The Budget

Mr. Speaker, having served in Winnipeg, and knowing the tremendous history of aviation and of the jobs in that province, it is not something to heckle about. Rather, it is something to support. I believe the F-35 the member references is being cancelled. However, that decade of darkness, is the sequel of the F-35 replacing the old Sea King that Jean Chrétien cancelled, which I flew on and which put lives at risk. That ill-timed decision to cancel cost $500 million in penalties, and we still needed a new helicopter. Those are the types of decisions that the $3.7 billion cut to new equipment will mean for our men and women.

There is also a cut between the estimates of 2015-16 and the next main estimates of $400 million in operational spending. That means the Canadian Armed Forces will go through the exact same thing as it did when the Liberal government came in under Prime Minister Chrétien. Then there was a defence white paper of 1994. We now have a defence review. It was the same sort of window dressing to cut and slash.

With respect to old age security, rolling back the modest reforms to ensure this program, which is not a pension but a program financed by the government, addresses demographic change is the best example of no plan at all. Our allies have made similar reforms, as have most of the countries in Europe. In the U.K. it is age 67, In Australia it is age 70. This is a responsible and sensible, evidence-based decision.

David Dodge, the former governor of the Bank of Canada who was quoted today, called this move in the government’s budget “a backwards step.”

In a book called, The Real Retirement, it states, “Canada will not have enough workers in the years ahead, and various incentives, government policies, and employment practices to encourage early retirement will make little sense.” Who wrote that? The finance minister. He is not even following his own advice.

Governing is hard. It is about making decisions in the long term. It is ensuring there are job opportunities for everyone in Canada, for all families. It is about not burdening our children with debts piled up with overspending. We have seen that in Ontario with the McGuinty and Wynne governments. The federal Liberal government needs to recognize this and change its course before subsequent budgets put us on the economic shoals and put our future at risk.

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