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Ottawa Journal by David Tilson MP — A year of government and opposition in review

January 4, 2017   ·   0 Comments

tilsonIt’s been more than a year since Justin Trudeau and the current Liberal government came to power.
Regretfully, 2016 proved to be an unproductive and expensive year for Prime Minister Trudeau and his government. The Prime Minister and his government failed to deliver on promises they made to Canadians and instead gave us uncontrolled spending and deficits, higher taxes and stalled job growth. On the other hand, the Conservative Official Opposition worked hard at standing up for hardworking, taxpaying Canadian families, holding the current Liberal government accountable, while also proposing good, practical ideas that are reflective of what everyday Canadians want.
Jobs, the economy and taxes are important issues for Canadians. Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government spent a great deal of time talking about helping the middle class, but there have been no new full-time jobs created since the Prime Minister was elected in October 2015, while 30,000 full-time jobs were lost. He also broke his promise to only borrow a few billion dollars to create jobs. However, we’re now $100 billion more in debt. In November 2016, Donald Trump became President-elect in the United States. Our Prime Minister must become serious about securing Canadian jobs in light of the incoming president’s intentions to implement protectionist policies and to lower taxes for American businesses.
The Prime Minister has continued to claim he reduced taxes, but in 2016 he continued to pile on new taxes to Canadian families. He is also bringing in a new carbon tax and a CPP tax hike. He already slashed tax-free savings accounts and eliminated tax credits for kids’ soccer and dance classes, as well as textbooks. Now as we begin 2017, he’s thinking about taxing health and dental plans too. It’s time he also became serious about lowering taxes, as the newly elected president begins his plan of a massive tax-cutting program in the U.S.
Electoral reform was raised by the current Liberal government in 2016. The Prime Minister enjoyed making a show of consulting on changes to the electoral system; however, changing what our vote means is a serious matter and only the people can decide in a referendum. The current government has so terribly bungled the electoral reform file that the best option is to set it aside and focus on more important issues, such as jobs and the economy.
The Prime Minister enjoyed talking about a naïve historical notion of peacekeeping in 2016, but he now needs to become serious about explaining why a dangerous mission to sub-Saharan Africa is in our national interest. Canada’s troops will be facing the prospect of casualties, as well as the challenge of dealing with terrorists and child soldiers. To date, Prime Minister Trudeau has failed to answer basic questions about where our troops will be going and why they will be deployed. It’s time for this government to give Canadians some transparency about what this mission will look like and what the risks are.
In terms of Canada-U.S. relations, Prime Minister Trudeau enjoyed state dinners and photo ops in 2016; however, when it comes to dealing with the U.S. and the incoming president, he must become serious and tackle important issues. He must encourage job creation and press for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. He must tell Canadians how he plans to defend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and protect Canadian jobs that depend on it. He must also explain how he plans to protect Canadian jobs in the forestry sector in negotiations for a new softwood lumber agreement.
The year ahead will present many challenging issues for Prime Minister Trudeau and the current Liberal government. They will need to get down to the serious business of leading Canada. The Conservative Official Opposition will remain the strong, effective, and united voice of hardworking, taxpaying Canadians in 2017, continuing to hold the current Liberal government accountable for its broken promises and uncontrolled spending. This is the type of leadership Canadians want and deserve.

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