Cheques to Millionaires: Liberal talking points come back to haunt them
There has been a frequent refrain from the Trudeau Liberals over the last few years. “The Conservatives have been sending cheques to millionaires” through universal child care payments, a policy passed under Stephen Harper. By my count, the Liberals have invoked the phrase over 150 times in the House of Commons since the 2015 election, trying to convince Canadians that they are the party of the middle class. Yet, six years of Liberal governance show just how they have failed to live up to their self-prescribed label, favouring the rich elite over the everyday Canadian family.
Last March, the federal government mailed out $300 tax free top-ups to the Canada Child Benefit to “help middle class families deal with the circumstances of the pandemic”. What they do not want you to know is that the Liberals changed the Income Tax Act to increase the income eligibility from $195,460 to $307,960. What does the top 1% in Canada earn? Above $225,409. What a coincidence that the salaries of many of the Liberal cabinet ministers fall into this range. Heck, Minister Karina Gould is eligible for the program!
How many cheques to millionaires went out under this tax rule change? Well, we looked into it and found that over 265,000 wealthy Canadians received the $300 top-up, for a total of $88 million. TAX FREE! Compare that to the $17 million the government offered Edmonton for supportive housing. Is it becoming clear?
This disingenuousness from the Trudeau Liberals is not surprising. The Prime Minister is the first Canadian leader to be investigated for violations of federal ethics laws, not once, not twice, but three times, all having to do with connections to the rich and powerful. In two out of those three investigations, Justin Trudeau has been found guilty with no repercussions. On the third occasion, his Finance Minister Bill Morneau stepped down due to his close connections with the WE Charity and his role in nearly handing them a $900 million program that had paid his family, along with the Prime Minister’s wife, mother and brother, hundreds of thousands of dollars. On many occasions, they have chosen to back large corporations over small business and everyday Canadians. Justin Trudeau fought harder for the ethically challenged SNC Lavalin than he did for everyday Albertans and our vital energy sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted this. Bloomberg reported that the highest earning families in Canada were the “biggest beneficiaries” of the government’s pandemic programs. In their report, the top 20% of income earners earned an average of $6,278 from emergency COVID-19 programs, while the lowest earning households received an average of $4,097. The bottom 20% of earners received only 14% of the billions the government had set aside for COVID-19 related benefit programs. If you think this is bad, the $100 billion Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy was far worse. Some of the biggest corporations operating in Canada, such as Rogers, Bell, Lululemon, Couche-Tard, and more, all received government subsidies through the CEWS, despite reporting billions in profits in 2020. The Royal Ottawa Golf Club received so much in subsidies from the Liberals, they were able to bank an eye watering $1m surplus, 19 times more than what they had the year prior. But wait, if you as a diligent citizen were to submit an Access to Information request to retrieve these records and figure out just where the $100 billion went, you would receive nothing. The government is hiding this information from you while giving money to their friends.
This is the party of workers and the middle class? Give me a break. There is a common saying: when people show you who they are, believe them. The Liberals have shown us plenty.
MP Tom Kmiec’s new private member’s bill
Losing a child is truly one of the most difficult things any person can go through. My colleague Tom Kmiec recently tabled Bill C-307, an act to expand bereavement leave from 5 days to 8 weeks for parents who have experienced a stillbirth, the death of a child under the age of 18, or the death of a disabled child in the parent’s care. Under the current system in the Canada Labour Code, parents are only entitled to three days of paid and two days of unpaid leave. This is not fair or sympathetic for parents. I am proud to support this bill that will give bereaved parents the time they deserve to cope with the loss of a child. Watch him speak about the bill here.
Latest from Ottawa
Watch as I question federal bureaucrats on Liberal’s $150m “urgent” purchase of “Mobile Health Units” to aid provinces with the pandemic, none of which have even been delivered. It doesn’t matter that no province or health agency asked for these unit, not when there’s an opportunity to gift taxpayers money to…you guessed it…SNC-Lavalin. (link)
The Trudeau Liberals and the NDP combined to vote down Bill C-262 proposed by my colleague MP Greg McLean, which aimed to enable tax treatment for carbon capture, utilization, and storage to allow our oil and gas industry to compete internationally. This would have increased opportunities for Albertans and spurred economic growth. I was proud to support the bill and will support it again if reintroduced in a future Parliament.
MP Jamie Schmale rose in the House calling upon the government to take meaningful action towards reconciliation after the saddening discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia (link)
MP Brad Vis moved a motion in the House to debate Canada’s housing crisis and calling upon the government to take steps to make housing more affordable. (link)
MP Garnett Genuis questions the government on whether Canadian labs are still cooperating with the Chinese military. Liberals won’t answer. (link)
Huge victory for free speech! Speaker Anthony Rota responded on a point of order from my colleague Blake Richards that challenged the secret amendments to Bill C-10. He ruled that almost all of the amendments passed in the Heritage Committee were to be voided, saying the Committee exceeded its authority. Take a listen. (link)
The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation uncovered the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. It is a tragic occurrence and speaks to the need for greater advances in reconciliation with First Nations in Canada. (link)
The federal government finally announced that travel quarantine rules are set to ease for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents, weeks after Conservative Health Critic MP Michelle Rempel Garner and the Conservatives have been pressing the government to adopt common-sense measures on the border. (link)
A majority of the House of Commons voted to formally censure Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan for his failure in his current role, particularly over the handling of sexual misconduct allegations and the fight against ISIS in the Middle East (link)
The Canadian economy lost 68,000 jobs in May as COVID-19 lockdowns continued in many parts of the country. (link)
The Alberta government under the direction of Premier Jason Kenney is introducing a motion for a proposed equalization referendum. This is planned to highlight to those in Ottawa that Alberta deserves respect and recognition in Confederation (link)
Keystone XL is officially dead with no help from the Liberal government’s anti-energy policies. TC Energy made the announcement after U.S President Biden axed a cross-border permit. (link)
In recognition of Alberta’s Annual Seniors Week, I took the early flight home from Ottawa last week to help out at the Westend Seniors Activity Center. I joined with other volunteers in collecting donations for the food bank and helping with a mobile shredder so constituents could safely dispose of personal documents without worry of identity theft. Thank you to Haidong Liang and his team for hosting!
In your service,
Member of Parliament, Edmonton West