Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the officials for being here today.
I want to paint a little picture of where I live—Miramichi-Grand Lake in New Brunswick—and how this budget affects it.
Miramichi-Grand Lake, my riding, is the size of Prince Edward Island. There are probably about two places to plug in an electric car. Most people who order them are waiting a year—and sometimes two—because they can't get them and, of course, the government has basically stood by and watched China grow its ability to produce lithium.
The people where I live drive SUVs, trucks and muscle cars. They have boats. We have a marina. We live on one of the greatest salmon-fishing rivers in the world.
We're not seeing the million jobs referred to here today. It's nice to hear. We don't see them in Miramichi-Grand Lake. In Miramichi, we were a port facility, dating back to the mid-1800s and right up until the early 1990s, and then it slowed, so in recent years, the river hasn't been dredged. A company from Quebec wanted to dump $12 million on their own dime into the port. The were called “Groupe Gagné”. The government's role was to fix the navigational aids for $1.5 million. They said no, which stifled a minimum of 15 to 20 companies that would have been producing wood pellets, lobster, wood products, steel, fabrication products.... Basically, the current government has stifled every economic opportunity we had locally.
Now, with respect to this budget, inflation is currently at 6.7%, but it's 7.4% in New Brunswick, so it's much worse in my home province—as I've said—with no sign of it slowing down.
I don't see immediate relief for Canadians inside of this budget, but I'm going to ask the officials today, what in Bill C-19 is going to address the inflation crisis that Canadians and Miramichi-Grand Lakers are facing today?