The 43rd Parliament will forever be remembered as having changed the course of history for our country. The permanent changes to our freedoms and finances began in 2015 and were just a warm-up act for what the Liberals have done to Canada since their re-election in 2019.
In the past year, we've seen the unprecedented erosion of our freedom of speech with Bill C-10. This bill would have given the government broad powers to regulate our use of the internet, social media, YouTube, and Facebook. Supported by both the NDP and Bloc, it left the door open for massive government control and the slow but steady removal of the rights and liberties of Canadians. It currently is stalled in the Senate.
In the dying hours before summer recess the Liberals introduced Bill C-36. While they had six years to combat hate speech, crimes and propaganda their incompetence left them introducing a flawed bill at the last possible minute. Their intention clearly was political posturing ahead of the election, not rooting out hate speech. They believe that it is enough to authorize the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to adjudicate complaints and order remedies. Tackling hate speech is too important to be left to the human rights tribunals. Those who promote violence need to be criminally prosecuted.
Economically, the Liberals budget plan will do serious and lasting damage to our nation's finances. They have already added more to our national debt than all the previous Canadian Prime Ministers combined. Their "stimulus fund" made no mention of ever returning to a balanced budget, and in the end was nothing more than a Liberal slush fund to be spent on partisan priorities.
The Liberals have done nothing to secure the long-term prosperity of Canadians, in fact anyone born on Budget day 2021 already owes $28,000 towards our national debt. Canadians need to know that by the time these children turn 5 in 2026, their share of the national debt will be $35,000, not a very nice present from Trudeau's Liberals. The Parliamentary Budget Officer just released a report at the end of July that stated, if we stay on this financial course the budget will not be balanced till 2070—that's 50 years!
The Liberals have shown the world that it is okay to openly disrespect our Canadian oil and gas sector. Their anti-oil and gas crusades have had real-world consequences. The proof was the cancelling of Keystone XL, energy east, Pacific Northwest, northern gateway, Aurora LNG, Grassy Point LNG and Saguenay LNG. The Liberals' "reimagined" agenda has set the course for the next oil and gas project in its crosshairs—Line 5, a pipeline that brings oil from the west to the east and allows millions of Ontarians to heat their homes. Only time will tell if we will be able to keep it running.
As the pandemic dragged on from month to month, information was revealed that there was a transfer of dangerous viruses from the Level 4 Winnipeg National Microbiology Laboratory to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the subsequent firing of two of our government scientists. When the Liberals were ordered to release documents pertaining to the violation, they defied four direct orders from Parliament to produce those documents.
The Conservatives were forced to use a law that hadn't been applied in Parliament in over 100 years. A motion finding the Public Health Agency of Canada in contempt of Parliament and summon a high-ranking civil servant to appear before the bar in the House of Commons to be reprimanded by the Speaker and to produce the required documents. The lengths the Liberals went to cover-up a possible national security breach was unprecedented and should be worrisome to every Canadian. Now the Liberals have taken the Speaker to court to have those documents sealed so Canadians will never know the truth, imagine a Liberal Government suing a Liberal speaker.
This is just a small taste of how this Parliament functioned. If I were to include all of the deception and breaches of ethics it would be a book with chapters illustrating the following: Almost all Liberal MPs used taxpayers' dollars to subsidize the political operations of the Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau's childhood friend. The motion to censure the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister's attitude that eliminating sexual misconduct in our military is not his problem. (The Department of National Defence actually reported that if they could get sexual misconduct incidents down to 12 percent they would be satisfied).
The vetting and selection of judges was based on a Liberal database. 177 hours wasted in numerous committees by the Liberals filibustering the topic of the day. Prorogation to avoid an investigation in to the WE scandal and the speaking fees for Justin Trudeau's family. The shocking revelations at the unsafe quarantine facilities. Air Canada paying $10 million in bonuses and stock awards to its highest earners while the company was negotiating a bailout package with the federal government.
While the halls of Parliament were rife with scandals, corruption and cover-ups, folks across the country have been hanging on by their fingernails waiting for the end of the pandemic. My Conservative colleagues and I realize that not only do we need to continue exposing the corruption, but we must bring ethics and accountability back to Ottawa. Canadians and our country deserve better.
Warren Steinley is a Conservative MP for Regina-Lewvan.