Conservatives Fight Budget 2023
Plus honorary citizenship for Vladimir Kara-Murza, David Johnston resigns as rapporteur, tabling petitions on behalf of Calgary Shepard residents, and more
Conservatives Fight Budget 2023
High deficits, debt, inflation, and cost-of-living are not historical norms in Canada. This Liberal government seems determined to make them so. Budget 2023 is the same repeat plan of previous years: more expenditures, more inflation, more taxes, and higher costs. It will add over $60 billion in new inflationary spending - approximately $4,200 per family.
More government money printing and more deficits will inevitably lead to a large increase in the money supply, higher inflation and higher interest rates. Don’t believe me? That was from the deputy prime minister and finance minister, who claimed that her budget would avoid “pouring fuel on the fire of inflation,” an acknowledgement that government spending results in higher inflation and therefore higher interest rates from the Bank of Canada. The former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada also pointed out that the government’s failure to control spending was working against the Bank of Canada’s attempts to reduce inflation. The answers were in front of them: reduce spending and inflation will decline. Instead, they have continued to ramp up spending, throwing themselves head-first into the very inflationary fire the finance minister referred to.
Here are just some of the problems facing everyday Canadians as a result of Liberal policies: one in five Canadians said they were likely to obtain meals from food banks. Compared to March 2015, the number of visits to food banks is up by 20% from March 2022. Average rent for a one bedroom in the 10 biggest cities has increased from $973 in November 2015 to $1,820 in May 2023. Mortgage interest costs rose 28.5% on an annual basis in April, thanks to the 1,700% hike to interest rates under the Liberals from 0.25% to 4.75% today. Average mortgage payments are now $3,149.73 in April 2023, compared to $1,418.32 in November 2015. According to Statistics Canada, the pricing index for food is up 31.3% since April 2015, translating into higher grocery bills. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canadian households are more in debt than those in any other G7 country, and the amount they owe is now more than the value of Canada's entire economy. This past April, 57% of Canadians said if interest rates go up, they will be in financial trouble. These are terrible numbers for a government claiming fiscal prudence.
These problems are occurring as total federal expenses increase by eyewatering amounts and the government levies cost after cost upon everyday Canadians. Between 2014-2015 and 2021-2022, total federal expenses increased by $223 billion. Canada’s federal debt for the 2023-24 fiscal year is projected to reach $1.22 trillion. That is nearly $81,000 per household in Canada. The Liberals have decided to add to that burden through their two carbon taxes. Carbon taxes 1 and 2 will cost Canadian families up to $4000 each year combined, with Alberta having the highest cost per family. By every objective measurement, the Liberal war on work is making life more expensive with inflation and higher taxes, and Canadians are taking home less.
Deficits continue to pile up, departments lag behind deadline after deadline, costs continue to increase in food, housing, and fuel. Essential government services are not being afforded to Canadians on time. The Canadian government truly feels broken. With all of these problems, is this truly the time to be increasing spending? Conservatives said no.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre announced he would use every procedural tool available to the Official Opposition to ensure that no more would be added to the inflationary fire. Conservatives had two demands: to present a plan to balance its budget in order to bring down inflation and interest rates, and to cancel any future increases to the carbon taxes. While the budget may have passed the House of Commons because of the NDP-Liberal costly coalition, it still has to make it through the Senate, where Conservative senators will make the same demands to prevent the budget from increasing the scourge of inflation.
The Conservative plan is simple: make Canada work for the people who work. We can do so by lowering taxes so Canadians can bring home powerful paycheques, bringing home lower prices by ending the carbon taxes and deficit spending, and bringing homes by removing government gatekeepers and speeding up building permits. The common sense of the common people know best, not big government in Ottawa.
David Johnston Resigns as Special Rapporteur
Former governor general David Johnston announced his resignation from the role of ‘special rapporteur’, a position created out of thin air by the Prime Minister to look into the serious allegations of foreign interference in our 2019 and 2021 federal elections. Mr. Johnston had been appointed in March to investigate and provide a report that was widely criticized once made public. Mr. Johnston and the position he occupied were criticized from the start and he was in an impossible conflict of interest. He was a member of the Trudeau Foundation that was part of the foreign interference campaign, and he hired a lawyer with decades of connections to the Liberal Party of Canada and had that conflict of interest cleared by a former judge who had also been a member of the Trudeau Foundation. After a majority of MPs called for Mr. Johnston to step aside this week, it was clear he had lost the trust of Parliament and the Canadian public.
An open, independent public inquiry remains essential and is the only way to credibly investigate Beijing’s interference in our democracy. It will help to uncover what and when the Prime Minister acted or not. Citizens, voters, and taxpayers deserve nothing less than a completely transparent as well as public inquiry where all the information is made public.
Honorary Citizenship for Vladimir Kara-Murza: A Russian Opposition Leader
This week, my motion calling on Parliament to grant honorary citizenship to Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza passed unanimously. Vladimir Kara-Murza is a champion of democratic rights and a courageous opponent of Putin and his regime. He was twice been poisoned on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin for his continued work organizing opposition to Putin’s autocratic regime. Today, after a show trial for treason for simply opposing the war in Ukraine, he remains in a Russian prison sentenced to 25 years in jail for his words calling for peace instead of war. He deserves our full support. Canada’s intervention may provide Vladimir with potentially life-saving protective cover in the Russian prison system. Political prisoners all around the world will tell you that having their names in the public and their names promoted in this manner saves lives, gives courage to political dissenters and leads to pressure on dictatorships.
Meeting with High Commissioner of India
This week, I met the High Commissioner of India. We had a prolonged discussion on important issues affecting our two countries, spoke about the growing Indian diaspora in Canada, and respect for religious rights and places of worship in Canada and India.
Tabling petitions for residents of Calgary Shepard
Part of my role as a parliamentarian is to involve Calgary Shepard residents in the civic process, enabling them to get answers from the federal government on important issues on the national agenda or a particular public policy. Parliamentary petitions are a great way to do so. They come in both paper and digital formats with different parliamentary rules governing the number of signatures and the style in which they must appear so they are acceptable.
This week, I tabled numerous petitions from constituents on important issues, such as a visa program for Venezuelans escaping the communist Maduro regime, creating a “Blue Seal” program to streamline licensing of doctors and nurses, introducing an alternative security review process to help Hong Kongers escape the Beijing regime, and to launch a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canada.
If you would like me to sponsor a petition or have an idea, please reach out and my staff will happily assist you in making it happen. There is also a lot of useful information on the parliamentary website about the petition process.