2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for Canadians from all walks of life. CFIB predicts up to 225,000 Canadian businesses could close forever due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Family members have been lost, jobs remain scarce, and we find ourselves in the middle of a deeply unstable global political climate. Surprisingly, this Liberal government decided that now, during the second wave of a pandemic, is the right time increase taxes and make Canadians pay more.
Yet, instead of giving employers room to breathe, walking back his planned Carbon tax increases, or even merely postponing the Fuel Standard, Trudeau's Liberals have been sprinting in the complete opposite direction. In December of last year, the Liberals announced that they would triple the Carbon Tax. This increase will mean that Canadians will pay more for groceries, home heating and add up to 37.57 cents per litre to the cost of gas. The Liberals are also introducing a new Fuel Standard, which will make gas, groceries, and home heating more expensive, despite too many Canadians still being out of work. Even the Atlantic Canadian provincial Liberals are raising concerns about this Fuel Standard.
Justin Trudeau also introduced new taxes on workers, businesses, and everyday Canadians. The Liberals are moving forward with an increase in payroll taxes, and their alcohol tax. This means that Canadians will see less take-home pay and more costs.
We can no longer continue with this completely unsustainable "credit card" economy. Currently, the Liberal government has reached a record level of deficit spending, largely financed by the Bank of Canada. This is not sustainable. We need long term growth that paves the way towards prosperity through a focus on producing the goods and services the world needs. The failure of the Trudeau Liberals to see this will mean that Canadians will be worse off on the other side of this pandemic.
The Liberal's pandemic tax increases aren't the policies of people who are genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of hard working Canadians. These are the policies of out-of-touch Liberal elitists who fail to see the damage they are causing to workers and businesses. That is why my colleagues and I fought hard in the House of Commons to delay these punishing tax increases. Shamefully, the Liberals voted against our motion and for tax increases.
Conservatives are here to offer practical solutions that deliver sustainable prosperity, coupled with a realistic plan to tackle emissions that doesn't rely on punitive taxes and energy austerity. Canada is in desperate need of a change in Ottawa, and under the leadership of Erin O'Toole, I am confident we will present a feasible, sustainable, and inclusive COVID-19 recovery plan that puts hard working Canadians first and unleashes Canada's economic potential.
Warren Steinley is a Conservative MP for Regina-Lewvan.