Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris is back in the House.
Harris, along with Canada’s other 307 members of parliament, went back to work in Ottawa Monday.
He said the first two days were “civil,” adding he thinks the new makeup of the House — with the Conservatives holding the majority of power — will lend itself to greater decorum though, “the government will still defend strongly our policies and our legislation.”
Some of the items on the government’s agenda during the fall session will be the passing of a series of crime bills as well as tabling legislation that will kill the long-gun registry. On the economy, Harris says the intent is to “stay-the-course.” Calls for more stimulus spending from opposition parties will not happen insists Harris.
“The economic stimulus is over. This is a time when the projects are all out there,” he said.
“There is still some being finished but the money has been allocated and the jobs are still going on.”
The government, says Harris, is now focused on cutting its spending to eliminate the country’s deficit by 2013-14. Harris says the government is intent on erasing the deficit through cuts in government spending and revenue generated through a predicted increase in jobs.
“There will be no increases in taxes period. We believe that there’s a direct correlation between a low-tax regime and a buoyant economy…”
He adds in a global economy it’s important to not only protect the local economy but also to develop trade partnerships with countries around the world.
“We can’t consider ourselves an island unto ourselves. When there’s external pressures coming at us from all sides we have to deal with them.” Harris says, adding signing trade agreements and diversifying trade partners is one way to combat the downturn.
He conceded that Canada’s strong dollar is a concern for Canadian manufacturers and exporters and puts the country at a disadvantage when selling to the U.S.; however, he says it doesn’t have too much of an impact on our trade with China, for example.
“We sell to them at 100 cents on the dollar and we sell to them at world prices and that’s a good thing,” he says.