Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says the federal Liberal government has run up a historic deficit during the COVID-19 pandemic, and still left millions of Canadians behind.
Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the government’s Fall Economic Statement this week, announcing a deficit of $400 billion.
Strahl was unimpressed.
“What we needed was a plan to get Canada back on track, but we didn’t get that in this economic statement,” he noted. “The Canadian economy was already showing serious signs of weakness before this pandemic hit. Ignoring our warnings, the Liberals took pride in running large structural deficits and raising taxes in good economic times.
Strahl noted that this is the longest time in Canadian history without a full federal budget, and suggested the Liberals have dragged their feet coming up with a plan to help citizens and businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
“The Trudeau Liberals have wasted precious time between the first and second waves of this pandemic. They lack a plan at the most critical time in recent Canadian history,” Strahl said. “Canada’s unemployment rate is higher than the G7, OECD, and European Union averages.
“Conservatives want to see an economic plan that is focused on worker-led economic recovery and growth; not a plan that just redistributes a record amount of borrowed money. Canadians are counting on us to help lead our nation out of this crisis, rebuild Canada, and help workers get ahead.”
Strahl saved his harshest criticism for the government’s vaccine rollout plans.
“While many of our peer countries are talking about offering mass COVID-19 vaccinations for their citizens in January, our government is talking about Canadians not having access to vaccines until September at the earliest,” Strahl said. “The Minister of Health (Patty Hajdu) talks a great deal about caring for Canadians, but there is only one way to describe how we got into this situation: incompetence.”
In a wide-ranging critique, Strahl also took the government to task for applying a sales tax to online streaming services like Netflix, Crave and Disney Plus and increasing taxes on package delivery service.
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