Conservative Leader Addresses Caucus

Andrew Scheer - Photo Andre Forget
Andrew Scheer - Photo Andre Forget

OTTAWA – POLITICS – The Conservative Party caucus meeting was addressed today by party leader Andrew Scheer.

Here is the text of his remarks:

Good afternoon!

Bon après-midi tout le monde ! Quelle belle énergie !

Wow, what a welcome!

And what a year we have ahead of us!

This is the year we take back Canada for Canadians and elect a brand new Conservative government!

And I know you’re ready.

Ready to prove to Canadians that Conservatives are in their corner and on their side!

Ladies and gentlemen, we enter 2019 firing on all cylinders.

Some people say I smile too much.

But I tell you, it’s hard not to smile when we have the most nominated candidates of any party heading into an election year, nearly 200 in total.

It’s hard not to smile when we’re winning byelections in ridings we haven’t held in a generation – as Richard Martel can attest to!

When we’re convincing those who put their faith and trust in Justin Trudeau in 2015 to make the leap across the aisle and join our team. Leona Alleslev is only the beginning!

When we’re absolutely smashing our own fundraising records, raising $24 million in 2018 – our highest non-election year ever!

We’re raising so much money I keep thinking Justin Trudeau is going to somehow find a way to tax it!

And it’s hard not smile when I see the calibre of candidates who have decided to pick up the Conservative banner …

Au Québec, notre équipe de candidats et de candidates – y compris les députés élus en 2015 – est la plus forte que notre parti n’a jamais eue dans son histoire récente.

Des candidats comme Richard Lehoux en Beauce, qui est bien ancré dans sa région, et des anciens députés de l’Assemblée nationale comme François Corriveau dans Manicouagan et François Desrochers dans Mirabel.

Partout où je vais au Québec nos bénévoles et nos militants sont extrêmement motivés !

Seasoned business leaders who are new to politics like Helena Konanz in South Okanagan-West Kootenay, Sean Weir in Oakville-North Burlington, and Michael Ma in Don Valley East.

We even have former Hamilton Tiger Cats offensive lineman Peter Dyakowski in Hamilton-Mountain – someone to protect my blindside!

Nous gagnons sur les enjeux, et à chaque semaine à la Chambre des communes nous démontrons que les Libéraux ont échoué à gérer notre pays.

Et nous battons nos propres records de financement alors que de plus en plus de Canadiens et de Québécois contribuent à notre parti car ils veulent se débarrasser de Justin Trudeau.

These are incredible achievements, ladies and gentlemen, and they speak to something I’m sure you’ve all picked up on in your conversations and at your events.

A growing desire for a new government in 2019.

Canadians have gotten to know Justin Trudeau and his Liberals very well over the last three years. And they don’t like what they’ve seen. They’re tired of his mistakes.

A Liberal government that has damaged relationships with key allies and trading partners, backed down to Donald Trump on NAFTA, and refuses to get serious about the threat posed by China.

A Liberal government hell-bent on phasing out Canada’s oil and gas industry, deliberately wiping out pipeline projects and throwing hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs into jeopardy.

A Liberal government that has destroyed confidence in the immigration system and the border by making those who obey the law wait in line while others jump the queue and enter illegally.

Un gouvernement libéral qui se chicane jour après jour avec les provinces, qui cherche la confrontation au lieu de la collaboration.

And a Liberal government whose runaway spending and permanent deficits threaten to hit Canadians hard at a time when they can least afford it.

Each of these failures have come to define Justin Trudeau’s time as Prime Minister.

But it’s the last one I want to focus on today.

Canadians are worried. You know this.

They’re worried about making ends meet. About making it to the end of the month without their car breaking down or their roof leaking.

About having enough money saved to retire. To send their children to university. To visit their grandkids.

Mais pour les libéraux de Justin Trudeau, tout va bien. La vie est belle.

À l’entendre parler il n’y a aucun problème au Canada.

C’est vraiment à se demander à qui parle Justin Trudeau pour qu’il puisse croire ce qu’il avance.

Car ce n’est pas ce que nous entendons quand on écoute les citoyens attentivement.

Lundi dernier, par exemple, j’ai conclu une grande tournée de consultation, commencée au mois d’avril, en compagnie de notre collègue Alain Rayes, et de plusieurs membres de notre caucus du Québec.

Comme ailleurs au Canada, nous avons vu clairement que les Québécois sont très inquiets pour leur avenir et l’avenir de leur famille.

Partout où nous sommes allés pendant notre grande consultation, les gens nous identifiaient plusieurs échecs et erreurs du premier ministre.

Des erreurs qui ont des conséquences réelles sur le quotidien des gens.

Des erreurs qui font en sorte que plusieurs Québécois et Canadiens se demandent comment ils vont pouvoir joindre les deux bouts à la fin du mois.

C’est déplorable, mais c’est malheureusement où nous en sommes avec Justin Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau keeps telling us we’ve never had it so good. But that’s not what I hear.

And I know you all hear it on the doors as much as I hear it during my travels.

There is anxiety out there. And it’s real. For the first time, perhaps ever in the history of this country, there is a palpable sense that future generations will not be better off than those who came before them.

I’m talking about the kind of life Canadians will be able to build. About reaching their goals and accomplishing what they set out to do.

I believe Canada should be a place where no dream is out of reach. Where no ambition is too big for anybody.

Isn’t that what Canada should be?

That’s the Canada I want. But under Justin Trudeau, it’s not the Canada we’re getting.

Under Justin Trudeau, two thirds of Canadians either feel they can’t pay their bills or feel they have nothing left over after they do. Two thirds.

Under Justin Trudeau, almost half of all Canadians report being overwhelmed by their debts.

And under Justin Trudeau, 81% of middle-income Canadians are paying more taxes to the federal government.

So my message to you and to all Canadians today is simple.

It’s a message our MPs are going to hammer home here in Ottawa and it’s a message I want all candidates to take to the doors.

If you take one thing away from this whole weekend, it’s this:

If Justin Trudeau is re-elected, your taxes will go up.

Si Justin Trudeau est réélu, vos taxes et vos impôts vont continuer à augmenter.

If he is given another four years, everything – from the gasoline you put in your car, to the food you put on your table, to the taxes you pay to Ottawa – will cost you more money.

We know this because he’s already raised taxes.

More than 80% of middle-income families are paying $800 more in taxes every year since he came to power.

He’s hiked taxes on small business owners and he’s ended tax credits that made things like dance lessons and bus passes more affordable.

He’s brought in a brand new carbon tax that punishes everyday Canadians.

To this day, Justin Trudeau has still not come clean on how much his carbon tax will cost.

He’s covering it up. He’s literally covering it up.

We asked for the documents that would show the cost and they came back to us literally blacked out.

The consensus is that it will cost roughly $1,100 a family through increases to everyday household essentials – but that’s only at current rates.

Internal government documents show the government is planning for a carbon tax of $300 a tonne – that’s 15 times more expensive than the $20/tonne it will start at this year.

Based on the government’s own numbers, that would add 66 cents to a little of gas and another $1,000 to home utilities.

Justin Trudeau is already in the business of making your life more expensive. And it’s a business he intends to stay in.

And we’ve caught him trying to raise other taxes.

That measly $800 a family wasn’t enough, he tried to get his hands on more.

He tried to tax health and dental benefits for Canadian workers. He even tried to tax employee discounts.

He tried to scrap the Disability Tax Credit for diabetics,

And he tried to hike taxes by 73% on small business investment.

En d’autres mots chers amis, Justin Trudeau et son gouvernement ont passé les trois dernières années à trouver de nouvelles choses à taxer.

À trouver de nouvelles façons d’en prendre plus dans vos poches.

Et si on le laisse faire, il va continuer !

Now thankfully, Conservatives caught him trying to do all of this and we were able to stop him.

But make no mistake. He’ll bring them back if he’s re-elected – when he won’t need people’s votes anymore but will still need their money.

All Justin Trudeau needs to do it is another term in government.

But the biggest reason we know Justin Trudeau will raise taxes is because his never-ending deficits will force him to.

Never forget, ladies and gentlemen, that he was elected on a promise to balance the budget.

Three small deficits. Then a balanced budget in 2019. That’s what Canadians thought they were going to get – because that’s what he promised.

That promise is in tatters.

The Parliamentary Budget Office and even Finance Canada have given up trying to put a date on when the budget will balance.

They tried, though. About a year ago they said *maybe* the budget will balance … about the time my 3-year-old will go to University …

But even that was guesswork. In reality, the Liberals have absolutely no plan to ever, ever, ever balance the budget.

But this is important – because today’s deficits are tomorrow’s taxes.

It’s as certain as anything in life. With Liberals, first come the deficits, then come the taxes.

Vous allez payer pour ses erreurs.

You will pay for his mistakes.

And for Canadians, it couldn’t come at a worse time.

Un très grand nombre de familles canadiennes vivent dans l’angoisse de s’endetter, de ne pas être capable de rencontrer leurs obligations.

Mais pour les libéraux, les dettes, les déficits, sont des problèmes imaginaires inventés par les conservateurs.

La réalité, c’est que nous sommes le seul parti pour qui la sécurité des travailleurs et des entrepreneurs canadiens, et des familles canadiennes, est la priorité absolue.

Nous sommes le seul parti qui veut baisser les taxes et les impôts, et qui veut rétablir l’équilibre budgétaire au Canada.

The only thing – the only thing –  that can stop hard-working, taxpaying Canadians and a tax-hiking re-elected Liberal government is the Conservative Party of Canada.

That is what is at stake this year, ladies and gentlemen.

Now as I said before, Justin Trudeau likes to tell Canadians that everything is going great.

And perhaps in his world, it is.

I have no doubt that people who have never had to worry about money aren’t concerned over the price of gasoline or their utility bill or their mortgage rate.

But I’m here – we’re here – for the people who just need a break.

The people who are doing everything right – going to university, getting a good job, working hard, paying their bills on time – but who still can’t seem to get ahead in life.

Whose hopes and dreams keep getting further and further away.

The parents who sit around the dinner table – like mine often did, in a townhouse in south Ottawa – stressing over how they will make to the end of the month.

These people know what Justin Trudeau doesn’t.

Budgets don’t balance themselves.

You can’t borrow your way out of debt.

You can’t spend money you don’t have.

And you can’t make others pay for your own mistakes.

Les populations partout dans le monde n’ont plus de patience avec les gouvernements qui dépensent leur argent sans compter, comme s’il n’y avait pas de lendemain.

Et ici au Canada, c’est fini le temps quand on disait : le gouvernement a fait surtout des erreurs au cours de son premier mandat, mais on va lui donner une autre chance.

So, ladies and gentlemen, as us parliamentarians get back to work in Ottawa, and as you candidates head back to the campaign trail in your ridings, I leave you with this:

The everyday Canadians we fight for – can’t afford four more years of Justin Trudeau.

They can’t afford four more years of a Prime Minister who is always spending other people’s money and making them pay for his mistakes.

So it falls to us to give Canadians the government they deserve.

Yes, we are winning support because people are tired of Justin Trudeau’s failures, but people are choosing to come to us because they see something better.

A team that will restore Canada’s reputation on the world stage as a strong voice for freedom and justice;

A team that will take pride in our energy sector, will stand up for workers, will get big projects done, and who don’t think it’s a problem when construction workers show up to get things built;

Une équipe qui va faire en sorte que les Québécois remplissent dorénavant un seul rapport d’impôts et qui mettra fin aux déversements d’eau usée dans nos cours d’eau;

A team that won’t punish Canadians for driving to work and heating their home, but will clean up the environment – starting with helping cities to stop dumping raw sewage into our waterways;

A team that will fix the mess at our borders and renew confidence in Canada’s fair and compassionate immigration system;

And a team that will finally end the deficits, balance the budget, and help people get ahead!

Merci beaucoup mes amis!

Thank you ladies and gentlemen. This is the year – let’s get the job done!