SCHEER – An open letter to Canadians on why we need change
To my fellow Canadians,
Today marks exactly one year until the next federal election. The next 365 days will be filled with promises and platforms and politics of all kinds. As you begin to think about who you will vote for one year from now, I’d like you to consider a few things.
Three years ago, you elected a new government. Justin Trudeau made some big promises and many Canadians took him at his word. Fair enough. But let’s take stock of where we’re at. The Justin Trudeau we have seen as Prime Minister is not the Justin Trudeau Canadians elected three years ago. He has failed to keep the promises he made. He has failed to live up to the standard he set for himself.
He promised tax cuts for the middle class. He has failed. More than 80% of middle-income Canadians actually paid more tax in 2017.
He promised temporary and “modest” deficits before delivering a $1 billion surplus by next year. He failed. His deficit this year is more than three times as large as he promised, hitting $19 billion instead of the $5.7 billion he promised. And he won’t balance the budget for another 27 years.
He promised an economy that would provide jobs and opportunity for the middle class. He failed. His high taxes and unfair regulations have driven away more than $100 billion in private investment in nation-building mega-projects, taking thousands of new jobs with it.
He promised a clean and ethical government, free of the sleazy politics and sketchy insider deals of Liberal governments past. He failed. Trudeau’s Liberals are, in fact, as scandal-plagued as any of its predecessors. Trudeau himself is the first prime minister in Canadian history found guilty of breaking ethics laws and his ministers don’t understand where their personal interests end and where the public interest begins.
He promised to be a unifying leader by bridging regional and political divides. Again, he failed. He’s as cynical and divisive a prime minister as we’ve ever seen, routinely insulting his critics and demeaning those he disagrees with.
He made a lot of promises.
But his problem isn’t a new one as far as Liberal governments go: Great at making promises. Terrible at keeping them. A style-over-substance government more concerned with how they’re perceived than the results they deliver. This has given rise to a broader, more fundamental problem in Canada. A crisis in the making.
Everywhere I go, Canadians like you tell me their own version of the same story. Life is getting harder. It’s getting harder to get by and provide for your family. It’s getting harder to save for the future and get ahead. There is only a little bit at the end of every month and everything is getting more expensive, but your wages are staying the same.
Ask yourselves this: Do you think Justin Trudeau understands? Do you think he’s had to make the kinds of decisions you make every day to provide for your family and make it to the next pay check? I’ve sat at the kitchen table and watched my parents decide to put off a purchase so my siblings and I could have the best possible chance to succeed.
Watching them make those sacrifices taught me about priorities. We didn’t always get what we wanted. But we always got what we needed. They showed me how to handle money responsibly. That’s why I will handle yours responsibly.
Conservatives have spent a lot time talking about the consequences of Justin Trudeau’s failures. Life is more expensive. Canadians are less secure. It’s harder to find opportunity.
There are also consequences to a re-elected Liberal government. Four more years of lost investment and squandered potential. An even less competitive economy, where big projects fail and jobs flee. A country stuck in mediocrity, strangled by debt and taxes, and drained of hope and opportunity.
For you, that means higher taxes and even less money left at the end of the month. Less to save for your retirement. Less to send your children to university. Less to spend on the things and the people who matter most.
The situation is urgent. Justin Trudeau does not deserve a second chance. Nor can we afford to give him one. Instead, I’m asking that you to put your faith in a new Conservative government.
A government that knows it’s already hard enough to get ahead in life without the government making it harder. A government that views its citizens as drivers of prosperity, not sources of revenue. A government that understands that balancing the budget is the best way to preserve the programs and services Canadians rely on the most. A government that knows public service is about self-sacrifice, not self-enrichment. And a government that believes there is enough room in the public debate for viewpoints it disagrees with.
That is the government you can elect one year from today.
Justin Trudeau has promised the next campaign will be nasty. “The most divisive and negative and nasty political campaign in Canada’s history,” were his exact words. He’s already doing his part to fulfill his promise, calling Conservatives everything from “ambulance chasers” to “neanderthals” to “un-Canadian” simply for holding him to account. I will continue debating Justin Trudeau on his record. I won’t hesitate to point out where he has failed.
I will be on your side. Never have taxpayers and everyday Canadians more needed someone who will stand up to this government, the media, and the privileged elite on their behalf.
Most importantly, I will fight for the country I believe in – where taxes are low, government is limited, opportunity is unlimited, freedom is celebrated, and people are put first.
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada