Conservative MP Dr. Robert Kitchen is fearful for the children and grandchildren of this generation as Canada’s debt is now over $1 trillion, according to the fiscal update given by the federal government last week.
“It’s devastating to see what this government has done to this country,” said the MP for Souris-Moose Mountain.
The deficit from the last four months, since the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a country-wide lockdown on the economy, was $343.2 billion, with the deficit projected to hit $1.2 trillion.
“What people need to understand is $.2 trillion is $200 billion,” said MP Kitchen. “It’s a big change and a huge deficit we’re putting on to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This situation with COVID-19 has created a totally-different scenario.”
He acknowledged that the government had to step forward to help those who have lost their jobs, but said there needed to be some structure to how the government responded to the pandemic crisis.
The MP pointed out that Canada has the highest unemployment rate in the G7 group of nations, and there are companies who are not able to get people back to work even with the gradual lifting of restrictions in the last while.
The Conservatives proposed that the conditions of the CERB benefit should be more reasonable to help people, as for example, once a person makes $1,001, they are ineligible for the CERB benefit.
“When you look around the world, every country has had to deal with this,” said Kitchen, noting their proposal was to have the CERB gradually reduced as people made more money.
“As you make more money and participate more into it, the percentage would reduce, so if you made over $1,000, say another $500, you would only lose a percentage of that,” said the MP.
“As we move forward, we have to make certain we get everyone back to work, that is the first step that needs to be happening. As we move forward, we need to make sure the money is being spent appropriately,” he added, noting the Auditor-General needs to be keeping track on the spending, but their office was given no more money to do that work.
“The Auditor-General needs that money because they’ve got so many things they’re looking at right now,” said the MP, noting that in the meantime, the Prime Minister gave the WE charity group a $912 million contract, a group that has paid his brother and his mother to speak at their events.
“The rules are there. I can’t hire any family, and the rules and policies need to be adhered to,” said Kitchen.
As an example of helping out local business activities in the Souris-Moose Mountain riding, the MP noted that his recent newsletter normally produced and sent out from Ottawa was done here locally, and mailed out through the local post office.
“Both myself and my colleagues said with these times the way they are, we have things that can be done locally,” said Kitchen, noting this required permission from the House of Commons, as the normal rule is for the work to be done from Ottawa.
“To me it helps our economy and keeps the money in the riding, and keeps things going in these tough times,” said the MP.
Just over 32,000 copies of the newsletter were printed by the Weyburn Review, and they distributed the newsletter directly to Canada Post, which distributed them to every household in Souris-Moose Mountain.
The MP won’t have the summer fairs, parades and exhibitions to attend as he normally would at this time of year, but he noted he is in the riding and will be spending time in the local constituency offices, including in Weyburn. There will be a time in August when he will need to fly to Ottawa, but otherwise he is in the riding.