Mr. Speaker, members will have to bear with me today as I am not feeling so good. I think my sickness is caused by this new Liberal-socialist-quasi-communist Canada we are going to live in over the next three and a half years.
I want to start my speech by quoting professor Ian Lee from Carleton University. Dr. Lee came to the finance committee on Monday, February 7 of this year, and he brings a wealth of knowledge of banking and public policy. Here is what he said:
[It's] very difficult to put the [inflation] genie back in the bottle unless you take quite draconian measures.
That's not an opinion or a theory. We can look at the 1970s and where it ended up in 1980, and it took interest rates to 20%... it caused the worst recession in North America since the Depression.
Dr. Lee added that:
[Yes], there are solutions to inflation, but they're very, very painful...
Being a student of history, I hope we do not make the same mistakes of the 1970s by pumping cash into the market when it is not necessary. The economy is back to prepandemic levels, and this is what concerns me. When I see over $70 billion of new spending injected into the economy at a time when it cannot handle it, this is what will add to inflation, and it will drive the rate up.
I get calls from constituents in Miramichi—Grand Lake saying, “Jake, I can't afford my hydro bill.” “Jake, we can't afford bacon any more.” “I'm choosing between my hydro bill and pharmaceuticals.” I get these calls every day. I even got a call from a student who was worried that her bank account was going to be frozen because she donated 20 bucks to the convoy. These are the types of calls that members of Parliament are getting, especially in Miramichi—Grand Lake, which is a very rural area.
We need to distinguish between what we need and what we want, and focus on spending needs only. This way, we can justify spending in Canada, and we can justify our constituents' tax money during this inflation crisis. The Liberals and the NDP talk about the climate crisis every day. It is in every speech. It is the solution to every problem, yet the Liberals do not talk about inflation and the fact that the cost of living in our country is becoming so unaffordable that people cannot afford the basic things they need to survive in this country.
We need to stop putting the cart before the horse. We need to start producing the goods that people need to buy, which will create the cash in our economy, and not go the other way around by just printing more and more cash and then putting it in the economy without increasing our output of product. All that does is make more dollars chase fewer goods. This is a key contributor to inflation, and I can guarantee members that Canadian citizens in the ridings of all the members in this chamber are experiencing inflation.
This is another example of a tax-and-spend Liberal, and now Liberal-NDP coalition, government. The government is going to say, “Hey, look at all the wonderful things we gave you”, but in reality the taxpayers are paying for it. The taxpayers are paying for these things, with interest, and now there is the added cost of inflation.
When the Prime Minister assumed office in 2015, a typical home cost $435,000. Now, it is over $868,000. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister. He has now doubled the cost of a home in our country. That is what he has done for his constituents, and that is what he has done for all the people in Miramichi—Grand Lake.
Since the start of the pandemic, the government has brought in $176 billion in new spending, which is totally unrelated to COVID‑19. I think it is relevant to bring this up and get it on the record. The majority of the people I speak with do not believe that it could be possible. They say things like they never heard that on the news and there is no way the government could be allowed to do that. They wonder why they have not heard it on TV or somebody has not reported on it. These are the things my constituents are saying.
My constituents in Miramichi—Grand Lake do not want their grocery bill to increase every single time they make a trip to the grocery store. It is not fair to them. It is not economically feasible. The cost of living in this country is crippling Canadians. They are not able to pay for hydro. Their kids cannot leave the basements of their houses when they are in their thirties to get a home in this country.
Chicken is up 6.2%. Beef is up 11.9%. Bacon is up 19.1%. Bread is up 5%. These are all products that can be produced right here at home in Canada. The writing is on the wall. It is time the government took the time to read it. Canadians do not want inflation to skyrocket like it did in the 1970s. “Justinflation” is real, and we are all paying for it every single day.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to ask the economist Dr. Dehejia, from Carleton University, about this very topic. He told the committee, “I certainly don't think that our inflation problem is driven by transitory factors. I think when you look at the reality of it, in fact Mr. Robson mentioned correctly that some three-quarters or more of the basket in the CPI has gone up in price. That isn't just because of the war on Ukraine or oil...supply disruptions from the pandemic, those things...at the margin...would be maybe 1% of our current 5.7% are factors that may disappear. But when the money supply is growing at 14%, 20%, it is basically a monetary phenomenon. We're [all] just printing too much money. So I'd say no, it's not transitory.”
This is from a Carleton University professor, and I have quoted two economists today. Inflation is crippling Canadians.
I do not support Bill C-8 and neither does the Conservative Party of Canada. This is why. We want a Canada where we produce more goods, keep costs down, build more houses and do the things that allow Canadians to have a home, contribute, invest locally and be part of their community. We do not want a Canada that is governed by total and outright socialism by the members across the aisle.