Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose is on a cross-country tour this week ahead of the return of the House on Monday. She speaks a bit later today to an audience of business leaders in Toronto. This morning she released this open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
January 18, 2016
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister,
The deteriorating economic situation across Canada is of great concern to all of us who have been elected to serve in the House of Commons.
As Opposition Leader, I am concerned that recent statements made by you and your party during the election campaign to limit deficits to a “modest” $10 billion have been disavowed, and currently there is no clarity on the limit of spending being considered by your government as it prepares to bring in a budget.
In addition, it was disconcerting to read that Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Liberal MP Wayne Easter have publicly stated that they were “not sure whether the (House of Commons) finance committee will be struck in time to get insight from Canadians.” (Globe and Mail, January 13, 2016)
It is essential that as the elected representatives of Canadians, we are able to represent the issues that matter to our constituents and have input into the budget process, especially if the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is not struck. To ensure the voices of all Canadians are heard equally, I am formally requesting a meeting with you at the earliest opportunity to discuss the rapidly deteriorating economy.
Your government has taken almost no time to turn a surplus (as indicated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer) into a deficit. In addition, the challenge of low commodity prices has devastated the energy sector in Alberta and is impacting the nation as a whole. The Conservative Party believes Canadian families and businesses deserve to see a plan to address these issues. I look forward to sharing my input with you.
I hope you will consider this request in the spirit in which it is made.
Hon. Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P.