With the House now back in session, it’s time to check in with our queer MPs to see what’s on their agenda for the spring sitting. I caught up with Scott Brison this morning shortly after the debate on C-389.
Q: How was the rest of your break?
A: It was really busy – I was doing a lot of travelling within Canada. I went from St John’s, Newfoundland, to Victoria, BC, for work travel through January. I had a trip to Colombia for meetings and then was in Davos for the World Economic Forum. So it was a busy time.
Q: I read some stuff about Davos this year, and the fact that Canada had our beavertails and Mounties there. You’re a veteran of Davos – what message does that send to other delegates about Canada?
A: Canada should have a more robust presence at Davos. I look at what other countries invest in both presence and trade promotion of their countries, and they invest a lot more than Canada does. I’ve never eaten a beavertail, so I don’t even know what the pastry looks like. I always thought of beavertails as an Ottawa thing more than a Canadian thing.
Q: What are you looking forward to in the spring session?
A: As finance critic, I’ll be focused very much on the budget. All parliamentarians and parties are focused on the budget, and we’ve made our priorities very clear. We want to see investments in helping middle class Canadian families, investments in learning, investments in home care, family care, healthcare, and the Conservatives’ priorities are corporate tax cuts, planes and prisons. Our priorities are very different; we’ve been very clear, and we hope the Conservatives come to their senses and see that now is simply not the time to cut already low corporate tax rates further and gut the government’s fiscal capacity to invest in healthcare and get back to balanced budgets. We also want to see a credible plan to get Canada back into balanced budgets, and there’s been no such plan from this government, and that’s one of the reasons why the corporate tax cut today is so irresponsible. With a record $56 billion deficit, it is fiscally reckless and economically irresponsible to go deeper in deficit with deeper corporate tax cuts.
Q: Your prediction on a spring election?
A: Unless the Conservatives change direction on the corporate tax cuts on borrowed money, untendered jets and US-style prisons, we can’t support this budget. It depends on whether one of the other parties are able to swallow themselves whole and support the government on this.