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  • Writer's pictureLeah Taylor Roy

Affordability - a major issue!

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to represent my constituents, because

cost of living, affordability, is a major issue for many of them.

I hesitate to say that it is an honour to rise to speak to this motion. I

want to start by saying that I find the opposition day motions put forward

by the official opposition are, for the most part, very repetitive. They do

not add to the debate. They do not add to trying to solve these problems for

Canadians. Rather they seem to be yet another platform for Conservatives to

repeat the gimmicky phrases they have come up with, the cute little phrases.

They really do not seem to be addressing the issues. In fact, when I look at

this opposition day motion that addresses the affordability crisis, what the

Conservatives put forward as a solution is really not a solution at all.

What they say to all those listening, those people who are struggling with

the cost of living right now, is to ask for a pathway back to balanced

budgets. If anybody thinks that is going to help Canadians who are

struggling today, then they are sorely mistaken. People are struggling today

in my riding.

On this side of the House, we are working to put forward real programs,

many of which my colleague before me has discussed. These motions simply

serve to put Canadians down, to insult their intelligence, by putting

forward half-truths and hoping that by repeating the same phrases over and

over again, as is often done in question period, somehow this misinformation

will convince Canadians that these are facts and not simply half-baked

truths and beliefs, and political speech that is meant to hurt our country

by making people feel badly about Canada itself.

I find the negativity and the lack of true concern about coming up with real

solutions for Canadians to be disheartening. I find it a waste of time. For

a party that presumably puts a lot of emphasis on using scarce resources

wisely, I find the time in question period and in opposition day motions is

really an insult to this place and to Canadians. That is why I did not say

it was an honour to rise to speak to this motion.

Since I have risen to speak to this motion, I would like to address a few

things. We all agree that there are major challenges facing Canadians. Most

of the motion put forward referred to these challenges. Where we really

differ is when it comes to what the cause of that is and what should be done

about it.

The Conservatives like to say, constantly, that the reason we have inflation

in Canada is because of our deficits and because we are tackling climate

change. However, common-sense Canadians can look around the world and see

that inflation is not just a problem in Canada, it is a worldwide problem.

In fact, there are many countries that do not have a price on pollution but

have been suffering from inflation.

We can also look at the fact that inflation was 8.1% a year ago, and it is

now 4%. It has come down drastically. Yet, in that same time period, the

price on pollution did not change. If their explanation for why inflation is

happening is due to the price on pollution or the carbon tax, they need to

look at the numbers. I have mentioned it before, but there seems to be a

mistaken belief on that side of the House that, because something happens

during the same period of time as something else, it is somehow attributable

to that. Anyone who took introductory statistics understands the difference

between correlation and causality, and because something occurs over a

period of time, it does not mean it is caused by that.

I wish the messaging would stop being so simplistic and based on polling of

what slogan resonates with Canadians or gets them angry, and rather would

try to address the real facts here. Inflation across Canada and the world

has been caused by many things, and we all know that.

It has been caused by the climate crisis, it has been caused by the illegal

invasion of Ukraine by Russia and it has been caused by the post-COVID

economy. In fact, many economists say that this is a different kind of

inflation because a lot of it is from the supply side as opposed to the

demand side. Of course, as I am sure everyone knows, the inflationary

government spending, if we want to call it that, contributes to the demand

side, not the supply side. Therefore, much of this inflation has been caused

by the contraction of supply as opposed to an increase in demand.

Having hopefully corrected some of that, I also want to talk about the price

on pollution. We know on this side of the House that we must battle climate

change and that many of the inflationary pressures, the cost increases we

are seeing today, have been driven by the climate crisis. I think it was

only two weeks ago that many opposition members were quoting the price of

lettuce, carrots and onions. The increase in those prices has been mainly

driven by droughts in California. Romaine lettuce is mostly grown there. We

can look at what experts are saying and they will tell us that this is why

prices have gone up as much as they have.

Tiff Macklem, whom the opposition likes to quote when blaming inflation on

government spending, has said that the price on pollution is responsible for

about a 0.15% increase in inflation. We are talking about inflation that has

gone up by 6% or 7% and has come back down to 4%, but experts and economists

would tell us that very little of that has been caused by the price on

pollution. These same experts and many others would say that our price on

pollution is one of the most effective and efficient ways to battle

greenhouse gas emissions. Given that we have a climate action incentive

rebate, most Canadians get back more than they pay, so when we talk about

affordability, households are better off with this program.

If an opposition day motion were to put forward some realistic programs,

some plans that could contribute to tackling these problems and helping us

improve the programs we have in place, it would be welcome. However, to hear

the same rhetoric over and over again is tiresome, insulting and, quite

frankly, a waste of time. The Conservatives should contribute to the

programs we have in place or give us some ideas. We have, in fact, already

incorporated a few ideas that have been put forward. We welcomed them. We

want to better things for Canadians. We are fighting for Canadians every

day, and we encourage the Conservatives to join us in doing the same.

1 則留言

Chris Bennett
Chris Bennett

Where to begin?

First you say it's an honour to rise to represent your constituents, then you say you hesitate to say it's an honour to rise to speak to this motion, then you say, and I quote, "That is why I did not say it was an honour to rise to speak to this motion." Yes, Leah, you did. I'm reading this from your website. I know you're trying to display theatrics in the House, but I prefer clarity and honesty.

Next, you say that inflation will not be helped by balancing the budget, implying that what is needed is yet more of the deficit spending that has been the hallmark of your government. May I remind you of…

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