By Kevin Sorenson, MP
Battle River – Crowfoot
The fall 2018 session of Parliament opened on Sept. 17 and the Official Opposition immediately began to hold the Liberals to account for what we have dubbed their “summer of failure.”
Conservative MPs, as all Canadians, were counting on Justin Trudeau to use the summer break to finally get the big issues right. Instead of the refresh our country needed after such a disastrous spring, the Liberal Government failed to address the most pressing issues faced by this country.
How did they fail? Let me count the ways:
• Economy – Trudeau’s economic policies have failed to create the growth and opportunity Canada needs to compete with the world. His stubborn refusal to acknowledge Canada’s tax and regulatory disadvantages has seen billions of private investment dollars leave the country – taking jobs and opportunity with it.
• Carbon Tax – Justin Trudeau cut a special deal with big polluters to reduce their carbon tax rate while failing to provide the same relief to small businesses, families and seniors. Alberta and PEI joined Ontario and Saskatchewan in pulling out of the Liberal’s national carbon tax scheme.
• Pipelines – We begin the fall session without a plan to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. After spending $4.5 billion tax dollars to buy it, we learned Justin Trudeau has failed to get shovels in the ground because he has not provided any leadership to see this critical project succeed.
• Illegal border crossers – Justin Trudeau still has no idea how to fix the mess he created at the border. This summer, after appointing a minister in charge of border security, the Liberals still failed to come up with a plan to stop people from crossing the border illegally which is causing backlogs in processing legitimate refugees.
• Trade – The Liberals failed to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the spring session, and then ignored a request from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to recall Parliament and ratify it in the summer. Meanwhile, on NAFTA, Justine Trudeau found himself out in the cold while Mexico negotiated a new agreement and, as of time of writing this column, we still don’t have a new NAFTA deal.
In contrast, this summer during our National Conservative Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Andrew Scheer, delivered a positive and encouraging prime ministerial speech that invigorated us all. Our enthusiasm only grew as good, solid policies were put forward, debated and passed. I am excited to fight the next federal election on what I believe will be a very strong platform: a platform that clearly distinguishes us from the governing Liberals. These are just a few of the resolutions that were passed:
• Extending Canada’s pipeline network to Atlantic Canada as a means of creating Canadian jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
• Making scrapping the Liberal’s Carbon Tax job number one if elected. We believe the provinces and territories should be free to develop their own climate change policies without federal interference or federal penalties or incentives.
• Ensuring a reduction in the rural crime rate becomes a priority and passing laws that keep criminals behind bars.
• Working with provincial and territorial partners to ensure the trade of beer, wine and liquor across provincial borders is in line with the principles of free trade and that barriers to this trade are eliminated in the spirit of cooperation and efficiency.
• Creating a simplified and understandable Income Tax Act. In order to achieve comprehensive, simplified and understandable legislation for all Canadians, we support a comprehensive review of the Income Tax Act and Canada’s fiscal framework. Canada needs a tax system for the 21st century, one that reduces compliance costs and increases transparency while promoting growth, investment, entrepreneurship and job creation.
I was really proud to have a strong delegation of Conservative members from the Battle River – Crowfoot Riding Association. They joined with a great group folks from coast to coast to coast in making our convention a success. While our association members provided tremendous policy input, I would appreciate and welcome your comments on the vision the Conservative Party of Canada has for the future of this great country as we head toward Election 2019.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945 – 50 Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin.Sorenson.email@example.com.