Speech – Budget 2023
Response to Budget 2023
April 19, 2023
Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Today I rise to speak to Budget 2023.
I will be sharing my time with the Honourable Member from Simcoe North.
Perhaps more than any other budget in recent memory, Canadians were looking to this federal government to send some strong signals on responsible governance, prudent spending, fiscal responsibility, and a path through these high inflationary times.
Unfortunately, however Mr. Speaker, the reality is that we did not see any of this in the budget, and so it should come as no surprise that I, along with my Conservative colleagues, will not be supporting this Budget as it stands.
Of course, we do know that the NDP will support this Liberal budget — because they always have, and always will, ever since their coalition government began.
And the NDP’s ‘blank cheque’ approach to dealing with the Liberals incompetence is only making matters worse. This makes them a part of the problem. This leaves the Conservatives as the only national political party to stand up for Canadians.
The single largest selling point from this Budget, as I see it, Mr. Speaker, is a token $225 payment to lower income Canadians to supposedly help with the rising cost of groceries.
This just shows that the Liberals are clearly out of touch with the realities that Canadians are facing as they do their weekly grocery shopping.
I was at the Calgary Co-op in Brentwood last week and chatted with many…they are drained…not only of their hard-earned money, but of their mental resources dealing with how to put food on the table.
The cost of lettuce up 35% in the past year, fresh vegetables up 15%, flour up 23%, cooking oils up 23%, butter up 19%, pasta up 19%, canned veggies up 17%, bread up 18%, and even potatoes up 16% in the past year, this $225 payment literally equates to about a $4.32 per week pittance of support for struggling Canadians.
But not a worry Mr. Speaker, because the Liberals and NDP say everything is just fine and that inflation is coming down. Sure, it may be coming down on non-essential items like new televisions or high-tech gadgets, but not that of the bare-essentials, the necessities that Canadians need to feed and house their families.
In no way can this government claim that food security is not an issue in Canada when 60% more Canadians are expected to need food banks this year. The problem is even more acute in certain communities around the country and the North.
This lack of food affordability will have long-term health effects and will add to the stress of households. This stress will drive up rates of domestic violence, impact educational outcomes and have a lasting impact on our most vulnerable. (in particular Seniors & Veterans on fixed incomes).
Not only food affordability Mr. Speaker, but there are so many other things going wrong in Canada and the Liberals and NDP seem to be blind to it all.
For example, in the last eight years, we see a country where there are marijuana pot shops at every turn, every corner, but parents are desperately driving all over town searching for baby formula and children’s medications.
And overdose deaths are at shocking levels and rising and yet the Liberal response is to make it easier to get access to these deadly drugs.
And Canadians need mental health access more than ever, but this Liberal government refuses to activate the 9-8-8 emergency line. (MP Cariboo Prince George)
And this government hires thousands more public servants. In the past two years alone, the public service has grown by 31,000 full-time employees. Yet somehow, the wait times are worse than when we had fewer employees. They are spending more and getting less — the story of this Liberal/NDP government.
And Canada needs immigrants to fill labour shortages, but the immigration backlog gets longer by the day. In July 2021, the backlog was an astounding 1.5 million applications. The government promised to prioritize the problem and hire more people. The result is the backlog has increased even further and now stands at 2.15 million. Another example of paying more and getting less.
Housing prices have doubled, but the government thinks the problem is solved with a $500 housing payment.
And violent crime is up, illegal gun crime is up, drug crime is up, and the number of police officers killed on duty is going is up at an alarming level. And all this government has in response is they give their ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the family.
If I truly felt that this government’s 2023 Budget hit the mark, I would say so. I have in the past praise parts of Liberal budgets, but this budget is such a let-down for Canadians.
No plan for housing affordability. No plan for reducing crime. No plan for controlling inflation. No plan for true food security. No plan for today. No plan for tomorrow.
Canadians need a government that remains focused on the most important things. Instead, we have a Liberal/NDP government that is more concerned with photo-ops and penny payment schemes instead of dealing with the root causes.
Canadians need a government that support all businesses and encourages economic growth in every sector. In particular, our Oil & Gas Industry.
Our national debt has doubled under this Prime Minister. It is a massive debt burden that will haunt current and future generations of Canadians for decades to come. It will impact our ability to support our most precious social programs and put our critical services at risk.
Mr. Speaker, it has been a few weeks now since this Liberal/NDP government delivered their Budget. I hope that they will take the feedback of Canadians seriously. Their budget could not have been more widely denounced if they had tried. They need to know their budget is not what Canadians wanted or needed.
What Canadians want is a fiscally responsible government that respects their hard-earned tax dollars.
Canadians want a government focused on responsible, prudent spending that is within our spending capacity.
Canadians want a government that tackles inflation, instead of recklessly spending to fuel that inflation.
Canadians want a government that focuses on delivering the most basic of services it currently has, instead of creating new wasteful and ineffective programs.
Canadians want a government that doesn’t saddle future generations with crippling debt.
Canadians will get this government Mr. Speaker, … at the next election — when they elect a new Conservative government.