Tagged with: Taxes


October 25, 2017 | No Comments

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is trying to change the channel on his ethics crisis

It’s time that Morneau stops trying to change the channel, apologizes to Canadians, and starts following the rules that apply to all Members of Parliament.

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October 16, 2017 | No Comments

It’s Small Business Week!

And this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is unveiling the details of his plan to hike taxes on local business.

Today in the House of Commons, I reminded the Liberal government that Canadian small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy, that they should be respected for the jobs and opportunities they create in our communities.

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June 22, 2017 | No Comments

Diotte’s Dirty Dozen of Liberal Lowlights

It’s been less than two years since October 2015’s election of a Liberal majority government. But as the latest House of Commons session drew to a close it was clear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party had broken many key campaign promises and disappointed Canadians as a government. Here is a Dirty Dozen of Liberal Lowlights:

 

  1. HEARTLESS: During his election campaign Trudeau was all about “sunny ways” and heartfelt hugs. But the Liberals were heartless in voting down Wynn’s Law, a bill that would have made it mandatory for judges to view an accused’s criminal record and any pending charges during bail hearings. Every Liberal in the House but one voted against the bill as widow Shelly Wynn sat in the gallery, tears streaming down her face. Her police officer husband was killed by a career criminal who’d been granted bail. Neither his criminal record nor his pending charges were revealed at that bail hearing.
  2. FLIGHTS OF FANCY: During the election campaign, the Liberals promised to hold an “open and transparent competition” to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets excluding the Lockheed Martin F-35 Stealth. The Liberals later said it had to address a “capability gap” in our forces by making an interim purchase of 18 Super Hornets from Boeing. But now it’s backing away from that pledge after Boeing complained that Bombardier Inc. is getting an edge in the aviation industry due to unfair government subsidies. 
  3. OFF BASE: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan lost all credibility with those in the Canadian Armed Forces when he falsely claimed to be the “architect” of Operation Medusa – a major anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. Despite repeated calls for him to step down, Trudeau kept the disgraced minister on the job.
  4. PARTISAN POLITICS: After huge Opposition backlash, Liberals had to back down from appointing Madeleine Meilleur as the non-partisan official languages commissioner. Meilleur, a life-long Liberal, is extremely partisan.
  5. CLEARLY FALSE: During the election campaign Liberals promised to be more open and transparent than the previous government. But a scathing June report by Parliament’s information commissioner Suzanne Legault lashed the Liberal government for its lack of transparency. Indeed Legault said the Access to Information Act “is being used as a shield against transparency.”
  6. DON’T COUNT ON IT: Despite promising to run a deficit of “only” $10 billion for two years and to balance the budget by 2019, Liberals proposed a $28.5-billion deficit in its latest budget and the prime minister now refuses to say when, if ever, we’ll have a balanced budget. Canada’s youth will be stuck paying off the tab.
  7. POSTHASTE: Justin Trudeau repeatedly promised 2015 would be the last election where people are elected in a first-past-the-post system. But the Liberals ditched that controversial promise after the Conservative Opposition argued such a radical change shouldn’t take place without a national referendum.
  8. CASH FOR ACCESS: Liberals were rightly slammed for months when it was revealed they’d been holding scores of fundraisers that gave private access to cabinet ministers and the prime minister. Those raised questions from Canada’s ethics commissioner and were a violation of the Liberals’ own “Open and Accountable Government” rules.
  9. ETHICAL LAPSES: The prime minister has breached House of Commons ethics rules by taking a trip on a private helicopter to visit a billionaire family friend. Canada’s ethics commissioner launched a formal probe into the affair but Trudeau has repeatedly refused to say how often, if at all, he has met with the commissioner.
  10. HEAVY HANDED: Liberals tried ramming through unilateral changes to the way Canada’s Parliament operates, including ending Friday Question Period and proposing a single day when the prime minister would answer all questions in Question Period. After much opposition and public outcry they backed down on many of those changes.
  11. CRIPPLING CARBON TAX: The Liberals are imposing a national carbon tax despite critics saying it will kill jobs and hurt the economy especially since the U.S.A. has no plans to have such a levy.
  12. TAX THIS: The Liberals have raised a slew of taxes on just about everything, most recently on beer, wine and Uber rides.

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November 21, 2016 | 1 Comment

Ten good reasons a carbon tax won’t work

By KERRY DIOTTE

We’ve heard a lot about carbon taxes lately. 

In Ottawa, the Liberal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have enthusiastically touted imposing a carbon tax nationwide as a way to actually create scores of new jobs (believe it or not).

In reality, a carbon tax will cripple our economy and lead to job losses. 

My Conservative colleagues and I are fighting tooth and nail to stop this ill-conceived tax grab. 

Here are my Top 10 good reasons Canada’s federal government shouldn’t impose a carbon tax. 

  1. Day-to-day costs will increase for Canadians, adding up to more than $2,500 annually for the average family. 
  2. It will be especially painful for people in northern communities who already pay dearly for home heating, vehicle fuel and groceries including milk. 
  3. A carbon tax tilts the economic playing field in favour of our competitors that don’t pay carbon taxes.
  4. Canada is already in an economic downturn and this will cause a further weakening of our economy when we can least afford it. 
  5. Liberals say it’ll create jobs. Yeah right. Maybe for tax collectors and solar panel salespeople but not for other sectors. 
  6. Canadians weren’t crying out for a carbon tax. In oil and gas producing provinces, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, the majority of people are opposed to a carbon tax.
  7. The tax will have a negligible effect on reducing greenhouse gases on the planet.
  8. While Canadian prosperity would suffer under a tax on carbon, countries like China would see an economic boom spurred by continued construction of greenhouse gas producing coal-fired power plants. 
  9. Canada produces just .001 of greenhouse gases. Even if we were to meet our carbon reduction targets as hoped by 2030, all of our efforts and sacrifices would be nullified if the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters continue to increase their emissions.
  10. Taxing Canadians won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are efficient solutions to battling climate change including investing in carbon capture and storage projects, offering Canadians incentives to reduce their carbon footprint and encouraging industries to come up with cleaner technologies.

What are your thoughts on this issue? I want to hear them. E-mail kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca.

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November 8, 2016 | No Comments

Discussing Alberta’s job climate with students and young professionals

My colleague, Rachel Harder and I hosted a Youth Jobs Roundtable at NAIT in Edmonton.

We got important feedback from students and young professionals on today’s job climate. We heard some horror stories about how the economy is hurting youth employment opportunities. But there were also some solid solutions suggested by our roundtable participants including: urging governments to support more paid internships, controlling federal spending and pushing to see carbon taxes stopped.

Thanks to all the participants. Rachel and I really value your opinions and solutions.

Alberta is facing some of the highest job losses in Canada but the Liberal government has not put forward a jobs plan.

Our Conservative caucus launched the Alberta Jobs Taskforce to address the growing jobs crisis in Alberta. We want to hear from everyday Albertans like you. Share your story here.

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October 17, 2016 | No Comments

Happy to visit constituents door-to-door in Edmonton Griesbach

One of my favourite things to do is visit people door-to-door and hear what’s important to folks in our riding of Edmonton Griesbach.

It was a chilly day Saturday, Oct. 15 in Edmonton but our team got a great reception and heard some of the issues that are important to you.

By far, the biggest worry on their minds is the Liberals’ promised carbon tax that will make life costlier for all of us in Canada and have a negligible effect combating greenhouse gases.

One senior citizen I talked to said she feared it could increase costs on her to the point she wouldn’t be able to stay in her home.

I assured her our Conservative Official Opposition would continue to fight that on her behalf and she was very pleased.

Thanks to the volunteers who joined me door knocking and to all the nice residents of Edmonton Griesbach.

As your Member of Parliament, I always want to hear what’s important to you.

 

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September 1, 2016 | No Comments

I support Northlands’ Vision 2020 plan

On Wednesday August 31 I was glad to put my support behind a plan that would benefit many neighbourhoods in our federal riding of Edmonton Griesbach.

As such, I appeared before Edmonton city council to deliver the remarks below.

I welcome any feedback on this plan to revitalize the Northlands site in our communities.

GOOD AFTERNOON. IT’S BEEN A COUPLE OF YEARS SINCE I WAS IN THIS COUNCIL CHAMBER. IT’S NICE TO BE BACK.

TODAY I’M HERE AS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT. I’M HERE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS IN OUR NORTH-SIDE RIDING CALLED EDMONTON GRIESBACH.

WE OWE IT TO THOSE GOOD PEOPLE TO ENSURE THE FULL, PROPER DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTHLANDS SITE AS OUTLINED IN THE VISION 2020 REPORT.

THE COMMUNITIES IN OUR RIDING ARE COUNTING ON THAT: ALBERTA AVENUE, BEACON HEIGHTS, BELLEVUE, BEVERLY HEIGHTS, BOYLE STREET, CROMDALE, EASTWOOD, HIGHLANDS, LAUDERDALE, MCCAULEY, MONTROSE, NEWTON, PARKDALE, RUNDLE HEIGHTS AND VIRGINIA PARK.

THIS IS A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL ON THE NORTH SIDE. ESPECIALLY TO ASSIST NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT HAVE HAD SOCIAL CHALLENGES OVER THE YEARS.

WE KNOW THE CITY OF EDMONTON HAS STEPPED UP TO SPARK DEVELOPMENT WORTH HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ELSEWHERE. THREE BIG ONES THAT COME TO MIND ARE THE DOWNTOWN ARENA DEVELOPMENT, BLATCHFORD AND THE QUARTERS.

COUNCIL’S RATIONALE FOR BUILDING A NEW ARENA WAS THAT WE NEEDED TO REVITALIZE OUR DOWNTOWN.

WELL, USING THAT RATIONAL. WHAT OTHER PART OF OUR CITY COULD BEST BENEFIT FROM A MAJOR REVITALIZATION?

YOU DON’T NEED A DEGREE IN URBAN PLANNING TO ANSWER THAT. OBVIOUSLY IT’S THE AREA SURROUNDING NORTHLANDS.

THIS CITY COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN OUT STRONGLY IN SUPPORT OF HELPING INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS, REFUGEES AND NEW CANADIANS.

WELL, SUPPORTING THE FULL REDEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTHLANDS SITE WOULD ESPECIALLY BENEFIT THESE POPULATIONS.

THE AREA AROUND NORTHLANDS LIKELY HAS THE HIGHEST POPULATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN EDMONTON. IT ALSO HAS A LARGE POPULATION OF REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS. THAT INCLUDES A STRONG SOMALI COMMUNITY.

AND LET’S NOT FORGET ALBERTA AVENUE HAS BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ARTS DISTRICT. 118 AVENUE LOOKS A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT TODAY THAN IT DID EVEN 10 YEARS AGO.

THESE AREAS SURROUNDING NORTHLANDS DON’T HAVE BIG-BOX STORES OR LARGE CORPORATE OFFICES.

THESE NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE FILLED WITH MOM-AND-POP SHOPS WHERE OWNERS WORK HARD TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

AS WE KNOW, GIVEN OUR ECONOMY, IT’S ALREADY HARD FOR MANY SHOP OWNERS.

WE ALSO KNOW HOW MUCH WORSE THINGS COULD GET IN THIS AREA IF WE DON’T GET THIS REDEVELOPMENT RIGHT.

FAILURE TO DEVELOP THE SITE WOULD SEE PROPERTY VALUES SHRINK BY 10%. THE CITY COULD LOSE UP TO $125 MILLION FROM ITS RESIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT BASE.

IF YOU’VE SPENT YOUR LIFE SAVINGS TO BUY A HOME, YOU SHOULD BE REWARDED BY AN INCREASE IN ITS VALUE, NOT A DECREASE.

THAT’S ANOTHER REASON WHY THIS PROJECT IS SO VITAL.

THERE’S BEEN A DISCOURAGING AMOUNT OF NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT NORTHLANDS’ VISION 2020.

SOME NAYSAYERS HAVE EVEN SAID NORTHLANDS IS BEING GREEDY.  OR THE NOT-FOR-PROFITE HAS OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS. SOME WANT IT TO JUST GO AWAY AND LET THE CITY DO WHAT IT WANTS WITH THE SITE.

THAT’S BLATANTLY UNFAIR. NORTHLANDS HAS BEEN A PILLAR OF OUR COMMUNITY FOR 137 YEARS. THAT’S EVEN LONGER THAN WE’VE BEEN A CITY.

THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION HAS DONE A WORLD-CLASS JOB OF RUNNING EVENTS AT REXALL AND OFF AND ON ITS OWN CAMPUS.

UNDER IT’S WATCH REXALL PLACE WAS THE 27TH BUSIEST EVENT FACILITY IN THE WORLD.

AMONG MANY OTHER FUNCTIONS NORTHLANDS HAS RUN K-DAYS, OUR LARGEST PAID FESTIVAL AND OUR K-DAYS PARADE.

IT HAS ALSO SUCCESSFULLY RUN THE EDMONTON EXPO CENTRE. CRITICS COMPLAIN THE TRADE SHOW FACILITY LOSES MONEY.

SO DOES JUST ABOUT EVERY CONFERENCE CENTRE IN NORTH AMERICA.

THEY’RE NOT DESIGNED TO BE MONEY MAKERS THEY’RE DESIGNED TO ATTRACT PEOPLE TO OUR CITY. THOSE PEOPLE IN TURN SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HERE AND BENEFIT OUR ECONOMY.

NO PUN INTENDED BUT NORTHLANDS HAS A PROVEN TRACK RECORD.

IT HAS AN ARMY OF ABOUT 1,400 VOLUNTEERS YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. MANY PEOPLE IN THIS CITY GOT THEIR START IN A WORK CAREER BY VOLUNTEERING FOR NORTHLANDS.

BESIDES ALL THAT THEY HAVE A BOARD OF SOME OF OUR CITYS BEST COMMUNITY LEADERS. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING ON THAT BOARD FOR THREE YEARS AND I CAN TELL YOU FIRST-HAND HOW GOOD AND DEDICATED THOSE PEOPLE ARE.

BUT IN THE END IT DOESN’T COME DOWN TO THE CITY VERSUS NORTHLANDS OR NORTHLANDS VERSES THE CITY.

IT COMES DOWN TO PEOPLE. PEOPLE IN THE AREA. SENIORS. YOUNG FAMILIES. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. NEW IMMIGRANTS.

IT’S THESE PEOPLE WHO DESERVE TO SEE A WORLD-CLASS DEVELOPMENT AT NORTHLANDS.

AS THE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHO REPRESENTS THESE FOLKS, I’M ASKING COUNCIL: PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING ON THIS ISSUE. ADOPT THE FULL VISION 2020 CONCEPT.

NORTH-SIDE RESIDENTS ARE COUNTING ON YOU TO DO THAT.

THANK YOU.

Northlands Vision 2020

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August 29, 2016 | 1 Comment

Let’s fight for this vital development on Edmonton’s north side

By KERRY DIOTTE

This development has to be done and be done right.

Edmonton’s city council owes it to the residents of our north-side federal riding of Edmonton Griesbach to approve Northlands’ Vision 2020 plan.

A good portion of my 100,000-plus federal constituents are counting on the City of Edmonton stepping up to support this vision.

Our riding includes many of the neighbourhoods in the vicinity of Northlands, including Alberta Avenue, Beacon Heights, Bellevue, Beverly Heights, Boyle Street, Cromdale, Eastwood, Highlands, Lauderdale, McCauley, Montrose, Newton, Parkdale, Rundle Heights and Virginia Park.

We know Edmonton has a shiny new downtown arena, built with taxpayers dollars, replacing the legendary Rexall Place that was operated successfully by Northlands.

We as a city owe it to residents in those communities to buy into the vision Northlands has come up with for its 160-acre campus that includes Rexall Place, Northlands Race Track and Casino and the Edmonton Expo Centre conference facility.

That vision includes turning Rexall Place into a multiple ice-surface facility, expanding the Expo Centre, building a new, small concert facility and putting in housing.

Not doing so means: There goes the neighbourhood(s)! Reports show dire consequences if we don’t get this right.

Failure to develop the Northlands site would reduce property values by up to 10% — homes that hard-working north-side Edmontonians invested their life savings in. This scenario would see the City’s residential assessment base shrink by up to $125 million.

The City of Edmonton has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in other sectors of the city including the downtown, Blatchford (the old City Centre Airport) and The Quarters. The Northlands area communities deserve the same benefit.

Indeed, when Edmonton city council agreed to construct the downtown arena it bought into the theory that the project would revitalize the downtown. Shouldn’t our communities surrounding the Northlands campus receive a similar benefit?

Those communities include Edmonton’s largest population of indigenous people and scores of new Canadians including a sizeable Somali community who live there and are trying to build new lives in this great city of ours.

This area also includes a thriving arts community centred on 118 Avenue that has breathed new life into old buildings. They have succeeded remarkably. I have to note that when we were looking to rent a constituency office for our federal riding of Edmonton Griesbach, the redevelopment of 118 Avenue has been so successful we could not find a single suitable space there. That’s actually good news.

This area is not a home to big-box stores or fancy corporate offices. It’s filled with small mom-and-pop businesses eking out an income in the shadow of Rexall Place. These folks deserve our support.

Some pundits are saying Northlands plan is too ambitious, there’s not a suitable business plan. It costs too much money. As a fiscal conservative, former city councillor and the Official Opposition’s deputy Urban Affairs critic, I sympathize with concerns about finances.

That said, where was the business plan when city council decided to close down City Centre Airport to build what was pitched as the ultra-green, eco-friendly Blatchford development? Latest plans there have deeply scaled back the so-called green initiatives. Where was the business case for that development?

The City of Edmonton went gung-ho on that plan regardless. Northlands Vision 2020, however makes good sense and is well thought out.

The not-for-profit, 137-year-old organization was forced out of the business of running major sporting events and large concerts with the approval of the new Rogers Centre arena downtown. That’s despite the fact the organization did an admirable, world-class job of those duties. Indeed Rexall, under Northlands management, was listed as the 27th busiest arena (indoors or outdoors) in the world!

Northlands and the tens of thousands of residents surrounding the 160-acre site deserve to have the City of Edmonton buy into a plan that would see Rexall turned into a six-sheet hockey tournament facility, an expansion of Hall D at the Expo Centre to allow 5,000-seats for hockey as well as rodeo, concerts and other events. It also calls for an outdoor festival site where the racetrack and casino is today as well as residential and retail development.

There’s been talk that the Edmonton Expo Centre doesn’t break even. Well, conference centres throughout North America tend to not break even. It’s the economic spinoffs that bring millions to cities by hosting events at them.

This is an ideal campus for urban renewal. It’s a stone’s throw from our downtown. It’s served by an existing station on a high-speed LRT line. It’s adjacent to Yellowhead Trail and has tons of parking.

A special city council public hearing takes place Wednesday Aug. 31 and I intend to be there in person speaking up for the vital north-side project.

If you’re a resident in the area or you own a business there, you too have a right to speak about this. If you care about thriving, sustainable neighbourhoods, please have your say. Tell city council what you think. Get on the speakers list to have your five minutes. Call the City Clerk’s office at (780) 496-8178 or email: city.clerk@edmonton.ca

To see more details about the thoughtful development, Vision 2020, go here:

http://www.northlands.com/vision2020/

Let’s make sure our north-side residents get the development they deserve. As your Conservative Member of Parliament I will fight to see we get this development done and done right.

(Comments? Questions? E-mail me at: kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca)

Northlands Arena

Northlands Vision 2020

 

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August 25, 2016 | No Comments

Great discussion with local business and community leaders

I was pleased to host an Economic Roundtable at Concordia University in my riding of Edmonton Griesbach.

This roundtable was an opportunity for me to hear the priorities of local business and community leaders when it comes to growing the economy, creating jobs and ensuring the long-term prosperity of all Canadians.

Roundtable participants agreed that the federal government must do more to support the development of our natural resource sector – including getting Alberta’s oil to wider markets, abandon tax hikes, control spending and streamline inter-provincial trade.

 

Economic Roundtable in Edmonton Griesbach

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April 12, 2016 | No Comments

Standing up for Edmontonian and Canadian taxpayers – Budget debate on April 11, 2016

The Liberal government’s budget is a real disappointment for Canadians who were looking for real action to create jobs and long-term economic prosperity.

The Liberal budget has no plan for jobs, borrows $29.4 billion and raises taxes on hard-working Canadians.

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