Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trudeau Liberal government continued to call for our country to unite behind a "Team Canada" approach. I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment of working together, which is why I was so disheartened to see so many Canadians left out of the Trudeau government’s Speech from the Throne.
In the over 30 pages of text, very little was said about the fate of small business owners and their employees. What was clearly missing in the Speech from the Throne was a plan for our agriculture sector, energy producers, Canada’s manufacturing sector, and heavy industries like steel and mining. Canada’s economy was built on the backs of these essential sectors and without them, Canada will lose our global competitive edge. How can we work together as "Team Canada" when our national plan excludes so many hardworking Canadians?
The central theme of Trudeau’s Speech from the Throne was recycled campaign promises that the Liberals have repeated ad nauseam for decades. Instead of giving Canadians the economic environment and fiscal tools necessary to empower themselves, Justin Trudeau used the Speech from the Throne to re-promise old Liberal campaign commitments. This is not what is needed at this pivotal point in Canadian history. Canadians are looking for government to get out of the way, cut red tape and regulation, and empower Canada’s 20 million workers. This is the true path to prosperity and recovery for Canada.
One key element on this path to recovery is Canada’s energy sector. In 2018 Canada’s energy sector contributed over 10 percent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, created 800,000 direct and indirect jobs, and generated $17.8 billion in revenues for governments across Canada. All of this, while projects were on hold due to onerous regulations put in place by Justin Trudeau and his government.
There are numerous projects on hold right now in Canada’s energy sector that if approved by the Liberals, could be an invaluable part of Canada’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, Canada is moving in the wrong direction, with the latest example being the Come By Chance oil refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador which could close permanently and lead to 500 lost jobs. Sadly, scenarios like Come by Chance are playing out across our country.
As the MP for Regina Lewvan we could possibly see a similar situation here at home. I hear often the fears of employees at our local Evraz steel plant, and the possibility of losing 500 jobs here in Regina. The most devastating part about these possible job losses is that the Trudeau Liberals’ constant attacks on the energy and manufacturing sectors with crippling policies like the carbon tax, Bill C-48, and the new Carbon tax 2.0 are what may force Evraz to close their doors permanently.
Canadians deserve a far better plan from Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government. A plan one that utilizes proven private sector excellence and innovation to create wealth. When industries like agriculture, energy, mining, forestry, and manufacturing are firing on all cylinders, so too are restaurants, movie theatres, independent retail stores, and so much more. Empowering Canadian industry, while working with producers to achieve world-class environmental standards, is the only way to bring prosperity back to Canadian shores.
We cannot dig ourselves out of this economic hole by borrowing and printing more money. Under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, myself and my colleagues in the Conservative Party are committed to finding new areas of economic growth potential, strengthening Canada’s core industries, and demonstrating that we are a capable government in waiting with a concrete plan for Canada’s future.
Warren Steinley is a Conservative MP for Regina-Lewvan.