Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer railed against government tax hikes, deficit spending and perceived attacks on freedom of speech Tuesday night. PHOTO BY MARK DREGER

Conservative Leader takes aim at Liberals during Okanagan visit

“It’s making our economy less competitive and that’s driving away jobs and opportunities.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer railed against government tax hikes, deficit spending and perceived attacks on freedom of speech Tuesday night when he made a stop at the Kelowna Golf & Country Club.

“The last time I was in Kelowna was right at the beginning of the Liberal attack on small business owners,” said Scheer, who was at the club along with MPs Mel Arnold and Cathy McLeod.

“Remember their tax hikes they promised this summer where they demonized hardworking entrepreneurs? They demonized and accused them of being ‘tax cheats’ and manipulating the system and trying to take advantage of something to get something they didn’t earn.”

Scheer accused the Liberal government of excessive spending and increasing the debt for future generations while asserting that the Conservative Party will balance budgets if elected in 2019.

READ MORE: ANDREW SCHEER IN THE LOWER MAINLAND

“It’s not fair to my five kids who haven’t yet entered the workforce to tell them that they’re going to spend the rest of their working lives paying back just the interest on the debt that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s racking up today,” he said. “I won’t let Justin Trudeau do to my five kids the same thing that his father did to my generation.”

Scheer said the Liberal carbon tax will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that Liberal ministers cannot answer how much emissions will decline under the tax.

“I’m here to tell you the same thing I’ve said in many, many speeches all across the country: the first piece of legislation in a majority conservative government in 2019 will be entitled ‘An Act to Repeal the Carbon Tax.’”

He also stressed the importance of freedom of speech and opinion, and said Trudeau is not respecting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with the Canada summer jobs controversy.

“When [Trudeau] says that ‘diversity is our strength,’ I guess he doesn’t mean diversity of views, diversity of opinions, or diversity of beliefs,” Scheer said. “Section 2 of the Charter says that we all have that right, and by forcing groups and individuals to sign on to a personal attestation, he is running rough-shot over our fundamental Charter rights. And Conservatives won’t let him get away with it.”

Lastly, Scheer addressed a question about Bill C-71 regarding amendments in relation to firearms, saying that the bill does nothing to go after real criminals and instead makes law-abiding Canadians follow more laws.

“The word ‘registrar’ and ‘registration’ appears over 25 times in the bill. Do you know what word doesn’t appear in that legislation? Criminal organizations, gangs, trafficking of firearms, these are all the things that actually cause gun crimes in our cities and in our communities.”

Speaking with the Capital News, Scheer addressed his belief in balanced budgets, lower taxes, protecting freedoms, and ending reckless spending.

“The Liberals have raised taxes so much,” Scheer told the Capital News.

“It’s making our economy less competitive and that’s driving away jobs and opportunities, so there’s a lot of Canadians that won’t have the same opportunities that my generation had because these new taxes are driving out business investment, so getting back to balanced budgets and lowering taxes, but also protecting our fundamental freedoms. More and more of our freedoms are under attack with Justin Trudeau with his strict conformity of views type of message. People who want to help kids at summer camp or want to service poor people, they are being forced to sign an attestation belief that I believe violates their Charter of Rights.”

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