THE BLOG

Bring The House Back Early And Give Canada Answers

01/14/2016 03:38 EST | Updated 01/14/2017 05:12 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Centre Block and Peace Tower of Parliament stand on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, said the central bank is modifying the format of its quarterly monetary policy reports to explicitly capture uncertainty in its outlook. Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

How many times did we hear the media complain that the Conservatives used talk points all the time, often reading them from prepared scripts? Quite frankly we all know that it was done so that a minister could duck hard questions whether in question period or on the road.

We are now starting to see the Liberals doing the same thing. When asked about the need to get our downward spiraling economy moving, Trudeau's stock answer was, "We are going to do this right. We are going to do this responsibly."

Isn't that a profound answer to a serious question? The only thing lacking was a piece of paper while he read the answer. For the party that promised to do things differently, it is much of the same.

So far we haven't seen anything concrete from the government to address the sinking dollar or any announcement on immediate steps they plan to take to get the economy moving. Where are the opposition parties on this? It might still be a break week for them, but isn't it about time they got in on the action here?

How about asking the prime minister to take a break from posing for selfies and bring the House back next week (a week early) to address this issue?

If brought back Monday of next week, the finance committee can be put in place and start consultations now, not weeks later. Instead, the Conservatives are asking the government to release a report on a Saudi arms deal that the Liberals have already said they would not cancel.

Bringing the House back early would provide an opportunity for both the finance minister and the prime minister to be held accountable in the House. Let them explain what steps they will take or have already taken, when they will take them, etc.

"What matters to Canadians is putting food on the table, not platitudes or talk points designed to avoid answering a question."

Remember, this is the government that promised Canadians that if elected they would be open and accountable. So, bring the House back early and answer some hard questions.

Our sinking economy is hurting Canadians. There was a lot of ballyhoo about how Trudeau was helping middle class Canadians. Well, I have news for him -- while he takes selfies, the middle class as well as lower-income earners are taking a hammering with the low Canadian dollar and stagnating economy.

Every day that we go to the grocery store, our basic basket of goods is costing us a lot more. If you want to eat healthy and have the required servings of fruits and vegetables, any tax break that Trudeau gave us was spent weeks ago.

In their December 2015 paper "Behind the Numbers," the Centre for Policy Alternatives put the average saving from Trudeau's tax cuts for lower-middle class families at $35 to $55, and for upper-middle class families between $134 and $220. I have news for Mr. Trudeau: the cost of food has already eaten up any tax break most Canadians received from him.

When was the last time Mr. Trudeau went shopping in a grocery store and looked at the prices for fresh produce?

The cost of food has the potential to become a major political issue for the Liberals. Just like a $16 glass of orange juice resonated with Canadians, so does paying $6 to $8 for cauliflower. What matters to Canadians is putting food on the table, not platitudes or talk points designed to avoid answering a question, or hearing from the prime minister that they will get it right sometime in the future.

It is time to bring the House back and give Canadians some answers.

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