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View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-11 13:32 [p.28909]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise once more in the House to talk about the NAFTA trade deal. I listened to the talking points of the Liberals. They talk about all the good things international trade and the free trade agreement do. They are the same old talking points.
Once upon a time when we were in government, we said the same thing in support of free trade. However, I need to remind members on the other side that it was the Conservatives who were the party that pushed for free trade. NAFTA came about because of the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney. No one in the country would say that NAFTA was not a good deal for Canada.
However, as my colleague from Prince Albert has just eloquently said, the problems are with NAFTA .5. When the parliamentary secretary says why 0.5 and not 0, simply and straightforwardly, we do not trust the Liberals to set up any kind of a good deal, knowing the results since they have come into power.
I remember very clearly that it was the Liberal Prime Minister who shunned TPP in Vietnam. He was the only leader not to go. At that time, he had his own idea of free trade. Even the Chinese shut the door in his face. The point of this story is the reason why the Conservative Party supports this, despite all the flaws and everything here, because the business community needs this. The Conservative Party has always been a very proud free trade party. During the time of Prime Minister Harper, we signed a lot of free trade agreements around the world because we knew it is right.
The biggest one for everyone was NAFTA. Today, we call it NAFTA 0.5. The Liberals want to call it NAFTA 2.0. Mexico calls it NAFTA 0.8. The fact is that, yes, the business community needs stability. The business community is looking for some kind of stability in this economy so it can move forward. This is one way in which we can bring that kind of stability.
However, to remind all Canadians, since the Liberal government has taken power, five premiers have written to the Prime Minister today. They has said that under his regime, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 will threaten national unity. That has never happened before, where five premiers have written to say that Liberals have created an environment in the country that is not conducive to business and actually threatens the security of national unity. It is unprecedented. That is the record the Liberals have for the economy, which is why we do not trust them to get NAFTA back.
However, there is some hope in the sense that even with this flawed NAFTA deal, the business community will have some kind of confidence in the economy, forgetting about what the Liberals have done. The country needs to do it. We do not know where the Liberals are going with the Trans Mountain pipeline. Hopefully very soon we will have shovels in the ground.
I come from a province that has taken a massive hit by the Liberals' economic policy, and it continues. Right now, confidence in Canada is declining under the government.
Under Prime Minister Harper's government, confidence in Canada was going up. Under the current government, investor confidence in Canada is going down. We can talk to anyone out there, in London or New York and so on. If it comes to Canada, they slowly turn their heads away. The sunny days and sitting on the international stage by the Prime Minister has all evaporated in the air. He is no longer the darling of anything and if he continues the way he is, we could face serious economic poverty.
Hopefully, on October 21, Canadians will have a choice and will send the Liberals packing on their economic record, which is one of the most important things that needs done, because jobs bring stability.
I saw the most foolish ads yesterday when watching the Raptors. They were so-called third party advertisements against the leader of the official opposition. I have never seen a more idiotic advertisement. They will make Canadians more angry.
Unifor, the so-called journalists' union, is absolutely at the forefront of this sentiment, making it very clear that it does not like the Conservative Party. What it seems to forget, however, is this is not about Unifor; it is about Canadians and jobs. Unifor keeps saying it wants to fight for jobs. However, if it wants to fight for jobs, it should be honest about it. It should work for all Canadians and not be partisan.
Once more, I am standing in the House of Commons to stand up for free trade. We all know free trade has immense benefits for our country and for our jobs. If there were no tanker ban, no problematic Bill C-69, there would be such confidence in Canada. We would be a model country.
We have been blessed with natural resources. We do not have just one natural resource, but multiple. We should develop them, although I agree 100% that this should be environmentally sound.
Let us look at our oil production. We have one of the best systems in the world. We can compare it to those in countries like Venezuela and Nigeria, where there are no environmental standards. They are moving full steam ahead. Let us be honest. Let us work environmentally. It is time for the country to move forward with developing its natural resources.
With respect to the new NAFTA that has just been signed, all my colleagues have, very eloquently, made it clear that it has serious flaws. We want confidence. It is the one piece of legislation the government has brought forward that can give some kind of confidence to the business community that Canada is a free trade country.
Many people do not understand the amount of money Canadian businesses invest overseas. It is in the trillions of dollars. If it were not for free trade agreements, Canadian businesses would be unable to invest overseas. The Canadian investments of over $1 trillion will, in the longer term, help our country's economy, making businesses very strong.
Free trade agreements go both ways. They are for us and the countries with which we sign. That is why so many are signing on to the TPP. I am glad that the government finally, after insulting the leaders of the TPP, came to its senses. This came after China told us to take a hike when Canada went to China to sign a free trade agreement.
In the end, the Conservatives will support the bill because we believe Canadians need confidence, the economy needs confidence and the business community needs confidence so we can proceed forward and create jobs that will benefit each and every Canadian.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-11 13:42 [p.28910]
Mr. Speaker, we are a small country. The U.S.A. is a very large country. Naturally, being a small country, we have to safeguard our cultural industries. Otherwise, we will be overpowered by big American companies.
This is why we have stated that we will support the free trade agreement. However, we need to improve on it. There are finer details to note on the issues the member raised, but in the larger scheme of things, indeed Canadian culture is thriving.
Governments do not have to give money for Canadian culture. Governments do not have to give money for newspapers to stay alive. Right across the country, wherever I go, Canadian culture is thriving.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-11 13:44 [p.28910]
Mr. Speaker, actually my hon. colleague is my member of Parliament, so he can ask me that question. However, he brought up a point rightly. We just said that we are resource rich across this country. Every region has its strengths and weaknesses. Every region has its own natural resources. Right now, there is fossil fuel in Alberta, softwood lumber, when we talk about British Columbia, and fisheries and lobster across the east.
It is critically important that when we sign free trade agreements that we take all of that into account and do not just sign sector by sector by sector, which is why this is critically important. I have seen TPP in Australia and New Zealand and their issues. There is no question or doubt about the free trade agreement and natural resources. There is no question about being environmentally friendly. Climate change is there, and it is important that we take that into account now that we are developing our resources.
I can assure my friend that when we were in power, we did well. When we are in power, we will do better.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-11 13:46 [p.28911]
Mr. Speaker, it was very clear right from the first, when the tariffs were put here, that we took a very strong stand, which Jason Kenney has done. However, for the government to take credit for it is not right. As my colleague has said, all of us worked on it, including members of the trade committee, who went to the U.S. and lobbied everywhere. Let me put it this way: Irrespective, it was good for Canada.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-04 11:57 [p.28476]
Mr. Speaker, I have been here for over 23 years, and I have always spoken to budget bills, whether the Conservatives were in opposition or on the government side. That is because a budget is what defines our economy; a budget is what defines where Canada's economy will move.
My colleagues on this side have highlighted, in very great detail, what is wrong with this budget bill put forward by the Liberal government. Let me start by saying certain things. I have been sitting here and listening to the Liberals when they get up. They like to attack us, calling out Mr. Harper's name all the time. The Liberal members have used Mr. Harper's name more than anybody I have ever heard. Somehow it is in their psyche that the former prime minister should be used to highlight their deficiencies.
Let me just show, using facts, why they are wrong. The international Institute for Management Development puts together a yearly world competitiveness ranking. Within one year, Canada has fallen three spots on the world competitiveness ranking, from 10th in 2018 to 13th this year. We are the lowest of the G7 countries. In 2018-19, the Liberals were in power. We fell from 10th to 13th.
Let me say this. In the same report, previously, from 2007 to 2015, Canada rose from 10th place to fifth place. That was under the Conservative government of former prime minister Harper. Let me repeat that for the Liberals who speak from their points. Under their regime we dropped in the ranking, going from 10th to 13th, the lowest of the G7 countries. During the period when we were in power under former prime minister Harper, which was 2007 to 2015, we rose from 10th place to fifth place. This is something they should take into account every time they talk about it.
When it comes to economic performance, government officials, business efficiency or infrastructure, the institute says we are not in the top five countries in this index. This is terrible management. Business investment in Canada under the Liberal government has fallen by an annualized rate of 10.9%. This is the second time it has fallen by over 10%. What a shame. This is the management record of the Liberal government.
The Liberal government seems totally oblivious to economic conditions. I come from Alberta. We have seen the devastating impact the government has had on my province. In my city of Calgary, the downtown is completely empty. Right now, businesses in the suburban area are suffering from tax hikes, because the downtown, which used to be the core economic sector in Calgary, has half its buildings empty. That is since the Liberals came into power. They had the opportunity to fix that.
The Liberals bought the Trans Mountain pipeline, but even if they started construction on it, what about Bill C-69, and what about Bill C-48, the tanker bill? Those bills are a direct attack on Alberta.
Albertans are now reeling from the disastrous management of the government. When the father of our current Prime Minister was there, that was the first time Alberta was suffering. I was there at that time. The government tried to seize the oil royalties. The finance minister was Marc Lalonde. It was a disastrous result. Since then, the Liberals have never recovered in Alberta. During the election of 2015, the current Prime Minister said that he would do business differently than his father in Alberta. Lo and behold, those sunny days are gone. This is something that, again, he has not fulfilled.
I am talking about Alberta and the energy sector. The energy sector benefits the whole country. It is not only Alberta's sector. It is British Columbia's, Quebec's, Ontario's, the Maritimes', everyone. It is one of our key sectors.
What is very important is that our companies have spent billions of dollars on clean technology. I will give one example. I was on the foreign affairs committee in the opposition. At that time, in the oil fields of Sudan, Talisman, a Canadian company, had a percentage of the operation in Sudan. All these NGOs that are based in western Canada found that it was easy to target a Canadian company, so they went after the Canadian company, accusing it of all kinds of crimes committed against the environment. The ultimate result was that Talisman sold its shares to China and to India. The next day, all the protests were over.
Has oil stopped? No, it has not. Whom will they target? They will target Canadians. Why will they target them? It is an easy way to do it for these environmentalists. All of a sudden, they disappeared. That shows that the targets of these environmentalists are where they are doing it right now.
I want to go on to another issue, which is the media outlets these guys are giving money to. I can tell members why it is going to be a problem. What about the ethnic media? There are a huge number of ethnic media in the country. Are the Liberals going to give money to the ethnic media, or are they only going to give money to the old Canadian media that are sitting here on the national scene? Are they the only ones who are going to benefit? This is a slippery slope. I will accuse them of discrimination if they do not give money to the ethnic media.
On the panel, there sits a guy who is absolutely anti-Conservative. He said the day before yesterday that he has a right to speak freely. Absolutely. We in the Conservative caucus warn their labour union that he is absolutely right that he can speak, but he is not going to sit on an independent panel and decide which media are going to get money. That goes against democracy. That goes against the principles of democracy. It puts all journalists under a cloud. These journalists had better wake up, because they are going to be under a cloud. Can we trust them when they are getting money from the government? Any time anyone else gets money, they oppose that. How can I believe that what these journalists are writing is unbiased? All indications are that the government is using the money it has to buy votes and to buy publicity. It is a slippery road. It is best not to get involved. The whole country has media, so it is easier for the Liberals not to do that.
In my conclusion, let me say clearly that this is an absolute economic disaster by the government.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-04 12:09 [p.28477]
Mr. Speaker, those are typical Liberal talking points, nothing more than that. They are the usual huff and bluff sunny ways we are talking about.
He should come down to the ground. He should come down to Alberta and Saskatchewan and talk to the people there who are suffering from job losses. They cannot put food on the table. I do not know which figures the member is talking about. Let us go and talk to them.
The member should walk on the ground and listen to them. He is all about reading Liberal talking points.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-04 12:10 [p.28477]
Mr. Speaker, the difference between the Conservatives and the NDP, and of course, the NDP is similar to the current Liberal government, is that we allow businesses to make their own decisions. We allow the business community to run businesses out there. Governments do not like interfering in business affairs. We will only interfere if it is in the interest of the public.
In general, businesses in this country, under our government, when we were in power, had a free hand to make proper business decisions, which is why I read the report, and I am going to read it again. Under the Liberal regime, we fell in the world competitive ranking from 10 to 13. During our regime, Canada rose from a ranking of 10 to five, something the Liberals should wake up and smell.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2019-06-04 12:12 [p.28478]
Mr. Speaker, it is simple and straightforward. The government's priority is not the economy. The Liberals have other priorities and have put money in other areas. The economic advantage Canada had and will continue having is not on their agenda.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-12-04 15:09 [p.24412]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar is rising, so I will give the floor to her.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-26 16:42 [p.23935]
Mr. Speaker, before I start my discussion on the fall economic update, I would like to acknowledge that today is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, where two Canadians lost their lives.
During a state visit with the former governor general, the Right Hon. David Johnston, whom I accompanied to India, we visited the Taj hotel, which was one of the places that came under severe attack. We paid our respects at the memorial that was set up in the hotel. We talked to the survivors of that terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were killed and to the people of India. Just a note to my colleagues, the masterminds of that terrorist attack are still free.
On another note, as everyone knows, I am from Calgary. Yesterday evening, I was sitting in a pub with fans in Ottawa for the Grey Cup. I had a great evening when Calgary beat Ottawa. The pub was pretty quiet, but they could not keep me quiet. I was out there rooting for Calgary. I am very grateful that we won the Grey Cup. Go, Stamps, go.
Now I am going to talk about the fall economic update and the management by the Liberal government of the economy. The government gave a fall economic update, and today we heard an announcement that over 2,000 Canadians are going to lose their jobs because of GM's closure of their plant in Oshawa. This has sent shock waves across the country. It will have a serious impact on Ontario's economy, and by extension, the Canadian economy. We will see not only jobs being lost but a subsequent chain of events associated with the plant and the production of vehicles in the auto sector. The impact is going to be huge. Therefore, the fall economic update, as far as I am concerned, is not very valid.
Tonight an emergency debate has been agreed to, which was put forward by the Conservative members. Members of the House will discuss this issue that impacts everyone. Hopefully, everyone will agree unanimously that we should all work together to ensure that Canadians will not be heavily impacted by this loss.
I also want to say that last Thursday, the Prime Minister visited Calgary to talk about the other sector that is crucially important to the economy, and that is the oil energy sector. He had come there to give assurances. He spoke to the Chamber of Commerce, and he met with business leaders. Close to 2,000 people were in the streets asking for action by the Liberal government with regard to the energy sector. Ultimately, his visit provided absolutely nothing of the kind to the oil sector and the workers in Calgary who are suffering. It will subsequently lead to more job losses. The oil sector impacts everyone in this country, yet the government was unable to give assurances to Calgary and Alberta about what it plans to do.
The government's inaction has become so bad, despite having the NDP as its closest ally in Alberta, that the finance minister in Alberta, the Hon. Joe Ceci, who I worked with for many years, because he was a councillor in the same riding I represent today, commented in frustration that if it was something like Bombardier, we would have seen massive action by the Liberal government. However, because it is Alberta, it kind of got the brush-off. This is what the NDP finance minister in Alberta is saying.
This is a warning sign to the federal government that if it does not pick up the ball in the energy sector, it will once more inflame the western alienation that occurred under the Pierre Trudeau Liberal government. It is a good point for the Liberals to know. It is not the Conservatives speaking about it. It is the NDP finance minister in Alberta talking about this issue.
The point of the fall economic statement is how the Liberals have managed our economy, and it is looking really bad. Canadians are concerned. The deficit is going on and on. It is now three times higher than what the Liberals promised during the election campaign. They like to say that what they promised they are delivering, but unfortunately, they are absolutely not.
The government has raised taxes on the middle class. It has raised taxes. The deficit is going up. What does the future of Canada look like under the current government? It does not look very good. Today's announcement is just one of the symptoms of not looking forward. The government should have known this might happen, and if it did, what actions it would take. It was totally caught off guard. We will hear in tonight's debate what it intends to do, as it is in power.
The main issue in the economic update is simple and straightforward. What assurances do Canadians have that there will be sound management? They are worried about jobs, their children and their families, and now there will be a carbon tax.
This weekend, Rex Murphy, a great commentator, said very simply that we cannot have extra burdens when the economy is under stress and that the government should revisit the carbon tax. We are calling on the government to revisit the carbon tax. It should not sit with its head in the sand and say no. There are other options to address climate change as we move forward, but the carbon tax is not the way to go. Liberals say the carbon tax is revenue neutral and they will return the money to Canadians, but what incentive do they have to do this except to create a bureaucracy for the carbon tax.
The main issue is that we need to create an economic environment that will create economic development. The Prime Minister's actions at the first TPP meeting in Vietnam were disastrous. He did not bother giving any attention to the trade file, which is crucial for Canada.
The finance minister was on TV over the weekend saying that the media was not giving him fair coverage. My colleagues and everyone else are wondering if that is why he gave the media $560 million, to make sure that the Liberals get favourable coverage from the media. There is a question being raised about that money, and a lot of the media are attacking that. I know it is about job security for them as well, but it brings into question why the government is favouring one sector. The minister says we need a free press. Indeed, we need a free press. Canadians want a free press, but they can make up their own minds as to what kind of free press they want. They do not need what the government is doing, forcing on them what they do not want. Liberals are not listening to what the media is talking about.
Nevertheless, over the course of the month, we will talk about how the Liberal government failed. In 2019, we hope Canadians will send them packing.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-26 16:54 [p.23936]
Mr. Speaker, I always enjoy hearing the member talk. He should look in the mirror and think about what he is talking about. I do not know what planet he is living on. Is he living in Alberta? He says he represents Winnipeg. Does he know that all three prairie governments do not share his vision? There is no prairie Liberal government. None of them agree with the nonsense he is talking about. He should go and talk to the provincial governments to find out what is happening in the provinces before he stands up talks about the Harper government.
We are talking about the fall economic statement by his government, and what he is saying it is going to do. He should not forget—
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-26 16:55 [p.23936]
Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question from my colleague, who happens to also be an Alberta member of Parliament. That is a great question. It is simple and straightforward.
EI is a temporary solution. EI is not and has never been a permanent solution. We want permanent solutions. The permanent solution is straight and simple: jobs, jobs, jobs.
The government is talking about the economy doing well. The Liberals had a surplus, and what they did is they spent everything. The government has now created a situation where we are losing jobs across the country. Today we lost jobs in Ontario. Yesterday we lost jobs in Alberta. The Minister of Innovation got up during question period and tried to say how many jobs were created. That is a normal situation in a country. Nitpicking areas is not.
It is what has happened in Oshawa and what is happening in Alberta that is concerning. It is sending a message that the economic management by the government is a disaster for the country.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-06 18:55 [p.23367]
Mr. Speaker, this bill aims to withdraw Quebec from the Canadian Multiculturalism Act.
To be absolutely clear, I have nothing in agreement with the Bloc Québécois. I do not agree with its philosophy. I do not agree with whatever it says because that party wants to take Quebec out of Canada. To put it simply and being straightforward, Quebec is part of Canada.
As I said in the House in May 2014, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.
Whatever I heard the member say, Quebec society is very large. It is represented by other parties as well. They do not agree with the vision of the Bloc Québécois about Quebec being excluded. Rather, those members are looking at the past when they say that Quebec is changing.
Quebec is part of Canada and Canadian laws do apply. However, Quebec has also been given a lot of leeway. It is recognized that it has a lot of decentralization issues.
We respect the Quebec jurisdiction. However, when it comes to major issues like multiculturalism, which applies all across the country, I had the honour and privilege to go to Quebec during the leadership race. I spoke in French because I recognized that French was very important. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Quebec. I love Quebec culture. I love the French culture there. I really enjoyed it and felt very proud that this culture was part of our larger mosaic, the Canadian culture, and part of our society.
Therefore, Quebec's culture and its French culture is a very important part of Canadian multicultural society. For my hon. colleague, indigenous Canadians are part of the multicultural society. They live in Quebec as well as a lot of other communities.
Indeed, I find it a little strange when it is said that because we have immigration coming here, we have a changing face of Canada. It is not only immigration that represents the changing face of Canada. Quebec is also changing as young Quebeckers leave and become more learned and multicultural within other countries. Quebec itself is probably like the rest of Canada.
To be very honest with members, Acadians in New Brunswick have their own thriving culture. There are francophones in Calgary, Alberta and they are thriving. Because we have this policy of multiculturalism, they can practice their own culture in Calgary and share it with us.
Therefore, I thoroughly oppose this bill because it makes it look like Quebec is not a part of Canada. I have always said, since coming to the House, that Quebec is part of Canada.
As a parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, I have been all around the world. I have seen the great respect granted to Canada, and that includes Quebec. Also, Quebec ministers were part of the many journeys which I went on. There is immense respect given to Canada because of our ability to be together.
This bill is a dangerous precedent that says, “I will dictate”. No, it will not dictate; the law will dictate. The law says that every Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian and is equal.
Henceforth, taking that into account, I want to say to my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois that I do understand that they are now having a complete review of their party because they seem to have lost touch with Quebec society.
Nevertheless, I strongly encourage them to look at it. I also view them as Canadians. I respect their culture. I respect their language, but it is part of the multicultural mosaic that has been built in this country, which is a strength.
I find it very strange to hear the member say that multiculturalism is a weakness. That is wrong. Multiculturalism is our strength wherever we go. My former colleague the member for Beauce said extreme multiculturalism. There is no such thing as extreme multiculturalism in this country. Our laws give respect to every Canadian irrespective of what his or her religion is.
During the leadership race, one of the candidates raised the question of Canadian values, which we then questioned. What are Canadian values? They are evolving values. As Canada grows, we evolve, so Canadian values evolve, but they are still very strong. It is respect for everyone.
I must say to my colleague who has brought the bill before the House that honestly, they are moving backwards. They want to go back to the old days. Everybody would like to go back to the old days, but the old days are gone. They are gone the way of the dodo bird.
We all maintain our culture. We all maintain what we share with everyone else. Canada has room for everyone.
I say very strongly that I and my colleagues will oppose this legislation.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-01 16:33 [p.23165]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to speak on the budget implementation act.
This morning my friend John reminded me that there were dark clouds in the Liberals' sunshine environment, as Liberals said during election time. However, there is one issue that really bothers me, and that was what happened yesterday when the Prime Minister talked to students. He told them that the opposition parties liked to shout at respectful Liberals.
I am profiled in the grade nine high school book in Alberta, talking about democracy. I go to schools and talk about our great democracy and how our country is run. I never run down anyone. We are all here equally in this chamber to talk about issues for all Canadians. This is the chamber where we have democracy, yet the Prime Minister went to a school and partisanly told students that the Liberals were respectful and the opposition was not respectful.
May I remind the Prime Minister, if I recall correctly, that he was a member of the opposition when he first entered the House. Now suddenly he thinks that side is respectful. Should he impart this knowledge to young students? Shame.
I am splitting my time with my great Irish friend from Durham, Mr. Speaker.
We are talking about the dark clouds since the Liberals became government. The last member who spoke talked about the veteran cuts. Cuts to veterans was brought forward by the Liberal government. My colleague was a former trade minister and he did all the legwork for the trade agreements that the Liberal government signed. The Liberals want to take credit for that.
It is interesting that the word “Harper” has become so common in the chamber. I hear more about Mr. Harper than when he was the prime minister. Every minute, the Liberals keep talking about Harper. They forget that they have been governing for three and a half years. It was interesting to hear the NDP member say that the Liberals were worse than Harper. Harper is a great word in the House.
However, talking about the Liberals' record, it is terrible. As I said during my leadership race, the deficit is in the blood of the Trudeaus. Whenever they come into power, we end up having strong deficits and a deficit balance. Our taxes and our debt keep rising. As I already pointed out, the Liberals increased the debt by $60 billion.
Where do things stand today under these dark clouds? Since the Liberals have come to power, the last member who spoke said the business environment was great. It is not great. The business environment today is what is causing serious concern for Canadians, a concern about jobs, the welfare of their children and health care. It is a serious concern. The disastrous handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the bill that would stop the pipelines being built under a regulatory regime will take investors away from our country.
We must remember that we share a very long border with the south. We share an integrated economy. If south of the border creates a business environment that is far more appealing to investors, then money flows there. It is not just money, but jobs flow south as well. That is where the danger is.
When we were in government, and my friend sitting next to me was the minister of state for finance, I checked with him, we introduced a regulatory process. We looked at how a regulatory process in our country would stifle competitiveness. To do that, we set out to find out how many regulator processes there were in our country.
Let me go back and give my own example with my son. He wanted to go into an agricultural business, and he is still going into it with my grandson. We tied in with farmers in my colleague's riding to export a product. We are still mired in regulatory reforms. It is not ease of business to do that. It has taken one and a half years and we are still in the process of trying to meet all the regulatory conditions that are laid out across the country.
The important point here is this. If we ask the government how many regulations there are, which it is supposed to know, it will not be able to answer the question. If it does not know that, how will it reduce the regulations? Even there, it cannot do this thing, yet the Liberals are saying that they have policies that are helping the business environment grow.
I come from Alberta and it is concerned about what the government is doing to the economy of Alberta. Irrespective of the fact that the Minister of Natural Resources is from Alberta, we do not see any kind of action coming from the government. It is a big concern.
Now the Liberals say that they are going to put in a carbon tax. Our carbon footprint is 1.6% of global pollution in the environment, yet we are the country putting a carbon tax burden on Canadians. Like everyone has pointed out to the government, it is a tax grab.
I read this morning that because the Liberals have announced they want to give money back to the people, people are saying that it will not impact them. Therefore, how are their habits going to change if they are going to get their money back? The carbon tax is a tax grab, as everyone says. We need to have an environment of the economy moving forward, which the government is failing to do. It seems to have priorities that do not address the main concerns of Canadians, which are jobs, health care and a future for our children.
These are good statements made by the government. However, as everyone has pointed out, when the government says “trust it” that is like the Nigerian prince saying, “Your cheque is in the mail”. More and more Canadians are saying that they do not trust the government.
We are concerned. There are dark clouds in the sunshine environment of the Liberal government.
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
CPC (AB)
View Deepak Obhrai Profile
2018-11-01 16:44 [p.23166]
Mr. Speaker, this is a new member who came to the House three years ago, and he is trying to talk about our record 10 years ago. I do not know where he was in 2008 when the whole world went into a recession. We do not live on a separate island. It was because of our economic management that we did not have to bail banks out and survived that recession. It was through the good management of the Conservative government.
As I have said, the former Conservative trade minister is the one who led the groundwork for CETA and TPP, something the current government is now signing and trying to take credit for. The Conservative government did it, and the current government is reaping is based on what Conservatives did before it went into power. We are well known for managing our economy very well.
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