MP Report: The Auditor General’s Recent Report on the Delivery of the COVID-19 Benefits
It’s unbelievable how different we have become after 7 years of Justin Trudeau’s government. There was a time in our country’s history when the Auditor General of Canada would release a report, and almost every media outlet, coast-to-coast-coast, would take the time to examine in-depth the audits. Mainstream media used to cover the Auditor General’s reports extensively and scrutinize the government’s financial inefficiencies.
Unfortunately, after years of Liberals in power, something has been broken. What has happened to Canada? If you haven’t heard about this Liberal mess from the mainstream media you follow, please know they are not on your side. Please allow me, as your representative, to explain why Canadians are out of money and this Liberal government is out of touch.
In December, 2022, the Auditor General released a report where it was confirmed that the Liberals wasted $4.6 billion in COVID-19 overpayments that were made to ineligible individuals. Moreover, Canada’s Auditor General says that a minimum of $27.4 billion in suspicious COVID-19 benefit payments need to be investigated because the government did not manage its aid programs efficiently. As a Member of Parliament, I cannot possibly understand how the government could be so irresponsible. For reference, the total annual budget for all Atlantic provinces is 36.6 billion. Liberals single-handedly wasted almost the same amount that could easily support the entire Atlantic region for one year.
The Auditor General found that “Employment and Social Development Canada established performance standards by focusing solely on the speed of payment” and identified at least $32 Billion in overpayments and suspicious payments that require further investigation. The lack of controls put in place by the Liberal government, as specified by the Auditor General, undoubtedly contributed to this mess that taxpayers will be forced to pay for.
Canadians are struggling with 40-year highs in inflation and unprecedented labour shortages. As a result, 1 in 5 Canadians are skipping meals, and 1.5 million Canadians visit food banks in a single month – half of which are children. Credit card debt is at a record high. It takes 67% of income to service a traditional mortgage, and the average rent across Canada is nearly $2000 a month. Our economy is broken, and inflation is driving up the cost of living. And yet, the Liberals are determined to double down on this failed inflationary approach with current and future programs.
It breaks my heart to see how out of touch the costly NDP-Liberal coalition is. I understand how many families in my riding might not have been able to afford a Christmas dinner, parents not being able to buy Christmas gifts for their kids, and seniors not being able to heat their homes. Every time I sit in the House of Commons and look at the Liberal opponents across, I deeply question their integrity and devotion to Canadians. I question whether this Liberal government is able to comprehend how much needless suffering they inflict on Canadians in the name of their ideological agenda.
My Conservative colleagues and I have proposed solutions to bring relief to Canadians and stop inflationary spending, but the NDP-Liberal costly coalition has consistently voted against them. We have tried to remove the carbon tax from the price of groceries, agricultural inputs and home heating. We proposed a plan to cancel all future planned tax hikes and suggested ending the tripling of the carbon tax on fuels. Unfortunately, all our motions were defeated by the NDP-Liberal coalition.
Despite the NDP-Liberal pushback in the House of Commons, I’m confident my colleagues and I should continue to fight for Canadian families and our children’s future. Despite the Liberal inability to manage Canada’s finances, Conservatives should continue exposing their inefficacies for the sake of transparency and accountability. We will continue to pressure the government and present the best option of an alternative government!