It has been just over six months since the federal election. Canadians voted for a change in government and as a new Member of Parliament, I went to Ottawa willing to give the Liberals an opportunity to articulate their plans for the multitude of promises they made during the election campaign.
‘Hope over fear’, ‘a Canada where better is possible’ and a pledge to be the most open and transparent government in history were repeated in Liberal stops across the country.
However, the reality of governing is proving to be far more challenging than clever soundbites for the party of ‘Sunny Ways’.
Making unrealistic promises to get elected is either naive at best or misleading at worst.
Take the federal budget, for example. The Liberals led Canadians to believe the middle-class would be better off under their tax plan and the wealthy would pay for it. But the reality is the bulk of tax relief will be funded by the middle class yet those making over $166,000, like Members of Parliament, are the ones who benefit the most.
According to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer, Budget 2016 is the least transparent budget in 15 years. The PBO confirmed the former Conservative government left the Liberals with a surplus and the new government broke its promise on running deficits and balancing the budget.
The PBO also expressed concerns that the Liberal’s climate strategy will reduce taxpayers’ income. Fighting climate change is serious business and Canadians need to be prepared to have a frank discussion about who pays for it.
Look at the promises on infrastructure. During the campaign, the current prime minister announced with fervour and fanfare his $10-billion-a-year infrastructure “investments” would “kick start the economy” and “create jobs for Canadians”.
The airwaves were bombarded with TV commercials and countless photo ops were staged showing Mr. Trudeau with seemingly every backhoe, dump truck and heavy crane from St. John’s to Victoria.
But what has been unveiled is a far cry from what the Liberals portrayed as their infrastructure plan.
During Question Period the Liberals offer no answers, no specifics on direction, they endlessly regurgitate their election talking points, take no responsibility and blame everything on the previous government; which is even exasperating the New Democratic Party.
The modus operandi of the Liberals certainly does not appear to be concerned with a legislative agenda, unless of course it is repealing laws enacted by the previous government. On that front, they are quite ambitious.
Representing Barrie-Innisfil in Ottawa is an amazing honour and privilege.
Our work in the nation’s capital is about the future and I take it very seriously.
It is not about pointing to the past to justify inaction in the present and it is not about catering to party insiders. It is about serving people and making decisions in the best interest of Canadians.
Unfortunately, from my seat in the House of Commons I see little evidence this is occurring on the other side of the aisle.