (iii) summary or description of goods or services provided, (iv) file or tracking number, (v) amount; (c) for each contract in (a), was the contract awarded competitively or was it sole-sourced; and (d) what is the total value of all contracts in (a)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1472--
Ms. Karine Trudel:
With regard to federal spending from October 20, 2015, to December 31, 2017: (a) what expenditures were made in the following municipalities (i) City of Saguenay, (ii) City of Saint-Honoré, (iii) Municipality of St-Ambroise, (iv) Municipality of Saint-Fulgence, (v) Municipality of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, (vi) Municipality of Saint-Charles-de-Bourget, (vii) Municipality of Bégin, (viii) Municipality of Saint-Nazaire, (ix) Municipality of Labrecque, (x) Municipality of Lamarche, (xi) Municipality of Larouche, (xii) Municipality of Saint-David-de-Falardeau; and (b) what are the particulars of all grants, contributions and loans, broken down by (i) name of recipient, (ii) date of funding, (iii) granting department or agency, (iv) amount received, (v) granting program, (vi) purpose of the expenditure?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1619--
Mr. Guy Caron:
With regard to government spending in the federal ridings of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, respectively, between October 19, 2015, and today: (a) how much did the government invest in projects under the Canada Community Infrastructure Program and the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, broken down by (i) name of the project, (ii) type of project, (iii) location of the project, (iv) submission date of the project, (v) approval date of the project, (vi) projected cost of the project, (vii) total cost of the project; and (b) how much did the government invest through the various government programs other than the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (such as, but not limited to, the New Building Canada Fund—Quebec, New Horizons and the various Canadian Heritage funds), broken down by (i) name of the project, (ii) type of project, (iii) location of the project, (iv) submission date of the project, (v) approval date of the project, (vi) projected cost of the project, (vii) total cost of the project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1643--
Ms. Niki Ashton:
With regard to the government’s use of temporary help services and contracts: (a) what are the companies contracted by the government to provide temporary help services, broken down by department and agency; (b) what is the average length of employment for temporary workers, broken down by department and agency; (c) what mechanisms does the government use to track the work done by contractors across government departments and agencies; (d) how many temporary staff were hired by the government, broken down by (i) region and province where they were hired, (ii) year; (e) how much is disbursed by the government on average for (i) temporary staff, in terms of annual full time equivalency, broken down by classification, (ii) permanent staff, in terms of annual full time equivalency, broken down by classification; (f) what is the percentage change in expenditures for temporary help services and salary costs for indeterminate, term, and casual employees from 2015 to 2017-18 (in unadjusted dollars, reference year 1999-2000); (g) what were the reasons given for engaging temporary help services, broken down by year, beginning from 2015-16; (h) what were the percentages of contracts allocated for temporary help services for each cost range of less than $20,000, between $20,000 and $60,000 and more than $60,000, by reasons provided for the hires, broken down by year beginning from 2015-16; and (i) what is the average age of temporary staff hired, broken down by (i) region, (ii) department or agency, (iii) classification?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1665--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to expenditures made by the government since December 11, 2017, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not Elsewhere Classified): what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1697--
Mr. Robert Aubin:
With regard to federal spending in the riding of Trois-Rivières, for each fiscal year since 2015-16, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1713--
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall:
With regard to all expenditures on hospitality (Treasury Board Object Code 0822), since December 6, 2017, and broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) start and end date of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided, (vi) file number, (vii) number of government employees in attendance, (viii) number of other attendees?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1718--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to reports of “March madness” expenditures where the government makes purchases before the end of the fiscal year so that departmental funds do not go “unspent”, broken down by department agency or other government entity: (a) what were the total expenditures during February and March of 2018 on (i) materials and supplies (standard object 07), (ii) acquisition of machinery and equipment, including parts and consumable tools (standard object 09); and (b) what are the details of each such expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) delivery date, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1765--
Mr. Pierre Nantel:
With regard to the fiscal expenditure under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act (Deductibility of advertising expenses), hereafter referred to as deductions, and certain other measures concerning media: (a) does the government measure the total deductions of advertising under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act for (i) newspapers, (ii) periodicals, (iii) broadcasting undertakings, (iv) internet advertising on Canadian platforms, (v) internet advertising on foreign-owned or foreign-based platforms; (b) does the government measure the fiscal expenditure under (i) section 19, (ii) section 19.01, (iii) section 19.1, (iv) for internet advertising; (c) if the government does measure the deductions and expenditure discussed in (a) and (b), is this done (i) quarterly, (ii) yearly, (iii) by province, (iv) by corporations; (d) what is the total fiscal expenditure for the last ten years, broken down by fiscal year, for deductions of advertising for (i) newspapers, (ii) periodicals, (iii) broadcasting undertakings, (iv) internet advertising on Canadian platforms, (v) internet advertising on foreign-owned or foreign-based platforms; (e) how many entities claimed these deductions in the last fiscal year; (f) does the government gather information on which advertising platforms or media, including online platforms, supply the advertising products or services for which tax deductions under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act are claimed; (g) if the government does gather the information discussed in (f), what are the 20 largest platforms or suppliers, broken down by (i) the total of advertising expenses, as submitted to the government for tax deduction claims purposes, (ii) the country of billing or invoicing of the platform or supplier; (h) which entities have received the largest deductions for advertising (i) in newspapers, (ii) in periodicals, (iii) on broadcasting undertakings, (iv) on Canadian online platforms, (v) on foreign online platforms; (i) has the total fiscal expenditure for deductions in advertising increased or decreased over the last ten years and, if so, by what percentage, in the case of (i) newspapers, (ii) periodicals, (iii) broadcasting undertakings, (iv) internet advertising on Canadian platforms, (v) internet advertising on foreign-owned or foreign-based platforms; (j) if the government does not study or calculate any of the information requested in (a) through (h), why not; (k) why did the government decide in 1996 that tax deductions for advertising on online publications and media should not be subject to the same restrictions as the deductions for advertising in newspapers, periodicals and broadcasting undertakings; (l) does the government consider that advertisements purchased on foreign-based or foreign-owned platforms such as Facebook, particularly those specifically targeting demographic groups in Canada or Canadian postal codes, are advertisements directed primarily to a market in Canada as defined by the Income Tax Act; (m) does the government consider that foreign-owned or foreign-based digital platforms providing content in Canada are media; (n) since online platforms were not considered to be broadcasters in 1996, but are now important distributors of similar audiovisual content to that distributed by Canadian broadcasting undertakings, and since the CRTC currently recognizes such platforms as “new media broadcasting undertakings”, does the government consider that foreign-owned or foreign-based digital platforms distributing audiovisual content are foreign broadcasting undertakings; (o) is it the government’s position that Canadians should be denied a tax deduction under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act for advertising expenses made in foreign newspapers, periodicals and other media, but should be eligible for a tax deduction under those sections for advertising expenses made on foreign online platforms; (p) has the government considered or studied the possibility of issuing new interpretations of sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act to include digital platforms that compete in the Canadian newspaper, periodical and broadcasting market and, if so, (i) when, (ii) why, (iii) what were the recommendations made and the conclusions of such studies; (q) has the Income Tax Rulings Directorate studied any part of sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act, or issued any advance income tax rulings or technical interpretations concerning these sections, in the last ten years on the subject of the digital economy and, if so, (i) when, (ii) why, (iii), what were the recommendations made and the conclusions of such studies, rulings or interpretations; (r) has the government considered or studied the possibility of amending the Income Tax Act to include digital platforms competing in the Canadian newspaper, periodical and broadcasting market and, if so, (i) when, (ii) why, (iii), what were the recommendations made and the conclusions of such studies; (s) does the government consider, in the context of the current effective duopoly in the Canadian online advertising market, within which two foreign companies control over two-thirds of advertising revenue according to a Public Policy Forum report requested by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, that the tax deduction on advertising on foreign-based media platforms could place Canadian media at a disadvantage; (t) is it the government's position that the tax deduction for advertising on foreign-based online media is fair; (u) does the government acknowledge that its fiscal policy, and particularly the tax deduction for advertising on foreign-based online media, places Canadian media at a significant competitive disadvantage in the advertising market and is contributing to the current crisis in Canadian media, as stated by two reports to the government on the state of Canadian media in the last year; (v) has the government conducted any studies on the advertising deductibility provision in sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act, if not why and, if so, (i) how many studies have been completed and when, (ii) do these include any studies on the specific issue of online advertising, (iii) what are the conclusions and recommendations of studies in (v)(i) and (v)(ii); (w) out of the 32 recommendations made in the January 2017 report on media, requested by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and entitled “The Shattered Mirror”, and in the Sixth Report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage about media presented in June 2017, how many and which recommendations (i) have been implemented by the government, (ii) are being implemented, (iii) are likely to be implemented before October 2019, (iv) are being considered or studied, (v) will not be implemented by the government; (x) how many times have the recommendations in (w), including changes to sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act, been discussed between the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and have these recommendations been raised with the Minister or Deputy Minister and, if so, has the Minister provided a response and, if so, what are the details of the response; (y) regarding the recommendations in (w), has there been any briefing to the Minister or briefing documents or docket prepared, including on changes to sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act and, if so, for every briefing documents or docket prepared, what is (i) the date, (ii) the title and subject matter, (iii) the department's internal tracking number; (z) following the two reports in (w), has there been a ministerial directive or recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage concerning sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act or more broadly online advertising deductibility and, if so, what were they; (aa) what are the challenges, problems, impediments, hindrances, or obstructions that limit or otherwise affect the government’s ability to amend or reinterpret the tax deductions on online advertising and to encourage advertising in Canadian publications, media or online platforms; (bb) how many times has the government been lobbied to maintain the tax deductions under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act; and (cc) since November 4, 2015, who has lobbied the government to maintain the tax deductions under sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act and when?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1766--
Mr. Pierre Nantel:
With regard to the ability to charge electric vehicles at the various workplaces of federal departments and the national zero-emissions vehicle strategy: (a) which departments have electric charging stations for Crown-owned electric vehicles, and how many stations have these departments installed and where; (b) is the number of these charging stations proportional to the number of electric vehicles each of their offices owns, and what is the ratio of charging stations to electric vehicles at each of their locations; (c) which departments have electric charging stations for employees’ personal vehicles, and how many of these charging stations have these departments installed and where; (d) are there written instructions stating that employees are not allowed to connect their personal electric vehicles to standard 120 volt outlets at workplaces; (e) are there written instructions stating that employees are allowed to connect their personal electric vehicles to standard 120 volt outlets at workplaces; (f) since January 2016, what private businesses have benefitted from Government of Canada investments, from the Strategic Innovation Fund or any other program, for transportation electrification; (g) since January 2016, how much has the government transferred to the provinces to enhance their network of charging stations, and how many stations have been installed per province owing to these investments; (h) how many meetings have been held by the expert advisory group mandated to develop a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emissions vehicles on the country’s roads and find ways of eliminating the barriers to the use of zero-emissions vehicles; and (i) what is the government's budget for the creation of the advisory group in (h), and how much has it cost to operate since it was established?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1767--
Mr. Pierre Nantel:
With regard to the trip by the Minister of Canadian Heritage to Asia and Europe from April 9 to 18, 2018, inclusively: (a) what were the costs of the trip to Asia and Europe by the Minister and her delegation, broken down by (i) country, (ii) expenditure, (iii) person; (b) what are the details of all the Minister’s meetings, broken down by (i) persons met with, (ii) delegates in attendance, (iii) location of the meeting, (iv) length of the meeting, (v) agenda and minutes, (vi) purpose of the meeting; (c) who were the members of the Canadian delegation for the Minister’s trip, broken down by country; and (d) what were the cultural, economic, partnership and trade benefits and objectives and the agreements concluded during the Minister’s trip, broken down by country and by meeting?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1769--
Mr. Wayne Stetski:
With regard to the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas: (a) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas, and what were the results of this analysis; (b) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas; (c) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of a potential spill of bitumen from the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in Jasper National Park, and what were the results of this analysis; (d) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of any spills of bitumen from the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in Canada’s National Parks, including in Jasper National Park; (e) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on the water supply in National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas, and what were the results of this analysis; (f) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on the water supply in National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas; (g) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on species at risk, and what were the results of this analysis; (h) what plans does the federal government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on species at risk; (i) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of the increased tanker traffic resulting from the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on Canada’s Marine Conservation Areas, and what were the results of this analysis; (j) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of the increased tanker traffic resulting from the Kinder Morgan pipeline project on Canada’s Marine Conservation Areas; (k) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project regarding the threat of introducing invasive species, and what were the results of this analysis; and (l) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the threat of invasive species resulting from the Kinder Morgan pipeline project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1770--
Mr. Wayne Stetski:
With respect to federal investment in the village of Field in British Columbia: (a) what amount has the government invested in Field, broken down by year, in the last fifteen years; (b) what projects have been undertaken by the government in Field, broken down by year, over the last fifteen years; (c) what measures does the government have in place to attract potential residents to Field; (d) what measures does the government have in place to ensure adequate, affordable housing in Field; (e) what analysis has the government undertaken of the state of available housing in Field, and what were the results of this analysis; and (f) what measures does the government have in place to provide employment opportunities in Field?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1771--
Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau:
With regard to the Dairy Farm Investment Program (DFIP): (a) what is the total number of applications received from producers from the creation of the program to May 2, broken down by (i) province and territory, (ii) applications approved per province and territory, (iii) applications rejected per province and territory, (iv) applications put on a waiting list per province and territory; (b) how many applications for large investment projects were received from the creation of the program to May 2, broken down by (i) province and territory, (ii) applications approved per province and territory, (iii) applications rejected per province and territory, (iv) applications put on a waiting list per province and territory; (c) how many applications for small investment projects were received from the creation of the program to May 2, broken down by (i) province and territory, (ii) applications approved per province and territory, (iii) applications rejected per province and territory, (iv) applications put on a waiting list per province and territory; (d) how much of the total $250 million in DFIP funding has been allocated as of May 2, broken down by (i) large investment project, (ii) small investment project, (iii) province and territory; (e) what is the total value of funding applications that has been rejected as of May 2, broken down by (i) large investment project, (ii) small investment project, (iii) province and territory; (f) how much of the total amount has already been allocated to Quebec producers as of May 2, broken down by (i) large investment project, (ii) small investment project; (g) what amounts have been approved or rejected as of May 2 for each province and territory, under the DFIP, broken down by (i) approved or rejected applicant’s place of residence (city and postal code), (ii) the date and specific hour at which the application was made, (iii) the amount allocated, if relevant, (iv) the reason for refusal, if relevant; (h) how many applications were processed within the 100 days, broken down by (i) number of funding requests approved within the 100 days, (ii) number of funding requests approved and rejected within the 100 days, (iii) number of funding requests approved and rejected beyond the 100 days set by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; (i) how many complaints have been made concerning the DFIP from its creation to May 2, 2018, broken down by (i) location of complaint, (ii) type of complaint, (iii) action taken by the department; (j) what is the average actual waiting time, regardless of the amount allocated, that DFIP applicants must wait before receiving part or all of the amounts they are owed for applications made during the first application funding window; (k) what are the total amounts allocated to date for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, broken down by (i) province, (ii) amount allocated; (l) what are the expenditure forecasts for fiscal years 2018-19, 2019 , 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22; (m) what is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s cost of administering the DFIP from its creation to May 2, 2018, broken down by (i) year, (ii) operating cost, (iii) cost of unforeseen additional expenses; (n) when will Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s DFIP second application funding window open; (o) how did Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ensure the order of priority, first-come, first-served, during the DFIP first application funding window?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1772--
Ms. Sheri Benson:
With regard to mitigating the effects from the closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company in May 2017: (a) what meetings have taken place since May 2017, between the Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and representatives from the provincial government, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (b) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between the Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and representatives from municipal governments, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (c) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between the Minister of Innovation, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and representatives from the provincial government, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (d) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between the Minister of Innovation, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and representatives from municipal governments, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (e) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between other government officials, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and representatives from municipal governments and the Saskatchewan provincial government, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (f) which transportation companies or providers have met with the Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, since May 2017, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (g) which transportation companies or providers have met with the Minister of Innovation, Parliamentary Secretary, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, since May 2017, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (h) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between the Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and Members of Parliament, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (i) what meetings have taken place, since May 2017, between the Minister of Innovation, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, and Members of Parliament, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) lists of attendees, (iii) locations, (iv) agendas; (j) if no meetings have taken place, what is the timeline for such meetings to occur for each of these groups and with each Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff; (k) which provincial or municipal representatives have received correspondence from government officials like Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff, regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company since May 2017, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) senders, (iii) recipients, (iv) titles, (v) subjects, (vi) summaries, (vii) file numbers; (l) which transportation companies or providers have received correspondence from government officials like Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, since May 2017, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) senders, (iii) recipients, (iv) titles, (v) subjects, (vi) summaries, (vii) file numbers; (n) which Members of Parliament have received correspondence, since May 2017, from the Minister of Transport, Parliamentary Secretary, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) senders, (iii) recipients, (iv) titles, (v) subjects, (vi) summaries, (vii) file numbers; (o) which Members of Parliament have received correspondence, since May 2017, from the Minister of Innovation, Parliamentary Secretary, or departmental officials, including Ministerial Exempt Staff regarding the possible replacement of services formerly provided by the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, broken down by (i) dates, (ii) senders, (iii) recipients, (iv) titles, (v) subjects, (vi) summaries, (vii) file numbers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1773--
Ms. Georgina Jolibois:
With regard to the promised Indigenous Languages Legislation by the government: (a) what minutes, reports and memos have resulted from meetings, since November 1, 2015 until today, broken down by (i) year, (ii) departments, (iii) date of the minutes, memo or report, (iv) type of documents (v) person, deputy or minister to whom the document was intended; and (b) which Indigenous communities, organizations or experts have been consulted, since November 1, 2015 until today, for an Indigenous Languages Legislation by the departments of Canadian Heritage, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada or any other department, broken down by (i) years, (ii) names of organizations or experts consulted, (iii) departments who have consulted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1774--
Ms. Sheila Malcolmson:
With regard to federal spending in the constituency of Nanaimo—Ladysmith in fiscal year 2017-2018: (a) what grants, loans, contributions and contracts were awarded by the government, broken down by (i) department and agency, (ii) municipality, (iii) name of recipient, (iv) amount received, (v) program under which the expenditure was allocated, (vi) date; and (b) for the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which proposals from the constituency have been approved?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1775--
Ms. Niki Ashton:
With respect to funding educational services on reserve in the Churchill – Keewatinook Aski federal riding: (a) what is the total amount of federal government funding, since the fiscal year 2006-07 up to and including the current fiscal year, allocated to First Nations education, broken down by reserve and by year; (b) what is the total amount of federal government funding, since the fiscal year 2006-07 up to and including the current fiscal year, allocated in Churchill – Keewatinook Aski, on First Nations education from the ages of Kindergarten to grade 12, broken down by reserve and by year; and (c) what is the total amount of federal government funding, since the fiscal year 2006-2007 up to and including the current fiscal year, allocated in Churchill – Keewatinook Aski, on First Nations post-secondary education, broken down by reserve and by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1776--
Ms. Niki Ashton:
With respect to funding and operating housing programs and services on reserve in the federal riding of Churchill – Keewatinook Aski: (a) what is the current number of people on housing waiting lists, broken down by reserve, and what was the number of people on housing waiting lists in Churchill – Keewatinook Aski at the end of every fiscal year, beginning in 2006-07 up to and including the previous fiscal year, broken down by reserve and by year; (b) what is the total amount of federal government funding, since the fiscal year 2006-07 up to and including the current fiscal year, allocated in Churchill – Keewatinook Aski for housing and housing services, broken down by reserve and by year; and (c) what is the total amount of housing units built, since the fiscal year 2006-07 up to and including the current fiscal year, in Churchill – Keewatinook Aski, broken down by reserve and by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1777--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the government’s development of a federal co-operative strategy, as called upon by M-100: (a) what is the overall status of developing such a strategy; (b) what organizations, including provincial, municipal, and territorial governments and Indigenous representative organizations have been consulted; (c) how does the government plan to integrate the strategy into existing economic development programming, such as regional economic development agencies or the Community Futures Program; (d) what “goals and targets” as stated in the motion does the government plan to use to assess the strategy’s success; and (e) how is the government planning to support next-generation and innovative cooperative forms such as platform cooperatives?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1778--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to direct contacts (i.e. phone calls or in-person meetings) between public servants at the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief of Staff or Senior Policy Advisor level or equivalent and Facebook and subsidiaries, Alphabet and subsidiaries, and Amazon and subsidiaries: for each such instance, what was the date, the method of contact, the subject matter discussed and the job title of any public servants present for it?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1779--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry (MMIW): (a) how much money has been allocated to the MMIW Inquiry for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years; (b) what are the Inquiry’s anticipated budgetary needs for each of these two fiscal years; (c) is the Inquiry expected to overrun its monetary allocations in either or both of these years; and (d) if the answer to (c) is in any way affirmative, what contingencies or plans are in place to ensure the continuing function of the Inquiry?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1780---
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the handling of cases and claims pursuant to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement by the Department of Justice Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada: how much has been spent on settled cases, requests for direction, and other proceedings where Canada has been either the plaintiff or defendant before appellate courts (such as the Ontario Superior Court or the Supreme Court of British Columbia) related to survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School since 2013? 2013?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1781--
Mr. Scott Reid:
With regard to Correctional Service Canada’s (CSC) planned re-establishment of penitentiary farm programming and agribusiness operations: (a) which of the six former penitentiary farm locations that were closed in 2010 does CSC plan to re-open; (b) does CSC plan to open any penitentiary farm locations other than the six locations that were closed in 2010 and, if so, what are those locations; (c) for any locations identified in (a) that CSC does not plan to re-open, for what reasons, broken down by location, has CSC decided not to re-open them; (d) for each location identified in (a), (i) since 2010, has CSC sold or otherwise divested itself of any portions of the land on which the penitentiary farms were located and, if so, how much of each location’s land, and at what price or benefit to CSC, (ii) has CSC re-acquired any land, or use thereof, that it had previously sold or otherwise divested itself of, or acquired new land, or use thereof, on which it plans to open those locations and, if so, how much land and at what cost to CSC, (iii) what facilities that were operated at the time of closing in 2010, or within five years before closing, does CSC plan to re-open or re-establish, (iv) for facilities identified in (d)(iii), what costs will CSC incur to re-acquire, renovate, and re-open them, itemized by type of expense; (e) for each location identified in (b), has CSC acquired any land, or use thereof and, if so, how much land and at what cost to CSC; (f) for each location identified in (a) and (b), (i) what are the dates on or time ranges during which CSC plans to open each location, (ii) what is the date or time range at which each is to be opened, (iii) what are the purposes, training and employment programs and agribusiness operations that CSC plans to operate, (iv) what livestock, and from what sources, does CSC plan to acquire for agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, (v) for livestock identified in (f)(iv), what alternative livestock were considered, and on what basis did CSC make its decision, (vi) what are the Internet sites where studies or research commissioned or used by CSC in its decision to re-open the penitentiary farm are available; (g) for each location identified in (a) and (b), what costs does CSC project to incur, broken down by fiscal year, to (i) build new agribusiness-related buildings and other agribusiness-related facilities, (ii) acquire or secure the use of capital equipment, existing buildings, vehicles, and other facilities for agribusiness-related use, (iii) employ or retain staff to administer and operate agribusiness-related programs and facilities, (iv) maintain agribusiness-related land and facilities, (v) operate agribusiness-related programming, (vi) acquire livestock, (vii) acquire other agricultural materials; (h) what skills does CSC aim to have gained by offenders who participate in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations; (i) how many and what percentage of all offenders, on an annual basis, does CSC project will participate in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, and on what basis does CSC make this projection; (j) what is the projected employment rate, within one year of release, and on what basis does CSC make this projection, for (i) all released offenders, (ii) released offenders who participated in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, (iii) released offenders who participated in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, and who are employed in positions that require the agribusiness skills obtained while incarcerated; (k) what is the projected recidivism rate, within five years, and on what basis does CSC make this projection, for (i) all released offenders, (ii) released offenders who participated in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, (iii) released offenders who participated in agribusiness-related training, programs and operations, and who are employed in positions that require the agribusiness skills obtained while incarcerated?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1782--
Mrs. Marilène Gill:
With regard to the Atlantic investment tax credit from 1977 to 2017: (a) what is the total amount and the amount broken down by year received by individuals, businesses and organizations for the entire targeted region; and (b) what is the amount for each year broken down by (i) eligible investment, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, (ii) eligible sector, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1783--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regard to international development funding, since April 1, 2017: what are the details of all funding provided to civil society organizations, including the (i) name of the organization, (ii) amount received, (iii) amount requested, (iv) purpose of the funding and the description of related projects, (v) date of the funding announcement, (vi) start and end date of the project receiving funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1786---
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
With regard to the government's tendering and awarding of contracts, between 2008 and 2018 inclusively: (a) how many contracts for goods and services and for services associated with goods and construction were awarded without a government tendering process, broken down by (i) year, (ii) department, (iii) name of company or organization awarded with the contract, (iv) value of award in dollars, (v) details of the contract, (vi) reason for the absence of a tendering process; and (b) how many contracts for goods and services and for services associated with goods and construction were awarded through a government tendering process, broken down by (i) year, (ii) department, (iii) name of company or organization awarded with the contract, (iv) value of award in dollars, (v) details of the contract, (vi) reason for the absence of other tenderers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1787--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to the $327 million announced by the government in November 2017 to combat gun and gang violence: (a) what specific initiatives or organizations have received funding from the $327 million, as of June 1, 2018; (b) what is the total of all funding referenced in (a); and (c) broken down by initiative and organization, what are the details of all funding received as of June 1, 2018, including the (i) name, (ii) project description, (iii) amount, (iv) date of the announcement, (v) duration of the project or program funded by the announcement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1788--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to government statistics in relation to the transportation of firearms by criminals: (a) what percentage of criminals register their guns; (b) what percentage of criminals receive permission to transport their guns; and (c) what percentage of criminals does the government project will abide by the firearms transportation provisions set out in Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1790--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the government’s involvement in relation to the Churchill rail line, since January 1, 2017: (a) what are the details of all briefing documents and memorandums related to the rail line, including the (i) recipient, (ii) date, (iii) title, (iv) summary, (v) file number; and (b) what are the details of all correspondence between the government and Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1791--
Mrs. Alice Wong:
With regard to reports of ageism in the hiring of ministerial exempt staff: (a) what is the total number of exempt staff members who are (i) 18-29, (ii) 30-39, (iii) 40-49, (iv) 50-59, (v) 60 and over, as of June 1, 2018; and (b) what is the total number of the Office of the Prime Minister staff members who are (i) 18-29, (ii) 30-39, (iii) 40-49, (iv) 50-59, (v) 60 and over, as of June 1, 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1792--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to errors made and corrected on proactive disclosure, since January 1, 2016, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity covered by proactive disclosure: (a) what were the total number of errors discovered; (b) for each error, what were the details of the original posting, including what information was originally published on the proactive disclosure website; (c) for each correction, what are the details of the corrected information, including the contents of both the (i) original information, (ii) corrected information; and (d) for each error, on what date was the (i) erroneous information published, (ii) corrected information published?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1797--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to correspondence, both written and electronic, received by the Office of the Prime Minister from the general public, since November 4, 2015: (a) what were the top 10 topics or subjects matters, in terms of volume of correspondence; and (b) for each of the top 10 topics in (a), how many pieces of correspondence were received?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1799--
Mr. Alexander Nuttall:
With regard to expenditures with the Internet media company BuzzFeed, since November 4, 2015, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) description of expenditure or ad campaign, (iv) title for each “quiz” or “story” purchased?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1802--
Mr. Kevin Sorenson:
With regard to the comments by the Auditor General in relation to his reports’ that “we always get the department agreeing to our recommendation but then somehow we come back five years later, ten years later and we find the same problems”: (a) what specific actions or changes have been implemented for each of the recommendations made in the Auditor General's Fall and Spring reports of 2016, 2017 and 2018, broken down by recommendation; and (b) for each recommendation which has yet to be acted upon, what is the rationale for not following the Auditor General’s recommendation, and why has implementation of the recommended changes been delayed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1804--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the 1,559 Canada Summer Jobs funding applications in 2018 which were rejected due to issues with the attestation: what is the breakdown of the 1,559 rejected applications, by riding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1805--
Mr. David Anderson:
With regard to Canada-Taiwan relations and reports that the government of China is requiring Canadian private companies, including Air Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada, to label Taiwan as part of China: (a) has the government raised this issue with the government of China and, if so, what message was conveyed and what was China’s response; (b) has the government discussed this issue with the government of Taiwan and, if so, what message was conveyed and what was Taiwan’s response; (c) does the government approve of these new policies set by Air Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada to label Taiwan as part of China; (d) has there been a change in the government’s policy with respect to Canada-Taiwan relations; and (e) what is the status of negotiations on a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement with Taiwan?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1806--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the shipments of sculptures to Canadian missions, embassies, consulates, or other properties utilized by Global Affairs Canada abroad, since November 4, 2015: what are the details of all shipments, including (i) origin, (ii) destination, (iii) date, (iv) vendor, (v) cost of shipping, (vi) name or description of sculpture?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1807--
Mr. Mark Warawa:
With regard to government procurement and contracts for the provision of research or speechwriting services to ministers since June 12, 2017: (a) what are the details of all contracts, including (i) the start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file numbers, (iv) nature or description of the work, (v) value of contracts; and (b) in the case of a contract for speechwriting, what is the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be, delivered, (iv) number of speeches to be written, (v) cost charged per speech?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1810--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to seizures of illegal drugs and narcotics by the Canada Border Services Agency since January 1, 2017: (a) how many times were illegal drugs or narcotics seized; (b) what is the total amount seized, broken down by substance; and (c) what are the details of each seizure, including (i) date, (ii) substance, (iii) amount, (iv) location, (v) country from which the substance was imported, (vi) estimated cash value?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1811--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the purchase of televisions, since February 1, 2017, broken down by department and agency: (a) what is the total value of televisions purchased; (b) how many televisions have been purchased; and (c) what are the details of each purchase, including (i) make and model, (ii) size, (iii) price per unit, (iv) quantity, (v) was the television a 4K television, (vi) was the television a 3-D television?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1812--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to the consumption of alcohol and food on flights taken on government-owned Airbus and Challenger aircraft since December 1, 2017: (a) on which flights was alcohol consumed; and (b) for each flight where alcohol was consumed (i) what is the value of alcohol consumed, (ii) what was the origin and destination of the flight, (iii) what was the flight date, (iv) what is the breakdown of alcoholic beverages consumed by specific beverage and quantity, (v) what is the cost of food consumed on each flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1813--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the sharing economy: (a) has the government done any studies on the potential savings if civil servants were to use Uber or Lyft as opposed to traditional taxi services; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of each study, including (i) who conducted the study, (ii) methodology, (iii) date study was completed, (iv) projected yearly savings; (c) what is the total amount spent on taxis by the government in 2017-18 fiscal year, broken down by department, agency, or other government entity; and (d) what is each department and agency’s policy regarding allowing employees who prefer to use Uber or Lyft, as opposed to traditional taxis, for government business, the opportunity to do so?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1815--
Mr. Deepak Obhrai:
With regard to appointments to federal boards, agencies, and associations since December 1, 2016, for each appointment: what are the details of each appointee, including (i) name, (ii) province, (iii) position, (iv) start and end date of term, (v) was appointment a reappointment or a new appointment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1816--
Mr. Deepak Obhrai:
With regard to interest payments on the federal debt: (a) how much did the government pay in interest payments in the (i) 2015-16, (ii) 2016-17, (iii) 2017-18 fiscal years; and (b) how much is the government projected to pay in interest payments in each of the next ten fiscal years?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1819--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to Minister’s Regional Offices (MROs), as of June 7, 2018: (a) what are the locations of all MROs in operation; (b) what are the locations of all MROs not in operation; (c) broken down by location, what is the number of employees or full-time equivalents based out of each MRO; and (d) broken down by location, what is the number of ministerial exempt staff members based out of each MRO?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1821--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to the acquisition of buildings by government departments or agencies, since October 1, 2016, for each transaction: (i) what is the location of the building, (ii) what is the amount paid, (iii) what is the type of building, (iv) what is the file number, (v) what is the date of transaction, (vi) what is the reason for acquisition, (vii) who was the owner of building prior to government acquisition, (viii) what is the government-wide object code?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1822--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
With regard to all contracts awarded by the government since December 1, 2017, broken down by department or agency: (a) how many contracts have been awarded to a foreign firm, individual, business, or other entity with a mailing address outside of Canada; (b) for each contract in (a), what is the (i) name of vendor, (ii) date of contract, (iii) summary or description of goods or services provided, (iv) file or tracking number, (v) country of mailing address; and (c) for each contract in (a), was the contract awarded competitively or sole-sourced?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1823--
Mr. David Yurdiga:
With regard to the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussion tables: what are the details of all discussion tables, broken down by (i) name and title of the First Nations, groups and individuals, (ii) dates of discussions, (iii) participating ministers, Members of Parliament and other government officials, (iv) topics of discussion, (v) recommendations that were made to the Department?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1824--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to management consulting contracts signed by the government since January 1, 2017, broken down by department, agency, and crown corporation: (a) what was the total amount spent; (b) for each contract, what was the (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) file number; (c) each time a management consultant was brought in, what was the desired outcome or goals; (d) how does the government measure whether or not the goals in (c) were met; (e) does the government have any recourse if the goals in (c) were not met; (f) for which contracts were the goals met; and (g) for which contracts were the goals not met?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1825--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
With regard to government expenditures on membership fees, broken down by department, agency and crown corporation, since October 19, 2016: (a) how much has been spent; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure including name of organization or vendor, date of purchase, and amount spent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1826--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the Canada C3 Expedition: (a) what was the total number of individuals who took part in the expedition as passengers, broken down by leg; (b) what was the total number of expedition personnel, broken down by leg; and (c) what was the total number of ship’s crew, broken down by leg?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1827--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) into two new Departments: (a) how many staff or full-time equivalents (FTEs) employed with INAC at the time of dissolution have been transferred to (i) Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, (ii) Indigenous Services Canada, (iii) another government department or agency, broken down by department or agency; (b) how many FTEs, excluding temporary summer students, are currently employed by the (i) Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, (ii) Indigenous Services Canada; (c) what was the total cost of internal services for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada in the 2017-18 fiscal year; (d) what is the anticipated cost of internal services for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada in the 2018-19 fiscal year; (e) what was the total cost of internal services for Indigenous Services Canada in the 2017-18 fiscal year; and (f) what is the anticipated cost of internal services for Indigenous Services Canada in the 2018-19 fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1828--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to First Nations financial transparency: how many First Nations bands complied with the requirements of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act between 2013 and 2018, broken down by fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1829--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the federal carbon tax or price on carbon: (a) what are the details of all memorandums or briefing notes, since November 4, 2015, regarding the impact of a carbon tax or price on carbon on Indigenous Canadians including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) summary, (vi) file number; (b) what are the details of all memorandums or briefing notes, since November 4, 2015, regarding the impact of a carbon tax or price on carbon on northern Canadians including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) summary, (vi) file number; (c) what analysis has been conducted from 2015 to present by the government with regard to the impact on northern family household budgets and northern community budgets; (d) what analysis has been conducted from 2015 to present by Employment and Social Development Canada with regard to the impact on northern persons and families falling below the low-income cut-off line; (e) what analysis has been conducted from 2015 to present by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with regard to the impact on (i) Inuit persons and families falling below the low-income cut-off line, (ii) the cost of building and maintaining community infrastructure, including power generation; (f) what analysis has been conducted from 2015 to present by Health Canada with regard to the impact on the cost of delivering on-reserve health care; (g) when fully implemented, how much does the government anticipate the $50-a-tonne price on carbon will increase food prices for the average northern family of four, broken down by province and territory; (h) how much does the government anticipate a $50-a-tonne carbon tax will increase electricity costs, in percentage terms, broken down by province and territory; (i) has the government calculated the average financial impact of the carbon tax on northern people living below the low-income cut-off line and, if so, what is the average monetary impact on the average Indigenous family of four, living below the low-income cut-off line; (j) how many northern individuals does the government anticipate will fall beneath the low-income cut-off line as a result of a $50-a-tonne price on carbon; (k) did either the Department of Finance Canada or Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada conduct analyses regarding the impact of a $50-a-tonne price on carbon on Indigenous low-income families and, if so, what were the conclusions of these analyses; (l) did either the Department of Finance Canada or Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada conduct analyses regarding the impact of a $50-a-tonne price on carbon on the distribution of wealth and income in Canada and, if so, what were the conclusions of these analyses; and (m) by how much does the government estimate a $50-a-tonne price on carbon will reduce carbon emissions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1831--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to application processing and wait times at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, from the date an application is received by the Department to the date it is processed, and as June 11, 2018, or the most recent available data: (a) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a work permit in Canada; (b) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a visitor visa in Canada; (c) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a student visa in Canada; and (d) what is the average processing time for an application made under the spousal sponsorship program?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1832--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to government communications, for each announcement made by a minister or parliamentary secretary in the National Capital Region in a location other than the parliamentary precinct or the National Press Theatre, since December 5, 2016: (a) what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) purpose or subject matter, (iv) name and portfolio of the minister or parliamentary secretary involved; and (b) what were the amounts and details of all expenses related to making each such announcement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1833--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to private security expenditures by the government, broken down by department, agency, crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017: (a) what is the total amount spent; and (b) what are the details of each such expenditure, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) details of contract, including duration, (v) location where security was to be provided, (vi) whether the contract was competitive or sole-sourced?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1834--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to payments and reimbursements made by the government in 2018: (a) what are the details of all payments, including reimbursements the government made to Vikram Vij or any of his enterprises, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) purpose of payment; and (b) did the government pay for Vikram Vij’s travel to India in February 2018 and, if so, what was the total amount spent on (i) airfare, (ii) hotels?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1835--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to the February 2018 trip to India taken by the Prime Minister and other ministers: (a) what is the total of all costs incurred to date related to the trip; and (b) what are the details of all contracts and invoices related to the trip, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1836--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to all expenditures on hospitality (Treasury Board Object Code 0822), since April 25, 2017, and broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) start and end date of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided, (vi) file number, (vii) number of government employees in attendance, (viii) number of other attendees?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1837--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to relocation costs for exempt staff moving to the National Capital Region since December 1, 2016: (a) what is the total cost paid by the government for relocation services and hotel stays related to moving these staff to the National Capital Region; (b) for each individual reimbursement, what is the (i) total payout, (ii) cost for moving services, (iii) cost for hotel stays; and (c) what changes has the government made to the relocation policy for exempt staff following the moving expense controversy involving Katie Telford and Gerald Butts?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1839--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to government funding within the constituency of Vancouver Kingsway: what is the total amount of funding, including the department or agency, the initiative, and the amount, broken down by each fiscal year from 2015 to 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1840--
Mr. Ted Falk:
With regard to the irregular border crossings taking place along Canada’s border with the United States, since December 1, 2016: (a) how many individuals who entered Canada irregularly made asylum claims in the United States prior to entering Canada; (b) how many individuals who entered Canada irregularly and made asylum claims were under a removal order in the United States prior to entering Canada; (c) of the number identified in (b), how many of those individuals (i) are presently in Canada awaiting hearings, (ii) are presently in Canada but have been ordered removed, (iii) have been removed from Canada in response to a removal order, (iv) have voluntarily left Canada; (d) for the individuals in (c)(iii), what was the average time between initial entry to Canada and removal from Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1841--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by Global Affairs Canada, since October 1, 2017: what are the (i) vendors' names, (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1842--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to the total amount of late-payment charges for telephone services, since September 1, 2016, and broken down by late charges incurred by government department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what is the total amount late-payment charges and interest charges incurred in each month for services provided by (i) Rogers, (ii) Bell, (iii) Telus, (iv) other cellular or cable provider?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1843--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to spending related to the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix: (a) what was the initial budget for the summit; (b) what is the latest projected total cost of the summit, broken down by type of expense; and (c) what are the details of each expenditure to date related to the summit, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services, including quantity of each item?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1844--
Mr. Peter Kent:
With regard to the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs funding provided to the Islamic Humanitarian Service: (a) has the group had their funding revoked after Sheikh Shafiq Hudda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service called for genocide and the eradication of Israelis, and if not, why not; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, on what date was the funding revoked?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1845--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to expenses claims by a minister or ministerial exempt staff which were paid out, since September 1, 2016, but then later paid-back to the Receiver General: what are the details of each such payment or reimbursement, including (i) date of expense claim, (ii) date money was reimbursed to the Receiver General, (iii) amount of initial expense claim and payment, (iv) amount reimbursed to the Receiver General, (v) description of products or services for each claim, (vi) reason for reimbursement to the Receiver General?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1846--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to spending on photographers or photography services since September 19, 2016, and broken down by department or agency: (a) how much has been spent; (b) what were the dates and duration of each photography contract; (c) what was the initial and final value of each contract; (d) what were the events or occasions which were meant to be photographed as a result of each contract; and (e) what were the locations where the photography work was performed for each contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1847--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the purchase of promotional products for handouts or giveaways at trade shows, conferences, and other events, since December 1, 2017 and broken down by department, agency, or crown corporation: (a) what products were purchased; (b) what quantity of each product was purchased; (c) what was the amount spent; (d) what was the price per unit; (e) at what events, or type of events, were the products distributed at; (f) what country was each product manufactured in; and (g) what is the relevant file number for each purchase?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1848--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski :
With regard to the use of government aircraft by Members of Parliament and Senators, since January 1, 2016: what are the details of each flight where a Member of Parliament or a Senator was a passenger, including the (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) names of parliamentarians on the flight, (v) type or aircraft?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1852--
Mr. Wayne Stetski:
With regard to the impacts of invasive species on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas: (a) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of invasive species on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas, and what were the results of this analysis; (b) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of invasive species on Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas; (c) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of invasive species on fire management in Canada’s National Parks, and what were the results of this analysis; (d) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of invasive species on fire management in National Parks; (e) what analysis has the government undertaken of the potential impacts of invasive species on species at risk, and what were the results of this analysis; (f) what plans does the government have in place to address and mitigate the impacts of invasive species on species at risk; (g) what has been the cost of efforts to reduce the spread of invasive species, broken down by year, over the past 10 years; (h) what are the top 10 invasive species currently of most concern in Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas, and in which National Park or Marine Conservation Area are they a concern; and (i) how often does the government review its policies and procedures regarding invasive species in Canada’s National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1853--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to the government's campaign for a United Nations Security Council seat in 2021: (a) what are the total expenses to date directly related to the campaign; (b) what is the breakdown in (a), by type of expense; and (c) what are the details of all contracts related to the campaign, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1854--
Mr. Jim Eglinski:
With regard to government advertising, since January 1, 2016: (a) how much has been spent on billboards; and (b) for each expenditure in (a), what was the (i) start and end date, (ii) cost, (iii) topic, (iv) number of billboards, (v) locations of billboards, (vi) vendor, (vii) type of billboards, such as electronic or traditional?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1855--
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall:
With regard to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) discharged members: how many members of the CAF have been discharged under item 5(f), Unsuitable for Further Service, of the table to article 15.01 of the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces, that at the time also had a medical condition including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder, broken down by year, since 1990?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1856--
Mr. Rob Nicholson:
With regard to judicial appointments made by the government, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many total appointments have there been; (b) how many vacancies are there as of June 1, 2018; and (c) of the appointees in (a), how many were considered (i) “highly qualified”, (ii) “qualified”, (iii) “not qualified”?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1858--
Mr. Randall Garrison:
With regard to the statements issued by the Delegation from Tibet that addressed the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on May 8, 2018, whereby Mr. Baimawangdui, head of the delegation and deputy of the People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), claimed that “the China-Canada is maintaining a good momentum of development with close contact between the higher levels”: (a) since 2016, how many requests has the Government of Canada made to the Chinese government for permission to visit Tibet, and, of those requests, (i) how many were denied, (ii) how many were approved; (b) of those approved in (a), when did the visits take place, and over the course of these meetings (i) where in Tibet did Canadian diplomats visit, (ii) were any limits or restrictions placed on Canadian delegation regarding where they could travel and who they could speak with, (iii) were Canadian diplomats invited to address the local People's Congress; and (c) since 2016, how many official delegations from Tibet have visited Canada, and during those visits (i) where in Canada did the delegations visit, (ii) were any limits or restrictions placed on the visiting delegation regarding where they could travel and who they could speak with, (iii) did Canadian officials meet with the delegation members, and, If so, from which ministries?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1859--
Mr. Randall Garrison:
With regard to the Middle Way Approach (MWA), which supports genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of Chinese constitution: (a) has the government, at any point in time, endorsed the MWA; (b) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, did the government at one point in time has since altered its position and, if so, (i) when did this change of position occur, (ii) what prompted this change of position, (iii) what is Canada’s current position on the MWA; (c) if the answer in (a) is affirmative, what steps has the government undertaken to engage with the MWA when engaging with (i) official delegations from Tibet visiting Canada, (ii) human rights violations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and in Tibetan areas of China including Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu; and (d) if the answer in (a) is negative, (i) what is the government’s official position on Tibet’s political status, (ii) what alternative approach is used when engaging with human rights violations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and in Tibetan areas of China including in Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Gansu?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1860--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to immigration to Canada between December 7, 2016, to December 6, 2017: (a) how many economic class immigrants have been admitted to Canada; (b) how many family class immigrants have been admitted to Canada; (c) how many refugees have been admitted to Canada; (d) how many temporary student visas were issued and how many individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary student visa; (e) how many temporary worker permits were issued and how many individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary worker permit; (f) how many temporary visitor records were issued and how many individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary visitor record; (g) how many temporary resident permits were issued; (h) how many temporary resident permits were approved by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; (i) for (a) to (h), what is the breakdown by source country by each class of migrant: (j) for applications for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, divided by each subsection of section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (k) for applications for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, divided by each subsection of section 35 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (l) for applications for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, divided by each subsection of section 36 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (m) for applications for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, divided by each subsection of section 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and (n) for application for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, divided by each subsection of section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and presented in the exact same format of the government’s response to Q-696?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1862--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to funding provided by the government to STEM Camp: (a) what are the details of all funding the organization has received since January 1, 2016, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) program under which funding was delivered; and (b) what is the maximum amount of Canada Summer Jobs funding for 2018 which the organization has been approved for?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1863--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) electronic tax filing systems (e-filing system), including each electronic filing system for each category of taxes for which they are available: (a) for each year since 2013 inclusively, for how many days has the e-filing system been unavailable for use by tax filers due to routine maintenance (down for maintenance); (b) for each year in (a), how many of the days on which the e-filing system was down for maintenance fell on deadlines for filing (i) personal income taxes, (ii) corporate income taxes, (iii) sales tax quarterly returns, (iv) installment payments; (c) for each year in (a), how many of the days on which the e-filing system was down for maintenance fell within the three business days immediately preceding the deadlines in (b); (d) after subtracting the deadlines in (b) and the three business days preceding them, for each year in (a), how many business days on which routine maintenance remained; (e) how many taxpayers in each category in (b) attempted to file on days on which the e-filing system was down for maintenance; (f) of the taxpayers in (e), for how many did the inability to file their taxes due to the e-filing system being down for maintenance cause their filings to be late; and (g) with respect to the filings in (f), how much was assessed in interest and penalties?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1864--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
With regard to government’s projections on page 292 of Budget 2018, “Futures contracts currently suggest that the differential between WTI and the CEP will narrow to the US$15 range by the summer [...] and to remain at this level on average over the 2018-2022 forecast horizon”: (a) as of the date of this question, in which year does the government currently project the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, and the Keystone XL Project to become operational; (b) by how much will the differential between the price of West Texas Intermediate and the Canadian Effective price (the discount on Canadian crude oil) diminish if the Trans Mountain Expansion and Keystone XL Projects, respectively, become operational in the years in (a); (c) by how much will the discount on Canadian crude oil diminish if the Trans Mountain Expansion and Keystone XL Projects, respectively, become operational (i) one year after the respective years in (a), (ii) two years after respective years in (a), (iii) five years after the respective years in (a), (iv) ten years after the respective years in (a); (d) by how much will the discount on Canadian crude oil diminish or increase if the Trans Mountain Expansion and Keystone XL Projects, respectively, never become operational; (e) by how much will federal revenue derived from any source related to the extraction, transport, and sale of crude oil increase or decrease if (i) the Trans Mountain Expansion and Keystone XL Projects, respectively, become operational in the year in (a), (ii) become operational in one of the years in (c), (iii) never become operational; (f) how much, if any, of the projections in (e) has the government, in preparing Budget 2018, included in budgetary projections for (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022, (iv) 2023; (g) how much, if any, of the projections in (e) will the government include in budgetary projections for the years in (f) in preparing Budget 2019; (h) by how much have the projections in (e) and their inclusion in the budgetary calculations in (f) and (g) increased or decreased since the government purchased Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain Pipeline assets and assumed responsibility for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project; (i) what is the discount on Canadian crude oil as of the date of this question; (j) if the value of the discount on Canadian crude oil in (i) persists between the date of this question and 2022, how much lower than the projections in Budget 2018 will actual revenue in (e) be; and (k) what budgetary contingency has the government put in place in case of (j)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1865--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to expenditures on “social media influencers”, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign, since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of contract, (v) name or handle of influencer; and (b) for each campaign which paid an “influencer”, was there a requirement to make public as part of a disclaimer the fact that the “influencer” was being paid by the government and, if not, why not?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1867--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to court proceedings of legal cases originating in Charlotte County, Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan Island heard at the Provincial Court of New Brunswick in Saint John, between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2017, what are the: (a) itemized expenses in dollar amounts, including mileage, meals, lodging, vehicle rentals, vehicle repairs, parking and all other miscellaneous expenses of the following individuals who were required to appear in the Provincial Court of New Brunswick in Saint John for court proceedings of cases originating in Charlotte County, Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan Island, broken down by (i) year, (ii) RCMP members required to appear, (iii) Crown prosecutors required to appear, (iv) RCMP members required to transport detained suspects, (v) other government employees required to appear, (vi) victims of crime required to appear; (b) total number of overtime hours submitted by RCMP members and other government employees stationed in Charlotte County, Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan Island, broken down by (i) year, (ii) number of hours approved, (iii) number of hours rejected; (c) risk analyses performed to evaluate community risk created by reduced presence of RCMP members stationed in Charlotte County, Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan Island, while they appear in the Provincial Court of New Brunswick in Saint John, broken down by (i) year, (ii) department which requested these analyses, (iii) towns which have the least active RCMP presence; and (d) number of cases originating in Charlotte County, Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan Island waiting to be heard at the Provincial Court of New Brunswick in Saint John, broken down by (i) year, (ii) length of time on the Crown prosecutor’s docket, (iii) length of waiting time to be heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench, (iv) length of time for a victim of crime to be interviewed by the Crown prosecutor, (v) average length of time for the entire court proceeding to conclude, (vi) rate of court proceedings, (vii) rate of court judgements, (viii) rate of court plea bargains?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1869--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: (a) what are the expenditures, since November 4, 2015, spent on office supplies per fiscal year, broken down by (i) office supply category, (ii) amount spent in each category; and (b) what is the detailed description of any item purchased as an office supply with a value over $200?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1870--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to Infrastructure Canada: what are the expenditures, since November 4, 2015, for the Minister’s exempt staff to travel to Edmonton, broken down by (i) name of exempt staff member, (ii) title of exempt staff member, (iii) date of arrival in Edmonton, (iv) date of departure from Edmonton, (v) travel expenditure, (vi) accommodation, (vii) per diem, (viii) incidentals?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1873--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to government funding in the constituency of Vancouver Kingsway: what is the total amount of funding, including the department or agency, the initiative and the amount, broken down by each fiscal year from 2015 to 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1875--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the Joint Support Ship Procurement (previously called ALSC): (a) since the program’s inception in 1993, what are, broken down by fiscal year, the (i) program costs, (ii) major Crown project office costs, (iii) the technical services sub-contracts; (b) what steps have the government taken to ensure that the program remains on time and on budget as promised in previous reports to Parliament, since the inception of the National Shipbuilding Strategy to present and, if steps have been taken, what are the details of such step, broken down by individual step; (c) has the Royal Canadian Navy, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Finance or the Privy Council Office received any warnings or concerns of the risks to cutting steel for only the bow section of the Joint Support Ships so early in the project, with ship delivery at least five years away and, if so, (i) what is the highest ranking official who received the warning and, if so, on what date, (ii) did the Minister receive the warning and, if so, on what date; (d) has the government received any internal or third party analysis of risks (budgetary, schedule, employment, construction or management) related to Seaspan’s construction of the Off-Shore Science Fisheries Vessels, the Off-Shore Oceanographic Vessels, the Joint Support Ships and the polar class icebreaker in 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018 and, if so, what are the details of such reports, including (i) author, (ii) findings, (iii) date report was finalized; and (e) what are the details of any briefing notes, emails or reports prepared in relation to the Joint Support Ship program, since January 1, 2018, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1877--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
With regard to expenditures related to the Canada 2020 Annual Conference in June 2018, including tickets, conference fees, sponsorship and other expenses, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what are the details of all expenses, including (i) amount, (ii) description of goods or services; and (b) for all tickets or conference fees purchased, (i) who attended the event, (ii) what was the number of tickets, (iii) what was the amount per ticket?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1879--
Mr. Mel Arnold:
With regard to the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) announced by the government on November 7, 2016: (a) what is the total amount of OPP funds disbursed to date; and (b) what are the details of each project or organization funded by the OPP, including (i) recipient, (ii) location, (iii) date of announcement, (iv) amount received to date, (v) project description or purpose of funding, (vi) duration of project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1880--
Mr. John Barlow:
With regard to the Minister of Health: (a) what are the details of all memorandums or briefing notes on the front of package regulations, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) summary, (vi) file number, (vii) position on front of package proposal (i.e. supportive or opposed); (b) what are the peer-reviewed scientific studies and analyses used in the consideration of the proposed regulation, broken down by (i) title of article, (ii) date of publication, (iii) author; (c) what does the government estimate the annual cost for the next two, five and ten years to the industry to implement these changes, broken down by sector, including (i) primary agriculture, (ii) meat processors, (iii) seafood processors, (iv) dairy producers, (v) chicken farmers and processors, (vi) turkey farmers and producers, (vii) corn farmers and producers, (viii) soy farmers and producers (ix) sugar beat farmers and producers; (d) by what percentage in the next five, ten, twenty and forty years is the government expecting a reduction of 2018 rates of the following health concerns due to front of package labelling, (i) heart disease, (ii) obesity rates, (iii) diabetes, (iv) cancers; and (e) what are the details of all correspondence by foreign government on front of package labelling, broken down by (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) summary, (vi) file number (vii) position on front of package proposal (i.e. supportive or opposed)?
Response
(Return tabled)