MP Shields comments on Fiscal ‘Snapshot’

Martin Shields Cutput

Last week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the government’s Economic and Fiscal ‘Snapshot’. Morneau confirmed that the Liberals are running a deficit of $343.2 billion this year, and for the first time the net federal debt will reach over $1 trillion.

Whether the government’s efforts to combat the pandemic were reasonable is, of course, a matter of debate. My Opposition colleagues and I heard from individuals and businesses across the country that gaps needed to be fixed. Many could have been addressed without substantial cost. I think that our country would be in a much better position if the Liberals had listened to input from the Opposition throughout this crisis instead of shutting down parliament. However, regardless of where you stand on the COVID-19 response, the current fiscal situation should concern you.

Canada has the highest unemployment in the G7. We are the only G7 country to lose its AAA credit rating. And we are the only G7 country with no recovery plan. Add on an astronomical budget deficit and unprecedented national debt and it’s clear that this government has left us in an untenable position. Action must be taken to get our economy working again and to rein in spending, while still protecting Canada’s most vulnerable.

Right now, the Liberals only plan is to keep spending huge amounts of money to keep our economy on life support. Instead, we need to help get workers and local businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible. Our economic recovery will be driven by Canadians’ hard work, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

Over the past month, I’ve spoken with business owners across our riding. They are hardworking, innovative, and ready to create jobs and prosperity again. To be competitive, we need to unleash the power of the private sector. We need to give Canadians incentives to work, not punish and disincentivize productivity. Support small businesses. Get our energy sector firing on all cylinders. Support our agricultural producers and supply chain. Lower taxes, cut red tape and make Canada an attractive place to do business. One of the best things the government could do to get our economy going again is to get out of the way and let Canadians produce prosperity.

Unfortunately, the governments “Snapshot” accomplishes none of these things. Conservatives will continue to press for a real, transparent plan back to prosperity, not more deficits and debt.

As always, my Ottawa office can be reached at martin.shields@parl.gc.ca. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or martin.shields.c1@parl.gc.ca, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.