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Results: 1 - 15 of 88
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, it is always a privilege to rise to speak on behalf of the people of northern Saskatchewan. Debates such as this on Bill C-47 are good opportunities for members of Parliament to bring their own unique backgrounds and perspectives to the House. As a former accountant and mayor, members can imagine that I have dealt with a few budgets and many numbers in my day. I want to spend the first few minutes tonight talking about a few of these numbers, some very big numbers.
In 2015, when the Liberals were first elected, Canada's national debt was $612 billion. This budget projects Canada's debt to be $1.22 trillion by next March, which is $81,000 per Canadian household, and it will reach $1.3 trillion by 2028. A simple fact is that the Prime Minister has accumulated more debt in eight years than all of Canada's previous prime ministers combined.
How did we get here? In 2015, the total expenditures of the government were $280 billion. This budget again calls for billions of dollars in new spending. The Prime Minister simply cannot help himself. This past year, total expenditures were $480 billion, and this budget projects to start at $497 billion and rise to $557 billion by 2027-28. That is an average of $526 billion in each of the next five years. That is also $246 billion per year or 88% greater than expenditures were in 2015.
If this is what the finance minister meant when she said, “we will review and reduce government spending, because that is the responsible thing to do”, I would hate to see what the irresponsible thing looks like.
I have a couple more numbers. Canada will have accumulated over $700 billion of new debt under the Prime Minister by 2028. As projected, the cost of interest on that debt will rise to over $50 billion per year. That is more than a 100% increase over 2021 and 2022, and it would then become about 10% of the total expenditures of the government. If I had run my accounting practice for the little City of Meadow Lake the way the Liberal government has run Canada's finances, I would have been out of business and run out of office.
Let us consider some promises made in 2015. First, the Liberal Party said it would run small deficits and return Canada's finances back to balance in 2019. I hate to break it to the members opposite, but not only did the Prime Minister overspend this promise by about $700 billion, but the budget was never balanced and there is no plan to ever balance it. It is no wonder that record numbers of Canadians no longer trust their government institutions.
Second, the finance minister talked a lot about the declining debt-to-GDP ratio. This was her fiscal anchor. She said, “This is a line we shall not cross. It will ensure that our finances remain sustainable.” That sounds like another promise. I hate to once again break it to colleagues opposite, but the debt-to-GDP ratio has risen every year since the government was first elected in 2015 and is projected to rise again in the coming year. When the Prime Minister and finance minister make promises about debt and deficits, forgive me if I do not hold my breath.
Sometimes one must invest in things to be successful, so it is important to measure what one gets in return for choosing debt and increasing spending. Let us consider the state of Canada after eight years of out-of-control Liberal spending and inflationary deficits. Food price inflation is at a 40-year high. Nearly half of Canadians feel they are less than $200 from insolvency. One in five Canadians is skipping meals to reduce the cost of food, and 1.5 million people used food banks in a single month. The average cost of housing, both to rent and purchase, has doubled since 2015. This is the record of the Liberal government and the measures it is proposing in budget 2023 will, in fact, make the situation worse for Canadians by pouring another $67 billion of new deficit spending fuel on the flames of inflation.
I am very proud of coming from northern Saskatchewan. I believe it is an area that is a very good benchmark to measure how Canada's economy is performing. It is a region that has many important sectors of our economy: mining, forestry, agriculture, oil and gas, tourism, etc. It is also home to a unique cross-section of communities and people, communities and people that, frankly, should be thriving. Instead, everywhere I visit when I go home, people speak about how frustrated and desperate they are with the current economic situation.
Municipalities are struggling. The cost of much-needed infrastructure projects has ballooned over the last few years. Whether it be upgrading a sewer line, building a recreation complex or improving a street, community leaders are being tasked to do more with less. The result is that not only do they have to do the heavy lifting for their people, but the conditions under which they are operating keep getting worse due to the economic policies of the NDP-Liberal coalition.
These same policies are negatively impacting small businesses in northern Saskatchewan. This winter, I was talking to a business owner. He supplies people living in remote and rural communities with home heating fuel. He described to me the difficult position he was in due to the rising cost of this home heating fuel. His customers were either being forced to buy very small amounts, or they were pleading with him to extend credit until they could pay. They were having to choose between feeding their families or living without heat in the middle of a northern Saskatchewan winter, and he was having to choose between possibly losing money or seeing these families live without heat. That is the choice that this small business owner was facing because of the NDP-Liberal coalition nightmare.
Small business owners are also continually telling me how the carbon tax disproportionately affects rural and remote areas like northern Saskatchewan. This is becoming a very serious situation for them. Not only are they dealing with a labour shortage crisis, but due to the rising carbon tax they are forced to increase prices. Now the costly coalition is adding a second carbon tax that will ultimately add 61¢ per litre to the cost of fuel.
Everything, everywhere in northern Saskatchewan must be trucked. There is no other option. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, this will cost the average household in Saskatchewan $2,840 per year. Increasing taxes at a time when people are struggling to get by is not a recipe for economic success. Is it any wonder that the people I talk to are fed up?
That anger can also be felt when I talk to farmers back home. The government members seem to forget that agriculture is the economic backbone of Canada. A stabilizing sector and one that provides the food we all rely on deserves better from its government. Let us imagine being the Minister of Agriculture in Canada and voting against Bill C-234, a bill that would give farmers carbon tax exemptions to produce the food we need. If the minister will not stand up at the cabinet table for farmers, who will?
Let us face it. When it comes to agriculture, these Liberals have become the living definition of biting the hand that feeds them. In a country that feeds the world, Canada is now a place where people cannot afford food. For many people in northern Saskatchewan who were already struggling with the increased cost of living, the skyrocketing price of food has become a crisis.
“This isn't working” are the words of a food bank chair from northern Saskatchewan, who adds, “Everything is increasing—gas, rent, food, heat.... I just don’t know how people are supposed to manage.” The food bank's monthly food budget is $5,000, and it now provides half the number of food hampers that it did just three years ago. The Liberals' mismanagement of the economy, assisted by their NDP enablers, has created conditions that directly harm the most vulnerable in our communities the most.
All of this is while the people from northern Saskatchewan and Canada have a Prime Minister who spends $6,000 a night on a hotel in London, but would not admit to it for months and still takes no responsibility; a Prime Minister who vacations in Jamaica at a luxurious estate of Trudeau Foundation donors; a Prime Minister who spends $8,000 a month on groceries; a Prime Minister who is embroiled in a foreign election interference scandal and uses Trudeau Foundation members and friends to investigate; a Prime Minister who named an interim Ethics Commissioner who is the sister-in-law to a cabinet minister, who is also a long-time family friend, to replace the former commissioner who grew so frustrated by the continued Liberal ethical lapses that he finally walked away. This is not leadership by any measure at any time in our history.
Budget 2023 is not an economic document. It is the political document of a government led by a Prime Minister who has chosen power over principle.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, Conservatives will talk about improving the lives of people. We will talk about the war on work from increasing taxes. We will talk about stopping the rising cost of living, the rising costs of food, fuel and housing. We will talk about making people more accountable to the people who elected them so that we can improve the lives of people all across this country.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague. We have done some work on a number of different committees together and much of it around our first nations and other indigenous populations.
I would say this to the member. We sat at committee together the other day when we talked about the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report on the ability of the departments of CIRNAC and ISC to meet the goals and the targets they set for themselves, including the targets for things that he referenced. I would suggest that one of the things we need to do, as a House of Commons, is to find a way to create accountability to ensure that the bureaucrats in the departments, who are out there serving people, set good targets and are able to meet the targets they set for themselves so that we do not see huge investments in departments across government without the required outcomes to improve the lives of people.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I would respond to my colleague's question by saying there are many things that we find missing in this budget and that are not included, one of them being the ability to control the inflationary spending and the huge deficits. Just six months ago, the finance minister talked about having to end the inflationary deficits because she acknowledged that they were fuelling the flames of inflation.
There are a lot of things missing in this budget. We have made it very clear that there are some requirements that are missing for us to support the budget. They would include a move toward a balanced budget and something to control the inflationary spending and the increasing cost of living. Those are the things that are missing in this budget that we feel are very important.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, we know that Beijing interfered in the last two federal elections. The Liberals' response was to use their Trudeau Foundation friends to cover it up. The NDP's appearance of standing up to foreign interference is like a bad group-work partner: They arrive late, do nothing, copy others and then boast that the best ideas were their own. I guess the NDP is just an empty “bewoke” suit.
Just yesterday, after the bark and bluster of an NDP motion calling for the resignation of the special rapporteur, the NDP leader walked out of the House right into a media scrum, and dismissed calls to end this Canadian coalition nightmare.
If the New Democrats were serious about wanting to restore confidence in our electoral system, they would do what Canadians are asking: get out of the way and let Conservatives fix what the Liberals have broken.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, with Red Dress Day having just passed, it is important to continue our commitment to end violence against all women and children.
The Moose Hide Campaign is an indigenous-led, nationwide movement started along Canada's infamous Highway of Tears. It calls on men, boys and all Canadians to stand up against gender-based violence. The co-founders, Paul and his daughter Raven, started this campaign to honour women and children and to challenge men and boys to stand with women and children, to speak out against gender-based violence, to support each other, to hold each other accountable, and to be positive role models for one another.
By wearing a moose hide pin and participating in Moose Hide Campaign Day, Canadians are making measurable and meaningful progress towards reconciliation and the creation of a country where violence against women and children can no longer flourish in the shadows. I encourage all members of the House to show their support by wearing and sharing a moose hide pin today.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I want to ask my colleague from Cariboo—Prince George to comment briefly on the facts of the timing of all this. We heard from the member across the way that he wants to talk about facts, so let us do so.
We started on Sunday night, when the member for Wellington—Halton Hills was informed of this potential threat to him and his family. That story came out in the media on Monday. On Monday and Tuesday, the government side deflected; there was no comment about anything. Finally, on Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister and the public safety minister said that this report never made it out of CSIS. I think by the end of the day or early the next morning, the member for Wellington—Halton Hills was in fact informed that this report had made it to the PCO and the national security adviser's office. The Liberals deflected for a couple more days. They were going to summon the ambassador to have a conversation, and finally, we end up with this operative, as he is called in many reports, being expelled from our country.
What we are trying to accomplish in this parliamentary privilege motion is actually getting to the truth, and we have the goal of getting it to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for a deeper study. Could the member for Cariboo—Prince George talk about how this changing set of facts and narratives affects this?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Manitoba serves the riding that is probably the most similar to my riding in all of Canada, and so my question for her is actually quite simple.
In a riding like ours, the carbon tax disproportionately affects rural and remote communities; many of these are indigenous communities that we serve in these northern and remote ridings. What I understand is that everything that gets to a shelf in the communities in these northern and remote areas is trucked in, and for anything that is trucked in, the cost of trucking it is being substantially increased by the cost of the carbon tax. The increase on the carbon tax is increasing the cost of everything on every shelf, everywhere in our northern communities. Increasing prices at a time when people have less money is not a recipe for economic success.
The member commented in her speech about the budget being woefully inadequate. With that as the context, my question to the member is simply this: Is she in conflict about supporting the budget, if it is so woefully inadequate?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I listened to the speech of the member for Winnipeg North maybe a little more intently today than I have in the past. He claims in his comments that this will not limit individual content created.
On Twitter, a couple of days ago, Mr. Michael Geist said, in response to a previous intervention from this member, that the member “is just plainly wrong. Independent Senators, former CRTC chair, and many experts all agreed: Bill C-11 gives the CRTC the power to establish certain regulations involving user content. The Senate tried to fix. [The minister] rejected it.”
Cody from my riding is an indigenous entrepreneur from Flying Dust First Nation, and he shared with me that his very successful business is going to be unfairly impacted by Bill C-11, unless this is changed. That is because of the way the online marketing and social media algorithms to grow his business across Canada and the United States would be affected.
Why would Cody believe this member, who has a very partisan interest, instead of the former head of the CRTC, who has nothing to gain from this?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, it is with great sadness that I stand today and recognize the life of Brittany Macnab, a proud, young Métis woman gone way too soon at only 24.
Brittany was a person who radiated kindness and generosity. While in high school, she volunteered for the hockey team that I coached. Every home game, we would find her working the door, selling 50-50 tickets and even singing O Canada when asked, all this because she was a good friend.
It is no surprise that after high school, Brittany went on to become an amazing teacher. She was a teacher who cared deeply about her students and would routinely go above and beyond to build authentic relationships.
As I stand here today, staff and students in Meadow Lake schools are wearing ribbon skirts, sashes, orange T-shirts, moccasins and mukluks in honour of Ms. Macnab, all this at the request of her grade 8 class.
I want to offer my condolences to all who loved Brittany. She will be deeply missed.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal Prime Minister, this is not working. These are the words of a food bank chair from northern Saskatchewan, who says, “Everything is increasing—gas, rent, food, heat...I just don't know how people are supposed to manage.” Its monthly food budget is $5,000 and it produces half the food hampers it did just three years ago. This is less than a one-night stay for the Prime Minister in a hotel
Will the Prime Minister take responsibility for this crisis or get out of the way so we can fix what he broke?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In regard to the vote on Bill S-223, I am asking for the consent of the House to reflect on the record that the vote in the House was unanimous in its opposition to organ harvesting. I erred when I used the app in my vote. I am looking for the consent of the House to make that vote unanimous.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, it is clear the Prime Minister and his Liberal front bench have again been caught trying to divide Canadians for political gain.
Adding hunting rifles to Bill C-21 proves that the Prime Minister and his cabinet govern for themselves. First nations leaders from across our country are voicing their concerns with the sneaky and underhanded amendments to Bill C-21. Where was the consultation? Are constitutional rights to hunt and harvest for sustenance to be protected? Why is the Liberal government criminalizing a way of life?
Every time questions like these are put to Liberals, they claim Conservatives are spreading misinformation. Yesterday, the Assembly of First Nations' Special Chiefs Assembly passed an emergency motion opposing the Liberal hunting rifle ban. Are the Liberals going to stand up today and accuse the AFN of spreading misinformation, or will they just admit to all Canadians that they are guilty of covering their incompetence with deception?
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives promote and believe in economic reconciliation. It is the solution to eradicating poverty and, with it, the social issues that poverty creates. Treating symptoms rather than the root cause has failed.
It is time to fundamentally change that approach and, away from the Ottawa bubble, that change has already begun. From the Kitimat LNG project in British Columbia to Cameco’s uranium supply in Saskatchewan, from Vale’s base metal mining in Ontario to the Mi’kmaq communities of Nova Scotia and their acquisition of Clearwater Seafoods, first nations communities are taking control of their economic destinies. They want to be true partners in responsible resource development. They have started business, created employment, increased capacity and have generated opportunities that will pay dividends for generations to come.
Self-determination truly begins when indigenous communities manage prosperity instead of poverty.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the process was a very collaborative one at committee and I appreciate that process.
The hon. member spoke a couple of times about the amendment that was made to call on the Prime Minister to respond to the annual report, rather than the minister, as was in the original legislation. It was agreed upon at committee that we would do that.
I am just curious if the member has a reason why that was not included in the draft legislation in the first place, as that was very specifically a response to call to action 56 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
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