opinion column

opinion column

Calkins Fiscal responsibility top of mind for Albertans

It’s time to get to work. Conservatives have been waiting anxiously for Parliament to resume.

I’ve been hearing Albertans asking us to fight for fiscal responsibility: affordable gas, groceries, and housing, and the opportunity to work and earn a living.

Too many aspects of today’s economy feel all too familiar to those who endured the 1980’s economic crash under Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

The cost of everyday essentials such as gas, groceries, and housing are going up as inflation is at an 18-year high. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in October, up from a 4.4% increase in September. This was the largest gain since February 2003.

Household budgets are stretched thin, especially for seniors living on a fixed income, and families with young kids. The Liberal-NDP coalition will mean that Jagmeet Singh will be able to push a hard core socialist agenda that will threaten the livelihoods of millions of Canadians.

Now that parliament is finally resuming next week, the Prime Minister can no longer hide from accountability. We must openly debate and discuss critical issues regarding our economy, inflation, staggering debt accumulation, rights and freedoms, and battling COVID-19.

To address the inflation crisis, Conservatives have fought (successfully) for the Bank of Canada to end the purchase of government bonds to stimulate the economy. $400 billion of money has been injected into the Canadian economy (since May 2020) under Justin Trudeau. The result of this is higher inflation rates, and the high cost of living Canadians are enduring today. One step in the right direction: the Governor of the Bank of Canada has committed to stop this money printing trend.

The next step is to maintain an inflation-control target set by the Bank of Canada. This was created in 1991 following a money-printing and government spending spree in the 1980s under Pierre Elliot Trudeau, resulting in historically high inflation rates and interest rates. Many Canadians will never forget the devastation of people losing their jobs, losing their homes, and escalating suicide rates.

To address the renewal of the inflation-control target, Erin O’Toole wrote a letter Oct 22, 2021 requesting it be renewed at its current rate. Pierre Poilievre stated recently that “despite the fact that the inflation-control target is set to lapse in just over a month, neither the Prime Minister of the Finance Minister have made it clear whether it will be renewed at its current rate.”

Canada’s Conservatives will work hard to combat the inflation and interest rate hikes, rising debt and deficits- the certain offspring of this NDP-Liberal marriage.

We will relentlessly press this government to offer fiscally responsible, competent leadership to Canadians, resulting in affordable gas, groceries, and housing for working-class Canadians, and protecting their retirement savings. This Liberal government has failed miserably at protecting and securing our economy.

Canadians deserve to be told the truth and they deserve a Parliament that will tackle the severe economic challenges facing Canadians across the country.

It’s time we start thinking about monetary policy. It’s time to get back to work. Its time to make grown up decisions, for the future good of all Canadians.

Blaine Calkins is the MP for Red Deer- Lacombe.