Madam Speaker, the bill tabled back then had the consumer's best interests at heart. Is that not the very essence of our work? Is it not our duty as parliamentarians to work for the well-being and prosperity of Canadians?
Looking at all the initiatives we examine in the House of Commons, it is very easy to see which ones put Canadians first and which ones do not. Let us look at a few examples.
Is it in the best interests of Canadians for our country to rack up so much debt? Not in my view.
As we speak, Canada's federal debt stands at $650 billion, and grows by $77 million per day. Under the previous Conservative government, we guided this country through the worst recession of our lifetime. Through these difficult times, we managed to balance the budget by reducing taxes, reducing spending, and focusing on policies geared to steer the economy in the right direction.
Due to this, we needed to make difficult decisions. Someone once said that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. However, we knew that these hard decisions would lead to better days for everyone.
Our goal was to create a climate for job creation and to see Canadians bring home more disposable income, more money in their pockets and not in the government's pockets.
On the other hand, the Liberal government chose to increase spending, not during a recession, but at a time when the economy was doing well. They are spending endlessly and without any real priorities. In their first two years in office, the Liberals spent the surplus left by the Conservative government, and they increased spending and the debt just as much as any socialist government would. Unbelievable. They can chuckle across the way, but that is the truth. Financial management at the finance ministry is so far left that it looks like the NDP's policies. The Liberals seem to have embraced the vision of the left.
Let us get back to the real issue here. Increasing the debt without a valid reason is not, and could never be, in the interest of Canadians, and yet, this government does not hesitate to act recklessly by wasting public money and creating a financial burden that will be left to our children and grandchildren. The Liberals are being just as reckless when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. Here is the question that none of the Doobie Brothers wants to answer.
What is behind the Liberals' desire to pass this legislation? We have as many questions as there are points in this bill.
We know that many Liberals have made serious financial investments in this industry, and we know that the same people stand to benefit. We also know that because of all their reckless spending, the Liberals are short on cash and need to find new revenue sources. This may explain their rush to pass this bill.
Yesterday the Minister of Public Safety informed us that this law would reduce the market share of organized crime in the marijuana industry, and that loss to organized crime would be a gain for the legalized system. The expected tax revenue for the federal government might explain its rush to implement this bill. Let us remember that the Liberals have spent all the money and need much more.
The Prime Minister stated that legalized marijuana is important to remove organized crime from the marijuana industry and to keep pot away from youth. At best, this statement demonstrates a clear lack of judgment. At worst, this sort of reasoning borders on insanity.
Why does the Prime Minister insist on insulting the intelligence of Canadians? Why would he add to the anxiety of parents who clearly are not interested in drugs being more accessible?
The Prime Minister is well aware that the pot available in 1969 was very different from the pot available now.
The RCMP can tell you that pot is often laced with methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs that get people addicted the first time they try it. Here again, the Prime Minister is refusing to let the facts get in the way of a good story.
We need to get back to the basics of governance and the primary role of government. We need to remember that the work we do and the decisions we make here in Ottawa, in the House of Commons, are important. We need to remember that what we do in the House today will affect our society for many years to come. We must never lose sight of our mandate, a mandate to work for the people in each one of our ridings. The 338 seats here represent 38 million Canadians. We must never forget that. We are here for them, not for special interest groups that already have a leg up.
As I said earlier, Bill S-2 is very similar to the bill the Conservative Party introduced in 2015. It is about giving Canadians the advantage and enhancing consumer protection.
As you know, from time to time, auto manufacturers issue recalls for certain vehicles to fix defective parts. As things stand, auto manufacturers themselves handle recalls for their products of their own accord. In 2015 alone, five million passenger vehicles were recalled in Canada.
As we debate the bill we need to be very careful about what the final product will look like. Yes, the intent is to increase consumer protection, but we have to make sure that this does not result in increasing costs for Canadians. We must ensure that the final text of the legislation does not provide opportunities to the Minister of Transport to make partisan decisions when applying the law.
In my province of Quebec, there is a law that requires drivers to install winter tires for the winter months. Changing winter tires is an added cost to consumers, but it can be argued that this measure actually saves lives.
As far as Bill S-2 is concerned, the final text has to be balanced. This is not just about giving the new transport minister new powers. He has to put the consumers' interests first. On this side of the House, we will review what is being proposed and wait to hear the government's arguments.
After witnessing the government's actions over the past two years, Canadians are right to be concerned for the next two years. Canadians gave the Liberal government another chance after the sponsorship scandal. Canadians forgave that government for taking their money with one hand and giving it to their friends with the other.
Canadians also realize that the Liberals are inclined to promote the interests of their party instead of the interests of Canadians. People recognize the importance of 2019, the year of the next federal election, the year they can thank the Liberals for their service and bid them farewell.