Good afternoon, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to respond to what Mr. Fraser and his fellow members Mr. Fragiskatos and Ms. Koutrakis said. Obviously, the committee's priority is to focus on the government's financial and economic response to the pandemic, which is hurting not just people's health, but also our economic health overall.
I would also point out that, in the last election, the people elected the Liberals to form a minority government. In the current context, the government has introduced economic programs of unprecedented proportions, the likes of which we've never seen. Although it was necessary, this whole issue is tremendously important. It's imperative that the public's trust in government not be broken.
As lawmakers and elected officials, we've already handed over way too much power to the government. In dealing with bills on an urgent basis, we no longer subject them to committee scrutiny as we did before. Had we done so, we may have learned that the Liberal Party of Canada would be able to take advantage of the wage subsidy, support it does not need, in my view. That affects the level of trust I have in the government, and my constituents have expressed the same concerns.
Now, we have a situation where the administration of a major program, one worth nearly a billion dollars, was apparently given to an organization whose ties to the government raise serious ethical questions. We never should have had to probe a scandal like this, a situation involving hugely problematic ties to the government, but we do. Why must we do it, and above all, why must we do it right? Because the people's trust in government depends on it. Never have we seen such massive spending, by a minority government, no less, without lawmakers having the ability to fulfill their roles and ensure the government's actions are scrutinized.
That is why we must examine the situation properly, in my view. Conducting a balanced examination demands that we take the time necessary to get to the truth. Frankly, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the government have left us no choice. This isn't what we wanted.
I enjoy working together to improve measures so they are better tailored to people's needs. We trusted the government, and this is what happened, so let's get to the bottom of this. Taking an in-depth look at what happened is not tantamount to brushing aside what matters most, because this is vital to maintain the public's trust in government. I hope my fellow committee members will agree.
That's what I wanted to say.