September 19, 2016

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 13:52 [p.4746]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that we have seen the economy turn in three provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland. We have seen little or no response from the federal Liberal government. We know these three provinces carried Canada for decades. Because of the oil and gas situation, they are hurting right now and they are far from getting help from the government.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 13:50 [p.4746]
Mr. Speaker, I am going to point out that in the last 94 days since we last sat in this place, $8 billion has been pushed out by the Liberal government. How are the Liberals going to balance that? They agreed on a $10-billion deficit. We know by the announcement alone that in three months or less they have blown this thing right out. Canadians are not fooled by this. We all spent the summer door-knocking, having barbecues, and talking to our constituents. They know that Bill C-2 will not survive.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 13:49 [p.4745]
Mr. Speaker, first, they did not promise a $30-billion deficit in their term; they promised a $10-billion deficit. Now we know that they are three times over that.

However, if we look back at governments, let us look to the North American trade agreement that was brought in by a Conservative prime minister. My province has prospered because of that trade agreement. We can look back to 2008-09, where the Province of Ontario, because of the Conservative government at the time, was saved. We had a massive world crisis on our hands in 2008-09, as members know, and it was our government that saved the automobile industry.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 13:37 [p.4744]
Mr. Speaker, it gives me a great opportunity today to speak to Bill C-2. Spend, spend, spend is what the government has as its agenda, and spend it did. In the last 94 days since we last sat in the House, the government has given out roughly $8 billion. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are realizing that the government’s agenda will send our country into massive debt. Debt comes with a cost, and it appears that the well educated and those with high-paying jobs will pay the brunt of these budget announcements.

A poll released earlier this month shows that nearly half of all Canadians are draining their bank accounts between each two-week pay period. Many are adding to their debt levels, which as we know are very dangerous. There are four in ten Canadians who say that they spend it all between pay periods, so even a small increase in interest rates would spell disaster for many Canadians families. We have enjoyed record levels of low interest rates, but sooner or later they will go up. We are obviously not prepared for this. Live and spend for today, but tomorrow brings paybacks, and governments should always be aware of that.

We have talked long and hard about not spending our children’s and grandchildren’s future in this place, so then why are we doing it? We should be reminded about the economic policies of the Liberal government some 30 years ago, which increased taxes, debt, and bailouts. It took subsequent governments 30 years to recover from that reckless spending. Why is the current government repeating the same policies? It took a generation to recover from that.

To look back in history, it was our previous government that restored the pay increase to the middle class by an average of $5,000 per year. Those living in Ontario appear to be far more pessimistic than the rest of the country as a whole. We should not be surprised about that, because it too is a Liberal government, and like the one in Ottawa, Liberals love to spend, spend, spend. Taxes will eventually have to be paid for down the road.

It has been an especially dark summer in my province of Saskatchewan. We have had many layoffs, shutdowns, and takeovers in the headlines of our major newspapers in the province. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems laid off 150 Saskatoon employees in July. The company later said it is going to close the plant permanently and sell off all of the assets. In July, workers at Mosaic’s Colonsay potash mine were told that the entire mine would be shut down until January 3, 2017. The company said it hoped to call back workers, but there is no guarantee. In late July, I drove by that mine in Colonsay, once hosting well over 200 to 300 stalls for parking, and there were five vehicles in the parking lot. It has affected the entire area, as businesses surrounding the Colonsay mine have been hit hard with the shutdown. Many were forced to cut hours or lay off staff.

The entire potash industry in this country is nervous, with the possible merger of Potash Corp. and Agrium that was announced earlier this month. Vecima, another company in Saskatoon, announced massive layoffs in July. The decline in the construction industry has hit our province especially hard. The largest decline in construction employment was in the Saskatoon metropolitan area where the employment for three months ending in August was 3,200 lower than it was the year before.

There were 42,000 unemployed in the province of Saskatchewan during August. That is an increase of 3,400 from the month before, and 5,200 more than the number of unemployed in August of 2015. EI recipients jumped 19% alone in the month of June.

Doug Elliott, who is the publisher of Sask Trends Monitor, said that people were unable to find work and simply stopped looking entirely. Let us think about this. The incentive to work among the current unemployment ranks is lost in our country.

Now we hear that the government will move forward on its carbon tax. Like it or not, we are going to have a carbon tax in our country. There was no agreement at all from the Vancouver meetings that were held in March, and we actually missed the September 2 deadline. Now, like it or not, we are going to have a carbon tax, because we were promised one. What happened to the collaboration that was promised by the government almost a year ago?

Employers are feeling the pressure in oil and gas producing provinces like mine in Saskatchewan, along with Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The budget did nothing to improve their situation at all. Once considered the backbone of Canadian economy, these provinces were left to fend for themselves with the current federal Liberal government.

I might add, changes coming to the CPP would add more cost to businesses at a time when they are scrambling in this weak economy, yet the federal government shows no mercy for business and the middle class. According to a new Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, eight of ten people want the government to consult with the public before going ahead with its CPP expansion plans. Therefore, if the CPP reforms mean that businesses freeze or even cut wages, employees will simply oppose these reforms. Working Canadians do not support changes to the CPP if it has the consequence of freezing or even diminishing their salaries at all. This makes sense, since we all know Canadians are feeling the pinch in this economy right now.

Today the Minister of Finance confirmed that the economy will create 1,050 fewer jobs per year over 10 years than would have been the case without the higher premiums. Changes to the Income Tax Act were, and continue to be, a major concern for entrepreneurs and professionals coast to coast. These are the people who are driving our economy. We know that our previous current government left the current government with a surplus. In the last 94 days alone, the federal Liberal government has gone through nearly $8 billion of announcements, plus the $1.3 billion spent outside of our country.

Our previous Conservative government believed that people needed to save for the future. The popular TFSAs were there for emergencies. This was visionary, as it promoted families to save for the future. In times of uncertainty, like right now, they could withdraw from those TFSAs. In times of prosperity, they could save for the future. By saving now, it would take the burden off the federal government in future years. It could be used to redirect the money to other needed programs.

This summer, I knocked on hundreds of doors in my riding of Saskatoon—Grasswood, and we did a number of barbecues. I was constantly told by people how disappointed they are in the Liberal government. Many professionals said they would simply cut back their hours. Instead of serving the public like they do now for six and seven days a week, they will cut back their hours to three or four days a week. The incentive is gone, and that will make us all pay dearly in the end.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 15:13 [p.4761]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to present two more petitions signed by Canadians who are calling on members of Parliament to support Bill C-241, which seeks to amend the Excise Tax Act to refund 100% GST paid by Canadian school authorities.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 16:48 [p.4801]
Mr. Speaker, my comment to my colleague is that the more we delay the decision on TPP, the more hesitant business is. In our province, our premier is currently over in South Korea trying to get business to Saskatchewan.

Could the hon. member talk about the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, over in South Korea today signing agreements, hoping to ensure some prosperous business with South Korea?

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-09-19 18:04 [p.4812]
Madam Speaker, I just want to compliment our colleagues here today in the House, because Canadians are competitive. They have been competitive for decades, centuries. We reinvent ourselves.

I look at my province. We have the best agriculture farmers in the world. Everybody wants our product. Everybody wants a product from Ontario, because we have good workers. We have not talked about that in the House, but Canadians are one of the best in the world at producing, one of the best in the world at manufacturing. I think that is something that we should be proud of in this country. We have not talked enough about it in the House here.

The full debate can be found online at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1&DocId=8381558