2018: A Year in Review
[:en]Another year has come and gone in Canada’s Parliament. 2018 marked another year of Liberal failures both at home and abroad.
In January, we celebrated the start of a new year but it was still the same old Justin Trudeau. The PM embarked on a cross Canada town hall tour to try to repair some of the damage done by recent scandals. It was in Edmonton that Trudeau told a seriously wounded veteran that he and his fellow veterans were asking for too much in the way of compensation—this after he gave convicted terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr $10.5 million. This comment (among others) sparked outrage across the country. The year also began with our Conservative caucus standing up for Canadians against Justin Trudeau’s discriminatory Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) attestation. This attestation forced a values test upon applicants, requiring them to agree with Liberal party dogma to receive funds. Despite an outcry from across the country—and across the political spectrum—the Liberals arrogantly refused to remove their values test.
In February, the Liberals tabled another deficit budget. 90% of Canadian families are already paying higher taxes under the Liberals, and there are more new taxes on the way. While it remains unclear just how much the Liberal Carbon Tax will end up costing Canadians, economists estimate that the average Canadian family will pay between $1,100 and $2,500 more in taxes per year. The main reason for taking additional money out of the pockets of hardworking Canadians is to pay for Justin Trudeau’s out of control spending. Government spending has increased by 20% under the Liberals but only 2% of this additional spending has gone into genuine infrastructure projects that would help grow Canada’s economy or create jobs. With a projected deficit of over $20 billion, Canada is expected to be in the red until at least the year 2040 – this despite the increase in tax revenue. The Liberals have no plan to return the country’s finances to balance. They obviously still believe the Prime Ministers naïve economic plan that “budgets balance themselves”. In many ways this budget typified the Liberal Party: it raised taxes, ignored agriculture and rural infrastructure but mentioned gender 358 times.
In March, the Prime Minister traveled to India where he danced and dressed like a character out of Bollywood. There was little to laugh about, however, when it became known that the Liberals had invited convicted attempted murderer, Jaspal Atwal, to numerous functions—a serious insult to their hosts and a major security gaffe. This—like his equally embarrassing China trip—culminated in another snub and another failure to secure a trade deal with one of the world’s largest economies. This trip was followed by a wide array of dizzyingly differing stories as to exactly what had happened and who was to blame—though needless-to-say the Prime Minister did not feel any of the responsibly for the gaffe riddled trip should be shouldered by him. March also saw the Liberals table Bill C-71: A firearms bill that unfairly target hunters, farmers and northern Canadians. C-71 is nothing but a backdoor attempt to bring back the Long Gun Registry and does nothing to combat crime or gun violence. It was also in March that the Liberals tabled Bill C-75. Bill C-75 seeks to reduce the penalties for serious crimes such as terrorist offences, human trafficking, drunk driving, infanticide and being part of a criminal organization from jail time to merely a simple fine.
In April, Mr. Trudeau found himself under fire for his Government’s inability to get the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline project moving.
In May, Kinder Morgan threatened to pull the plug on the Trans-mountain pipeline if the Trudeau Government couldn’t assure the security of the project. The Liberals assured Kinder Morgan and Canadians that the pipeline would be built. What they failed to tell Canadians was that they would use $4.5 billion of your tax dollars to buy it.
In June it came to light that the Liberals, after refusing federal money to faith groups who wanted to do charitable work, used Canada Summer Jobs grants to fund pipeline protesters in BC and radical extremists in Toronto. Mr. Trudeau also managed to get us involved in a trade war with our closest friend and ally, the United States. One positive in June was a huge byelection upset that saw a Conservative, Richard Martel, win in the Quebec riding of Chicoutimi-Le Fjord.
In July it came to light that our “feminist” Prime Minister had allegedly groped a female reporter. His excuses included “I’m sorry, if I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward,” and “men and women experience things differently.” This double standard is hypocritical, shameful and all too typically Trudeau.
In August the Liberals sat on the sidelines as the United States and Mexico worked to renegotiate NAFTA. The problem we are left with is that this new agreement (USMCA) is actually less beneficial to Canada than NAFTA. In this new agreement, Justin Trudeau backed down on supply management, giving Donald Trump exactly what he wanted: More market share for American exporters and less business for Canadians. Justin Trudeau also backed down on automotives, again giving Donald Trump exactly what he wanted: limits on how many cars Canada can export to the United States which all but precludes expansion of our Canadian auto industry. He also backed down on pharmaceuticals which means higher prices and bigger profits for American drug companies. These companies will now be able to sell pharmaceuticals in Canada for 10 years (2 extra years) before facing generic competition. For all of these concessions to Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau was unable to win anything significant in return. Buy American provisions remain, shutting out Canadian companies from bidding on American government contracts. Tariffs remain on steel, aluminum, and softwood lumber – with no timeline or plan for lifting them. Why were these issues not addressed in our trade negotiations? And perhaps what is most concerning for the long term is that Justin Trudeau has agreed that any other trade deals our country considers embarking on with other countries will now be vetted by the United States. Think about the implications of that for a moment. Agreeing to give up some of our sovereignty to the United States, under President Donald Trump or any other President, must have crossed his mind as being a bad idea. Yet here we are. Conservatives on the other hand, have a strong record of defending Canada’s interests in trade agreements including NAFTA, CETA, and the TPP. We successfully negotiated dozens of trade deals from a proactive position.
September was full of wonderful news. After tireless lobbying, three new cell towers in Provencher were announced by Bell MTS: Woodridge, Zhoda and Stuartburn. As we returned to Ottawa after the summer break and a very successful Conservative convention in Halifax, we were also pleased to welcome Liberal MP, Leona Alleslev into our Conservative caucus as she crossed the floor.
In October we learned that the Liberals were snooping into the private banking information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. Financial institutions were aware of the snooping but were ordered by the Liberal Government not to tell their clients. Rather than apologize, Justin Trudeau defended this action. It was also in October that marijuana became legal in Canada. This despite the outcry from police, healthcare professionals and Provincial and Municipal Governments that the federal government hadn’t done their due diligence.
In November I spent a lot of time dealing with the Liberal Government’s proposed changes to border hours at the Tolstoi, South Junction and Piney crossings. I spoke with the Public Safety Minister several times and attended the public meetings held in Piney and Tolstoi. Together with local provincial and municipal officials and hundreds of residents along the border, we were able to put enough pressure on the government and they quickly reversed their decision. The border crossings will remain open!
In December, Parliament rose for the last time in historic Centre Block—though not before the Liberals forced through many pieces of legislation including new fuel standard regulations that will act as a tax on top of a tax with their new carbon pricing scheme. December saw another Conservative bi-election win in Ontario. Unfortunately, it also saw the Liberals sign Canada onto the UN Migration Compact, which could have serious implications for Canada’s sovereignty and future immigration policy—this as tens of thousands of illegal migrants continue to pour across our border. Rather than working to solve this issue, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals simply resorted to name-calling, accusing anyone who disagreed with their open borders policy as “racist” and “un-Canadian.” December did however provide us with some good news as the Liberals finally backtracked on their values test attestation for the Canada Summer Jobs program.
It was quite a year, but Canada cannot afford another one like it. Or worse, another four years of mismanagement by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. In 2019, Conservatives will be offering Canadians a principled, common sense, responsible alternative to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
For more information on this or any issue please feel free to contact my office toll free at 1-866-333-1933 or at 204-326-9889. Visit me on Facebook at: Facebook.com/TedFalkMP. You may also write my office at 76 PTH 12N, Steinbach MB, R5G 1T4 or visit my website at www.tedfalk.ca.[:]