October 31, 2016

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-10-31 13:37 [p.6326]

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to share my time this afternoon with the member for Richmond—Arthabaska.
It gives me great pleasure to speak to bill C-29, the budget implementation act. Seven months after tabling the budget, Canadians are beginning to recognize the consequences, and the picture is not pretty. Being as it is Halloween, it is appropriate that we refer to the budget as downright scary. It is like a vampire sucking the blood out of most Canadians. The Liberals love spinning the budget into a huge spiderweb to catch people. Small businesses are upset, thinking it is Frankenstein who has come back from the dead.
Even with the low Canadian dollar, the Liberals have generated 20,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in our country. I thought for a moment it was Houdini, because these jobs just vanished. My province of Saskatchewan has lost 4,000 jobs in August over the same period from last year. The trend continued in September with 6,000 fewer people working during the same period as the year before. We have 42,000 unemployed in Saskatchewan currently.
Doug Elliott, the publisher of Sask Trends Monitor, says that going back to 1986 this is the highest number of unemployment in the month of August. Saskatchewan could very well see its first year of negative job growth since the year 2001, and that is scary. We have not seen unemployment levels like this in over two decades. Small business owners do not want the trick or treat, they want an opportunity. They know how best to grow the economy. The Liberals promised a reduction in their tax from 11% to 9%, and we have yet to see that.
Then we have Dracula with his fangs out ready to suck more out of the economy with the proposed carbon tax. This dark cloud hanging over this haunted house will not help with job creation in our country. It is hard to suck blood out of a stone, but the Liberal government seems determined to try. The carbon tax was never mentioned a year ago during the election, and now we know it always was behind one of its trap doors.
To quote Marilyn Braun-Pollon of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the state of business health in our country has deteriorated. Hiring plans remain very weak, with only 10% of business owners looking to hire full time, while at the same time 17% are foreseeing layoffs. This is deeply concerning as we head into the holiday season where generally more opportunity exists, mainly though for part-time employment. Retail spending is effectively flat in our province this year, a broad category that includes everything from automobiles, to clothing, to furniture and food. When we adjust for inflation, that means the total sales volumes in the province have declined by more than 2% over last year at this time.
Even thefinance minister was quoted as saying that Canadians should get used to the so-called job churn. No wonder our youth were upset last week at the Prime Minister during a briefing. Our youth right now are experiencing record unemployment, and it is not what was promised to these millennials by the Liberals a year ago. It was all about sunny ways. Now we find out the clouds have rolled in and the government has no answers.
The full moon though has returned. The Liberals have gone back to their old ways of pay to play. Have they not heard from their previous skeletons in the closet? There are more ghosts and goblins as the Bank of Canada has determined more bad news for this economy, downgrading the country’s growth outlook yet once again.
Ted Mallett, who is the CFIB’s chief economist, says that employment is a big area of concern. While employment plans tend to experience, as we all know, seasonal fluctuation, this October’s downward turn was sharper than we have ever seen it in the past. Investment plans have also dropped to a post-recession low.
Nearly 50% of Saskatchewan’s small businesses plan to freeze or even cut salaries. We have not factored in the cost of a CPP increase or the much talked about carbon tax. This is more evidence that now is not the time for this carbon tax. I guess it is like CETA. The Liberals played a disappearing act and now they want to be Casper the Friendly Ghost, but I want to remind the House that it was the Conservative government that did all of the heavy lifting for this CETA agreement.
While the Liberals promised a modest deficit of $10 billion to stimulate the economy, it looks like they were dead wrong. They continue to throw more deficit dollars at this problem. Let us remember that a year ago, the Liberals promised they could simply spend their way into prosperity. By most measures, I would say Canadian families are worse off than they were a year ago. Good jobs are in short supply and the vast majority of these new jobs created under the current government are really part time, which explains why weekly earnings for the average worker in this country are lower.
On the weekend, I was home in my riding of Saskatoon—Grasswood and had an opportunity to talk to several young people. Many said they had two and three part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Saskatchewan people, as many know, have always had a work ethic, but there comes a time when they see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Instead of growing the middle class, the government is breaking the middle class. Just last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that our Conservative budget would have resulted in a $2.9 billion surplus for the year 2015-16, but we all know that a surplus is not in the Liberals’ vocabulary. They continue to run massive debts. Where it will stop, no one knows. When will this circus stop?
The child care benefit will not be indexed until the year 2020. The PBO has estimated that indexing, in fact enriching, the CCB would cost over $42 million over the next five years. Where, then, will the Liberals get this money? This program would cost more than double the original amount budgeted if indexed over this five-year period.
The current government reminds me of the show a way back called The Munsters. It was televised back then in black and white. I ask the current government to step out of the dark ages and realize it is spending our children’s and grandchildren’s money, with no hope of ever balancing the budget.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-10-31 13:46 [p.6327]

Madam Speaker, it is interesting that Liberals talk about nine out of every 10 Canadians benefiting. However, I should mention, because I am a former sportscaster in my city, that they eliminated the sports tax rebate and arts tax rebate. The middle class was what the previous government believed in. Families cherished those two programs, in particular. It provided a chance for kids to get off the couch and participate. Those are two programs that sorely need to be reinstated in this country right now.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-10-31 13:48 [p.6327]

Madam Speaker, yes, our province was the driving engine of this country for years, and now we are not. We are hurting, along with Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. We have seen commodity prices go down, but at the same time, the government wants to impose a carbon tax. Would our previous government in 2008 have imposed a tax against the auto manufacturers of Ontario? No, we did the right thing back then. We propped them up, because we knew the economy of Ontario was in serious trouble back in 2008 and 2009.
Here we are with a government that wants to impose a carbon tax against our province and the rest of Canada at a time when Canadians, and my province of Saskatchewan, simply cannot afford it.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-10-31 13:49 [p.6327]

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Saskatoon West. In her former job as director of United Way in our city, she did a lot of work helping our community for years and years.
She knows, as well as everyone in our city, that we have a poverty issue with children in our city and in our province right now. The food banks are used more than ever before. However, with a strong economy we can hope that this poverty issue can get dealt with in our province.

Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
2016-10-31 14:09 [p.6331]

Mr. Speaker, green is the colour and football is the game.
It was a glorious sendoff for Taylor Field on the weekend in Regina. Rider nation said goodbye to their home as they prepare to move over to the new Mosaic Stadium.
Taylor Field has played host to 611 professional CFL games and three Grey Cups: 1995, 2003, and the much celebrated 2013 classic, when the Roughriders hosted Hamilton. Many called this the greatest game in Roughrider history.
Fans came this weekend from all over the world to witness the closing of this iconic site. A 30-minute tribute to the stadium had many in tears after the game. The final tribute was when Rider greats George Reed, Roger Aldag, Gene Makowsky, and Darian Durant passed the Grey Cup to each other, signalling the team’s four championships.
Goodbye, Taylor Field, and thanks for all the memories.

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=8558603