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Results: 1 - 15 of 52
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, as we have debated this subject, we have heard the Liberal government bragging about Canada's AAA credit rating. When one has a credit card, the provider is always looking to increase the credit, and lenders always make money.
I have a couple of points here. Number one is homelessness. The Auditor General just spoke about it and gave a failing grade. I sit on the committee for Veterans Affairs, and it is getting a failing grade as well. Why does the government want to continue processing its way of doing its carbon tax when it is failing the people of Canada?
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his intervention and for his service on the veterans affairs committee, which we work on together.
The member talked about the existing military being shipped overseas, and how they could be called upon at any time, and he recognizes that we have an issue with housing for veterans. Could the member make any comments with regard to the pressing issue that existing military members have in trying to find housing at this point in time, and what the Liberal government is doing about that?
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, one of the things my colleague mentioned was the committee, which I sit on, and the number of reports and recommendations. In this committee, we have reports from the ombudsman, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, our own committee and now the Auditor General, in addition to this report, which have all said the government has a failing record.
What is the point of having all these reports if the government is doing nothing about them? What is the government going to do?
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I would like to recognize the residents of the riding I represent, Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, for all the efforts they have put into Remembrance Day, which is coming upon us.
I will be splitting my time with the member for Yorkton—Melville.
There is no doubt in my mind that our military has a proud heritage, not only for service on the battlefield and for those times in peacekeeping, but also behind the scenes.
Many others in the House have shared their own personal stories of the exchange between Canadian military members and civilians, and I am reminded of my own mother, who was living in Scotland during World War II. She also interacted with Canadian soldiers who had travelled overseas. They had left their own homes and families and recognized the devastation in the war-torn country of Scotland, and they gave freely. They gave dolls, candy and food to those who were in need. This discussion about homelessness for veterans breaks my heart, as I know what Canadian soldiers have done on and off the battlefield.
How then do we treat our veterans? Right now, the only word I can think of is “betrayal”. Just recently, our Canadian Armed Forces returned back from Afghanistan, and I think about the code and the honour they live by, and how it must be for them to know they left people in Afghanistan, interpreters and their families, and to feel that betrayal by their own country.
Our Canadian Armed Forces are under duress. Right now there is a housing crisis in the Canadian Armed Forces, and now we get a report about veterans who are homeless. As I said earlier, I am very passionate about this subject, and I am deeply wounded to be reading this report. There are 5,000 veterans who are homeless across this country, and that is just from this report that we have received. As we sit in this chamber, we get reports from the ombudsman; we get reports from our own Parliamentary Budget Office; we get reports from the committee and recently the Auditor General on top of this report, and it is clear this government has not done anything for veterans. It has failed veterans, according to the Auditor General.
I will read from a report on Veterans Affairs by the Auditor General.
[Veterans Affairs] actions did not reduce overall wait times for eligible veterans. The department was still a long way from meeting its service standard. Implementation of initiatives was slow. Data to measure improvements was lacking. Both the funding and almost half of the employees on the team responsible for processing applications were temporary. As a result, veterans waited too long to receive benefits to support their physical and mental health and their families’ overall well-being.
This was in a report from the Auditor General, and combined with all the other reports and the 5,000 veterans who are out on the street homeless, it is appalling. What is the government doing about this?
All we hear is about money being thrown at the problem, but no concrete solutions. I believe that politics is a performance-based industry, and if people do not perform, they should not be there. Seven years the government has been in power, and time and time again it has failed veterans and the existing military. The minister is asleep at the wheel right now. Leadership starts at the top. He should take ownership, take responsibility and start looking after our vets.
I could go on with quotes and I could on with stats, but what good is it with a government that is not going to listen? This year so far, VAC has over $921 million in lapsed funding. That is money that was set aside for VAC in the budget but was not used to support veterans. Money is not the problem. Someone has to pull their finger out here. Someone has to start getting the job done and start looking after our vets. There is a morale problem here, not only in the existing military but for people who have served.
We are on the verge of Remembrance Day, and when people take that moment of silence and bow their heads to think about the fallen soldiers, we need to think about those who have served and who are surrounding us now, and what we are doing for them. Money does not solve every problem. It is about getting the job done. It is about strong leadership, and it is about recognizing the problems.
I am very passionate about this. I am very upset about this subject. Again, I could rattle off statistics and numbers, but the consistency throughout this is that the government has failed its veterans. That is an exact quote from the Auditor General. What are we going to do? What does a committee do when it sits there and produces reports, and works together, as I do with my colleagues from the Bloc or from the NDP, across the aisle? It is a good committee; we have achieved a lot, but from there, nothing gets done. There is no recognition. Veterans are being failed time and time again.
I think about the soldiers who looked after my mother, who helped my grandmother, who fought alongside my grandfather in Holland to liberate a country that was not even theirs. They recognized that it was the right thing to do. The question I have to ask my colleagues is, what is the right thing to do for veterans? What is the right thing to do for our veterans? Who is going to lead the charge? Who is going to fix the problem?
Right now, the minister is asleep at the wheel, not doing his job. I am disappointed. Not only am I disappointed, but my fellow colleagues in the Conservative Party are disappointed. My colleagues in the committee are disappointed. Not only do we deserve better, but our veterans deserve better.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, again we go back in history here, with the Liberal government trying to paint its problems with the previous government and failing to take responsibility for the job it was elected to do.
The government that is in power has bragged about opening up offices, but the service has gotten worse. The wait times have increased. The number of issues that are brought forward has increased. The number of vets who are waiting to get served has increased.
The member should give me a real question.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, sometimes, when I look at my hon. colleague, I feel like I am looking at myself.
Yes, the number one conversation I had at the 50th anniversary of the Snowbirds with some of the people who are presently serving was about the issues we are talking about when we are talking about the Canadian Armed Forces. I turned the question onto them, and I asked them what challenges they are facing. They said housing. Housing is one of the number one problems they are facing.
Governments do not build housing unless it is for the military, and it is not doing that. That is a big challenge that the government is facing and, again, doing nothing about.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I would like to recognize my colleague and all his hard work and passion for getting good service. I will say that this committee would be better under a Conservative government, so I thank him for giving me that opportunity.
I know my colleague and I share the same feeling, because I shared it in my speech. We are disappointed. We are upset. We work so hard. We commit time to look after our veterans, and then nothing gets done. When we get reports back that nothing gets done, it feels like we are not being heard.
Those numbers, those vets, those stats are people. They are not getting the service.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I used to fly airplanes, but I do know a bit about sailing, and one of the things one wants to do is keep the water out of the boat. However, it seems that the Liberal government's policy right now is to throw water into the boat and drown Canadians.
Therefore, I ask my colleague, who has just spent a bit of time speaking to this fall economic update, if he is willing to vote against this budget, campaign on his party's own terms and compare its budget to this one.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would point out that there is not a quorum.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, a promises is a promise in my house, and it should be the same in this House.
The Liberal government made a promise of $4.5 billion to contribute to mental health. Why it is not fulfilling that promise and is now making another promise that was not in the Liberal platform?
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his revisionist history on the banking crisis of 2008.
As I sit here, I see a shell game, a carnival, with the way the carbon tax is being laid out and always being proposed by the Liberal government and the NDP. If it was so good, why wouldn't the government give the refunds ahead of time? While people are struggling to make ends meet, their budgets are going up and people have gone into debt, the Liberals come in afterwards with cheques that do not quite meet the challenges the people of Canada are facing.
Yesterday I stood and said that GST was being charged on top of the carbon tax on heating bills and the Prime Minister said that was misinformation. I would ask my colleague if he has looked at his heating bills, if he could confirm or deny that GST is actually being charged on top of the carbon tax and what his thoughts are on that.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, this upcoming Remembrance Day, veterans across Canada will be thanked for their service by being charged GST on top of a carbon tax on their heating bills, which is a tax on a tax on a tax. Heating a home during winter is a necessity.
Why will the Prime Minister not cancel his plans to triple his tax on home heating and axe his tax on tax?
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the local rink is the heart of every Canadian community. It is where our kids learn to skate or curl, learn important skills and life lessons such as teamwork and sportsmanship. Perhaps most importantly, they create lifelong friendships and cherished memories.
After a fire burned down the rink in Pense 30 years ago, people rallied and built its replacement in just 15 months. Recently, the arena needed upgrades. People may remember that Pense was up for the Kraft Hockeyville contest. They did not win, but that did not stop them. This small town was able to raise more than $500,000. This past weekend, I was honoured to attend the grand reopening.
This is exactly the kind of story that makes me proud to represent Pense and other communities across rural Saskatchewan.
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, a veteran in my riding noticed that GST was being charged on top of the carbon tax on his power bill. The Liberal government plans to triple the carbon tax. Guess what. This would also triple the GST on a basic necessity.
Life is getting too expensive for Canadians. When will the government scrap its plans to triple the carbon tax, and axe the tax on the carbon tax?
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Fraser Tolmie Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I find it very amusing that the member from the Green Party would say that they can solve a crisis by creating another crisis, a financial crisis. I would ask my colleague what his thoughts are on the tripling of the carbon tax when, on top of that tax, most people are also paying GST. What would he say about that?
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