Kootenay-Columbia Conservative MP Rob Morrison thinks the federal fall economic statement is irresponsible.
Last week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the Liberals’ statement, which identified an additional $20.8 billion in spending.
Morrison says Canada’s economy isn’t strong enough to take on more debt right now.
“The only money the government has at its fingertips is what they get from taxpayers, and that’s the money they use to support different programs across Canada,” he said
“But when our economy isn’t as strong as it could be, we don’t have the tax dollars. If we don’t have the money to spend, it’s going to raise inflation and interest rates.”
The statement received backlash from multiple Conservative MPs throughout the country.
Freeland said the additional spending will be used to invest in housing initiatives and improve the health care system. However, Morrison says with the current interest rate, the additional spending ends up becoming redundant.
“Here we are spending $20 billion more to improve health care and housing, but the interest that we already pay on our debt is $60 billion a year. $60 billion is what the federal government supplies all the provinces for health care. If we didn’t have that debt, we would have another $60 billion in our pockets now to spend on health care improvements.”
On the topic of housing, Morrison says Freeland’s promise of fixing the crisis with the additional spending is a lie. He suggested the federal government focus more on removing bureaucracy that’s delaying builders’ ability to get building permits.
“We seem to be spending money, but there are no results. We’re not building homes. They say they want to, but they’re not. When it takes three years to get a building permit, that tells me bureaucracy is causing a whole bunch of problems,” he says.
“It’s increasing the time it takes to get approval. So maybe it’s time the government stepped away from trying to be businesspeople, let the businesses run their own businesses, and let the government step back and just be policy only.”
Many Canadians have responded to the statement by signing a e-petition on the House of Commons website. So far over 148,000 Canadians have signed, urging MPs to call for a vote of no confidence and push for a change in government. But Morrison says the efforts don’t matter.
“A vote of nonconfidence can only be applied in certain things. For example, in this budget, if the NDP voted against the Liberals, it would be a non-confidence vote, and they would have to go and decide if they are going to call an election. But because it’s a [minority] government with the NDP-Liberal [agreement], we will never win and get a confidence vote on the matter.”