|Hon. Andrew Scheer – Monday Press Conference Remarks|
June 1, 2020
Good morning everyone,
I would like to start today by addressing the recent events in Minneapolis and across Canada and the US over the weekend.
Like all of you, I am heartbroken by the killing of George Floyd.
No one should ever feel unsafe around police officers, who must uphold the law for all, or feel unsafe because of the colour of their skin.
We all have a responsibility to fight anti-black racism, and all forms of brutality or injustice, in Canada and everywhere.
Ça fait maintenant presque trois mois que le confinement contre la pandémie a commencé.
Alors que les provinces commencent à lever les restrictions sanitaires et que les entreprises rouvrent, les Canadiens reprennent espoir.
Mais il y a toujours une très grande incertitude.
Des millions de Canadiens sont toujours sans travail.
Des entreprises sont toujours fermées et un trop grand nombre d’entre elles n’ont pas accès aux programmes d’aide du gouvernement.
Justin Trudeau a promis en mars qu’il réglerait les problèmes. Mais, nous sommes maintenant en juin et des Canadiens sont toujours oubliés.
Now, Conservatives have put forward constructive solutions to fix what are largely technical problems so that Canadians can get the help that they need.
But, instead of making these simple changes, Justin Trudeau is letting Canadians down.
He promised in March to fix the problems. Well it’s now June.
For example: Brandt Tractor, a company in my riding, can’t access the wage subsidy because they acquired another company in the fall. Like so many businesses, they have been hit hard and their workers need help to be able to stay on the job.
Now, I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. So why haven’t they fixed this technical issue impacting companies and workers across the country?
On April 8th, Conservatives called on the government to give back to small businesses the GST
they had remitted in the last year.
This would have provided much needed cashflow to literally thousands of businesses across the
We also raised concerns with the wage subsidy and proposed changing the criteria so that
businesses could demonstrate their 30% revenue loss using other metrics like loss of earnings,
subscriptions or orders.
Thousands of companies can’t access the wage subsidy because of this barrier.
In fact, according to the Department of Finance, uptake has been only half of what the
So, why won’t the Trudeau Liberals help these companies?
On April 26th, we asked the Prime Minister to change the criteria for the Canada Emergency
Business Account so that small businesses who use a chequing account can qualify.
That’s a simple fix that would have helped so many. So why hasn’t it been made?
Over a month ago, we raised the issue of businesses who don’t qualify for the emergency
business account, because they don’t have regular payroll.
We asked the Liberals to expand the eligibility criteria to include revenue decline. So why
On May 14th, we asked the Liberals to include a sliding scale in the Canada Emergency
Commercial Rent Assistance Program for businesses with less than 70% revenue loss, so those
experiencing significant revenue decline get some rental relief.
The program only started taking applications on May 25th. So why did the government not
make this simple change to help more small business owners?
These are just some of the ways that Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government are letting down
These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet.
They are real Canadians who are struggling. Canadians who need help but who have fallen
through the cracks.
Conservatives have proposed easy solutions to help them. So why hasn’t Justin Trudeau acted?
Le directeur parlementaire du budget estime que le déficit va atteindre deux cent soixante
milliards de dollars cette année.
Mais le gouvernement Trudeau refuse toujours de présenter une mise à jour économique.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Medical Association has warned that Canada won’t be ready if a
second wave hits.
Government procurement efforts have been plagued with issues. Masks are defective, test kits
contaminated, and sometimes shipments don’t show up at all.
According to the government’s own statistics, they have ordered more than 100 million N95
masks since the beginning of this year but have received less than 12 million .
Of those 12 million masks, 9.8 million (82%) have not met our standards and cannot be
distributed to front line emergency workers.
So what is the government’s plan to get the personal protective equipment Canadians need?
There is no plan.
Le ministre de la Défense a dit non à la demande de François Legault que les militaires ne
peuvent rester au Québec jusqu’à l'automne pour aider dans les foyers de soins de longue durée.
Mais je veux entendre le premier ministre. Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas rester? Qu'est-ce que nos
militaires doivent faire de plus important que d'aider nos aînés?
Normalement, les partis de l’opposition pourraient poser ces questions à la Chambre des
Nous pourrions présenter des projets de loi, questionner pour avoir des vraies réponses et
déposer des motions au feuilleton.
But with the help of the NDP, the Liberals have shamefully shut down Parliament until at least
If MPs can gather safely in the Chamber four days a week for a hybrid special COVID-19
committee meeting, why can’t MPs carry out normal Parliamentary business?
The Liberals spent weeks trying to shut down Parliament, instead of looking for ways to ensure
that it could safely reopen.
They have only allocated four hours to study and debate more than $150 billion worth of new
spending. That is not how our democracy is supposed to work.
Opposition parties provide vital oversight and hold the government accountable.
It is our job to comb through every line item, to question every expense and make sure that
Canadians’ tax dollars are spent properly.
Le Parlement est un service essentiel et les députés sont des travailleurs essentiels.
Nous avons un rôle vital à jouer.
Chaque député libéral, néo-démocrate et vert qui a voté pour empêcher notre démocratie de
fonctionner devra être tenu responsable le jour du scrutin.
Happy to take your questions.
Julie Pham 6/1/2020