Canada is heading in the wrong direction. That seems to be the overriding sentiment of many Canadians and was repeated this week by the newest Member of the Conservative Caucus – Leona Alleslev who left the Liberal party so that she was could speak out on the direction Canada is heading. Leona is an extraordinary and accomplished member of the House – as a former Air Force Captain and years of senior private sector leadership experience, she has a much stronger resume than the current Prime Minister.
Leona joins a growing list of people concerned that these are serious times and Justin Trudeau lacks strong leadership to deal with them. Provinces are frustrated about rising costs and lack of a plan around the rising number of asylum seekers, businesses are worried about the implications of a failed NAFTA deal, police are concerned about the legalization of marijuana and increase in gang crime, law-abiding gun owners are concerned about new legislation that targets them rather than criminals, and the list goes on. Farmers, ranchers, family doctors and local shops have been called “tax cheats” by this Liberal government.
Recent information released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses to my office contained responses from hundreds of business owners across Southern Alberta that say they are hurt badly by the federal small business tax changes. It’s a tsunami of changes – including cutting off savings for business owners to retire (they aren’t eligible for CPP), to save money for a rainy day (they aren’t eligible for Employment Insurance) and to reinvest in the company to grow.
90% of Canadian jobs are dependent on small businesses.
Nationally, one issue that the government continues to ignore is their hikes on income taxes for families and the small businesses. Farmers, local restaurants and stores have all been branded as “un-Canadian” for saving money for retirement or tough times. Ironically, these are actually activities the government should encourage as that ensures a strong economy, reduces layoffs in tough times, and creates more jobs for Canadians. Nationally, 82% of the businesses have told CFIB they will be hurt by these changes – most (77%) say the rules are unclear and many are facing bigger tax bills. The results are likely to mean slower growth, fewer jobs, more layoffs and deferred investments. Family farms and businesses face even tighter budgets, more audits, while hardworking Canadians are less likely to find and keep work.
There is a better way. One where all Canadians are respected. One that includes Canadians like Leona Alleslev. A future without Justin Trudeau and his lavish vacations, personal chefs and boozy flights paid for by our taxes. Our Conservative team will continue to hold the Prime Minister and the Liberal government to account while providing a better direction for our country. If, like Leona, you supported Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in the last election – and you are frustrated or angry with his ineffective leadership – know this: You are both welcome and needed in the Conservative Party of Canada.