Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre Canadian Taxpayers Are Being Undermined
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[Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre Canadian Taxpayers Are Being Undermined]
[Pierre M. J. Poilievre, PC, MP (Carleton); born June 3, 1979:] Source: LYBIO.net
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
Whenever the government creates an expensive new program, the burden of proof for its necessity falls on that government.
In other words, it is not the responsibility of the opposition to prove that the program is unnecessary; it is the duty of the government to prove that it is necessary.
What arguments has it made today to exhibit the necessity of this $35-billion dollar bank?
Most recently, the parliamentary secretary across the way has said that this bank is necessary to help pension funds earn a return. He points to the Canada pension plan, teachers’ pension plans, other pension plans that invest in infrastructure in order to produce returns for future retirees. And he’s right. They do, and they have, all around the world and right here at home.
In fact, the Québec, Caisse de dépôt is a large shareholder, currently, in the Canada Line, which is the largest infrastructure project in British Columbian history. A large rapid transit train project funded one-third by private investors who were formed a consortium that included Quebec pensioners or Pensionfund Realty, which built a public transit station in Coquitlam with the money of its future pensioners because they wanted to bring more traffic to their shopping centre.
They said, “We’ll build the station in our own shopping centre; then the people getting out of the train and walking around will buy stuff from our tenants, and we’ll make more money.”
The Canada pension plan was at one time, and may still well be, the largest shareholder in the privately owned 401 [Correction] 407 [Highway] privately owned highway in the greater Toronto area, an investment that produced for it very large dividends that supports the retirement of Canadian pensioners.
So the member is right. Pension funds do buy, own, and even manage infrastructure, and do so well.
[Pierre M. J. Poilievre:] Source: LYBIO.net
And they have been doing it across Canada for many years, which begs the the question: why do we need an infrastructure bank to have them do it? They are already doing it. So that cannot be the reason for the bank.
Second, they say – and they [The Liberals] suggested in their budget document that there is $2 trillion dollars – a potential worldwide investment looking for projects. “Global capitalists have money for projects,” they say, “and Canada has projects that need money, so let’s connect the dots.”
But wait a second here.
If the dilemma is that there is too much money in the world; looking for infrastructure projects, how could the solution to that dilemma be – another $35 billion dollars of money?
I thought the premise of the program was that there is already a lot of money out there – that we would not need taxpayers’ money to build infrastructure, because these global investors would build it for us with their money. So that cannot be the reason either.
What is the reason?
One needs to look at Division 18 of the budget implementation act to find out, because the overwhelming preponderance of money in the infrastructure bank will be delivered in the form of something called loan guarantees.
Now what are loan guarantees?
I can tell members that they are a fantastic instrument for the person being guaranteed. They mean that – that person can make risky investments that could produce profits for him or her, but that if money is lost, the investor is guaranteed against those losses.
Now, be careful. That does not take the risk out of the project. It takes the risk out of the hands of the person who invested in it.
So where does it go?
It does not vanish. It got to be somewhere. If a global investor builds a bridge and goes over budget or has a revenue shortfall, that risk is materialized in serious losses. Someone has got to pay for it. Who is holding the bag? Well the answer is right there in the budget, Division 18, Clause 23: $35 billion Canadian tax dollars would backstop the losses of these international investors.
So therein lies the real function of this bank: to backstop the profits of investors in large and sometimes risky infrastructure projects.
That does violence to the basic free market principle that risk and reward go together.
When we sever those two things, you have something called moral hazard. Moral hazard is when someone is encouraged to take risky behaviour because they can transfer that risk to someone else. And that is exactly what the bank does. It is a gigantic insurance fund to backstop the profits of the wealthiest people on earth.
The Prime Minister – if anyone has any doubt about this, the Prime Minister got the idea for the establishment of the bank at Davos, a congress of billionaires, from the head of the biggest asset managing firm in the world, BlackRock, which controls over a trillion dollars of wealth. He then met again with the same billionaire firm in New York. He then allowed that firm to organize an entire planning session for the establishment of the bank at the swanky Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, where at which his own minister’s remarks were vetted by these millionaire pension fund and investment fund managers.
After two years of consulting the billionaires on how they could use $35 billion tax dollars, he is allowing a parliamentary committee two hours to represent taxpayers. That’s right. The billionaires, who have everything to gain, get two years of consultation. The taxpayers, who have everything to lose, get two hours of consultation.
This is a growing phenomenon, whereby powerful financial interests are increasingly looking for ways to put the risk of their investments onto the shoulders of taxpayers.
There is something called – there’s something called: “rocking chair money”. Money that comes to people as they sit back in their rocking chairs. It used to be that institutional investors would get it by buying government bonds. It was risk-free money.
But bonds only pay 2.5% now. They’re too low, so these investors are looking for higher rates of risk-free return. They persuaded the Liberal government in Ontario to pay thousands of percentage points of markup in price on electricity for so-called wind and solar power electricity, which has bankrupted families and driven 60,000 people to food banks across the country. Made Ontario the highest poverty rate of any of the 10 provinces in the country in order to backstop the profits of wealthy so-called green energy entrepreneurs.
We see it with Bombardier, where, instead of issuing new shares in order to raise money to pay for their cash shortfalls, the billionaire Bombardier Beaudoin family protected its feudal privileges to control a majority of the company with a minority of the shares by getting money from Canadian taxpayers, handed to them by Liberal governments in Quebec and here in Ottawa.
[Pierre Poilievre:] Source: LYBIO.net
We see this phenomenon spreading far and wide of crony capitalism that seeks to put the burden of risk on the shoulders of the hard-working middle class through government backstops while giving all the profit to the wealthy elite who can afford the lobbyists, the donations, and the influence to control the levers of government.
The greatest concentration of wealth there is, of course, is government, and those with the most power to influence government always attempt to unlock that vault to their own benefit.
And so today we stand in opposition to this naked attempt to undermine Canadian taxpayers by taking $35 billion dollars from their hands and using it to backstop the profits of the wealthiest elite, and we reaffirm our commitment to true free enterprise on the side of those who work hard, pay their taxes, and play by the rules. Thank you.
[Mister Speaker:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
Questions and comments, the honorable Parliamentary, Secretary Minister of Public Services –
Merci beaucoup –
Thank you very much Mister Speaker.
[Steven MacKinnon (Parl. Secretary (Public Services and Procurement):] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his speech and I read it more as a lament for the decline into populism and Trumpism of the Conservative Party.
The words like “billionaires”, when he says “billionaires”, what he really means is it could be the bus drivers’ union in Rio de Janeiro, it could be teachers in Alabama, it could be municipal employees in Alberta.
These are pension funds. These are sources of capital.
And yes, there is $2 trillion dollars or maybe more of capital looking for returns to ensure the futures of those very people.
And we can put that money to work right here in Canada creating jobs, creating construction jobs, building strategic trade-enabling infrastructure, and having Canada be open for business so we can sell our grain, open our ports, and keep this country moving forward economically and in every other way.
These are things the Conservatives used to talk about, but they do not talk about them anymore. They just descend into buzzwords and snap phrases, and now here we have the evidence of the decline of conservatism in Canada. Mister Speaker, I think it is a sad day.
The honorable member for Carleton.
[Pierre M. J. Poilievre:] Source: LYBIO.net
Well he says that – [The Liberals] they’re doing this for bus drivers and teachers. How many bus drivers and teachers were invited to the Shangri-La Hotel (Background: That’s right) to talk with the Prime Minister about this 35-billion-tax-dollar corporate welfare bank that they’re setting up,
Were there any bus drivers there or were there simply those trying to harvest the biggest return with no risk to themselves whatsoever by offloading that risk onto taxpayers? Mister Speaker, that is not populism. That is basic free market economics.
You don’t get rich by shuffling off your risk onto someone else. If they want to make an investment to earn a profit, that is great and we stand, but we will not allow you to force other people to take the risk of that investment.
[Mister Speaker:] Source: LYBIO.net
Questions and comments, the honorable Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader.
[Kevin Lamoureux Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons:]
Yes, thank you Mr. Speaker, if I wasn’t sitting in my place watching the member, I might have thought it was the leader of the interim New Democratic Party who was speaking at times. I understand and appreciate that the Conservatives have really lost touch with this particular issue.
When we think about it, the member says, well his problem is that the government is contributing to the bank. By doing that you are enabling other stakeholders such as, let’s say, the City of Edmonton, or the City of Calgary, some of those great western cities, to be able to look at it and say, maybe if we can get some assistance we could pool in some money, and yes, there might be a component for private investment. And as my colleague points out, much of that money that’s going to go in there, is going to be from pension funds. Some of those pension funds, if they weren’t going to be invested, let’s say, in this future bank, will in fact continue to leave the country of Canada. Many Canadians would benefit by this investment bank and the member needs to – to acknowledge that.
But to say or say or try – try to imply that there is no role for government to play, when it comes to leverage [Correction] or leveraging additional private dollars, in order to get a project up and going, I believe the member is wrong, and I suggest the Conservative Party might want to rethink their position, because I would have thought they would of been supportive of a policy of this nature.
The honorable member for Carleton.
[Pierre M. J. Poilievre:] Source: LYBIO.net
Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party does not believe in welfare for the wealthy. That’s exactly what this program is. This is designed to allow a private sector for-profit enterprise to come in and build something to profit, but in the event it all goes wrong, turn the risk all over to taxpayers.
We have no problem, if somebody wants to come in and build something – great and profit from it; in fact, we encourage it. We cut taxes for people like that. We remove red tape. Those are called entrepreneurs, but you know what are entrepreneurs do, you know what they’re known for – taking risks. This is not entrepreneurship. This is corporate welfare. This is an attempt to take the risk off the ballot [correction] balance sheet of the wealthy interests who have control over [the Liberal] this government and put that risk on the shoulders of Canadian taxpayers. And will never stand for that.
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre Canadian Taxpayers Are Being Undermined. This is corporate welfare. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.