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Results: 1 - 15 of 45
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister's inflationary policies driving up prices and interest rates, the cost of living is crippling for many Canadians, especially those looking for a home. Rent has doubled, if one can find a place to rent. After eight years of the Prime Minister, mortgages have doubled as well. Nine out of 10 young people in this country who do not own a home believe they never will.
After eight years of a Prime Minister whose fiscal policy could best be described as “borrow lots, think later”, a lot of Canadians going to the bank this year to renew their mortgages are not sure if they will be able to afford their homes anymore. Even Liberal MPs are complaining about the cost of their mortgages to me.
These are dark days, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The City of Victoria is adding the missing middle. Ontario is pushing out NIMBY local politicians, and the City of Saskatoon guarantees a building permit in five days. The best news of all is that a Conservative government is just around the corner.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, Liberal inflation is making everything Canadians need more expensive. Food, fuel, rent and mortgages are all more expensive thanks to Liberal excessive borrowing and spending. The average rent in Canada is now a whopping $2,000 a month. In Toronto and Vancouver, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now double what it was in 2015. A mortgage getting renewed this year will cost $7,000 more than it did five years ago.
Never has a government abused the national credit card as much as the current Liberals. Because of this, Canadians are struggling more than ever before. Talking points, spin doctors, photo ops and more spending will not repair the damage the Liberals are causing.
Canadians need a government that delivers paycheques, less debt, more homes and more results. After the next election, a new Conservative government will deliver the relief Canadians so desperately need. It will replace rhetoric with real action and restore the opportunity that Canada has always promised.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, never has a government spent so much to accomplish so little. The current Liberal government promised a life-changing housing plan. Here is the change. Students are living in homeless shelters, health care workers are living in tents and hard-working Canadians are left on the street.
They did everything we asked. They worked hard. They got an education. They got a good job. Now they are left out in the cold. So far, $4.5 billion is the amount the Liberals have spent on six different housing programs. Now the Auditor General reports that they have no idea whether that money is making a difference or not.
The Liberals have failed. The proof is in the sprawling tent cities across this country. The proof is in the young people who are still living in their parents' basement. The proof is in the seniors who are losing their homes that they have worked their entire lives to pay for. All this, while the Liberals force them to pay more, earn less and pay higher taxes to pay off their sprawling debts.
We already know that the Liberals cannot or will not fix this mess, but the good news is that after the next election the Conservatives will.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.
Madam Speaker, as I was listening to the fall economic statement, I thought of the words of President John F. Kennedy in his message to Congress in February 1962. I thought it was important to measure this fall economic statement against whether it has in fact improved the lives of Canadians. It is important to think about the layers of hype and peel all that back over the last seven years of the government to see what the results are.
Has the government been good value for money for the Canadians who pay for it? We know that seven years ago the Prime Minister promised annual deficits, but said they would be very small, not too big, and not to worry about it. Of course we know that did not really work.
COVID-19 came along, and the Prime Minister promised to have Canadians' backs. All of us in the House came together and we had Canadians' backs. We had to borrow money to do it, but the $200 billion extra that the government borrowed was not necessary. That was not having Canadians' backs. Thanks to the words of the former Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, we now know that this extra borrowing, this extra abuse of the national credit card, is exacerbating inflation and making things more expensive. It is in fact quite the opposite of having Canadians' backs. It is taking the shirts right off Canadians' backs. It is causing inflation to get worse.
On top of that we have the Liberal government promising that its carbon tax would reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and that most Canadians would get more money back than they pay in carbon taxes. Now we know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the carbon tax will in fact cost Canadians more than they get back, and the carbon tax has done almost nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, people should not worry. The Liberals are coming to the rescue. For those who are struggling to heat their homes and feed their families, the Liberal government is going to save them by now tripling the carbon tax. Members can just imagine what it will cost people to heat their homes and buy food once the government triples the carbon tax.
For some Canadians, the Liberals plan to send them $500 for things that now cost thousands more. The price of food is up 11%, and food bank visits are at record highs in Canada. The price to heat our homes has doubled, particularly in eastern Canada and northern Ontario, where too many Canadians are facing energy poverty. Are they getting value for money? I do not think so.
Nowhere has the Liberal failure been more horrifying than on the topic of housing. We know that in 2017 the Prime Minister launched to great fanfare his national housing strategy. He was in Toronto, standing right in front of the mayor of the city. He was going to have this first-ever national plan. He promised $40 billion, and then he upped it to $70 billion. He called it a once-in-a-generation vision that would protect current affordable housing stock, build four times as many units as in the decade past, repair three times as many units as were repaired in the decade past, and reduce chronic homelessness by 50%.
The Prime Minister called it a robust, comprehensive, life-changing plan that would help Canadians get into homes and stay there. How has that worked? Have Canadians received value for the money they have paid the government on housing?
Let us look at the facts. The headline number was $70 billion. We know that in fact it was not really $70 billion. When we pull away from that the existing federal spending commitment and then pull away from that the matching provincial dollars that were required, which they were already spending as well, and then take out the loans and other tools that were being used, the number was actually $6.8 billion over 10 years.
That is fine: $6.8 billion is still $6.8 billion. That is great stuff; am I right? Maybe. That money was supposed to be spent through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, through five main programs: the rental construction financing initiative, the national housing co-investment fund, the rapid housing initiative, the affordable housing innovation fund and the federal lands initiative. How have they done since 2017?
The Parliamentary Budget Officer reported in 2021 that despite the overall increase in spending to help particularly low-income Canadians, it is up to $192 million a year, or a 9% increase. Because of the Liberals' inflationary spending, that actually represents a 15% decrease in the power of those dollars to buy goods. The CMHC programs that were designed to contribute to the cost of construction to address homelessness included the national housing co-investment fund, which spent 50% of its allocated budget. The rental construction financing initiative spent 53%. With respect to Employment and Social Development Canada funds to address homelessness, they have increased that budget dramatically from $118 million a year on average to $357 million per year. That is a 203% increase.
It is amazing; am I right? Not so fast. The Auditor General now reports that the CMHC and Employment and Social Development Canada have no idea if their programs are even helping. They do not know whether they have made a difference or not. What a plan it is. They spend half the money that was committed, do nothing to monitor the grandiose commitments of the Prime Minister and tell Canadians that everything will be fine. However, we know. We know the proof is in the suffering. House prices have doubled since the Prime Minister announced sunny ways in 2015.
A report by the C.D. Howe Institute, named after a fellow who knew how to get things done in this country, cited the burden of government cost as one of the big reasons for our lack of housing supply. In some major cities like Kelowna, Regina, Toronto and Ottawa, homebuyers had to pay an average of $230,000 extra for a home because of the municipal costs. In Vancouver, that number is $644,000. Big, expensive government is getting in the way of new construction. It is getting in the way of retrofits and renovations. It is getting in the way of new rental units. It is getting in the way of accessible and affordable units. It is getting in the way of a person's ever owning a home.
This is all while the government asks people to pay more, earn less and pay higher taxes to cover its ballooning debts. The PBO reported in September that the housing affordability gap, which is the gap between the average price of a house in Canada and the ability of the average family to borrow money, is a whopping 67% now. For the record, in January 2015, just months before the current government took office, that gap was 2%.
It is all made worse by a government that, when it is not bent on its misguided ideological entrenchment, just does not seem to get the job done. The Liberals talk a big game. The Prime Minister peers into the camera with empathetic eyes and says he really cares, but then he does not get the job done.
It seems like a cruel joke, but to the people in this country, those most vulnerable, who are paying the highest price, it is far from a joke. There are seniors on fixed incomes who cannot afford to heat their homes and eat healthy food. Tent cities are growing in communities large and small, all across our country. The current government has failed Canadians. Never has so much been promised and spent and borrowed to deliver so little. The economic statement that we have heard here is more of the same.
The Leader of the Opposition has been warning about excessive government borrowing and that it would lead to inflation that would make everything we try to buy more expensive, and now we know he was right. Even the Minister of Finance knows he was right. In a road to Damascus moment, she actually started to speak about fiscal restraint. However, she only talked about it, because immediately thereafter, she added another $20 billion of debt to her $1.2-trillion debt. Next year, payments on the national debt will be more than we spend on health care transfers.
Canada cannot afford to throw money in the air anymore and just hope it sticks. If we are really interested in supporting the next generation and making sure their life is better than ours, by that measure this economic statement is a failure and the government is a failure. Frankly, we should be voting against this economic statement. Conservatives will vote against it, and every single member of this House should do the same.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I can assure the member that when I was running for leader of this party and criss-crossing the country, Canadians were not talking to me about that. They were talking to me about what it costs to live in this country and the abysmal record of the government. That is what we are here to talk about, frankly, not what somebody else may or may not have said about anything.
This is about the Liberals' record. This is about their failures. This is about the fact they have spent more money than any government in the history of this country. The housing situation specifically, which I have talked about a lot, is worse today than it was seven years ago, despite the grandiose promises.
I do not care what the member talks about. The fact of the matter is that the Liberals' record is an abysmal failure and Canadians deserve better.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, it is a really great idea. In fact, what we need to have here is a situation in which all levels of government are working together. Let us not kid ourselves. Municipalities and to a smaller degree provinces are the front lines of the housing crisis in this country. The federal government has a role to play in working with municipalities and provinces and, frankly, with the private sector. This country requires trillions of dollars of investment in the housing sector. We need the private sector on board. We need community groups on board. We need to be all working together to solve this crisis, not pandering to grandiose fixes but getting to work and working together to solve the problem.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am not going to get trapped in the ideological entrenchment of the NDP, but the fact of the matter is that the Liberal government collects billions and billions of tax dollars and promptly wastes it. Instead of collecting more taxes from companies and hard-working Canadians, I suggest we get rid of the government, put a Conservative government in place, and actually spend their money wisely.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister broke his promise to Canadians. In 2017, he launched his national housing strategy, calling it, among other things, a “life-changing plan” to get Canadians into homes and to keep them there. The minister even recently gave housing bureaucrats $48 million in bonuses for a job well done, but we all know the housing crisis has gotten worse under the government.
Will the minister please explain to the House and to Canadians why he gave $48 million in bonuses to bureaucrats for a job not done?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General laid the facts bare for all Canadians. Never, ever has a government spent so much to deliver so little. Canadians see the results. They see the tent cities growing all across this country.
Can the minister please explain to the House and to every single Canadian who cannot find a home right now why the government would give $48 million in bonuses to federal housing gatekeepers while more and more Canadians get left out in the cold?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the NDP-Liberal coalition has racked up over $500 billion in inflation-causing deficits, turning essentials like heating our homes and eating healthy food into luxuries. Just as Canadians are starting to pay high, skyrocketing prices to fuel their homes, skyrocketing visits to food banks are happening in Canada as well.
When will this costly coalition stop hurting Canadians and cancel their inflationary spending?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe how tone deaf that answer is. He is talking about cellphone bills when people cannot afford to eat and heat their homes. This coalition would have people believe that more inflation-causing borrowing to give Canadians $500 to help them pay for thousands more dollars in groceries, thousands more dollars for heating their homes and thousands more to pay their mortgages is actually a solution. It is like the left hand does not know what the far-left hand is doing.
How many Canadians have to lose their homes before the Liberals get it and cancel their inflation-causing borrowing?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, there is a housing crisis in Canada. Too many first-time homebuyers are giving up on the dream of ever owning a home. Market rentals are hard to find. Affordable rentals are impossible to find.
I have heard from housing providers and community groups all across the country that are so eager to help be part of the solution, but are continually stymied by NIMBY municipal politicians and special interest groups that create delays, add costs and often kill proposals for new homes. Worse yet are the community groups and housing providers that may have finally received their municipal approvals, but get stalled by the bureaucracy of the CMHC. Despite billions of dollars promised by the current Liberal government, it has created a system where there are too many forms, too many requirements, too much red tape and an Ottawa-knows-best approach that actually makes it almost impossible to get grants or loans from the CMHC.
We must say yes to building more homes. This crisis requires all levels of government and the private sector to work together to ensure that Canada becomes a country where everyone has the dignity of a home.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, in 1994, the people of Gravenhurst wisely selected John Klinck to be their representative, first as the councillor for Ward 3, then as a Muskoka district councillor and then, in 2000, as their mayor. After his 10 great years as mayor, the members of Muskoka district council wisely selected John Klinck to be their chairman, a role he has performed with grace and dignity for the last 12 years.
I sincerely appreciate the many ways we have worked together over his 28 years in public life, and I will be forever grateful for the invaluable role John played in helping me become a member of this House in 2019. My friend John Klinck has always been a tireless champion for Muskoka, a consummate team builder, a relentless advocate for those who are less fortunate and a kind and generous man.
On behalf of all Muskokans, I offer John a heartfelt congratulations on his well-deserved retirement. For his friendship and his lifetime of public service, from the bottom of my heart, I thank him.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, on top of record Liberal deficits, record inflation and a tripling of the carbon tax, now this tax-and-spend Liberal government is coming after workers' paycheques and taking more. This week, we learned that the average Canadian family now spends more on taxes than they spend on the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing combined. Canadians are desperate.
Will the government give them a glimmer of hope and cancel its tax hikes on January 1 on workers' paycheques?
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed my colleague's speech. It was well thought out and well prepared.
It was interesting to listen to the Liberal member talk about the poor kids. We worry about children dearly in this Parliament. However, the reality is that this legislation has come about because of a backroom deal between the NDP and the Liberals so the Liberals can stay in power.
Does the member not agree with me? Does he see other ways we could help children?
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