Tories to force debate on 'looming jobs crisis' in Canada
Conservative MP Dan Albas rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov.1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Published Monday, December 3, 2018 3:59PM EST
OTTAWA -- For the last scheduled opposition day of 2018, the federal Conservatives will be forcing a debate on what they consider a “looming jobs crisis” in the country; and a vote that if supported, could in one fell swoop axe some key pillars of the Liberals’ economic and environmental policies, CTV News has learned.
The motion the Tories will be putting forward on Tuesday will call on the government to:
- eliminate the carbon tax;
- repeal environmental regulation reforming Bill C-69;
- resolve the steel and aluminum tariffs dispute;
- end the softwood lumber dispute;
- lower taxes;
- streamline regulations; and
- open up interprovincial and international markets.
Opposition days are days in the House of Commons where one of the opposition parties gets to present a motion on a topic of their choosing, and MPs will debate it for the majority of the day, and vote on it shortly thereafter.
This motion cites the uncertainty being felt by Canadians in the energy sector related to the dropping price of oil, new job losses auto workers are bracing for in light of the coming General Motors Oshawa plant closure, and steel and aluminum workers feeling the crunch from the ongoing exchange of tariffs.
The Conservatives say the government has brought forward a "toxic medley of carbon taxes, higher payroll taxes, higher personal income taxes, tax increases on local businesses, and costly and burdensome regulations."
"People are quite concerned about job losses,” sponsor of the motion, Conservative MP Dan Albas, told CTVNews.ca. "The economic policies of the Liberals have failed and we can see how many sectors of our economy are struggling right now."
As part of the fall fiscal update last month, the government highlighted that in the last three years 550,000 new full-time jobs have been created, and that the unemployment rate is at a 40-year low. Though, in an effort to boost Canadian competitiveness, the deficit is set to rise as the Liberals offer businesses targeted tax write-off measures.
The Tories had also given notice of other potential motions they could have advanced instead, including one on defence spending, and another that if supported, would have the House Public Safety and National Security Committee investigate Liberal-turned-Independent MP Raj Grewal, who is out of the Liberal caucus after serious questions were raised about the millions in gambling debt he accumulated and recently paid back, the kinds of questions he posed during a committee study on money laundering, and the reported police investigations into his behaviour that CTV News has not independently verified. The motion would have called for Grewal to testify during a televised hearing within a week of the motion passing. Instead of advancing this, the Conservatives say they’ll continue to question the government on the situation during question period.
Given the nature and wording of the motion on the "jobs crisis," it is almost certainly not going to be supported by the government, meaning there won’t be enough votes to see the motion pass, and the Liberals’ economic and environmental policies will remain.
Albas said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would be "quite happy to be the one championing these issues," up to and through the 2019 election campaign, saying the party is in the process of putting together its own alternative policy proposals.